Please check out the newest video on our YouTube channel to help explain Competency Based Education at LSS.
In the video below, the students of the 5th grade demonstrated all they’ve learned in music throughout their journey here at Lincoln Street School. We certainly are proud of all they have accomplished. Thanks to Bev Tabet for putting this video together…and of course, thank you to Sue Noseworthy for inspiring all of us with her love of music.
Please read a few of the many recent curriculum highlights at LSS below. March is a busy month with so much happening. Be sure to ask your children for more details!
- Read Across America was celebrated the week of February 29 – March 4. Several guest readers came in to share their favorite Dr. Seuss book with the students. The children were excited to have their pictures taken in the “Read Across America Photo Booth ” and to guess the number of fish in the “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish … Goldfish Dish.”
- Bev Tabet has been working in conjunction with third grade teachers to introduce them to the Smarter Balanced Testing format and content. Each class has had four 45 minute sessions with Ms. Tabet. They are becoming familiar with navigating the test and the various formats of the questions for both Math and ELA. Students are being coached on the content and also the technology use. The goal is to to familiarize them with some of the language used and the logistics/navigation of the test so that they can relax and focus on the content when they take the actual test. Students have the opportunity to ask questions during this time. We have covered the Math Practice and Performance Task as well as the ELA Practice Test and Performance Task.
- On Monday, March 21st, Helen Burnham and Robin Vogt will be starting an after school coding club for 5th grade students.They will be using a program from Google called CS First. The goal of this program is to increase student access and exposure to computer science (CS) education. Over the course of 8 weeks, the students will work on Game Designing modules using Scratch. Each module will provide opportunities for the students to design and program their own video games using code and computer science. More importantly, students’ critical thinking, collaborative, and sharing skills will be reinforced as they complete each step in the program.
- Music in Our Schools Month is being celebrated at Lincoln Street School with grade level concerts in “An Evening of Music”, spread over five dates in March. Grade 3 has already completed both concerts. 4th grade will perform on two separate nights this week. Then, all students in Grade 5 will present their musical talents on Thursday, 3/17. All concerts begin at 7 PM in the LSS Gymnasium. This is the 31st year that we have celebrated Music in Our Schools Month and the 31st year it has been led by Music Teacher Susan Noseworthy. What an amazing inspiration she is for us all!
- Newburyport Illustrator, Susan Spellman spoke with our students about the illustration process and shared her experiences in the literary field on March 9th.
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Students at Lincoln Street School will be participating in the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) in March and April. The SBA is the State of New Hampshire’s required standardized test to monitor academic progress in the areas of English/language arts and mathematics. The SBA is aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), which NH has adopted as part of its NH College and Career Ready Standards. Parents may learn more about the Standards on the NH Department of Education website, http://education.nh.gov/instruction/curriculum/.
The SBA differs significantly from tests of the past because it uses computer adaptive technology. Computer adaptive tests adjust the difficulty of questions throughout the assessment based on each student’s unique responses. The tests will include multiple choice and written response questions. They will also include performance tasks that ask students to demonstrate research, writing, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Parents and families may learn more about Smarter Balanced by visiting the website at www.smarterbalanced.org. Practice tests are available on the website that can help parents gain familiarity with the test format and sample test questions. Students have also been exposed to the practice tests at school.
Teachers and staff will be working to make students as comfortable as possible during this testing period. We are ensuring specials occur as regularly as possible, providing recess breaks while also maintaining our regular day-to-day schedule as much as possible. Parents can help by allowing for a good night’s rest and a healthy breakfast. Please make sure your child arrives on time while also avoiding dismissals each day of testing.
This test provides us important information regarding our curriculum and instruction, but we also know your children are so much more than a test score. If you have questions about the SBA, please don’t hesitate to contact Principal Drew Bairstow at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-8860, or Julie Lambert, director of instruction, at email@example.com or 603-775-8869.
Dates for Smarter Balanced Testing
Grade 3 Mathematics: March 15-March 21
Grade 3 ELA: March 22-March 25
Grade 4 Mathematics: March 29-April 1
Grade 4 ELA: April 4-April 8
Grade 5 Mathematics: April 11-April 14
Grade 5 ELA: April 15 & 18, May 2 & 3
Fun Fact #3: Diet Coke and Mentos are a great way to demonstrate how different rocks are formed from a lava flow.
— LincolnStreetSchool (@ExeterLSS) January 21, 2016
Fun Fact #2: The Exeter Diorite is evidence that there used to be a volcano here in Exeter (only about 100 million years ago)
— LincolnStreetSchool (@ExeterLSS) January 21, 2016
Fun 4th grade volcano fact from #unh professor Julie Bryce: Basaltic lava commonly found on Earth is same as black spots on the moon!
