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December 2013

The focus at this 1st conference period will be on organization and effort. 3rd grade is quite a transitional grade as Scholars are expected to move from a more guided approach to assignments and testing to independently completing assignments and tests. The academic subjects themselves are at a higher depth of knowledge as well. 3rd Grade Common Core/Standards in Math: (1) (2) (3) (4) Developing understanding of multiplication and division strategies for multiplication and division within 100. Developing understanding of fractions, especially unit fractions (fractions with numerator 1) Developing understanding of the structure of rectangular arrays and of area. Describing and analyzing two-dimensional shapes.

In 3rd grade at the end of the first semester Scholars will find themselves at these levels: Rocket Math (Multiplication Fact Memorization System) where Scholars are expected to know 100% of facts in 5 minutes to be considered advanced, 80% = Proficient, 70% = Basic, 60% = Below Basic, and 50% = Far Below Basic. This means that each fact is worth (1) point and so add up the number finished and correct to determine percentage/level. The Rocket Math worksheet is completed 2-3 days per week and the worksheets (whether passing their designated level or not is sent homework for homework). The only way to achieve an advanced score and pass up the levels to Z is to practice the facts, complete all Rocket Math worksheets and to complete the Saxon Math daily. Ask your Scholar what level they are on and ask to see the Rocket Math worksheets each day. The way Rocket Math works is that each Scholar has approximately 2-3 minutes to study around the box independently. Then, Scholars will Pair-Share for 3-4 minutes and take turns reading and answering each fact and the other Scholar will listen and help to correct if needed. I always remind Scholars as I walk around to not waste valuable time talking or playing or taking too long to find and sit with their Pair-Share. I can see where some Scholars are not taking this time and RM as seriously by the RM worksheets found shoved in their desk and not completed. We will continue Rocket Math at 2nd semester and a few Scholars who have passed Z will begin division. Remember, each Scholar has their own goal based on their writing speed score in their Rocket Math folder. They are allowed and encouraged to take the Rocket Math folder home each time that we test. I have reduced some goals if a Scholar is unable to pass a letter level after so many tries and I have also increased goals if Scholars are passing too easily and there are more facts to complete. At 2nd semester, RM will be HW assigned & checked daily with D.I.B. Saxon: 4th Grade Level Mathematics Most Scholars, similar to most adults, struggle with math. The concepts are concrete and difficult and many Scholars are not actually thinking at a concrete level. The various math lessons completed have included, just to name a few, these concepts: Reading & Writing Numbers Through 999 & Hundred Thousands & Hundred Millions, Expanded Form, Adding/Subtracting Three-Digit and other Large Numbers with/without regrouping, Inverse Operations: Adding & Subtracting, Order of Operations, Writing Word Problems, Elapsed Time Problems, Lines, Segments, Rays, & Angles, Triangles, Rectangles, Squares, & Circles, Number Lines, Temperature, Rounding to the Nearest Ten or Hundred, Multiplication with Multiples, Two-Digit Numbers, with Word Problems, Parentheses and the Associative Property, Dollars and Cents, Fractions of a Dollar, Exploring Perimeter and Area, Naming Lines and Line Segments, Inverse Operations: Multiplying and Dividing, Relating Fractions and Decimals with Place Value, Units of Lengths, Tenths and Hundredths on a Number Line, Equivalent Decimals, Rounding Small & Large Numbers, and Polygons. Whew! That brings us to Lesson 53 out of 120 possible lessons. I have retaught many lessons and have spent more time on others that are difficult. When we complete a daily Saxon math lesson I will teach the new concept and we will work on practice problems in class. I have the Scholars write notes or the practice problem down in their math spiral or on the back of the Saxon lesson page. I then assign 15-20 problems from the book comprised of the new concepts and all other

