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Week 1
2014-2015
5th Grade

Ms. Layne’s Weekly
Classroom Newsletter
Welcome!
Welcome to the 2014-2015 school
year! Your brand new fifth graders will be lead by
me, Ms. Layne Mikesell!
This year we will be covering quite a
few topics from place value understanding and
rounding to decimals in mathematics to studying
force in science! This year is sure to be super
exciting.
You, as a parent, will have access to
our classroom website. The website is http://
laynesclass.weebly.com. On the website you will
find all of our classwork and homework, which
will be updated daily. There will also be important documents posted such as the supply
list, all of our parent and student pledges, as well
as information regarding the current Florida
State Standards and our objectives for the school
year.

portant school announcements.
On the back of each newsletter there will
be an updated calendar along with all of my contact
information so we will never be out of touch.
If you have any further questions, suggestions, or would like to volunteer in our classroom, all
of my contact information is on the back of this
newsletter. I look forward to hearing from you and I
hope you enjoy our first newsletter!

In addition to the class website you, as
a parent, will also receive our bi-weekly classroom newsletter, this newsletter right here! This
will cover the unit objectives, any important
news, as well as classroom birthdays and im-

This Year’s Unit Theme
The chosen theme for
this 5th grade school year is
DOGS! Why dogs, you ask?
Well, I love dogs and this year
we will use the theme of “dogs”
to facilitate our learning. Sled
dogs will help us learn science
with magnetic forces and gravity, we will round up dog
weights to learn how to round
decimals, and in language arts

we will be reading a wide arrange of age and grade appropriate novels that center around
dogs as main or supporting
characters.
If your new fifth grader doesn’t know much about
dogs now they will surely be an
expert by the end of the school
year!

Special points of
interest:
 Cyberbullying and
Digital Citizenship
 Creating Websites
 Classroom Theme
 Classroom Calendar
 Copyright and Fair
Use
 Parents Wanted!

Conveying Information Through Word and Publisher
In Instructional Design Mr. Bowen
taught us some really incredible things we
can do with Word and Publisher to create
documents that really grab the reader’s
attention.

Publisher is a whole different puppy.
At first glance it is a rather intimidating program, but after a small amount of practice and
experimentation with colors and layouts, one
can build an expert-looking newsletter.

Before this class, for as long as I
can remember, I have been using Word for
just about every class I have ever taken.
Really, I was using it in its most basic and
boring form. I didn’t know I could create
colorful pages full of different shapes and
fun word-art, or that I could insert an array
of images and format them to produce a
document that looked professional, enticing, and imaginative.

Learning Publisher, which I used to
create this very impressive newsletter, is definitely a skill I will use throughout my career. I
really pride myself on my creativity, so knowing that I will be able to utilize my aesthetic
visions not only for my students’ benefit, but
also the parents’, is a concept that really excites me!

PLAGIARISM IS

Copyright and Fair Use
Here is some important information for copyright and fair use!

It is important for students to
be aware of the differences between
Copyright is permanent work, lasts copyright and fair use and to be careful
a lifetime, and you cannot use or reproduce, that they are not infringing on copyright
fair use you can borrow if you don’t devalue uses. A person can get into a lot of trouand don’t misuse!
ble for using copyrighted materials in the
Copyright protects the actual form wrong way.
of an idea, such as books or plays. Fair Use
To be sure you are in the green
means a small amount of copyrighted mate- when using information that someone
else has written, filmed, or created, rerial can be used.

member these simple rules:
Non-commercial use is typically fair-use
Benefit to the public is typically fair-use
News-reporting, nonprofit educational use,
parody, criticism and comment are fair-use
The more you take the less ‘fair-use’ it is
If you’re competing with the source you’re
copying from then it’s probably infringement.

Fun and Interesting Websites to Help You Learn!
Mr. Bowen introduced us to a fun
concept: The Website of the Week! Every
week when we came to class he had a short
presentation prepared with a new website for
us to learn about. Some of my most favorites
were the following:
ClassDojo
Class Dojo is a website that helps
with classroom management by improving
specific behaviors and engagement and rewarding positive student behaviors in real
time. Teachers can also easily print out progress reports for parents.

Page 2

NOT FAIR USE!

Promethean Planet
Promethean Planet offers an array of
free teaching resources like worksheets, project
ideas and lesson plans covering almost every
subject imaginable.
Popplet
Popplet is a web creation tool that
helps one organize their thoughts and ideas
when writing papers or creating projects. It is
very user friendly and makes the creation process more fun! I think this is a great tool for
teachers and students alike.

Digital Citizenship and Cyber Bullying
Cyberbullying can happen 24 hours a
day, 7 days a week, day or night and can influence
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive bea child even when they are alone. Any messages
havior that involves a real or perceived power
and pictures can be sent or made anonymously
imbalance. This includes shoving, spitting,
and spread very quickly through computers and
name calling, picking on and making fun, laughcellphones by social media sites, texting, email,
ing at, harassment, humiliation, embarrassmessaging applications, email, websites, etc…
ment, and exclusion.
Deleting inappropriate or harassing content is
“Cyber bullying” is when a child,
difficult and the personal damage cannot be unpreteen or teen is tormented, threatened,
done.
harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherWe believe that everybody should enwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen
joy our school equally and also enjoy a peaceful
using the Internet, interactive and digital techlife at home while on the Internet and feel safe,
nologies or mobile phones.
secure and accepted regardless of color, race,
gender, popularity, athletic ability, intelligence,
religion and nationality.

USE
‘PAW
SITIV

E’ BE
H

AVIO
R

!

Thinking Critically About Websites
In Instructional Design Mr. Bowen has taught
us to take a step back and think critically
about what makes a website appealing.
He had us view and evaluate three
separate websites that were created by Elementary school teachers. One was horrendous, one was defunct and one was just
‘okay’. They were all boring (to me). Looking
at websites and analyzing how they all differ
and what makes some better than others was
a good lesson in design.
Simply looking at bad, boring, and
unexciting websites immediately gave me
ideas for what I wanted to do with my web-

Helping Hounds Wanted!
I would like to take the first newsletter of the school year to extend the invitation to all parents who might want to help
out in the classroom this year. As a whole we
are always in need of chaperones, classroom
helpers, teaching aid, and general support.

Week 1

site. I like to think I’m pretty good with designs and layouts and I know that my website, students but also for their parents.
when finished, will definitely stand out.
I am very excited to utilize a website when I become an actual teacher. I
There are so many incredible features out there that one can incorporate into think it’s a great tool to help information
creating a beautiful and exciting website such remain useful and keep students and parents up to date. This course definitely has
as Animoto, to create film-quality shorts to
given me a lot of useful information for
showcase anything from books to games to
projects, Popplet, for creating clean organiza- when I create my actual classroom website.
tional thought-webs, and many more!
Building my own website has been
really enjoyable. I hope I can do a good job of
creating a website that is not only good looking, but also user friendly, not only for my

We could use your help with
classroom crafts, science experiments,
building classroom shelving, and basic
classroom management. I also enjoy
having classroom speakers and visitors,
so if any parents have fun or interesting
jobs or hobbies we would love to have
you! Please feel free to send me an
email anytime!

Page 3

Ms. Layne Mikesell
Super Cool Middle School
1234 N. Awesome Street
Tallahassee, FL 32301

Ph: 239-682-2001
E-mail:
mikes9qdf@mymail.tcc.fl.edu

The Woof!
On the web:
http://laynesclass.weebly.com

Sit… Stay…
and Learn!

November 2014
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PARENTS’
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SHOW AND
TELL

NO SCHOOL

NO SCHOOL

NO SCHOOL