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Friday, August 29, 2014

Homework for 9/2


  1. Read and log!!
  2. Do homework on ALEKS (use your math binder to help you) 
  3. Complete your Identity Pre-assessment. Again, this is a pre-assessment, so the questions may be confusing -- that's ok. Please use 2-3 sentences per answer.  
    1. How do people "see" themselves? (When someone asks you to describe yourself, what would you say? Would you describe how you looked, what you liked, where you came from, what you were skilled at) 
    2. What shapes identity? (How do we choose what we want to be like or be identified as?)
    3. Is identity constant? Does it change? Why or why not?
Do your best and have a great long weekend! 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Reading Interest Survey

Click here to take the Reading Interest Survey! 

Biblionasium is Back!

Here is the response email from Biblionasium...

We appreciate your concern.  There was never a breach of security or any other issue.
What happened was the following:  
Our SSL Security Certificate (what encrypts and decrypts the data as it passes over the internet)  is issued by a 3rd party and has to be renewed annually.  Unfortunately due to an accounting error, the renewal did not happen automatically and the certificate expired and started sending the message that the site is not secure.  A new certificate had to be reissued and took around 24 hours to process and install.  During that time,  the website was unavailable and no data was collected.   
Additionally just to assure you, we do not collect ANY personal information from children.  A first name, one letter of a last name and a username is all that we require.  There is no where on the website that we ask for or collect any other personal information from children.  We encrypt the data that goes over the wires just as an additional security measure.   
We apologize for the alarm this caused.  We understand.  We are committed to children's privacy and security and in no way was any data compromised.  
Let the logging continue!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Homework for 8/28

Tonight for homework, students should:

1) Read for 30 minutes and log their reading, either on paper or their homework doc in their Google Drive.

2) Complete the homework assignment posted on ALEKS. As I stated in the post below, this is a brand new resource. The main goal of tonight's homework is to become acquainted with how the website operates. Students should do their best to complete the homework, but there may be terms or concepts they are unfamiliar with. All I ask is that students make a solid attempt at completion. If there are problems, please email me with the issue and we will problem solve in class together tomorrow. I highly encourage students (and parents) to explore the site together. The more questions I get, the better, as we can then work out the kinks as soon as possible.

Introducing ALEKS

This year, students at Indian Trail are piloting a new math program called ALEKS. From the website...
Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces is a Web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system. ALEKS uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine exactly what a student knows and doesn't know in a course. ALEKS then instructs the student on the topics she is most ready to learn. As a student works through a course, ALEKS periodically reassesses the student to ensure that topics learned are also retained. ALEKS courses are very complete in their topic coverage and ALEKS avoids multiple-choice questions. A student who shows a high level of mastery of an ALEKS course will be successful in the actual course she is taking.
ALEKS also provides the advantages of one-on-one instruction, 24/7, from virtually any Web-based computer for a fraction of the cost of a human tutor.
The 4th grade teachers are extremely excited to utilize this great new resource, which students will use at school and at home. However, there will be hiccups along the way. We are hoping that we can deal with any growing pains in the first few weeks so we can take advantage of all ALEKS has to offer throughout the school year.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

IMPORTANT HOMEWORK UPDATE!

Thanks to an alert student (Elli), I have been informed that biblionasium is not working properly. Do not attempt to use the site. Please complete the homework on paper. I will investigate the matter.

Big thanks to Elli for letting me know!!

Homework for Wednesday 8/27

Hello students,

Tonight for homework, please...

1) Review a favorite book of yours (that you have finished) on Biblionasium. This can be any book you have ever read. Your review should be at least 3 sentences long.

2) Read your independent reading book for 30 minutes and log your reading on Biblionasium. Record your time and pages, and include a comment that is at least 3 sentences long.

The link to Biblionasium is on my website (look up!). Your username and password are in your "Passwords" doc in your Google Drive. We went over this in class so there shouldn't be any problems. If you are having trouble, please email me (bbrandstrader@nssd112.org) with any questions and I will do my best to help you.

Organize Passwords

1) Open up this link - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1lLbOyAinc9LMvRPkiaraB-HrCJpm53s6ml3Q_9aDpqk/edit?usp=sharing

2) Make a copy

3) Rename the document

4) Enter your passwords

Monday, August 25, 2014

Getting into the Groove of 4th Grade...

Hello Students and Parents,

We are off to a great start in 4B. Please note the homework calendar on the right side of the page. All assignments and events will be listed there. As we are beginning the year, homework will be light for the first week or so as we get everyone set up on their chromebooks and websites that we will be using.

As stated in the Parent/Teacher Expectations packet, students are expected to read 30 minutes a night for five nights a week. A logging system will be explained to the students and put in place by the end of the week. However, students should be reading at home. Our first day of library will be Wednesday, so any student without an independent reading book will have one by then.

I know the beginning of the year is very tumultuous and confusing for all parties involved, so please do not hesitate to contact me with questions or clarifications. I can be reached at bbrandstrader@nssd112.org or 224-765-3477.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

First Spelling List!

Hello students! Here is your first spelling list! There are 20 entries, but you should already know one.

The spelling quiz is next Friday, August 29.

  1. Breanne Cerna-Wons
  2. Edwin Cruz
  3. Jordan Bernstein
  4. Rose Fieldman
  5. Charlie Ghetes
  6. Elliana Fireside
  7. Nicholas Lanchak
  8. Alex Melgar
  9. Katelyn Dzenis
  10. Rosella Irfan
  11. Rosie Diamond
  12. Jacques Marks
  13. Jovy Hernandez
  14. Cece Batt
  15. Dylan Lew
  16. Rachael O’Baker
  17. Madina Nasirov
  18. Aron Amram
  19. Mr. Brandstrader
  20. Principal Keer

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Welcome to 4B!!!

Congratulations!!! You are officially a 4th grader. This year is going to rock.

As a fourth grader, the work gets more complicated and you get more homework ... but because you are older, you will be given more freedom and independence to learn the way that works for you. But greater independence means greater personal responsibility. I expect proper academic behavior at all times, especially when working in the hall or around the school. As fourth graders, you are role models for all the younger students (and some of the older ones) in the school, so I demand positive, kind social behavior in and out of school. Lastly, I will challenge you throughout the year. If you were able to do everything I give you, then I am not doing my job. There are assignments and problems you will not be able to successfully complete or answer. Do not panic -- give it your best effort.

If you ever have questions about anything (school, homework, friends), feel free to email me at bbrandstrader@nssd112.org at any time.  Your emails are confidential and I would never share what you said with anyone.

Let's have an amazing year!!! Remember, there are no problems, only opportunities to find solutions.

Mr. B