Mary's Weekly Update 9-24-15

posted Sep 24, 2015, 10:52 AM by Cynthia Friedman

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Parent Meeting

September 18, 2015

Think and Wonder.

Wonder and Think.


Room 8                                                                             Teacher:  Mary Bach-Jackson


Welcome and thank you all for attending our Parent Meeting.  We are so glad you came!  Here is some basic information about the classroom this year.

Weekly Home Folder 

Each week your student will bring home a folder with their workplan and any special notices.  They may also bring home some of their unfinished work, as needed.  Please note that some of our work is difficult to bring home since it relies on equipment and materials in the classroom.  Please ensure that the folder and the workplan are returned Monday morning.

 Workplans and Completed Work

The students will be using a workplan that covers two weeks at a time, a bi-weekly workplan.  They will bring home their workplan every Friday to show you what they have done.  Please have a conversation with them about their work and then sign on the line next to "End of Week #1" or "End of Week #2", as appropriate.  At the end of Week 2, the  student will complete the "Independent Self-Evaluation" section and then save it in a binder here in the classroom.  If a student successfully completes all of their work on a workplan (woo hoo!), the following workplan will be on green paper and they are eligible for additional project work.

NOTE:  I will collect workplans from the students at the end of the day on Thursdays, so only work completed up until that time is checked off.  Also, I have not yet returned the bulk of their work since I am still using it to help sort out work groups in the classroom.  Once we get organized, I will return work throughout the week and students will be asked to make corrections when needed.  The students will be free to bring their work home once it is no longer needed.


Each student needs a water bottle in the classroom and a backpack to carry their things.  They also need to have a personal chapter book they are reading every day (there are books available in the classroom to borrow).  Having now worked with the new cubbies, I would also suggest that your student bring in a small pencil box to hold their pencil(s) so they don't roll around or fall out.

 XtraMath and Typing Club

You will see on the workplan that there is a section labeled "XtraMath" and "Typing Club".  These are free subscription services that the students will be expected to use outside of class as part of homework.  The student will be expected to do 8 XtraMath practices, and 2 twenty minute practices with Typing Club over a two week workplan period. 

I am currently arranging for individual logins for everyone, so there is no expectation for this homework to be done until I have this finalized.  I will tell the students to start planning for this work once everyone has their login.  If there is an issue with computer/Internet access at home, please drop me a note so that I can arrange for your student to complete this work in the classroom.

Weekly Schedule

Our mornings will be very much focused on individual work time and small group lessons.  This will be our main work period of the day to concentrate on academics.  The afternoons will include more large group lessons and time to work on our NUGYRO storyline.  It is also a time for specials such as music, PE, and reading.  If your child needs to be absent for a doctor's appointment/other, it is helpful if they can be out in the afternoon rather than the morning.  I have enclosed  a copy of our Semester One schedule for reference.  NOTE:  Please ensure that your student is appropriately dressed for PE on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Spelling Words

The students will be learning spelling words each week.  The word lists will change according to the student, however I want to first focus collectively on the state names.  All of the students will have groups of state names to study together before we start to individualize the lists.  It would be very helpful if you could help your student to study their words on a weekly basis.  NOTE:  their words will be written on the back of their workplan.


We really want to encourage handcrafts in the classroom.  I will read aloud at least twice a week, during which time the children are invited to draw quietly while listening.  It would be wonderful if we could open this up to crocheting/knitting/weaving as well.  To this end, we would welcome donations of clean yarn, embroidery thread, etc.  Starting in October, Samantha and I will be teaching small groups how to crochet.


Please send a healthy snack for your child to eat mid-morning.  They often get very hungry!  A healthy lunch is also greatly encouraged.  Please do not send candy or pop in your child's lunch.  We are unable to refrigerate or microwave the children's food, so please send temperature sensitive food in insulated containers. 


You may reach me at if you have any questions whatsoever.  I would love to hear from you!  Please note that drop-off and pick-up times are rarely the best time to speak about your child.  I am always happy to schedule a convenient time to meet!


If you are interested in volunteering in the classroom, please let us know! We greatly appreciate any time or expertise you are willing to give.  NOTE:  we are not having volunteers inside the classroom for the first six weeks of the school year.

 We are going to have a great year!

Mary Bach-Jackson & Samantha Windred

 The Laughing Planet Restaurant Fundraiser is Tuesday, September 29th,  11am-9pm at 2864 Willamette St.  Consider joining other Ridgeline families for dinner or grab take-out and Laughing Planet will generously donate 15% of their sales to Ridgeline’s general fund (PE, music, counseling and scholarships).  Great food and a great cause!