This update serves two purposes:
- I want to apologize for neglecting this journal for the past few months. During conferences I read through parent surveys (See! We do read them!) and noted that many people said they wanted me to start posting the homework again and improve parent communication.
- I want to share some highlights of what we’ve been doing in class, tell you what we are going to do next, and describe some changes that will (I hope!) improve communication about school to home.
What have we been up to?
For the past month we have been working on our projects for the Academic Fair portion of Pie Supper. In Reading the students studied biographies and autobiographies and we talked about what elements we needed to include in the ones they would write. In Social Studies the students read books and websites about their subjects and took notes to inform their papers. In Writing everyone created an outline and wrote a biographical essay about his or her subject. We also spent time revising and editing, writing speeches, and creating the display boards they will use during their presentations.
We studied soil in Science, but we paused that unit for a week. We have been using Science time to take some “brain breaks” from project-land by watching cute animal videos in the meantime. We’ll get back to our study of sand, silt, clay, and humus next week.
What are we doing next?
Next week students will present their biography projects in class and we will complete our soil unit. We will soon delve into our poetry unit in Reading and Writing, a study of landforms in Science, and a look at economy in Social Studies.
Changes? What changes?
First of all, I intend to post the homework on this journal consistently. I set an alarm on my phone to get me back in the habit of posting a picture of the board every day. If you ever notice that I’ve forgotten or if you have questions, please email me (email@example.com). I appreciate feedback; I’m always looking for ways to improve what I’m doing so that you know what is going on at school.
During conferences I also received a lot of feedback that work is not coming home. Things like spelling tests, writing, and math fact sheets end up in the recycling bin (or smushed in the back of desks) more often than they appear in bookbags, so I am going to stop handing them to students to take home. Instead, I will show them their graded work and then file it so you can come in and look at it. I will keep a crate in the classroom (near the back door) with a hanging folder for each student. If you ever want to peruse your child’s work, please feel free to come look through his or her folder before 8:15 or after 3:00.
One last note…
There is the promise (or threat, depending on how you feel about it) of snow in the forecast for next week. As we all know, this could end up being anything from sunny skies to a blizzard. If we miss school, then I will post an update here about Pie Supper projects. The chances are that we will be able to present all of them in class in a single day if we have to, and most students are ready to present. If we need to do presentations Friday or even the following week, we will.
Okay, last thing. I promise.
I just want to add that I love each of your kids (really, truly) and that I feel very fortunate to work with such caring, involved families. Thank you for everything you do to support the education of your children and make me feel appreciated. I hope you will always feel comfortable coming to me with suggestions, questions, or critiques.
Enjoy the long weekend!