"Learn Like a Champion" January 18, 2021

Welcome Back & Happy New Year 2021!

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98% Attendance on Day 1 - Great Start to the Rest of the School Year!

January 12th was a great first day back for students and staff. Students appeared very excited and happy to have some normal things happening, even though the new normal is the virtual classroom. We are so proud of the parents and students for coming to school, and the majority of students had their cameras on!

Thank you to the teachers in particular. The teachers were well-prepared and presented a very positive return to school for the students. I am really proud of our teachers!

LCAP GOAL 2, 5, and 6 – Why Students Should Write in All Subjects

About two years ago Frank Ledesma Elementary staff identified our primary problem of practice to be student written responses in all subject areas. Since that time our focus has been on helping students grow in their ability to write higher scoring (rubric, ELPAC, and CAASPP) responses to prompts. I wanted to share some reminders in this bulletin.

This is the time of year (after winter break) when we typically see students make significant strides in their learning. We also have the opportunity to help students close achievement gaps as much as possible. Writing is the cornerstone of what we do in all subject areas. I see great things happening in virtual classrooms. It is important for us to kick off January 2021 with renewed energy toward writing.

Here are some excerpts from a research article by Youki Terada (2021) from the George Lucas Education Foundation:

Top math classrooms regularly use writing as a learning strategy, one that gives the teacher a window into the students’ thinking. There are advantages to using low-stakes writing whenever possible. Instead of telling students what a polygon is the teacher might show them a set of polygons and a set of non-polygons, and ask the students, “What do you notice? What differences do you see?” The students spend a few minutes writing down their answers, and then the answers can be discussed and compared. Teachers have said that it is interesting and fun to read what students have written. The teacher can see student questions and see the process of thinking.

Research from Arizona State University (In the 1990s ASU teacher training watched my-Mr. Radtke’s kindergarten class as a classroom behind the glass) confirmed that writing across all subjects is a beneficial activity. Many studies (56 of them) showed that writing reliably enhanced learning across all grade levels.

*Here is a very important point. Writing isn’t just a tool to assess learning (high stakes writing). Writing promotes learning. The process of writing also improves a student’s ability to recall information, make connections between different concepts, and synthesize information in new ways. This can be referred to as low-stakes writing because it is about the learning, not assessing the writing itself.

Information is quickly forgotten if it’s not reinforced. Writing helps to strengthen a student’s memories of the material they’re learning. Writing encourages students to process information at a deeper level. Writing helps students to apply what they’ve learned to different contexts by thinking about multiple sides of a position or making predictions based on what they already know.

The above article reminds us of the powerful and deeper learning that can take place through writing. The RACES strategy used at Frank Ledesma Elementary helps students be more confident in how they are presenting their thoughts, organize information in their memory, and to better defend their answers. Best of all, this type of writing helps students throughout their lives during and after high school (essential standards).

Martin Luther King Jr

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Important Events This Week:

January 18 - Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

January 19 - LCAP Steering Committee @ 3:30 - 5:00 pm

January 25 - AERIES Closes for Progress Report!

January 25 - Curriculum Council Meeting @ 3:30 - 4:45pm

January 25 - Remotely ELCAP Advisory Committee Meeting @ 6:00pm - 7:30pm

January 26 - Progress Report Printed and Distributed!

January 27 - Board Advisory Committee on School Construction 5:00 -7:30 pm

January 28 - Happy Thursday :)

January 29 - Timesheets Due!

Frank Ledesma Elementary School

973 Vista De Soledad

Soledad, Ca. 93960

(831) 678-6320

(831) 678-8029 Fax


Richard Radtke