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Monday, January 11, 2016

Monday Comes Quickly and Report Card Readiness

It seems like I just put last week to rest with follow-up reflection and review, and now it's time to start the next week. Monday comes quickly, and yes, in that regard, I'm in fan of lengthening the distance from one week to the next by having a four-day work/school week and a three day weekend. A three day weekend would mean a day to catch up on school/work, a day for home chores and jobs, and a day for fun and relaxation. I think it's time that the four-day work week is the standard.

In the meantime, Monday is here, and it's time to get busy. We'll follow the agenda planned as I make sure I have all the data for upcoming standards-based report cards. In the past term, students were responsible for the following math standards:

The first area is social development. In general we have few issues in this area as students are mostly respectful and caring to themselves and others.

Similarly students are typically on task with the curriculum efforts and expectations. There's little time to waste in our busy, shared model and it's rare not to have a child on task which is awesome. I think the fact that we have so many resources now including technology has made our ability to keep everyone invested and learning almost all the time much more possible.

 With regard to mathematics, the effort is much like the work habits above, students are working with care each day, and if they have a difficult time persevering and doing their work, I typically work with them to get a better work space or support to make that happen.

There are several CCSS-related topic areas for the first report. The first is Numbers and Operations in Base Ten. We spent a lot of time working with students to master place value concepts, computation with whole numbers and decimals, and facts. 

Students have studies graphing with coordinate grids, and everyone did well with that. We'll continue that study into the second term as well. 

There's been lots of opportunity to speak and write with regard to mathematical thinking. In a large part, this work is tied closely with our problem solving work, so while many do a very good job with this, we'll continue to develop these skills in general in the semester ahead. 

Students, in general, are progressing well with regard to the standards expected for this term and even many standards expected for the next term and beyond. Since we generally teach so that children reach mastery, there is little room for not meeting the expectations except in the rare case where a child's learning history or profile has not allowed him/her to be ready for this teaching/learning yet. In those cases, we are applying multiple special teaching approaches and activities to help those children progress. As I often tell students, much like walking, learning doesn't happen at the same time and rate, and in the same way for everyone. We don't tell young babies who walk early that they are the "smartest" walkers and those that don't walk until close to two years old that "they'll never be able to walk well or achieve in that area."

Learning is not an exact science, however, the standards-based report cards give us a chance to review the whole class and individuals with regard to their achievement and needs, and relay that snapshot to family members a couple times a year.

A little writing like this helps me to prepare for the day and week ahead, a week we're we'll continue the learning journey with an eye on report cards and multiple other goals too. Happy Monday!