Principal's February Message

A lot of exciting work and learning continues to happen here at Fairview every day. All classes in grades 2-6 have created at least 1-2 student led blogs which have been shared with parents. Because each classroom teacher has chosen from a wide variety of electronic platforms which students are using to communicate, we have renamed our school communication initiative “Student Chatter”. Next month we will launch a special school-wide Blackboard 24/7 site which will house each class’s Student Chatter for all to see and hear. We have classes creating podcasts, regular blogs with photographs, slide shows with Wixie or Powerpoint. We have some classes creating videotaped newscasts, and one 6th grade class opted to learn how to use a green screen. Student reporters are reflecting on what the class has learned and are writing detailed and descriptive pieces to share via the Student Chatter.

Additionally, all classes are completing at least their first full Project Based Learning (PBL) and are gearing up for 3rd quarter’s PBL. Through these PBLs, students are highly engaged in a process of student inquiry; asking and answering essential and authentic questions. Each grade level will be inviting parents for a PBL Share Fair sometime during the school year - so keep on the lookout for information regarding this for your child.

As I have explained in past communications, this is our second year engaged in the structure of the Lucy Calkins Writing Workshop model. Last year we saw a dramatic increase in both quantity and more importantly, quality of student writing across all grade levels. This year, as I meet with teachers, I have had an opportunity to read numerous narratives from kindergarten through 6th grade. I am even more impressed with the manner in which our students have learned to pull a reader into a beautiful, descriptive small moment in time within the student’s life. As with last year, we will hold Literacy Night towards the end of April and beginning of May, This will be your opportunity to visit your child’s class and read the many wonderful pieces your child has written this year.

We are gearing up for our second round of i-Ready math and reading diagnostic testing, which will occur in February. Although there have been a few glitches with the i-Ready assessment and intervention, teachers and students are generally pleased with the program. As with the first diagnostic, we will send home the score reports towards the end of February (not with 2nd quarter progress reports). We hope that you find the information on your child’s basic reading and math achievement useful. And speaking of achievement… our teachers are beginning to work on designing a consistent grading tool to be used across the individual grade level for communicating with parents what the 1-4 progress marks mean on regular class assessments. Some grade levels are already using a standardized communication tool for each math, science, and social studies assessment. Our hope is that by next fall, all grade levels will be designing these communication tools for all assessments to help you and your child know how he/she is learning.

Warm Regards,