Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Especially for new families, please note that on August 27 the King PTO will host a Welcome Night for New Families complete with tours of the school featuring some of King's finest students as tour guides :-).
Saturday, June 14, 2008
The first two prompts, Top Vacation Place and Sports Teams, are scored intellimetrically. The third prompt, Personal Narrative, is an Ann Arbor Public Schools MyPrompt and will only receive a holistic score.
Here is some information about the prompts:
Top Vacation Place
Choose a favorite place you like to visit or go to on vacation and write an essay that convinces students your age to visit that place. Remember to give reasons why your readers should travel to the place you picked.
Both boys and girls play sports at school. Some students feel that boys and girls should play on the same team, while other students feel it is better for boys and girls to be on different teams. Do you think it is a good idea to have boys and girls on the same team or do you think that boys and girls should play on different teams?
Write an essay that convinces your school principal that girls and boys should or should not play on the same team.
Identify an important moment in your life. Describe the experience for your readers. Your memoir should include a problem in the introduction as a way of introducing tension. You should describe characters and setting. It will also be helpful to include dialogue and inner dialogue. Your personal narrative should try to "show not tell" in one or two important moments. Finally, you should resolve the problem that you set forth in your introduction within the conclusion of your personal narrative. Remember, writing personal narrative, or memoir, is writing about a single moment or event in your life and writing well.
Click here for technical requirements for MyAccess.
Write On! Summer Activities for the Whole Family
Monday, June 9, from 6:30-8pm at 826michigan
Are you looking for ways to encourage your student writer at home over the summer? Please join us as we explore family activities that promote writing as well as effective ways to respond to children about their writing. Help your child discover joy and meaning in writing!
This workshop, taught by Kim Pavlock and Kim Hetrick, just might change your life. It is, as you might expect, free. Email Amy@826michigan.org to reserve your spot!
Friday, June 13, 2008
Dear MLK Families,
It has been a great year at MLK! I continue to appreciate being a part of this very special community and look forward to continuing our hard work together next school year. Wherever the summer months take you, please be safe and take your King PRIDE with you.
In this end of the year update, I am sharing information I think you’ll find interesting J: achievement, writing, good-byes, thanks, information about the front drive, and some dates for next fall!
At the beginning of the year during Curriculum Night, I shared that writing shows as the most significant academic need at MLK. As of June 2008, it is still the greatest need even though we’ve reformed so much and seen major changes since the 2006-07 school year. The most visible of these changes have been adopting new writing curriculum and hosting several parent writing education evenings at school. Other less visible changes include development of an implementation calendar for writing, new district writing assessment tools, and professional development for teachers.
We measure the results of our writing efforts using both report card (classroom) data and MEAP data. The MEAP data from this school year was recently released, and it shows below. When you look at it, please know that the “Advanced” and “Proficient” columns represent passing MEAP scores while “Partially Proficient” and “Not Proficient” represent MEAP scores that are not passing. The three columns on the right show the overall passing rates for MLK School, the AAPS, and the State of Michigan.
MLK Adv. + Prof.
AAPS Adv. + Prof.
State Adv. + Prof.
English Language Arts
MLK Adv. + Prof.
AAPS Adv. + Prof.
State Adv. + Prof.
English Language Arts
MLK Adv. + Prof.
AAPS Adv. + Prof.
State Adv. + Prof.
English Language Arts
The data above shows King School is doing very well in writing (and even exceptionally well) when compared with other schools. However, I still sometimes think “with all this work, focus, and energy being expended on writing, are we seeing the gains we expect and want?” My quick answer is we are seeing a lot of what we expect, but here are two pieces of context about where we are:
- We have been using our new curriculum for a short amount of time (instructionally speaking). It will take longer before our kids have experienced the “full program” and the full benefits can be seen. Our teachers will also get better at implementing the curriculum over time, which will have an additional positive impact. This isn’t all that different than what occurred after adopting Everyday Math years ago—we saw gains in achievement more significantly over time than we did at the beginning.
