The first month of school has flown by! The weeks have been busy ones filled with getting to know each other activities, the introduction of new routines, and the completion of initial assessments. On Tuesday, the students will take a computerized math assessment called the Scholastic Math Inventory and then we're done with all initial assessments. Individual and small group reading conferences have started. I love meeting with students and focusing on their individual needs. Designing short lessons to add rigor to every child's instruction helps all students to quickly become more skilled and knowledgeable. I am very pleased with how these rock stars have adjusted to life in our studio! The expectations I have for all students are high. These artists are hardworking, responsive to feedback and slow to frustrate. I know that their work ethic, paired with rigorous standards and high quality instruction, will make for a successful year for all in third grade.
I am a reflective teacher who likes to set ambitious goals. There are many ways to measure success in the classroom.
The first measure, and perhaps most important measure, is student attitude. My students need to be happy to come to school each day and they must love to learn and be willing to work HARD. I work to create a culture where this is possible for all students. Establishing a classroom where risk-taking is encouraged and mistakes are just part of the learning process, where humor and having a little fun is the rule, not the exception, and where progress (even the smallest gains) is celebrated, influences student attitude.
The Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) is another way for me to measure success. This test is standards-based and in my opinion, rigorous, and fair. As a teacher, it allows me to see areas where my instruction is strong and areas where I need to improve. While I am happy with the success my students have had on this test, I am not complacent. I know I can do better. This is NOT to say that I will "teach to the test". Instead, I will continue to design lessons aligned with the Common Core standards. I'll work to help my students make strides and I'll assess their progress along the way. I'll use the information gained from assessments to refocus my instruction making sure that I'm meeting the needs of all the students under my tutelage. My goal for the year? All students will score proficient or advanced on the English Language Arts MCAS test this year.
Of course, I've met success over the years because I've been able to work with AMAZING families who value education and who support their students at home. Thanks for all you have already done to help your student get off to a great start. The children are DEVOURING books. There is no clearer pathway to success than through reading. Thank you for inspiring them to read and for putting good books in their hands.
Please continue to stay in close contact with me as we progress through the school year. I'll be sharing information about your child's progress and strategies that you can use with your child at home. Never hesitate to let me know if you are finding these strategies helpful and effective. We can make adjustments, as needed, together.
Finally, I've updated the website a bit to include some photos from our New England map making experience. Thanks to Ethan's mom and Madison's mom for sending in homemade play dough and to Mia's mom, Jack's mom, and Madison's mom for lending extra hands during the construction phase. The band and I appreciate having such great ROADIES. The day was much more enjoyable for me thanks to all the extra help! The photo slideshow can be found under the "Pics from the Tour" tab on the left.
Many thanks for sharing your children with me. I am lucky to have a truly rockin' group this year!