Curriculum Chronicle

December 2015

Happy Holidays

Barb and I take this as an opportunity to express our gratefulness to you for all of your hard work so far this year, and we extend our heartfelt greetings for the season. We wish you a wonderful year ahead and hope that this year brings you joy and good health. Warmest Wishes for a Happy Holiday Season and a Happy New Year.
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All Things PARCC Resources Page

Standards Solution has a portion of their website dedicated to free PARCC resources blog for teachers. Their mission for this blog section is to provide you with the most pertinent, most needed and FREE PARCC resources. Please click on the words "All Things PARCC Resources Page" below and then click on the BLOG icon. It will bring up a list of past blogs and future blogs. Click on the dates of the blogs to access the information on that blog. Here are a list of discussion topics for the blogs:

November 1 - 6 Step Process for Writing PARCCs LATs and RSTs

November 7 - Utilizing PARCC Writing Rubrics - Scoring Student Essays

November 14 -Utilizing PARCC Writing Rubrics - Creating Corrective Instruction Plan

December 7 -Be a PARCC Mathematics Direction Detective

December 14 -Aligning PARCC Math Instructional Practices

December 21 -Aligning PARCC ELA Instructional Practices

January 1 -Creating ELA PARCC Like Assessments - Part I EBSRs

January 7 -Creating ELA PARCC Like Assessments - Part 2 TECRs

January 14 -Integrating PARCC Practice – Rethinking Homework

January 21 -Gaining a Greater Understanding of PARCC’s Type I Math Items

First Grade Fun

First grade is getting to experience how people in other countries (and our own) celebrate holidays. Students have passports that are stamped as they travel to other countries where they record facts and participate in an activity specific to that country. Some activities that students have done include leaving out wooden shoes for Sinter Klaus to fill in the Netherlands, playing the dreidel game in Israel, and hanging stockings on their beds for Father Christmas to fill. Students are comparing and contrasting traditions from other countries with our own.


First grade is also implementing the new grammar updates by creating sentence buddies and learning parts of speech. Cool anchor charts were created and are hanging in the classrooms to help students remember what they are learning. Please see examples of the anchor charts below.

Sixth Grade Successes is Math

Sixth grade math students have been using the Prodigy program in math and they love it. It is a math-based online "adventure" in which students get to create their own characters and go on math quests. These quests are made up of a series of skills linked to math common core standards OR teachers can customize the questions. The program links each of the students to the teacher's account so that we are able to track their progress. It gives teachers a list of students and skills that need extra attention. It has been a fun and engaging way for students to practice skills and a great way for teachers to evaluate their progress and highlight areas of strength and weakness.


Sixth grade Math teachers have also been implementing small groups a lot more in the classroom and have been exploring blogging in math. When their small group assignment for the day is technology, the students log onto the class blog and answer real world problem solving questions in open ended form or they come up with connections or questions linking the skills to the real world. After responding to the assigned task for the day, the students can read the responses of other students in the class and comment if applicable. It has allowed them to expand their thinking and they have really enjoyed it.

Ancient Greece Olympics in 6th Grade

In Mrs. Piotrowski’s grade 6 Social Studies class, students topped off their studies of Ancient Greece by participating in the Greek Olympic Games! As a performance assessment, students were divided into teams and competed in events. The events included:

  • Torch Timeline- Students matched important events to dates in Greece’s history.
  • Name Mix up- Students had to unscramble the names of famous Greeks and then match the names to descriptors
  • Pyramid of Facts- Students were asked to answer questions as a team. Each correct answer moved them closer to the finish line.
  • Relay Race- Students “raced” across the room to answer questions for their group.

Students had a lot of fun and shared their knowledge as they competed with each other. While the victors were not given olive branches like in the days of the old, they did receive a treat!