Here is teacher Jackie’s mid-term overall remarks about D’s progress in her class. I was really amazed at the level of detail in this report and am so thankful to have Jackie in our lives at this critical time.
Dashiell bounces into the Loowit classroom each day with a huge smile. After verbally greeting his teachers and peers he chooses a morning activity, which most often involves putting together the United States puzzle. Dashiell and a classmate love to reassemble the puzzle day after day, and have become increasingly quick! When Morning Meeting begins, he helps clean up and finds his seat. Dashiell’s smile stays with him throughout the school day and is accompanied by his positive attitude and excitement for learning. No matter what the subject or content matter of class is, Dashiell approaches it with happy energy. He eagerly participates in discussions, regularly demonstrating a solid grasp of concepts and excellent recall from prior experiences.
A goal for Dashiell at the beginning of the year was to develop strategies for sustaining focus on the task at hand, specifically with writing-related activities. As his writing fluency has progressed, so too has his ability to persevere with class work. At the beginning of the year he was often seen on the floor more than in a chair, but he has figured out ways to move his body and complete his work. There are still the occasional moments when he is found balancing on his stomach on his wobble stool, to which he responds red-faced with a giant Dashiell smile.
Socially, Dashiell has many friends both in his class and around the school. He is well-liked by all and plays with a variety of peers during recess. Loowit and Kalama have recently started having ‘extended last break’ time together and Dashiell enthusiastically offered to teach a kindergartener how to play two square in the back playground. He always seems to make the most of his break times, physicially speaking, as he is usually covered in mud from the knees down. After games of ninjas and guards in the wetlands his whole front side will be dirty or wet. Dashiell simply and seriously explains, “I had to crawl through the trees so I wouldn’t be seen!”
This fall in Thematics the Loowits investigated Vancouver’s past and present. The class explored the history of their city by visiting Fort Vancouver and taking a walking tour through historical downtown sites. After touring the Fort each student contributed a drawing for a large-scale map displayed in the classroom. Next, students brainstormed some of the special places from our community. We had traveled to many different landmarks on our walking tour and each student chose a place to visit outside of school and learned about its history, purpose and some fun facts. Dashiell chose Pearson Air Museum for his project and was able to draw a detailed picture of the building from a photograph and add it to the collage map. In preparation for Culminating Event the Loowit class performed the play Life at Fort Vancouver. Dashiell selected to be Amos Short and did a wonderful job memorizing and delivering his lines. He was engaged in every rehearsal and performance, never missed a cue and could help others when necessary. At the end of the study the students worked collaboratively to creatively construct a model of Vancouver of the future. Dashiell worked with Emma on several buildings, including the mall. The pair worked very well together. They communicated frequently and could elaborate off of each other’s ideas. When challenges arose, the pair sought and accepted teacher guidance. During Culminating Event, Dashiell happily toured guests through our futuristic city, sharing the many intricate details about the city’s buildings.
It has truly been a pleasure getting to know Dashiell better this year! He is extremely personable and loves to share about events and happenings outside of school, keeping us apprised of his adventures. His zest for life and learning is contagious and his smile never ceases to bring joy to the classroom. Academically he has exhibited measured and consistent progress across all areas of the curriculum and has much of which to feel proud. I look forward to celebrating many more achievements with Dashiell this year and next!
Here are the pictures she attached to this overall report:
Jackie also wrote up remarks for the subject areas of Literacy:
Dashiell has made consistent and measured growth in his reading abilities this year. In September he was reading CVCE (consonant-vowel-consonant-silent-e) words and his group began reading in the Primary Phonics series. These books progressed in difficulty, adding additional long vowel patterns, incorporating consonant blends and compound words. He was devouring these books and in November Dashiell started reading Level 2 trade books. Trade books are full of sight words, which are difficult to sound out and mostly need to be memorized. Dashiell easily commits sight words to memory and after only a couple of weeks he made the leap into the Magic Tree House series and has not looked back. In his group he is learning a variety of strategies to use when he encounters an unfamiliar word, such as dividing the word into syllables or chunks, using the context of the sentence to predict and looking at illustrations when available. During reading groups Dashiell is usually engaged in the story and accurately tracks while his partner reads. He will self-correct when misreading a word, and he will reread a phrase or sentence to increase the fluency. He is working on applying intonation when reading out loud by changing his voice to represent characters’ emotions or signaling the difference between a statement and a question. Upcoming goals for Dashiell’s group are to focus more on strengthening comprehension skills such as making connections, asking questions and analyzing elements of story. Daily reading aloud at home and school remain essential for Dashiell’s reading development.
