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PVMS Tiger Tuesday Update 9/22/20

Tiger Tuesday Update                                                             

September 22, 2020  

Happy Tuesday! I hope you are all doing well and have recovered from the Denver Broncos loss on Sunday. Between the Broncos and Nuggets there have been a lot of sad emotions in the Bissell house this past week! Today in Advisory we began our Life Skills lessons, check in with your TIGER to see what their discussion topics were. This important social-emotional curriculum helps us towards our goal to educate the whole child and prepare are students both academically and socially for their adult life. Also in Advisory, we will be reporting and recording our FastBridge assessments scores. Your TIGER should be able to speak with you regarding their assessment scores and goals (more information below) on either Thursday or Friday of this week. 

Please continue to support us at home by reminding your Tiger about the importance of hand washing, mask etiquette, and social distancing. Please know that while we all may have different views about these three  things by choosing to be an in-person lesson we’ve committed to following the guidelines in place to keep everyone as safe as possible. 

Online Learning and Remote Day Learning: 

Students should be logged in on time and stay in class until the teacher dismisses students. We need to see students in order to take accurate attendance. If you get an attendance call on an online day, ask your student if they remained in class until dismissed. Online students should follow their schedule accurately.
At home learning holds the same significance and importance as in-person learning. Please help us have effective online learning environments by:
Providing your student a quiet uninterrupted space to work. 
Ensuring that the tv and all other potential disruptions are turned off. TV can cause distraction for all students in the class, not just the students in your home. 
Not interrupting the teacher during class for any reason. If you need to contact the teacher please email or call them.
Helping your student by reviewing their assignments before they are submitted. We are getting A LOT of blank assignments submitted into google classroom. Students need to model our core value of integrity and submit only their best work.

FastBridge Assessments

Over the last week, students have been completing the aReading and aMath assessments in Fastbridge. These assessments provide us with important date to plan for and differentiate student learning. Here is some more information about these assessments.

What are the aReading and aMath tests?

aReading and aMath, by FastBridge Learning, are reading and math tests developed by the University of Minnesota. Students complete aReading and aMath on a computer. When a student answers a question correctly, the next question is slightly more challenging. When a student answers a question incorrectly, the next question is slightly easier. The changing difficulty of questions give more accurate results. The student finishes each assessment in about 20-25 minutes and the results are a measure of their overall reading and math ability. 

Why are aReading and aMath used as a measure of reading and math ability?

aReading and aMath provide important data in a short time frame. Less class time is lost because the tests are shorter. When a student takes these assessments multiple times over the year, we can confirm she or he is growing as most kids their age and give them the support they need to stay on track. 

When are aReading and aMath given?

These assessments are administered in the fall, winter, and spring. 

How are the results from these assessments used?

These assessments help teachers understand: 

Each student’s current reading performance. 
Each student’s reading improvement over time. 
Remember, aReading and aMath are each just one test used to measure broad reading and math skills. Teachers use this and many other strategies to determine what specific help a student may need. 

What can I do to support my child’s progress in reading and math? Your child’s classroom teacher will be able to provide you with more information specific to your child and how you might support him or her at home. Whether your child is on track or at risk, you can always contact the teacher for updates. It is also important that if your students are testing from home, you provide them with a quiet and uninterrupted work environment as well as provide encouragement and words of affirmation to acknowledge their effort. 

Learner Persistence

The Benefits of Learner Persistence - a message from Mrs. Bissell

As a mom of a Kindergarten student in our school district, I am finally able to experience our district as both a parent and an administrator and I could not be more excited. While I was originally bummed that I did not get to walk my son into his first day of kindergarten, as I arrived at the schooI, I was overly impressed with the efforts his school made to make him feel welcome, safe, and excited to learn. 

Fast forward one week and you would see me sitting at the kitchen table trying to help my son log into Seesaw, so we could get started on his homework (50 minutes on the learning activities of his choice). As I get him logged in and help him choose an activity, I begin to realize how hard it is going to be to let him plug away incorrectly on the activities. I watch him as he works circling the wrong answers and help him turn it even though I know he will not score 100% on his work. The learning he turned is either one of two things;

A representation of his beginning tech skills or 
A representation of where he is in his current learning of C sounds.
Whichever it is, it is his thinking and his work and I am confident that his teacher will know what to do next based on his current ability.  Sitting beside my son and observing while he pushed through the activities and found joy in the different tasks that he is able to accomplish on his own, I began to reflect on student learning at the middle school level and how difficult it must be for parents to watch their children struggle with a math problem or question a writing prompt.  I realized that while I may understand the importance of productive struggle or learner persistence others who don’t work in schools may not. This Kindergarten homework experience encouraged me to share some information that I hope makes it easier for parents and caregivers to let their students work through the unknown and use their resources when they need support. 

