September 26, 2012
The year has gotten off to a terrific start. There may have been a few bumps here and there, but we are overcomers.
I would like to thank you for your parental involvement. You have been a tremendous asset. When your child knows that you are involved in their learning, they tend to do much better academically and behaviorally. Please continue to be supportive.
I would like to give a special thanks to Ms. Gale, one of our parents. She has provided our class with several snacks. Our lunch is at 11:30, but sometimes, the students get a little hungry before then. Therefore, they are sometimes given a small snack around 10:30 a.m. If you want to make a contribution of healthy snacks, we will appreciate it.
Parents, it is very important that your child comes to school on time, and attend on a regular basis. If he/she misses one day, there is so much they have missed. Therefore, they have to work extra hard to catch up so they do not fall behind. If you are aware that your child will be absent, please notify the teacher before hand. I want every student to be successful. Together we can make this happen.
In Math, the students are working in “Go Math.” The 3rd graders are working on problem solving which involves place value, addition, and subtraction. The 5th graders are working on graphing, understanding division, and plotting ordered pairs. All of the students work in Successmaker for math. In Successmaker, the students work on math skills that are on their learning level. These skills may be above or below their actual grade level. This tool allows us to remediate students in their area of difficulty and help them to be successful in math.
In Reading, the students use several curriculums that are on their grade level. “Open Court Reading” is the curriculum used for understanding comprehension skills and strategies, spelling, vocabulary, letter sounds, and also cross curriculum such as Social Studies and Science. Another reading curriculum that is used in reading is Focus. This tool allows us to focus on particular comprehension skills such as cause and effect, author’s purpose, compare and contrast, etc. We also use “Sadler Vocabulary.” The students learn additional vocabulary words and their multiple meanings. They learn the parts of speech, synonyms, and antonyms.
The students work in Successmaker for reading also. Successsmaker allows the students to work on their actual reading level, which may be above or below their grade level. Students can be remediated in Successmaker. This program shows their area of difficulty, and provides remediation material to help remediate the student. This has been a valuable tool for our students. For students who need additional help in developing and improving reading skills, “Sadler Phonics” is also used as a remediation tool.
When students have difficulty with word pronunciation and meaning, students are advised to write these words down and submit their list to me. The words are used in their word fluency list. If a student does not know the meaning of a word within their text, we use “context clues” to determine meaning. If the meaning is still undetermined, the students are required to do their own research to define the word. They will use the dictionary, computer, or thesaurus to determine word meaning. We discuss these meanings in our reading groups.
The students are encouraged to use strong verbs and adjectives in their writing. Therefore, they have created a book called, ‘My Crock Book.” This book has weak verbs and weak adjectives, which they have researched and replaced with strong verbs and adjectives. They are allowed to refer to this book when they are writing.
This year, the students have Pen Pals from another school, in another county. The students collaborate with other students their age and share ideas of interest. These letters are written once a week. The students look forward to receiving their Pen Pal letters.
Our reading block is two hours long, and it begins as soon as they come in and get settled. Therefore, it is so important that they come in on time.
We recently completed a lesson on privacy in Health. Students learned that there are certain things that should be kept private. For example, you should always close the door when using the restroom or showering. Also, you should not share things that are embarrassing or hurtful to others.
In Science we have been working on terms that relate to science such as investigation, evidence, and opinion. We have also participated in activities that involved sorting and categorizing items by ways they are similar.
Parents, please feel free to contact me regarding any matter that relates to your child and his/her learning or matters relating to school. I will try my very best to provide you with the information you need. Remember to check the ESE webpage
Homework procedures have changed since April. The following is the new homework procedure:
Monday – Write spelling words 5 times each.
Tuesday – Use all of the spelling words in sentences of 5 words or more; or, create a story using all of your spelling words. Remember to use strong verbs and adjectives.
Wednesday – Use all of the spelling words in sentences of 5 words or more; or, create a story using all of your spelling words. Remember to use strong verbs and adjectives.
Thursday – Take a spelling practice test at home and bring it in signed by parent.
Friday – Remember to read. No homework on Fridays.
Parents, let’s work together to help our children succeed. My prediction is “They will succeed.”