Classroom handbook 2012


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Woodsters 2012-12 Classroom Handbook

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Classroom handbook 2012

  1. 1. Woodsters 2012-2013 Class Handbook Tuesday, September 11, 2012
  2. 2. Meet the Teacher Night Agenda1. Introductions- Mr. Wood, Mrs. Jwaskiewicz, Miss Cross2. Introductions- Ms. Stacy White Volunteering  Classroom Parties  Special Events3. Our Philosophy- Be a Woodster4. Procedures  Daily Schedule  Organization  Assignment Guide  Homework5. Our Digital Footprint  How to participate6. Miscellaneous  Snacks/Brain and Body Break- Every morning around 10:45  Communication  Conferences Thank you for coming tonight. We really appreciate it!
  3. 3. Daily Schedule Morning Work, Lunch Count, and 8:40-8:55 Announcements Math AIS, ‘Big Work’ (Project 9-9:45 Based Learning) 9:50-11:05 Math11:05-11:45 Science/SS11:45-12:30 Lunch and Recess 12:30-1:10 Flex Period, Read Aloud Specials A Days: Art 1:10-1:50 B & D Days: Phys. Ed C Days: Music E Days: Library 1:50-3 ELA Block 3-3:10 Assignment Guides
  4. 4. Be a Woodster: Our Mission Our mission is to immerse the Woodsters in an environment wherequestions are asked, learning is loved, and the students passion isshared. We will develop a classroom community that revolves around care forothers and ourselves, a drive to be remarkable, and the freedom for takingrisks and making mistakes. The physical space will be unique, inspiring, andflexible; a place where students engage in meaningful, collaborative work. Ourapproach with the students will be full of inquiry and excitement, full ofpassion about asking, learning, thinking, and doing. We will teach ourstudents to become creative, innovative, and playful. We will provide anenvironment for reflection so that students and teachers can grow throughexperiences. To achieve this goal, we will engage in projects and meaningfulassignments that allow our students to use their talents to solve problems.We will utilize experts, members in the community, and technology to provideauthentic audiences to learn from, collaborate with, and share our work with.We will tap into our students’ talents and push our students to try new things.Last, we plan to engage in the learning process along with our students as amodel of failure and success.Here are some questions that we ask ourselves as we plan and reflecton our teaching:  What risks did our students take today? How can we push them to take more chances in the classroom?  What can we do to help our students to be more confident in themselves?  Do we allow enough time for inquiry?  What can we do to push our students to own learning?  In what ways can we open the door for more creativity, innovation, play, and discovery in learning?  What is the purpose? Was it meaningful?  What do our students want to learn about?  Who did our students connect with today?  What did our students teach each other and us?  How did our students change the world? Was  What is something we (teachers) learned today? How can we model learning more?  What did our students share with the world?  What opportunities for reflection were there today?
  5. 5. Woodsters 2012-13 Are you a Purple Cow?Family: Look out for and stick up for eachother.Stand out: Be yourself, be a purple cow.Fail often: Take a shot, reflect, and tryagain.Be uncommon: Stand for something,make it happen, change the world.Do the big work: Be creative,innovative, playful, and inquire.Dont settle: Have a fire in your belly andideas that don’t quit.
  6. 6. A Day in the LifeMorning RoutinesYour son or daughter enters the classroom and orders his or her lunch. They then checkthe SMART Board for their morning work. Morning work consists of daily activitiesfocused around math, language, current events, and map skills. This is also a time forwork on collaborative projects.MathIn math, your son or daughter is learning new and challenging concepts and processes.The approach of our instruction in math revolves around a balance of constructivistmethods (discovery based) and concrete methods (algorithms). Math is explored throughwhole group, small group, and individual instruction. Our instructional approach to mathalso includes many hands-on activities and math labs, as well as other individualizedprograms.ReadingReading is taught using the Guided Reading and Daily 5 approach. The Daily 5 is astructure that involves the students working on various reading and writing tasks whichinclude Read to Self, Read to Someone, Listening to Reading, Work on Writing, andWord Work independently. During this time your son or daughter will meet in smallgroups to discuss books and practice different reading strategies. There are also timesthat reading will be taught as a whole class.We will be using a wide variety of reading materials in our day-to-day instruction. Thestudents will be reading novels, short stories from the Macmillan/McGraw-Hill readingprogram, various forms of non-fiction, and poetry.Language Arts and WritingWe will be using Writer’s Workshop and 6 + 1 Traits of Writing as the framework of ourwriting program. The Writer’s Workshop consists of learning to be an author throughmini-lessons, small group, individual conferences, and uninterrupted writing time. Thestudents will also experience the writing process as they publish selected pieces.Sentence structure, grammar and punctuation are also addressed within the Writer’sWorkshop. Spelling and vocabulary development are also a focus during this time.Read AloudEvery day we read aloud to the class. We choose the text based upon what we are doingin other areas of the curriculum, the class’ interests, or simply because it’s a book wewould like to share with the class.
