Weekend Routines

Wow, it’s hard to believe that we have completed our 3rd week of school!  I look forward to meeting and seeing families next week at our Open House. As you enjoy this last weekend of summer, I wanted to clarify weekend routines for families.  Students go home every Friday with a Friday Folder and write in a communication journals most weeks.  Friday Folders & Communication Journals  help you stay informed and up-to-date with important information and events at school. Home work binders and Planners do not go home on weekends.

135740Friday Folders:

Friday Folders are an important communication tool between home and school.  All notices, important information, and most completed student work for the week goes home in our Friday Folders (poly folder with Velcro flap), as well as your child’s communication journal.  It is important for families to go through the Friday Folder and review student work and notices.  Parents also need to read and respond to their child’s communication journal (see below), and return any paperwork to school via the Friday Folder.  When your child arrives at school on Monday, they empty out the folder and hand everything in (communication journals & paperwork).

composition-notebook_~bxp28366Communication Journals:

We have started writing in communication journals. This is a way for you to hear about your child’s week from their perspective.  Most children share things that are meaningful and interesting to them.  It is a great way to spark a discussion with your child about how their week went.

We are practicing many skills when we write in these journals.  Students are learning proper friendly letter format; a struggle for many fourth graders to master.  We are also practicing paragraph writing.  In fourth grade we must write paragraphs that are focused on ONE topic.  Each paragraph needs to have a topic sentence, a minimum of three detail sentences, and a closing sentence.  We are working on writing more detailed sentences.  These skills are very important for essay writing.

You are highly encouraged to journal also.  This is an opportunity for you to have an ongoing written dialogue with your child about what he/she is learning in school.  Journaling is much more fun and effective when your child knows that you will be responding each week.  These journals will give you detailed accounts of at least two things we worked on during the week.  Look for these communication journals to come home most Fridays.  They should be returned the following Monday.

Please note that the student journal entries are not edited by me and are an authentic reflection of your child’s current writing ability.  Happy journaling!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

It was nice to be back to school today  . . . the kids were GREAT!  Which was nice because I was sick over vacation and I’m still under the weather.  So . . . what did we accomplish today?

  • Seating changes . . . Students arrived this morning to new seats.  Not everyone moved, but many did.
  • Spelling this week will be NIFTY FIFTY words.  Students have 36 words to work with this week, however 22 of them were on the last nifty fifty test and all have been on spelling lists this year.  We focus on word parts:  prefixes, suffixes and root words to help us spell them.  Prefixes change meaning, but are usually just added to words and suffixes often require a spelling rule to add to a base word (ex. change y to i and add er).
  • Before vacation, students wrote an on-demand report about arctic adaptations . . . . they were great first attempts!!!  Today we looked at the prompt more carefully and discussed how kids can plan effectively.  We will have at least one more on-demand report this year!!!  FYI:  On-demand writing requires students to write an ESSAY from a prompt without teacher help.  It is an authentic reflection of a students’ independent writing. 
  • We started JOURNAL 2 today in math.  Everyone was excited to have a brand new book.  Nothing beats a new journal!!!  We are started a fraction unit today.   Today’s lesson was easy and kids should be able to complete homework fairly easily. 

It is so hard to believe it is MARCH.  We still have so much to do.