Writing has been an area of significant growth for Dashiell this year. At the beginning of the year it was very difficult for him to complete one sentence in a session. It was a subject in which the process was challenging, but additionally his ability to focus was low. After practicing handwriting and building fluency with the act of writing, Dashiell’s production has improved, although it remains an area for continued practice. During the first term of the year the class focused on narrative writing. Students practiced the genre by writing about personal events. Recently, the class began exploring story writing through an integrated art project, inspired from the book Snowmen at Night. Attached is an excerpt from Dashiell’s story. His tale includes a catchy beginning about several snowmen and snowomen are skiing in the park. His penmanship and spacing between words is excellent and Dashiell works hard to apply conventional spelling. Looking ahead, his group will be participating in an informative writing unit in conjunction with our All About Animals thematic study.
And in Math, we got these remarks and photos:
The first graders spent the beginning of the fall term exploring and communicating about numbers during math. With a particular focus on combinations to ten, the students were introduced to important math models such as the number rack and five- and ten-frames. Next they worked to develop efficient, effective, and sensible strategies for adding and subtracting single-digit numbers. Using dice and dominoes they formed fact families and solved math stories that helped them understand the relationship between addition and subtraction. They became very familiar with equations by using them to represent math stories, number rack models, and domino relationships. Students were introduced to equations that are displayed vertically, that begin with the sum or difference, and learned to solve for an unknown. During Number Corner the students have improved their ability to make observations and predictions about each month’s calendar square pattern. They have explored number models for 2, 5 and 10, connecting number trees, equations and math stories, and the fractional amounts whole, halves and fourths.
Mathematics is an area of strength for Dashiell. He demonstrates excellent mental math skills, yet he can express his thinking using words or symbols. Although he began the year with a strong number sense, he has deepened his understanding in recent months. Dashiell sees numbers inside of numbers, like eight is five and three more, or 12 is ten and two more, and can apply this thinking to larger numbers as well. This skill allows Dashiell to use creative and informal strategies for addition and subtraction. Dashiell is skilled in recording the four equations for a fact family and is improving his ability to write a math story to match an equation. When solving math stories or reading instructions, Dashiell is usually accurate, and is learning to double check his thinking and work. When working independently, Dashiell often needs reminding to limit socialization and focus on the task at hand. During small group lessons he is attentive and an enthusiastic participant who loves to share his thinking. He enjoys working collaboratively and has shown positive cooperation skills.
So, all in all, some things to work on, but also a lot of progress to be proud of. I love this last image of Dashiell at the white board, in his snow-wet pants. It really sums him up.
The “Specials” teachers all did mini progress reports as well, with a generic description of class activities followed by a personal observation. From teacher Dana in Music:
Dashiell is doing well in music this year. He loves to learn new songs and play the instruments. When asked about his favorite thing in music, Dashiell replied, “I really like talking drum because it allows me to run inside and I don’t get to do that all the time.” He later said, “Playing the xylophone is one of my strengths because I’m a natural at it.” Dashiell is a good student and a pleasure to have in class.
From Peter, PE teacher:
Dashiell enjoys PE. Dashiell is constantly moving the entire PE class. He spends his work time investigating things in nature or organizing a running and chasing game with his friends. Dashiell’s physical abilities continue to grow. He shows strong gains in agility, balance and stamina. Dashiell has a knack for problem-solving and strategy. He uses his strong ability to move to help him solve problems in tagging or evading games. He also very much enjoyed fencing this year.
And from Jared, Science teacher:
Dashiell has really enjoyed the building aspect of science this term. He has been successful with creating a car that meets the criteria and constraints of each build. He is able to take issues he had with the previous build and learn from them to improve on the next build when we discuss how to solve them as a class. However, when he comes across an issue during a build, he will often be unable to think about how to solve it on his own. If his partner is able to come up with a solution he is willing to follow their lead. If both of them are unsure of what to do, they keep trying the same thing hoping it will work this time. I know over time as Dashiell matures and continues to have this experiences this lack of what to do will change and he will begin to problem solve during the issues.
Dashiell works well with any of his peers. He is popular and often has many of them that want to work with him. He is able to advocate for his ideas, but is also willing to compromise and listen to his partner. When conflict between himself and his partner arises, Dashiell attempts to resolve it on his own before bringing in an adult.
Car building and racing was of course right up his street, since he’s been playing with cars since he was born…
I’ve only displayed the narratives and pictures here, but there are assessments for specific milestones and goals. D has some areas to work on, like reading comprehension, and time telling.