  7. 7. Social StudiesThe fourth grade curriculum covers New York State history. Topics will include: NYgeography, the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), North American Explorers, Colonial NewYork, the Revolutionary War, Early Perinton and the history of the Erie Canal. Our socialstudies curriculum will be enhanced grade-level activities such as Early Fairport Days.ScienceScience skills will be learned using an inquiry based approach to explore the followingtopics: The Scientific Process, Geology, Electricity, Matter, and Animals.Study HallIf time allows, the students will have time for a study hall. The students may choose tobegin their homework, work on make-up work, or review concepts with teachers. Theymay also be doing jobs in the classroom, or we may have a short recess at the end of theday.
  8. 8. Our Digital FootprintIntegrating technology is an essential part of what we do every day. We have access togreat tools and programs that allow us to interact, collaborate, research, share, andreflect on a daily basis. Some of those tools are (All links are available from themainpage of the class blog):  Fairport Apps-These Google based Apps allow easy collaboration between teachers and students. They allow us to take learning outside of our classroom and traditional school hours. Fairport Apps include Fairport based e-mail and Google Docs (Word, Presentations, and Spreadsheets).  The Woodsters Blog-  The Woodsters Wiki-  Woodsters Twitter- Follow us (@woodsters658) for updates and pictures of what’s happening in school.  Woodsters TV- An archive of Woodster produced videos.  Woodsters Picassa- An archive of our pictures.  Delicious- Delicious is a social bookmarking website that allows us to bookmark websites that supplement what we are teaching or we find interesting. Using Delicious allows the bookmarks to be accessible on any computer.  Skype- Username: NSwoodsters A web-based video conferencing tool.  Animoto- A simple video production program.  Audacity- A audio recording tool used to record and produce podcasts  Other Equipment- Flip camera, laptops, digital cameras, video recording devices, microphones, web cams, SMART Boards, etc.We understand and teach the importance of internet safety. We give a lot of thought tohow we share student work in public places. For example, we use unique usernamesrather than sharing full names. Please feel free to ask us about our guidelines.
  9. 9. HomeworkOur philosophy on homework revolves around 4 beliefs:  Balance- We believe in quality assignments over quantity. Students work hard in school and should have time to engage in other activities without the pressure of excessive homework. This also encourages students to be remarkable with their work.  Risk Taking- Students should try to complete work on their own, even if it means making mistakes.  Fostering the love of reading- Students should read for at least 20 minutes every day. Reading can involve independent reading (books, magazines, newspapers, online, etc.), shared reading, or listening to you read. Students should also engage in conversations about books. Ask your son or daughter about what they are reading and share about the books you are reading.  Independence and Responsibility- Students begin to develop a routine for maintaining and completing assignments. This includes becoming independent with the use of an assignment guide, gathering materials for assignments, planning a schedule for completing work after school, and transporting work to and from school. Homework and class work will be graded by the following: You went above and beyond what Mr. Wood & Mrs. J 4 expected. “Purple Cow!” Your work meets the expectations of this assignment. You 3 have shown good effort and we can tell that you understand what we’re working on. Well done! Your work almost meets the expectations of this assignment 2 and you tried your best. Your work does not meet the expectations of this assignment. 1 The effort put forth is less than acceptable and you need to re-do the assignment. 0 Work is incomplete.
  10. 10. Fourth Grade Assessments These tests are designed to assess the students’ abilities to meet state standardsin these three areas. The scores that students’ receive on these assessments will not bereflected on their report cards. There is no reason for you or your child to feel anxiousabout these assessments. We assure you, as we will assure them; they are wellprepared! ELA April 16-18 Math April 24-26 Science TBA Birthdays Birthdays are opportunities for students to share with their classmates andloved ones. We encourage a family member or a friend to come in tocelebrate this special day! We ask that the special guest choose a book toshare with our classroom community. In lieu of treats or gift bags, if interested,we ask for a donation to our classroom community: a house plant, seeds,book, etc. This way future Woodsters can enjoy these gifts and your son ordaughter will leave lasting impression on the classroom community.