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Kelsey Mercadante

June 7th, 2015
ELED 533
Partnerships Project Rationale & Reflection: Class Website & Newsletter
Rationale
1. Why did you choose this project?
I chose the Class Website and Newsletter project because I thought that it would
be the most beneficial to my learning. I have never created a class website before this
project (besides an online portfolio), and I thought it would be a good idea to have the
practice and experience of creating one. Now that I have created a class website, I
will have it to use when I start teaching. I feel that I have a lot more to learn about
creating a classroom website; however, this project allowed me to experiment with
the creation of one. Now, I can confidently say that I have the ability to create a
classroom website with a setup that may or may not work in my future classrooms –I
guess I will have to try it out to see! Not only did I learn from creating the website,
but I have picked up an interest in learning more about how to create an effective,
easy-to-use class website. I yearn to learn more about all of the technology that can be
used in my future classroom. I feel like I have much to learn!
I also chose this project because I wanted practice and the experience of writing a
classroom newsletter. I know that I will have to write newsletters in my future
classroom, and I felt that it was a smart idea to start practicing! As with the class
website, I feel I have a lot more to learn about developing a newsletter, but at least I
know I can successfully produce one, now that I have completed this project.
Both a class website and newsletter are great ways to communicate with parents.
Parents want to know what their child is learning and how they are learning. Teachers
can communicate this information by sending parents newsletters and having parents
visit the class website to view any important information and resources, that will help
them support their child’s learning.
2. Why did you choose this mathematical focus?
I chose perimeter and area as my mathematical focus because it was the focus of
my unit plan. Since I was already familiar with perimeter and area concepts, I thought
this project would allow me to really apply my knowledge of the content. I feel that it
also allowed me to “pretend” that I actually have a 3rd grade class, where I am
teaching a unit on perimeter and area, sending a newsletter home to the students’
parents on the topic, and also creating a class website that will provide students and
parents with resources on perimeter and area, along with a variety of other materials
that relate to other 3rd grade math topics.

3. How did you research and gather resources to create your product?
I spent a lot of time researching and gathering resources for my project. For my
class website, I researched third grade math resources for extension and review. I
came across a variety of sources that could benefit third graders. I kept a file running
of all of the websites I saw that had grade level appropriate games, worksheets, and
activities for third grade math content. I also used some resources that we had talked
about in my ELED 533 class such as the “Ask Dr. Math” website, and the
“Illuminations Resources for Teaching Math” website. For the student page, I
searched perimeter and area songs, and found a catchy song from YouTube that any
third grader would love! Songs are a great way to engage students and have them
learn material at the same time. For the parent’s page, I downloaded a variety of
“home link” worksheets that allow students to connect the school and home when
they complete the worksheets. I categorized them under the different SOL math
strands for third grade so the page would be organized and user friendly. On the
parent’s page, I also provided information that explained my teaching by including
the learning progressions and differentiation I use. I used some of the files on canvas
for resources. I used the list of mathematic books, and then highlighted some math
books that were developmentally appropriate for third graders.
Reflection
1. Explain what this assignment revealed to you about the home-school-community
connection.
This assignment revealed to me how important it is to have a strong and
positive home-school-community connection. I have realized how a child needs
support from both the teacher and his or her parents. Educating a child is a
partnership between home and school, and that connection must stay strong in order
to monitor student progress as well as aid them when they are in need. Through this
assignment, I have realized that a class website and newsletters are great ways to
foster teacher and parent communication. Class websites and newsletters are vital
pathways of information regarding schoolwork, resources, news, and parent
involvement. My communicating with parents, they will have a better understanding
of what and how their children are learning, as well as how they can help and be
involved in the process. It is important for parents to learn ways in which they can
help their children at home, so their child can learn to his or her fullest potential. Most
importantly, the strong partnership between teachers and parents and their
involvement in the child’s life will allow the child to see that the adults in their life
care about them and are interested in their learning.
2. Explain how this assignment will influence your future classroom practices.
This assignment will influence my future classroom practices greatly. I
feel that this assignment grasped my interest for creating a class website to fit my
future class. My future class website would feature all of the subjects, not just math.

My website would also feature a school calendar, class rules, a news page, a
project/field trip page, and much more! I feel that this assignment has prepared me by
allowing me to experiment, and practice creating a class website. My future
classroom will definitely have a class website, and I will highly encourage both
students and parents to frequently visit the page. Encouraging the use of the website
will strengthen the home-school connection. I feel that I will have a strong
relationship with parents if I keep my website updated and provide them with
beneficial resources.
I also plan on writing newsletters to my parents when I start to teach. I feel
that parents really appreciate newsletters. Parents want to know what is going on
in the classroom, and newsletters are a great way to communicate what we are
currently working on in the classroom. In my future classroom, I will use
newsletters to tell parents about the current topics students are studying and
provide them with ways to help their child. I could also include invitations to
open houses or class activities, reminders of upcoming events, lists of items
parents can bring in for class projects, and links to interesting or important
articles. It would be a fun idea to also include children’s writing or artwork in the
newsletters.
This assignment has made me more aware of home-school connections,
and I look forward to starting strong, positive relationships with parents!
3. Explain how this assignment helped you work toward your S.M.A.R.T. goal.
This project helped me work toward my S.M.A.R.T. goal because I used
my unit plan topic as the concept I explained to parents in my newsletter, which
was 3rd grade perimeter and area. In my newsletter, I described how perimeter and
area connects measurement, addition, multiplication, and geometry. I also
described how it is important for children to see mathematical connections. In my
class website, on the parents page, I donated a section to “Math Connections.” In
this section, I explained to parents how important it is for students to know that
math concepts are interconnected and build off of each other. I also encouraged
parents to relate math concepts when working with their children at home. By
relating my newsletter, and class website to mathematical connections, I was able
to work toward my S.M.A.R.T. goal.
4. Look back at your Appetizer reflection. How do your experience with this
assignment and your plans for future classroom practices reflect your beliefs
expressed in your Appetizer reflection?
This assignment shows how math can be fun, engaging, and hands-on, but
also minds-on, which relates to my appetizer reflection. Everything hands-on I
included in my class website and newsletter was also minds-on. Every activity I
included went with a specific learning goal or content area that third graders need
to know or have practice with. In my appetizer reflection, I also mentioned how

students learn better when it is meaningful to them in some way. In my newsletter,
I designated a section to how perimeter and area relates to the real world. I feel if
children see the real world connections that perimeter and area has, the content
will become more meaningful to them. In my class website, I included a
homework task of students asking their parents if they experience using perimeter
and area either at their jobs or when doing home-tasks. I then asked students to
ask if their parents experience or use any other forms of measurement. If their
parents do not work, or if they do not work with measurement around the house,
then I asked students to come up with jobs or at home tasks that may use
perimeter and area. This activity will gain student interest and it will be
meaningful to them since they have to have a conversation with their parents
about how measurement is applied to the real world. Applying mathematical
concepts to the real world is another similarity between my appetizer reflection
and this assignment.