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St. Joachim School Family Calendar

St. Joachim School

From The Principal's Desk...

Dear SJS Families,

Only 32 days left in the 2016-17 school year...and there is a great deal still to do and accomplish!

All year teachers and students have been working hard to achieve progress and growth expectations. I am very pleased to tell you that we are, once again, demonstrating great gains in ELA and Math.

In education today, the lexile score is the most used and most accurate measure of reading ability. In short a lexile score measures an individual’s reading ability as well as the complexity of materials he or she reads. It is sort of like a gauge that measures both the reader’s skill level and how hard the text is.

For students in elementary school one can expect a gain of about 73 lexile points and about 50 points in middle school during a school year. To date our per student average gain is 197 lexile points, more than 2.5 times what the average expected growth should be! Lexile score is an important marker for reading progress but not the only measure we use. Classwork and tests as well as assignments and presentations all complete the “picture” of student progress and achievement.

We are blessed to have the best online resources and the wonderfully skilled and encouraging teachers that help our students make these gains. Each report card period, students in grades 2-8, receive a parent report that helps you track and monitor where your child is according to lexile level. Our primary online resource is Achieve 3000 a nationally acclaimed resource with remarkable results and success. Look them up online!

I have written before about our math scores that not only reflect fantastic progress but undeniable and remarkable student achievement. Each year we continue to have more and more students scoring in the 90th percentile on our Star 360 math assessment. At our end of 2nd trimester testing in March, 92% of all our students are at benchmark or above. That is an amazing accomplishment! I am proud of the hard work our teachers and students demonstrate on a daily basis, and the fruits of their hard work is shown by the high achievement and progress being made.

All this and still 32 days left in the school year...still much to work on and accomplish!!!

Have a great week!

Teacher Corner

Teacher's Corner
Fourth Grade News
By Merriza Ramirez

As the last months of school are approaching, the fourth graders have been diligent in getting ready for what fifth grade will entail!

In religion, we have been focusing on the Liturgical Season of Lent. The fourth graders have been discussing on what is the meaning of Lent, the important days during Lent, how is it different than the other liturgical seasons, and also scriptures that relate to Lent. Based on their knowledge of these important components to Lent, the fourth graders have put together a Lenten book. We have also learned that the praying of the Stations of the Cross is a Lenten tradition. By reading each Station of the Cross as a class, we imagined the scene in Jerusalem as Jesus walked his way of the cross.

Our current adventures in math have been exploring fractions. The fourth graders have been strengthening their multiplication and division math facts enforcing it in the lessons of fraction equivalence/comparison, adding and subtracting fractions, and will begin to learn how to multiply fractions by whole numbers. Using numerous methods, visual models, and fraction games, the fourth graders able to use different strategies to critically think and solve fractional math problems.

In our Journeys Unit, we have been continuing to read different genres of anchor texts and reinforcing the comprehension strategies of monitor/clarify, summarize, infer/predict, visualize, analyze/evaluate, and question. Using graphic organizers, the students are able to organize main ideas and supporting details as well as analyzing text structure. In a recent lesson, the fourth graders had an opportunity to read about Cesar Chavez. In a story called, “Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez,” the students were able to learn about Cesar’s life as a young boy, his early struggles, and how he was determined to make a change that impacted many people’s lives. It was a great way for the fourth graders to learn about Cesar Chavez, who was a civil rights and labor activist, understanding why we celebrate Cesar Chavez Day! This week the fourth graders are reading about a pet named Humphrey who is taken home to a student’s family and learns that the family has created a habit of watching television taking away quality time together. The essential question for this story is, “How can media be a distraction?” Discussing on this question, the students were able to respond with concrete answers relating to what they observe or have experienced with media.

The fourth graders have completed the Social Studies Unit of Early History to Statehood discovering California’s history before it became a state following the important events. In discussing the Gold Rush, the fourth graders learned about how and why people traveled to California, how the discovery of gold affected California, and the impact of women helping California grow. Studying on the different occupations that people had during the Gold Rush, the students were deliberating on which occupation would be best to earn money and also live a stable life. They really reflected on the occupations based on a list of what each job earned. Using their basic math skills, the students were planning out if they made enough money and what items that they were able to purchase based on the occupation they chose. In align to our Gold Rush lesson, the fourth graders were able to use their knowledge of the history and specific vocabulary words during our Gold Rush Program Field trip in San Francisco. The students relished in learning more about a life of a miner, merchant, and captain of ship traveling to San Francisco in hopes to strike gold in California!

It is so wonderful to see how much the fourth graders have grown in their abilities since the beginning of the school year and how they continue to persevere in the different challenges they have faced!

Growing in Faith and Achievement Together

SJS Achieves New Heights!

Reading Lexile levels are steadily increasing thanks to our Achieve 3000 Reading program.

Top performing classes during the month of March:

2nd grade with a gain of 62 Lexile points

6th grade with a gain of 35 Lexile points

5th grade with a gain of 34 Lexile points

3rd grade with a gain of 34 Lexile points

Subpages (2): Archives Festival 2016