Happy Monday! Here is what is going on in our classroom this week!
Our Polar Express Party is on December 21st! Your child can wear their pj’s to school on that day and they will be watching the Polar express, drinking hot chocolate, and eating popcorn. That is our last day before Christmas break!! It is a half day as well. If your child wants to wear slippers, please make sure they have regular shoes on when they walk in to the building and they can wear their slippers in the classroom. Assessments will continue this week and next week and report cards will be sent home the day they leave for Christmas break.
I will not be sending goal sheets home every week until January. For the rest of the semester, we will be reviewing sight words. If you need a sight word list, you may send me a note, email or contact me on the Remind app. You can also google “Dolch Pre-Primer Sight words” or “Dolch Primer Sight words” and the words we are practicing will come up. Also keep practicing writing your letters and numbers up to 100! I want to have those skills mastered for most students by the end of December!!
We need: Lysol ! There is a lot of sickness going around including the stomach bug. It is not fun at all!
If your child is sick, please keep them at home. The stomach flue is taking its toll on the kindergarten wing. Even if they have not thrown up in a few hours they could still give it to another child or teacher.
That is all for now! This information is also in our newsletter that I send home weekly. Please make sure to check your child’s folder for complete/incomplete work. Any incomplete work needs to be turned in to me by the end of the week that it is sent home. Thank you! Have a great week and stay warm
The Kindergartners are learning the song “Must Be Santa”. Ask them if they can sing any of it for you!
I have been MIA for a little bit these past couple weeks dealing with sick puppies and taking care of myself. We have been very busy in room 35 getting ready for Christmas! The closer to Christmas we get, the closer to report cards we get! Assessments will start soon and the kiddos will do awesome I am sure. All I am looking for is improvement. If they are making progress with their academics then they are on the right track! I will also be setting up conferences with parents soon so we can talk about their report cards, where they should be at this point in the year, and where I want to see them at the end of the year. Goals will be individualized for the first part of January based off of their assessments.
The Polar Express is pulling in to room 35! Our polar express party is on the 21st of December and your child may wear their pj’s to school that day. The teachers will be wearing pj’s along with them. Please make sure they are school appropriate. Your child can wear slippers but make sure they have regular shoes to wear when they come in the building and when they leave in the afternoon.
The Bowen Family is working on a community service project entitled Socks of Love. Socks are the least donated item to the needy. The more people that get involved, the more people will receive Socks of Love for Christmas. The way it works is:
- You purchase a pair of Tall Warm Socks
- Place one sock in the toe of the other
- Fill the remainder of the sock with necessities and small gifts:
Hard wrapped candy
Restaurant Gift Cards
Deck of Cards
Note: No items containing Alcohol (Hand Sanitizer, Mouth Wash, etc…)
- Tie it off with a ribbon
- All Socks of Love Donations need to be received by Tuesday December 20, 2016
- All Donations will be distributed to local Homeless Shelters the weekend of Christmas.
A full sock is worth 5 hours of community service. 3 items from the above list is 1 hours.
Contact Info: Kaleb Bowen (765) 602-6464 or Melissa Bowen (217) 416-9880
Here is the Newsletter for this week 11/21. Remember we only have two days of school this week! Happy Thanksgiving!!
Dear APA Family,
The DOE has released our ISTEP scores for the past school year as you may have seen in the newspaper or recently in the meeting. I am proud of our APA teachers and students for all of the progress they have made regardless of what these test scores may indicate. These scores are in no way, shape or form a reflection of the excellence that is being achieved in our classrooms each day and the tremendous individual growth made by our students; however, they do they reflect the challenges that come from losing months of instruction due to testing. Our students lose at least ten full days of instruction just for test administration. This has to stop.
I strongly believe that the inability of the DOE to properly communicate, to provide resources and guidance, and to deliver a quality test should not reflect poorly on schools, teachers or students. Great things are happening at APA and schools across our community and state, and many other data points show that students are progressing and flourishing statewide; however, the only test that “matters” for accountability purposes does not reflect this. This should be a huge red flag to our DOE, State Board, and legislators that something is terribly wrong with the test, not our schools or teachers. Using a test that assumes students have had years to master the new state standards when the testing situation and standard situation has been in turmoil for the past few years is a poor representation of the great work that students and teachers are doing throughout the state. The test creation process was rushed when best practice dictates that it takes several years to develop a strong and accurate assessment that truly measures the individual growth and mastery of standards for each student. If you look at how 10th grade students performed on the traditional ECA for the 2015-2016 school year in comparison to the ISTEP 10, you can see a HUGE discrepancy. For APA, there is an average difference of 30% for both Eng. 10 and Alg I vs. ISTEP 10. While this is extremely beneficial for our students as their scores on ECA reflect years of quality instruction and the ECA counts as their graduation exam, schools will be held accountable for the ISTEP 10 results. Teachers did NOT have access to resources for this for months and the guidance from the DOE was abysmal.
Until our DOE develops a test that truly focuses on each individual student and measures them in a holistic view with an emphasis on growth, our schools, teachers, and students will suffer with the stigma of inaccurate reflections of the wonderful work that is done in the classroom every day. Better resources must be provided, a better test must be created, and better communication must come from the DOE. Politics need to be removed from the process and the focus needs to go back to the intent of accountability and ISTEP which is making sure that each student in the state is progressing and having their individual needs identified and met. Simply put, I believe education is about kids, not politics, and our DOE pulled their focus away from that many, many years ago.
I fully support accountability as charter schools are held to additional levels of accountability; however, statewide, traditional public schools, charter schools, private schools, teachers, and most importantly, students are being punished due the ineffectiveness of our current accountability system and one very poorly created test. If any entity should be held accountable for the scores statewide, it should be our Department of Education. Many parties share in the responsibility for this, and many people will want to point fingers at individuals, but that will not solve the problem. All parties need to come together to work together and get education back to being about kids. If this doesn’t happen, we will continue to lose good teachers to other industries and students will fall further behind.
It is my hope that the DOE and our state legislators will listen to educators and get us back to the where teachers can teach without the fear of one test hanging over their heads and students can learn without hiding in bathrooms when it’s time to test. Learning is about growth, not failure to meet one measurement. Einstein has a great quote about measuring fish by their ability to climb trees which has been included with this post and that’s exactly what our national educational culture is right now.
APA will continue to stay committed to teaching each student at their individual level, bridging the gap, and celebrating the whole child as our students continue to grow and flourish as they learn beyond the standards measured by ISTEP and the state standards.
The kindergarten team just got back from the conference and it was great! There are so many wonderful activities that we could do that don’t involve worksheets. You will be seeing less paper come home in the near future and more hands on activities in the classroom that they will be doing once I am able to gather the funds to buy the supplies.
If you have any craft supplies (sequins, yarn, etc) just laying around the house that are not going to be used, feel free to send them our way! We would love to use them in the classroom for various projects. Thank you!!!
Remember! We are only at school two days next week and then we are going on Thanksgiving break to gobble ’til we wobble!