Moving Forward . . .

Mrs. Barbarin offers Tutoring that Empowers and Affirms students.  For more information, or to schedule your convenient tutoring time, email: BarbarinTeaches@gmail.com

VB Business Card

Currently a SEBA Enrichment Academy, Master Certified Teacher, Mrs. Barbarin teaches to make a difference in her community, and ultimately in the world. She is inspired knowing that she has had an impact on each child and that in some way she has uncovered the genius within them.  Her hope is that every child is empowered and confident because of her uncompromising high standards, and the positive impact she’s had on their life. A former teacher in the Coatesville Area School District, Mrs. Barbarin is licensed and certified to teach grades K-6 and taught 5th grade for 8 years. A 15-year Sunday School teacher at the St. Paul’s Baptist Church of West Chester, PA, Mrs. Barbarin, was nominated for the Citadel Heart of Learning award for 3 consecutive years. Mrs. Barbarin is trained by the Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, Inc. as an Equity Leader and facilitated staff and students in the promotion of educational equity. For more on Mrs. Barbarin’s qualifications, education and experiences, view LinkedIn here.

Mrs. Barbarin’s Mantra this year is: “Excellence is the antidote to hatred.” – Rev. DeForest Soaries

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

With Gratitude: End of Year “Adieu”

som farewell

Dear 5th Grade Families:

It is a bitter sweet moment that we will share in promoting the 5th Grade Scholars. I thank each of you for your partnership and support in educating your student. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your family this school year as I strived for excellence from every student, on their academic level. Please continue to not accept any less than your scholar’s best, and hold them accountable for their actions. Harvard Business Review (HBR) highlighted recently that, “it’s pretty easy and straightforward to improve upon a weakness;” and I have tried to allow students to see their weaknesses and to work to improve them by practicing. But, at the same time we have identified each student’s strengths and, “… developing strengths is very different” HBR states,  “Think more strategically? Become more inspiring? Practice problem solving more intently?” To those questions I answer a resounding, yes! Students will need to sharpen their strengths by working on skills that will enhance and increase their knowledge. We cannot do it for them, however, we can continue to guide them into doing more of what will benefit their education and not detract from it.

I am grateful that I had the opportunity to teach your scholar, and I hope that I made a difference in their academic lives. I wish you a safe and joyous summer and hope each student rises to the high expectations set for them in their coming school years. Please feel free to have your scholar come back and visit 5th grade as a way of “paying it forward” to their underclassmen.

I am thankful to those parents and PTO Volunteers who helped the year run smoothly, and kept everyone apprised of  school and classroom activities. Many thanks also to our class volunteers who committed to coming in each time I reached out for them to help read with our scholars’ or to fill a classroom, or social need. And, to the parents who helped by volunteering to chaperone and making sure our tie dye shirts were laundered properly. I am deeply grateful.

Have a spectacular summer!

Sincerely,

Mrs. Barbarin

“A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” – Maya Angelou

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

April Showers

month-of-april-showers

Hello again future 6th Grade Families! Are you ready for the PSSAs?

The days are getting longer and time is moving rather quickly. We continue to keep pace with our curriculum, however I am seeing some students putting a lackluster effort into their studies and their grade averages are reflecting it. This is where I need your help.

Every student needs to put forth an effort that is reflective of their ability and their skills need to be practiced at home. To assist me in my effort, please have students study, as well as complete their homework. They will be much more effective and productive. Additionally, please have students read chapter books in the home. Reading can enhance their skills in all disciplines as we tackle challenging topics. The time we have in class is not enough for each student to grasp academic concepts without their own independent study. In my experience students who do well are the ones who put in extra time at home studying, doing additional research at libraries, reviewing my downloaded videos and seeking information online. Most importantly, having family support to achieve more studying at home is very crucial as well. I thank you for your continued support at home.

When the weather breaks, we will have the opportunity to get outside for additional learning and to enjoy reading outside, with the occasional “field trip” on campus and away from school. As always you will be notified of dates, times and possible costs associated with them.

The PSSAs this month will reflect your scholar’s knowledge and they should be relaxed and ready. Students should arrive each day well rested, having eaten a nutritious breakfast. If you are curious about the Common Core Curriculum or the PSSA, please use these links to find out more:  http://204.108.192.211/gw/www.pde.state.pa.us and http://www.pto.org

Please let me know if you have any questions, and know that I am reinforcing your high expectations here at school. Thank you in advance for your assistance and for the opportunity to bring out the best in each student.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Finish Strong!

sunny_daffodils-2

For a minute I finally, spring/summer like weather was here, but Mother Nature has much  colder plans for us. Each day we ponder what to wear as the temperature rises and falls. Students enjoyed the weather unit earlier, especially the informational reading on “Storms.” Students are also looking forward to a much needed Spring break later this month and we are hoping the weather will cooperate.

