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Classroom Handbook 2013


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Woodsters 2013-2014 Classroom Handbook

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Classroom Handbook 2013

  1. 1. Woodsters 2013-2014 Class Handbook Tuesday, September 10, 2013
  2. 2. Meet the Teacher Night Agenda 1. Introductions- The Woodster Team: Travis Wood, Sara Jwaskiewicz, Mollie Craig, Mary Sieburg, Janelle James 2. Introductions- Room Parents: Paige Dittman, Amy Provenzo Volunteering  Classroom Parties  Special Events 3. Our Philosophy- Be a Woodster 4. Procedures  Daily Schedule  Organization  Assignment Guide  Homework 5. Our Digital Footprint  How to participate 6. Miscellaneous  Snacks/Brain and Body Break- Every morning around 10:45  Communication  Conferences
  3. 3. 8:40-8:55 Morning Work, Lunch Count, and Announcements 9-10:30 Literacy Block- Reading, Writing, Word Work 10:30-10:35 Snack 10:35-11:15 Academic Intervention Block 1 11:15-11:55 Specials A Days: Compter/Library B & E Days: Phys. Ed C Days: Art D Days: Music 11:55-12:35 Lunch and Recess 12:35-12:50 Read Aloud & Assignment Guides 12:50-1:50 Math 1:50-2:30 Academic Intervention Block 2 2:30-3:10 Science/SS Daily Schedule
  4. 4. 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 more?  What did our students share with the world?  What opportunities for reflection were there today?
  5. 5. Woodsters 2013-2014 Be Remarkable Are you a Purple Cow? Family: Look out for and stick up for each other. 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 them happen.
  6. 6. A Day in the Life Morning Routines 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. Math 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 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.
  7. 7. Read Aloud 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. Social Studies 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 Science skills will be learned using an inquiry based approach to explore the following topics: The Scientific Process, Geology, Electricity, Matter, and Animals. Study Hall 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 day.
  8. 8. 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-  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 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.
  9. 9. Homework 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 school. Homework and class work will be graded by the following: 4 You went above and beyond what we expected. “Purple Cow!” 3 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! 2 Your work almost meets the expectations of this assignment and you tried your best. 1 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.
  10. 10. 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 prepared! ELA April 1-3 Math April 30-May 2 Science TBA Birthdays 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.