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Friday, December 14, 2012

This Year

As many Westerly Creek families know, 2nd - 5th grade students receive academic instruction via platooning. This practice involves teachers specializing in a given content area (e.g., Literacy, Math/Science/Social Studies) which research has shown to be a highly effective instructional practice.
In previous school years, our platooning classrooms would have a new schedule in late January or early February, which would involve students switching their morning and afternoon instructional blocks for the opposite content area. This often caused significant disruptions to students for whom received specialists' services (Special Education, Gifted and Talented and English Language Acquisition). After weighing the issue with 2nd - 5th grade teacher teams' and parents' input, the Collaborative School Committee decided on December 4 that students would keep the same schedule through the second half of the 2012-2013 school year, to minimize disruptions and breaks in instruction.

Reading Log Meta Responses and other Information

This week's top Reading log meta  responses.

When I was reading: The Higher Power of Lucky, I thought about: how brave Lucky is, how smart Lucky is and also how Lucky is a very good girls. I know she is mysterious about things because she always goes outside to explore and see the world but its almost like she is learning history and facts by just going outside and walking around.

When I was reading: The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, I thought about: it must be hard not being asked to the dance because if you went you would just be standing there doing nothing.

This week we will turn in our final copies, have a classroom party, taking a district writing test, write cinquains, and watch student made gymnastic routines.

Also please remind and reassure your child they live in a safe world and go to a safe school.

Have a great weekend,
Mr. Rabinowitz

Riddle: Do you know any words that have 3 consecutive letters in a row? For example stun hast S-T-U, which are three letters in a row from the alphabet.  Definitely is another because it contains D-E-F.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Brain pop

We finally have secured the login information to BrainPOP for WCE. You can access a few different ways: and for BrainPOP Jr. and for Spanish. Students can also login at home using the same username and password.

Ask mr rabinowitz for username and password.

P.S. There's a mobile app too!


Students wrote out dialogue scenes of their realistic fiction stories. This week we will write leads and endings. The final copies are due next Tuesday. Rubric and requirements will go home before Thursday. Be on the lookout. In reading we are focusing on types of plot conflict.

Other info;
Is cold, dress warmly
Book club is on Wednesday
District testing is on Friday and certain days next week
Follow me on twitter via email
Instructions at

Happy Hanukkah,
Mr. Rabinowitz

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Top Meta Responses and other information

Students need to be reading all the time. To help ensure this is happening at home parents are to provide time for them to read and sign off when its due. To further challenge their thinking and start conversations at home about what 4th graders are reading, their is a meta-response on the back. This is for 4th graders to reflect upon what they are reading and explain what they are thinking about as they are reading. Are they making connections? Are they asking questions?

In addition, a strong response explains why by using the "because" and gives specific details of character names and ideas. Below are two exemplars that do just that! Keep it up

When I was reading: "The Serpent Shroud" I thought about: "how funny it was when a Jack in the box blew up in Carter's face because I've never seen the it happen."

When I was reading: "Farmer Boy I made a text-to-text connection." I thought about: "how in Farmer Boy, Almanzo always has to do chores and in the Harry Potter series Harry is always doing chores for the Derslys."

This week we have begun drafting their realistic fiction stories. Be on the lookout for writing homework. We plan on having the final copies due the last week before Winter Break.

Stay healthy and keep us posted if your child is sick,
Mr. Rabinowitz

Friday, November 30, 2012

Meta Responses and other information from the week

This week we started a new literary unit. Students will write a realistic fiction story. In reading, we will continue to practice comprehension reading strategy. In addition, we will look at character change, plot conflict, the theme to deepen our understanding of what we read. This weeks we read several books and used graphic organizer to figure about character attributes and the elements of a story. On Friday we dance to rap about the elements of fiction.

On the back of each week's reading log, there is a Meta-Response prompt. The meta-response lets students write about what they are thinking as they read. A good meta response not only gives a specific example from the book, but also explains why that connection was made. The top response(s) of this week are copied below:

When I was reading: "Diary of a Wimpy Kid"  I thought about "how he sat around and played video games and movies. I understand he would do that because I've done that myself."
When I was reading: "Dog Son", I thought about: "if I shot a deer with a bow by myself I would be as proud as Russel was."

