Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Classroom Notes

Greetings!

I am happy to report that we had an excellent first week.  The kids did an outstanding job making the transition from summer to the beginning of school.  Everyone arrived with a smile on their face and an abundant supply of energy.  And we got a lot done!

This week we began developing the idea of working together as a team.  The kids decided to call themselves Team 20.  They also decided on blue and orange as our official team colors.  Most of the first day was spent getting organized, putting away supplies, establishing notebooks and folders.  The kids assigned themselves seats using the systems and standards I wanted them to use.  As a matter of fact, we’ve spent a good deal of time this week talking about systems, as well as other words and concepts that will be important to our work all year long.  On Tuesday, we began to talk about being a team, using the homework sheet that I sent home on Monday.  I am very happy to report that every sheet was returned completed the next morning.  Outstanding!

Besides the business of setting up a classroom, several projects got underway.  We’ve started taking photographs with our digital camera to document the life of our classroom.  Each week two kids will have a turn as team photographers.  Their photos, along with mine, will be included in daily tweets and on our blog.  If you are not already, please be sure to follow us on Twitter @LewisRoom20 for daily photos

Another early project of the school year has focused on decorating our classroom.  Our Hallway Name Card project has been a vehicle for teaching the same process that kids will use for their writing...that writing goes from "private" to "public."  Private work is for the “self” and includes creating a plan, conferencing on that plan, then creating a rough draft, conferencing on that rough draft, and making some revisions/edits.  We say that public is for “others” and that audience helps to determine the standards of quality and acceptance.  The kids' work is on the wall near our door and looks good.  They are applying that same process to making other classroom d├ęcor, including a welcome sign, lunch tub sign, number line, and more. 

At the end of a few days so far, kids have been filling out a Homework Helper, which a piece of paper that resides in the left pocket of their green Take Home Folder and is designed to help them get organized.  They use their green Take Home Folder to transport any work between home and school.  Homework at this point of the school year is for kids to read at least 30 minutes each night. 

Thank you for sending a full water bottle each day…that helps the kids so much!  Thank you, too, for all of the school supplies and for signing and returning the papers in the info packet from the office.  I am glad that so many families have signed up for classroom messages with Remind.  If you haven’t yet done so, please consider signing up for Remind using these directions.  We will be making team t-shirts soon. Please return the bottom half of the flyer with t-shirt money by this Friday.  Also, please know that Friday will be school picture day for Team 20.

Please join us for the Back-to-School Night next Tuesday, September 13 at 6:00 p.m.  I would love to meet everybody and give your kid a chance to show you around the room.  Have your calendar handy when you come so you can mark down your time for parent-teacher conferences, which are scheduled for November 9th and 10th.

Thanks!
Mark

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