Dear Families: I’m looking forward to a great year with your child! Since communication and teamwork with families are important elements in a child’s education, I would like to bring your attention to a few notes to start the school year. SNACK: Please send a nutritious snack with your child for morning snack break every day. CONTACT: I usually check my email before school, while students are in specials, and at the end of the day. If you send me an email, I will do my best to reply within 24 hours. If you have a change of transportation for your child, please send a note or call the office instead of emailing me. I am not usually able to answer my phone during the school day. If you leave me a message, I will do my best to call you back within 24 hours. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions/concerns! FLEXIBLE LEARNING SPACE: Last year our classroom became a flexible learning space. What does that mean and why am I choosing to do it? Instead of each student having a personal desk, our classroom has tables of various sizes and several seating options including regular classroom chairs, stools, and ball chairs. Students will spend time trying each seating option and figure out where they are able to learn and work best. Some students do better in groups, while others enjoy partners or independent work. Some students like to sit in traditional chairs, while others work better bouncing gently on a ball or sitting on a cushion on the floor. Flexible learning spaces give students more opportunities to take responsibility for their learning and allow for easy changes of partners and small groups. BEHAVIOR SYSTEM: We will be following the school-wide behavior system. At Pinecrest Elementary we focus on being safe, respectful, responsible, and ready to learn. If your child excels in one or more of these areas he/she may receive a Caught Ya ticket to recognize the behavior. If your child has difficulty following these guidelines he/she may be asked to “take a break” in our classroom. If the behavior persists and/or is serious I will contact you. Your child may also receive a Fix-It ticket (pink) that will need to be discussed at home, signed, and returned. Please contact me whenever you have questions or concerns. We want your child to be successful here! Please see our class website for specifics about behavior management in our classroom. ABSENCES: If you know your child is going to be absent please let me know at least two days in advance so I can prepare a homework packet so he/she is not too far behind upon returning to school. If your child is absent due to illness, he/she will be given all written work missed and should return it to school in a timely manner (generally two days for every day missed). WEEKLY NEWSLETTERS: A link to our weekly newsletters will be sent to you via email and will be posted on my website. Please contact me if you would like a paper copy. DAILY FOLDERS: Your child will be responsible for bringing his/her blue Daily Folder to school every day. Please help your child get into a routine of checking this every night and putting it back into his/her backpack to return to school the next day. This folder is where you will find completed assignments as well as flyers with other information to keep you up to date with events at school and in our community. Not all class work will be graded. Most flyers will come home on Fridays. Special Kid Day: This is slightly different than “Star of the Week”. Your child will be assigned a number at the beginning of the year. This number is important, because the students will use it to recognize their “Special Kid” Day (“Special K” for short). If your child’s number is “5”, on the fifth day of every month (if it is a weekday) your child will have a “Special K” Day. If your child’s day falls on the weekend, we will try to place him/her at the end of the month. Here are just a few of the duties of a “Special K”- -line leader -door holder -sharpen pencils -teacher’s helper The “Special K” also gets a few minutes to share a story or item from his/her life to help classmates get to know one another better. Examples of great items to share include photographs and scrapbooks, souvenirs, items from personal collections, etc. Note: please do not let your child bring any especially valuable or breakable items for their “Special K” share. (When a child is “Star of the Week” they have 5 days to help, but when you are a “Special K”, they have up to 8-9 times to help out!) BIRTHDAYS: Student birthdays are posted and celebrated in our classroom. If your child would like to bring a nutritious snack or non-food item to share with the class that is easy for them to pass out, we currently have 23 students (fruit, pencils, stickers, erasers, etc.). Our district’s wellness policy no longer allows us to have sugary birthday treats in the classroom. Another option is to donate a book or educational game to our classroom in honor of your child’s birthday. DO NOT send birthday invitations to school for your child to pass out unless everyone in the classroom or all the students of your child’s gender will be receiving one. BOOK ORDERS: Watch for Scholastic Book Club orders to come home periodically in your child’s Daily Folder. Purchasing these books is always optional, but it is a great chance to purchase books at a reasonable price and earn points for our classroom to put towards more books and educational materials! FIELD TRIPS: We hope to go to the Hastings Fire Department, LeDuc Mansion, Science Museum of Minnesota, and the Mill City Museum. Permission slips must be signed and returned in order for your child to participate. There will be opportunities for chaperones. Watch for more information! VOLUNTEERS: Please let me know if you are interested in volunteering in our classroom (filling Friday folders, hanging class work in the hallway, working with individuals or small groups, helping with class parties, etc.) or from home (assembling Scholastic flyers, preparing materials, etc.) I appreciate volunteers! CLASSROOM PARTY/SUPPLY MONEY: Because we like to make school as fun and interesting as possible, we will be having a few classroom parties and doing some activities as extensions of our curriculum. Unfortunately, this can become quite expensive. To defer the cost we are asking for each child to donate $10.00 to our classroom. Please send it in an envelope with your child’s name on it if you did not bring it to Open House. Thank you in advance!
I’m looking forward to an exciting and fascinating year with the students. I have high expectations for classroom behavior and achievement. We will cover many different themes, challenge your child in a variety of learning activities, work together as a team, and learn, learn, learn! I believe that when teachers and parents are partners, students get more out of the school year. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or comments throughout the year.