The CAASPP assessments for English Language Arts (ELA) and math are comprised of the computer adaptive test (CAT) and the performance task (PT).
The performance task requires students to answer a set of questions that are centered on a common theme or problem. To prepare, here are some helpful videos on narrative, opinion, explanatory, and informative writing. Graphic organizers are another great tool for prewriting activities.
This month’s focus on “Grit” is a perfect way to highlight iLEAD Exploration learner Leo Krupp, because no matter how challenging, frustrating, or difficult something might be for him, he does his best to rise above it and keep on moving forward.
Leo has even grown to appreciate mistakes, because when they happen, he knows he will learn from them and have the opportunity to reevaluate and improve. He is learning to look at life and all its challenges as a seed that needs water, sunlight, and love. At first you do not see growth because it’s hidden under the soil, but eventually you will have a beautiful flower if you stick with it and never give up.
Although schooling has never come easy to Leo, he refuses to let his diagnoses of autism, ADHD, and other learning differences stop him from achieving anything he chooses to do. What a perfect embodiment of grit Leo is!
Leo is a natural musician and understands any musical instrument he decides to pick up. His favorite instrument is definitely the drums. This came as no surprise to Leo’s parents, who lovingly referred to him as Bam-Bam when he was a toddler. Leo plays music by ear, and he is currently learning to read music as well. When he is not taking a music lesson, you will find him playing along with one of his favorite music idols, such as his brother and sister, Lathan and Hannah. In addition to the drums, Leo has also taught himself to play the piano, and he is starting to take an interest in the guitar as well. It is just a matter of time before Leo becomes a one-man superstar band.
Leo loves to research famous people who inspire him, such as Elon Musk and Steve Jobs. He dreams of traveling to Apple’s headquarters to learn about all that goes into creating Apple products.
Please join us at the park on January 28 from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. and bring some gently used blankets, towels, sweaters, or jackets to donate to the local Bridge to Home shelter. Learners will also make snow at this event! Please sign up here if you would like to be a part of this fun event.
When: January 28 from 12:00-1:30 p.m.
Where: Heritage Park located at 24155 Newhall Ranch Road in Santa Clarita
A strong vocabulary is an indispensable tool. When we help our learners study vocabulary across all content areas, we help set them up for increased confidence and success. We strengthen their ability to effectively comprehend complex material as well as communicate their thoughts and ideas.
Vocabulary/Spelling City, one of our optional subscriptions, is a resource that can be used to strengthen a learners’ vocabulary. The site provides grade-level, pre-made lists for the core content areas of math, science, and social studies. Vocabulary/Spelling City not only makes it fun to learn new words but incorporates a variety of strategies to help ensure the vocabulary words stick.
If you do not have a membership with Vocabulary/Spelling City, Quizlet.com is a great option for strengthening vocabulary and spelling. You can create your own lists or use pre-made lists that are on the site.
Mark your calendars! We are excited to announce that our next field trip releases (through the iLEAD Exploration website) will be over several days during the week of February 3. Please see the flier below for details on how these will be released.field_trips_feb_2020c (1)
Learning how a test is formatted and understanding the content will help you ensure your learner feels confident and does well!
The CAASPP assessments are comprised of two components:
- CAT: Computer Adaptive Test for ELA and Math
- PT: Performance Task for ELA and Math
This week, we are taking a closer look at the ELA (English Language Arts) Performance Task. This section is typically more challenging and learners would benefit from having more time to explore the content of this portion.
For targeted practice, find your learner’s grade level and break the performance task parts down into manageable, bite-sized sessions to help them become familiarized with the format.
3rd Grade Performance Task/Example/Practice (Informational)
4th Grade Performance Task Example/Practice (Informational)
6th Grade Performance Task Example/Practice (Narrative Writing)
7th Grade Performance Task Example/Practice (Explanatory Writing)
8th Grade Performance Task Example/Practice (Argumentative Writing)
11th Grade Performance Task Example/Practice (Argumentative Writing)
When was the last time you went on a trip to a new place without first looking up directions? Unless you have a superhuman sense of direction, you searched for how to get where you were going, whether on your phone or an old-school paper map. That’s what this week’s habit is all about.
Last week, we discussed the first of the 7 Habits: Be Proactive. A proactive person believes in taking responsibility for their lives and investing their time and energy on things within their control — and not losing sleep over the things they cannot control.
But how does one successfully lead a proactive life? Part of the answer lies in Habit #2: Begin With the End in Mind. Starting a proactive journey is difficult if you don’t know where you are trying to go. Beginning with the end in mind is very much like consulting a road map.
In short, to begin with the end in mind means to begin each day, task, or project with a clear vision of the desired direction and destination, and then continue by flexing one’s proactive muscles to make things happen.
