What’s Up with M-Step?

M-Step:  What’s It All About?

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The M-STEP is a 21st Century online test given for the first time in the Spring of 2015. It is designed to gauge how well students are mastering state standards. These standards, developed for educators by educators, broadly outline what students should know and be able to do in order to be prepared to enter the workplace, career education training, and college. M-STEP results, when combined with classroom work, report cards, local district assessments and other tools, offer a comprehensive view of student progress and achievement. For additional information, click State Assessment in Michigan:  What it is, What it means – And What it Offers

What Does That Mean for My Child?

Our third grade team at Haigh has worked hard all year long to prepare for this test.  The teachers tend to think of it as a chance for your child to “show off” what he/she has learned this year as a third grader!  Keeping it positive is important.  Tests can be stressful and we want this to be a good experience.  We will have a change in our regular curriculum over the next few weeks to learn and practice good test taking strategies and to reinforce material that is tested.  Our days will focus primarily on language arts and math instruction.  In language arts, we will be working on text based writing (writing essays based on texts we read), answering questions based on listening to literature, and writing skills.  In math, we will be focusing on 2 units of study–graphing and geometry.

What Should We Do To Prepare?

Make sure your child is in school and on time.  Plan your routines around early bedtimes and healthy eating.  Sending a healthy snack to school daily is important.  Talk with your child about how testing is not something to be scared about, but something that requires preparation.  If you’re prepared, you’ll do well.  That said, it’s important to stress the importance of the test.  We are teaching our students the process of reading questions first, then reading the text selection.  Also, knowing the strategy of eliminating answers that don’t make sense helps when you’re unsure of an answer.

Academically, make sure your child is completing homework and reading with his/her regular routine.  I will be sending home reading assignments for reading groups, but not a reading log for the month of April.

When Do Third Graders Take The Test?

There are three sections to the test.  The test is untimed.  Students will take the test in the morning, immediately after attendance.  It is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that your child is on time to school on these days.  Being late adds an extra measure of stress that we want to avoid.

  • ELA (Listening): Tuesday, April 30
  • ELA : Wednesday, May 1
  • Math: Tuesday and Wednesday, May 7-8

Spring Music Concert

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The third graders presented a wonderful concert this week, along with their second grade friends.  They featured songs from famous Broadway musicals.

We would like to offer a HUGE thank you to Mrs. Conrad for her work!  Enjoy the video by clicking the link below!

March PBIS Celebration

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Dear Families,

The end of the month is here, which means it is time to celebrate our students who have demonstrated consistent positive behavior throughout the month of March! Our celebration will be on Thursday, March 28th and includes Upland Farms bringing their mobile zoo to Haigh for an opportunity for students to learn about and interact with different types of animals. The school will be divided into three sections and each group will have 45 minutes to enjoy the animals.

Congratulations to all the students who earned this PBIS celebration and for continually acting as positive role models for excellent behavior!

Thanks for all of your continued support,

–The PBIS Committee

March is Reading Month: Reading is DINO-MITE!

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I am very excited to announce the activities for Haigh’s March Is Reading Month!

There are MANY fun opportunities for your child to get excited about reading!  In this post, you will find all of the resources for the month of March.

A couple of reminders:

  • Please make sure to turn in the permission slip for the Read-A-Thon by Friday March 8 with a $5 donation.
  • Please make sure your child brings his/her reading log to class EVERY MONDAY for a progress check with me!
  • Please make sure to visit the local library.
    • Every Monday, I will be asking students to bring in a book they found at the public library!  This is in addition to the school activities.  I want the students to be familiar with this community resource and USE IT!
  • Third graders are expected to read 30 minutes each day.
  • Remember Spirit Week!  Donations for participation are encouraged (50 cents per day)
  • Reading Logs are due for the month by April 10!

Calendar for March is Reading Month

Reading Log for March is Reading Month

Read A Thon Permission Slip

Valentine Party

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We will be celebrating Valentine’s Day on WEDNESDAY February 13 in our classroom.  A note was sent home last week with the details.  Please remember to have your student bring in a LARGE paper grocery bag for a craft we will be making together.  If your child is planning to share valentines, we have 26 students in our class.  Our celebration will be from 2:30-3:30.  We will be passing out valentines and enjoying a snack together.

Report Cards

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Report cards will be coming home on Monday, January 3 for all the third grade classes.

Please make sure that you take time to go through your child’s work folders and create some goals for your third grader to work on for the next semester.  A great way to do this is to ask your child what subject area is the most challenging.  Separate the work from your child’s folder for that subject area.  Then, look at the scores on that work.  Discuss what strategies/routines you could start at home to help with gaining confidence and raising achievement in that subject area.  Here is a great way to do that–

Have your child draw or paste a picture of themselves on the middle of a piece of paper. Ask him/her to write or draw all of the things that they like about that subject around the picture. Then encourage them to think of things they can do that can help them be more successful in that subject.  When a scored paper comes home, go over what contributed to that score.  Add new strategies or feelings to the picture.  Keep it posted in a place that reminds your child about the goal and take time to comment about how they are growing and changing as they work on the goal.