It is hard to believe we are approaching the 100th day of school. I am having the kids reflect on how they are “100 Days Brighter”. To celebrate the 100th day, we ask that students wear bright colored clothes. Next week we will be celebrating Valentine’s Day and the Week of Kindness. I sent home a red notice about Valentines, please keep an eye out for an email from the school about activities for the week of Kindness. Also, we have off from school on the 17th and the 20th for President’s Weekend.
In January and the beginning of February we had quite a few “Homework Alerts” and “Unprepared Forms” sent home. Some students are having a hard time getting back into the swing of things since winter break. I would like to recap my expectations. Each night the kids are required to read for at least 30 minutes. They need to complete their reading log and do sticky notes as they read. If they are reading a book at the appropriate level, they should be reading approximately 20 – 25 pages. They should be able to complete 3 - 5 sticky notes a night. They should be good quality sticky notes, we have discussed this in class numerous times. Some things they may want to write about are characters, setting, story elements, connections, author’s goals, author’s techniques, just to name a few. The sticky notes should not be a retelling of an event, they should be about the thinking they are doing, they should also include the page number. If they are not doing a reasonable amount of notes, it will count as a missed assignment. Along with reading there are other assignments, many that have multiple days to complete. They have their long writing, online comprehension, and occasionally a worksheet. They also need to remember to put their name on every piece of paper that is handed in. Another big issue is that students are coming to school without the computers charged. They should plug their computer in each night. I suggest plugging it in while it is still in their backpacks, so they don’t forget it in the morning.
One reason for the increase in missed assignments could be that they are not writing down their homework. One way to stay involved in their education is to ask them what they have for homework, 99% of the time they will have both language arts and math. You may begin to notice that they are getting more homework and the expectations have increased, this will continue throughout the year as we try to prepare them for middle school
Feel free to ask them questions about the books they are reading, they have been reading multiple books by the same author and we have been comparing and contrasting them. We have begun to write a literary essay about a short story. I am impressed with how hard they are working to find evidence to support their claim about the short story. They are all doing a nice job in reading and writing attempting strategies we practice in class. My main concern right now is now the content we are learning, it is skills that they should have mastered by now. There is a large number of kids who continue to not use capital letters, punctuation, or spell words correctly that are provided to them, consistently. You will be seeing work come home where I have been specifically pointing out their errors. Please know that this has been an ongoing conversation in the classroom. I give the whole class reminders and charts are hanging up. I meet in small groups to review, and speak one on one with specific kids. Please remind them of the importance of writing sentences correctly.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.