Frederickson Free Press
- Issue 6 - October 12, 2015
So what does a 1, 2, 3 or 4 mean?
I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving long weekend with your families! I am very thankful to be able to work so close to home for my family, and to get to know and learn with your children each day.
We've been busy in our classroom, and are beginning to cruise along in all of our subject areas.
I wanted to take a moment to explain how I assess (or grade) the students, as I'm sure you might have seen some work come home with numbers on it, noticed your children rating their weekly goals in their agendas, or heard them talk about 2's or 3's at home!
We as teachers are given outcomes to teach that are set out by the government of Saskatchewan. If you are interested you can find them at: http://www.curriculum.gov.sk.ca. In our classroom, we call these outcomes targets, and for each target, students will be given a pre-assessment (what do they already know?), which guides my instruction on what they still need. Once they have had both instruction and practice, they will be assessed on the targets using levels 1, 2, 3, or 4.
So what do those levels mean?
Level 1 - Beginning: The student is having difficulty and can demonstrate some simple aspects of the outcome with help.
Level 2 - Approaching: The student can do the simpler aspects of the outcome, and is working towards the more challenging knowledge and skills.
Level 3 - MEETING: The student has achieved the outcome.
Level 4 - Exceeding: The student has a deep understanding of the outcome, beyond what was taught.
If students are unhappy with the mark they have received, or have not yet achieved the outcome, they can always ask for coaching and be assessed again on a target. The goal is to help students to meet the targets by the end of June.
For me, assessment in our classroom needs to emulate real life. I failed my driver's license test the first time I took it, but after getting some feedback, going home to practice some more, I got to try it again and prove that I was a capable driver. Our assessments are very much the same. We are always working towards achieving a level 3. I am not out to trick the students, to surprise them, or cause anxiety with assessments, but constantly meeting them where they are at, and helping them to grow and move towards the targets.
In our classroom, I have noticed that this style of teaching has at times been different and challenging for the students, as it does not require them to simply memorize and regurgitate information, but instead work hard to understand the concepts, and be accountable and responsible to show that they have met the targets.
There will be more information about the new report cards coming home from school this week. If you have any questions, first ask your child, as we have done a lot of work around this in our classroom. Second, please do not ever hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have.
SO ... How was school today? What did you learn?
This week, ask your child about ...
- Strategies for solving unknown words when reading: Take a ninja kick at the beginning of the word (read the beginning fast), flip the sound, read the beginning and the end sounds and fill in the middle, find chunks you know
- Word Work Games & Posting our spelling assessments on our blogs
- Our "Thank a Farmer" Project
- Stretching out numbers - what's inside a number? For example 431 = 400+30+1
- Our new classroom novel - "Fish in a Tree"
- Connecting with Mrs. Hynek's class in Chicago to discuss "Fish in a Tree"
- Horizontal, Vertical and Diagonal lines in art
- The new books that arrived for our classroom library on Friday
- Positive vs. Negative Attention
- Our daily class goals
- What is a personal narrative?
Friday, October 16 - OSAC Drama Performance beginning at 1:30
New Book Orders will come home this week
Thursday, October 22 - Hot Lunch & Picture retakes in the afternoon
Monday, October 26 - Mom's Pantry Fundraisers Due
Friday, October 30 - Halloween Parade at 1:00
Everyday, it is one student's job to "Tweet" about what has happened that day in our classroom - check out our account: @mrsfclass on Twitter, and feel free to leave us comments!