- We see differences between the writing achievement in classrooms at King and what shows in the MEAP writing scores. I would hope and expect that the two sets of data would be close to the same because the classroom assessments and the MEAP assessment are both based on the same Grade Level Content Expectations. Other schools in Ann Arbor are seeing similar discrepancies. So . . . it begs the question “why does this difference exist if we are all supposed to be measuring the same things?” I’m not completely sure at this point but will be investigating over the summer and into next year. One piece of figuring out what is happening will occur this summer when several King teachers and I will “audit” our MEAP writing. We will read the writing produced by our students, score it using the MEAP assessment guidelines, and compare our scores with what MEAP scorers assigned the same piece of writing. Our score and the MEAP score should be the same. However, if there is a difference, the AAPS may choose to appeal the score. I hope to have more to share at Curriculum Night on September 9.
Writing This Summer
I hope our kids don’t stop writing this summer. Here are a few ideas about including writing in your summer plans. Please feel free to vary them or come up with your own.
- Write a family journal about your summer. Talk about what happens during the summer, and then each person can write a word, a sentence, a paragraph, a page—whatever—about the summer events. Do this regularly and you’ll end up with journals that will be read over and over for years. Even the youngest pre-writers can share verbally what they want written.
- Get an idea by reading (or rereading) the information shared at one of the parent education evenings over the past two years: http://karrskingblog.blogspot.com/2007/12/report-from-parent-writing-workshop.html
- Sign up for an 826michigan.org writing program. Check them out on the Web or check the MLK website.
- If your child was in fourth of fifth grade this year, they can participate in a MyAccess writing prompt from any computer connected to the Internet. Heck—parents could try one too. Students use the same username and password as they did this year at school. If parents choose to try one, they should use their child’s username and password. Check the King website for more information.
We’re saying goodbye to an MLK School legend and a couple who have been with us just a short time at King. Here is the complete goodbye list:
- First and foremost, Mrs. Cheryl Jones is retiring after dedicating 39 years to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School community. She is an exceptional teacher and person, I’m positive that years from now people will still say “Remember Mrs. Jones from King School? It was amazing when she . . .” For me, she is one of those people you meet in life and feel lucky to have shared some time and space together. Just like the students she has helped, I’ve learned a lot from her too. Hopefully she will come back to visit often.
- Ms. Caroline Hughes, our media specialist, is moving to Boulder, Colorado after only one year at MLK. She’s done a wonderful job in our media center, but life has led her in a different direction and to a different state. We wish her all the best.
- Mr. Jeff Taylor, who taught fifth grade this year after coming from Clague Middle School is returning to his middle school roots. I know this year’s fifth graders will enjoy seeing Mr. Taylor at Clague next year. Keep up the good work, Mr. T.
Thanks to Laurie Barnett
It isn’t often we single out a parent volunteer because there are so many great parents who put in long, long hours on behalf of the kids at King. However, we’d also be remiss to not note Laurie Barnett’s selfless contributions to the school. In just the last four school years alone Laurie has served two years as the PTO president, two years as the School Improvement Team co-chair, has worked closely to coordinate the PTO Silent Auction, and contributed significantly with fifth grade efforts to go to Space Camp. In addition, this year she had a major hand in rewriting the PTO bylaws. And I’m sure I’ve probably missed two or three other ways she’s contributed! Most significantly, I’ve seen Laurie represent and support the King community positively each day—and she’s done it in ways that did not necessarily benefit her or her family. All I can say is WOW! Thank you, Laurie! We’ve all benefited from knowing you and watching you contribute to this community.
Front Drive Update
This past week, the representatives on the Building Renovation Team voted to not have the front drive redesign plans put out for bids this summer. Despite widespread recognition of safety issues based on some parent behavior during drop off and pick up, the overwhelming input from the community has been that the “engineered” redesign of the front drive was not necessarily safer.
This being the case, I am excited to announce that our PTO has instituted a Safety Committee for next year. The group has already met with me once to more concretely define procedures around drop off and pick up. As we begin the 2008-09 school year, you will likely see the beginning outcomes of our collaboration in a summer mailing, the first day of school packet, the MLK website, and eNotes. We hope to have information written in several languages to facilitate communication with our newest families who may not be proficient in English. Thanks to Amy Cell, Susan Gechter, and Eve Losman so far for their effort and input.
School Dates Coming Up
Aug. 27: Welcome Night for New Families, 7-8 PM
Sept. 2: First Day for students
Sept. 2: PTO Welcome Coffee –9-9:30 AM, All Parents Welcome - MLK Multipurpose Room
Sept. 5: Spirit Friday at MLK—Wear your blue and yellow or the colors of your favorite colors.
