Friday, April 7, 2017

April 7th




CoCoRaHS Citizen Science!  Citizen Science is happening on Quest.  We are measuring rainfall and inputting it on a national website.  We even have our own Weather Station name!  Duxbury 0.4 SSW.  Here is a the first episode of The Cloud and the Crowd about about CoCoRaHS and Citizen Science.  We got .93 inches of rain in our last storm.  That qualifies as a "heavy rain."  We agree!

Boston Field Trip
Here is the information for now.  It is on June 7th.  If you would like to chaperone, please email Mrs. Williams.

Video to Russia
As a part of our penpal exchange, we are sending a video to our penpal school in Tikhvin, Russia.  Students will say hello to their penpals and say a sentence about themselves.  We hope to receive one in return!  Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
Here is a link to the video.

Math
We will calculating with percents next week.  Have your students calculate your tip when you go out to eat or your discount when you are out shopping!

iBlock
We will be switching iBlocks after vacation.

Student Led Conferences  Thank-you to all of you who could make our conferences.  We appreciate the time we have to talk with you all and make plans to best support your student.

Trout in the Classroom  We continue to feed our fish and monitor for ammonia and nitrates.  We are planning to release them into our Crossett Brook sometime in May.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Conferences and Discipline System

Hello Quest Families,

Student Led Conferences - Sign-ups coming soon


On Thursday, April 6th AND April 13th we will be having the Spring round of Student-Led Conferences for all Quest students.  We have chosen to spread these conferences out over two days as well as incorporated rolling start times (every 15 minutes) to give families more time with teachers if needed. We have set aside 45 minutes for each student's conference. These conferences put your child, your learner at the center stage of learning.

The focus of these conferences is on growth and how your child can best grow his or her learning with the wide variety of supports that you provide through the home-front and we provide through the school-front.  The conferences are an assessment experience for your child that allows him or her to demonstrate skills such as communication and self-direction, as well as a learning experience in and of itself.  If you are unable to be at the conferences at these times, please review your student's presentation at home. Also please note that Quest teachers are always available to meet at any time with parents outside of conference time- simply contact teachers directly to schedule a time.

As always, thank you for your support of your child, our school, and our community!


Quest Discipline System
The following is our system for working with students who struggle with team expectations.  For a copy of our team expectations, click here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

"Hidden Figures" field trip

Quest will be taking a field trip to see the film "Hidden Figures" next Friday, February 24th.  Please make sure your student returns their permission slip by Tuesday, February 21st.

Monday, December 19, 2016

December 18

Cassidy, Boone, Mackenzie, and Sadie in The Phantom Tollbooth


Drama Unit
The drama unit has come to a close.  Congratulations to our students who in total, put on six different plays.   Students reflected that this unit was "interactive," "creative," "hands-on."  Students wrote that "I learned a lot about teamwork," "If I put my mind to it, I can learn something difficult," "We learned to solve problems together," "I learned confidence,"  "We really had to work as a group," and "These are skills we will need in life."   All in all, an excellent unit.

Thank-you to the families who were able to attend The Phantom Tollbooth for their student.  The Shakespeare videos are as follows:

Bethmac (Macbeth)
Hamlet
The Tempest (1)
The Tempest (2)
Much Ado About Nothing (to come!)

Quest Feast
The Quest Feast is this Wednesday from 11 - 1.  We look forward to seeing many of you at this time.  If you have not RSVPed yet, it's not too late!  Please email Diane LaRock (dlarock@wwsu.org) with what you are able to bring, and how many people are coming.

IS
We are 3 weeks into our first Social Studies unit and students are learning about some of the first people in North America.  Half of our students are studying Native American history, while the other half is studying African American history (these groups will rotate after break).  As we learn about these groups of people, students are making connections between primary documents, current news stories, and human rights.

Math
We are in the final part of our fraction unit, which has covered all of the operations with fractions.  Students are currently building an understanding of what it means to divide with fractions.  They are looking for patterns as they problem solve and discovering efficient strategies.  We will conclude this unit the first week of January.

