Thursday, February 6, 2014

What a Week!

What a week! We thank our PTA for bringing the Scholastic Book Fair to Dryden. Students and their families had an opportunity to browse and purchase many good books to read. Oh how I would have loved to spend the whole day in the hallways reading all these new books with the children!

Family Book Night was a fun night for all our families to come out to the Book Fair. The PTA provided an awesome DJ who entertained the children and had them dancing up a storm. 

 Can you believe we woke up to six more inches of snow on Wednesday morning? Thankfully, everyone made it to school safely. It was a stitch to see the fifth grade boys helping to shovel the black top during recess. Can you guess why they were shoveling? They wanted to play basketball!

On a more serious note, nationally renowned assessment author and expert Rick Wormeli spent Thursday and Friday in district presenting to teachers, administrators and parents about standards-based assessments. He talked about the power of providing specific feedback and teaching students how to self-evaluate. He explained that homework is beneficial when it's practicing and reinforcing skills a child can already do, but can be harmful when it involves new, challenging material and a child still needs support  from a teacher at school. He advocated that children should be allowed to make up tests and assignments on which they originally performed poorly until they can demonstrate mastery. Last year, our staff participated in a book study of his book, Fair Isn't Equal, and we are working hard to apply his principles of effective assessment to motivate students and ensure their mastery of  learning. It was a special treat to be able to ask Rick Wormeli questions and hear his specific advice in person as we strive to make best use of our students' time at school. 

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