Through a lender program secured by our Librarian, Mrs. Deb Cherry, our students have the opportunity this week to work with Finch Robots. The students are writing code and programming the movements of the robots! Thank you, Mrs. Cherry!
Through the generous support of our Home and School Association, our students had the opportunity to watch an assembly with the Bucks County Bungee Jumpers Jump Rope Team on the afternoon of Thursday, February 16. The Jump Rope Team was truly remarkable to watch! Some of our students and families have seen this team perform before during the 76ers game attended by many of our Worcester families in December. Thank you Mr. Jacobs and Home and School for arranging this assembly!
In observance of Presidents Day, school is closeed Friday, February 17 and Monday February 20.
School is also closed on Tuesday, February 21, for spring Parent-Teacher Conferences. A limited number of time slots were available for conferences on this day. Conferences were scheduled on this day based on teacher request. Thank you to those parents who were asked to attend a conference and signed up via the SignUpGenius website. If you have scheduled a conference and are unable to attend for any reason, please contact the teacher directly via email to cancel.
Best wishes to everyone in our Worcester Family for a fun and relaxing long weekend!
PROUD TO BE ME!
Methacton elementary schools will again be participating in Proud to Be ME Week from Monday, February 6 through Friday, February 10. During this week, students will have the opportunity to express themselves as individuals with a week full of dress-up days and activities to foster self-worth.
This idea was created in 2010 in honor Katie Goldman, a 7 year old from Illinois, who was teased for her interest in science fiction, Star Wars, and fantasy. The teasing became so intense that Katie wanted to conform to others’ interests just so the teasing would stop. Katie’s mom began blogging to ask for help on how to deal with her daughter’s dilemma. Thousands of responses came in to aid Katie’s mom and support Katie’s individuality. Since then, Katie’s school has held a Proud to Be Me Day to foster expression of unique abilities and interests. Likewise, Methacton School District feels strongly about encouraging differences and celebrating uniqueness and will dedicate a week to celebrating this theme with special dress-up days and activities to promote diversity. The calendar for the week includes:
Monday 2/6: "Think sunny thoughts, develop a can-do attitude."
Wear yellow to school!
Tuesday 2/7: "You have to do what is right for you. No one else is walking in your shoes."
Wear colorful socks to school!
Wednesday 2/8: "Blend in when you need to, stand out when you have the chance."
Wear bright or neon colors to school!
Thursday 2/9: "Smiles warm the heart, they are contagious.”
Wear red to school!
Friday 2/10: "You are an important part of our Worcester family."
Wear school colors to school!
Every student will hear the story entitled, Only One You, a book about a fish learning to use its individuality to make the world a better place. Students will then help to create a bulletin board display.
As families of elementary school children, it is imperative to encourage our children and help them to seek out their own interests and special activities. Some ways we can help our children include:
I appreciate your support in helping our students pride themselves on their uniquenesses!
Shannon Broadhead, school counselor
A reminder to parents that students' screenings for vision, hearing, height and weight for this school year were posted to the parent portal in January. Please check the portal for your child’s results. If you have any questions you can contact the school nurse , Mrs. Jodi Lattanze at X40205.
On Friday, January 27, our Second Grade Team participated in a Dino Dig assembly and hands on digging experience!
Our theme this year is “Leading the P.A.C.K. with Pride, Achievement, Creativity, and Kindness.” Each month, we will recognize students from each of our grade levels who are exemplifying Worcester pride, achievement, creativity and kindness. One girl and one boy from each class will be recognized as “Leaders of the P.A.C.K.” and each will receive a certificate, medal, and magnet. Additionally, they will be recognized by having their picture displayed on the monitor in the front lobby of our school and on our school website. We congratulate the following “Leaders of the P.A.C.K.” for the month of January:
Kindergarten: Brooklyn Belles, Warren DeMott
First Grade: Violet Thoryk, Felix Kong
Second Grade: Alyssa Chin, Nolan Groschopp
Third Grade: Daphne Johnson, Austin Byrne
Fourth Grade: Sienna Noh, George Pogach
Family Information – February, 2017
Grades K – 4 will be moving into the “B” chapters soon after midyear. This generally indicates that the number-concept instruction from the first half of the year shifts to application of those concepts in measurement, geometry, graphing, money, and time. We cover these concepts in accordance with the PA Core Standards, so not every grade level is instructed in all those topics equally. There may be some additional number-concept instruction after midyear, but it will always build upon skills that were previously introduced. Procedural skill is still a goal, but the application of calculations is equally as important.
Math in Focus instruction is built around problem solving. You may have noticed that standard “clue words” don’t always lead to a single operation in problem solving. Students are challenged to dig deep into the meaning of the problem before planning a strategy for solving it. This approach will help students become much more powerful problem solvers.
In grades 3 and 4, there may be more shifting or compacting of chapter instruction in the “B” chapters, allowing teachers to cover key topics before the PSSA testing occurs at the end of April. We will continue normal instruction up through, during, and after the PSSAs. The best preparation for state testing is a solid foundation of skills (rooted in conceptual understanding) and reasoning, all of which are the goals of Math in Focus instruction.
The assessments in Math in Focus test for deep understanding of the chapter content. Students are asked to demonstrate procedural skills as well as apply content understanding in a variety of forms. This builds flexibility in computation and in reasoning, which increases student success in solving complex problems.
Assessments measure mastery at 3 levels: Basic (tests ability to perform computation and basic problem solving without the support of concrete materials), Direct Application (tests ability to directly apply skill and understanding in routine situations), and Novel Application (tests ability to apply concepts in ways not directly applied from previous exposure).
During implementation, we are experiencing some growing pains with regard to the increase in critical thinking expectations. This is normal and understandable. Methacton chose to adopt Math in Focus because of its emphasis on teaching students why math concepts work. We are confident that this level of instruction will benefit our students moving beyond elementary math classes. Teachers at all levels, are already seeing growth in the level of reasoning with unknown values, which is the first step in working with algebraic concepts.
Because we recognize the challenge involved in the Math in Focus assessments, retesting may be offered after additional reteaching to give students another opportunity to demonstrate their growth in understanding the chapter content. In this case, your child’s teacher will send home both tests and indicate the final score being used for grading purposes.
Helping at Home
Use resources to help:
Work with your child
Attend the upcoming Math in Focus “Parent University”
Dr. Mary Katona Cindy Golden
Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment K-4 Math Curriculum and Instruction Support Specialist
firstname.lastname@example.org K-4 Elementary Math Coordinator
On Thursday, January 26, Mrs. Yeh, Mrs. Pack and Mrs. Cancro visited Worcester and conducted Science Fair demonstration lessons with all of our classes to help introduce the process of completing a project for the upcoming Science Fair on Wednesday, March 1. Information including guidelines for science fair projects will be sent home with students next week. Thank you for considering participation in the annual Science Fair!
Current and past ESL students in grades 1 to 4 gave a presentation on the Chinese New Year to both sessions of Kindergarten on Tuesday, January 24. The fourteen students explained the meaning of the Chinese animal zodiac, and then helped the Kinders to make on ornament for the Year of the Rooster.