When I was reading: "Tangerine" I thought about: "a text to world connection. My connection is in the book [where] there was a sinkhole and there was a hurricane named Sandy that hit the East coast. The sinkhole was also on the East coast."

Encourage each other to talk about what you are thinking AND why you are thinking that as you read in addition to the plot of the story!

Happy Trails,
Mr. Rabinowitz

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


We are in need of a parent volunteer to be the team manager for a K-2 Destination Imagination team this year. Teams would meet once a week, and all challenge materials are provided. Optional training will be held in January as well. Anyone interested should contact

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Break Puzzle #1

Can you think of 7 letter word that contains every vowel?

Post your answer in the comments.

Congrats again on your hard work with your feature article. You should feel proud.

Gobble gobble,
Mr. Rabinowitz

Ps I'll post a hint later this week.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Meta-Responses and other infomation

On the back of each week's reading log, there is a Meta-Response prompt. The meta-response lets students write about what they are thinking as they read. A good meta response not only gives a specific example from the book, but also explains why that connection was made. The top response(s) of this week are copied below:

When I was reading: "Ten Ruloes for Living with my Sister  I thought about "how nervous Pearl felt when Daddy-Bo took Pearl to New Jersey without Pearl's parents knowing. I know this [feeling] because one time my best friend and I went somewhere without my parents knowing."

When I was reading: "Big Nate, I felt as aggravated as Nate" I thought about "how mad it is to have somebody else on your fleece ball team pick your team name for you, the team captain."

Encourage eachother to talk about what you are thinking AND why you are thinking that  as you read in addition to the plot of the story!

 Gobble gobble!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


On Thursday, we will layout our feature articles. Students will get a mini lesson on graphic design. Parents, adults, and other 4th grade family members are more than welcome to come and help students revise and edit. We will be working from 9:20-11:15 & 11:45-12:45, 1:40-2:30.

Mr. Rabinowitz

A Message from the Health Office

Just a few reminders regarding student health.
Please do not send ill children to school.
Not only do they risk the chance of catching
other germs but they can spread their illness
to others.

Use these guidelines to determine if your
child should stay home:

• Persistent and uncontrollable cough

• Fever of 100.0 degrees or higher

• Persistent headache

• Vomiting and/or diarrhea, ongoing stomach pain

• Sore throat lasting more than 3 days

• Unexplained rashes

• Any of the above with general fatigue or sleepiness

Please take your child to their health care
provider if they have any of the following:

• Ongoing respiratory issues persistent cough, chest tightness or pain

• Unexplained fever of over 100.5 degrees

• Sore throat lasting more than 3 days

• Red, itchy or burning eyes with or without discharge

Please contact the nurses’ office with any questions. (720)424-3164

Friday, November 9, 2012

Meta-Responses and other infomation

On the back of each week's reading log, there is a Meta-Response prompt. The meta-response lets students write about what they are thinking as they read. The top response(s) of this week are copied below:

When I was reading: "Nancy Drew and the Ivory Charm I felt scared for the Indian boy when we was trapped in ropes." I thought about "what will happen to Nancy. Will she find out who knocked out Mr. Batt or will someone get captured or go to the police station and get arrested."

When I was reading: "The Ghost of Fossil Glen" I thought about "when Allie was stuck on top of Fossil Cliff, I made a text to self connection. When I was 8, I went rock climbing. When I reached the top of the rock wall, I was too scared to come down, and just hung there for a few minutes. When I finally got down, I promised myself never to go rock climbing again. But my promise didn't stick."

Encourage eachother to talk about what you are thinking about as you read in addition to the plot of the story!

In read aloud we continue to carve out time to for our book, The Watsons go to Birmingham. Ask your child about the auction. Its seemed like a big hit. We will have another before 2012 ends. In addition, we plan to wrap up our feature articles by November 20th. Be on the look out for rubrics, requirements and deadline information this next week. Book Club will start up again this Wednesday!