LA
There is no POW for this week.  There are two Quizlet units to study for Wednesday, week 10 and 11.  When we return from break, all students will be reading the following books:
Blood on the River: Jamestown, 1607 by Eliza Carbone
Day of Tears by Julius Lester
For extension, students will also have available:
Pocahontas by Joseph Bruchac

The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano  (Autobiography)


We have started Olaudah Equiano's autobiography in IS, and as a class, we are fascinated.  We may use this as a read aloud.

Parent Teacher Communication:  Do you know how your child is doing?
Curtis and I are using both Schoology and Powerschool to communicate how your child is doing in our classes.  There is a previous blog post which explains the purpose of these two tools in detail.  For the most part, you should check Powerschool to see your child's work.  If you don't see any grades, you need to click on the -- for each subject.  Then, you will be met with many grades, comments on work, and missing assignments (for some :)






Tuesday, November 29, 2016

November 28

Macie, Cierra, Charlie, Ava, Xavier, Maeven and Maisie filming The Tempest out by Crossett Brook at "Prospero's Cell"


Plays!
We are in the final weeks of our drama unit.  The group which is working on the Shakespeare plays are finishing their filming this week, and their films will be submitted to the festival.  The students working on the Phantom Tollbooth are finishing up props.  We will be working on sets and costumes later this week.  If you have any old white sheets that you do not need, we can use them for backdrops.  We could also use an umbrella :)  One of the Mary Poppins kind with a point on the end.

Thank-you for all the cardboard!

Performances:
The Phantom Tollbooth will show their play in the Cougar Cafetorium on Friday, December 9th from 1:00 - 2:30.  All are welcome.

The Shakespeare plays will be finished this week.  They are all digital, and will be available for your viewing online.  We will also show these during the Quest Feast.

LA
epals to France
In our efforts to continue to learn about the world, students all have an epals account through the Smithsonian Museum with a class in France.  Students will write letters to these students based on interests and questions about culture.  We will use this platform for teaching students using correct grammar online, and online etiquette when communicating with students from countries around the world.  This way, students will all have the experience of communicating via letters (Alabama for all, Russia and Rhode Island for some) and emails (France).  The POW this week will be to write an introductory letter to an epal in France of their choosing.  Usernames and passwords will be given out in class on Monday, November 28th.  There will be no personal information shared.

Letters to Russia will be going out at the end of the week.  Our letters from Russia were very interesting!

IS
We have completed our Robotics unit and will be beginning our 'Three Worlds Meet' Social Studies unit.  Students are learning about Primary and Secondary Sources this week.  Next week they will begin a three week study of either Native American or African American history.  They will switch teachers after break to learn about the other subject.

Math
Our fraction unit will take place from now until winter break.  We will be reviewing adding and subtracting fractions and then deepening our understanding of multiplying and dividing fractions.  Problem solving will also be a focus of this unit.

iBlock  Your student is in a new iBlock for the next six weeks.  These range from editing practices to Spanish classes.

Quest Feast!
Save the date!  The Quest Feast will be happening on December 21st from 11 - 1.  Details to come on dishes to bring!




Wednesday, November 2, 2016

November 2

Sadie carving her group's pumpkin at our Fall Festival.

Fundraising - By now, you should have received information for our annual fundraiser.  This fundraiser is coordinated by the PTO, and is an excellent way to earn enough money for our Boston trip.  We need approximately $4,100 for a one day trip that includes bus, a walk on the Freedom Trail, admission to either the NE Aquarium, or the Boston Museum of Science, and a meal on the way home.  That means each student needs to raise $100 (profit) for that trip.  Many students would like to go on a two day trip to Boston.  That would include bus, a walk on the Freedom Trail, admission to the NE Aquarium, an overnight at the Boston Museum of Science, and lunch on the way home.  Students would have to pack a lunch and a dinner for the first day, but breakfast would be provided at the museum and we would stop for lunch on the way home.  That cost is $7100, or each student would need to raise about $175 (profit).