concepts previously learned. We spend about 1-1 hrs. on math daily with Rocket Math included at times. The Scholars are supposed to write down the math problems only at first (we do not have Saxon math books at home) and then complete the questions/problems. When done the Scholars Pair-Share to see if correct and if not complete they are to either complete at recess or take home to complete. The most important task with math is to pay attention when instruction is going on. There must be effort made and all Scholars should always be writing down notes, problems, and answers when I complete a problem whole group on the board. If a Scholar is not focused, talking, not writing neatly, or not asking questions when needed then they will likely not finish the lesson and cannot even go back to complete later because they may not even be able to read or know what to do without the book. After every 5 lessons in math I give an assessment of all concepts to that point. If there are any problems that a large majority of Scholars miss then I take that problem out of the score and a F will be next to it meaning Freebie and it will not count. I will reteach that concept over for understanding. I also give 2nd versions tests to Scholars after I have retaught the concept who score at a D and below and sometimes C. So, you can see that math is huge for us and I spend more time on math than most other subjects. I give 100% during lessons and tutoring for math, however some Scholars are rushing through, not completing work on their own or at all, and not asking questions. I do have a small reading group pulled out of class during my math time which I have changed for 2nd semester. Reading assistance is important, however it is affecting the math scores of a few Scholars. Until the reading time can be changed then math will be priority for now. A new implementation beginning 2nd semester is that all Scholars will be checked for math completion before lunch and those not complete will complete during recess. I will also add more time for math lesson completion than previously as I think it is needed and Scholars have asked that on the Student Survey. 3rd Grade Common Core/Standards in ELA (English Language Activities) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Reading- (Different genres and able to comprehend and make inferences of different meanings) Foundational Skills- (Phonemic Awareness (letter sounds), word analysis, decoding for spelling & reading) Conventions- (Grammar: parts of speech, producing simple, compound, and complex sentences) Knowledge of Language- ( Listening, Reading, Speaking, & Writing with proper use of language word choices) Vocabulary Acquisition- (Multiple meaning word phrases, literal/nonliteral meanings, connections, glossary/dictionary use. (6) Informative & Explanatory Writing- (examine topics, convey ideas, create multi-paragraph papers with topics) English Language Arts: We incorporate reading and reading comprehension many different ways from Core Literature Chapter Books: Sarah Plain and Tall, Skylark, Thy Friend Obadiah, Pocahontas, Mollys Pilgrim, Marie Curie, The Courage of Sarah Noble, Brave Irene, & Snow Treasure up to date to 3rd grade reading Treasures curriculum with shorter stories. We also have daily silent reading from chapter book choice (Pizza Hut Book-It Minutes) along with the required 20 minutes of reading for daily homework. The reading curriculum instruction is taught by whole group reading and discussion, Pair-Share read and discuss, independent reading and paragraph summary and/or end of chapter/story assessment. All reading assessments include vocabulary, character analysis, plot, setting, problem/solution, and time sequencing. How this is determined is through inferences and direct detail comprehension. These are high level skills that require critical thinking. The assessment matrix or grading reading includes DRA (Developmental Reading Assessment) which each scholar is tested for reading speed (fluency) and comprehension and given an individual level at which Level 38 or higher is Advanced, Level 34 = Proficient, Level 30 = Basic, Level 28 = Below Basic, and Level 24 = Far Below Basic. Those Scholar at 28 and lower are considered for reading program which requires daily pull-out from class. High Frequency Words are also included in assessments are based on the 450 words learned and reviewed from K-3rd grade. Writing is also

assigned scores based on a 5 point rubric which really just means that LEPA is expecting proper writing of paragraphs including indentions, spacing, fine penmanship, punctuation, and complete sentences with details. The weekly reading test of 10 questions based on current story read and occasional quizzes based on Core Literature are what to look for in determining how well a Scholar is performing. The best practice for this is to have them tell the family at home about the current story being read in class (we do not send Treasures Curriculum books home or chapter books) and the chapter book we are working on. Ask them about vocabulary words learned as we discuss them most every day. The practice of inference and comprehension can also be done with any story read at home by asking questions following the story read. Have them write or tell the 5 Ws Who (characters), What (problem/solution), Where (Setting), When (time sequence: year, season, day, time), Why (authors message/theme) and/or have them write a summary about the story read in a 1 paragraph format. This is how a Scholar will do well on assessments in reading. The 2nd semester will find 3rd grade continuing to read more chapter books and a weekly story from Treasures. It will also consist of more writing and expectations of a 5 paragraph written paper with self-editing. I will be reteaching test/assessment taking strategies to help all Scholars from being confused by questions and how to look for clues within the question when determining an answer. My expectations are that Scholars will practice fine penmanship or rewrite their papers and those scholars struggling in reading will continue to be sent to our reading specialist for hour per day as well as practicing with me during tutoring or silent reading time. Also, daily practice and use of High Frequency Words, Current Spelling Words, and Wordly Wise Vocabulary Words are also a must for Achieving Academic Excellence. 3rd Grade Common Core/Standards in Science consist of mastery of Physical Sciences (energy & matter, elements, atoms) , Life Sciences (adaptations, life forms) , an Earth Sciences (Earth, sun, planets, elements in the sky) at a 3rd grade level. Social Studies consist of Physical & Human geography, Historical & Community Resources, Rules & Laws in the U.S. government, and Economic Reasoning Skills of the Local Region. A lot of what we do in class to learn and practice the Science and Social Studies skills are done by special projects, presentations, and hands-on experiments. We also read the text book and use real-life examples to explain scientific terminology and concepts. LEPA incorporates all subjects into learning lessons and instruction daily from chapter books to science happening in those books. 2nd semester will have continued science and social studies with more incorporated daily as we change our schedule to include more instruction and higher expectations of scholars being on task. I will be working on more effective transitioning skills to allow for more instruction time. This is a lot of information to read and process, however it is important whether or not a conference was required to know where we are at academically and just how much each Scholar is learning every day. With the requirements and high work load daily, I hope to emphasize why the expectation of being attentive and on-task is so important. This is also serves to explain why many Scholars may have to work through some of their recess or have extra homework if they choose not to complete work in class. Please ask to see Scholar work each day. Hold them accountable for fine penmanship and organization. These skills will serve them well during 2nd semester and in the school years to come.

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