Podcast: A Closer Look at the ES Progress Reports

Written by Lila Jorge. Posted in 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, Administration, Elementary School, ES Principal, Kindergarten, Nursery, PreK

In the early spring of 2012 we began discussions as an ES Faculty about redesigning our progress report.  The version we were using at the time had been in use for several years and despite certain strengths we found ourselves constantly analyzing its shortcomings.

While content that our progress reports were aligned to standards, we felt that numeric ratings of performance provided very little specific feedback to families.  Moreover, it was difficult to show progress and development over the course of a school year.  Needless to say, we were convinced that we could do better and that is the only motivation we ever need as a faculty to make a change.

Over many months we engaged in a process that incorporated research of best practices, teacher-led committees, grade-level focus groups and consultation from Ken O’Connor, a leader in the area of assessment and reporting.  Even though we were faced with the reality a child’s development can never be fully captured in a handful of pages, we were able to incorporate key facets represent a significant improvement from previous years.  As a result, we look forward to the Progress Reports playing an essential role in communicating with parents about their child’s progress and another avenue to strengthen the invaluable partnership between school and home.

For further information about the Progress Reports, please click on the video below to launch, A Closer Look at the Elementary School Progress Reports.  I have created a podcast that provides more information about the key facets of the Progress Report and examples of how they incorporated into the overall design.



What’s Happening in 3rd Grade?

Written by ShenaK. Posted in 3rd Grade

We are very excited that students are finishing up their Personal Narratives in Writing Workshop.  This is our first published piece from the new Units of Study program the ES is implementing this year.  Students have been choosing their small moment, zooming in on it, and adding lots of sensory words to make their mental movies come alive!

In Math, we have been working on addition strategies.  The students have come up with many different strategies such as drawing a picture, using base ten blocks models, using tree diagrams, breaking the addends into expanded form, and adding from left to right.  Click on this link if you would like to see examples of what these strategies look like: Addition Strategies for Blog.  The “traditional” method using “carrying” hasn’t been directly taught, as we want to make sure students have a visual representation in their heads before teaching them the traditional algorithm.  Other topics we are working on are rounding to the tens and hundreds place using base ten blocks or number lines.  Next up will be…subtraction!

They have been learning about the skeletal system in Science. The students are finishing up their life-size skeletons made from their own tracings, drawing in all their bones using resources such as books and models.  The next system we will focus on is the digestive system.

That’s a brief wrap up of some of the topics we are currently covering.

We also want to say a heart-felt thank you!” to all the parents who volunteered and help make our Halloween party and celebration a success!  THANK YOU!



Welcome to Grade 3’s Blog!

Written by ShenaK. Posted in 3rd Grade

This is the beginning of our new blog for the 2013-2014 school year!

Please check here for information about topics we are covering in class, upcoming events, and any special news, information, or things to remember that we want to share with you.


Bonjour Grade 3!

Written by Lila Jorge. Posted in 3rd Grade, Administration, Elementary School, ES Principal

morning meeting 1Throughout the month I have been visiting the different elementary classrooms to join their Morning Meetings.  As many of you already know, last year we made a huge effort from Kindergarten to 5th grade to establish Morning Meetings as an ongoing, consistent part of our day.

Morning Meetings consist of a handful of specific components that help establish a consistent and supportive classroom environment.   My favorite part of these meetings is the greeting, when classmates take the time to make eye contact and greet each other by name.  Often times teachers will vary the type of greeting (handshake, high-five, pinky shake, etc.) but the emphasis is always about making sure each child feels acknowledged and included in the classroom community.

Yesterday, I had the chance to visit Ms. Shena’s class.  Like many teachers, she has already started to incorporate the students’ home languages into the morning greetings, which helps value and celebrate the linguistic diversity we have at BFIS.  On this day we decided to greet each other in French and off we went with handshakes and “bonjours” to start our day!