To reinforce a mind-set of beginning with the end in mind, Dr. Stephen Covey encouraged developing what he called a personal mission statement. It focuses on what you want to be and do. It is your plan for success. It reaffirms who you are, puts your goals in focus, and moves your ideas into the real world. Your mission statement makes you the leader of your own life.
So what does it look like for learners to embrace a Habit 2 mind-set and develop their personal mission statements? Helpful steps include reminding themselves of the following:
- I plan ahead and set goals for myself.
- I am prepared at all times.
- I think about how the choices I make now will affect my future.
- I think about the positive or negative consequences of my actions before I act.
Do you know why iLEAD Exploration’s focus on developing children who are free thinkers fits so well with the 7 Habits? Because, for instance, Habit 2 is based on imagination — the ability to envision in your mind what you cannot at present see with your eyes. When children are empowered to imagine what can be, the results can be incredibly inspiring.
Join us next week as we explore Habit #3: Put First Things First.
For more information on the 7 Habits and other leadership resources, click here to visit the FranklinCovey website.
Lunar New Year is an Asian festival celebrated at the turn of the lunisolar Chinese calendar. Traditionally, celebrations run from the eve to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first calendar month. Join the celebrations below for their annual Lunar New Year festival celebrating the “Year of the Rat” on Saturday, January 25.
Orange County: Lunar New Year Events
Los Angeles: Golden Dragon Parade
La Verne: Asian American Expo
Pasadena: Lunar New Year Celebration at USCV Pacific Asia Museum
San Gabriel: Lunar New Year Festival
Daija Hooker is a passionate, courageous iLEAD Exploration 10th grader who always has a positive outlook on life. She sets her goals and works hard to follow through even when things become challenging. She shows true grit in her academics and extracurricular activities.
Daija started her homeschool journey about seven years ago. Homeschooling has allowed her to customize a learning path that best suits her needs and goals. She continues to flourish and excel in her studies and talents. She attends learning center classes and creative classes to help develop her academic strengths and her talents. Demonstrating great resolve, Daija commits to long hours of practice for dance and acting classes each week and still finds time for her studies.
Years ago, she started taking acting, dancing, vocal, and theatre classes just for fun. Now she works in the entertainment industry and appears in television commercials, music videos, and has worked with Disney and Nickelodeon. In her free time she gives back to others by helping serve meals at food shelters, and by reading books and playing with young children at orphanages, Sunday schools, and kids camps.
Daija feels strongly that the consistency in having the same teacher every year benefits her. She loves being a part of iLEAD and appreciates her resourceful, kind, patient and accessible facilitator, who Daija believes plays a big part in her education. In just a few short years, Daija has plans to attend college and study to be a neonatal nurse.
Her motto is “I was born ready!” and she truly is ready for anything!
Mark your calendars! We are excited to announce that our next field trip releases (through the iLEAD Exploration website) will be over several days during the week of February 3rd. Please see the flier below for details on how these will be released.field_trips_feb_2020c (1)
This month’s SLO is grit, a character trait that demonstrates strength of will. People with grit show a passion and perseverance for long-term goals, as many things require tenacity.
To gauge how gritty you are at this point in your life, consider whether you identify with the following statements:
- I enjoy projects that take years to complete.
- I am working toward a very long-term goal.
- What I do each day is connected to my deepest personal values.
- There is at least one subject or activity that I never get bored of thinking about.
- Setbacks don’t discourage me for long.
- I am a hard worker.
- I finish whatever I begin.
- I never stop working to improve.
Last week, we introduced a vital element of iLEAD’s approach to education — The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Learning and practicing the 7 Habits has been instrumental to our learners’ success living out iLEAD’s motto of “free to think, inspired to lead” — not to mention how it helps our staff thrive.
This week, we’re continuing to unpack the habits with Habit #1: Be Proactive. In short, being proactive is about taking responsibility for your life. Instead of reacting to or worrying about conditions over which they have little or no control, proactive people focus their time and energy on things they can control.
In general, most of us fall into one of two categories: Either we are reactive to situations in life, affected by factors outside of ourselves and believing we have no control over situations — or we are proactive, realizing that we are “response-able” and that we have freedom to choose our responses. A proactive individual peppers their language with “I can” and “I will,” while a reactive person falls back on “I can’t” or “if only.”
In short, proactive people focus their efforts on what Dr. Stephen Covey calls their “Circle of Influence.” They work on the things they can do something about, like health or problems at work. On the flip side, reactive people focus their efforts in the “Circle of Concern” — things over which they have little or no control.
It has been amazing to see how understanding these concepts empowers iLEAD Exploration learners to take charge and command over both their education and their lives. We have seen time and again how it trickles down to every aspect of their lives, and that is at the heart of the iLEAD Exploration model: developing the whole child so that they are equipped to live with purpose and intent.
As Dr. Covey said, “The proactive approach to a mistake is to acknowledge it instantly, correct, and learn from it.” When children learn to apply this in an academic setting, it can only spread to every other area of life.
