Back To School, FYI

Weekly Planner Sheet and Reading Homework

Hello, parents!

Research shows that daily homework has little to no effect on elementary-age students. For the most part, the only daily work your child will have at home is reading. Because students have choice in what they read, they should be more than willing to complete this daily assignment. Here is what is expected of students each day for their reading homework:

  • Bring independent reading book to and from school and home each day.
  • Read for at least 20 minutes outside of school.
  • Record reading on the home reading calendar, which students keep in their take home folders.

I encourage you to talk with your child about what he or she is reading.  Visit this page for some ideas about talking to kids about books, or start with one or more of these questions:

  • Who are the characters in your book? What problem are they facing?
  • When and where does the story take place?
  • Is there a character in the story to whom you can relate? Why?
  • Who is your least favorite character in the story? Why?

Although reading will be the main homework, there will be times when students need to study, finish projects, or practice skills for mastery. You can keep up with what we’re working on in class as well as with any work that may be assigned by checking your child’s weekly planner sheet. We fill this out together daily, and you can also find a copy that is updated daily on the “Weekly Agenda” tab of the blog.

Back To School

Fifth Grade Supply List

Hello, friends.

Wow! Can you believe that July is already here? I realize that we are not even halfway through summer break, but do you know what will start appearing in stores right after the Fourth of July? That’s right: school supplies! Even as an adult, seeing those huge displays of brand new notebooks, folders, highlighters, pens, and pencils fills me with excitement and anticipation for the new school year. In case you are as eager as I am to get your new school supplies, I am including a list of supplies that you will need for the new school year.

I hope you have a safe and fun Fourth of July!

Love,

Mrs. Ball

Classroom Supplies

  • (1) pencil box
  • (4) spiral notebooks (wide rule)
    • red
    • yellow
    • green
    • your choice
  • (4) two pocket folders
    • red
    • yellow
    • green
    • blue
  • (1) 3-ring binder (1 inch)
  • (3) packs of 3”x 3” sticky notes for communal use
  • (4) dry erase markers
  • (1) highlighter
  • (1) scissors
  • (1) package of colored pencils
  • (2) large glue sticks
  • (1) pair gym shoes to be left at school for physical education class

**Please do not bring a large trapper keeper type binder.  These are just too big to store in the desks in our classroom.**

Highly recommended items:

  • extra #2 pencils
  • extra glue sticks
  • erasers
  • colored marking pen for editing/correcting (not black or blue)

If you’d like to help out, below are some additional supplies that you can donate for communal use. Please consider choosing one or two.

  • tissues
  • disinfecting wipes — lots of disinfecting wipes!
    • We use these daily to clean our tables and other classroom surfaces.
  • extra snacks
    • to be kept on hand for when a child forgets to bring a morning snack.
    • suggestions:
      • chewy granola bars (peanut & tree nut free please!)
      • mini bags of pretzels
      • graham crackers
Back To School, FYI

Great First Day and Talent Sharing Activity Reminder

Hello parents!

We had a great first day today! We spent some time learning about our classroom routines, and we had a great discussion about ways we can make sure that no one feels invisible in our classroom. I was amazed at the thoughtful responses your kids shared.

Tomorrow we will be starting the talent sharing activity described in the handout at our open house last week. Click here to see when each child is scheduled to share. This is a very relaxed time when students can share a hobby or interest with the class. I meant to remind students today, but I totally forgot. If your child is scheduled for Wednesday, and he or she is not ready, please don’t panic or allow your child (or yourself!) to stress out.  We can reschedule as needed. =)

Back To School, FYI

3…2…1…COUNTDOWN TO THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!

Hello parents! I am so excited for the first day of school!  I cannot wait to start this year off with your children!  Here are a few things to help make the first day (and really, the next two weeks) successful:

  1. Get excited!  When our enthusiasm shows, it’s contagious!  I believe in strong beginnings and getting to know one another, the routines, and content we’ll be learning. 
  2. Be flexible! These first days are all about getting the new routines solidified.  This is the time to ask questions, make mistakes, and learn from them.  With every new school year comes a whole new set of expectations. So, let’s grow together and be flexible while we’re learning from one another.
  3. Manage expectations! The first couple of weeks will be all about relationship building.  I believe that great learning cannot properly take place until we establish a foundation of trust, honesty, and collaboration.  That means that the first few days are going to be lighter with team-building and get-to-know-you activities.  Of course, we’ll sprinkle in some content, but don’t expect much homework in the first couple of weeks.

One final and important reminder: The weather forecast for the first few days of school looks H-O-T! Please send your child with a full water bottle labelled with her or her first and last name. We will take plenty of water breaks to stay healthy and hydrated.

We’re going to have a great year and I am so looking forward to getting to know your kiddos more!  Let’s have a great start!

