Happy fall and happy 42nd day of school. It has been a very busy 42 days, and I would like to take a moment to share some general information with you and update you on what we are studying. Some of this information will apply to only my homeroom or reading students, and some will apply to both math classes.
Mrs. Sisco an I are using an app called Class Dojo to document classroom management. The Class Dojo works on a point system. Positive choices earn points, while negative choices result in a deduction. We start each math period by checking morning work, homework, and whether the agenda is signed. When I look at these, I am looking for evidence of a legitimate effort to complete them correctly. Some students have times when they do not do the work, or they don’t finish it completely. I believe you are in a better position to encourage your child to complete homework and morning work. These are opportunities to practice the skills we are covering. If a student regularly fails to complete these, the ultimate consequence will lie in limited mastery of the skill. Complete homework and morning work each earn a positive point, as does a signed agenda. Incomplete or missing morning work or homework each earn a point deduction. I don't deduct points for an agenda not being signed since that is not completely in students' control. I just document it with a zero point entry. I have tried to word most entries so they are self-explanatory. Sometimes, more information is needed, and I try to attach a note to the entry. The app gives a very limited time frame for doing that, and I sometimes miss the window.
We also use Class Dojo to document behaviors. Positive behaviors earn one point. Negative behaviors deduct a point, although "Disrespect" carries a penalty of two points.
In my homeroom, students that have a 70% positive total on Fridays get to bring their lunch back to the classroom and watch a movie (actually, we're watching The Andy Griffith Show right now). Students that are below 70% positive remain in the cafeteria.
Parents are able to receive notices and monitor their child's progress in Class Dojo. I sent invitations home several weeks ago. If you did not sign up and would like to, please email me or send a note in the agenda, and I will resend the invitation.
This is just a reminder that students are allowed to correct the weekly math homework quiz and submit it for re-grading. However, it is just for these quizzes unless I specify otherwise on other assignments. I sent out directions for how to do the corrections a week or so ago, and I would ask that you help your child follow those procedures. I don’t mind re-grading, but it becomes an overwhelming task if procedures aren’t followed that help streamline the activity.
Please encourage your child to complete and submit the corrections. Generally, there should a graded weekly quiz in the take home folder on Thursdays. You are encouraged to help your child with the corrections. It is a good opportunity to clarify misunderstandings about particular math concepts.
I would like to encourage you to sign up for a free text service on Remind.com. This service is an excellent way for me to keep you informed about homework in a timely fashion, as well as to send other important announcements. The sign-up text is completely free – it will not be deducted from your cell phone plan. I have created separate accounts for my homeroom and Mrs. Sisco's in the event that I need to send information that only pertains to one or the other. These notices will only be coming from me. Please consider joining and choose the appropriate class below for directions.
I sent out a link to register online for a fall conference on Tuesday, October 11. Here is the link again in case you need it. During the conference, we will be discussing current progress, recent MAP test results, and last year's Milestones scores.
We began the year reviewing the concepts of place value, rounding, and multi-digit addition and subtraction. We have moved on into our multiplication and division unit. We started with reading and making arrays for multiplication sentences and learning divisibility rules. We began using those rules in finding factors and multiples. These are important prerequisite skills for writing equivalent fractions and simplifying fractions, both of which we will be covering fairly soon.
In our math enrichment block, students have been honing identified skills using Moby Max, Front Row and Prodigy – three different kinds of math games that adapt to students’ progress. They have been doing some hands-on work in creating posters to show different ways of representing a number’s factors, including using various Thinking Maps. Students also work daily in a program called XtraMath. This is a site devoted simply to learning math facts. It drills the students briefly each day until they achieve mastery. Many students are weak in their multiplication facts. This will be a detriment to their progress in long division and in the extensive work we do with fractions. Please take opportunities to quiz them on their multiplication facts
I am teaching reading for the first time in quite a while. Last year, the district made a decision to use an approach called Balanced Literacy. One part of this is called Guided Reading. I administered quite a few assessments to your child at the beginning of the year to determine a beginning instructional level. Students work with me in small groups of four or five. Their groupings will change throughout the year as they make progress.
We still use the Accelerated Reader program, although it is arranged by Lexile levels now. I have conferenced with each student and set an individual goal. They are supposed to be writing their daily progress in their agendas so you can see it. Please encourage your child to read for at least 20 minutes every night.
That will be all for now. As always, please feel free to contact me with questions or concerns about your child’s progress.
Thank you for your help. Enjoy this cooler weather.