NYS math exams begin 4/30-5/2

Bismillah,

Dear parents and students, the NYS exams for math are coming up tomorrow, April 30th. Students once again are advised to rest well, make du’a, eat a healthy breakfast, and be prepared to concentrate on the test questions. As the fourth grader math instructor, I have not “taught to the test” all year, but rather I’ve tried to solidify their foundation, strengthen their base, review past concepts and introduce them to new topics all of which they could expect on the test. I am confident the majority of our students will do well. Those who have shown a need for additional assistance throughout the year may struggle but I will try to offer as much assistance as I can within the guidelines. We pray for our success in this life and in the life hereafter and ask for His protection.

Ustath Shaheed

The Power of Language – Reading is Awesome

As Salaamu alaikum parents, students and guests,

Reading is awesome! And being able to read in many different languages is just AMAZING! That’s what our last reading comprehension ELA class was about, wasn’t it fifth grade? Our captivating story was about an archaeologist by the name of Arthur Evans who became world-famous when discovered an Ancient Greek palace. We read about how he dedicated his whole life to trying to understand their ancient form of writing. Take a look at this short video:

The ancient Greek civilization was succeeded by or followed by the ancient Roman civilization. Keep that in mind. But before we actually began our new reading assignment this past Wednesday, we first actually looked at this video (note: light background music, in spots)

What do you think? Isn’t his story inspiring. The great part about his story (his story, get it? the great thing about his-story…history? oh nevermind) is that a lot of us at Al-Rasheed Academy, speak more than one language too! In fact, I would say easily over 90% of the school speaks at least two languages – what a head start we have over the average American private school. Here’s a website I found called Omniglot. Play around with it. It’s pretty amazing to get access to so many languages at once.

Ok, ok, here’s the super amazing part: Allah, The Most Great, speaks all about this topic in the Quran. This is just awesome…check this out. Allah says: “And from His proofs (that there is a Creator) is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your languages and your colors. Indeed in that are signs for those of knowledge.” (Sura 30, ayah 22).

Now where does Allah mention this fact about multilingualism (variety of languages)? He mentions it in Sura Ar-Room or the chapter titled “The Romans”. So a reading comprehension story about uncovering and decoding an ancient Greek language leads us to the only Quranic ayah about the variety of languages and it happens to be in the one surah named after the successors of the ancient Greeks, the Romans. Subhaan Allah…reading is just awesome!
Here is that ayah from Sura Room recited beautifully by the reciter Saad Al-Ghamadi: http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=30&verse=22

ELA State Tests Complete, Next Up: Math

The ELA NYS tests are complete. They were the same in format as they have been (find past examinations on http://www.nysed.gov) except the elimination of the listening selection. Book 2, which was traditionally the listening selection, instead included more reading and a combination of multiple choice and written response questions.

Now that they are done, we are looking ahead to the next test: the NYS math exams. These tests will be given at the end of April, from April 30 – May 2. I will begin our focus on NYS math test prep after the spring break, inshaa Allah.