Q. If my child is TD certified, will they still receive TD services from the TD teacher?
A. Yes, all students within the school who are identified as TD still receive services. With our Cambridge Program, the TD teacher not only pulls these students out from time to time, but she also pushes in with a team teach model .
Q. How does this affect leveled learning groups, and students with different abilities?
A. As with any classroom or level within the building, there will always be students on a wide variety of levels. And, just like all classes, our Cambridge teachers will not only teach to the class, but will also use data to differentiate as needed based on independent levels.
Q. Is the curriculum advanced/fast paced or just a different set of learning strategies involving a more hands on/global perspective to curriculum.
A. The curriculum truly is both. Students will be challenged and moved at a faster level based on the Cambridge Curriculum. However, all students still must be exposed and taught the grade level Common Core and expectations.
Q. Who will be the Cambridge staff for the 2016-17 school year?
A. In terms of the fifth grade teachers, our Cambridge teachers will remain as they were this year, Mrs. Huffman for math, Mrs. Mckenley for literacy, and Mrs. Adley for science. Based on staffing allotment's, teacher interest in the program, and training opportunities, we are still finalizing our 4th grade team. However, the Cambridge students will have 1 teacher for math, 1 for literacy, and 1 for science/social studies.
****Please join us on April 13th at 5:30 in the media center for a welcoming of our newest Cambridge Parents
As another effective instructional strategy, Mrs. Huffman has been utilizing the website: Learn Zillion as a way to further enhance her presentation on teaching her students about decimals, their place value, and multiplying and dividing them. Not only is this a wonderful tool to use, but it also provides the students with an additional perspective on their learning. Visiting Mrs. Huffman's Cambridge class also offers up the chance to truly see students involved in collaborative discussions. During a recent visit, the students were not only collaborating to solve problems, but they were explaining what strategy they had utilized, and why it worked. Just another great example of how our students are being challenged and pushed to the next level of learning.
Another important tool that Mrs. Huffman has continued to work on with her Cambridge students is their typing ability. Through her Cambridge Typing Challenge, she has created a friendly, non-required competition between students and students/teachers. With the students, they participate in online lessons, typing games/activities, and then will challenge another student. They select the passage online and they type as many words in one minute as possible, and errors do decrease their final WPM. Though this is not required, Mrs. Huffman does encourage strong typing habits, as this group of students continues to increase their use and understanding of technology, as well as participate in numerous projects and presentations.
Currently, Mrs. Mckenley and her Cambridge students are learning about debates and argumentive speeches and discussions. During their learning, the students have been discussing how they must clarify their thinking by constructing a plan to defend their reasoning. Through her own personal examples, Mrs. Mckenley has truly been able to capture the interest of her students by building strong connections with them. Such authentic examples and discussions revolving around "paying for school sports," which is a hot topic in North Carolina, as well as the country, have led the students to really think at a deeper level as this could ultimately affect them.
Below are some student projects based on recent learning and discussions on the Holocaust.
Below is an example from Mrs. Mckenley's class and their discussion on: "Should Students Wear School Uniforms?" During this discussion, the students were to collaborate with a partner to determine the evidence that the student writer had come up with to support wearing school uniforms.
Above: Student discussions on evidence to support wearing school uniforms:
-It helps them focus on their school work better
-It improves student attendance
-Students behave more appropriately
-Reduce violence in school
Recently, the students in Mrs. Adley's Cambridge Science class were studying the weather, its patterns, various conditions, and how all of these affect our daily lives. Both the students and Mrs. Adley have shared authentic experiences in terms of the weather and its effects. Additionally, the students have been working on weather related research topics, as well as creating dioramas to show how warm and cold fronts function. Make sure you check out the YouTube link below to see how these turned out.
Warm and Cold Front Dioramas:
Coming up in March, our Cambridge students will be taking an exciting fieldtrip to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Here, they will learn how NASCAR uses Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Additionally, they will develop a better understanding of Force and Motion. Stay tuned for pictures of the trip in next month's newsletter.
Spring Break! This year, have your child incorporate their learning from Cambridge if they are traveling for the break. Utilizing their research and writing skills, have your student think and act as a journalist, or travel agent. They can create their own travel magazine or brochure, while having fun and learning at the same time.
Things that they can look at:
1. What do you need to do before the trip? Any special forms of documentation, shots, etc.
2. Government warnings and or information
3. Costs related to the trip. (Flight, rentals, hotels, tour groups…)
4. Things to see in different areas of the geographical area.
5. Pictures of the area, climate, time changes...
6. Cultural background
The students in Mrs. Huffman's math class have been learning about and working with fractions and word problems associated with this standard. To further ensure student understanding as well as promote student led discussions, the students regularly must explain their answers and prove their responses. Additionally, they have learned about a few differences between British and American Math Terms:
Tick Check Mark
In Mrs. Mckenley's literacy class, the students are learning about Historical Fiction, how characters build specific traits, the effects these traits have on others, and external setting. Additionally, they are demonstrating and acting out examples of various "tones" that a character could display. With their current studies, the students have been learning about WW 2 and the Holocaust. One of the students even brought in some coins his Grandfather had given from that time period. To coincide with this, the Cambridge students will be visiting the Levine Jewish Community Center next week to learn about the Butterfly Project Exhibit. Below is a little information about this exhibit:
"The project is meant to memorialize the 1.5 million Jewish youth who perished during the Holocaust and to help combat anti-Semitism, indifference, and Holocaust denial through educational workshops that personalize the history for each participant. The goal of the project is to create 1.5 million ceramic butterflies, worldwide."
