Thursday, June 2, 2016

Classroom Information

Dear Parents,

            Third grade promises to be an exciting and challenging school year.  Third graders are becoming more independent and expectations are getting higher.  This is the first year these students will be experiencing the End-of-Grade tests.  We will be working very hard all year in preparation for this test. 

In an effort to make a smooth transition to third grade and to establish an understanding of expectations this year, I have put together this packet of information for you.  I am looking forward to this school year.  I am excited about teaching your child.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have.

                                                                                                    Mrs. Southerland

Students are allowed to be dropped off at 8:50.  The tardy bell is at 9:20.  Carpool pick up is at 3:40 in the afternoons.  Please be sure to drop off and pick up your child on time.  If your child arrives at school late or if they leave early, you must sign them in or out in the school office.  If your child is ill you may phone our school office at 557-2770 and leave a message.  When your child returns to school please send a note to excuse your child’s absence.  Car rider signs are the same from last year.  If you lost yours they cost $2.50 in the office.
Whenever possible, we will be going outside for recess, so please dress your child accordingly.  Our room seems to never be a perfect temperature.  At times it can get warm and is more often too cold.  So wearing layers or bringing an extra long sleeve shirt/sweater/jacket would be helpful.
If your child will be getting home a different way than they normally do they will need a note from you.  If I don’t have a note, I will have to send them on their regularly scheduled bus if I can’t get a hold of you.
Lunch is from 10:45-11:05 every day.  You are more than welcome to come eat with your child!


                                                           Homework Policy

Homework will be assigned each week night, Monday through Thursday.  Weekend projects are given rarely, but occasionally.  Homework is designed to reinforce and enrich the skills and information presented in the classroom, and will serve to maintain cumulative skills.  Homework is valuable in that it helps your child to establish independent study habits and self-discipline.  It also keeps parents aware of the topics and skills being taught in class.  Homework should not take more than an hour nightly.  Children work at varying paces, so for some children it may take more than an hour, and others less. 
Failure to turn in homework will result in loss of classroom privileges.  Students who do not complete their homework will have a working lunch to complete the assignment or move their clip.
Please remember that homework is the responsibility of your child.  You are welcome, and encouraged, to check it over, but please allow your child to complete the work independently.  This will give me a better idea of those skills I need to reteach.

Snack/Water Bottle/Bathroom Breaks
Please be sure your child remembers to bring in a healthy snack each day. We will be having snack during the day.  Students are not allowed to share snacks.  With so many allergy concerns at our school it would be very unsafe to have this occur.  Each student may bring in a water bottle to fill up in the morning if they wish.  Please make sure to label the water bottles with your child’s name.  We only take water breaks with our bathroom breaks before lunch, after specials, and after recess.  We do take 3 scheduled bathroom breaks.  I discourage students to go during instructional math, reading, and writing times.  

We love them and are happy to celebrate them!  If you wish to send a special treat for everyone that is fine with me. The food policy at Willow Springs Elementary is NO home prepared treats.  Food items need to be bought and wrapped from a store.  It is however my policy that no birthday invitations are brought to school unless everyone is invited.   Imagine how hurt a child would be if he/she did not receive one and saw them being passed out.  Thank you!!
As third graders the AR goal is going to be individualized this year.  At the first quarter conference we (teacher and parents) will set up a point goal for each student to reach by the end of the year.  If they meet their individualized goal, then they will receive a quarterly surprise.

Student Planner
 Each student will have a student planner (agenda notebook) in which they will record their assignments each day.  It is the student’s responsibility to copy the assignments into their agenda and take the agenda home.  Time is set aside each day to do this.  There is also a place in the agenda for parents and teacher to communicate.  I have found this to be very effective. 

Classroom Management
My classroom management is a color system with consequences for bad choices and positive reinforcement for meeting and exceeding expectations.  If a rule is broken, warning is given. If a second rule is broken, the child’s clothespin will move from green to blue.  Clothespins will continue to move in this fashion until the behavior is corrected.   Consequences are as follows:
  • Green – Great!
  • Blue-  3 minutes structured recess
  • Yellow- 6 minutes structured recess
  • Red- 9 minutes structured recess
  • Extreme, harmful behavior will result in an immediate removal from classroom.

The planner/agenda is where students will write each time they move a clothespin explaining why they had to move their clothespin.  Please read and sign by it so I know you are aware of what is happening at school.

            Good behavior is also given.   Students earn class dojo points for their positive behavior.  Once they earn 50 points they get to pick a reward.
My goal is for your child to have a positive, safe, and fun learning experience in my classroom.  I will do my best to create a positive atmosphere.  I hope I will have your support from home with discipline.    

Friday Folder
This folder will be coming home on Fridays and this is where all the school mail and students’ work will be placed.  The paper will let you know how your child did for the week on AR, homework, behavior/work habits.  Underneath the date is the special they will have for that week.  So be sure to look at the following week’s date to see which special they will have for the upcoming week.  If it is Gym please make sure you wear tennis shoes and not flip-flops.  Specials are from 1:05-1:50.  Please initial or sign the planners and Friday Folders. Thanks!

Volunteering/Contact Me
We love them and are happy to have them!   In order to volunteer, you do need to complete the registry.  Even if you just wanted to come in and read a book aloud to the students that would be wonderful.  If you don’t have the registry completed you can’t even come read to students. 
If you are interested in completing the volunteering registry at a later time, please see the office about the procedure for becoming a volunteer.  If you have volunteered in the past, you still have to go through the registry to renew your status starting in October.
It is my hope that we can work together as a team this year.  As we progress through the year I encourage you to contact me with your comments, concerns, or questions.  If you need to reach me, you can call the school at 557-2770.  The office will take a message and put it in my mailbox.  If it is an extreme emergency, the office will be able to reach me right away.  Any message I receive, I will get back to you as soon as possible.  I check my email at least once a day if you want to communicate that way.  You can also do it the old-fashioned way and just write a note in their planner.  The email on Class Dojo sends me an alert on my phone when I receive a new message.  I tend to respond to those quicker since my phone is usually by me so I can give students Dojo points.  We are a team working together for the success of your child.  I am looking forward to a fun and exciting year with you and your child!
Mrs. Southerland  

Teacher Tips for Parents

·        Hug your child every day.  All too soon they will think they are too big to be hugged.
·        Read with your child.  They love to be read to and to read aloud to someone.  You both will be richly blessed with this time of quiet sharing.
·        Ask them questions about their school day.  Be specific.  Don’t stop with “How was your day?”  Be aware of what’s happening.
·        Set aside a time and a place for homework. 
·        Encourage your child to make thoughtful decisions and choices, and give them positive reinforcement for making good choices.

Wish List


          Equipment for outdoor recess

·        Basketball
·        Kickball
·        Soccer Ball
·        Jump ropes

Small prizes for the prize box
·        Individually wrapped candy
·        Stickers
·        Colored Pens

·        Cool printer paper
·        Decorative Computer Paper
·        Fun Post-Its of all sizes

·        Band-Aids
·        Extra Tissues  (We run out every year)
·        Baby Wipes

Thanks for all your help!!