Keep it up!
Mr. Rabinowitz

PS no school on Monday

Monday, November 5, 2012



Dear Parents,

There were several cases of head lice reported at Westerly Creek in the past few weeks. We want to make sure you are aware of what to look for and how to deal with the issue, should you detect head lice in your child’s hair.

Head lice infestation is diagnosed by looking closely through the hair and scalp for nits, nymphs, or adult lice. Nits are the easiest to spot. They are found ‘glued’ to the hair shaft. Unlike dandruff or hairspray, they will not slide along a strand of hair. If you find nits more than ¼ inch from the scalp, the infection is probably an old.

If you are not sure if a person has lice, the diagnosis should be made by your doctor, the local health department, or a health care provider.


• Head lice are parasitic insects that live in the hair and scalp of humans. They need human blood to survive.

• Head lice spread from person to person through direct head to head contact.

• Personal hygiene is not a factor in the transmission of lice.

• Head lice are treatable with lice-killing shampoos.

• To prevent the spread 1) avoid direct contact with the head, hair, clothing, and personal belongings of a person with head lice, and 2) Encourage proper treatment of the affected person(s) and their household.

• Teach children not to share combs, brushes, scarves, hair ribbons, helmets, headphones, hats, towels, bedding, clothing, or other personal items.

Thank you,

Monica Johnston, DPS School Nurse

Colleen Brown, Health Para

8800 East Twenty-Eight Avenue Denver, CO 80238

Sunday, November 4, 2012

This week in Literacy

This week in literacy we will continue to focus on informational text. Last week we looked at cause and effect . This week we will investigate text that compares and contrasts.  Vin diagrams are often used as a graphic organizers for this type of text.  We will also practice recognizing signal words that are commonly used to express comparisons or contrasts.  This pdf. is a good example.  In writing, we will begin drafting out our feature articles. This last week, students work endlessly to put their thoughts into outlines. We hope to have our final copies finished before Thanksgiving.

In read aloud we continue to carve out time to for our book, The Watsons go to Birmingham.

Here is a link to a blog created by one our 4th grader, Kindal. Check it out!

Don't forget to vote and set you clocks back one hour.


This Week's Reading Responses

On the back of each week's reading log, there is a Meta-Response prompt. The meta-response lets students write about what they are thinking as they read. The top response(s) of this week are copied below:

When I was reading: "TheTiger Rising it reminded me of the show SpongeBob Square Pants." I.thought about "how Spongbob would say "Well, that's a way to put some hair on your chest," and [in the book] the beauchamp had a necklace in his chest hair."

When I was reading: "Smile", I thought about "how she is going to highschool and she is really scared about it and sometimes I think about how scared I will be in highschool."

Encourage eachother to talk about what you are thinking about as you read in addition to the plot of the story!
Keep it up!
Mr. Rabinowitz

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Hi 4th Grade Families,

We will still have Book Club on Halloween, but the times will be a little different.

The morning class will have Book Club at 10:15-11:15 as usual.

The afternoon class will have Book Club at 11:45-12:45.

We will began Halloween Festivities after lunch.

Vistors are welcome for Book Club and our Halloween Party!!!!


Mr. Rabinowitz

Saturday, October 20, 2012

This Week's Reading Log Responses

On the back of each week's reading log, there is a Meta-Response prompt. The meta-response lets students write about what they are thinking as they read. The top response(s) of this week are copied below:

When I was reading: "TheTiger Rising I made a text to world connection." I thought about  "two boys named, Norton and Billy, said [that] Rob has a disesase called leprosy. At book club I learned that leprosy makes you live on a island so no one could catch the disease."

When I was reading: National Geographic, I thought about "how crazy she is about zoo animals and how I love zoo animals alot. I like all of the animals, especially the lions. They are so cute!"

