Thank you to all of you for all of your support this first month of school. I LOVE teaching your children.
Our first month has flown by! We have spent a lot of our time establishing routines and expectations in our classroom. The students are learning their environment and how to navigate our classroom. I have just finished rotating students through our flexible learning space options, and the students will receive their first official assigned seats this Monday. Seats will change every quarter to ensure that all students get the opportunity to work in their favorite learning environment for a portion of time. If you are interested in learning more about flexible seating you can browse through this article (https://www.edutopia.org/blog/flexible-seating-student-centered-classroom-kayla-delzer).
I like to refer to our students as the Highcroft "Seniors" and encourage them to set a great example as the rest of the students in the school look up to them. They love this responsibility and are really thriving with it! Whenever they leave my classroom I encourage them to come back to me with a "four piece with extra barbecue sauce." This is a fun way for us to be encouraged to bring back four points on our Husky PAW (showing the students checked the box for respectful, kind, safe, and responsible). The kids enjoy coming back to me and telling me that they earned a four piece.
Your students are also learning how to be self sufficient in order to prepare them for middle school. In our classroom we have a classroom economy. Every student in the classroom has a job to complete each week, and they are paid for their job as long as they are completing the required tasks. Students are paid every Friday, either $10 or $15, depending on their current job. If students want a monthly job that pays $15 a week instead of $10, they must apply and be hired. The application requires them to explain their qualifications for the job and to describe a time when they've used the necessary skills. As students are saving up their hard earned class cash, they have a few options for spending. There are prizes available for purchase, such as a class "brain break," lunch with Mrs. P, Mrs. P plays a game with you at recess, or a positive call home. In addition to these prizes that can be purchased at any time, we are planning to have a class market day (hopefully right before our December break). More information about class market day will come home in the following weeks!
Please be sure you are checking your child's agenda each night to help hold them accountable for their work. It is also important for you to regularly ask them about what they are reading and encourage them to finish books. Stay tuned for our weekly newsletter to be sent out via email today! Our newsletter will keep you up to date on what your child is working on at school.
Congratulations students and families! You have successfully survived the first week of fifth grade! Our first week was fantastic, but absolutely flew by. We have a wonderfully large class, thirty students, but they are proving to be the most amazing students and classmates.
This first week was full of plenty of get-to-know-you activities as well as learning procedures and routines. One of my favorite things from this week, and I think your students would agree, was our morning meeting. I decided to incorporate morning meeting into our classroom in hopes of building a strong classroom community. Our morning meeting consists of the students and I greeting each other while we focus on making eye contact, smiling, using others' names, and speaking clearly. After we greet each other we take turns answering our "share" question that allows the students to make connections and find similarities with one another. I have already begun to see our classroom become a little family.
The students have learned a few non-verbal hand signals that we are using in both morning meeting and our classroom lessons. These signals give me a way to quickly and easily assess how students are grasping a concept, while giving the students a chance for quick self-assessment. We also use our hand signals to show agreement, disagreement, and encouragement for classmates. This is one way we all stay actively engaged in classroom conversations.
You will start to see weekly news letters coming home this upcoming week. These newsletters are just to keep you informed about what is going on in your child's classroom, as well as what topics are being covered in each subject. Wednesday folders will also come home for the first time this week.
Your students are off to an excellent start and I feel so honored to be their teacher.
Just a quick update about our first day of school. I hope your students came home excited about the year, after our day together. Today was full of activities that encouraged team building, growth mindset, and getting to know each other. We also spent a good portion of our day learning how our classroom will operate and preparing for their first day of switching classes tomorrow.
Your students are amazing and I am so thrilled to be their teacher. Each one of them is bright, creative, and vibrant. They all bring so many wonderful and unique qualities to our class family. Thank you to all of our families who filled out the family questionnaires. I am loving reading them and getting some insight from the people who know my students best.
Tuesday brings even more excitement as your students will get to visit Mr. Kellogg's class for the first time. I know they will thoroughly enjoy their time with him for math and science. I'm sure that my responsible "seniors" came home and informed you that they needed someone at home to sign their agenda for tonight, however, in case their excitement caused them to forget... this is just a friendly reminder. I'll be checking for a signature each morning for the first two weeks to help keep them accountable as they are adjusting to new routines.
Happy first week of school to my wonderful students and families. Keep checking back for more updates!