Next week, we will continue exploring the 7 Habits with Habit #2: Begin With the End in Mind.
For more information on the 7 Habits and other leadership resources, click here to visit the Franklin Covey website.
This week, we are reminding learners to tackle those math testing challenges with “good old-fashioned” paper and pencil!
If learners are attempting a math problem that requires calculation, they should always try to work it out on paper before choosing their answer. Many young testers get so focused on the computer screen that they forget to pick up a pencil and use it to work out the problem! (Please note that there is also a feature on the CAASPP for writing and notes. However, using pencil and paper is best for solving math problems.) On test day, every child will be provided with paper and pencil. If their pencil tip breaks, learners should raise their hand and ask for a new one!
Here’s your chance to try it out! Click on this link to simple math problems to have your learner practice working out problems on paper first and then selecting their answer on the computer. If you stay with the quiz, it will show results at the end.
Grit is described as “courage, resolve, and strength of character,” and we can’t think of a family that exhibits these qualities better than the Cabrales-Goldstein kids. Meet third grader Golan, first grader Dada, and kindergartner Michaela!
All three children are excellent iLEAD Exploration learners and hardworking chess champions. Dada is currently ranked number one in the U.S. in “blitz” (fast chess) for girls age seven, and because she recently defeated the “Iron Man” of chess in highest number of games for the year, she was mentioned in Chess Life, making her the “Iron Girl” of chess. Talk about grit!
Michaela is ranked number three in long-game chess nationwide in her category: girls age five. Both Golan and Dada have a big following on YouTube via L.A. Chess Club and Golan’s competition videos have surpassed 2.5 million views. He is also ranked in the top-100 chess players for his age group.
In addition to being chess champions, all three kids are currently learning to play the drums and skateboard as well as pursuing their own interests. Dada loves to design and sew and has endless original one-of-a-kind creative ideas. Michaela loves to draw and do math as well as write. Golan is advanced in several of his subjects and is a scientist in the making. All three kids are devouring their curricula at record speed. They simply love to learn and are determined to give their best to every task, whether it be athletic, creative, academic or anything else they put their minds to.
In addition to all the hard work and determination, this family exhibits compassion, support, and gratitude in their interactions with each other and all who meet them. They are especially grateful to the iLEAD team that supports them and allows them the extra freedom and time to follow their dreams. This combination of character, gratitude, and courage definitely makes this family stand out in a crowd. What a great iLEAD family, exhibiting grit in all they do!
The Schoolwide Learner Outcome (SLO) for January is grit. Grit is defined as “having courage and resolve; strength of character.” A person with grit works hard and has passion. He or she sets goals and follows through. Grit is important because it is a driver of achievement and success, regardless of and beyond what talent and intelligence contribute. To truly accomplish goals and thrive, we need the ability to persevere. Without grit, talent may be nothing more than unmet potential. To find out how gritty you are, click here.Grit Poster
As you and your family talk about 2020 New Year’s resolutions, one idea might be to add “Strengthening the ability to make logical guesses” to your child’s list of resolutions! Here are some tips to discuss with them and help them when tackling multiple-choice-type questions.
Remind your child that for multiple-choice questions, they should slowly and carefully read through the question, then think through the answer.
Look to see if the answer they came up with on their own is listed as an option, and then choose it! If it’s not listed, then reread the question with even more focus.
Keep your eye out for the silly answers that can be mixed in to test if you’re paying attention.
Lastly, look through the answer options and simply choose the one that makes the most sense!
Try playing some guessing games at home to build good guessing stamina!
Not surprisingly, Everett’s favorite subject is PE, a perfect fit for this zesty boy. He loves parkour and is looking forward to his sixth birthday, when he can start taking classes at a local gym. His current favorite place to log active hours is at the local trampoline park, where he can practice the Ninja course and leap into the foam pit. Everett also has a more calm and mindful side; he is learning to meditate and enjoys yoga with Cosmic Kids Yoga on video. When he grows up, Everett wants to become a firefighter and use his boundless energy to fight fires.
Mt. Wilson Field Study
Learners had a wonderful time learning about animal rescue and care at The Gentle Barn. This field trip teaches young people how to lovingly care for animals of all types and sizes.
From hugging cows to feeding horses to holding chickens, our learners experienced firsthand why it is important to treat animals with dignity.
International Printing Museum Field Study
Big challenges are best tackled in small doses!
Here’s another tip to help your learner climb the testing mountain with small steps to success! Instead of trying to complete pages of practice or large chunks of time on test prep, try weaving in a few questions for exposure each week. Use a small reading passage with a few comprehension questions to check for understanding. One suggestion is to utilize a free resource like Super Teacher Worksheets. Simply scroll down (within each grade level) to locate the highlighted “Free” tag above the selected passage and discover the corresponding questions with an answer key.
Curious to know more? Here’s an awesome article with additional creative support!