Saturday, September 28, 2013

Week Five: Focus Evolves

The school year blooms quickly. The roots have been established, and now we're moving towards goal setting and greater differentiation.

The week ahead includes the following focus:

Student Performance Folders and Goal Setting Conferences
Students engaged in STEAM exploration last Friday. 
The student performance folders will include a top sheet of standardized test scores including GMADE, GRADE, MCAS, and Dibels.  The folder will also include early year examples of students' fact mastery, close reading/reading comprehension, writing, problem solving, and self reflections. I will share these folders with collaborating teachers and family members at upcoming goal setting and review conferences.

As our STEAM initiative develops each classroom will turn into a STEAM lab. Each lab will have a number of online and hands-on tools available as well as a specific focus. The foci will include architecture/design, game making/invention, research, math and movie making, and interactive arts/design.

Math Unit
We'll start our second week focused on the roll-out of our first math unit, Place Value.  We are following a blended learning model that embeds the standards of mathematical practice throughout the unit. Students will also take their final start-of-the-year math assessment, the GMADE test this week.

Close Reading
Our emphasis with close reading continues with continued practice with pre-reading strategies, identifying unknown words skill, and reading for understanding steps. This week we'll focus on text related to the author, Grace Lin, and The Pledge of Allegiance.

Reading/Writing Workshop
I'll continue the one-to-one student reading/writing conferences I started with students last week. We'll also continue our writer's craft introductory lessons, and start a few book groups this Thursday. During workshop times students will have the chance to write in their writer's books and read books of choice too.

Read Aloud
We continue to read Letters from Rifka with a focus on story elements and a review of all comprehension strategies.

We'll continue our work on our first digital writing project, I AM Poems.

The year is taking shape. I look forward to completing the student folders in preparation for the upcoming goal setting conferences which will lead to more targeted interventions and differentiation--one way to teach children well.