Friday, January 10, 2014

What's Happening in January?

Sorry for the blogging delay! With a winter break and then coming back to testing, testing, and....more testing...I have been....ummm...busy. :)

Your children are getting back into the swing of school with a couple of delays thrown in there just to really give them some time to get readjusted! Ha! I hope they enjoyed a little extra sleep this week.

I have been working on the grueling task of getting each and every child tested on his/her middle of the year reading level (comprehension and fluency). Reports should go home once the testing window has ended at the end of the month. However, your children should know what reading level they're on because we have discussed it. So they can start bringing home books on those new levels. Remember that if your child is on a Q or higher, they may bring home O chapter books or higher. It's hard to find many books on their level otherwise.

Third grade students are also testing on smaller reading passages for the state three times a week. These passages are testing them on reading standards they are expected to know in third grade. You are welcome to ask me how they are doing on those passages but I will not be going over them with the students. I will be discussing with them how they're doing, periodically, but I am not allowed to go over the passages with them. I also don't want to bombard them with testing on a daily basis. They are 8/9 years old!

Since we returned from the break, students have started completing Must Do/May Do activities during reading station time. I really think-and hope!-the kids are loving it! It gives them wonderful opportunities to collaborate with other students and also showcases what they are doing independently in the classroom.  I also love that it allows us to utilize technology in the classroom more than what could normally be done with the time constraints we have during the day. So, ask your children what they're working on during their Must Do/May Do time and check over their work when it comes home! You will quickly see how your child is using his/her time during reading every day! I will be taking grades on some of the activities. You will see a score beside the activities I took a grade on. These are also differentiated for various learning needs. For the most part, they are working so hard on these activities, so brag, brag, brag if they bring home great scores! If your child is not working hard on these activities, please discuss the importance of using his/her time wisely in class.

We are trucking along in math, adding multiplication AND division this week! All students need to be working on these more at home. They need to know these fast and also need to solve multiplication and division problems using various strategies (arrays, equal groups, repeated addition/subtraction, fact families, writing an equation, etc). Your child will test every Friday on the next multiplication fact or the same fact if he or she did not pass the test that Friday. I am sending these home every Friday so look to see if your child passed or not.

Thanks for being a partner with me in your child's education! I appreciate all the support: signed papers, field trip money, classroom wish list items, encouraging words, and much much more! Please email me if you have any further questions about classroom happenings!

Have a great weekend!