In Science, the students have been studying and learning about various weather patterns and types of winds. Recently, the students discussed and compared "local winds to global winds." As a way to further create a stronger connection for her students, Mrs. Adley was able to share her own personal experiences about living at the beach, and how the winds could affect the temperature and other weather patterns. The students truly have a great understanding of this as witnessed during their warm up activity, in which they constantly were able to explain and provide additional information based on Mrs. Adley's probing questions.
Below are some current pictures of our Cambridge Science students in Mrs. Adley's class as they make "slime," in order to produce a chemical change.
Cambridge Literacy : Based on helping our
students create strong cultural connections, the Cambridge
students have been studying and identifying various cultural
habits, traditions, and beliefs. With this information, they
have further been able to synthesize their learning, as well as
communicate their findings. Additionally, the students have
begun assessing their own nonfiction research projects based
on different world cultures. Coming up, they will begin working
in collaborative groups based on these cultures, while
also creating a multimedia presentation to presenting their
Below, the students have researched and analyzed information pertaining to other cultures and how they
celebrate holidays and traditions. In this case, you can see some of the similarities and differences between
the United States and Germany as to how they celebrate Halloween. Above we have New Years in Laos and
Cambridge Science: In Science, the students have been
learning about the water cycle through the completion of choice
menu’s, as well as collaborative group discussions. As a
culminating activity, the student groups will create either a
poster, demonstration, skit, or song, to be recorded and
presented through the 30 hands app for classroom viewing. This
is a great way for the students to not only learn and apply new
information, but also, work on authentic 21st century skills and
collaborative teamwork discussions..
Cambridge Math: In Math, our scholars are continuing to
work on division and order of operations, while consistently using
their interactive math notebooks. Additionally, they have been
working on a real world project in which they are using their
math skills to design a resort. Through this project, the students
are working collaboratively, while also being encouraged to use
the Google Sketch Up Program as a way to make an electronic
model of their resort. Through this project, the students are
conducting research in order to decide which city will house the
resort. Not only are they utilizing their math skills through this
project, but the students are now using research skills as well
based on geography to determine their location. In order to
design their resort, the students have received specific guidelines
that must be included. Throughout the project, Mrs. Huffman
has included various check-in points where the students will need
to reflect upon their current progress before determining the
next course of action. Authentic follow up word problems, based
on their personalized resort are included to allow the students to
continue to practice applying their mathematical knowledge.
This year, we are proud to offer the Cambridge Program for our current 5th grade students. Currently, we have 30 students enrolled in this program based on last year's application process. These students went through an application process in which their academics were reviewed, they completed a writing sample, and received teacher recommendations. As a result of this, our first cohort of students are successfully engaged in higher order learning activities, based on authentic application, real world problems, and collaboration within their core classes of Math, Literacy, and Science. We are excited about this new program and the wonderful opportunities it will present for our students.
As part of the Cambridge learning process, our students will learn about, and put into practice a specific Learner Attribute each month. This month's attribute is: Confidence. According to Cambridge, this is defined as:
"Cambridge learners are confident, secure in their knowledge, unwilling to take things for granted, and ready to take intellectual risks. They are keen to explore and evaluate ideas and arguments in a structured, critical and analytical way. And they are able to communicate and defend views and opinions, and to respect those of others."
With this in mind, how do we instill this in our students? With the Cambridge Program, our goal is to create a safe environment that allows our students to try new things and state new ideas with impunity from others. This can be challenging, but by building a strong classroom community for our students, in which they feel comfortable sharing their ideas and taking chances, we can begin to move toward success.
So as a parent, how can you help your child with this and in turn support their growth as a Cambridge Student?
-Have fun and let your students see you take chances too. We are our children's greatest role models. Show them it is ok to take a chance and step outside of the comfort zone.
-Allow them to "not have all of the answers." Sometimes not knowing the answer can be more effective than knowing all the answers. Be the example!
-Discuss examples with your children about what confidence look like in the classroom, school, and in your community? How do we know that it is confidence?
Below is a link to the online copy of The Cambridge Outlook magazine. Please be sure to read the article regarding Cambridge in North Carolina, as this is based on our Learning Community! Please continue to check back every other week as we will be highlighting some of the wonderful things our Cambridge teachers and students are working on.