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  1. 1. Room 205HANDBOOK 2011 - 2012 W.S. Hawrylak School Grade 6/7
  2. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTSWelcome Letter 3Supply List 4Expectations 4Room 205 on the Web 5SchoolNotes.com 5Technology Integration 6Cooperative Learning 6Progress Reports 6Evaluation Procedures 6Homework 8Absences 8Reading 9Scholastic Books 10Calculator Use 10Basic Math Facts 10How You Can Help 11 2
  3. 3. August 2010Dear Parents,This week begins a brand new school year for all of us! I would like to extend awarm welcome to my new students. As always, the start of a school year holdsthe promise of new discovery and learning, as well as the prospect of personalgrowth in all areas.I have put together a handbook of information to help you and your child becomefamiliar with my expectations for the school year. Please take a day or two to readthrough this information. After reading the handbook, please send me an email (ora note in the agenda if you truly are not an email person, though I hope to have youbecome one). In this way I can be sure that all parents have seen our classhandbook.PLEASE bookmark this handbook for future reference. Should you like to print acopy, you can access a printable copy of it on our class web site under thedownload link.My email address is jporritt@accesscomm.ca. If you need to contact methroughout the year, I prefer email, if possible. I check my email several timesa day, and I will respond promptly. If you do not have email, you may call theschool and leave a message (791-8445). I would also appreciate being able tocontact you via email, so please email me ASAP, so I can get your email address.Im looking forward to an exciting year with the class. I do have an open doorpolicy, so feel free to drop in. Thank you for your cooperation in getting thisyear off to a great start!Sincerely, Jann Porritt 3
  4. 4. MATERIALS NEEDED:MATERIALS NEEDED:Please send the following materials for your child:$4.50 to cover the cost of the agenda (IF YOUR CHILD HAS ANIPOD TOUCH, AND YOU WILL ALLOW THEM TO BRING IT TO SCHOOLEVERY DAY, THEY MAY USE THIS AS THEIR AGENDA AND NOT BUY ASCHOOL ONE.)ADDITIONAL ‘OPTIONAL’ SUPPLIES:Pair of sharp scissors2 highlighters1 pkg. 24 sharpened pencil crayons1 set of thin washable markersTransparent tape1 blue ink pen1 red ink penComputer USB Storage Device (flash drive, san disk, jump drive, etc.)Set of headphones to use while on computer (ear buds) and Ziploc bag to storethem in1 - 2" binderEXPECTATIONS:• Work to full potential.• Work independently and cooperatively.• Be responsible and respectful at all times.• Be organized and use agenda daily.• Complete homework• Prepare for presentations and quizzes. 4
  5. 5. Room 205 On The Web:Our class has a home on the Internet! We have a class web site on which we displaystudent work and where parents can visit to keep up-to-date on classroom events. Inorder to post student work, photos, etc., I will need your permission. I will send homea letter giving more details and asking for permission soon.Our class web site is located at http://hawrylak205.blogspot.com. If you would liketo contact me by email my address is jporritt@accesscomm.ca. The school website isalso a great place to keep informed about dates, school activities, etc. The schoolwebsite can be found at http://wshawrylak.rbe.sk.ca.Please check out the class web site on a regular basis, as I know you will find it awealth of information covering everything from Online Agenda, Class Calendar, Mathtextbook, newsletters, downloads, projects, educational links and much more.I also like to keep parents informed by frequent newsletters. To save paper, Ipost all of our newsletters to the Internet on a site called schoolnotes.com. Forthose who do not have Internet access at home, I can provide a paper copy ifyou let me know. To access our newsletters you can use the link on our classweb site (Class Newsletters), or you can go tohttp://www.schoolnotes.com/S4V2R6/jporritt.html.I will update these newsletters frequently, and you will be notified when I do by anote in your childs agenda, but you can also use a feature on the schoolnotes.com sitethat will let you know by email whenever there have been changes made to the site.Just click on the yellow button on the left-hand side that says Notify Me.Please take the time to read this handbook over, and after reading thehandbook, please let me know by sending me an email. In this way, I can getyour email address, as well.Keep this handbook at home for future reference. Should you misplace thisbooklet, you can access a copy of it on our class web site under the Informationlink.Thanks,Jann Porritt 5
