Elizabeth Manon » Weekly Updates March 2024

Weekly Updates March 2024

Every year, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) administers federally-required state assessments that help us gauge how our students are growing academically compared to their peers across the state. These tests also help us determine where additional supports and resources are needed in our schools. 

This spring, your child will take the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR), which measures student mastery of the Illinois Learning Standards in English language arts/literacy and mathematics in grades 3–8. The District testing window is March 4–April 19, 2024. Decatur will administer the test:

  • Grades 6 through 8 March 12 - March 14
  • Grades 3 through 5 March 19 - March 21
  • Makeups will start after spring break

Children cannot study for a standardized assessment like they would for a regular classroom test, but there are ways you can help your student prepare to do their best: 

  • Ensure your child attends school regularly so that they don’t miss out on important instruction 
  • Speak with your child about testing so that they understand why doing their best is important 
  • Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep the night before the assessment 
  • Ensure your child arrives to school on time on the day of the assessment 
  • Remind your child to take their time, listen to and read all directions, and tackle one question at a time 
  • Help your child maintain a positive mindset by reminding them of their strengths and accomplishments 
  • Review the Student Readiness Tools to gain familiarity with the testing experience. https://srt.testnav.com/psrt/psrt.html

We are committed to your child’s academic success. Please reach out to Lizzie Martino, [email protected] with any questions about this assessment. 

4th Grade
The class finished their One and Only Ivan novels this week. We were able to celebrate the end of the novel with projects. Students chose from writing a play, a sequel, a comic, a brochure or research. We performed the plays and shared our projects with the class. It was fun and I hope the students enjoyed the novel. They perfected finding figurative language, character point of view, conflict and mood. We also started out Imaginative Writing this week where students were given a photo and will develop a story based on the photo. In social studies we finished the lesson on Chicago and will wrap up the Midwest next week. 
3rd Grade
We are continuing to develop our biographies which will has been a very extensive and challenging project. They are learning so much about the steps that need to be taken to write a biography. We are cruising through Edward Tulane. Students are learning to make text to self connections, identifying types of conflict with specific characters and finding symbolism in the story. We will finish the book next week. I will cry and they will tease me, but that's ok!
Upcoming Dates:
Spring Break - 3/25-4/1
School Resumes - 4/2
Conferences - 4/10
4th Grade
We finished a fun podcast unit on The Mysterious Disappearance of Mars Patel. We listened to the podcast, took notes, answered discussion questions and had class talks after each episode. Students had to adjust to listening to content as opposed to reading. They did an excellent job taking notes and listening for clues to solve the mystery. I was so happy to hear that they want to listen to the other seasons on their own to see how the story ends. It served as a nice break from reading and annotating but allowed the class to focus on intentional listening. 
We will finish our Imaginative Writing when we return from break. We will also start unit 5 in Social Studies upon our return. Unit 5 focuses on the Southwest. 
3rd Grade
We finished Edward Tulane and I read the last page without crying! (Huge for me). Students learned how to complete their first RACE response. They had one question that they had to answer and support their answer with evidence from the text. I think they enjoyed the book and were able to identify important comprehension strategies throughout the book. 
We finished our Biography writing which will be graded for the 4th quarter. (We just finished this week). They did an awesome job using a resource and writing in their own words. In Science we will move start the Environment and Survival unit when we return. 3rd grade finished the Balancing Forces this week and can tell you all you need to know about magnets and forces. 
Have a wonderful Spring Break!