Friday, April 14, 2017

Teachers Talk Math
Gold Rush teachers have been analyzing how our school math beliefs come to life K-5.  Teachers viewed other teachers' instruction and discussed student work from multiple grade levels.  When we examined artifacts and practices across the grade levels we saw students thinking deeply, justifying their thinking and taking risks while problem solving.  We also saw students collaborating and working on hands on math problems.  We were excited to see how our instruction aligns with our professional reading on best math practices!  

Gold Rush Math Beliefs

Kindergarten Example

Kindergarten students used tiles to create different addition problems.  
When students physically moved the tiles and created different visual arrangements they understood more deeply how we put numbers together in different ways when we add.  This activity also allowed students to see different number combinations and fact families.

Second Grade Example

In second grade students used base 10 strips to create their own animal.  They then used the base 10 strips to find the total number of cubes used.  The base 10 strips helped students understand place value and the concept of trading.  This helps students build number sense, or an understanding of what numerical places (ones, tens, hundreds etc.) represent. 

5th Grade Example

Fifth graders used base 10 blocks and money to represent fractions and decimals.  Students used these tools to represent collections, such as 11 tenths and 13 hundredths.  These tools allowed students to understand more deeply how to add and subtract fractions and decimals.

Spring Book Fair Success
Thank you PTO for an incredible spring book fair!  We all enjoyed purchasing new books! 

Class Placement Process

Creating balanced class lists that meet the needs of all students is a difficult endeavor.  This process involves hours of thoughtful dialogue between classroom teachers, administrators, and other staff members.  We take this responsibility very seriously.  Our process for creating class lists is detailed below.

· Teachers identify the social and academic needs of each student.  They refer to existing data and record pertinent information to assist them in their decision-making.

· Teachers meet as grade level teams to form class lists that are balanced.  Balanced classrooms meet each student’s academic, social and emotional needs.  Teachers consider each child’s personality, academic strengths and needs and friendships.  Learning specialists and the specials team also collaborate with classroom teachers to provide feedback.

· Each grade level team types a draft of their class list, which is then submitted to me.  I review each child’s placement and ensure that all parent input has been considered. Classroom teachers approve any additional changes to ensure classes remain balanced. 

· Class lists are finalized in August to reflect the addition of new students.

This process is consistent across grades K-4.  Our 5th grade team collaborates with teachers at Cimarron Middle School to ensure students’ success in 6th grade.

We strongly believe that this detailed and collaborative process creates learning environments that benefit all students.  It is a delicate balance that takes tremendous thought by professionals who know and care about your child.  Please remember that our ultimate goal is always to create balanced classes that promote the success of each child.  Please also know that your child is placed in a classroom for very specific reasons and that our process benefits all students.  Because of the input and thought given by teachers, parents, and administrators, we are reluctant to make changes once this process is complete as moving one child can disrupt the balance of an entire classroom. 

We do value parent input and welcome any insight you wish to share about your child’s strengths, needs and learning style.  We will take into consideration all pertinent information that you share with me on or before FRIDAY, April 28th.  While we welcome your input, 
we cannot honor specific teacher requests Please put your thoughts in writing and address them to me (Jenny Brown).  I will accept either a letter or email (

I cannot express enough how important it is that your thoughts are in writing.  As you can imagine, I receive a great deal of parent input and verbal information is nearly impossible to track.  Further, please direct all of this communication to me, as I am ultimately responsible for reviewing final class lists in July when teachers are not available.

New School App
Gold Rush has a new mobile app!  This is a great tool for getting all things GRE at your finger tips.  Click on the following links to download this app.

Earth Day
Gold Rush is currently collecting wearable shoes for earth day!  Click here for more information.

Pedestrian Bridge Closed for Maintenance
The Town of Parker will temporarily close the pedestrian bridge on Chambers Rd on Friday and Saturday, April 21 and 22.

Upcoming Events
* April 19:  Gold Rush SAC Meeting @ 4:00-4:50 at Gold Rush - Agenda 
   Legend Feeder SAC Meeting @ 5:00-6:00 PM at Legend High School - Agenda
* April 21: No School
* April 28: Talent Show @ 7:00