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Back to School 2011


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Back-to-School Night presentation from Thursday, Sept. 20, 2011.

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Back to School 2011

  1. 1. Welcome to Back to School Night! Mr. Ullman, Room 211
  2. 3. Agenda <ul><li>A Day in the Classroom </li></ul><ul><li>The Curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>Discipline </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment and Homework </li></ul><ul><li>How to Stay Updated </li></ul>
  3. 4. A “Typical” Day <ul><li>In the morning, I greet the students with a smile! The students order lunch, turn in their homework, and hang up their backpacks and jackets. </li></ul>
  4. 5. Arrival <ul><li>The students consult the Morning Message, which is an official welcome to the day, and often will have a task to complete or an opinion for the students to weigh in on. We start the day in circle, where the students greet each other and we do a quick “energizer” activity. </li></ul>
  5. 6. <ul><li>After a quick greeting, instruction officially begins with math at 8:35. Our central math resource is EveryDay Mathematics. EDM utilizes a “spiraling” curriculum, in which several topics are introduced in a particular unit, and then revisited in subsequent units throughout the year. </li></ul>8:35 - Math
  6. 7. 8:35 - Math <ul><li>We are currently coming to the end of Unit 1, which focuses on visualizing numbers as rectangular arrays, factors, and square, prime, and composite numbers. Subsequent units this year will cover many topics, including computation with whole numbers, fractions, and decimals; 2-D and 3-D geometry; probability and data analysis; and measurement. </li></ul>
  7. 8. <ul><li>All special area instruction begins at 9:35. Art, Music, and PE are 60 minutes, Library is 40 minutes, and Health is 30 minutes. </li></ul>9:35 - Specials
  8. 9. 10:45 - Reading/Writing Workshop <ul><li>Reading and Writing will be taught in a workshop model. This is comprised of three parts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Minilesson </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Independent Practice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work Share </li></ul></ul>
  9. 10. Minilesson - A short lesson where a particular strategy or skill is explicitly taught <ul><li>Examples of recent writing minilessons: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strategies for generating personal narrative writing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Writing about small moments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Telling a story instead of summarizing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Examples of recent reading minilessons: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Choosing “just right” books </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Logging and analyzing reading data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Wide awake” reading; being aware of how the text makes us feel </li></ul></ul>
  10. 11. Independent Practice - Students go off and continue their individual work <ul><li>Students continue independent reading and writing projects, able to utilize the strategy or skill that was taught in the minilesson. </li></ul><ul><li>The teacher circulates and confers with individuals or small groups, giving assistance or advice. </li></ul>
  11. 12. Work Share - Students share with each other the progress they’ve made <ul><li>Students briefly gather together at the end of the period to share with each other how they utilized the strategies, and how they’ve progressed. Students are expected to listen intently to each other and give feedback. </li></ul>
  12. 13. 12:35- FOCUS <ul><li>FOCUS ( F or O ur C hildren’s U nique S kills) is a 30-minute period where students who need to leave the classroom for various reasons (i.e. instrumental music, AIS, speech) will leave on different days of the week </li></ul><ul><li>Students who remain in the class will be able to work on independent projects, join small groups to review previously taught concepts, or independently practice skills. </li></ul>
  13. 14. 1:05- Science/Social Studies <ul><li>We will be switching back and forth between science and social studies on a weekly basis. </li></ul><ul><li>We have been focusing on social studies, where our first task has been to discuss, draft and adopt a set of classroom rules. </li></ul>
  14. 15. Social Studies <ul><li>Our units of study with (very) approximate dates of coverage: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exploration, Settlement, and Colonization of North America (Sept.-Nov.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pre-Revolution to The New Nation (Nov.-Jan.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expansion and Reform (Jan.-Mar.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Civil War and Reconstruction (Mar.-Jun.) </li></ul></ul>
  15. 16. Science <ul><li>Science will have four major units of study: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Weather (Sep.-Nov.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Erosion (Nov.-Jan.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ecosystems/Wetlands (Jan.-Mar.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Plant Growth (Apr.-Jun.) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Both science and social studies will be assessed through a combination of written tests and projects. </li></ul><ul><li>Experiments, discussion, and independent study will also factor greatly in instruction. </li></ul>