Sept. 9: Curriculum Night at MLK –Parents only please. This is the one evening of the 2008-09 school year where there is no childcare.
o 6pm - Curriculum Night Presentation #1 in classrooms
o 6:45pm - All MLK Community Presentation - MLK multipurpose room
o 7:10pm Curriculum Night Presentation #2 in classrooms
Sept. 12: Spirit Friday at MLK
Sept. 16: PTO meeting, 7pmSept. 19: Spirit Friday at MLK
Sept. 26: Picture Day
Check the MLK website for a full calendar for next year: http://king.a2schools.org
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Thanks to everyone for a great year! Have a save, happy, and healthy summer!
Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School - Class of 2015
Requests the honor of your presence
at the Fifth Grade Graduation Ceremony
in the King Multipurpose Room on
Thursday the twelfth of June
two thousand and eight
at 6 o'clock in the evening.
Reception to follow immediately after the ceremony.
Friday, June 06, 2008
I've heard there will be a dunk tank at school tonight . . . so if you want to see your principal in it, you will need to be there at 6 PM. :-)
As a reminder, only fifth grade students are eligible to go in the dunk tank otherwise--and ONLY if they have signed permission from a parent/guardian.
Due to the limited availability of parking at King, parents should plan to park in the neighborhood during all evening events at King.
There is NO PARKING in front of the school, by the fire hydrant, or on the left-hand side of the front circular drive.
Reason: The front drive is a fire lane and must be kept accessible for emergency vehicles. The fire hydrant area must also be kept clear.
Drop Off/Pick Up
The front entrance will be available for drop off and pick up ONLY. AT NO TIME SHOULD PARKING OCCUR IN FRONT OF THE SCHOOL.
As a reminder, evening events at school are family events. Parents/guardians are responsible for monitoring their children
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Pizza will be available for $10/pizza (no preorder was necessary), drinks for $1, and additional ice cream tickets for $2.
Come honor Mrs. Jones tonight at the Ice Cream Social. Mrs. Jones is retiring at the end of the school year after nearly 40 years of teaching at King!
See you there!
Monday, June 02, 2008
Congratulations to all of the students and their families who generously donated $840.00 to disaster relief in Burma and China! In four short days, our students emptied their piggy banks, sold popsicles and juice at the Memorial Day parade and encouraged their parents to help. After the remaining coins trickle in, a final check will be written from King school to Save the Children. Great job boys and girls! You should be very proud of your efforts.
Mrs. Shah's AM and PM classes planted the beautiful annuals to your right as you enter the building from the parking lot. Eighteen kids in the AM and the same force in the PM learned about soil and its components, drainage, particle size and ratio of clay to sand to organic matter last week. Then they all marched outside to cooperatively dig and mix clay, o. matter and sand to plant their Marigolds and Blue Saliva. Mrs. Ryan later added the Cleome.
Who would think, Kindergarteners could be such good listeners and eager gardeners! Mrs. Shah cleverly had them line up in two lines, boys and girls, each with their flowers to plant so as to get a balanced mix of yellow and blue. While they waited in line, they tickled the toes of their individual plants to make them ready to plant and drink up the water. I think they could have planted many more, but alas we were out of time, and it takes a big force to keep a larger number of flowers watered over the summer. Which brings me to the next point....
Summer Help Request
I need helpers to weed and possibly water over the sunmmer. This can be a family effort, or a be by yourself, quiet time and weeding fest. It helps reduce stress while serving your community. OK it's work, but rewarding work. Once a month, within a small area is all that is needed. Contact Linda Ryan if willing. firstname.lastname@example.org or (734) 668-6176.
Submitted by Linda M. Ryan,
The annual Cake Walk will be held again this year at Friday's Ice Cream Social. Please Consider donating baked goods (homemade or store bought) for this fun event. Whole cakes, a dozen brownies or cookies, pies, anything with sprinkles and anything yummy are always big hits.
The Cake Walk is a "musical chairs" type event. Each winner selects their favorite baked good to take home and enjoy. Without your generous donations, we cannot run this event.
Drop off donations in the Teacher's Lounge at any time on Friday, June 6, or in the Multipurpose Room a half hour before the Ice Cream Social begins. Please attach a list of ingredients. If you donate store-bought items, feel free to leave them in their original containers.
Any questions, contact Diane Alson - email@example.com