Sarah's Weekly Update 9-23-11

posted Sep 23, 2011, 11:37 AM by Cynthia Friedman

This week has been fairly dominated by district benchmark testing. The purposes of these tests are to start sending up some flags for students who may be needing extra support in the classroom. Students are being tested on reading comprehension, reading fluency, vocabulary and math skills.

To compliment the tests, we’ve started talking about a few general test taking strategies, such as reading the questions multiple times, writing down any work that you’re doing, and checking answers when finished. I see test taking as a practical life skill that the class will be practicing several times this year, and I like to teach students to take the test taking process seriously while not letting it cause too much stress.

We have also begun spelling work this week. Over the course of the year, students will be compiling a personal dictionary of words they have misspelled. Students will then be able to choose from those words, or challenging words from a current research topic, to create their weekly spelling list. Dictionary work is also going to be a focus of spelling work this year. Students will look words up in a dictionary using guide words, find a word’s part of speech, and definition.

Practical Life
Campaign season is in full swing in the classroom. In our class, students will vote on a class mascot. Currently students are able to put up advertisements in the classroom in favor of their candidate. Later in October we will be staging a candidate debate before voting on Election Day in November.

I’ve been getting some great ideas for electives from adult volunteers. Ideas are ranging from foreign languages and art projects to cooking, drama, and media literacy. I’m really excited about getting these things started some time in the middle of October. If you would like to chime in with an activity that you would be willing to spearhead, I am still looking for ideas.

I am also still looking for volunteers during our morning work period to work one-on-one with students to help keep them focused on their work. I have heard from several people who will be able to come in, but there is still space available. Even if you’re only available one morning a week from 9 until noon, we could use your help.

For Your Information
Ridgeline is beginning a capital campaign to help us raise money to buy our forever home. On Saturday October 22, we will be kicking things off with an event at Southtowne Shoppes in south Eugene. The event will involve student performances and a silent auction along with other activities. Each class is putting together a basket with a specific theme that will be auctioned off at the event. Our theme will be "Explosions." If you have anything that would be a good addition to our basket, please send it to school with your child.

Thank you for everything,
Sarah, Emily, and Room 10