Keep it up!
Mr. Rabinowitz

Thursday, October 11, 2012

This Week's Reading Log Responses

This week's reading log responses

On the back of each week's reading log, there is a Meta-Response prompt. The meta-response lets students write about what they are thinking as they read. The top response(s) of this week are copied below:
When I was reading: The Princess Plot I thought about "a text to text connection. My connection was in the Princess Plot. There were tryouts for a movie. In the Book Ramona and Beezus there was also tryouts for a movie."
When I was reading: Miss Child Has Gone Wild, I thought about "how crazy she is about zoo animals and how I love zoo animals alot. I like all of the animals, especially the lions. They are so cute!"

Happy Trails,
Mr. Rabinowitz

Friday, October 5, 2012

This week's reading log responses

On the back of each week's reading log, there is a Meta-Response prompt. The meta-response lets students write about what they are thinking as they read. The top response(s) of this week are copied below:

When I was reading: Harry Potter I thought about "a text to text connection. My connection was when I found out Harry's mom was a mud blood. I remembered that Hermione was a mud blood and that they were both intelligent."
When I was reading: My Sister the Vampire Re-Vamped,  I thought about "the time my parents embarresed me in front of my friends. In the book Olivia's parents did the same when Olivia had her twin sister Ivy came over to meet her mom and dad."

Happy Trails,

Mr. Rabinowitz

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Writing celebration

1. On Friday, October 5th, we will celebrate our Personal Narratives. Each class will have roughly 5 students share to the whole class and then we will break into groups to share the rest of the personal narratives. We are planning on having refreshments and you are more than welcome to join us to celebrate your child's 1st published piece from 4th grade!

Rabinowitz Homeroom-Writing Celebration 9:40-11:30
*1st Grade Book Buddies will join us from 10:15 to 10:45*
Miller Homeroom-Writing Celebration 12:15-12:45 and 1:30-2:45
*1st Grade Book Buddies will join us from 2:15 to 2:45*

Monday, October 1, 2012

More online spelling links

The following link should direct you to online games and activities for spelling

4th grade uses the 2006 edition.

Any updates on twitter

Follow me on twitter for news and short updates @rabinowitz4thgr

You can view without joining

Questioning Web

Readers always ask themselves questions as they read. Students wrote what they wonder in the middle of a circle and wrote possible answers on the lines. After students read, they wrote their new thinking on the bottom. Below is an example.

Happy trails,
Mr. Rabinowitz

Friday, September 28, 2012

This Week's Meta Response Exemplar

On the back of each week's reading log, there is a Meta-Response prompt. The meta-response lets students write about what they are thinking as they read. Below is one exemplar from the week.

When I was reading: The Pink Locker Society I thought about: school and when I get a locker. I wonder what I am going to do with my locker.

Happy Trails,
Mr. Rabinowitz

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Student work

Yesterday 4th grade readers wrote down what happened at the end of each page they read on a post it. This mini lesson encouraged students to monitor their comprehension as they read. The photos are student selected examples.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

This Week's Meta Response Exemplar

On the back of each week's reading log, there is a Meta-Response prompt. The meta-response lets students write about what they are thinking as they read. Below is one exemplar from the week.

When I was reading: Calvin and Hobbes I thought about: the time I though that there were monsters under
my bed. I was so scared I pulled the blankets over my head, hugged my stuffy tight and cried, "MOMMY!' In the book, Calvin thought there were monsters under his bed. he reacted the same way I did.       Happy Trails, Mr. Rabinowitz

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Last week in literacy

This past week in Literacy, we began writing about small moments and observing the world around us. We had the opportunity to go outside and use our 5 senses to connect with our surroundings and take notes! The kids loved it and we had a beautiful day for it. In reading, we focused on using context clues to decode challenging words and worked on sharing texts respectfully and with purpose.


Original Works is a fundraiser for the Westerly Creek PTA. Ms. Glassick will be helping your child (K-5, ECE classrooms will make their artwork in their classroom). The artwork should come home right before fall break, October 23rd. Then you can choose from over 30 products(some of these are displayed near the front office, in the display case) to turn you masterpiece into a great gift of keepsake, just in time for the holidays. If you have any questions please contact Meg Evans at You can also check for more information.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

2 Exemplars of the Reading Log Meta Response

On the back of each week's reading log, there is a Meta-Response prompt. The meta-response lets students write about what they are thinking as they read. Below are two of many exemplars from first two weeks of school. Each one is from a different class.

