the End of the first 6 weeks


October 24, 2012

This is the first of several newsletters to fill you in on what we are now working on in class.

This first newsletter is to explain the special rewards that we are giving out at the end of the day (in addition to Bunny Money and our typical rewards system where the kids can earn Friday prizes.)

Fall term... it is 41 days.

There are four DRA days...

37 other days

We have had 30 of those...

So 7 instructional days left until grading day.

l start typing scores onto progress reports a few each day because it takes a while to score every letter (52) and sound (26) which I need to mark IN ADDITION TO the 41 other areas.

I always assess students throughout each day, of course, as I observe...

But, ...

        during these last two weeks before “Grading Day” when I fill

out your child’s first Elementary Progress Report (EPR) – order for me to manage to assess most of the 41 areas that I must grade (score) on the EPR...

we will be making even more of a point of doing assessment throughout each day.

Both Mrs Winkler and I talk to the class about rules all of the time.  In fact, the main things we teach during the first 6 weeks are rules and our routines. We give the kids many (many!!) lessons about how things work... and we give them lots of

re-teaching, and constant reminders during that full 6 weeks from September through mid-October. I know that I already told you about all of the different rules, routines and our expectations for all of those times of day in my first newsletter, but I am mentioning it again because I think that it is truly incredible to think about how much your child has learned during these first 6 weeks.

This is an awesome class, and they are able to do a fantastic job of remembering what is expected of them throughout the day.

Now that our main period of concentrating on teaching rules and routine is over, we expect that the class will do their best to follow those rules as we head into the fun learning. This doesn’t mean that we won’t remind them of the rules and expectations... but it DOES mean that we expect to be able to concentrate on teaching math and science and literacy and that we will no longer have rules as the only area we are instructing. It is important that we can get through Reading Writing Workshop (what we do from 9 – 11) without students doing things like refusing to share supplies or hitting because the person next to them is doing something that annoys them. I need them to be able to work together peacefully, with inside voices, during our work times.  I also need them to be doing their 5 year old best to listen and participate during lesson times.

This is why... during this week and next week, Mrs Winkler and I are specifically observing, and making notes on, how well each child is able to do each of the things I need to grade under the categories of “Speaking and Listening” and of “Characteristics of Successful Learners”

The areas that I need to score are:

Focuses Attention, Able to listen and follow simple directions

Demonstrates Respect...

Accepts Responsibility

Uses Problem-Solving

Demonstrates Persistence

Completes Work in a reasonable amount of time

Organizes Self and belongings

Returns Homework on time

Shares information and participates

Contributes to class discussions

Listens, Understands and follows directions

So... as we are watching for these things and taking notes on how well students are able to do each of these things during the day, we are also rewarding students who are making an effort to do these things to a 5 year old ability.