Dear Parents/Guardians of Room 25 Students:
My name is Mrs. Meier and I am excited to be your child’s teacher this year. I look forward to helping all students grow academically and emotionally during their school year. The 4th and 5th grade teams are working closely to ensure a strong learning environment and standards-based classroom as your child transitions to a larger class size, a longer school day, and increasingly more difficult curriculum. This year, we will focus on the practices of problem solving, perseverance, communication skills, and working independently. Thank you in advance for supporting at home what we do in class! I am happy to talk with you or meet with you about any questions you may have at 956-5545 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Our academic schedule will consist of:
- Language Arts – This is the 2nd year of our adopted Wonders Reading Program from Houghton Mifflin. It is a comprehensive program which emphasizes the development reading and thinking skills needed to be successful readers of both fiction and non-fiction, comprehension, grammar, writing, vocabulary, and listening/speaking. The class will also be using novels to master these standards.
- Math – We will use group work (Math Workshop model), manipulatives, independent “struggle time”, handouts, number talks, accountable talk, partner work, and interactive notebooks to increase understanding of concepts, procedures, and “rules”. Emphasis will be on explaining and representing work. Math facts (multiplication and division) are also a MUST if students are to persevere through problem solving and work efficiently!
- Social Studies – We will focus on geography, people, and places in California history and Early US history (Colonies to Constitution).
- Science – We will learn about physical, earth and life sciences to include ecosystems, food chains and ecosystems, rocks and minerals, energy, electricity, space, matter and the scientific process.
- Physical Education – P.E. is a state mandated requirement for all elementary students! Appropriate shoes are a requirement for students to be successful each day in P.E. We will work on cardio (running and calisthenic exercises) and varied team sports and skill building. Sportsmanship is also graded.
Homework: Students will be using a daily assignment calendar this year to keep organized, and to keep you updated on what we are learning in class, what homework will be expected for the day, and for class reminders. Appropriate homework helps build organizational skills, time management skills, and allows for important home practice of skills learned in the classroom! It is also an opportunity for parents to see what we are working on in class. With that being said, I also believe how important family time is in an increasingly busy world. Therefore, no weekly homework packet will be sent home. Homework will be assigned daily, checked the following day, and will focus on daily reading, review of math concepts, and sometimes unfinished classwork. Occasionally, students may have parts of a class project to work on at home, but most projects will be done in class. Also, I cannot stress enough how important learning math facts (times tables) is!
Daily Folders: This year students will start using the Rio Seco folder as a daily communication folder. If your child would like to buy his or her own folder they like better, that would be fine. I would very much appreciate that you ask to look at this folder each and every day. It is your child’s responsibility to bring it to and from school on a daily basis. The LEFT side pocket will have any papers that are to be “left at home.” There may be district or school notices, graded classwork and tests, etc. Please look over any graded work and discuss your child’s progress with them. The RIGHT side pocket is for homework and/or any communication that should come “right back to school”. I do not wait until Friday to send papers home. This daily routine is part of the responsibility building process. Thank you in advance for your help with this matter.Classroom Environment: To make our class a pleasant place to be, and to give ALL students the opportunity to learn, our classroom expectations emphasize respect, responsibility, resourcefulness, and positive attitudes. Students are expected to act appropriately and take responsibility for their choices and actions. My focus is preparing your child for future academic endeavors and establishing a foundation to be successful in life.
- Incentives - This year we will have a classroom economy that pairs with classroom jobs and citizenship bonuses! Students will be paid a monthly salary and may earn a wage, but they will also have to pay monthly rent and possible citations. Every 2 months or so, I will open the Class Store where students may purchase items or extra privileges. In addition, students will work to earn classroom privileges, monthly rewards activities, praise, whole class points (working toward class goal), etc. On rainy days or high heat days, movies will be shown during lunch. I need your permission to show PG movies which may include titles such as The Incredibles, Despicable Me, Ice Age, and more.
- Consequences will be tailored to match individual infractions. for disrupting the learning environment include warnings, detention, removal from the activity or classroom, missed recess, private talk with teacher, phone calls home, parent conference, or office referral. The 5 - Step Plan will be used at all grade levels.
I-pads and Computer Use: This is a heavy technology year for your child. The addition of I-pads has enabled us to personalize learning and add an important component to academic instruction. In addition, I would like your child to be able to improve word processing this year. They will be doing a lot on the I-pads! ******I highly encourage you to consider allowing i-pads to go home with your child. There are many wonderful apps and learning opportunities for your child to access.
Grading: The 4th/5th grade report cards use a rubric scale as follows: 4 – Exceeds grade level/trimester goals, 3 – Meets grade level/trimester goals, 2 – Working toward grade level/trimester goals, 1 – Not meeting grade level/trimester goals. All assignments will not be assessed the same way. Some will have percentages attached, some will be based on the rubric, and some will only be checked for effort and neatness. Traditional grades are not given and percentages/letter grades do not always equate to the rubric. If you have concerns, please feel free to contact me.
Organization and Supplies: I expect that students can manage materials successfully at this age level. Purchasing personal supplies for your child is encouraged. They are listed on the supplies section of this website.
A Note about pencils...
In the past, pencils have become a MAJOR distraction! For reasons too long to list, I have decided to supply your child with a mechanical pencil that holds 0.9 mm lead. By using the thicker lead, there is virtually no breakage (frequently happens with thinner leads), students are not needing to constantly sharpen pencils, and are always ready to go. I only allow the mechanical pencils I purchased at the beginning of the year. If your child would like to have their own mechanical pencil, that is fine as long as it uses 0.9 mm lead.I look forward to working with you and your child to ensure a positive learning experience!