Sunday, April 1, 2007

Classroom Update

Binders went home on Friday(3/30). They should be reviewed, signed, and returned to school on Monday(4/2). Report cards will be coming home Monday, April 9th. Please keep your eyes open! Also, if you would like to meet for a parent/teacher conference please fill out the conference request form, found in the report card envelop with a day and time that is convenient for you. Thanks!

This week was quite trying for all participants of E-8. Unfortunately, some of us have forgotten how to treat others with respect and the rules of the behavior contract that was signed during the first days of school. The behavior of the whole class, while I was a meeting Friday morning, was less than desirable. Students were disrespectful to each other and the substitute. We had a long discussion about it Friday afternoon and students responded to the situation in their Writer's Notebook with some great ideas of how to change the overall tone of our classroom.

I have been reflecting on their behavior all weekend, taking student's suggestions into account and wondering what I have not done to develop a respectful learning environment for each child in my classroom. I have decided that my expectations have been consistent and clear throughout the year and that it was time for the students to be held accountable for their behavior. At this point of the year I believe it is in the children's hands whether or not they will behave appropriately. I have decided that all students will have to earn their way onto the class field trip, that is currently scheduled for May 7th. Obviously, if your child has been behaving and a participating as respectful member of our classroom they will not have a problem. However, for those students who have had difficulty controlling their behavior, making good choices and being a respectful member of our classroom, they will be closely monitored. They will, hopefully, be working to earn back the trust of their classmates and myself, in able to attend the field trip.

We all must work together to create a respectful environment where all students can learn and confidently grow as individuals, without the ridicule of others. My educational philosophy has always included the development of the whole child and developing a learning community where all students feel safe to learn and grow. I believe I have provided and modeled my expectations to the students all year and it is now their turn to put them into practice.

I am hoping to see a change in each student's behavior during the remainder of the year, in or out of our classroom. Whether it is to lead more by example, stand up to the disrespect and bullying or to begin respecting others and themselves by being a positive member of E-8. No matter what the change we can all be improve and become stronger, more positive members of E-8.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

New Literature Circle Groups

Class update: Students have selected new books for their literature circle groups and we will be starting the 1st reading selection tomorrow in class. I am posting the Literature Circle schedule so you are aware of work that may be do. Students are given class time to complete all the required material, however some may still need to take extra time at home to complete the notebook assignments.

The Literature Circle Schedule:
Monday/Tuesday: Reading Skill days in class (Lit Circle reading done for HW or during SSR)
Wednesday: Reading day in class (45 - 60 min period)
Thursday: Work day. Reading must be completed. (45 - 60 min period)
Friday: Group Discussion and Evaluation Day (30 min). Reading of next selection begins.

Students have from Friday through the next Wed. to complete their reading. They can read with group members, partners, teacher, or individually. If their notebook assignment is not complete be Friday morning they will not join their group for discussion. This will have an effect on their participation and work grade. Any work that is not completed during the course of the day must be taken home for homework and completed on time.

I am looking forward to hearing the students discuss their new literature and watching them grow as readers and cooperative group members.

Thanks - Ms. M

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Welcome Aboard

I just want to apologize for neglecting all of you during the last few weeks. My lap top had to go in to be serviced and I was pretty much without the Internet or my computer for the past several days. But now we are back! All comments have been published and are now viewable. I am very excited about some new additions that will be coming soon. I brainstormed with the students and they had some great ideas to add to our blog. Also, the original blog, that was created solely for student interaction, will now be up and running at school. The Warwick Schools IT Department has granted permissions to the Literature Circle blog site. I am looking forward to implementing it into our Literature Circle routine this week. Hope to hear from you all soon! Happy Blogging! Ms. M

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Parenting Matters Conference

FYI to all families:
There will be a Parenting Matters Conference held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick, RI on Saturday, March 31st. This conference is presented by Bradley Hospital A Lifespan Partner. It is a day-long conference helping families tackle tough issues in parenting children of all abilities. Contact number: 1-800-927-1230. You may also register on-line at (Click on the link to the right for direct connection.)

Program costs: The registration fee is $25/person. Online registration ends March 23. Limited scholarships are available. Professional credits are available for educators. If you use code PM2007 there is a $5 discount.

Children do not come with manuals and are all so different. However, there are proven techniques to help make parenting easier and more consistent. Take advantage of this conference to reassure your current parenting techniques and introduce yourself to new ones. You will also be provided with situational tips and strategies to use with your child.

I do plan on attending myself. Even though I do not have children of my own, this sounds like a positive experience to gain and build knowledge on how to deal with children in a consistent manner. Hope to see some of you there!

Enjoy the evening ~ Ms. M

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Birth of the Blog!

I am currently taking an on-line course, "Using Blogs and WIKIS to Foster Literacy", through URI. The overall project is to create an interactive blog site to increase literacy within the classroom. My original blog was created with Literature Circles in mind. I was hoping to utilize the blog in the classroom during our Literature Circle Units. However, due to the security blocks on the school web server the original blog is unable to be viewed or interacted with at school. So, with that said I chose to create a new blog that would help open the lines of communication between school and home. I am very excited about this project and will love to see it take on a life of its own. Enjoy it and blog away!