Sunday, September 27, 2020

The Week of September 28, 2020

The upcoming week is fixin’ to be a good one! I’ve really enjoyed seeing all the great works that are being accomplished while e-learning, and I look forward to what this week holds, as well! Keep in mind that all required works are posted in your Google Classroom account. Choice works are located in the “Announcements” section of ItsLearning. While not required, choice works can provide fun enrichment opportunities. The end of the term is coming up in 2 weeks! In preparation for the end of term, please review all your work in Google Classroom for completeness and to read the notes from teachers made on the assignments. 

We will begin our spelling and vocabulary program this week! Each Wednesday, you will receive developmentally appropriate spelling and vocabulary lists to study. The following Wednesday, you will complete a vocabulary activity and a spelling assessment based on these words. It is suggested that each day you spend some time practicing how to spell the spelling words and learning the definition of the vocabulary. Note that you will NOT be required to know how to spell the vocabulary words. I have updated the daily checkoff list to include spelling and vocabulary practice (See below). 

Finally, SCCPSS is in the process of transitioning into Phase 2 of reopening the schools. It is important that you are checking the SCCPSS Virtual School Reopening Guidance page at frequently to keep up with the swift flood of information being shared. I, personally, do not know much more about phase 2 than what has been shared with the general public. I will forward any and all relevant info. that I can your way. 

Have a wonderful weekend, 

Mr. Trent

Friday, September 18, 2020

The Week of September 21, 2020

The rain clouds are slowly clearing and the sun will soon shine again!  What a wonderful way to begin another week together!  This week will include daily zoom lessons on grammar analysis, structured informational writing skills, geometric measurements, and cultural studies.  I’m excited to share that reading groups will begin this week! Please see the class schedule on ItsLearning to see when your group will be meeting.  In addition, two new required assignments will be added to your workload:

  1.  Spend 20 minutes each day doing math skills maintenance at

  2.  Complete 1 reading comprehension activity at each week.

Below is a daily check-off list you may wish to use during each day.  It lists all required works and lessons with a space to draw a satisfying check-mark when it’s complete.  Feel free to print and use it if you will benefit from this more structured approach to daily tasks.  

I’m sure you have heard all the news coming from the recent school board meeting about the eventual return to the classroom.  I’m also sure you, like I, have many questions about what this will look like.  Please know that I will pass along any information as soon as I am able to.  I suggest you keep a close eye on SCCPSS social media and school board meetings.  I’m sure a flurry of information is forthcoming that we will need to work through together.  

I wish you a restful weekend,



Friday, September 11, 2020

The Week of September 14, 2020

With the exception of a few students, we are finished with our fall MAP assessments!  Thank you for your efforts in completing these tests.  I will use the results to help me plan lessons that are appropriate for your strengths and needs.  

Speaking of lessons, I have some great ones planned this week!  Your lessons may include more practice with writing informational paragraphs, part 2 of the Montessori Great Lesson “The Timeline of Life”, fun with geometry, and some more grammar work.  In addition, check out the fun choice works I’ve uploaded to ItsLearning under the “Announcements” section!  As always, your lesson schedule is posted on ItsLearning and your required followup works are found in Google Classroom.

You may note a change in our schedule when you look at the weekly ItsLearning calendar.  We will not be giving live lessons on Wednesdays.  Instead, we will be sharing a recorded lesson for you to watch and a followup for you to complete on Google Classroom.  It is important that you are marking yourself as present in ItsLearning each Wednesday.  Also, be on the lookout for more small-group lessons that have been added to the schedule with Mr. Mark and Ms. Connie.  Students who need to attend these lessons will be noted on the schedule with the appropriate Zoom link to use.  

I’ve had a few questions about reading and spelling groups.  We will begin reading groups based on lexile scores the week of September 21st and developmental spelling groups the week of September 28th.  More information about these groupings will be forthcoming.  

Have a wonderful weekend,

Mr. Trent

Thursday, September 3, 2020

The Week of September 7, 2020 - MAP Assessment Info.

Dear Upper El Parents/Guardians,

We will be administering the Fall MAP assessment during the week of September
8th-11th, 2020. Tuesday will be a day of practice and preparation for logging on and off the NWEA MAP platform. We will begin administering the Reading assessment
Wednesday morning at 8am. The Math assessment will be given Thursday morning at
8am. Friday will be allocated for make-up assessments and/or students who need to
finish a section of the Math or Reading assessment.

Students will go to their regularly scheduled meetings on Tuesday, 9-8-20 where we will practice logging into the NWEA MAP platform. On Wednesday at 8:00am, students will use a special Zoom meeting code to enter the classroom in which they will take the reading assessment. This code will be found in the announcements on ItsLearning. The students will then follow the same procedure on Thursday for the math assessment. The MAP assessment is not timed, so the student will have until 11:00am each day to work on the assessment. If they are still not finished at 11:00am, they will have the opportunity to finish the assessment on Friday. If a student misses an assessment on Wednesday or Thursday, they will be able to make it up on Friday.

In preparation for the assessment, work with your child to create a quiet testing
environment with few or no distractions. If your child is attending a community center
during the school day, please inform the center that your child will need a space with
few or no distractions so your child can focus on the assessment.

During the test, if your child needs a bathroom break, please remind them to raise their hand to alert the teacher that they will be right back. If they have a question or need help, let your child know to send a private chat message to the teacher. Students must keep their camera on during the assessment. When they have completed the
assessment, students may quietly log off. Don’t forget explorations at 11:30!

We will not be giving lessons the week of MAP testing. Your child should be working on independent work, reading, math skills practice, or other educational activities after
testing during the week.

Thank you,
The Upper Elementary Team