— LincolnStreetSchool (@ExeterLSS) January 21, 2016
Each grade level has now had a chance to practice the Smarter Balanced assessment at Lincoln Street School. Each grade level spent a total of about 1 hour working through the computerized assessment. Teachers harnessed this opportunity to instruct their students in both how to use the technology in addition to the content of the test. Teachers modeled thought processes and the use of available tools in addition to interacting and problem solving one-on-one with students.
John DePlanche, SAU Technology Services, was available to monitor our bandwidth usage during each test session. We were able to administer the test while also continuing with regular classroom technology demands. No special accommodations or limitations were needed. This development means that the entire school can be assessed more efficiently this year, taking much less time than in the past, and it will make valuable instructional technology resources more available to students not testing. Thank you to the Exeter PTO for purchasing additional Chromebook computers freeing up our school funds to upgrade our wireless network infrastructure. These new capabilities would not be possible without their generous support.
Please read Principal of Main Street School, Mr. Adler’s, recent post providing information and our school district’s rationale for putting forth a warrant article for the purpose of creating space for a full day kindergarten program. Click this link to visit the post directly: LINK to MSS
Dear Main Street School Families,
Full Day Kindergarten– Many years of hard work and study about the possibility of full day Kindergarten are coming to fruition this budget year. After a great deal of study and deliberation the Exeter School Board anticipates that it will be putting forth a warrant article to raise $5,400, 000 to support the building of an eight room addition to MSS that will enable us to house Full Day Kindergarten for all of the students. The Exeter School District budget and any proposed warrant articles will be voted upon on March 8th. It is the vision of the Exeter School Board that implementation of a Full Day Kindergarten is a necessary part of a high-quality education program for all students and should be implemented in the Exeter School District as soon as possible.
There are many ways that we expect that having a Full Day Kindergarten program at MSS would be different for our Kindergarten students. It would give us more time to support foundational skills, while also allowing us to have a more unhurried day that meets the developmental needs of our students. This would include more opportunities for creative learning and opportunities for peer interaction and the application of social skills. There would be a chance to explore subjects such as science, social studies, the arts, and health in more depth. In addition we would be able to provideadditional differentiation of instruction and flexible grouping of children according to their needs and interests.
If this warrant passes in March, the building process would begin during the 2016-2017 school year. The bulk of construction would take place during the 2017-2018 year and Full Day Kindergarten would start the fall of 2018.
If you are interested in learning more about Full Day Kindergarten, I will be sharing an update at the PTO meeting this month on Tuesday, January 19th at 7:00 pm in the MSS library. I also encourage anyone who is interested in this proposal to attend the deliberative budget session that will be held at Lincoln Street School on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at 7:00 pm. This would be an important time to ask questions and share your input.
In reading and language arts classes, students are working on many skills.
- Describe characters in stories and how their actions affect the story.
- Understand what an author means by the works he/she uses.
- Identify and understand the importance of non-fiction text features
- Similes, metaphors, and idioms
- Prefixes and suffixes
- Cursive handwriting
- Weekly practice of reading fluency
Some students have started the Simple Machines unit, with activities including building with Legos, playing The Bicycle Race game, and accessing the EDHeads.org website. EDHeads is an online educational resource that provides free science and math games and activities that promote critical thinking. Other students are studying nutrition and completing activities on the foodplate.gov website. In math, students are learning about area and perimeter while figuring out how to design a rabbit pen!
In reading, students are working on monthly book reports, designing board games to demonstrate their understanding of setting, plot, and character development. Many classes are also enjoying using Edmodo to “discuss” Fish in a Tree with their teacher and classmates. They are answering higher-level thinking questions and learning how to offer constructive responses to peer posts. Other students are working on research skills in science and social studies classes. They are completing geology projects using multiple texts and online sources and drafting informational essays. Many students are also completing various writing assignments designed to support their study of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Many students are studying chemistry in science right now. They have recently completed the HYG chemical reaction experiment. Prior to completing the experiment they worked through the steps of the scientific method and made hypotheses. During the experiment they were able to observe a chemical reaction producing heat, gas, and a color change! Students were very excited by what they observed. In social studies, they continue their studies of the early colonies of the New World.
In reading, students are working in literature circles while practicing I Can statements such as, I can accurately quote from a text, I can identify how a narrator’s point of view influences a story, and I can compare and contrast stories from the same genre.
In math, fifth grade students have been working on developing their fraction sense, and adding and subtracting fractions.