Class Notes for March 16-20, 2015


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The play’s the thing this week at Lewis School. Please consider attending the school’s production of “Jack and the Three Sillies” on Thursday and Friday nights at 6:30. Four of our Room 24 students are involved in the play and it promises to be a fun family experience for all ages. Tickets are available online at

We are nearing the end of our unit on division and fractions. I would like to see as many students as possible finish the Fractions section of Front Row Math. The link is on the sidebar of the class homepage. We will do some review of the unit after spring break, finish the last couple of lessons, the take the post assessment.

Speaking of taking tests after spring break, I wanted to let you know that third, fourth, and fifth graders will begin several weeks of federally-mandated reading and math tests from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. Testing will take place across the school week, with reading tests taking place during one week and math tests taking place the following week.  All testing will take place before lunch.

Rather than seeing the test as a one-time, high stress event, I will try to fold the experience into existing classroom knowledge. During the first week after spring break, I will talk with the kids about different types of genres in reading, establishing “the test” as a unique type of genre. We will talk about how good readers change their reading strategies to match the genre. This emphasis on strategies has been and will continue to be an important part of our classroom throughout the year.

We will look at and practice taking Smarter Balanced tests. This is a very different test from the former OAKS test. Here is a link to some practice questions: If you have any questions about the test, do not hesitate to ask. Also, a recent Lewis Elementary School News ( mentioned a Portland Council PTA parents’ forum on testing scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1st at Cleveland High School.

Have a great spring break!



About Mr. Colvin

I'm a retired elementary teacher (classroom and music) who taught at Lewis and Woodmere elementary schools in SE Portland. I like to teach, play guitar, take photos, and ride my bike.
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