As our Scholars begin the last trimester of their elementary school career, I am encouraging each of them to “Finish Strong!” The 5th Grade team is currently taking some time to acclimate students to the PSSA testing atmosphere, to alleviate any fears or anxiety students may have. Students are asking questions and relaxing more as the test dates draw nearer. Testing information will be sent home and report cards are also forthcoming, but please let me know if you have ANY questions or concerns in the meantime.

When the weather has stabilized, the 5th Grade teachers will set some important dates for the annual 5th grade activities. Until then, continue to encourage your scholar to study, be respectful, empathetic to others, and remain academically focused.

As always, thank you for your continued support.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Black History

Quilt

The 5th Grade has been studying the Original 13 Colonies and their study has coincided with Black History Month. The 5th Graders were visited by retired 1st Grade Teacher and a retired art teacher also from Great Valley who told the story of the Freedom Quilt. As avid quilters in their retirement they shared the many “Freedom Quilts” having had the great fortune of working on with their craft as members of the Quilting Circle at the St. Paul’s Baptist Church of West Chester. Students were able to see up close the many clues these quilts held for run-away slaves. The 5th graders prepared for their quilting visitors by reading Clara and the Freedom Quilt by Deborah Hopkinson. Students were also able to create their own map of their homes using the quilting legend.

Topsy TurvyThe 5th Graders were fortunate enough to have a retired Great Valley Middle School teacher visit. She brought her wonderful storytelling imagination and her rare “Topsy Turvy” doll and a basket that could  . . . hold water! Ask your 5th Grader what these artifacts were used for in colonial times, and have them retell the stories behind them.

To culminate the month, they students got to enjoy a Griot who provided enjoyable, informative story-telling and African artifacts. Through the art of storytelling students learned about the middle passage and the rich history of the African and their ancestors prior to slavery.

Leave a comment

Filed under Announcements, Social Studies

A Second Chance

pexels-photo-239548.jpeg

Hello 5th Grade Families:

Just wanted to let you know that scholars should be studying tonight for math. The math retake is for students who scored below 75% on the math test and they will be given the opportunity to correct their wrong responses for 1/2 the points added to their current grade which is Below the math Expectations for Chapter 4. Students received study guides to help them study the work they struggled with during the original test. We also have a midterm scheduled for this Thursday (1/25/2018). Any student willing to write me a persuasive letter to take the mid-year test next week, I will gladly comply. This gives scholars the opportunity to write persuasively, study longer, as well as make an argument on a position. Scholars were told yesterday and the deadline for the letter is 1/23/2016.

So far no student has written me a letter.

Leave a comment

Filed under Announcements

Happy New Year!

6091789628_c5b00fc2d5_o

Happy New Year 5th Grade Families!

Thank you for your thoughtful Christmas gifts I hope all of you had a wonderful time with family and friends. The new year is underway and we will be heading back to school and diving back into our studies. Your students will continue to be working in class on the cultural diversity, and we will wrap up our Solar Car projects in Science.

As we deepen our learning in 5th Grade, students should be improving in their written and verbal responses to literature and will be given opportunities to make presentations to their peers. Your 5th Grader should have gotten better at active listening, taking relevant notes and asking probing questions. I have seen some improvement in the comments they provide each other in homogeneous and heterogeneous groupings. I cannot thank  Mrs. Reynolds, Mrs. Madsen and Officer Reynolds enough for their committed volunteering with reading, critical thinking and classroom support. As a result of their consistent efforts, your scholars are able to build their  skills around the PA State Standards and I am seeing (and hearing) students backing up every comment, and or argument with evidence, which is very encouraging.

In math we are working on all aspects of the Everyday Math Curriculum and we are seeing that if we struggle with our multiplication and division, as some students do, it continues to be a challenge for us in other areas. I would encourage each family to practice multiplication and division with their students each night. I have set up Moby Max accounts for each student to practice at home and here at school.  They also have access to ConnectEd and Prodigy to help them, but if they need to log on and practice. Although students have math everyday here at school, we do not have enough time for every student to practice, and be challenged at their individual learning rate. The additional practice at home makes a huge difference in my experience, and they will better grasp the challenging mathematical concepts we tackle in class. The material in class is growing more challenging each day, and those who are not skilled in recalling their basic facts, or doing multiplication and division problems, risk falling behind.