  16. 17. 1:50 - Word Study <ul><li>Word study is also done during the language arts block. During word study, students will learn spelling conventions dealing with vowel sounds, blends, prefixes and suffixes. </li></ul><ul><li>I use the Rebecca Sitton spelling program, which teaches students to think about these spelling conventions in order to help them spell correctly the words they use most often in their writing. </li></ul>
  17. 18. Discipline <ul><li>My approach to discipline in the classroom is one that takes into account the idea that social dynamics in the class can affect academic learning. </li></ul><ul><li>As a class, we establish rules and routines as well as setting expectations for students to demonstrate cooperation, assertiveness, respect, and self-control at all times of the day. </li></ul>
  18. 19. Discipline, cont’d. <ul><li>This will enable academics to remain the core for all students. </li></ul><ul><li>Students have created the rules for the classroom; we are currently “practicing” them to see how they impact our day. </li></ul><ul><li>When we begin to “live” the rules, consequences will take effect for breaking them. </li></ul>
  19. 20. Discipline, cont’d. <ul><li>Consequences must be: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Realistic: Something that the student can realistically do to fix the error </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relevant: Something related to the rule that was broken </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Respectful: NEVER humiliating for the student </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Three basic consequence categories: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Time away from group </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To “cool off,” get back under control </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Once back under control, student is welcome to rejoin </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ You break it, you fix it” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Responsible for classroom materials </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Also for each others’ belongings and feelings </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Loss of privilege </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>For set amount of time </li></ul></ul></ul>
  20. 21. Homework and Assessment <ul><li>Current research tells that on average, students should be getting 10 minutes of homework per night for each grade level </li></ul><ul><li>Homework should be practice…I don’t want it to be so difficult that you end up doing it with them. </li></ul><ul><li>Basic grading system for homework: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>+ : Concepts are understood, almost if not completely correct </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>√ : Concepts are mostly understood; some ideas may need more practice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>* : More practice is needed. </li></ul></ul>
  21. 22. Homework, cont’d. <ul><li>Students can expect some homework every Monday through Thursday. </li></ul><ul><li>Math HW almost every night </li></ul><ul><li>Word Study, Social Studies and Science HW as lessons dictate </li></ul><ul><li>Reading for at least 20 minutes and writing in Writer’s Notebook for at least 20 minutes are “standing assignments” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If there is no homework explicitly assigned on these days, students are expected to do this. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reading logs and Writers Notebooks will be periodically checked. </li></ul></ul>
  22. 23. Assessment <ul><li>Assessment of students is ongoing. During work periods, I circulate and take anecdotal notes. </li></ul><ul><li>A standard number grade given as a percentage will be given for standard written tests. </li></ul><ul><li>As a class, we will develop a 5-point rubric for grading written work and projects. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One of my goals is for students to become reflective of their own work. Students will have the opportunity to grade their own work based on the rubric. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I will also grade the work, and we will confer and compare grades. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Report cards and explanation of evaluations </li></ul>
  23. 24. The Wiki - Overview <ul><li>Our classroom wiki ( ) has a section for parents - It has become a vital tool in our classroom for learning, collaborating, and communication. I encourage you to visit the site often. On your request, I can grant you reader-level access, which will enable you to leave comments on certain pages! </li></ul>
  24. 25. The Wiki - Features <ul><li>All homework will be posted online </li></ul><ul><li>Students’ published writing and projects will be posted as well - comments are encouraged! </li></ul><ul><li>Classroom schedule and calendar </li></ul><ul><li>Link to a Flickr page with photos from our classroom </li></ul><ul><li>Link to a YouTube page </li></ul><ul><ul><li>YouTube videos will be unlisted - that means that they will not turn up in a random search. You will need to know the link to access the videos. </li></ul></ul>
  25. 26. Ways We Can Communicate <ul><li>The quickest way is through email. I can be reached at [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>I can also be reached through the phone, and notes through class. </li></ul><ul><li>I welcome visitors to the classroom! Simply call or email in advance. </li></ul><ul><li>Follow me on Twitter! </li></ul>
  26. 27. Thanks for Coming to Back to School Night! It’s Going to be a Great Year!