FHSD Elementary ELA News

September 2015

Curriculum & Unit Updates

Updated curriculum and daily lesson plans have been delivered to buildings. Each PLC should have received:


  • Updated version of the curriculum
  • Daily lesson plans
  • Resources
  • First semester information (delivered at the end of the 14-15 school year)
  • Second semester information including updated curriculum (delivered beginning 15-16 school year)

Subscriptions

Readinga-z: District Subscription for all K-3 teachers: Contact Carrie Hepburn regarding username and password information

ScienceFlix-Online science texts (much like TrueFlix) appropriate for 3rd-5th grades, contact building LMS for username and password information

Reading Benchmarks

Galileo Reading Benchmarks are currently in production for first through fifth grades. The two “required” benchmarks will be administered Sept. 9-25 and Mar. 2-18. There are two optional benchmarks buildings could utilize in December and April for added data points.

Do I have to teach spelling since it isn’t on the report card?

The purpose of the weekly spelling lesson is to teach students the patterns of our language. This understanding allows students to decode words, encode words, and in many cases begin to determine word meanings. During the week, students should have practice in all of these areas. When teachers assess students - whether formally or informally, they are assessing if students can do these things. Teachers want to assess if students understand the pattern at the word level versus connected text. If a student has the concept at the word level, but not the connect text level, instruction for that student will look different than for a student who still does not have the concept at the word level. Automaticity practice would be needed for one student, while instruction on the skill is needed for the other.


The weekly spelling lists allow teachers to see how automatic a student is with the spelling skill. It allows teachers to see word level fluency. This guides instruction. The goal is for students to use the spelling skill in their writing (connected text) and to be able to decode those words in their reading (accurate reading is portrayed in the student's reading level) and that is how it’s reported out - if the students have transfer of the isolated skill into their writing and reading of text.

Assessing informally or formally is up to PLC’s. Most importantly is what teachers do with that assessment information.

Writing Scoring Guides

The FHSD Writing Scoring Guides are located in the report card resources folder on HowellNET. In case you missed the PLC visit from Melinda or Carrie regarding the writing scoring guides, a video introduction on the format can be located at the following link:

https://voicethread.com/myvoice/#thread/6828260


FAQ Regarding Writing Scoring Guides:

Can students score outside of the quarterly expectation?

Yes, when scoring a piece of writing students can score anywhere on the continuum

What is required for entry into Mastery Connect?

See each grade level’s ELA Assessment document located on HowellNET

How do I determine a score when utilizing selected portions of the scoring guide?

Total number of points earned divided by total number of points possible

How often do I have to use the ENTIRE scoring guide? How often do I have to score using portions of the scoring guide?

Determined by PLC’s

When do we use the halfway points? (.5, 1.5, 2.5…)

When students have mastered one expectation, but haven’t quite made it yet to the next.

Are there quarterly examples of exemplar writing?

There aren't currently, however it is the goal. In order to achieve this goal more FHSD student writing is needed. Please send examples of student writing to Carrie Hepburn.

Constitution Day

Please share what your students are learning regarding the United States Constitution. Constitution Day is officially celebrated on September 17th. The purpose is to celebrate the birthday of our United States government and remember this important day in our nations’ history. Take a quick moment to send Carrie Hepburn what classes are doing. The information will be shared with our community.

Spectra

ScienceFlix is a new subscription purchased for each building. It is a great science resource, which includes texts, videos, articles, and experiment ideas. Check with your LMS for building logins and passwords. This resource would be a great addition for students to utilize during their science units.


Release Day: Spectra teachers will have a release day for curriculum PD on October 6th. The meeting will take place 8:30-3:30 at the District Learning Center (DLC) in room 116.


Performance Tasks will be pushed out to trackers as benchmarks. They will appear within a teacher’s tracker as a gray bar. The dates for the performance tasks are as follows:

First Grade: April 15-May 13

Second Grade: December 7-January 15 and April 15-May 13

Third-Fifth Grades: October 30-November 30, February 5-March 4, April 15-May 13

Specific Grade Level Information

Kindergarten

New ELA Assessments Document:

It includes:

  • ELA formative assessment opportunities (not required)
  • Required assessments
  • Lists standards assessed in formative and required assessments
  • Formative Assessment Opportunities can also be located on MC under units titled “Optional Grading Opportunities.”


The document is located on HowellNET at http://howellnet.sharpschool.net/cms/One.aspx?portalId=2671325&pageId=11593627 .


This year writing assessments will be pushed out as benchmarks to teams. Check out the ELA assessment document which lists the standards assessed on each writing summative. The reading sight words assessment will not be pushed out as a benchmark; it is listed as a single standard assessment.

First Grade

New ELA Assessments Document:

It includes:

  • ELA formative assessment opportunities (not required)
  • Required assessments
  • Lists standards assessed in formative and required assessments
  • Formative Assessment Opportunities can also be located on MC under units titled “Optional Grading Opportunities.”


The document is located on HowellNET at http://howellnet.sharpschool.net/cms/One.aspx?portalId=2671325&pageId=11592668 .


This year writing assessments will be pushed out as benchmarks to teams. Check out the ELA assessment document which lists the standards assessed on each writing summative.