We have done the overnight trip in the past, and it is really fun.  We would love to do this trip, but we need each family to either make a donation or help fund raise for the trip.  We will see how well we do on this fundraiser.  We'd like to raise at least 1/2 the amount for the overnight, if we are considering that option.

Here is a link to the PTO's website.

Thank - you for your help with this matter.

Student Led Conferences


On Thursday, November 10th we will be having the Fall round of Student-Led Conferences for all CBMS students.  These conferences put your child, your learner at the center stage of learning.

The focus of these conferences is on growth and how your child can best grow his or her learning with the wide variety of supports that you provide through the home-front and we provide through the school-front.  The conferences are an assessment experience for your child that allows him or her to demonstrate skills such as communication and self-direction, as well as a learning experience in and of itself.  The conference will give you as parents / guardians a good look at the place where the rubber of Proficiency-Based Learning meets the road - namely in the work your child is undertaking at school day in and day out.

Our goal is to have 100% of our students lead a conference.  We realize that it is a bit unrealistic for 100% of our families to be able to be there the afternoon/evening of the 10th, so we will schedule conferences with AG Leaders or another trusted staff member for those students who cannot conference on the 10th.   Also please note that our teachers are always available to meet at any time with parents outside of conference time- simply contact teachers directly to schedule a time.  

As always, thank you for your support of your child, our school, and our community!

Cardboard
We are going to begin making props for our drama unit. If you have any cardboard around the house, please send it in! We could especially use large cardboard - as we need to make a tollbooth, and a car.

The Tempest
Some students on our team are working on understanding the themes of the Tempest, and are acting in select scenes from this play. U-32 is putting on 4 performances of this play this weekend (my daughters are in the performance :). Performances run: Friday at 7:00, Saturday at 2:00 and 7:00, and Sunday at 2:00. If you are looking for something to do, and are feeling like a bit of Shakespeare, come and check it out!

Thank-you!!
Shyannah offering kale chips to Quest during the talent show.  Students made kale chips and butternut squash muffins in the upstairs kitchen.  The kale and the squash came from the Quest gardens.  Treats were enjoyed by all.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Schoology and Powerschool

Schoology and Powerschool: How to track your student’s progress


With the shift to proficiency based learning, we are adapting our methods of communicating your student’s progress.  


You can find your student’s homework assignments (POWs, spelling lists, IS and LA projects, math homework) in Schoology.  Think of this as a digital assignment book.  


Powerschool will be used to communicate progress on proficiencies.   Once students have had some practice, and the lessons towards a particular proficiency, we will report on how they are doing with it.  You will know if your student is on track if your student has received a P (Proficient) or an AD (Advanced).  If your student has received a E (Emerging) or B (Beginning), it means that they have not met proficiency, yet.  Students may still be working towards this proficiency, so look back at this proficiency again to see if they improve to a P later in the year.  


For homework:   We will calculate homework on a three point scale.  This will fall under the Habit of Work, Responsibility and Organization.  If your student has a ‘P’ (proficient), that means they submitted their work on time.  If they have an ‘E’ (Emerging), that means they submitted their work late, or that it is incomplete.  If your student has ‘B’ (Beginning), it means that the assignment was not handed in.     


POWs:  POWs are going to be given once a week, like last year.  The subject area will rotate.  One week the POW will be given in IS, the next week it will be given in LA.  For LA, students should still submit their POWs to Schoology.  I will be assessing these in Powerschool as a homework assignment (see above).  I will write comments on these POWs in Schoology, to further student’s thinking, and as a communication tool for their writing.  I will give students opportunities to look at Schoology in class.  Their grade will appear to be a 0 in Schoology, as Schoology will not allow an assignment without a number attached to it. However, understand that the scores will be in Powerschool, not Schoology, and you should look there for their progress.

This is a new system for us!  We are working diligently to make it as smooth of a process as possible.  Feel free to communicate with us any questions you have.