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What’s Going Down in Room 125?

Weekly newsletter for Monday, November 4th through Friday, November 8th How to Contact Me:

Well Hello There!!
This is the second week for me here at Parkside as the new teacher of Room 125 and I can honestly and passionately say that I am LOVING every second of it!! Every single student is absolutely fantastic, well mannered and has a craving to learn. I am very hopeful and excited to see the progress that we will make together and the individual growth that will be seen in each student as each week passes. I sent an informal introduction letter home last Wednesday and mentioned holding an open house to give any parent a chance to meet me face-to-face and address any questions or concerns about your child, fill me in on the tricks of your child to get the most productivity out of them  and just to get to know me in general and for me to get to know you. I have decided to hold that open house Thursday November 7th from 2:45 to 4:00. If that time does not work for you please do not hesitate to email me and we can absolutely schedule a time that works for you. I want to get to know each parent and keep communication open and friendly through the school year so you are as informed and as involved as possible.

Other News from Room 125
I have implemented a LOT of new changes and ideas into the class that I am VERY excited about and hopefully the kids are too! For English and Grammar lessons I have started doing Literacy Stations. There are five different stations including: Reader’s Theatre, 250 Vocabulary Words Every 3rd Grader Needs to Know, Writing Station using Prompt Cubes, Creative Writing, and Non-Fiction Reader’s Response. Each of the five stations will be used in 15 to 20-minute rotations between the five color teams we have in our room. Another change is that I have ordered two journals for each student. One journal will be used in the Literacy Stations or any other writing activity or assignment in Language Arts and the other will be a personal journal where each student can free write whatever they choose. They can write stories, journal their feelings about anything that is going on in their lives and talk to me about any concerns or ideas they have for our class. This class is just as much theirs as it is mine and their input are nothing but helpful for coming up with great and creative ideas. These “free-write” journals can be taken home whenever desired but when they are in the room they are in a private storage tub behind my desk until they are wanted or needed to be used. Looking in other peoples “free-write” journals is PROHIBITED and the kids will know that they are to respect each other’s privacy. The last academic change that I will mention is MATH MATH AND MORE MATH! You will see more math homework coming home that stress the importance of mastering the math facts that are required for 3 rd grade within the curriculum and Indiana State Standards. I have also added an individual incentive plan that uses “Roll Call Tickets” (movie stubs). There are three colors of tickets that are offered – red, green and yellow. When a child has filled their cup up to the fill line with tickets there will be a reward. *Reward Plan on next page.

Ticket Stub Incentive Plan – How it Works
Green Tickets: Students will get a green ticket when they complete a set of math facts with 90 to 100% accuracy. The facts are addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.  Red Tickets: When a student reaches his or her individual weekly or monthly A.R goal that I have created they will get a ticket. One ticket for the weekly goal and four for the monthly goal.  Yellow Tickets: We take weekly spelling, reading comprehension and vocabulary tests every Friday. If a student gets 80-89% they get one ticket, 90-99% they get two tickets and 100% comes with four tickets. 

Changes in Homework & Binders
I am going to see if there are any floating around the school that I can snag but until then and if possible, please get your child an assignment notebook. Please do not spend more money than you have to as I would just like the ones that have three days per page with each day having a decent sized box for the students to write in because some students write very large  We will fill out the assignment notebook at the end of each day with the homework for the night and any other announcements. It would be ideal if parents could check the assignment notebook each night and sign anywhere on the given day when your child is done with his or her homework and/or next day preparation for the night. There will not be a punishment if they do not get signed but it is just another tactic of mine to use the benefit of parental involvement! Each child’s individual AR goals and math facts goals are on a charting log in their binders that get taken home. Please encourage your child to read or practice math facts at home and hopefully each child will be able to see growth as they record their new goals and achievements on that charting sheet. When an AR or math goal has been met, I will talk with the student to see what we think the next appropriate goal for them is. I do not want to set goals too high because giving too much work that takes up too much time will only create resentment for learning. I in no way want these goals to be viewed as a stressful thing but rather have them viewed as a fun challenge that inspires motivation to read and practice math facts.

And the Grand Finale!!
I want to first off say that I am completely aware of the obnoxious amount of information and length of this newsletter and I promise that every other weekly newsletter will not throw so much information at you but I spent the weekend in the room making all of these new changes and bringing in my ideas and ordering supplies so there is a lot to inform you on! I can’t wait to get to know all of you and have nothing but a positive influence on your child’s life and hopefully foster a life-long addiction to learning and exploration.

Best Wishes and Kindest Regards, Miss Brook
“If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” – The Twits by Roald Dahl.