Dana's Weekly Update 10-4-12

posted Oct 4, 2012, 10:22 AM by Cynthia Friedman
Dear Families, 
Happy Thursday! We have been cruising right along this week, working on completing and presenting our research on the Native American tribes of Oregon. Student groups began presenting information on Wednesday and they are doing a fabulous job! We have had students present information in a variety of interesting ways, from poster boards to trivia cards to power points presentations. As students present, we are looking at three aspects of their projects: information, overall appearance of their project and students’ presentation of information. We discussed previously what makes quality work in each of these areas and are revisiting this information for our self-evaluations. I can’t wait to see the rest of the projects! 

This week I introduced the idea of “Self-Managers” to the class. I have used this program with my classes in the past and have really enjoyed it since it not only works to motivate students, but to acknowledge those who are already doing a great job with work and behavior. In order to earn Self Manager status, students must complete all work, the work must be of good quality (at each student’s individual level) and they must demonstrate appropriate behavior. Behavior expectations include kindness and respect to all students and staff, appropriate words, safe actions and a good attitude. To allow students to track work, there is a chart in the classroom which lists all assignments that must be turned in for the week. Students are encouraged to check this list every morning before independent work time to be sure that they are aware of any assignments that they need to complete. The focus of the self-manager program is two-fold. One, students are empowered to be responsible for determining what they need to work on, and two, parents are kept up to date with how students are doing with this task. That brings us to the second part of the Self –Manager program: notes home. Every Friday in our green Ridgeline folders, students will get either a green or blue slip of paper. Green slips will congratulate students for choosing to be responsible with their work time and for completing required work for the week, blue slips will hold a list of late assignments that students will need to get caught up for the following week. We will be starting this coming Friday, so look for those slips and check in with your child. Students who earn Self-Manager status have shown that they can be responsible and manage time well so they are given more freedom, choices and responsibility in the classroom. Students will help determine some of those extra privileges, but they may include special projects, helping out in leadership roles in other classrooms, reading at the assisted living facility next door, walking field trips, special lunch opportunities and other ideas. You may want to discuss ideas with your child so that they can bring those back to the group. I would like to include activities and opportunities that will support and encourage all students! Thanks for your support of your student’s education and good work habits! 

We are still looking for parent volunteers to help support students during independent work time, 9:00-11:30 Monday through Thursday. This time includes our Writer’s Notebook and time for students to work on math, writing, reading, spelling, science, social studies and ongoing projects. This is a critical time period for practice, both academically and with organizing and following through with tasks and goals. Please support us by helping out during this time if you are able. Feel free to contact me for more information if you would like. 

As always, please be sure to contact me with any questions, comments or concerns, and thanks for sharing your fabulous child with us! 
Dana and Jenny