(Third Grade Handbook for Room 1)
Dear Third Grade Parent,
Welcome to a great 2013-2014 school year! I look forward to talking and working with you and your child throughout the year.
As we start this new school year together, I want you to know that every effort will be made to help your child adjust to and have a pleasant environment, as a third grader, here at Geggie Elementary.
Please take a few moments to read over these next few pages. In you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call me at school (636-733-3200). You can also e-mail me at email@example.com . I will get back to you as soon as I am available. I appreciate all of your help and support this year.
Mary Ann Lee
I will look forward to seeing your child’s smiling face every day, but if your child has to be absent, please call the school office (636-733-3200) to let them know! If your child misses one day, the make-up work can be picked up and taken care of when the child returns the next day. If your child will be out longer than one day, please contact the office or email me before 10:00 am and they will inform me to get his or her work together. That work will be contained in a “Make-up Work” folder. The work should be completed and returned to school in the same folder. Any assignment that may introduce a new topic or cause confusion can be saved and brought back to school -upon the child’s return- for a conference with me. Make-up work should be turned in within an appropriate and reasonable time frame, which will be determined on an individual basis.
To ensure that the educational program is free from disruption or interference, Room 1 will have a set of rules/expectations that will enable students to grow in their development of self-discipline. These rules/expectations will also ensure that the students will be given a chance to learn in a safe and orderly environment. Our classroom expectations follow Geggie’s expectations.
The following are the four expectations I have of Room 1’s students:
“I am on the Tiger Track when...…”
1. I treat myself, others, and property in a respectful and caring way.
2. I use self-control in the classroom, cafeteria, hallways, on the playground, and on the bus.
3. I give my personal best in all that I do.
4. I have a positive attitude.
If the expectations are met, the student can receive a “positive” consequence from the teacher. The following are a list of some of the possible “positive” consequences:
· Tiger Paws/Good News Notes
· Good News Calls/Emails
· Hugs/High Fives
· Special Privileges
If the expectations are not met, the student will receive a “negative” consequence from the teacher. The following are a list of some of the possible “negative” consequences:
· Phone Call/Email Home
· Loss of Special Privileges
· Reminder from Teacher
· Think Sheet
· SEVERE CLAUSE:OFFICE REFERRAL
Attached you will find a “tentative” schedule of Room 1’s school day. If I need to make a change, I will send a revised copy home in the Everyday Take Home folder. Hopefully you will find this helpful! Please remember that special circumstances (for instance, an assembly) will occur from time to time that will change our daily schedule.
Students will be given the opportunity to help out in the classroom. Each week, our classroom will have a “featured” helper. That student will be responsible for helping the teacher and other students with tasks in and out of the classroom. The featured helper may need to ask for a friend to assist him/her with “special” tasks that might require more than one person (example…lunch bucket carrier J).
Students may bring in a snack each day. This snack is to help our brains stayed focused on learning and not our rumbly tummies J I strongly encourage nutritious snacks. (Students may not bring candy or soda as a snack.) The students may also bring in a water bottle to keep at their desks. Please no soda or juices in the bottles; only water should be in the “water” bottle.
*Unfortunately, there will not be “extra” snacks, should a student forget his/her snack.
Each student has purchased a planner to help with organization. At the end of each day, students and the teacher will review the day making sure that the planner is filled out and any unfinished work noted (we will circle/underline unfinished work). I recommend going through your child’s planner each night and reviewing the assignments. This will help ensure that the homework is completed on time and give you a chance to talk about his/her school day.
Occasionally during the week a “mystery” reader might come to the classroom to read a book to the students. If you are interested in reading aloud to the class, please let me know and we can schedule a day and time for you to come to the classroom. We even love having aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. read to our class!
I love to celebrate birthdays! Birthdays are a great way to recognize just how special your child is! Please know that in third grade we will celebrate birthdays with non food items Some examples of acceptable birthday treats might include: pencils, bouncy balls, small notepads, bubbles. Thanks in advance for helping to ensure each child's safety when celebrating birthdays!
Parent/Teacher conferences are held at the end of the first and third quarters. However, please note that at any time of the year, you may call to set up a private, individual conference with me to discuss any concerns you might have. My availability is flexible, and I will always be glad to talk with you…remember, we are a team!
