Update on Science EOG Exam.

Dear Parents,

Your children completed the science end of grade exam today in class. The VAST majority of the students that I had in class today felt really confident about their performance — so that’s good news!

I’m not exactly sure how scores will be reported, but I THINK your students will get a percentage score for the science and social studies exams and I think we will be sending those scores home at some point next week.

That’s similar to how grades have worked on our team all year long, but very different from how performance on Language Arts and Math end of grade exams are reported. A percentage tells you how your student did against this year’s version of the exam. The scale scores (1, 2, 3, 4 or 5) that you receive for Language Arts and Math end of grade exams are drawn from ranges that are determined based on the average performance of students who have taken the test in previous years.

In many ways, I think reporting percentages alone can be deceptive. For example, a child that is used to making all As in class might feel really bad about earning an 83 on the science EOG because it is a lower mark than they are used to earning. But if the statewide average on the exam is a 63 and the county average on the exam is a 66 — which was the case the last time that Wake County gave the sixth grade science end of grade exam — an 83 would actually be a great grade.

To better understand your child’s performance on this year’s science exam, I will share as much information with you as I can. That way, you will get a better sense of how your child’s performance fits in as compared to other sixth grade students taking the same exam.

And to better understand your child’s performance in science this year, I’d encourage you to look at more than just their end of grade exam scores!

They’ve earned dozens and dozens of grades, completed dozens and dozens of assignments, and taken a bunch of quizzes and tests on the content in our required curriculum. All of those individual marks are just as important in making an informed decision about how will your child is mastering sixth grade science content.

Hope this helps,

Bill Ferriter

Update on Honor Roll Assembly

Dear Parents,

Wanted to drop you a reminder to let you know that our fourth quarter Honors Assembly will take place next Wednesday, starting at 8:30 in the auditorium.

Parents of students receiving a Teacher’s Choice or Kids of Character award have already been notified directly. Parents of students receiving other awards (Honor Roll, Band Recognition, Perfect Attendance etc.) will not be notified directly by the Gnomes team. There are just too many kids being recognized to make notifications possible!

Our Honor Roll will be based JUST on fourth quarter grades. Students earning All As in all of their classes — including electives and PE — will receive an All A Honor Roll certificate. Students earning a 3.0 average or better on a 4.0 scale will receive an "Honor Roll" certificate.

Parents are invited to attend — but please don’t sit in sections labeled "For Students Only." We have a large team that we have to seat!

Hope this helps,

Bill Ferriter

Two More Parent Volunteers for Pizza Lunch Needed!

Hey Parents,

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we are planning a pizza lunch celebration for the students next Thursday from 11:00 – 1:00. It’s always a nice time for the kids — a chance to socialize with each other one last time before the year ends.

I am looking for two more parent volunteers who are willing to come and help us set up and serve for the event. I promise that it will be easy and maybe even a little bit fun!

If you think you can help out, please drop me an email at:


Thanks a ton for your consideration!

Be well,

Bill Ferriter

Does Your Child Have Their Lock?

Dear Parents,

Over the next week, I’ll be collecting locks from your students. If they’ve lost their lock, there will be a $5.00 replacement fee. We use those locks over and over again and can’t afford to lose any!

Please check with your child in the next day or two to see if they have their lock. If not, please plan on sending them in with $5.00 at some point in the next week.

Hope this helps,

Bill Ferriter

Reading EOG review tools

Attached is a PowerPoint presentation for review along with the Quizlet that we did today in class. Use these if you feel like you need a little extra review. Most importantly, rest up this weekend, and be prepared to give your VERY BEST EFFORT on Monday!

Mrs. Barrow


End of Grade Exams Start Next Week / Are Your Kids Studying?

Dear Parents,

A quick reminder that end of grade exams start next week. Monday is the language arts test. Tuesday is the Math test. Wednesday is the Social Studies test and Thursday is the Science test. Please remind your children to spend time practicing this week for their exams. Extra review can help your child to feel more prepared on the day of the test — and feeling prepared is a good feeling.

For science, the best way to study is to practice with Brainpop videos. Your children have a list of all of the videos connected to our curriculum in Google Classroom. Students can also use the practice test posted in Socrative, the Quizlets that we’ve used to study vocabulary all year long, our online textbook in Discovery Education and/or the paper vocabulary review packets that went home on Friday to review.

Two more things: Please be sure that your child comes to school next week with two sharpened #2 pencils to use on the exams and please be sure that your child gets a good night sleep and eats a good breakfast before the exams. All of those things are simple ways to make sure that they are physically and mentally prepared for the grind that is a week full of testing.

Hope this helps,

Bill Ferriter

LA Update

Today was named “make it better” day in language arts. We worked super-hard on corrections to yesterday’s assessment and revising our literary analysis. Most students did not fully complete either of these activities. Both the test and the revised analysis can be turned earned for extra points. Students know these are due next Thursday, June 15. I made it clear that I put a ton of sweat into providing helpful feedback on their writing. It is super important to me that every student takes the time to read the feedback and make the paragraph better.

Next week will be EOG review. We’ll spend three days playing The Amazing Race, a reading review game. I’ll give a couple of pep-talks, and we will be ready to tackle whatever the next week brings!

Thank you for your continued support this year. Let me know if you have questions or concerns.

Have a great weekend,

Chambliss Barrow
Salem Middle School
6th grade language arts

Science Extra Credit, Grades, and EOG Exam Updates

Dear Parents,

Just a reminder that students can turn in extra credit tomorrow to raise grades in science class. Any score below an 80 can be raised up to an 80. This may be the last time to turn in extra credit this quarter, so please be sure your kids take advantage of it if they have an average that you are disappointed with.

The best way to do extra credit is to find a Brainpop video connected to the topic of the assignment that they are trying to raise. For example, if your child had a low grade on their matter test, they can do a Brainpop video related to matter, take the quiz for the video, and complete one of the activities for the video. Quiz scores that are an 80 or higher are worth 3 points and activities that are completed accurately are worth 7 points.

Also, please know that our science grades are close to complete. We are likely to have one or two more practice tasks related to our space unit — but those tasks will do little to change your child’s overall average in class. So if you check your child’s grades in Powerschools now, you will get a pretty accurate picture of what their fourth quarter average is likely to be. Missing work will be accepted until June 19th.

Finally, please continue to encourage your child to spend 20 minutes per day studying for their science EOG exam. The test is probably the hardest EOG exam that they will take because it is mostly a remembering test — and students are expected to remember content covered over the course of the entire school year.

The best way to study for the test is to watch 2 Brainpop videos per night, take the quizzes associated with those videos, and complete one activity for each video. Brainpop videos do a nice job covering the biggest concepts in the required curriculum in short, semi-entertaining videos. Brainpop also creates a record of the concepts that students have mastered and the concepts that they are still struggling with. Students can find a list of all of the videos in Brainpop that are connected to our curriculum and sorted by unit posted in Google Classroom.

If students don’t want to use Brainpop to study, there is a practice test posted in Socrative, there are Quizlets (vocabulary practice activities) for every unit posted in Google Classroom, there are individual lessons posted by unit in Discovery Education, there was a vocabulary review sheet passed out in class on paper, and students can write review questions for our end of the year Quiz Bowl. All of those study tools can be helpful too.

To make this studying possible, I am not sending any homework home between now and the EOG exam. All required work for our ongoing unit will be completed during class time. Also, if students don’t have time to study at home, they can study during Spartan Time here at school.

Hope this helps,

Bill Ferriter