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I just read another newsletter from my son’s school.
Every time I read one of these I dread sending him back.
[Teacher's Name Redacted] Newsletter
October 2, 2013
Fall has arrived, despite the warm temperatures! School has been in session for 32 days, and we continue to fall into our routines and learn new things about each other. We have had many class discussions regarding respect. This group of 25 students is very, very talkative. We have discussed how they may not mean to be disrespectful, however, when their continued conversations get in the way of teaching, it becomes a problem. I want them to understand when it is time to listen and when it is time to socialize. I have many strategies to call the children to attention, and these are mostly successful, however, many children still need several reminders to work quietly, independently and steadily. This comes with time. Please continue to reinforce to your child the GES motto, “Be Responsible, Be Safe, Be Respectful Be Learning must have been dropped in budget cuts. Respect includes, (but is not limited to) listening when I am talking, and paying attention throughout the duration of the lesson Respect includes not interrupting a good conversation.
Pencil sharpening has become a HUGE problem in our classroom. The wall sharpener eats 70% of the kids’ pencils So 30% of the kids are ok. The little hand held ones that some of the kids use are troublesome from the perspective that when they fall apart, the pencil lead falls to the floor, ultimately making a huge mess for the custodians. The lead gets caught in the children’s shoes, and trails are made around the classroom. They shoes? are strongly discouraged. Why tell you all this? I am hoping that some generous soul may donate an electric pencil sharpener for the classroom And you thought conversations were loud. I truly hate asking, but it is something that would make everyone’s lives MUCH, MUCH easier!
I have decided for Halloween that our class will have a fall brunch on the morning of the 31st. I will be using a website called signupgenius.com Sorry Google Docs to list the items we need for the day. Starting next week you will be able to login Be tracked by yet another company and choose something to send in for this occasion, if you wish. The 31st will be busy with the GES traditional Halloween parade Satan worship. Just kidding. I love Halloween and costume sharing This sounds wierd. After that, we will enjoy yummy treats and seasonal fun Last season’s fun is half off. If there is a parent or two available to help that day, it would be great to have some extra hands for serving/clean up and set up. In my experience, too much going on just creates kids that are more prone to meltdowns, bellyaches, and a day that is just not fun Too much going on? Don’t these kids eat lunch everyday?. This party will be for the kids only, as we just don’t have the space to accommodate families. We’re keeping it simple, yet enjoyable in first grade! I’ll send out and email when the sign-up sheet is available online.
October 14th- No school for students
COGAT (Cognitive Achievement Test) testing will be October 16-18th. All First Graders will take these tests. This is an achievement test, and no studying is required. Please send your child to school on time, well rested, and having had a nutritious breakfast. A positive attitude is the best thing for them to have!
November 5th- No school for students- Teacher Work Day
November 11th Parent Teacher Conferences (a sign up sheet will be sent home shortly)
In the classroom:
Math: We are currently working on related facts. We will test on chapter 2 by early next week. Chapter 3 will deal with strategies to make the number 10. We will then move into more addition and subtraction, but discuss strategies on how to find these answers more efficiently, such as using a number line, doubles, and touchmath Yea! Another math product not used by the NASA engineers that got us to the moon. These first two chapters have been a basic introduction to adding and subtracting.
Language Arts: We are finishing theme 3 Theme 3: How to write a newsletter with almost no actual information this week. Our focus next theme will be determining importance within a given selection. The phonics piece will again focus on short I Thanks MS for correcting this to a capital letter words, as well as an introduction to the short u or is this U? sound. We will also be asking the children to differentiate between these short sounds Short u is the sound made when your conversation is interrupted. In writing, we continue to work towards the first quarter expectation of 2 good sentences on a given topic. These sentences should contain capitalization, punctuation, and an attempt at correct spelling. (Beginning and ending sounds, as well as a vowel) Handwriting will always be considered an important piece of writing Tell that to my doctor.
Social Studies: We are working on a short unit on Timelines. A project letter will go home with your child on Thursday. I can’t wait to see the finished products. This is one of my favorites of the year! We then move into a unit on the Past and the Present. We will discuss schools, transportation, games, and shelter, to name a few. After this unit, hopefully your child will be even more appreciative of the conveniences they currently have like drug resistant infections!
Thanks for taking the time to read this, and for staying connected to your child Huh? (as opposed to hih) and their learning. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
[Teacher's name Redacted]
My son started first grade this year.
Does anything in this letter to the parents seem dangerous?
I hope everyone is having a great week! First Grade continues to bring new joys and challenges daily! These children are smart, ready to learn, and full of enthusiasm. We are slowly settling into a routine.
The children are saying often that they are “starving”! I am encouraging them to eat a heartier breakfast. For students using the bathroom multiple times throughout the day, it has been suggested to them that they limit their water consumption.
Thank you for continuing to sign the communication folder each night. This folder serves as a way for you and I to stay in touch on a daily basis. If you ever need more information on how your child’s folder is marked, please don’t hesitate to contact me. The class is working on listening the first time, and following 2 step directions. Many students are used to their needs being met quickly, and patience has been an issue for many in the classroom. We are also working on being “Quiet Dragons”.
Many children are still choosing to wear flip flops to school. Please consider having your child make a different shoe choice in the morning. There have been complaints of stubbed toes, stepped on toes, and the frustration of not being able to run at recess. All these things can be alleviated by the proper choice of shoes. It’s also a great time to begin work on shoe tying. I have a few that can do it now, and they have been great helpers to those who are still working on it.
Library days have been assigned, and as soon as I know the student grouping are adequate, I will let you know on which day your child will be having library. Change is inevitable in these first few weeks.
I am in the process of doing some beginning of the year assessments in both reading and math to better serve your child in the classroom. All first graders will be taking the PALS test next week. I will administer this test to all students, one on one on the 10th of September. Mrs. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX will be my substitute for the day. Please ensure that all children eat a good breakfast and have a good night’s sleep.
Homework will begin next week. I will generally assign some type of math on Monday and Wednesday, while Tuesday/Thursdays you should expect the book baggie to come home. There will be more about this at Back to School Night.
We have begun our first math unit on addition. We have also started our first Language Arts unit focusing on the attributes of Good Citizens. The First Grade team is in the process of looking at student data with spelling. We will divide the children into developmental spelling groups in order to differentiate for their appropriate level. I will also discuss this on Thursday night. We will be starting Word Study on Monday. You will be informed this week if you child will be changing classes.
I look forward to seeing many of you at Back to School Night and having the opportunity to talk with you at greater length
Now, it may seem I just want to rant about thirsty kids wondering why their urine is so dark (shortly before passing out), but I really want to rant about giving the perception of communication while really just wishing people would go away.
I asked my son’s teacher/jailor if my spouse and I could see the lesson plan so we could work with our son and enhance what he was learning in school.
The response was, “No.”
My response, “Why?”
“It is not required.”
My response to that response, “Okaaaaay?????”
So, the only information the teacher is willing to send home is
- past assignments,
- homework every once in a while, and
- a short message (too generic and too late to be of use) if my son gets into trouble for being willful.
I guess I am just going to have to find out what is expected by the end of the year and make things up myself.
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I have been shooting my mouth off for a while about “How I would fix society”. I realize I am not the only person playing this game, but I rarely hear anyone express the argument in the same terms that I do. Continue reading