Galileo, the new reading benchmark tool, will be administered in September and March. The ELA assessment document lists the assessed standards. The optional reading benchmarks take place in December and April.

Second Grade

New ELA Assessments Document:

It includes:

  • ELA formative assessment opportunities (not required)
  • Required assessments
  • Lists standards assessed in formative and required assessments
  • Formative Assessment Opportunities can also be located on MC under units titled “Optional Grading Opportunities.”

The document is located on HowellNET at http://howellnet.sharpschool.net/cms/One.aspx?portalId=2671325&pageId=11594992 .


This year writing assessments will be pushed out as benchmarks to teams. Check out the ELA assessment document which lists the standards assessed on teach summative writing piece.

Galileo, the new reading benchmark tool, will be administered in September and March. The ELA assessment document lists the assessed standards. The optional reading benchmarks take place in December and April.


Handwriting Expectations:

· First semester continue perfecting student’s printing utilizing Handwriting Without Tears resource

· Second semester students should be introduced and begin practicing cursive handwriting utilizing the cursive handwriting book sent to buildings via print shop


Fourth Quarter Writing Assessment Change: In order to assess all genres of writing as a summative the fourth quarter summative piece was changed from the informational writing to a persuasive piece. Students will write a piece persuading others to visit a place they researched. It was listed as an activity within the daily lesson plans and teachers were consulted prior to the change at a curriculum revision meeting.

Third Grade

New ELA Assessments Document:

It includes:

  • ELA formative assessment opportunities (not required)
  • Required assessments
  • Lists standards assessed in formative and required assessments
  • Formative Assessment Opportunities can also be located on MC under units titled “Optional Grading Opportunities.”

. The document is located on HowellNET at http://howellnet.sharpschool.net/cms/One.aspx?portalId=2671325&pageId=12202436 .


This year writing assessments will be pushed out as benchmarks to teams. Check out the ELA assessment document which lists the assessed standards for each summative writing piece.

Galileo, the new reading benchmark tool, will be administered in September and March. The ELA assessment document lists the standards assessed. The optional reading benchmarks take place in December and April.


Fourth Quarter Writing Assessment Change: In order to assess informational writing multiple times the fourth quarter summative piece was changed. Students will write an author’s note that includes a couple of paragraphs about extreme weather. The decision regarding this change took place in May in the final units of study revisions.

Fourth Grade

New ELA Assessments Document:

It includes:

  • ELA formative assessment opportunities (not required)
  • Required assessments
  • Lists standards assessed in formative and required assessments
  • Formative Assessment Opportunities can also be located on MC under units titled “Optional Grading Opportunities.”

The document is located on HowellNET at http://howellnet.sharpschool.net/cms/One.aspx?portalId=2671325&pageId=12202526 .


The writing assessments will be pushed out as benchmarks to teams. Check out the ELA assessment document which lists the assessed standards for each summative writing piece.

Galileo, the new reading benchmark tool, will be administered in September and March. The ELA assessment documents lists the standards assessed. The optional reading benchmarks take place in December and April.


Fourth Quarter Writing Assessment Change: In order to assess opinion writing multiple times the fourth quarter summative piece was changed. In unit 6 students will write an opinion piece that will culminate their learning about energy through a problem-based situation. The decision regarding this change took place in May in the units of study revisions meeting.


4th Grade Curriculum Work:

Discussions regarding revision of the curriculum will take place on January 12th and May 24th. Each building may send a representative to discuss implementation of the curriculum, review data regarding the curriculum, and make final changes to the curriculum. The meeting on January 12th will focus on first semester and May 24th will focus on second semester. Please send Carrie Hepburn the name of the team member who will represent your PLC.

Fifth Grade

New ELA Assessments Document:

It includes:

  • ELA formative assessment opportunities (not required)
  • Required assessments
  • Lists standards assessed in formative and required assessments
  • Formative Assessment Opportunities can also be located on MC under units titled “Optional Grading Opportunities.”


The document is located on HowellNET at http://howellnet.sharpschool.net/cms/One.aspx?portalId=2671325&pageId=12202912 .


The writing assessments will be pushed out as benchmarks to teams. Check out the ELA assessment document which lists the assessed standards for each summative writing piece.


Galileo, the new reading benchmark tool, will be administered in September and March. The ELA assessment document lists the standards assessed. The optional reading benchmarks take place in December and April.


Unit Changes: Based on feedback during revision meetings last year the decision was unanimously made to switch the 5th Grades Units 2 & 4. Teams felt the skills students learned while taking part in Socratic Circle’s would be beneficial throughout the year verses waiting until second semester.


Fourth Quarter Writing Assessment Change: In order to assess all genres of writing the fourth quarter writing summative was changed. In unit 6 students will write a descriptive letter from a slave. The decision regarding this change took place in May in the units of study revisions.


5th Grade Curriculum Work:

Discussions regarding revision of the curriculum will take place on January 13th and May 25th. Each building may send a representative to discuss implementation of the curriculum, review data regarding the curriculum, and make final changes to the curriculum. The meeting on January 13th will focus on first semester and May 25th will focus on second semester. Please send Carrie Hepburn the name of the team member who will represent your PLC.