Saturday, September 23, 2006

408 Class News - Week of 9/25/06

Dear Families:

Just wanted to give you an update on what has been happening in class 408 the first few weeks of school and what our goals will be for the upcoming week of September 25th, our 4th week of 4th grade.

Many of you will be receiving this letter by e-mail and by a “snail mail” note home. If you did not receive an e-mail from me, it may be for a few reasons:
1. I may have mis-copied your e-mail address from the Student Information form
2. My e-mail may be going into your junk mail filter (
3. I don’t have your e-mail
4. You don’t have e-mail – which is just fine! (I can always send “snail mail”)

Class Contact List
Trey Moynihan, our class parent will be assembling a class contact list for all of us. Please let us know if you do NOT wish to be listed.

Field Trip

Our first field trip to the National Museum of the American Indian was wonderful. Be sure to ask your child to describe the Hoop Dance performance we saw to you!

Our next trip is Wednesday 9/27 to 826 NYC to learn some storytelling techniques. I need chaperones for the 826 NYC Trip.

About Homework
I received lots of great feedback from the 4th grade homework survey from parents and students. I will be sending a separate letter specifically about homework.

Building a Peaceful and Respectful Classroom Community
We have a wonderful class of caring students who are enjoying playing and socializing with one another. Unfortunately the playing, socializing, and chatting is seriously interrupting our class meetings, lessons, partner work, and independent work times. There has also been teasing and name calling happening, and it has been distracting us from our work and from having a peaceful and trustworthy classroom community.

To help build a Peaceful and Respectful Classroom Community we will be focusing this week on:

* Practicing active listening & using personal strategies to be a more respectful listener when it is time for a classmate, teacher, or guest speaker to speak in meetings and during lessons
* Practicing active independent working
* Practicing how to take a quiet, non-distracting break
* Practicing how to transition quickly, quietly, and respectfully between meetings, independent work, partner work, and when we enter and leave the classroom
* Practicing how to give a classmate a “put-up” rather than a “put down,” and how to problem solve with a classmate when your feelings are hurt

We will also finalize classroom rules the children brainstormed and make a list of logical consequences for not following the rules, and a list of rewards for doing great work.

We will work on these goals through whole group and partner activities that encourage team building. There will also be nightly independent homework assignments for each student to reflect on what they can do as individuals to help our class be a peaceful and successful community.

I am looking forward to parental support on this. We have a lot of content to cover this year, and we can’t do it successfully unless each student takes his or her role in how to be the best student they can be seriously.

Thank you for all the generous supplies! I could use some more. Here’s a wish list:

*12 – 1 1/2“ 3 ring binders (not every child has one)
*Washable Magic Markers (both thin and thick) – 10 boxes of each
*Pencil cases – Each child should have his/her own – I am running out of pens and pencils and if each child has his/her own supply that they pull from as individuals this helps enormously (they can re-fill their supply from our classroom supply)

A note about supplies
All supplies are part of a class pool of supplies. My student teacher Melanie and I had 100’s of notebooks, folders, ect., to sort through and organize to make sure that every student had the supplies they needed to get started. It was an overwhelming task. If your child had any “special supplies” that were overlooked, I am sorry. Hopefully this won’t occur again with any “special” supplies moving forward. Thanks for understanding.

Here's to a successful week ahead!


1 comment:

Schanequa said...

During Curriclum Night and within a notice sent home Maureen mentioned an upcoming trip to The Waterloo Village in NJ. Parents were offered the opportunity to a particpate in a 4th grade fundraising committee to help coordinate/raise funds for this and other trips. The Fundraising committee met for the first time last week Tuesday, 9/19/06 at about 8:10 am. We didn't have much participation but we have come up with a few fundraising ideas (i.e. family donations, piggy bank, bake sales). Our biggest concern right now is the Waterloo Village Trip which is scheduled for Tuesday, October 31st. This trip will cost approximately $275 per class - Trey/Ramona are also inquiring about charter busses for transportation. Ramona & I have done a little brainstorming and are setting up 2 bake sales for the very near future (Tentatively the first & third week of October). The Bake Sale will not only be limited to baked goods. We welcome all contributions and additional fundraising ideas. Once we have finalized the arrangements you will recieve additional info.

PS - For those of you who don't know, Ramona is Jonathan & Josiah's mom and the Fourth Grade Parent Rep.

Hope to hear from you soon!
Courtney's mom