February 21, 2018

Our First Week

What a busy week! I have enjoyed getting to know the new students and reconnecting with the “old” students. Our class is up and running, though not yet as smoothly as it could. We have adopted LIVE AND GROW IN A COMMUNITY OF LEARNERS as our motto for the school year. To that end, students are working on being kind to others, acting and playing in a safe manner, producing quality work, and accepting responsibility for their own actions. Your help in supporting the development of these habits is appreciated!

For our first reading unit, we are participating in the democratic process by voting for two different book awards. Both winners are chosen by students who read at least two of the nominated books. Titles and descriptions of the awards can be found at http://www.olaweb.org/mc/page.do?sitePageId=109508 for the Oregon Reader’s Choice Awards and http://oasl.info/cleary/2012/2012.html for the Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice Award. Our reading time is from 7:55 to 9:10 each morning, if you would like to volunteer to listen to individuals read or work with a small group.

Speaking of reading, my hope is to provide at least thirty minutes each day of uninterrupted reading time at school. Students are expected to continue reading the same book at home for 15-30 minutes each afternoon or evening.  As I told the kids, however, I would much rather hear an honest answer of zero when asked how many minutes were read the night before than have a false record on the book log. Students are taking the role of researchers to analyze and improve their reading performance. It is vital that the books, as well as the green folder and homework/book log, go back and forth to school each day. This is your child’s responsibility, though he/she will probably need reminders until the habit is established.

This has been a week of evaluation – lots of spelling assessments and math assessments. The information gathered from these assessments will enable me to pinpoint the students’ levels in spelling and math. Next week, (hopefully), we can begin weekly spelling lists and math groups. For spelling, we will focus on spelling and sound patterns. Students will be given twenty words each Monday. Each group will sort them by pattern and the kids will write them on their homework logs. Daily homework will include studying and learning those twenty words, using the list or word cards that they will also bring home on Monday. Tests will be on the following Monday. I will only test each group on ten of their twenty words, in order to complete the tests in a timely manner.

Another of my goals for this year is to have each student working at his/her level in math. I hope to run our math classes while some of the students are at music. Music/math will be during three different periods: 9:55-10:30, 10:30-11:05, and 11:05-11:40. At first look, it would be advantageous to have six small math groups in order to give personal attention to all. I would dearly love to have parent volunteers every day during math to help guide students. Honestly, you don’t need to be a math whiz to be a successful volunteer! Please e-mail me or give me a call if you can commit to helping us during math time one day a week, even if you can only help for one or two of the three periods.

We have a marvelous field trip coming up on Thursday, September 15th. We will be touring historical sites and visiting the Barlow Road Pioneer Camp. We were only able to reserve the 12:30 p.m. slot, so that means we will return to school at 4:30 p.m. I realize that this may pose a hardship to some families, but the opportunity is too good to pass up. Please arrange to pick up your child at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 15th. We also need several chaperones for the trip. Please e-mail or call me if you can volunteer.


  • Monday, September 5 – Labor Day Holiday
  • Wednesday, September 7 – Community Cook Out 5:30 School Open House 7:15-8:00 p.m.
  • Friday, September 9 – Friday School Day
  • Thursday, September 15 – Barlow Road Pioneer Camp RETURN TO SCHOOL AT 4:30 P.M.






About Susan Handy