Happy weekend! I hope you’re enjoying all this sunshine!
We had a great week starting writing workshop. The students adjusted well to the self-driven format and I have high hopes that we are off to a great start! I had writing conferences with about half of the class last week. During those conferences, students were practicing critical reading in a number of different ways. They will have two more days to work on that practice this coming week while I finish the conferences. Please encourage your students to use their time wisely in class. I want the time to be self-directed so they can practice that very difficult skill of staying focused, but I also don’t want anyone to flounder! If your student is struggling to accomplish tasks during workshop time, encourage him or her to speak to me about how to better manage time. You may also want to ask to see your student’s notebook. They should have a solid start on vocabulary building, contextual pool filling and writing practice. Hopefully, they can explain to you what they’re up to in their notebooks! These are great places for practicing and developing their skills.
There are a number of things in MiStar and students will be getting quite a few things back on Monday. All of these assignments have written feedback and a score; however, students do not have any grades yet in MiStar. As I explained at Curriculum Night, this can be very challenging for some students. When they realize things don’t “count”, it is harder for them to see the value in doing the work. Please help me help them understand the value of practice and feedback. Things will eventually “count” and when they do, I want students to be confident and prepared with skills that they have honed over time!! I don’t expect their work to be perfect at this point in the year and I don’t want to “ding them” in their grading when they’re still developing their skills.
I do, however, want parents to know what those numbers mean when things are marked as “not graded.” Most not graded work will be scored on a 4/3/2/1 scale. 4=advanced, 3=proficient, 2=somewhat proficient, 1=not proficient, 0= not completed. Students scoring consistently in the 1 and 0 range need to see me!! Occasionally, I will score work on a 1-9 scale. I know that it’s confusing, but the AP test essays are scored on a 9 point scale and it’s important that the students have a realistic idea of where they are on that scale throughout the year. The summer reading constructed response in MiStar right now is scored on that scale. Scores are exactly where I’d expect them to be at this point in the year (lots of 3s, 4s, and 5s).
Please ask your students to help you understand their work and their grades. I’m always happy to answer questions from parents, but I’m even happier when students can explain for themselves. The more we can do now to help them learn how to speak up and advocate for themselves, the better!
Enjoy your weekend!
Mrs. Hattie Maguire