Steere Farm Elementary School
February 2024 Edition
From the Desk of Mrs. Francis
Students came back from holiday break ready to learn! Kudos to our students for their awesome effort during our winter benchmarking period. Their hard work is paying off!
Over the next week, teachers will participate in our second Data Day of the school year. During these meetings, grade level teams analyze current student achievement data in order to effectively plan for instruction. This type of planning requires teamwork, and leads to powerful changes for our students. Guardians will be notified if their child is in an intervention group for math, reading, or writing.
In addition, our most recent faculty meetings were centered around analyzing RICAS scores. As a team, we celebrated successes and identified areas of need to improve student outcomes. I am proud to be part of a team that is committed to continuous improvement for our students!
Thank you for your ongoing support! We look forward to continuing our partnership with families as we enter the second half of the year.
SFE Ride Report Card
In 2018, as part of the state’s updated system of school accountability under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the federal education law, Rhode Island created a new Report Card platform to show how schools are performing.
A major component of the Report Card platform is School Accountability. Within the accountability tab, you will find the data that are used in evaluating school performance, from traditional measures like test scores, to broader measures like chronic absenteeism for students and teachers.
This year, Steere Farm Elementary School showed great growth in the area of Achievement (RICAS) and had high growth rates in both ELA and math. Although we are proud of We have much to be proud of and will continue to work hard to increase our proficiency rates.
Parent Tips for Building Math Skills At Home
Communicating with Children Using Math Language
Talking About Math:
Talking about mathematics with your child – whatever his or her age – helps strengthen his or her mathematical reasoning and understanding. Some ways to keep the talk engaged and focused while you support your child include:
Revoice - Repeat what you heard your child say, then ask for clarification (e.g., “So you are saying it’s an odd number?”).
Repeat/Restate – Ask your child to restate your reasoning (e.g., “Can you repeat what I said in your own words?”).
Reason – Ask your child to apply his or her own reasoning to someone else’s reasoning (e.g., “Do you agree or disagree? Tell me why.”).
Adding On – Prompt your child to participate further (e.g., “What more would you add to that?”).
Think Time – Wait several seconds (try five) to give your child time to think (e.g., “Take some time to think.”). You may be surprised by how hard it is to stay silent in that time!
We all use mathematics daily in what we do. Involve your child in using numbers to solve problems and make those everyday decisions with you. For example:
- “Do we have enough plates and utensils for all the guests coming for the birthday party?”
- “We are doubling this recipe. How much of all the ingredients will we need?”
- “We are fertilizing the lawn. The fertilizer bag covers three square meters. How many will we need?”
- “This store is selling the game you want for 20% off of $27.00. That store is selling the same game for $19.99. Where should we shop?”
Growth Mindset in Math
In general, a growth mindset is the belief that intelligence and ‘smartness’ can also be learned and that the brain grows from experience and effort. The opposite, a fixed mindset, is the idea that you are smart, or you are not. In math, that translates into “some people are good at math, and some are not.” Did you know that praising efforts rather than intelligence or results can impact your child’s ability to persevere in challenges?! The goal is to have children thrive on challenges and see failures, not as a sign of low intelligence, but as a learning opportunity. Brain research tells us that making mistakes actually wires more connections into the brain! When a person has a growth mindset, they accept challenges, see their efforts as worthwhile, and are open to learning from mistakes. Students with a growth mindset achieve at higher levels than those with fixed mindsets. How can you help? Some simple ways:
- Adding “yet” when they claim they are “not good at this” (Respond: “You are not good at this yet.”)
- Ask questions that focus on their effort and choices and get them to reflect on satisfaction of that effort (e.g. What did you learn today? What mistake did you make that taught you something? What did you try hard at today?)
- Model this yourself as you share about your day
Source: EduGains. Permission granted to school leaders to include these ideas in communications (e.g. newsletters, websites) with parents/guardians.
Announcements & Reminders 📒
- SurveyWorks is a statewide survey sent out annually to students, families, and teachers to hear from Rhode Islanders directly about their experiences in our state's public schools.
- SurveyWorks will be given to all students in grades 3-12, parents, teachers, support professionals and building administrators.
- The Rhode Island Family Survey is for all parents to complete. Parents of students receiving special education services will receive a single survey that combines the Rhode Island Family Survey and the Special Education Survey.
- Our chosen window is February 26th-March 8th. Please be on the lookout for Steere Farm's special code!
