What's New in Learning Lab Four

November 16, 2015

Email Access for Students

Our Unit 2 photojournal project is well under way. Students are having a great time figuring out how to tell an interesting story that helps people understand Missouri. Every student has chosen their own topic and we have some fascinating ones…everything from state parks to monuments to family farms! We can’t wait to share our finished products with you next month. In order to prepare for the interview phase of the project, we will be turning on the Gmail function in our students’ Google accounts. This access to email will allow students to reach out to an expert on their topic, send interview questions to them, and receive information back from them. This is a fantastic opportunity for your child to experience email in a safe and purposeful way. Emails to experts will be crafted together and proofed before sending. Responses will be read in class and shared with other students. If you have any questions, please let me know. Now that students are taking their Chromebooks home at night, it is easy for you to see the activity in your child’s email account. In the coming weeks, the only emails that should be in their inbox or outbox are those connected to their photojournal project. We are really looking forward to the great information that can be gained from collaborating with experts.

What is adaptive software anyway?

Lexia and Aleks are adaptive software tools. That means that as your child gets questions right or wrong, the software adapts the next question to what your child needs. Sometimes that might be a harder question, the same question, or an easier question. There are many benefits of adaptive software. First, the program is more engaging to your child because they should never have to work for more than a couple minutes on something that is either way too hard or way too easy for them. Second, the program provides amazing information to teachers on how we can help your child progress. For this reason, it is very important that you do not help your child if they are working on Aleks or Lexia. I know it is very tempting to walk over, see what they're working on, and give some tips. However, in adaptive software programs, that can end up hurting your child instead of helping. If your child gets a question right because you helped them, it shows the teachers that your child has already mastered the concept when, in fact, they could only do it with your help. Then they don't get the help they need at school because we think they've mastered the skill already. Thanks for helping with this. I know it is a bit of a shift in thinking.

Food Drive and Spirit Week

Please see Friday's notes or the Parent Shine newsletter for this week's Spirit Days. We are building excitement so all kids participate in the Food Drive. Thank you for your contributions!

Midquarter

It is hard to believe but Friday was mid 2nd quarter! Mid-quarter notes will be coming home today. Your child has written his/her goals and Mrs. Poland and I have responded to how things are going so far in relation to those goals. Please sign and return the bottom of the sheet tomorrow. Thanks!