Nicole

Back To School, FYI, General, Weekly Updates

A Great Start

We’ve have a wonderful three days getting to know each other. What amazing kids you have! Much of our time this week has been spent building community and establishing a positive culture of caring and respect in our classroom.

Next week we will begin working hard on our curriculum.  Beginning then, you will see an agenda in your child’s take home folder; we will be filling this out together every day. Please support your child and review this nightly to see what curriculum was covered and if there is any homework to be completed.

Enjoy your weekend!

Back To School

Day One Recap

Hello parents.

Day one was a success! We got to know each other a little bit and started to learn about our classroom culture and routines. One important routine involves the take home folder. All students received a black take home folder. This should go home each night. One pocket is labeled “Notes/Mail.” This is the pocket on the left side of the folder, and things from this pocket should be left at home. The other pocket is labeled “Homework”. This is the pocket on the right side of the folder, and things in this pocket should be completed and sent right back to school. Please help your child establish a routine for making sure the folder is emptied every night.

Back To School

Supply List for Fifth Grade

Hello, friends.

Wow! Can you believe that July is already here? I realize that we are not even halfway through summer break, but do you know what will start appearing in stores right after the Fourth of July? That’s right: school supplies! Even as an adult, seeing those huge displays of brand new notebooks, folders, highlighters, pens, and pencils fills me with excitement and anticipation for the new school year. In case you are as eager as I am to get your new school supplies, I am including a list of supplies that you will need for the new school year.

I hope you have a safe and fun Fourth of July!

Love,

Mrs. Ball

Supply list needed for the classroom:

  • (1) pencil box
  • (4) spiral notebooks (wide rule)
  • (4) two pocket folders (red, blue, yellow, green)
  • (1) 3-ring binder (1 inch)
  • (3) packs of  3”x3” sticky notes
  • (4) dry erase markers
  • (1) highlighter
  • (1) scissors
  • (1) package of colored pencils
  • (1) pair gym shoes to be left at school for physical education class

**Please do not bring a large trapper keeper type binder.  These are just too big to store in the desks in our classroom.**

Highly recommended items:

  • extra #2 pencils
  • (2) large glue sticks

Below are additional supplies that kids often like to bring for their private use.

  • erasers
  • colored marking pen for editing/correcting (not black or blue)
  • small hand pencil sharpener
Back To School, FYI, General

Day One Recap and Talent Activity Reminder

Wow! What a great first day we had together. We enjoyed getting to know one another, learning classroom procedures, and meeting our kindergarten buddies. We even wrote our buddies notes to congratulate them on completing their first day of kindergarten. We also spent some time talking about a growth mindset vs. a fixed mindset. We learned that we can learn anything because our brains are made to learn. Look for a note to come home later this week with some more information about fostering a growth mindset if your child.

We were so busy today that I completely forgot to remind students about our talent sharing activity that starts tomorrow. Students who are scheduled to share their talents on Wednesday are Briella, Brycen, Alex, Gavin B., Ethan, Diego, Anna, Caleb D., Lauren B.,  and Lauren G. For more information, please refer to the sheet that you received at our open house last week or click here for an electronic version.

Last but not least, I would like to encourage students to bring a water bottle to keep at their desk so that they can sip on it throughout the day. This is especially important when the weather is as hot as it was today. Water only in the classroom, please; save juice, Gatorade, etc. for lunch time or for after school.

Thank you for sharing your children with me! I am looking forward an awesome year together.

Back To School, FYI, General

Nut Free and Healthy Classroom Snacks

This year, each student in fifth grade will be responsible for bringing a daily snack from home. Because fifth graders don’t eat lunch until around 1:00 PM, these snacks are essential to rejuvenate the students’ energy and attention span. These snacks are consumed in our classroom, so it is important that students not only bring healthy snacks, but they also must be NUT FREE SNACKS (all nuts: almonds, pecans, etc.). When packing your student’s snack, please keep in mind the safety of our friends who have food allergies. The best defense against accidental exposure for our students with allergies is to always read the label. At the bottom of the ingredient list, an allergen warning can almost always be found. Ingredients do change, so always read the label even if you’ve checked on a prior purchase. If you send homemade baked goods in your child’s lunch, these should be consumed in the lunch room during lunch time rather than in the classroom.
As always, healthy snacks are best: raisins, apples, bananas, grapes, melon, carrot sticks, celery sticks, jello, applesauce, peaches, pears, strawberries, blueberries, etc.
Birthday Celebrations:  If you would like to celebrate your child’s birthday with a treat, please consider sending non-food items such as pencil, eraser, stickers, etc.  If you send food for birthday treats, please make sure they are safe for our friends with allergies and include the packaging label so that we can double check the ingredients.
Thank you to all the parents for being so understanding and respectful of our students with food allergies. Thanks for helping us to keep our students healthy and safe!