  6. 6. TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION:It is my belief that an integral part of your child’s educationalprogram must incorporate technology. Technology opens theworld to your child and creates such excitement andenthusiasm towards learning. In our classroom we usetechnology as a tool for learning, believing that technologyskills will be acquired while students focus on content areas. The integration oftechnology provides students the opportunity to learn Saskatchewan curriculumtopics as a natural part of their regular school day.Room 205 is definitely a technology classroom. Besides several classroomcomputers, we also have a SmartBoard with a Response System, AND we have15 iPads. I will teach the children how to use these tools to enhance theirlearning.***iPod Touches: If your son/daughter has an iPod Touch, and you are willing tolet them bring it to school every day, I will also show them how it can become avaluable tool to them in the classroom. For those students who have access tothe iPod Touch, I will show them how it can be used for their daily agenda, theircalculator, their class calendar, math review and MUCH, MUCH more. This yearI will require those with iPod Touches in the room to sign a form committing toonly using the school Internet in the classroom under my supervision. If theiPod Touch is to be used for the agenda, you do not need to send $4.50 for thepaper agenda.Word Processing: This year I am using an online typing site to help thestudents improve their typing skills. I have moved to an online site in order togive the kids a chance to continue with their monthly lessons from home. Eachstudent has an outline of the lessons for each month, as well as their ownpersonal login. Please encourage (and ensure) that they are using properfingering when at home. Over the years, I have been able to turn out some verygood keyboarders from Room 205, and those students who follow the programfaithfully very quickly see the benefits of proper keyboarding. 6
  7. 7. COOPERATIVE LEARNING/PROJECT-BASED LEARNING:I wholeheartedly believe in cooperative, project-based learning in the classroom. Researchhas shown that all students are more successful when they are allowed to discuss and defendtheir ideas as they learn. Working in small groups helps students gain valuable social skillsthey will need throughout life. Parents are often concerned about grades in the cooperativelearning classroom. I want to assure parents that all grades come from individual effort,projects, assignments and quizzes. No students grade will be raised or lowered based on theperformance of others in the group.I will be placing the students in a variety of groups so that they may help each other duringthe learning process, and these groups will change many times throughout the school year. Iwelcome the opportunity to discuss cooperative learning with anyone who has questions orconcerns. Ive had great success with this technique in recent years!PROGRESS REPORTS:Report Cards will be sent home three times a year - November, March andJune. We will have our first conference (parent/teacher/student) inNovember. More information to follow.I will also keep you informed throughout the school year by sending home quizzes, projects,rubrics and assignments for you to see. When your son/daughter brings home something foryou to look at, please sign and return to school to indicate that you have seen it.I try to send things home on a regular basis, but also suggest that, as a family, you choose atime where your son/daughter can bring something home to show. I suggest that they bringhome a different subject area each time so that you can be kept informed of all areas.After looking at their work, why not write them a comment? Kids love to be praised and/orencouraged. Often times it is the comment, and not the signature that the students show mewhen they bring the work back.EVALUATION:• Daily work.• Class participation.• Self-evaluation Evaluation is based on a combination of all of these.• Rubrics/Exemplars• Testing - both formal and informal. 7
  8. 8. HOMEWORK:In many cases, homework is simply classwork thatwas not finished, but sometimesprojects/assignments may require research, datacollection, preparation of material, reading etc. thatmay need to be completed at home. Often times, this type of homework doesnt evenfeel like homework to your child. I do ask the children to read at home on a regularbasis and keep a reading log, and this counts as homework.I also require the students to complete weekly Online Assignments. Every Monday, Ipost the online assignments for the week, and I require that they are to be done bythe following Sunday evening. These online assignments include Keyboarding, Math andReading.Organization is the key to success! In order to help students complete homeworkassignments, they need to track their work schedules and commitments by recordingdue dates and project planning in their Daily Agendas. I encourage parents to look atthe Daily Agendas on a regular basis, but it is not necessary that you sign them eachnight. By Grade 6/7, we strive to have the students become independent learners andto take responsibility for their own learning. If an agenda doesn’t make it home, or isnot filled in, you can always find what is homework for the day on our class web site(Online Agenda).ABSENCES:Regular school attendance is critical to the learning process. When your child isabsent, he or she misses valuable instructional time. Please inform the school of anyabsences. If your son/daughter is going to be away for an extended period of time, Iappreciate knowing well in advance. Often times I can put together some work to becompleted during this time, but please understand that it is often very difficult as somuch of the learning occurs during instruction and while interacting with peers. Manytimes the activities cannot be done without the initial instruction and classroomdiscussion.When I am able to send work home, I appreciate parent support in ensuring that thestudent is completing the assignment(s) correctly and in marking the assignment, ifpossible. This way we can all be assured that the student is on-track and understandswhat he/she is doing. 8
