Thursday, February 28, 2008

Blog and Report Card

Dear Families,

It is hard to believe another trimester has come to end! Where does the time go? We apologize in advance for the length of this e-mail. Please keep it to help you interpret your child’s English scores on the report card. We put the “action items” at the top. The rest is report card information.

Next week we will start looking at the blog. Kids will first view the blog as a whole group. We will go through the procedures and learn how it works. We will be assisted by our district technology specialist on different options of the blog. On Friday, they will get a chance to log on with their passwords themselves and practice making comments about what we, the teachers, have already posted. This will give us time to process why/how we make positive, specific comments on writing and be good internet citizens. If you are planning to return the permission slip and haven’t done so, please try to get it in by next Thursday. Please let us know if you need an extra copy!

We just took a new inventory list and will be forming new groups. The homeroom teachers will also be forming new “Amerindiens/Voyaguers” groups. Of course the many layers of changes do not allow for much time for volunteer sign-ups! We will get the new groups and wiki sign-up page up as soon as we can. If you would be willing to be an “at large” volunteer for one of the groups on March 5th, please let us know. You may not end up with your child, but we will do our best to make that work. Thanks, in advance, for you flexibility! New to the sign-up this time around will be a box to add your name if you would sometimes be available to sub for someone on short notice. Thanks for considering adding your name to this list is your schedule might allow you the flexibility to come if someone has a sick child, broken water pipe, or whatever craziness life throws our way!

In reading, our benchmark has jumped from an early second grade level to an early-mid third grade level. This is quite a jump, but most immersion students manage it!

For fluency and accuracy, the students read an early third grade level passage. We are looking for 100 words per minute and 97% accuracy.

The comprehension score comes from a mix of stories in our reading curriculum. Most were read silently by the student, one was listened to as a group.

Vocabulary is an on-going part of our reading curriculum. All students practice new words weekly. A formal assessment is not given in this trimester. Students are graded on their participation.

The score for “chooses appropriate independent reading material” indicates a student’s ability to engage in meaningful silent reading, rather than socializing.

In spelling, the benchmark for weekly tests was 93%, which allowed for a couple of errors per test. The grade for spelling in daily work comes from high frequency words in their writer’s workshop journals.

In writing, the scores come from the poem the students wrote early in trimester, along with the personal narrative they are working on now.

For grammar and conventions, we are looking for complete sentences that begin with a capital letter and end with correct punctuation.

The grade for “process” measures a student’s ability to engage in the writing process or task, instead of socializing.

The “ideas” grade measures a child’s ability to generate ideas related to the topic of the assignment, as well as the clarity of the message in a final product.

The “other traits” grade this trimester comes from the poems. We spent a great deal of time on word choice and sentence fluency (line breaks in a poem).

The grade for legible writing is for the final copy of the poem.

We hope this helps shine some light on the scores you see on the report card. Remember that there is a huge skill jump this trimester. Even if a grade stays the same, a lot of growth has happened to keep that score because the work is so much more demanding.

As always, please don’t hesitate to be in touch if we can answer any questions. We are looking forward to meeting with families who have not yet had an English conference this year on Friday, February 29th.


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