Friday, September 9, 2011

Newsletter September 9, 2011

Welcome to our first weekly newsletter! This should give you an idea of where we have been and where we are going in our classroom. What a journey we are on!

Math – In 5th grade math we started with our regular Everyday Math curriculum Tuesday and also with daily fact tests. This unit is about number theory and we have dabbled with factors and arrays so far. The students have been going to their groups for math and they are reporting that they are really liking the shuffling of teachers. We have also decided to extend our math block into resource time to offer the students a chance to meet with teachers and get help if they need it. 6th grade math kids are working super hard with Ms. Weber since they keep telling me they have no homework, way to go!

Science – Science starts on Monday with some liquid experiments and then we start variables, which is a great unit that allows us a peak into controlling experiments as well as how to write a research paper.
Social Studies – Social studies start next week with our first unit on US geography. This ties in perfectly with the start of blogging as well as we need those math skills to map our connections. I will be out for social studies training on Wednesday afternoon.

Reading – We have slowly started building stamina for reading. It is quite a sight seeing 23 students all sitting quietly and reading and often I get protests when I ask them to return to their seats. We are working on the first reading strategy; monitoring comprehension with class discussion and practice. We will work through all 6 strategies before we start guided reading with flex groups and shuffling. Literacy assessments also start next week so we will have a sub all day on Monday the 19th.

Writing - We did paper blogs this week to get us ready to start blogging on Monday. We had our first discussion on internet safety – the results can be seen on our website. We have also started our daily journals, I asked the students what color 5th grade is and they had very creative answers. The Global Read Aloud starts on the 19th, and we have more than 3,000 kids signed up.

Special Notes –
* You can reach me by calling my voicemail at 829.9374. Please don’t hesitate to call me with any questions and/or concerns. Communication between us is REALLY important to the success of your child. Please don’t hesitate to call or email me!

* We have had an amazing first week and a half together and I cannot tell you how thrilled I am over being this class’ teacher. They are working hard as a group and are already creating a welcoming and exciting learning environment. We have spent some time on procedures and getting to know each other, and I am confident that this is going to be an incredible year filled with growth for all of these students.

* Check out our website for great videos from the classroom as well as other information. From now on the newsletter will be posted there every Friday.

* If you have not received an email from me, something is not working. I have sent group emails almost every day and am getting some error messages. Please contact me if you are not getting the emails.

* The PTO is having their first meeting in the library on September 15th at 7 PM. The back to school dance will be September 30th and Thea and I will be there for sure getting our groove on.

* The classroom calendar is continually updated, please view it on our website to see when there is a sub, parties, early release or anything else going on. Also, if your child has a cool event you would like to invite others to, let me know and I will put it on the classroom calendar. I try to go to these things as well whenever Thea allows it.

* Orchestra will be Friday mornings at 9:30 AM – notes went home this week. Band starts on the 19th and I have all of the schedules here. Let me know if you would like to see the schedule, I can email it to you.
We welcome a new student on Monday. Alysha will be joining us and she hails from North Carolina, we are excited to meet her!

* I have some dates for you to put on your calendars: Sub on Wednesday September 14th PM only, Picture day is September 16th this year, Sub for literacy assessment on Monday, September 19th. The first CRT is September 21st so there will be early release that day at 11:19, PTO Back to School Hawaiian Party Night is September 30th.

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