ABCs of 3rd Grade

ABSENCES: Much of our learning takes place together in class. We do lots of hands-on activities and group work. Please plan to attend school every day, except in cases of illness or emergencies. If your child will be absent, please call GES at ....

ARRIVAL at school begins at 7:30am, although the bell does not ring until 8am. I prefer that arrival take place no later than 7:50am, as it takes most students 5-10 minutes to get organized for the day.

BREAKFAST: Did you know that GES provides free breakfast to all students? If your child would like a bite to eat in the morning, please have them arrive in the cafeteria by 7:45am.

BIRTHDAYS: If you would like to send a treat with your child on or near his/her birthday, please feel free to do so. These treats will be eaten during our snack time or after lunch. If your child has a summer birthday, you may send in treats on his/her “half-birthday.” Please do not send birthday party invitations to be distributed at school unless all children in our class receive an invitation.

BOOK ORDER FORMS will be sent home for you and your child to look over every month or two. Book clubs offer fantastic deals! Checks should be made payable to SCHOLASTIC.

CONFERENCES are held at the end of the first and third quarter. Watch for information and reply accordingly. I am also available to conference as needed, however, we will need to schedule a time convenient for both of us.

COMMUNICATIONS FOLDERS help keep us organized. This 3-pronged red folder houses our weekly newsletter, homework, and other important information that assists with communication between home and school. They should be taken home and returned to school DAILY.

DISMISSAL: Bus riders are dismissed at 2:10pm, while car riders are dismissed at 2:15pm. If there are any changes in home transportation, a note from home is required.

EARLY RELEASE DAYS will take place every Monday. On Early Release Mondays, students eat lunch at school and are dismissed at 1:15pm, instead of 2:15pm.

EMERGENCY CARDS should be on file in the office. If your address, or any of your phone numbers change, please inform the office (and me!).

EMAIL is my preferred method of communication because of the quick turn-around. If you have an email address that you check regularly, please provide it to me to maximize our communication.

ENRICHMENT: Students have the opportunity to participate in my Young Einsteins Club to enrich their learning. Research should be done at home or in class (ONLY if assigned work has already been completed).

FCAT: The FCAT is a statewide test your child will be taking in April. It assesses reading comprehension and math concepts.

FIELD TRIPS: We will be taking two field trips this year (one in the fall and one in the spring). Details will be announced in our Weekly Newsletter.

GRADING: Students will be assessed using letter grades this year (A, B, C, N, U) based on their performance in math, reading, writing, science, and social studies, as well as the special areas (music, art, and PE).

HOMEWORK: Weekly homework will consist of word study (spelling patterns and vocabulary) and math  practice (two worksheets/week). All homework is due on Thursday. A minimum of 30 minutes of nightly reading is also expected for a total of 120 minutes a week.

INCENTIVES: We all know that the offer of incentives can be a fun way to help motivate students to succeed. Ask your child about our Classroom Economy, Behavior Bingo, Robinson Bank and Store.

INDEPENDENCE is a goal for students because it builds self-esteem and self-confidence. Third graders are very capable of doing many things on their own and I encourage them to do as much as they can for themselves in the classroom. Please encourage them to think through and problem-solve in everyday situations.

JOURNALS (or composition books) are used in every subject area. They may be taken home as needed for the purposes of studying or sharing, however, they should be brought back to school as they are used frequently.

KEEP INFORMED by reading our newsletter every week and checking the Communications Folder daily for notes and information. Also, please check out my blog. I plan to update it regularly to share events, lessons, and photos from our classroom activities.

LUNCH takes place at 12:08pm. Please send lunch money in the pouch inside your child’s BEE Book, or use the on-line system for depositing money into your child’s account. You are more than welcome to join your child and their friends for lunch in the cafeteria.

MYSTERY READERS: Would you like to read to the class? Shhhh…keep it a secret and sign up to be a Mystery Reader. Kids love surprises! I will send home available dates – you pick the date(s) that work best for you.

NEWSLETTERS will be sent home every Monday in the Communications Folder to inform you of our focus of the week. I will email it to you, as well. Important information is always included, so please read carefully. In addition, our school-wide newsletter is now sent via email every other Wednesday. Please inform the office if you would like to “go green” and receive the Gazette by this method.

OPEN HOUSE will take place on September 15th. Be on the lookout for invitations with more information.

PE  Students must wear sneakers on PE days (Tuesday and Thursday). On non-PE days, we go outside for recess, so if your child likes to run or play on the playground equipment, it would be beneficial for them to wear sneakers daily.

QUESTIONS: Instead of asking your child, “What did you do in school today?” ask, “What book did you read during independent reading?” or “What did you learn in math?” or “Tell me what you wrote about during Writing Workshop!” Show that you’re interested, and ask specific questions. Most likely, your child will respond positively and more openly.

REPORT CARDS will be sent home every nine weeks. Please see the district calendar for specific dates.

SNACK: Kids need snacks! When healthy snack choices are made, they provide the nutrients and calories kids need for growth, good health and energy to get through the day. Please pack your child a healthy snack to enjoy on a daily basis.

SUPPLIES: A supply list was mailed to you during the summer to indicate the items your child needs in class. Please make sure your child is prepared for school every day with those essential items. Your child should also have supplies at home (as well as a quiet place to work) to complete at-home assignments.

TARDIES: If your child arrives at school after the bell rings at 8am, a parent or guardian is required to walk him/her to the office to sign in. This is for the safety of your child.

UNIQUE: Each student in my classroom is unique. I will do my best to differentiate instruction to ensure that all children get what they need to be successful in third grade.

VOLUNTEERS and VISITORS are welcome! There are many opportunities for you to be involved in the classroom this year. Be on the lookout for upcoming info. When you arrive at school to volunteer or visit, please register in the office and pick up a badge instead of coming directly to the classroom. This policy is for the safety of your children.

WATER BOTTLES: Please feel free to have your child bring a water bottle to class. I prefer the reusable, aluminum water bottles with tight fitting lids (fewer spills). Please encourage your child to bring their water bottle home regularly to wash it.

WISH LIST: Post-It Notes in interesting shapes or colors, colored copy paper, computer paper with borders, dry erase markers, top-loading sheet protectors, portable CD players for individual listening centers, cardstock (white and multicolored), multicolored pipe cleaners or Wikki Sticks, gently used games or puzzles for indoor recess or enrichment, toys or treats for our Treasure Box, gift card to purchase books and other classroom items

It is EXTRAORDINARILY important for your child to have a successful third grade YEAR. I will do my best to make learning fun and exciting – you can expect a lot of growth in so many different areas. It will seem as if the 2011-2012 school year will ZOOM by!