When I was reading: Sea of Monster, I though about: the time I play dodge ball at recess because in the book, Percy plays dodge ball against monsters and they have fire balls!

When I was reading: Mallory's Super Sleepover, I though about: why her friend Mary had ideas and was changing things. When it was Mallory's 10th birthday. Also why she didn't do anything when a water balloon fight went wrong.

All Students are strongly encouraged to fill this out.

Happy Trails,
Mr. Rabinowitz

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Book buddies

Today 4 th graders read to their 1st grade reading buddy.

Monday, September 10, 2012


Tonight's homework is for students to share orally their 'moment' story. Hopefully, they include some details. Try to let them tell the entire moment without interruption. Family members should sign off on the assignment in the planner.

Happy Trails,
Mr. Rabinowitz

Friday, September 7, 2012

This Week

Today we took our first spelling test and read with our first grade book buddies. It is wonderful to see the 4th graders as reading mentors and modeling great reading behaviors. In addition, we took day 2 of our writing interim. The tests will be graded next Friday and the data will help guide our instruction. Next week, we will try to get into the computer lab for and begin some poetry.

ATTN: I still am in need of a room parent for this year. Please let me know if you are interested.

Mr. Rabinowitz

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

First Week of school

Congratulations! You found your class blog. The secret word to post in your planner is "Scrambled Eggs."

Please write this into your planner. See you Thursday. Feel free to leave a comment.

Your teacher,
Mr. Rabinowitz

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bookclub and bluff lake photos

No official Bookclub tomorrow. A huge huge thanks to book club volunteers. Mugs will be coming home on Wednesday.

Monday, May 7, 2012

This week in literacy

We have begun assembling our portfolios for 4th grade conferences next week.

Book club notebooks are due Tuesday for Wednesday's meetings (11:30 & 2:30)

In our energy unit, we are creating informational posters about non renewable energy types. We are having great discussions regarding our energy use. Our final goal is to publish a persuasive piece of writing about energy.

The sun will return,
Mr. Rabinowitz

Follow us

Pretty cool stuff

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Full side of the Moon


There’s a super full moon this weekend. The full Moon of May 5-6, 2012, is a perigee moon, as much as 14% bigger and 30% brighter than other full moons of 2012. Make sure you and your students don’t miss it!

Below are a couple of wonderful links from NASA explaining the phenomena.



Wednesday, May 2, 2012


No school on Friday.

Mental homework: can you think of anything that is not energy or stored energy?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Book club

@rabinowitz4thgr: Bookclub times switched this week due to testing. New times for this wednesday are 9:15-9:45 and 1:15-2:00

Monday, April 23, 2012


You will present information you have learned about your country starting the week of April 30. What you choose to present is entirely up to you. Be creative! You will have a maximum of 10 minutes to present. The criteria for your presentation is:

• your presentation must be rehearsed
• be creative
• be prepared and show what you know
• you must be able to answer questions relating to the topic of your presentation

I know many of you have already started planning your presentations and have some great ideas. Here is a list of ways you can present your research project.

poetry stories diaries interviews
plays time lines puppet show construct model
3-D maps readers theater diorama make costumes
mural models illustrations video presentation
recipes filmstrips display boards script for radio show
alphabet books brochures
You are not limited to these ideas. Use your imagination and make your presentation uniquely yours. What’s important is that you are showing me what you have learned and that you have a deep understanding of the information you have studied.
Happy Presenting!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Wednesday's Field Trip

We will leave school at 10:00 and return around 1:00.
We are going to the Adams Mystery Playhouse to see Mystery of the Wizard's Wand.
Students will get to apply their inferring, identifying, and listening skills. Please remind
and discuss with your child about their responsibilities as an ambassador of our school.
Should be fun!!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Country Reports

Today we drafted out there bibliography.
Remember, they were to include a minimum of one book and one website.
The final copy is due Friday. All students have a checklist, in which you must sign
before they can turn it in. The presentation is a separate project. Stay involved and
help anyway you see fit. Email me any questions, comments or concerns you have.

