ISY Elementary School Faculty Blog

Short Week Next Week!

Mike Simpson

May 7, 2021

Next week we will have Thursday and Friday, May 13 and 14,  off to observe Eid-al-Fitr. Here is a link to a video about Eid-al-Fitr that you may want to show your students to explain the reason behind the short week. 

When we come back from the break we will be in Week 6 of this 10 week quarter. We will move to a slightly different schedule from Monday, May 17. Thi schedule is linked below.

After the break, will have reports to work on and also some curriculum preparation to do for next year. This preparation will focus on making sure we have mapped what standards we have covered this year over the four quarters. This will help us think ahead to next year and our Quarter 1 units. We will do some big picture thinking on these units before we finish the year without going into too much detail. We will need to see to what August brings before we can add that detail to our big ideas.

QUARTER 4 PLANNING

IMPORTANT: In the last couple of days we have had a few parents tell us that they are moving into time zones that do not work for synchronous learning. We expect that more students will move into such time zones during up until the end of the Quarter.

These students will still get their work from their current synchronous classes but Jordan (Grades 4 & 5) and Mike (Grades 2 & 3) will meet with them online during the week to help them with the work.

This is manageable if we do the following important steps:

1. Grade 2-5 students will get all assignments from Google Classroom.

2. All assignments must include simple instructions on how to do the assignment plus links to all online resources that they will need to complete it. These do not need to be long – simple is best.

3. Specialists are also to post what they are doing each week to Google Classroom as an assignment. 

4. Please post assignments in this manner from next week.

Because of this change, we will not be requiring learning summaries on Fridays in Quarter 4. We will just send out a short email with the offline learning activities attached. If we do not need to use our current offline learning activities, we will need to update our offline activities for Friday, April 23.

5. Homeroom teachers within the same grade level should be assigning the same assignments to make this easier on students from different classes to work together with Jordan and Mike.

This quarter’s interdisciplinary theme is PARTNERSHIPS.

Here is a link to a summary of the PK-1, 2-3, and 4-5 Enduring Understandings and Essential Questions that we will use to connect learning in all subjects.

Here is a link to the Q4 PARTNERSHIPS SCOPE & SEQUENCE document from which all planning will be linked. Please complete this scope and sequence for your grade level by the end of Friday, April 9. It is ok if you are finishing up Quarter 3 up until Friday, April 9.

We have purposefully chosen EUs and EQs that allow teachers in all subjects to focus on whatever skills and knowledge that you feel the students need to either learn or revise before the year ends.

In all grade levels we are basically focusing on partnerships and how we work together and this interdisciplinary focus can be maintained while teaching anything. This will minimize the need for interdisciplinary planning meetings and detailed scope and sequences.

On Monday, we will provide more guidance on how we can record our planning. For now, just think about how you can incorporate a partnership theme into your subject over this last quarter.

HERE is a link to a folder with all of the slides that were created for Quarter 4 last year. These may or may not be of use this year. 

INCLUSION SHARE OUT

Cultivating Creativity

Cultivating creativity is often a good feeling goal of education that can get lost in the weeds as we dive into our day to day classroom learning. Creative thinking, inquiry, and flexibility of thought doesn’t have to be an add on, it can be the centerpiece of how we approach our students for engagement and content. A common trait, as students learn the “rules” of a subject, is rigidity and the inability to be flexible with their approach to new ideas. Flexible thinking and questions can help students out of a memorization rut and, as a society, can lead to some of our greatest achievements. I’ve attached an article that discusses forward thought and flexible thinking in both language arts and mathematics:

ABC WEDNESDAY SCHEDULE 

ABC Schedule: Wednesday, May 12

On Wednesday afternoons, Grade 1 to 5 students will get to choose two fun activities to do. They will be able to choose between fun Art, Body (PE), and Communication (Technology) activities. 

Above in this Wednesday’s schedule. Students will click on the Zoom links in the activity description to join the activity. Homeroom teachers can share this schedule with their students however will be easiest for the students to join the activities. 

QUARTER 4 REPORTS 

I am getting these instructions out now just so these reports do not sneak up on us  and we can back out of this crazy year as smoothly as we can:

ES PK/KG Report Instructions: Q4 2020-2021

ES G1-5 Report Instructions: Q4 2020-2021

The instructions are kind of wordy but they are basically the same as for Quarter 2 so if you do what you did for Quarter 2 all will be good.

This has been a real up and down year and the students have gone up and down too. This report is intended to give a final indication on what a student has shown themselves to be capable of – they might have shown themselves capable earlier in the year and then stopped producing as they lost motivation online. If we use the data that we think is most reliable to be reflective of what they are capable of (whenever that was in the year…) then we will be giving the fairest and most accurate report that we can.

Summary of the report writing timeline:

  • Wednesday, June 16: Quarter 4 Ends
  • Monday, June 14 @ 8am: All comments copied into Powerschool and all grades entered.
  • June 16: Reports go out to families

Students Leaving Yangon

If you become aware of a student who is planning to leave, please email Patty, Nimmi, and I and we will follow up with the parents. Please email us even if you have just heard this from the student and you are unsure if this is true.

Students withdrawing from ISY:

Students who are withdrawing from ISY are obviously no longer our responsibility from their date of withdrawal. These students will no longer be attending Zoom classes and teachers will no longer be providing feedback on their learning. These students will be removed from Powerschool.

However, given the extraordinary circumstances under which these families are leaving, we will keep them enrolled in our Seesaw and Google Classroom platforms until the end of the year. We will also keep them on other platforms such as RazKids. This will allow them to access learning should they wish to. This work is not for teachers to give feedback on and assess. We are unable to disable the chat and messaging functions of Seesaw and Google Classroom for individual students. We hope that this is not a distraction and if this becomes an issue with a withdrawn student, please let me know and I will reach out to the parents. 

These students will be asked to return their Chromebook or iPads and library books before they leave Yangon.

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