Dana's Weekly Update 9-13-13

posted Sep 16, 2013, 11:00 AM by Cynthia Friedman

Dear Families of our fabulous fourth, fifth and sixth years,


Welcome: We are off to an amazing start!  Naomi and I have had such a fun time getting to know all of your children in the last few days!  They are all excited and positive about the new school year.  It is always a great experience to watch the students come together as a group as they begin to get to know each other!


This week and next we will really focus on making personal connections and on outlining our class expectations on everything from how to respectfully share differing opinions with a classmate to what defines quality work.  We are working on generating class rules that will allow us to create an environment that supports persistence, creativity, a love of learning, empathy and quality work. 


As we strive to create our classroom, we have also worked on assessing our strengths and areas for personal growth.  We are completing the EasyCBM assessment that gives us one measure of each child’s current academic level in math, reading comprehension, reading fluency and vocabulary.  We will also be assessing our learning styles in order to consciously decide how to be most effective during work times.  Over the course of the year we will be setting both short and long term goals and revisiting our progress on those goals.


Projects:  In order to get to know one another better, each member of our classroom has begun work on a project that displays their academic (“school”) side as well as their leisure (“home”) side.  It is a great project that helps us get to know each other and also reviews percentages, graphing and using vivid language!  We will be posting the completed projects in our room so that you can admire them when you come to our class meeting on Thursday, Sept 24th from 6:30-7:30.


Next week we will begin a long term research project.  Each student in our class will be creating a research calendar on a topic of their choice.  The calendar will include research, artwork and math.  It’s a great opportunity for students to follow their interests and challenge themselves within a framework of support.  More info will be coming home in your Friday Folder so be sure to check it out.  Your child’s homework this weekend is to come to school Monday with five calendar topic ideas written on a piece of paper.


Lunch:  When your child is preparing lunch for next week, please remind him/her to bring any food that needs warming in a microwave-safe dish.  We do not have any dishes or silverware for student use.  If your child would like to have a reusable water bottle for the classroom, please be sure it is spill-proof and has his/her name on it.  They should go home on Fridays to be washed.


Volunteering:  I would love to have parents help out in our classroom, particularly during morning work period from 9:30-11:30.  Please let me know if you would be available to help.  Remember that if you would like to help in the classroom or on field trips, you will need to have a background check and (if you are transporting students) an up-to-date copy of your license, registration and insurance on file with the office.  Please take the time to do that soon so you will be ready when opportunity knocks!  ;)


Thank you for sharing your wonderful children with us!  Please feel free to contact us with any questions, comments or concerns.


Dana and Naomi