  9. 9. READING:Research has shown that the way to become abetter reader, writer and speller is to simplyREAD and WRITE! With this in mind, I havedeveloped a reading program that requires thestudents to read a variety of reading material.Not all of the students will be reading at the same level or interest area so there willalways be a number of different books being read at any given time in the classroom.Please keep in mind that even though the students may be reading books at differentlevels, the reading skills and strategies that they are being taught are the same.Because we will often have small groups of students reading different novels we willfrequently use a reading strategy called Literature Circles. This is an excitingapproach to reading, and one that sixth/seventh graders enjoy. At the beginning ofeach session, students choose the novel they want to read from the 4-5 that Ipresent to the class. There will be novels provided to accommodate the reading levelsand interests of all students. We take several weeks to read a novel. Students haveweekly deadlines to meet that include specific pages and assignments. Parents canhelp by posting deadlines on a calendar at home and providing time at home forreading the novel. We will start Literature Circles later this year.To become a better reader, one has to READ! I feel it is very important that studentsare reading on a daily basis at home. I require the students to keep track of theirreading time at home on a reading log. This monthly reading log needs to be returnedto school twice a month. Students are required to return the Home Reading Log on the15th of the month (so I can check to see how they are doing and what they arereading) and again on the 1st of the following month, so that it can be evaluated.This Reading Log is an integral part of the reading program and is worth 10% of theReading mark. The mark is determined by the amount of minutes read.Home reading can be done in a variety of ways. Some of the acceptable forms ofreading for the Home Reading Log are:•reading printed material - books, magazines, newspapers•computer - finding and READING research material•sharing and orally reading assignments to parents (grandparents, siblings, etc.) 9
  10. 10. •crafts, hobbies, etc. - reading instructions and building things•writing (letters, stories, etc.) - when we write we read. Reading and writing alsohelps to build better Spellers.I will provide the first Monthly Reading Log, and they may print off newones each month from our Class Web Site under the Assignment link, orjust use a sheet of lined paper.SCHOLASTIC BOOKS:Each month I provide the students with an opportunity to orderbooks from Scholastic Books. While this is optional, I doencourage the students to read at home on a daily basis, and thisis a way of obtaining reasonably priced books. We become better readers byreading! When ordering books, please make cheques payable to ScholasticBooks.CALCULATOR USE:The students will be learning to solve increasinglycomplex mathematical word problems this year. It’simportant that they learn to use a calculator as aproblem-solving tool. Students may use calculators tocomplete math homework problems that involve geometry, fractions, wordproblems, etc. However, students may not use calculators for solving skill drillsand basic computation, but may use them to check their work.Basic Math Facts:In my experience, one of the greatest factors for students having difficultywith some of the Math concepts is the student not knowing the basic facts(addition, subtraction, multiplication and division). We will work on these atschool, but if your child needs help, you can also help by studying withflashcards, playing some of the card games or dice games that we play in school,or using a homemade drill worksheet. You can even call out math facts to yourchild while driving in the car or waiting in the doctor’s office! 10
  11. 11. HOW YOU CAN HELP YOUR CHILD:•Be supportive of your child and of the school.•Be genuinely interested in what your child is doing.•Give help when needed or desired, join in when possible - fieldtrips, projects,etc.•Be understanding of your child and of your child’s teacher.• Celebrate your childs successes!••• Stay tuned in daily to our class site if you want to know what we aredoing each day, what is homework and to see some of our work.It is well known that students will experience the most success in school whenteachers, students and parents all work together toward the same goals. As ateam, I feel confident we can make this year a happy, successful one for yourchild!As your child’s teacher, I see my main role as creating a safe, caring, positiveenvironment in which your child will be able to acquire new knowledge and skills,using many different styles and techniques in all subject areas.Your child has the responsibility to come to school ready and eager to learn, towork to their best ability, to cooperate with the teachers and classmates, toshow respect to all and to accept responsibility by completing homework andmaking sure that all needed materials are at school. A student who achieves theabove will indeed have a successful year!Thank you and I look forward to a great year,Jann Porritt 11