The month of May brings flowers, but it also brings MCAS and now PARCC! Next Tuesday and Wednesday, May 13 and 14 are our two Science MCAS days. The following week we will begin the End-of-Year pilot test of the PARCC. (Yes, it seems we just did that!) The students are taking all this testing very well. In addition to these state standardized tests, we have district level tests: DRA, and iReady testing in reading. As I understand it, the children will not take iReady math, but will do a test called Symphony, which is also computer-based. Whew! Because of all these tests I am working with my team to limit any classroom tests in math and social studies. I have a very clear idea of how students are doing as I watch them work every day. They think and reflect on their reading, they research and write, they discuss, they solve complex problems. Some need a little more support in some areas, but growth is clear.
This week in math we are exploring algebraic expressions and the order of operations. Because we need to finish up some of these math topics before the end of the year I am offering math help every morning, not just on Thursdays. Watch the blog for updates. If I can not be available to students any morning I will post it on the blog as soon as I can!
Students in my ELA class are loving Bud, Not Buddy. They are enjoying Bud's humor, but are also asking serious questions about homelessness, The Great Depression, and race. The themes, settings, and characters are so engaging. Students are having trouble not reading ahead! You can hear a pin drop in my classroom as they read this great book!
In Social Studies fifth graders are writing a persuasive letter taking a position on some aspect of independence during the colonial era. Research topics include the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, the Intolerable Acts and the Stamp Act. Students will use i pads to access text sets on the Evernote app to read about the issue they have selected. They must research, take notes, and support their opinions with reasons backed up with facts.
Our visit to the Concord Museum was a great success. We learned about the events of April 19, 1775 as we stood on the very spot where it all happened.
If you enjoy history and haven't been to this museum, I highly recommend making the trip to Concord. Ask your child to guide you!
|This is one of the two lanterns that hung in the church tower signaling the Regular's approach.|
|A colonial merchant talks about how the events of the day will affect him and his business and family.|
We are all looking forward to Arts Night on May 7. Mrs. Coroniti, Ms. Calhou, Mr. Napierkowski, and Mr. Scarpula are all working hard with your children to showcase their amazing abilities in music and art. I hope to see you all at the show!