Learner persistence also called productive struggle is an important skill that students must develop before heading to high school and beyond.  It is critical that students learn the importance of persistence as they matriculate through different learning experiences.  All too often we see students that, at the start of difficult or deep thinking, give up on the task or learning opportunity before the actual learning is able to occur. Productive struggle creates and drives persistence in our students and promotes grappling with complex academic concepts while steering them away from just giving up on the learning moment when the outcome is not easily revealed?

Teachers intentionally plan productive struggle into their lesson plans as a way to realign students’ thinking toward process learning versus just an outcome-based result. In this process, teachers communicate to students that struggling with learning or thinking tasks helps the individual student to learn and grow from the struggle.

Teachers, parents and caregivers should communicate frequently that struggle is important, that it stimulates brain growth and helps develop a growth mindset. However, this unique frame of thinking or perspective takes time to develop in the mind of a young student and learners need the gift of time to develop the skills for persistence. Back to my son and I and the 50 minutes of homework on the Ipad. Let’s just say that tracing letters and numbers on a device is not his jam. The principal in me has a much different reaction prepared than the attempted supportive parent reaction I give him. As his mom, I try to encourage him to persist through uncomfortable and difficult learning moments because I know from watching our Tigers (your kids) that when students believe they can power through and succeed with rigorous learning, when they believe they can productively struggle and increase their learning on a complex topic, persistence has been achieved.

Our teachers have been engaging students in persistence and productive struggle because they understand the benefits it creates for learners. Teachers who implement productive struggle instructional strategies know that allowing their students to ‘do the work’ will foster student thinking, risk-taking, and persistence. Students who learn through productive struggle in turn believe in their ability to attempt and complete tasks they may not know how to solve. 

As a parent or caregiver help your child develop learner persistence by encouraging your students to press forward through complex tasks, you may try strategies such as questioning, complimenting effort, time allowance, and acknowledging their problem-solving skills.

In-Person Learning Reminders

Students need their lunch cards in order to get lunch from the cafeteria. Having the card allows for a safer, touchless process and makes the process move more quickly, allowing students more time to eat. 
We are so glad that our in-person learners are feeling comfortable being back at school, but we have noticed a little bit of a slip in following the safety expectations that we have in place to keep them safe while they are here. Please remind your in-person learners that once they arrive on campus they must proceed to their advisory line, have their mask on, and stand at least 3 ft apart from their peers. At lunch, they need to make sure that unless they are seated at their lunch table, their mask should be on and covering their mouth and nose.
Blended learners when on their remote days should be logging in and checking with teachers to receive support on new content.  Students should be engaged in learning for 6-8 hours a day. These days are just as important as the in person days as students are practicing skills or learning new content. Please check assignments (to verify completion) before they are submitted. 

Parent Teacher Conferences

Parent Teachers Conferences will take place on October 12th virtually. You will receive communication from your Tiger Team in the coming weeks. Each grade will have a celebratory assembly via google meets in the morning and then conferences will take place throughout the rest of the day. More information to follow. 

Not all students will require a parent-teacher conference. Our hope is to have virtual assembly celebrations to honor students who are on the honor roll or earned a TIGERS core value award. These are the times for the virtual assembly. If your student is being recognized at one of these assemblies, you will receive a link to the virtual assembly. 

8:15am - 8:45am - 6th Grade Virtual Assembly

8:50am - 9:20am - 7th Grade Virtual Assembly

9:25am - 9:55am - 8th Grade Virtual Assembly

Picture Day

Blue Team (Tues/Thurs) Learners will have picture day on September 29th students will go to the library with their cohorts to take pictures.

Silver Team (Wed/Fri)  Learners will have picture day on September 30th students will go to the library with their cohorts to take pictures.  

Online Learners will have picture day on October 2nd. Students will use the bus lane (east side lot) to access our outside gym doors in order to get their picture taken. Please make every effort to get the pictures taken as school pictures will be used for school ids and yearbook photos. 

Last Name

Picture Time





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Helpful Links

Teacher Contacts

Apply for Free & Reduced Lunch 

Online Student Technology Help Desk

PVMS Return to School Plan

Tiger Celebrations 

Student Chromebook Trouble- Shooting Guide