September 10, 2013
Meet the Teacher Night
1. Introductions- The Woodster Team: Travis Wood, Sara Jwaskiewicz,
Mollie Craig, Mary Sieburg, Janelle James
2. Introductions- Room Parents: Paige Dittman, Amy Provenzo
3. Our Philosophy- Be a Woodster
5. Our Digital Footprint
How to participate
Snacks/Brain and Body Break- Every morning around 10:45
Morning Work, Lunch Count, and
Literacy Block- Reading, Writing,
10:35-11:15 Academic Intervention Block 1
A Days: Compter/Library
B & E Days: Phys. Ed
C Days: Art
D Days: Music
11:55-12:35 Lunch and Recess
Read Aloud & Assignment
1:50-2:30 Academic Intervention Block 2
Be a Woodster: Our Mission
Our mission is to immerse the Woodsters in an environment where questions
are asked, learning is loved, and the students' passion is shared. We will
develop a classroom community that revolves around caring for ourselves and
others, a drive to be remarkable, and the freedom for taking risks and making
mistakes. The physical space will be unique, inspiring, and flexible; a place
where students engage in meaningful, collaborative work. Our approach with
the students will be full of inquiry and excitement, full of passion about asking,
learning, thinking, and doing. We will teach our students to become creative,
innovative, and playful. We will provide an environment for reflection so that
students and teachers can grow through experiences.
To achieve this goal, we will engage in projects and meaningful learning
experiences that allow our students to use their talents to solve problems. We
will utilize experts, members of the community, and technology to provide
authentic 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 and to
model failure and success.
Here are some questions that we ask ourselves as we plan for and
reflect on our teaching:
What opportunities were there to ‘learn how to learn?’
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 their 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?
What is something we (teachers) learned today? How can we model learning
What did our students share with the world?
What opportunities for reflection were there today?
Are you a Purple Cow?
Family: Look out for and stick up for each
Stand out: Be yourself, be a purple cow.
Fail often: Take a shot, reflect, and try
again. Hard is fun.
Be uncommon: Stand for something,
make it happen, change the world.
Do the big work: Be creative,
innovative, playful, and inquire.
Don't settle: Have a fire in your belly,
ideas that don’t quit, and the drive to make
A Day in the Life
Your son or daughter enters the classroom and orders his or her lunch. They then check
the SMART Board for their morning work. Morning work consists of daily activities
focused around math, language, current events, and map skills. This is also a time for
work on collaborative projects.
In math, your son or daughter is learning new and challenging concepts and how to
attack problem solving. The approach of our instruction in math revolves around a
balance of constructivist methods (discovery based) and concrete methods (algorithms).
Math is explored through whole group, small group, and individual instruction. Our
instructional approach to math also includes many hands-on activities and math labs, as
well as other individualized programs.
Reading is taught using Guided Reading and Daily 5 structures. Guided Reading is an
approach where students are grouped in small groups to focus on particular reading
skills, mainly deep comprehension on complex texts. The Daily 5 is a structure that
involves the students working on various reading and writing tasks which include Read to
Self, Read to Someone, Listening to Reading, Work on Writing, and Word Work
independently. There are also times that reading will be taught as a whole class.
We will be using a wide variety of reading materials in our day-to-day instruction. The
students will be reading novels, various forms of non-fiction, magazine articles, online
selections and poetry, among many others.
Language Arts and Writing
We will be using Writer’s Workshop and 6 + 1 Traits of Writing as the framework of our
writing program. The Writer’s Workshop consists of learning to be an author through
mini-lessons, small group, individual conferences, and uninterrupted writing time. The
students will also experience the writing process as they publish selected pieces. The 6 +
1 Traits of Writing allows writers to focus on individual traits of writing (Ideas,
Organization, Voice, Word Choice, Sentence Fluency, Conventions and Publication)
while working on larger pieces.
Sentence structure, grammar and punctuation are also addressed within the Writer’s
Workshop. Word Work and vocabulary development are also a focus during this time.
Every day we read aloud to the class. We choose the text based upon what we are doing
in other areas of the curriculum, the class’ interests, or simply because it’s a book we
would like to share with the class. We make read aloud as interactive as possible to
broaden the experience and model targeted reader’s behaviors.
The fourth grade curriculum covers New York State history. Topics will include: NY
geography, the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), North American Explorers, Colonial New
York, the Revolutionary War, Early Perinton and the history of the Erie Canal. Our social
studies curriculum will be enhanced grade-level activities such as Early Fairport Days.
Science skills will be learned using an inquiry based approach to explore the following
topics: The Scientific Process, Geology, Electricity, Matter, and Animals.
If time allows, the students will have time for a study hall. The students may choose to
begin their homework, work on make-up work, or review concepts with teachers. They
may also be doing jobs in the classroom, or we may have a short recess at the end of the
Our Digital Footprint
Integrating technology is an essential part of what we do every day. We have access to
great tools and programs that allow us to interact, collaborate, research, share, and
reflect on a daily basis. Some of those tools are (All links are available from the main
page 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 (Documents, Presentations, and Spreadsheets).
The Woodsters Blog-http://woodsters.blog.fairport.org
The Woodsters Wiki- http://woodsters.wiki.fairport.org
Woodsters Twitter- Follow us (@woodsters658) for updates and pictures of
what’s happening in school.
Woodsters TV- http://www.schooltube.com/user/twood An archive of Woodster
Woodsters Picassa- An archive of our pictures.
Delicious- http://delicious.com/woodsters 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
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 to
how we share student work in public places. For example, we use unique usernames
rather than sharing full names. Please feel free to ask us about our guidelines.
Our 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 the
work they are assigned.
Taking Risks- Students should try to complete work on their own, even if it means
making mistakes. If work required excessive help, please leave us a note or email
us and we will work with your son or daughter in school.
Foster the love of reading- Our goal for our students is a minimum of 45 minutes
of ‘text time’ each day. Any reading beyond that makes an incredible difference in
reading gains. 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 should 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
Homework and class work will be graded by the following:
You went above and beyond what we expected.
Your work meets the expectations of this assignment. You
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
and you tried your best.
Your work does not meet the expectations of this assignment.
The effort put forth is less than acceptable and you need to
re-do the assignment.
0 Work is incomplete.
Fourth Grade Assessments
These tests are designed to assess the students’ abilities to meet state standards in
these three areas. The scores that students’ receive on these assessments will not be
reflected on their report cards. There is no reason for you or your child to feel anxious
about these assessments. We assure you, as we will assure them; they are well
ELA April 1-3
Math April 30-May 2
Birthdays are opportunities for students to share with their classmates and loved ones.
We encourage a family member or a friend to come in to celebrate this special day! We
ask that the special guest choose a book to share 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 or daughter will leave lasting impression on the classroom community.