School Improvement Team Update
Our School Improvement Team (SIT) met on January 10th to continue working on School Improvement Plan. Please see below for our meeting agenda and minutes. Our next meeting is scheduled for March 13th @ 3:30 p.m.
Students will continue to have outdoor recess, weather permitting. Please ensure your child is dressed for these conditions, and have a coat, hat and gloves in their backpack. When it snows, students who bring in proper gear (snow pants, boots, gloves, etc.) are permitted to play in the snow!
Toodle Tickets continue to be a hit! Students are invited to fill out a Toodle Ticket to give a special shout out to another student who was kind or helpful! At the end of every month, Toodle Tickets are chosen from grades 2-5. These students are then invited to have a special popsicle with Mrs. Francis. Check out the pictures below from our recent Pops with the Principal!
From Nurse Julie's Office
District Wide Kindness Week! 2/12-2/16
Grade Level Curriculum Highlights! 📚🔬
Choose Love Movement
Students continue to participate in a weekly lesson rooted in one of the four Units: Courage, Gratitude, Forgiveness and Compassion in Action; all part of the Choose Love Formula. This month students are continuing to learn all about forgiveness.
A copy of the Choose Love calendar was sent home to all families. We hope the calendar is a daily reminder of the small steps we can take daily to Choose Love at home!
Multiage Classroom: Hands on Activities
This month in the multiage classroom, we have been doing multiple hands on learning activities. Many of our students learn best through hands on activities for reading and math. We also had a few students who saved two stink bugs from the hallway. They insisted they needed to be released outside so they could reconnect with their family.
Grade 2 News
Mr. LaDuke's class recently won the trivia contest and got to cohost DJ SFE radio! Students in Room 104 recently earned a show and tell week. Students are also working hard on Structure Literacy to improve their phonics skills as well as book clubs!
Grade 3: Problem Solving in Grade 3
In third grade, students are working on their ability to solve multi-step word problems. Now that we know all four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division), any combination of operations may be found in the same problem, which can get really tricky. Students are utilizing the CUBES strategy to determine important information, draw a picture, explain their thinking and then solve. They often work in partners or small groups to solve these problems. We are very proud of their progress!
Grade 4 Update!
Mrs. Richard's students are enjoying indoor recess and reading a "just right" book and articles on Freckle in their newly repaired room. Grade 4 students have also been participating in many hands on activities related to electricity! 💡
5th Grade Science Investigation: Salt Solutions!
Fifth grade is working on a science investigation on salt solutions! We are trying to answer our focus question “Where does the solid material go when a solution is made?” After discovering that the mass of the solution was greater than the mass of the water, we brainstormed a way to separate a salt solution. We placed the solutions in evaporating dishes over the weekend and came back today to find salt crystals were left behind.
Art! Grade 3 Pokemon Card Designs
For this lesson students got to learn about Pokémon original artist/ art director, Ken Sugimori. We talked about how he helped breath life into the franchise with his amazing art work. We learned about how he uses composition to make the Pokémon look alive in his art. Students were then asked to pretend they work as an artist for Pokémon and have been asked by Ken to create their own creative Pokémon and design a card for it. This was definitely a fun lesson for everyone!
The next PTA meeting will be Wednesday, February 7th, 2023 at 6:30pm in person in the library or via Zoom.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 228 941 7724
Indoor recess will be an option for students every Friday starting on February 2nd and ending on March 1st. The PTA will have volunteers in the gym to oversee students making bracelets, playing bingo with prizes, assembling Legos, etc. Volunteers are still needed, please sign up by clicking this link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C084AABAC2CA0FAC61-47186888-indoor
Otis Spunkmeyer Cookie Fundraiser
The PTA will be sending home an Otis Spunkmeyer cookie dough fundraiser the first week in February. Orders can be placed on-line or on the flier sent home. Thank you in advance for participating in this fundraiser and for committing to helping us create a brighter future for our students!
You can register your student now and shop the online catalog starting 2/2 using this link
Dates to Remember!
- February 2: Student of the Month Assembly
- February 6: 100th Day of School!
- February 7: Student of the Month Family Ceremony @ 8:25 a.m.
- February 7: PTA Meeting @ 6:30 p.m.
- February 12-16: Kindness Week!
- February 12-16: STEM Workshop Courtesy of Our PTA!
- February 19-23: No School - Winter Recess
- February 26-March 8: SurveyWorks Window
- February 27 & 29: Pascoag Utility Visit to Grade 4