Mr. Rabinowitz

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Check out this link

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

This Week in Literacy

In Sweden, people say tja (very informal; pronounced sha). This week we are revising our country reports. Monday was spent drafting up the conclusion and revising our topic sentences. Tuesday, writers met in their response group to get feedback from peers. Wednesday will center around 
using transition words in our details. Thursday will be spent editing. We are aiming to have the final copies finished by the 20th of April. Stay strong. 4th graders 
share the spelling game you learned today in class. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Autism Month

April is Autism Awareness Month

Autism facts to discuss with your students:

• Fact for the week of April 12- 1/88 people are living with autism; this is up from last year due to better identification processes.

• Fact for the week of April 19- Autism is a spectrum disorder, this means that people living with Autism are not all the same; some people can talk just like you and me and others have to communicate in a different way, some people can attend regular school classes will others have to go to a special class room that meets their needs. (These are just a few examples, there are many!!)

• Fact for the week of April 27- Anyone living with a disability prefers being acknowledged as a person first. This means that our friends at school are not autistic kids, they are kids with autism. Think of it this way, if you used a wheelchair would you want to be the “wheelchair kid or the kid who uses a wheelchair” or “a cancer patient or person living with cancer”?

I would like everyone to keep in mind when discussing our students with autism to always facilitate the conversation based on the fact that we are all different. That everybody deserves respect and kindness. Our students with autism are kids, they still like to play, do art, participate in gym, read books, and do puzzles; it just maybe in a different way than most.

We are having a school wide event on Fri. April 27th!

• Blue is the color chosen to represent autism.

• Please wear something blue to acknowledge autism.

• We ask that on Friday April 27th if you choose to wear blue to donate $1.00, in order to help buy our Autism classrooms software and ipads, please see Ms. Liz or Mr. Haude to donate!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

If your bored over break...

We watched this in class. Cheap and easy and instill the importance of not giving up.

Reading Log due on Friday.
All Country report notes due on Monday after break.

Above ankle socks for Ice Skating.


Monday, March 19, 2012


Students are beginning to research their country!

They are taking notes based on their research questions.

IT IS THEIR RESPONSIBILITY (PLEASE SUPPORT THEM) to find additional resources about their country. Even a visit to a bookstore without buying a book will go a long way. Review their questions. Look at their notes. Help them find resources.

All Notes are due the Monday after break.

This week we will learn how to cite sources, take two column notes, and discern trash from treasure when scanning information. In addition we will have book club and take a weekly spelling test. The reading log and spelling are both due as scheduled.

Please contact if you have any questions or concerns.


Thursday, March 8, 2012


Looking for a Few Good 4th Grade Parent Volunteers

Westerly Creek is excited to hold its first annual 5th grade Continuation Ceremony on Wednesday, May 23rd at 4:30pm. To prepare for this exciting event, we are seeking a few 4th grade parents who can help out with logistics, so that 5th grade parents can sit back and enjoy their students’ big day. Ideally this will be a tradition you too can enjoy next year when your child graduates from 5th grade. Regardless, we are looking for help with the following tasks: set-up, clean-up, passing out of programs, errand running(picking up materials), and manning a refreshment station. If you are interested in donating your afternoon to help this cause, please contact Assistant Principal, Marnie Moody Cooke at

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


All please follow the link below to register for a FREE youth basketball clinic put on by NCAA Division 1 coaches at South High School on March 31st. The clinic runs from 9am – 12:30pm. This is a very unique opportunity that will not come around often. It is run in conjunction with the Women’s Final Four that is being held here in Denver. Let me know if you have any questions and please push as many students to register as possible. It is open to students aged 8-16.

