September 22, 2017

Week of August 27

We have enjoyed a wonderful first week of school together in Room 9. Thank you for sharing your marvelous children! We have been getting to know each other these last few days, and planning how we can “Live and grow in a community of learners.” My three expectations for everyone are:
  • Be kind, honest, and respectful
  • Play safely and fairly
  • Work hard and be productive
For the first couple of weeks, students are choosing books to read from a list of nominees for two separate awards- Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice Award http://oasl.memberclicks.net/bccca-nominees and Oregon Reader’s Choice Awards http://www.olaweb.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=205 . Students who read at least two of the nominated books are allowed to vote for the winner. I have a few copies of most of the titles available in the classroom, but feel free to check out the websites and borrow your own copies from the library. Multnomah County even has some of the titles available as downloadable e-books or audiobooks.
Speaking of the library, Deborah Gitlitz at the Troutdale branch is inviting students to Read to the Dogs! Kids make half-hour appointments to practice reading aloud to a non-judgmental, cute and furry, pet-able audience. A dog/human team will be available from 10:30 to noon every Saturday morning, and in September they will have another team on Thursday afternoons after school (3:30-5). Call 503-988-5355 to register.
Please be sure that your child is reading each day, and recording pages and minutes on the green homework log. The log and green folder need to come back and forth to school each day. It would be very helpful if you could sit down with your child on Sunday afternoon (or Monday of holiday weekends) to add up total pages read for the week and total time (in hours and minutes). We will be graphing the data on reading habits each Monday (Tuesday of next week), so it is vital to complete the form to get an accurate picture.
Your child should have brought home two composition notebooks yesterday. Their homework this weekend is to decorate the front cover of each notebook. The learning log (the one with the tabs) should reflect their interests. For instance, mine has my picture, a photo of my family with our bikes, and pictures of a board game, quilt, and a book. The other notebook will be used as a nature journal, so its cover should show scenes from the outdoors. Mine includes scenic pictures and ways that I enjoy nature, such as hiking and biking. Both notebooks need to have the owner’s name featured prominently.  I cut out individual letters from magazines to spell out my name. Decorations may include photos, drawings, clip art, cutouts from magazines, or shapes or designs from construction paper. Only the front covers should be decorated, not the backs! Notebooks must be brought back to school on Tuesday, so that we can apply clear contact paper for protection.
Yesterday, we began working in math groups. The concepts are review at first, so should be relatively easy. That allows us to concentrate on establishing solid routines. Later in the school year, those students who have demonstrated proficiency, efficiency, and responsibility will be allowed to move ahead at their own pace. I recommend bookmarking http://www.ixl.com/ on your home computer. This math site lists hundreds of skills for each grade level. Students choose the category on which to work. It is not necessary to pay for a membership, as one is allowed twenty free practice problems each day.
Our entire intermediate team went to work in the Paper Factory on Thursday afternoon. Students mass-produced hundreds of colored paper, in a variety of shades. This should supply our paper needs for murals and other art projects for the next couple of years. We have a super bunch of kids – they worked really well together!
Thank you for sending in the blue info sheet this week. If your child is not sticking to his/her usual after school routine, please send me an e-mail of the change. I try to check my e-mail a couple of times a day, but sometimes we get rather busy. If you don’t get a response from me by 2:30, please call in to make sure that we get the message. Thanks!
Expect an e-mail message from me at the end of each week and share it with you child. I try to include a summary of our projects, notes about homework, a recommended website or two, and news of upcoming events. Your child will also write you an end-of-the-week letter. Please ask for it, if it has not already been delivered to you.
I enjoyed seeing many of you at the BBQ on Wednesday. Stay in touch!
Susan Handy
IMPORTANT DATES
Monday, September 3      Labor Day Holiday
Friday, September 7         Friday School Day
Tuesday, September 11   Field Study at Wildwood Recreation Center  (Please return permission slips on Tuesday)
Tuesday, September 25   Field Study at Oxbow Park (Information will follow later)
Wednesday, October 3
      and
Thursday, October 4         Conferences (If you did not sign up at Open House, please let me know which day and time period work best for you.
                                                                        Choose either 4-6 p.m. or 6-8 p.m. and I will assign a 15 minute slot for your family.
Thursday, November 8     End of the first trimester
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