Week 3 (SEP 10-14, 2012)

Patriot Day.  Tuesday, September 11, 8am, at the flagpole.

Volunteer opportunities are a work in progress.  I will be contacting the many kind souls who have offered to help in and out of the classroom, just not at this moment.  The dust is still settling.

Communication from Mr. T. Everything you need to know about what’s happening in our classroom on a weekly basis (e.g., assignments, study guides, worksheets; answer keys) can be found on:

  • teacherman.wordpress.com (it is the blog you are reading right now). Weekly homework assignments for my classes (e.g., Saxon Math 5 and science), and, whenever possible, requirements from Mrs. Koenen and your student’s specials teachers (i.e., art, music; physical education) will be listed here.
  • iTunes U can only be accessed via your student’s iPad. If you had to make one choice for keeping up with your kiddo’s classwork/homework, iTunes U is the place.

For the latest news throughout the day about Mr. T’s classroom (e.g., early dismissal due to adverse weather), follow us at:

In order to view, download, and print almost anything on the fourth grade blog, you must download a copy of:

  • Adobe Reader (this the Adobe Reader download site for most versions of Windows and Mac operating systems. If you cannot find a version compatible with your computer, we’ll have to talk)

While “conventional” homework is unlikely this week, please check the blog and iTunes U each night.

The Power of Books (image source: unknown)

In a nutshell, what did my student do last week?  Brain research tells us that in order to learn a new task, it must be repeated at least eight times; to break a habit, around 28 times. Mrs. Koenen and I, not unlike our Legacy Academy peers, are spending a lot of time on procedures so that our classrooms run smoothly for the remainder of the year.  These procedures have included the obvious, e.g., how to put a heading on a paper, how to queue quietly, and how to pass in completed work.  There are a bajillion others.  All of them take time.

Additionally, they wrote.  They took a number of pre-assessments in reading, spelling, and math. They learned how they will be editing their written work this academic year.  They learned the mechanics of creating a copybook page in science. They were busy.

What is my student doing this week? Mrs. Koenen and I will be simulating what a typical week will look like in the classroom including mock tests in language arts, spelling, vocabulary, and reading comprehension:

  • Math–classroom will be conducted this week.
  • Literacy–Our first reading selection is realistic fiction, “Toto.”  Students will take a practice test on their understanding of the story this Friday. The test will be both short answer and multiple-choice. Per the Open Court curriculum, it will be an “open book” exam.
  • Spelling and vocabulary–I use  virtual vocabulary “decks” in my classroom and will explain how they are created and used this week.  Students will take practice tests this Friday.
  • Daily Oral Language (DOL)–Punctuation editing marks will be reviewed throughout the week. A practice test will be given this Friday.
  • Workshop–The workshop “centers” will be explained. During workshop, students will work on a variety of assignments including spelling, writing, independent and guided reading, and book report preparation.
  • Science–We’re preparing our “copy books” for the coming year.
  • History–Please see Mrs. Koenen’s newsletter for details.

What do I as a parent need to do this week? Have patience and:

  • Go through today’s Monday Folder (though there will be little in it from week to week), and
  • Download the printable study guides under “Week 3″ (in the sidebar on the right).  Assist your student as needed throughout the week.

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