Monday note - September 17
Happy Monday! 9/17/18
Thank you so much, to those of you who were able to make it to church on Sabbath, the kids did GREAT, and everyone at church enjoyed their contribution to the service very much.
Papers are coming home today, finally! – it will not usually be that long between packs. Typically I will send the previous week's papers home, each Monday. Occasionally I will keep a page, here or there, to put in the files that I keep for Parent Teacher Conference. So if it seems something is missing, that is probably why.
The kids have really been doing great, and are getting into a good routine of re-checking their work and working toward mastery of concepts before we move on.
Last year, I had several teachers point out to me that I will likely wear myself ragged, taking a 'grade' for every single item that I assign to the students. So, I have actually not taken any grades yet, at all. I felt that we were still 'learning the system' and 'getting our feet under us'. I do review every page the students do, and give them feedback, I just don't record it in the 'gradebook' each and every time. I will begin doing that, in a somewhat random fashion, over the next few weeks. I explained this to the students today. As soon as there is something for you to 'see' in Jupiter, I will put up the link to the Jupiter account, so that you can see your students' 'mid-term' reports (can you believe mid-term is only a week and a half away?!). So, please do not be alarmed if there is only one or two grades, so far, for each subject. Many formal and informal studies have proven that 'sample' grading is just as effective as 'constant' grading, to get an accurate picture of how students are doing in class. And honestly, since we are doing the “teaching-to-mastery” process that we are doing, they are all doing quite well, in class and their grades will reflect that!
I have also begun to put up my planbook for the week, you can find it at the bottom of the 'classwork' tab. I tried to include at least some places where I note the specific topic being covered, not just page numbers, but I know there is some places where page numbers are all that is there. I will work to include more topics, as time goes by (particularly in Math). Please also know that this is a fluid document, and does sometimes (often?) get changed from what I post, on Monday. So please don't think I'm crazy if you see we are covering something, and we don't actually get to it. It likely got bumped to the following week, and you will see it there, when I post the next week's lesson plan page, the following Monday. (edited later - I also just figured out that as I make changes throughout the week, they show up in what you access, from that link, so I guess, just know that it is a 'living document', and changes throughout the week, as needed.)
This week we begin our IOWA testing. We will do it in little snippets, throughout the week. Next week will have more 'intense' sections (reading and math), and we have to have it all completed by the Friday of week after that (October 5th). I try to play down the stress aspect of this, so that the students can/will do their best. Just something for you to be aware of! ( I have not discussed it with the students yet, I'll do that in the morning, tomorrow)
Please keep sending the boxtop pages!! Remember, you can ask your family and co-workers to save them for you too!
Remember the car wash is this Sunday!! – you need to plan to be there from 10-2:00 – Bonnie will be making a schedule and you may (will) be able to be there for just part of that, if you need to. I'll post another note, as soon as I have the schedule.
Something to celebrate!! Last week, all 12 students had perfect attendance!! Thank you!!
We need to be doing a shirt order soon, so that we will have shirts for our field trips. Please be ready with sizes, and we will try to get the order organized by early next week. We will get prices to you as soon as we have them (likely in the next day or two - so watch this space...) The school does provide each student with one shirt, so don't stress too much, if it seems like that 'one more thing'. We got ya covered, it's mostly just if you want more than one, that we do the orders for. If you could text me your childs size, that would speed the process up.
Also, if you are available to volunteer for 'lunch duty' we would LOVE to have your help - (or if you will be driving for any of our field trips) we will need you to complete a online 'verified volunteer' form and training session. If this is something you are interested in doing, please text or e-mail me, so that I can send you the link and the directions.
Remember – texting is often the best way to reach out to me. If you need to TALK, the time just before or after school usually works pretty well, or call, before or after school hours. If you call the school line, during school hours, I will likely let it go to voicemail. (we do get quite a lot of sales calls – and we just don't need the distraction!) But we do hear you (all of us) as you are leaving your message. So, it might be good, to realize that, so that you don't say anything private on the voicemail recorder, during the school day. Again, texting is probably best (during school hours, too, along with before or after school). But once school is out, calling my cell number (256-684-7013) works too. Thanks!! I'm enjoying your kiddos and we are having a great year so far!!