- the French District Wide Write (a writing assessment): our theme for this writing activity will be “What does the forest mean to you?”. Art activities will accompany this assessment.
- For grade 4, The Foundational Skills Assessment (FSA): This provincial standardized test is done in English and focuses mainly on Literacy (reading fluency and comprehension, writing) and Math (problem solving and computation).
- For grade 5, two standardized assessments mandated by the Cowichan School District, the DART (English reading fluency and comprehension) and the District Wide Write (English writing), will be conducted while the grade 4s work on similar assessments through the FSA.
Note on the FSA for grade 4 parents:
The BC Teachers’ Federation has long been opposed to the FSA. If your child is in grade 4, you will receive an envelope with information about why the union is opposed to the FSA. You need to know that this year, there are important changes in FSA format as well as timing:
- It has been transformed in order to connect better with the new curriculum.
- It used to be done in February and it is now done in October so that the results can be available in November and be used to inform our planning and teaching for the year.
- Because the FSA is now done in the Fall, the Cowichan School Board is allowing us to use the results from the FSA literacy components instead of doing DART (English reading fluency and reading comprehension) and District Wide Write (English Writing) with the grade 4 students.
Reporting of students’ progress, online portfolio, report cards, etc.
In addition to the formal report cards, I will use a portfolio to communicate your child’s progress. Online portfolios are a great way to communicate students’ learning and progress to parents and to improve parent-teacher communication. Pictures of your child’s work, sound files and videos can be posted in his or her portfolio, along with teacher feedback and student self-reflection. Online portfolios are password protected and private. In order to create an online portfolio for your child, I will need you to sign and return the permission form (see Agenda). Please return the form promptly so I can set-up your child’s portfolio as soon as possible.
I’ve used online portfolios last year and parents said they loved to receive regular updates and felt better connected with what was happening in the class. If you are opposed to the creation of an online portfolio for your child, a paper portfolio can be kept in class and brought home to share with you every few months.
Donations for our Earth-Friendly Classroom Store
I’ve put together a little store with things that I found in my house that my children are not using: items we got in birthday goodie-bags, activity or coloring books that never got used, comic books, toys, games, leftover craft supplies, card games, flashcards, puppets and stuffies. Most items were purchased by well-meaning grand-parents and friends but did not end up being used, or were only gently used and then left on the shelf.
I have enough items to start, but I will need help to keep the store furnished throughout the year. I will set up a donation bin and have students help me with organizing donations for the class store. If you have books, stickers, toys, decorations, games, stuffies, arts and crafts supplies, cool things found in nature, etc. that are in good shape but could use a new home, consider re-purposing them and contributing to our Earth-Friendly Classroom Store. Your donations will be much appreciated! Please do NOT buy new items to donate to the class: only send things that you already own.
Wow! That was a lot of news!
Looking forward to a great month of learning!
All the best,