The first part of fourth grade I focus on getting my students excited about reading. The two charts show our STAR reading assessments from the beginning of the year (August) and our most recent test in January. We have made progress. We moved from 49% proficient or advanced to 68% proficient or advanced. More work still needs to be done but a little celebration is in order.
Our students took the day off and all Grovecenter teachers gathered in the Library Media Center to participate in two important trainings. The first examined performance tasks for state testing in the hopes of helping us identify learning experiences that will help our student master grade-level standards.
It has been clear for years that these performance tasks are difficult. However, if we can support students and change our instruction to build confidence, they can become more adept at completing these tasks.
The second half of the day was spent brushing up on mathematical discourse using Thinking Maps. That means we are going to use our deep knowledge of mapping to help our students not only understand math terminology but think deeply about math concepts.
It was a great day of learning and collaborating. If I want my students to get better, I must also get improve!
After several weeks of work, the class completed the multiplication unit post-test to mixed results. A few students scored 100%. Many improved. Too many had 30-40% correct. It is a major challenge making progress in such an important area of math.
Moving from 41% proficient to 51% proficient is progress but we have a long way to go. We will continue to work.
Every four to six weeks we look at our math and reading intervention groups and discuss how to proceed. Do we leave students in those groups or shift them around?
This time around I am administering an online times tables assessment in addition to other assessments before meeting with both intervention teachers to get their input.
How do you help students who need both remedial math and reading? We will shift where it makes sense.
Taking the time to discuss assessments and actual performance are so important to this process especially when those small groups will work for over a month to make progress. If we can support them the right way and they work hard, students can make tremendous progress.
Today we used Legos to better understand the concept of division while practicing the algorithm to divide three digit numbers by one digit.
There was lots of excitement in the air when the Legos came out. We put them in equal groups, took a break and worked through the algorithm. We are making progress!