News From Room 15!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

CONGRATULATIONS, and Thank you!

WHOOPEE!!! HoOORay!!!! They DID IT!!!! After coming in a runners-up in January, the students in room 15 earned the Gayman Gala by coming in first place for behavior points in the cafeteria for the month of February. We'll be visiting the Gayman Gala for lunch on March 13. Your student should have brought home a note regarding this honor and the planned menu. Please contact me if you are interested in helping out during this special event.


ALSO, last Friday's tropical day was a wonderful success. THANK YOU to all who donated their time and fruit. I thought FOR sure that I would have a lot of leftovers--but the students amazed me. They embraced the idea of trying tropical fruit and tasted, well... everything. I truly had a wonderful day with the students!

PSSA Time

The students and I have begun talking about and preparing for the upcoming PSSA's. They're ready for the material they will be tested on--we are primarily focusing on getting used to the testing format and to investing in the idea that they need to use their strategies and good handwriting so they do not to leave points on the table. Our review is designed to build confidence as well as to provide a reality check about the "work" of taking a test.


To help with this process, I describe the PSSA to the students as a "fifth report card"--one that comes from someone more neutral than the teacher who knows and loves them and is willing to give second chances. Is it the be-all and end-all? Certainly not. Everybody has a bad day and many kids have test anxiety. Is it a piece of the learning puzzle? Yes.


As I work to help students to become familiar with the test, I have a few things in mind:


1. I want students to have a good review before they take the PSSA so that they truly are able to demonstrate all they know. I try to incorporate as much of that review into our "regular" learning--and have done so throughout the year, so it doesn't feel like it is "just" for PSSA.


2. We talk about confessions from past test-takers--(Yes, I did work with a sixth grader who bubbled C for every answer as a fifth grader) and how to keep the test balanced time-wise.


3. I stop with test prep. when I know the kids are ready--I don't want to burn them out by making them work on PSSA questions over and over. We have other important work to do in the classroom.

Upcoming Math Test

Our Unit 6 math test is tomorrow. It will include questions on:

  • measuring in inches and centimeters
  • adding and subtracting fractions with the same and different denominators
  • simplying fractions
  • interpreting line plots
  • data landmarks: maximum, minimum, median, mean, mode, range