Highcroft Herald

January 11, 2016

Quote of the Week

"We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." ~ Walt Disney

Mentoring Matters

There are so many wonderful things occurring between mentors and mentees. Relationships are being developed, students are being encouraged and social-emotional, behavioral and academic growth is being made as a result of these encouraging relationships. Our students are benefiting from your mentorships as demonstrated in one example of a kindergartener who desperately struggles to control his body. He has made tremendous growth over the first half of the school year. The goals that he has set with Ms. Harper and actions plans that they have put into place is in no doubt a contributing factor of his success.

Thank you all for the time and effort that you are devoting to your mentees in providing them with a significant relationship and immense support in their academic and personal growth.

If you have an opportunity to talk with your mentee about submitting a Granting Dreams application, I suggest encouraging her or him to pursue the opportunity during your conversation and giving them a copy of the application to take home and share their thinking with their parent(s) or guardian(s). If you wish to complete the application with the student that is perfectly fine, but please contact the family prior to doing so to ensure this is a welcomed opportunity for they family.

Coaches' Corner

Connecting with the Math Practices

By Kim Meininger

As we plan for our students’ math education, we need to deliberately intertwine the Mathematics Content standards and the Mathematical Practice standards. The Mathematical Practices represent the thinking skills necessary to apply the content. The combination of content and practice helps engage students in making meaning of the math in their world.

The first several weeks of the Math Coaches' Corner will be devoted to revisiting the eight Mathematical Practices. While the standards overlap and are rarely used in isolations, I will choose a couple each week to highlight.

The Mathematical Practice Standards

  1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
  3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
  4. Model with mathematics
  5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
  6. Attend to precision.
  7. Look for and make use of structure.
  8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning

Practices 1 and 6 serve as overarching habits of mind in mathematical thinking and are crucial for problem solving, let’s start there.

I’m reading a book titled, Common Core Sense Tapping the Power for the Mathematical Practices where the author has written a practical approach to teach each standard. The author teaches about the standards using G.O.A.L (goal, observe, listen, and do). Please reach out if you’d like to do some individual/team work around this book. I will put the G.O.A.L sheet in your boxes.

The Goals for MP1 are:

  1. Make meaning of the problem, understand what is being asked, and chart a general course of action.
  2. Develop strategies for solving problems for which little or no direction is given, possibly drawing from similar problems.
  3. Demonstrate flexibility and perseverance when solving problems.

This standard makes me think of the four-step problem-solving process many of us are using. This interesting problem is posed in the book:

Bicycle Business

A boy bought a bicycle with fun in mind;

He paid 70 dollars and considered it a find.

No sooner was it his, when a deal came his way -

A girl offered to buy it and 90 dollars would pay.

The boy quickly agreed and completed the pact;

He knew he had done well and that was a fact.

But he soon realized he was bike-less again,

So he bought the bike back but had to pay 110!

Again to his surprise, someone offered him more,

So for a price of 130, the bike was rolled out the door.

By the time the boy was now dazed and confused -

Had he come out ahead? Did he win or did he lose?

Math Practice 6 encompasses the ideas of communicating and sharing our pathways and solutions. The author wrote the following goals:

  1. Use mathematically specific language (terms, definitions, properties) both orally and in writing to express mathematical thinking and reasoning explicitly, with a level of clarity that allows it to be followed by others.
  2. Recognize and use mathematical symbols, units of measure, and labels in diagrams and explanations of thinking.
  3. Perform calculations with accuracy and efficiency while determining the level of precision called for in a problem (when should we estimate or be exact).

For example, when attending to precision around the equal sign, students will know that the following is an inaccurate solution (using decomposition):

72 + 12 = 72 + 10 = 82 = 82 + 2 = 84

Consider offering an appropriate expression to your class, then asking why it is incorrect.

I think we will find that the more we explore the Mathematical Practice standards the more we will see the overlap and applications to all content areas!


Monday, January 11

  • 1st Grade Math Data Wall - 2:50 pm - 3:45 pm

Tuesday, January 12

  • Staff Meeting - MPR - 7:45 am - 8:45 am
  • Lucas Out of the Building - Assessment and Progress Monitoring Action Team - AM
  • Oleshchuk - Julianne Bischof - AM

Wednesday, January 13

  • Intervention Team Meeting - CRA - 8:00 am - 8:45 am
  • West County Day Kindergarten Visit - 9:15 am - 10:30 am
  • Spelling Bee - MPR - 2:30 pm
  • Board of Education Meeting - Central Middle School - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
  • McPherson Out of the Building - Data Meeting - PM
  • Spector - All Day - Toni Ratican

Thursday, January 14

  • Choir Rehearsal - Music Room - 8:00 am - 8:45 am

  • Waking Up White Book Study - CRB - 8:00 am - 8:45 am

  • 4th Grade Focus Student - Checkin on Multiple Ss ELA & Math - 9:25 am - 10:20 am

  • 5th Grade ELA Focus Student - RC - 11:15 am - 12:10 pm

  • All Read - 3:25 pm - 3:40 pm

  • Maxvill - Gary Singer - PM

Friday, January 15

  • West Middle Visits 5th Grade - 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
  • Lucas Out of the Building - PM

Upcoming Dates

CPR Certification - February 8th - 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm