It's hard to believe that we've already reached the month of May! As I plan, it become apparent that we have very few days of school left...and so much still to do!!!
This month I will be testing third and second graders who have been recommended for possible inclusion into the Math Apps program. The students will take three tests and will know their placement on the last day of school. Two of the tests are taken from CMLs (Continental Mathematics League) and focus on either computation or visual/spatial relations. All CML's require students to perform multiple steps and think deeply about how to solve them. The third test is the TOMAGs. This is something that the students cannot study for. It will cover all area of mathematics (possibly some they are unfamiliar with) so that we have a better understanding of where their strengths and weaknesses are.
Math Apps, Reading Enrichment, and Writing Enrichment continue to meet but it does become challenging at this time of year due to special All School Meetings, Field Trips, and classroom academic activities.
****Homework will be limited this month due to an all school initiative and Smarter Balanced testing. Some students will be missing some pullouts also due to testing and/or special changes.
March-April: Mystery Festival (Grade 2)
Many second grade classrooms will be participating in the Mystery Festival! Over a 5-week period, they will observe a crime scene (someone has borrowed Mr. Bear and not returned him!), record details, perform and analyze crime scene data, and then draw conclusions based on evidence of who borrowed Mr. Bear.
Dec-Feb: Inventive Thinking: Grade 3
The original Invention Convention unit is changing format! Please click on the above link called "Inventive Thinking" to learn more!
Please visit my tab to learn more. I update this tab weekly.
INVENTIVE THINKING CULMINATION: (GRADE 3 ONLY)
Monday, February 20
Building and creating: 8-11 in classrooms
Parent Visitation: 1:30-2
Invention Convention: (4TH GRADE ONLY)
Tuesday, February 21
7:30-8 am drop off in dining room
Student visitation (Grade 3 and 4): 9-9:30
Parent visitation: 9:30-10
Thank you to all the teachers and all the students and their parents who helped make our Coming to America culmination so powerful! Check out the video here.
During the Hour of Code, all Math Apps classes got to experience working with code! Second graders navigated their robots using Lightbot. Third graders built their own games using Bloxels, and fourth graders will be coding the week before the holidays.
In January all Math Apps classes will be participating in the CML tests. We practice these in class, sometimes practice for homework, and then go over each CML so they learn from their mistakes.
This month students in 4th grade Math Apps will take their first CML. All 4th grade students will also be preparing for the culmination of the "Coming to America" unit with a simulation of the day in the life of an immigrant coming to America in 1916. All reading and writing enrichment groups have begun. Remember that if your child comes to an enrichment class, they will most likely have homework that they will need to complete by their next class.
For more information, please see the tabs above.
October has been a busy month! By November all pullout classes will be up and running. Please see below for details about each. I will continue to push in to classroom as often as possible to do critical thinking and problem solving activities, teamwork challenges, and mindset lessons. Fourth grade is midway through their Immigration unit and have learned so much about their own ancestry!
This month I visited all second, third, and fourth grade classrooms!
In fourth grade, we kicked off our Immigration unit with an atlas search. Students have been spending time searching through the world atlas to better understand geography. This leads us into a 6 week unit in which we will learn about our own ancestry, and also about immigration, Ellis Island, and life for immigrants in 1916. Our unit will end with a simulation of arriving on Ellis Island as a day in the life of an immigrant!
In second grade, I am using youcubed.org to help students understand that anyone can learn and be good at math! The videos are short snippets that teach the students about brain science and math that ultimately all lead to the same few messages:
* we can all be good at math with practice
* our brains grow and change
* mistakes and struggles and even failure is actually good for us and helps our brains grow
* our brains grow more if we believe in ourselves
* speed does not matter, but how deeply we think and visualize problems does
In third grade, I re-introduced the Groundworks program that is now up and running in all grades 2-4. Students are asked to work on these at school and will be bringing home corrected packets soon. If students get most of their packet correct, they will receive a sticker and the packets will be sent home. If students get most or all of the packet wrong, we are asking that they try to fix mistakes and submit again. However, we will only ask them to 'try again' once so that they don't become discouraged. Therefore, you may receive packets at home with mistakes. We are hoping that you can take the time to go over these packets with your child. Thank you for your support.
Welcome Back! I am very excited to work with all of your children this year. I plan on getting into all 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades to work with whole classes. I will also be pulling small groups for math, reading, and writing. Please see our district webpage along with a detailed description of the programs below.
Enrichment Pullout Programs:
Math Plus: This math class is offered to fourth grade students who meet district criteria based on their Grade 3 Math Apps screening results. New students to the district may be tested in the fall. The class covers the 4th grade curriculum and provides additional math enrichment activities for participating students. Math Plus students will be graded each quarter by the enrichment teacher.
****ALL STUDENTS WHO ARE RECOMMENDED FOR GRADE 4 MATH APPS ARE AUTOMATICALLY TESTED FOR MATH PLUS.
Math Apps: At the elementary schools, Math Apps is a pull-out program for grades 2, 3, and 4. This group meets weekly to extend and challenge participating students in the area of mathematics. We explore problem solving techniques, visual spatial activities, logical reasoning and participate in the Continental Math League (CML) Competition. Annual screening takes place in the spring for grades 3 and 4, and during the fall for students in grade 2 or new to the district. Second grade Math Apps begins second quarter. Requirements for inclusion are based on a variety of criteria, such as high levels of success on standardized academic assessments, current performance, and teacher recommendation. All recommended students are screened on an annual basis. Current participants are automatically included in this process. Math Apps effort and participation grades are included with January and June report cards.
Reading Enrichment: This weekly pull-out class for grades 2, 3 and 4 focuses on extending and deepening student's love of literature. Participation requires high levels of success on standardized academic assessments, current performance, and teacher recommendations. Students may enter this program at any time throughout the year if they meet these expectations. Continued inclusion requires participation, student motivation and preparedness. Reading enrichment will use picture books, chapter books, and Junior Great Books. This is an inquiry-based program that relies heavily on strong inferential skills and the ability to participate in meaningful discussions. Due to the large number of strong readers here at Peter Woodbury, I will begin working with teachers to create a pool of possible candidates that may be included in my reading enrichment groups throughout the year.
Writing Enrichment: This weekly pull-out program is for students in grade 3 and 4 who demonstrate above average writing skills, creativity, and a high level of commitment to working on writing projects of their own choice. Students may enter this program at any time throughout the year if they meet these expectations. Continued inclusion requires participation, student motivation and preparedness.
For all pullout programs, students are expected to keep up with their daily classwork, homework, and behavior. Students recommended for these programs not only excel academically but are also self-motivated, risk-takers, leaders, and problem solvers. They show a love of learning, a willingness to take on extra tasks, and perseverance in all they do.