Third Grade Class
Parent-Child Back to School Newsletter 2011-2012
Dear Students and Parents,
I am very much looking forward to our upcoming school year together. We will be learning about many interesting things, as you may read below.
In mid-August, you will be receiving a letter from me, explaining the details of a back to school project.
Have a wonderful summer vacation!
PREVIEW OF COMING ATTRACTIONS:
Our year together will include:
- All About Books
- Colonial Concord
- Cursive Handwriting
- Decision Making
- Field Trips
- Geometric Solids
- Guided Reading
- Independent Reading
- Landmark Numbers
- Map Work
- Narrative Writing
- Natural Disaster Projects
- Open Circle
- Problem Solving
- Realistic Fiction
- Telling Time
- Writing Workshop
Here is our schedule of specials for the year:
Monday: P.E. 11:10-12:10
Tuesday: Music 9:00-9:45
Thursday: Art 10:10-11:10
Friday: Library 11:00-11:45
*Your child should wear/bring sneakers on Mondays for physical education (gym).
Please discourage your child from bringing a change of clothes for gym, as there is not time allotted for clothing changes. Please remind your child to bring in his/her library books for return/renewal on Fridays.
If your child is going to be picked up from school (and he/she normally takes the bus), please write a note, specifying who will transport the student and date the note. Also, if your child is going to a friend's house, please specify whether or not your child will be taking his/her regular bus and getting off at a friend's stop, or if the friend's parent will be picking up your child at school, or if your child is walking home with a friend. Please do not leave me a voice mail message or an email regarding a change in dismissal plans, as I don't usually have a chance to review messages/email until after school when the children have left.
In order to ensure the safety of your child, please remind him/her to use the crosswalk before and after school if walking, or being transported to/from school by private vehicle.
At dismissal time, I will be escorting the students outside. (If you need to dismiss your child early, you will need to report to the office and sign your child out there. Your child will then be dismissed from class and will join you in the office.) Outside, I will dismiss those walkers who have permission to walk home alone. I will also dismiss those students being picked up whose parents/caregivers have made eye contact/facial acknowledgment with me regarding dismissal of that student for that day. Adults with whom I am not familiar will need to speak to me before picking up a child. If you are picking up your child and you are not at the designated parental pick-up point when our class passes by, your child will remain in our class line until all students who are to be transported via bus have boarded. I will then return
to the pick-up area to see if you are there. If you are not, I will escort your child inside to the office, where he/she will await your arrival. If you arrive as I am boarding children on buses, please NEVER take your child out of line without telling me. It may be extremely hectic at dismissal time, and it is vital that I know where each of the students is.
At this time (mid summer), I do not yet know of specific food allergies for our class this year. As soon as I receive information regarding this, Nicki Richards (school nurse) and I will notify you of any necessary classroom snack restrictions in order to maintain the safety of our students.
Please send in a nutritious snack daily for your child. We have found that most children benefit from a midmorning snack in order to keep up their energy until lunchtime. Your child may also keep a water bottle on his/her desk for use during the day.
For birthdays, unless you are inviting the entire class to your child's birthday party, please do not have your child bring in invitations to distribute at school or verbally invite his/her peers while at school. As you may imagine, it may be quite painful not to be included in such an exciting event.
A NEW BEGINNING
As you may imagine, September is a time of transition as students return to a new school year, with new teachers, a new class, and new expectations.
Although we will be delving into our academics fairly quickly, we will also be spending time during the first few weeks of school establishing routines and procedures, forming our classroom community, and conducting a number of pre-assessments. The pre-assessments will address each student's learning profile, his/her interests, and his/her readiness level with respect to mathematics, writing, and reading. These assessments will help to guide our instruction during the year, as we will differentiate curriculum when appropriate, in terms of readiness, interest, or learning profile. Likewise, your child will experience a variety of learning situations during the year- whole group, small group instruction, paired learning, and individual support.
Because our specials are in the morning, we third grade teachers provide our recess period in the afternoon for all third grade students. This later recess is in addition to the lunch recess that students have following their midday meal. The students' lunch/recess period is scheduled for 12:25-1:05. Please keep changing weather conditions in mind when helping your child with clothing decisions for the day. The students at our school go out for recess twice every full day in all but frigid/heavy rainy weather conditions. You may wish to have your child keep a lightweight sweater/sweatshirt in his/her locker. On warm September days, with our efficient ventilation system, our classroom may be somewhat cool.
Speaking of clothing, please make sure all outer clothing is labeled with your child's name inside. Likewise, backpacks and lunchboxes should be appropriately identified.
In third grade, homework will be given more regularly than in second grade. To help in organizing homework assignments, I have obtained a homework assignment book for each student to use. A homework pocket folder will also be provided, but if your child prefers, he/she may bring in their own pocket folder. Please make sure the folder is labeled with his/her name on the outside cover. (As desk and locker space is limited, please stick to a simple folder, and not a large folder like a Trapper Keeper.) Students may bring in a flexible cloth pencil pouch, or a plastic pencil box if they would like, to hold supplies. Students will receive markers, colored and regular pencils, crayons, and assorted notebooks at school. Please do not have children bring in novelty erasers or other novelty items, as they tend to be a
frequent distraction in school.
As far as other supplies, please keep in mind that umbrellas are not allowed at school, and try to avoid bringing in backpacks with wheels. Such backpacks represent a potential safety hazard to others while walking in line at dismissal (which involves stair climbing, as well).
If you or your child has specific concerns regarding school, or are experiencing issues that may affect your child's life at school, it is most helpful if I am made aware of them. Please write me a note (or email), or leave me a phone message at school. I will get back to you as soon as I am able. It may not be until the end of the day following dismissal. (FYI- with regard to emails, because they are public records, I am required to refrain from referring to your child by name; instead I will use your child's initials or the words "your son/daughter.")
I hope that you and your child will be able to attend the Open House on Friday, September 2nd from 8:15-9:00 a.m. I will be looking forward to meeting your families, and having you visit our classroom.
BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT
Back to School Night will be held the evening of Wednesday, September 21st this year. I hope that all of you may attend. This event is for adults only, and will include my presentation of the third grade curriculum. Please bring your calendars, as I will have sign-ups for fall parent-teacher conferences.