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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Crew News August 31, 2011

Character Trait ~ Beneficence
Beneficence is the character trait that we have been studying this week (and a few days before our Voyage). Beneficence means doing kind things for others without expecting anything in return. We are all very good at showing beneficence. We read several books about characters who showed beneficence such as Smile, Ordinary Mary and Because Ben Hugged His Mother. Ask your child how he or she has been showing beneficence and encourage them to notice when someone at home is showing this trait. During our closing circle, we often talk about ways we saw crew members showing beneficence during the day.

More on the Math Test
Yesterday's math test came home today in the green homework folder. The test consists of two parts. Part A includes those concepts that your child should have mastered at this point and Part B includes concepts that have been introduced but do not need to be mastered at this point. Everyday Math is a spiraling curriculum which means that we are constantly reviewing and using concepts that we have previously learned.

When marking your child's test, I simply circled items that were incorrect, underlined directions that weren't followed and wrote a letter "B" by numbers that were written backwards. Students also completed a self-assessment and an open response problem. I did not make any marks on either of these pages.

The open response lets me know who is already able to apply skills we have been learning and if they are able to express their thinking in drawings and in words. This is typically very challenging for all students at this point in the year. As we move through the year the goal is for all students to be able to explain their mathematical thinking and reasoning orally and in written form - either drawings or words.

I use the results of each test to help me determine who needs more help with certain concepts and who may need some enrichment around certain concepts. I am sure that you can see those same things as you look at your child's test.

Finally, you may be able to see that simply taking a test by filling in blanks was a challenge to some students. As I mentioned yesterday, this is probably the very first written test that most of the crew has ever taken. Taking a test will become easier as we go through the year.  When I look at a student's test I am looking for understanding of a concept rather than test-taking skills. So please don't worry if filling in blanks was a challenge for your child. I can see if they understand a skill and they will get better at test-taking.

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~Home Link 2.1 Telephone Numbers

We have library tomorrow. Please help your child remember to return their books (if they haven't already done so) so that they can check out new books.

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