This year's MSP schedule is coming home with students today.   Here is the schedule for our class:

Monday, April 29  Reading
Thursday, May 9  Math
Wednesday, May 15 Science

Make-ups are possible, but complicated.  If at all possible, please make sure your students are here on testing days.  Also, kids in a good breakfast and a nutritous lunch.  Our tests will be after lunch, so the first two meals are extremely important.

The other thing that's important is our collective attitudes about the test. I know some of you are excited to see how your child progresses on these tests each year, and others don't put a lot of stock in them. As a school we are trying to be positive with the kids and look at the testing as a great opportunity to see what they learned.   Attitude makes a difference on these things, so all of the "You can do it!" messages are greatly appreciated!!

In previous years we have arranged to have snacks brought in, but things will work differently this year because we are testing, mostly, in the computer lab. I thought instead of daily snacks we might have a small celebration party at the end of testing -- more details to follow.



Oops! And it's a big oops. I mean to hand out class pictures with the math papers, but...I forgot. I just put them on desks, so your kids will bring them home tomorrow.
We had the best time in Social Studies today. I wish I had taken some pictures or filmed it, but I honestly didn't know how the activity would work out. I recently purchased a teacher resource book called "American History Simulations". The activity we did today modeled the Stamp Act. We used starburst candies as money, and drew cards for roles. Most kids were colonists, but there were also three tax collectors, three members of parliament and a king (actually a queen!).  I was a little skeptical of how the activity would go, but it unfolded just like the book said! The king gave tax cards to parliament, who read them to the tax collectors. Colonists were taxed between one and three starburst for things like having a mechanical pencil, wearing jeans, having a library book etc. The kids turned on the tax collectors just like the colonists did in Colonial America -- it was fascinating. At the end of the activity, the king had 66 starburst, the parliament members had 33, tax collectors had 13 and the colonists were left with an average of three. It was a fun activity that perfectly captured the high emotion of the Stamp Act. Too fun!
Hopefully you have been seeing math minute pages come home and have an idea of where your student is performing in regards to timed tests.  There are 34 tests to complete (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division). We do the tests four times a week, and my hope is that everyone will pass all the tests before the end of the school year. Five students have passed so far, and two more are not far behind. Please take a look at the charts below. If your student is still working on addition or subtraction, they could use some practice.