Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Me Boxes Day 2 & Our Goals for Growth Chart

It is absolutely fabulous getting to know one another by hearing about the students.  "Me" boxes give us a look at the students is a way which is informal and comfortable for everyone.

But before those festivities, a little bit of information about the WAY we are learning in fifth grade.

A major part of our success at HHMS is our emphasis on high expectations within a rigorous curriculum.  We take pride in designing our day so that the students' experiences are meaningful as well as enjoyable.  We have designed Common Formative Assessments (CFAs) around the Indiana State Academic Standards and the National Common Core Standards.   As we plan our day, mastery of those standards is central to the design of the lessons. To add a visual fun challenge to this fairly boring concept, I made a Data Growth Chart.

Here is our new Data Chart.

Every one of the multi-colored spots on the left represents one of the 58 students on our team.  We give a pre-test, as and the number of students who achieve 80 percent or higher is demonstrated by stickers on a chart. One sticker going up vertically for every child who achieves 80 percent mastery on that standard.  Two different standards are being studied currently as evidenced by the two vertical columns.  Then we study the skills before taking a post test.  Hopefully those stickers will reach all the way to the top of that chart...signifying that all 58 of us have mastered the skills.

This time our target Literacy skills are:

1. Identifying the protagonist, conflict and resolution in a story.  We must provide written evidence from the story to prove we can identify these things.

2. Our other skill is theme.  We must identify the life lesson the writer is trying to teach.  We must provide evidence from the story to back up our assertions.

Next to the chart, you see the method that Mrs. Thrasher
uses to get the class quiet.  I say, "Class?"  The students respond with, "Yes."  This minimizes the Shhhh Shhh Shhh.

Map tests will be 8-22.  This is a study guide we completed in class.  Given a World Political map, students will match the 7 continents, 4 oceans, Prime Meridian, Equator, Fill in a Compass Rose with cardinal and Intermediate Directions and label the four hemispheres: Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western.

To help prepare for this, we will have a good, old-fashioned spelling test over those words this Friday, 8-17.  The words themselves are on flashcards that the students made LAST Friday as well as the website: www.teacherweb.com/in/highlandhillsmiddleschool/thrasher.
And now...what you've been waiting for!  

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