We will have a couple field trip opportunities this year. Decisions and reservations are still being made at this time. Parents and guardians will always be more than welcome to attend our field trips; however, due to space issues, parents will need to provide their own transportation. Also due to space and liability, we ask that no siblings join us on our field trips. More details on our field trips will come home later!
A general guideline (that Rockwood follows) for the amount of homework a child should have is as follows: “10 minutes per grade level,” which would give a 3rd grader approximately 30 minutes a night of homework or study time. Homework can be of many different forms. Usually, a student’s homework will always be an Everyday Math “Home Link” page, that should take approximately 15-20 minutes. Additionally, sometimes incomplete work from the school day will need to be brought home to finish. Then, obviously before a test, students will need to study, or during projects, student will need to utilize their homework time to do research. Sometimes, homework will consist of practicing a concept learned that day. Other times, there may not be any “homework” at all, but on those occasions I would strongly encourage and recommend recreational reading for that night’s 30 minutes of homework.
Regardless of the nature of the homework, the most important rule of thumb is to have your child stop when he or she doesn’t understand a concept and has reached a frustration level, or after 30 minutes of time has passed. Your 3rd grader should not spend more than 30 minutes a night on homework! Should your child not understand their homework or requires work beyond the 30 minutes, they should stop. You will need to write me a note explaining the problem and I will be happy to conference with your child the next day. So long as an attempt at homework has been made, and a note from you accompanies the child, no penalty will be given. Without a note, students missing homework assignments will forfeit the weekly bonus recess time to make-up that work.
It is my expectation that your child turns in their work in a timely manner. I do understand that unforeseen things may happen that would prohibit a student from being able to turn in their work. When that is the case, please get in contact with me immediately, so I am aware of the situation and together we can work on a solution. Repeat offenses may cause the student to forfeit his/her weekly bonus recess time, in order to make up late work.
Communication Arts consists of reading, spelling/word work, and writing (which also includes grammar.) Sometimes we will work as a large group and other times, we may split into three or four flexible groups. Reading, writing/spelling, and vocabulary assessments will be given on Fridays (not every week though). Students are strongly encouraged to read at home for at least 15 minutes each night J
The 3rd grade team will continue with the Everyday Mathematics program. This approach, among many benefits, revisits various math concepts throughout the year (a spiraling curriculum,) incorporates a hands-on approach with content-specific games and activities, which lends itself to real-life application. This program encourages collaborative learning among students, as well as extensive parent involvement and support. The Everyday Math Program is just plain FUN!
We will be covering five very interesting units in Science this year! Our new science curriculum is very hands-on…the kids will love the lessons!!! These include: Science Processing Skills, Solar System, Sound, Magnetism, and Ecosystems.
Topics to be covered this year include: Geography/Map Skills, Government, Immigration, Cultural Diversity, Economics, and Transportation/Communication through history.
Please visit my classroom website (go to Geggie’s homepage and then to Third Grade). This will be a great tool for communication and for you to know what is happening in Room 1. (This website will take the place of a monthly newsletter.) There may be parts that I am still working on but for any “extremely” important information…I will have that posted on the site.
We will take one bathroom break as a class right after lunch. If a student needs to use the restroom before or after this break, exceptions will be made. (As long as it is not abused, students will be allowed to use the restroom on their own, when necessary- except during direct-teacher instruction. Students should be reminded that “Classroom Expectations/Rules” also apply to restroom behavior.)
Read to Self:
Each day students will have some time set aside to read for pleasure. I believe this is a vitally important component of our Language Arts curriculum, and helps build a lifelong love of reading. Your child may bring a book from home or check one out from the school or classroom library. During this time I will rotate to different students and hold “conferences” with them regarding their books. Each student will have a book box that will contain books that are “just right” for them.
Everyday Take Home Folder:
Each day, your child will bring home a folder labeled “Everyday Take Home Folder.” This folder is to help keep your child organized with what homework they may have to finish that night, or it might be a way for me to communicate a quick note to you about something going on in our classroom/school. Each side is labeled either “Keep at Home” or “Return to School.” If there are papers on the “Keep at Home” side, please keep those papers at home. Those on the “Return to School” side need to be completed and returned to school the next day.
Hopefully this handbook will answer many questions you may have about Third Grade and/or Room 1. If for any reason you have a question that is not answered in this handbook, please contact me by phone, email, letter, etc. I am always willing and happy to help you and your child in any way to make this a successful school year J
***Thanks for making a difference in your child’s life!***