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Today: 4/24/14
All Day: 4th Grade SBAC Field Tests
9:00 AM "Mr. Funnelhead" Assembly/ 3rd - 5th Grades
10:00 AM "Mr. Funnelhead" Assembly/ K - 2nd Grades
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Message from Ms. Frank

This week began with “Flute for Two” opera assemblies on Monday morning and ended with all 5th graders returning safely from their overnight Science Camp at the Marin Headlands on Friday afternoon.  And, needless to say, there was A LOT of learning going on in-between. 

Next week’s highlight will be the Science Fair on Friday, April 25, beginning at 5:00 p.m.  This promises to be a treat for the whole family with 3rd – 5th grade projects on display, demonstrations by the Campolindo High School Robotics Club, and solar telescopes and meteorite samples available from the Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society.  You won't want to miss it!

Also, the date has been set to bring the entire Rheem Team together to build our new Kindergarten Playground!   This one-of-a-kind Rheem Team experience will take place on Saturday, May 31st and Sunday, June 1st.    Please contact parent volunteer organizer, Stacia Ruffolo to volunteer!  Keep in mind that there are many ways to volunteer – from actual construction, to sorting materials, to bringing refreshments!  All parents are welcome and encouraged to participate.

As always, thank you for your support!







Mindset Matters

Mindset Matters
April 18, 2014

In the March 6 installment of “Mindset Matters,” parents were given suggestions about ways to praise their children.  To help instill a growth mindset in children, parents are encouraged is to praise them for their effort rather than for talent or the final result.

The following table includes some specific examples:

Do not say…

Do say…

You are so smart!

You work hard and it shows! (Be specific about complementing the specific process and/or effort the child demonstrates)

You are a great athlete.  You could be the next (pick super athlete)!

“Your focus on ______ (batting stance, dribbling, etc.) has really made a positive difference.”

“I noticed that you pay good attention when you are on the field. “

(If admiring another athlete, focus on the effort and/or  attitude shown)

You always get good grades; that makes me happy.

When you put forth effort, it really shows in your grades.  You should be proud of yourself.  We are proud of you!

You are a gifted musician! 

You seem to really enjoy playing the piano.  Keep practicing, and you will see amazing results!

You drawing is wonderful; you are my little artist!

I see that you have been practicing your drawing; what a great improvement!  Tell me about it.

So, the next time you are ready to praise your child, stop and think about how to use that opportunity to foster a growth mindset by celebrating your child’s effort and attitude through the experience – rather than just the final accomplishment.

Click here to access previous Mindset Matters postings


Common Core-ner

Common Core-ner
April 11, 2014

This past week, Rheem 5th graders joined thousands of other students in California by participating in the Smarter Balanced Field Tests, designed to measure their understanding of the new common core requirements.  Again, this is a “test of the test” -- a unique opportunity for our students and staff to experience the new testing standards and format in order to best prepare us for the official test launch in spring 2015.

For Ms. Hillhouse and our 5th grade teachers, administering these new field tests required lots of scheduling adjustments to coordinate the use of technology (we are practicing on two platforms: desktops in the Computer Lab and Chromebooks in the classroom), and helping each other and the students problem-solve the computerized format.  A very unscientific survey of our 5th graders during lunch time revealed the following comments:

“It was kind of fun, but I couldn’t find the strike-out key.”

“It was hard to type in fractions and mixed numbers.”

“My computer wouldn’t work, so I used a Chromebook.”

 “I like pencil and paper better.”

“I like using the computer WAY better!”

“Sometimes it’s hard to remember where the highlighter and other tools are”

“The math was a bit challenging, and I didn’t like typing a paragraph.”

“They should make it so you could read it OR listen to it!”

“Chromebooks are fun!”

From both the teachers’ observations and students’ perspectives, we are getting a lot of important information on how to best meet the challenges of this new testing format.  Our 4th graders will be taking the Field Tests April 21 – May 2, and our 3rd graders will being the Field Tests on Monday, May 5th.   We will continue to rely on the lifeskills of patience, flexibility, cooperation, and perseverance to help us through!

For more information about the Smarter Balanced Field Tests including practice questions, please click here: Smarter Balanced

Click here to access "Common Core-ner" previous postings