If you Google “math flashcards” there are online programs you can use. You can also create your own flashcards and quiz your student daily, increasing the difficulty to challenge them. Students are also encouraged to practice on the textbook website for Everyday Math mentioned above (www.connected.mcgraw-hill.com) each night, as this is a way to improve their success in math as well.

I would also strongly encourage that students Read! Read! Read! And read some more each night. Too many students struggle to answer math word problems appropriately (aka: “writing in math”) because they struggle with reading. As you know, most math problems on the PSSA are word problems. We cover answering strategies in class, but again it is important that students practice at home. This allows them to think and process the information learned earlier in the day, and builds their problem solving skills. Subsequently, when they are faced with challenges, they are better able to handle them. In Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, he states that it takes about 10,000 hours to master, or become an expert at a task. I have not done the research on Gladwell’s premise, so it may take longer, or it may be shorter in some cases, but what I do know is it takes practice, and lots of it.

Thank you for your continued partnership in getting your 5th Grade Student on the road to success.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Grateful

 

4110371395_b92d4de5ab_o

Runner Jenny via flickr

Dear fifth grade families:

As November draws to a close, I’d like to take this time to thank you for your commitment and support in educating your scholar. I hope you enjoy a pleasant, family-friendly& safe holiday.

As we gear up for December, we continue to concentrate on critical thinking and crafting grade-appropriate, written responses. Some students are catching on, while others remain resistant to writing grade-level responses that require their thinking. The Common Core State Standards requires student thinking, problem solving and reasoning which is more important than having an answer. Students are required to justify their responses and explain how they came to a certain conclusion. I encourage students to self-evaluate, where students compare their paper next to a model essay, and determine if their writing aligns with selected models. Students ask themselves and others when sharing: Did student use evidence to justify their argument? Have they restated the thesis? Have they answered the question? Students are not left to do this on their own, we have spent entire lessons learning how to assess our own work using math answer keys, error analyses, a rubric & a writing guide that lays out what is expected of students. This action gets students involved and deeply active in their own learning by not just passively looking at their own work, but determining the steps they need to take to improve. With that in mind we have several volunteers who are committed to helping your scholar achieve their best, and we are grateful for the gift of their time. If you would like to volunteer your time, please contact me.

deca

Students recently completed their dodecahedron multicultural project “Around the World,” and I look forward to reading the written reports each student will write about the country they researched. Before each student makes their country presentation, it was helpful that they learn to be respectful of the presenter and the content. We have also focused a lot of time on character building. Students are learning  that showing respect is being polite, kind, empathetic, using good manners and being tolerant of others’ opinions. When you show respect then others will show it to you, and this is a concept we are all trying to demonstrate.

Please continue to encourage your scholar to do their best each day & to have high expectations in everything they submit to be evaluated.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Responding to Violence and Tragedy

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Resources for Responding to Violence and Tragedy from Scholastic

Dear Families:

In the wake of the shooting in Las Vegas this week, Scholastic has provided reliable resources that can help you discuss a difficult topic like this with children. Use this link to find helpful advice for reassuring children after disturbing events.

Please pass it along to other parents in your community who may need help talking to their kids about this week’s tragedy in Nevada. I hope this resource will be helpful at this very difficult time.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

We Are Well Under Way…

cold and flu

Hello 5th Grade Parents:

For your convenience, here are some tips to help your 5th Grader stay on track. Have your scholar practice with www.mobymax.com online to help improve their time on the basic fact tests. Students are able to take home their math textbooks daily throughout the year to study or work ahead, but they MUST bring it back each day, because the text is needed for each day’s lesson. However, there is also online access to the math textbook at www.connected.mcgraw-hill.com each student has a personal login in their agendas. There will be a variety of assessments that I will administer to determine a student’s mastery of math skills, but timed tests are mandatory district-wide.

I am wrapping up the math and reading evaluation process to determine the areas of strengths and weakness of  each scholar. If you are able to commit to Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday at noon during the school year to help with reading and math support, please let me know the day(s) you are available to assist.  There are just a few more students to evaluate, but I look forward to working with the parents who are able to help when the evaluations are completed. I also thank parent who are unable to help physically, but render support with snacks and supplies.

As we begin the cold and flu season, if you can, please send in a box of tissues and a tub of Lysol disinfecting wipes that destroys the flu virus with your student, it will be greatly appreciated!

Thank you in advance for your assistance and support.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized