FHSD Elementary ELA Newsletter

September 2016

Important First Quarter ELA Dates

Aimsweb: Screening 1: August 22-September 2 (Completed)

Assessment Wall: First Quarter: September 27-October 10

ELA Galileo Benchmarks: Fall: August 22-September 9 (Completed)

Mastery Connect Data Entry for ELA Writing Assessments: First Quarter: October 21-November 4

Kindergarten & First Grade Reading Summative: October 21-November 4


Elementary Assessment Calendar

Veterans Day Activities

We love sharing the wonderful activities taking place in our schools with the FHSD school board and community. Veterans Day is quickly approaching, if you have any activities taking place in your grade level or building, please take a moment to fill out the Google doc highlighting the wonderful moments of learning and celebration.

ELA & Math Newsletter Check

Please check with your PLC to make sure they are receiving the FHSD Math and ELA newsletters. If someone isn't have them check the Clutter and Junk folders, drag newsletter out of the folder to the inbox in order to prevent future issues. If the newsletter isn't in Clutter or Junk please ask them to email Dr. Lorton (Math) and/or Carrie Hepburn (ELA) to let them know.

Kindergarten

Reminder: Change to First Quarter Writing Summative students write about a personal event.


Kindergarten 1st Quarter ELA Assessments

  • Sight Words
  • Assessment Wall
  • Aimsweb (Completed)
  • Narrative Writing about a personal event


Kindergarten's ELA Assessment and Cheat Sheet Document has been updated. You must use your district Google account to access this district document.


A backwards design model unit has been created demonstrating how to incorporate ELA curriculum within a balanced literacy model. The unit can be located on HowellNET within the unit 1 folder.

First Grade

First Grade 1st Quarter ELA Assessments
  • First Quarter Reading Assessment
  • Assessment Wall
  • Aimsweb (Completed)
  • Narrative writing about a time student has had a lot of feeling


First Grade's ELA Assessment and Cheat Sheet Document has been updated. You must use your district Google account to access this district document.


A backwards design model unit has been created demonstrating how to incorporate ELA curriculum within a balanced literacy model. The unit can be located on HowellNET within the unit 1 folder.

Second Grade

Second Grade 4th Quarter ELA Assessments
  • First Quarter Galileo Reading Benchmark (Completed)
  • Assessment Wall
  • Aimsweb (Completed)
  • Informational Writing about the stages of an animal life cycle


Second Grade's ELA Assessment and Cheat Sheet Document has been updated. You must use your district Google account to access this district document.


A backwards design model unit has been created demonstrating how to incorporate ELA curriculum within a balanced literacy model. The unit can be located on HowellNET within the unit 1 folder.

Third Grade

Third Grade 4th Quarter ELA Assessments
  • First Quarter Galileo Reading Benchmark (Completed)
  • Assessment Wall
  • Aimsweb (Completed)
  • Informational Writing about nutrient information


Third Grade's ELA Assessment and Cheat Sheet Document has been updated. You must use your district Google account to access this district document.


Reminder Assessment change for 2016-2017:

Based on feedback regarding third grade's writing assessments, the assessments for second and fourth quarter have been changed. The second quarter assessment will be an ecosystem informational writing piece and fourth quarter will be narrative writing including a weather related event.


A backwards design model unit has been created demonstrating how to incorporate ELA curriculum within a balanced literacy model. The unit can be located on HowellNET within the unit 1 folder.

Fourth Grade

Fourth Grade 4th Quarter ELA Assessments

  • First Quarter Galileo Reading Benchmark (Completed)
  • Assessment Wall
  • Aimsweb (Completed)
  • Informational Writing: data entry is not required


Second Semester Revisions Team Decision

  • Unit 5 and Unit 6 have been switched
  • Mythology moved to 4th quarter
  • Energy and Waves moved to 3rd quarter

Reasons for the switch include:

  • Mythology is strongly aligned with one reading standard
  • Energy and Waves is aligned with multiple reading standards
  • Switching the units allows time to focus on multiple reading standards prior to the MAP test
  • 4th quarter curriculum will be highly engaging with Mythology and Health


Fourth Grade's ELA Assessment and Cheat Sheet Document has been updated. You must use your district Google account to access this district document.


A backwards design model unit has been created demonstrating how to incorporate ELA curriculum within a balanced literacy model. The unit can be located on HowellNET within the unit 1 folder.

Fifth Grade

Fifth Grade 4th Quarter ELA Assessments

  • First Quarter Galileo Reading Benchmark (Completed)
  • Assessment Wall
  • Aimsweb (Completed)
  • Socratic Circle Reflection: data entry is not required


Fifth Grade's ELA Assessment and Cheat Sheet Document has been updated. You must use your district Google account to access this district document.


A backward design model unit has been created demonstrating how to incorporate ELA curriculum within a balanced literacy model. The unit can be located on HowellNET within the unit 1 folder.

Innovation Time & Tech Games

April Burton, is hosting a plethora of drop-in Tech PD opportunities. Innovation Time is a new way to PD and is designed around teachers’ schedules and needs. You can attend ANY Innovation Time and get support with ANY technology needs you might have. Upcoming Innovation Times are November 10 (BOE), and December 8 (DLC).


Also, for the first time EVER in FHSD, April is also hosting an FHSD Tech Games in honor of the Olympics! The Tech Games run from August 12-September 30. To play, access the Playbook here. During this opportunity, you can earn bronze, silver, or gold medals for your building in the following categories: facilitate & inspire student learning and creativity, design & develop digital age experiences & assessments, model digital age work & learning, promote & model digital citizenship, and engage in professional growth and leadership, all while demonstrating mastery of technology; WIN-WIN!

May the odds be ever in your favor!

Elementary Writing Work Group Update (Reminder from the end of 2015-2016)

Focus Genres

The writing work group researched writing scoring guide best practice and writing best practice. They also looked at various published scoring guides as examples. Using resources such as Fountas and Pinnell, Lucy Calkins, and Linda Dorn, the writing work group:

· refined descriptors to be in teacher friendly language

· worked toward vertical alignment

· conventions section was divided into grammar and writing mechanics

· .5 columns removed


Purpose of the Scoring Guide According to Best Practice

1. Assess performance toward standards and writing behaviors

2. Help teachers teach

3. Help coordinate instruction and assessment

4. Help students learn – provides next steps for students


For 2016-2017, the work group would like to release drafts of non-focus genre scoring guides.

· Teachers can use the drafts.

· Literacy coaches are available to work with groups who use the newly released scoring guides. Carrie and Melinda are available too via appointment.

· Feedback should be grounded in best practice (such as Fountas and Pinnell or Lucy Calkins).

· Feedback needs to be 1st semester in order for the work group to have time to make adjustments. Therefore, 1st grade would need to save some of their opinion and informational pieces from this year and/or grade smaller opinion and informational writing pieces in order to provide feedback.

· Data will not be formally collected on the newly released scoring guides that are in draft form.


Next steps for the work group

· Finalize non-focus scoring guides

· Create an annotated exemplars library

Choose Just Right Books

Teacher Tips from Heinemann is a free app that sends a brief summary of a teaching tip in one of their many professional resources. This teaching tip from Sharon Taberski talks about the importance of choosing just right books.