**Welcome to Gagnon's Gazette!**

**September 13, 2012**

** **We have officially completed our first full week of Middle School. Your children are adjusting well to all of the changes that are placed upon them at the Middle School. **A few reminders:** All students should have an Agenda book by now and their text books covered (both Math and Geography). If your child did not purchase an Agenda book from school they can get one where ever they'd like but, they should have it by now. Students are responsible to have their Agenda books with them when they go to class, be sure to copy their assignments accurately off the homework board into their Agenda books, complete their homework the night it's assigned, and have it with them the following day to be passed in. In **Math** class I generally give homework every night- Monday-Thursday. Some Fridays there will be homework assigned if a test is scheduled for the following Monday. Students are encouraged to study/review for a test over the weekend, otherwise there is no homework on Friday.

**Math Periods 2, 3, and 6**

Speaking of tests, this **Monday, September 17th**, students will be taking **Math** **Topic 1 Test**, therefore there is homework this Friday. To prepare for tests students should always look over the reteaching pages in their texts at the end of each topic. These pages review the skills that have been taught in the unit, give examples, and practice problems. Students do not need to complete every problem but they should read over the pages to refresh their memories as to what has been taught for a particular Unit they are on and try a couple of problems. They should study/review all their vocabulary terms, every lesson for the unit is in their Binder. The Binder is another great resource to use when studying/reviewing for a test. Students have been working on **Numeration- **Place Value of whole numbers and decimals, comparing and ordering whole numbers and decimals, writing whole numbers in standard form, expanded form, short word form, written word form and exponential form, and multiplying and dividing decimals by a power of ten. Lastly students will be solving word problems by making ordered lists.

**Geography Period 4**

Students have been very busy in **Geography** as well. Students have been working in cooperative groups researching a specific continent and creating a poster about the Continent they've been reseaching. They have also been studying the **location and the correct spelling** of all 7 continents and they will be given a test tomorrow, **September 14th. **Next test will be on **locating and the correct spelling **of the oceans. Monday we will continue learning about the 5 themes of gegraphy.

I feel that the first few weeks have been going quite smoothly. I enjoy all of the students' uniqueness as a whole and individually. They truly are a wonderful bunch of kids! Kudos to you all!! Only area of concern, at the moment, is the fact that homework isn't being completed by all and/or passed in by all. In 6th grade homework is always due the following day unless otherwise noted in their agenda books. No excuses. For all my Math classes and the Geography class that I teach, if students forget their homework/don't do their homework I enter a grade of zero in my rank book until I get the assignment the following day. I grade the assignment and then deduct 10 points for being late. Then I replace the zero with the grade they received. If students do not bring in the assignment the next day, the zero stays. Homework is a critical piece of our curriculum in all subject areas. **Homework:** As stated in School Committee Policy 4.6, "Homework is supplementary work in a particular area to reinforce learning. It is to be assigned on a regular basis according to the needs, ability, and achievement of the student." Homework is an integral part of the curriculum. It is utilized to reinforce skills, develop independent study and improve study habits. Homework should be considered an extension of the classroom. All homework should show effort and thought according to the student's ability. I also use homework as a teaching tool to assess where students needs are at the moment. If and when students are not given a specific assignment they are strongly encouraged to use that time to study vocabulary terms and/or review the skills that are currrently being taught. This is just some general information, I will discuss my class procedures and expectations next week at Open House.

I look forward to meeting you all at **Open House next Wednesday, September 19th, 6:30-8:30 p.m. **

**Have a Wonderful Weekend Everybody!!!!!**

**Fondly,**

**Mrs. Gagnon**