First Few Weeks: Figuring Things Out

Getting Into a Routine

I really appreciate your patience as we figure things out and get into a routine.  The first several weeks can be rough on the students, but they are rockin’ it.  I truly love your kiddos and look forward to seeing them learn and grow academically and emotionally/socially.  We are working hard to be a true classroom family, and I want them to feel that this is a “home away from home.”

Please know that any discipline that they receive comes from a place of love and care. They will come home with notes in their folders at times and there are various consequences that I will give them. Sometimes I will have to call you. I desire for them to learn and grow into the people that they are meant to be and in a positive way. I appreciate your support in this area. If behaviors are consistent and don’t change, we will create a behavior contract. More on this later.

Take Home/Homework Folders

It is very important to sign their behavior charts each day. This will also be a place where I write notes if it’s something short and quick.

On Mondays, they will have a paper stapled inside that will show the number of graded assignments that I have sent home. I need you to sign that as well. I want to make sure you are seeing all of the graded work. That will be stapled in the folder this coming Monday.

Also starting Monday, I will sometimes be sending the math homework that is required with the curriculum that we are using for math. It will be the back of the work that we do together. So it’ll be a number and B. For example, 5B. It says homework on it! I probably won’t send it every day, but always make sure to check their folders!

I also just want them to read for 20 minutes. Please write the title and pages read on the reading log that I will be sending home.

Google Classroom

This is very important! Soon the students will each have their own Chromebook in class. This is amazing because I can just assign things on there for them and they can work on it right in class. We will still do so much more than this, but it is a great resource!

Things Happening in Our Class

Our reading and writing curriculum teaches SO much. I am focusing on some specific things because I want them to really master things before we move on. But it really is fantastic. Starting next week I will be very focused on one reading comprehension skill, vocabulary, spelling/phonics, and fluency. I will be meeting with kiddos that are struggling on a 1:1 or 1:2 basis several days per week. I will be adding in some enrichment activities for those who are moving faster!

We do our spelling in class each day. They have a menu that they choose from to practice their words. For example, they can write their words in different colors, three times each, in silly fonts, in alphabetical order, etc. They seem to enjoy it! They are practicing words that have the short vowel sounds.

Our math is fantastic. Every day we do Math Meeting and they review so many important skills during this time. Each day the students learn a new small skill to add. I teach the lesson, we do a practice page together, then they do the back for homework to review that skill.

I believe in keeping the students engaged in learning, and sometimes that means having “brain breaks” where they are able to get up and move a bit so that they are more awake and aware so that they are at their best. I try to also do many activities that have them engaging with their classmates as I can. Yesterday we did a community carousel where they walked around and wrote things are large sticky chart paper that they have learned about communities. It was fun!

Graded Work

The students will come home with this each Monday along with their graded work. You will need to sign showing that you received the graded work. I will also note if there are things missing.

Lastly

The kiddos went to the library today for the first time. Some of them have already tested on their first books. I will be requiring that they choose a chapter book next time they get books because I don’t want them to just fly through books for the test. I want them to slow down and enjoy reading. I will be working this out over time. I also allow them to check out 1 book that is a little higher IF I feel it will work for them. They must test on it. If they are consistently struggling with the higher books, then I’ll have to require that they stay with-in the range. We’ll see how this plays out.

I hope this wasn’t too long! I just wanted to communicate well!

Please let me know if you have any questions. You should have my contact info!

Published by Courtney

I am the wife to Robert, mama to 3, and educator. I am a lover of nature and hiking, books, coffee, food, games, candles, blogging, journaling, holidays and changing seasons, and being with my family! We live on site at a Christian camp where my husband works. I teach 3rd grade at our local school!

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