Justin Saylor

Manager of Athletics

Denver Public Schools


DPS High School Athletics

DPS Middle School Athletics


Dear Families,

This year Westerly Creek is producing its first annual school yearbook! The fifth graders are in the final steps of designing and organizing the book but need final photos in order to complete each page, that is where you come in! Please take a few minutes to submit any candid photos you have taken over the 2011-2012 school year to Mrs. FaJohn (2nd grade) at . The students will then create and design each page from there! Please submit all photos you have by March 12th. Also make sure to label the photos so we know who is who and the grade level as well! Thank you so much for your help!

Monday, March 5, 2012


Dear families,
Enrichment spots are still open, iincluding Karate, Cooking, Executive,Arts,Science and Guitar. Check out the link below…

Friday, March 2, 2012


Dear Westerly Creek Families of 3rd , 4th and 5th Grade Students,

The school year is flying before our eyes and we are quickly approaching the spring testing season. As you may know, we are working hard to ensure our students are engaged in high-level curricular conversations and critical thinking, via our daily literacy, math, science, social studies and specials instruction. We believe that a consistently rigorous approach to teaching students how to read, write, speak, listen and think in these content areas will prepare them well for the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP) in February and March.

The TCAP “is Colorado’s standards-based assessment designed to provide a picture of student performance to schools, districts, educators, parents and the community. The primary purpose of the assessment program is to determine the level at which Colorado students meet the Colorado Model Content Standards in the content areas assessed” (Colorado Department of Education website). DPS’s Interim Assessments are also standards-based and provide more regular information on how students perform on a multiple-choice/written response test format. Regardless, the TCAP is one data point among many that comprise a student’s academic Body of Evidence.

Although we appreciate the fact that the TCAP is a snapshot of student learning, we must also acknowledge the test’s sometimes far-reaching implications. TCAP is heavily weighted in our district and state school “report cards,” otherwise known as the School Performance Framework (SPF). Consequently, student performance on the TCAP can make a large impact on how our school is assessed, locally and across the state. Hence, we want to ensure all members of our community know its purposes and uses. We have discussed in length with 3rd grade students what the TCAP is, what it tells us, and how it is used, so please be prepared for some conversations with your child about testing.

Hopefully this context puts things in perspective. Here are some of the logistics you will need to know to ensure students are t prepared for the TCAP:

• 3rd grade Writing will be tested on 3/6and 3/7 from 9:30-10:30 in the morning.

• 3rd grade Math will be tested on 3/13 and 3/14 from 9:30-10:35 in the morning

• 4th grade Reading and Writing will be tested on 3/6-3/8 from 11-12 a.m. and 2-3 p.m.

• 4th grade Math will be tested on 3/13 from 11-12 a.m. and 2-3 pm. Their last session will be on 3/14 from 11-12 a.m.

• 5th grade Reading and Writing will be tested from 3/6-3/8 from 9:30-10:30 a.m. and 2-3 p.m.

• 5th grade Math will be tested on 3/13 and 3/14 from 9:30-10:30 a.m. and 2-3 p.m.

• 5th grade Science will begin the afternoon session on 3/14 (2-3 p.m.) and continue on 3/15 from 9:30-10:30 and 2-3 p.m.

During the testing window, please:

• Do your best to ensure your child has a good night’s sleep and has a healthy breakfast, so they are able to think well and marshall their energy for test-taking.

• Avoid scheduling non-urgent appointments so that students are present to test on the scheduled day. Studies show that most students perform better when testing with peers, than testing in a “make-up” session.

• Ensure your child gets to school on time (8:55am), so that he/she may test with peers, rather than sitting in a “late” room awaiting peers’ completion of the test. We cannot admit any late 3rd grade students to testing rooms after testing begins and they must make-up the test before re-joining their peers in normal school-day activities.

Please contact your child’s teacher(s) or one of us for any additional questions or concerns. We look forward to a successful testing experience for all our students.


The Westerly Creek Administrative team: Jill, Marnie and Jenn

Test-Taking Strategies that Work

What to do before a test:

• Get a good night’s sleep.

