Friday, January 14, 2011

End of Second Quarter

Grades closed today and report cards will be sent home on Friday, January 21st. Please sign the last page of the report card and return that page to school On Monday, January 24th. Behavioral Checklists are also sent home to every student each quarter. Please be sure to check the effort grade under each content area as this is an important aspect of your child's assessment. It reflects his/her work ethic.

Fifth grade sixth grade students visited the Albany Institute of Art and History today via technology(virtual field trip) :). Students analyzed artwork, artifacts and mummies from ancient Egypt. They participated in discussions about the importance of the Nile River, symbolism used in art work and artifacts and the process of mummification. I was pleased that 99% of the class answered more than one question! Wednesday students have a homework assignment due on this virtual field trip where they are to list connections they made with the presentation and list new information they learned.

Next week students in grades 3-6 will be taking the Winter Writing Prompt during writing classes. These writing pieces will be scored according to a six trait of writing rubric by two teachers. Students will use these scored pieces to set writing goals for the third quarter and the pieces will also be used as a grade for the third quarter. We have worked hard in class on identifying and writing strong leads, using transitions to help organize a written piece, using words to show and not tell and varying short and complex sentences in our essays. I have seen a lot of growth in pieces students have worked on in class and I am hoping their prompts will reflect this growth.

We are just starting our sixth unit in Everyday Math. At the end of this unit students will be taking a "Mid-Term" to access concepts/skills taught thus far. My plan is to offer math interventions(during our activity period) to any students who have not mastered secure skills.

Students have started to get a little lazy about writing down their nightly assignments and several have not been completing work on time. I have had to go back to checking all their assignment books before they board the bus at 3. They are given time earlier in the day(11:25) to write down assignments and gather materials needed and have told me the assignments were written down, but when I have checked this was not the case. Therefore, I would ask that you remind them of the Homework Contract we all signed in September. They agreed to write down all assignments nightly and I need to hold them accountable for this. Developing and maintaining strong organizational skills is a priority. Thank you for your help with this.

I hope many, if not all of you, are able to enjoy a three day weekend. Let's all remember and talk with the children about why Martin Luther King is celebrated.

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