Monday, September 28, 2015

Thoughts more than halfway through first quarter...

As interims go home today, I am reminded that we are 5 weeks into the quarter. The class is settling into routines and fourth grade work. Interims are just a snapshot of what level of mastery your child has reached at this point. All students progress at different rates, and there are many students who are still working on mastering first quarter goals.   A 2 on an interim is a sign of what needs more practice. The range of a 3 can span from having  just mastered a skill, or being very comfortable with it.  A score of  4 on a standard shows that a student is extending a skill beyond grade level expectations. If you have any concerns please contact me for more information.

When I grade assessments, I add up and down arrows to give more detail. A 3 up shows that a student achieved a high level of mastery. A 3 down would show that a student demonstrated mastery, but that there are areas left to strengthen. A 2 up indicates that a student has more work to do to be independent on a skill, but that they are close to mastery. If you ever have questions about an assessment score, please let me know. Next week you will receive the first two graded  math assessments and the results of Beginning of the year assessments for reading in Monday Folders. 

We will finish our second whole class read-aloud, Stone Fox this week. Ms. Gordon (our talented student teacher) and I have established guided reading groups that meet each day. During small groups we can target individual needs and get immediate feedback on student learning. Ask your child what they read about in groups today! In math, we have moved into large calculations and solving story problems. Tomorrow they will put their calculation and research skills together to show how they would spend a million dollars. In science, we will wrap up our study of magnetism and have a quiz Thursday. 

We have an exciting month ahead. Writing has been a big focus the past two weeks. Students have used graphic organizers to plan and  write their first multi-paragraph story of the quarter. Next week, the fourth grade will benefit from having a writer-in-residence come to teach a one hour class each day of the week. They will have writing homework so that they can complete a story within the week. I will share more about this great experience that is funded for the entire 4th grade by the PTA. 

I hope you all have a great week. Exciting things are happening in Room 316!

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