• Eat breakfast and drink water before you begin to test. Your body needs fuel to perform well.

• Stay positive. Think of the test like a game between you and yourself!

• Come prepared to your test on time.

What to do during a test:

• Scan the whole session immediately to see what kinds of reading passages, math problems and questions are on the test. Know what to expect!

• Read the questions two times and eliminate answers that don’t belong in your head.

• When working on the Reading sessions, read the questions first before beginning the passage. You need purpose to read efficiently.

• Pay attention to the time you are given. Return to questions that may have challenged you and CHECK YOUR WORK!

• Breathe deep and stay confident. You can do this!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


TCAP Test Taking Strategies:

• Be prepared (eat breakfast, sleep well, etc.)

• Do your best.

• Read the question TWICE.

• Check your work (in math that means perhaps checking it in a different way than you solved it)

• Ask yourself, “What is the question asking me?”

• Eliminate options to narrow it down. Read all of the choices before selecting a final answer.

• Don’t panic or stress out; try to relax. Stay calm.

o Take mini breaks if needed (stay seated; 1 minute or less)

o Use self talk.

o BREATHE! (Take 5 deep breaths and find your “center”)

o Remind yourself that although you want to do your best, it’s okay to get an incorrect answer.

o Count to 10.

• Skip and come back to questions you don’t understand. If you don’t know the answer, put down your best guess.

• Take your time.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Dear Westerly Creek Families:

Our 3rd, 4th and 5th graders will be embarking on the TCAP during the 2nd and 3rd week of March. Our goal is for every student to do their best, but we know that testing often causes anxiety and stress. We would like to provide an incentive or a "light at the end of the tunnel" for our students who put their best foot foward during this time. Students that do their best and show CREEK behavior throughout the entire testing window will be invited to participate at an ice skating event at Big Bear Skating Arena on March 23. Please help us with this endeavor and encourge your students to do their absolute best for these two weeks. Invitations will be extended collaboratively by teachers and admisitrative staff when students have been observed answering all test questions, putting in a concerted effort during the entire testing session and being present daily.

By modeling these behaviors, Westerly Creek will pay for admitance into the skating arena. We will be reaching out to have parents help us transport students from the school to the Lowry arena

Sunday, February 26, 2012

This Week in 4th Grade

Our next unit will focus on research and report writing. 4th graders will write a report on a foreign country.

Remember to buy your tickets for the school auction.

The school sleepover is coming soon. Let us know if you have any questions or concerns. Parents (dads!) are welcome to help out or even spend the night, too.

Reading logs and spelling resumed this week. Book club starts on Wednesday.

Happy trails,
Mr. Rabinowitz

P.S. 100% of the fiction stories were turned in by celebration time last Friday.
Stories are great and you should feel proud of their work.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Laptop Reflection

Hi 4th grade students,
I guess your snow dancing worked because there is no school on Friday. Enjoy your weekend.  Don't forget your reading logs for Monday. I removed comments that were unsigned or not on topic. Your enthusiasm came through on your comments. Have a great weekend. Finish your draft if you have not turned it in yet. Feel free to leave a comment. See you Monday!

Your teacher,
Mr. Rabinowitz

Laptop Day

Aloha Class,
I hope you enjoyed using the laptops. Please leave a complete sentence about why you enjoyed using the computers. Give examples. Include your name.

Mr. Rabinowitz

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Writing Homework: Draw your fictional story idea character's room. What posters? Messy?

Follow me on Twitter @rabinowitz4thgr

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


We have changed our Character Ed Assemblies on THURSDAY since we are now going to be in the gym.

2nd through 5th Grade 10:15 - 10:45

ECE through 1st Grade 10:45 – 11:15

Monday, January 9, 2012


Follow me on twitter for classroom updates as well.
Follow me @rabinowitz4thgr

There will be a learning curve for sure.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Next Friday is a normal school day

January 13 is a school day. Please update your schedules and calendars.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year

Welcome to 2012!

School starts tomarrow on Wednesday! See you then.