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Only 2 days, and so much to say! 8 September, 2007

Posted by teacherjennifer in Uncategorized.
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THANK YOU!!!
I would like to start out by saying thank you to all the parents and students who made the effort to come to our Orientation morning, which seems like so long ago already! I really appreciated you all being there and showing such interest in your child’s Infant I year, which has been amazing so far!

I am proud to say that the first 2 days of school were a great success for my students, and very satisfying for me. The first few days of school are often spent reviewing rules (please raise your hand!) and social graces (please cover your mouth when you cough!) and introducing routines that will last all year. In this website update, I will explain some of these routines.

WELCOME CEREMONY
After assembly, we begin every day with a “welcome ceremony”, which is a morning ritual my former students have loved! We do a welcome ceremony for 3 reasons:

• to listen to music from all over the world
• to move our bodies
• to practice reading and following directions

The students think of movements (wave your hands, bend your knees, etc.) that I write on the chalkboard, and do them along with the music when the welcome ceremony leader (it’s Faith Noel this week) points to them. One of the most popular jobs in our classroom is to chose the music for welcome ceremony. Nathan is the lucky one this week! He chose fast-paced punta music, and the sing-along favorite “La Bamba.” The students really enjoy being able to shake, twist, bounce, and dance first thing in the morning… and so do I! They also learn to appreciate music from around the world each day. Don’t be surprised if, one day, your child hears classical music and says “Hey Mom, that’s Vivaldi’s Four Seasons!”

MATH
Or math routine begins with Rhyan filling in the calendar, counting the days, and saying the date. We have many different songs that help us learn the days of the week and the months of the year. Next week, when they have heard them many times, ask your child to sing them for you! After calendar, we complete our daily pattern, and chart how many days we have been at school. Again, I encourage you to ask your child about these routines as the days pass, as they will be quite familiar with them, and confident in explaining them to you. This week, the rest of our math time will be spent learning how to do all of our windowsill activities that sharpen math skills! Charles and Emil enjoyed stringing attribute beads in patterns, while Darian and Matthew built geometric shapes (and a giant starfish) with the magnetic sticks. Ask your child about the ladybug clips also!

LANGUAGE ARTS
Our Language Arts time this week and next will be spent doing individual reading assessment, word study work, and windowsill activities. Hailey’s favorites are the fill-in-the-missing-letter picture pages! I will go into greater detail on all these in the future, and email schedules of consistent homework assignments.

SPELLING
The students will be given a list of 6-8 spelling words at the beginning of every week, and tested on Friday. They will be instructed to bring their list home and put it somewhere it won’t get lost, so they can study the words for Friday’s tests. This coming week’s words all have the “an” chunk: can, ran, man, pan, sand, hand, and one of their choosing. Check your child’s home folder on the first day of every school week for the list and any related homework.

SOCIAL STUDIES
This week we began our Belizean Social Studies book, “Tapir.” Our first unit is called “My Family and I.” This small yellow textbook will sometimes come home in your child’s home folder for homework, which will be printed on a slip of paper marking the proper page. Please remind your student that this book must come back to school the next day!

HOME FOLDER
Next week, your child will choose one of their folders to be used as the all-important “home folder” which travels to school and back home every day. I cannot stress enough that you should please please please check your child’s home folder every night for homework, notes, spelling lists, etc. Also, here is one of those things I can be picky about: please do not allow your child to switch folders! The folders are always a part of our daily routines, will be labelled by me, and the students will often work with each other’s folders (passing out papers, etc.) so it’s very hard when someone gets a new folder. If the folder gets lost, left out in the rain, or is worn beyond repair, please let me know if you must get a new one so I can label it properly.

MY DISCIPLINE POLICY
Ask your child what it means to put a token in the bag or lose a stick. These are methods that I have explained to my students, and they have been effective so far. I will, of course, contact you if there are any behavioral or academic issues (positive or negative) that you should know about.

ART
On Wednesday afternoons, the students have art class with Teacher Melissa! Sometimes the projects involve paint or other colorful things that don’t look great on a school uniform, so make sure your child has an art smock, cooking apron, or old, oversized shirt to keep in their cubby all year long. ALSO, Teacher Melissa has asked that your child please bring in a photo of him/herself for their first project on Wednesday, the 12th of September. The photo should show the student’s face well. It will be cut out and glued to a poster for a collage of classroom friends!

NEW SCHOOL SCHEDULE
Starting Tuesday, the 11th of September, we will have classes until 4:00 on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Having lost so many days because of the hurricanes, this is the only way to make up the time without cutting into our holiday break. Thursdays and Fridays we will dismiss promptly at 3:00. This schedule will be observed until our holiday break in December.

COMMUNICATION
I’ll do this 2 or 3 times a month, so keep checking back! If you need to contact me regarding your child’s schoolwork, please feel free to email so we can keep communications flowing! Thanks for reading, and feel free to drop a comment in the box.

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