Parent Newsletter – October 2017
I’m so happy we’ve had such agreeable autumn weather. September was a time for settling into new routines and procedures in our classroom. October is an extension of September, and in many ways we continue to work on building a positive, happy classroom community, and to work on building independent working, writing, and reading skills. This newsletter, I hope, will provide some clarifications about some of our classroom routines.
ClassDojo is an electronic means of giving positive feedback to students. Each student has a little critter/monster avatar and they gain points for things such as walking quietly in the hallways, finishing their homework, doing their class tasks, maintaining a pristine, organized desk J, routinely keeping an agenda, etc. Students do not see each other’s point totals, and the amount of points a student earns varies based on their attendance at school, so really it is not a reflection of good or bad behaviour; it is simply a paperless and fun way for me to lend some acknowledgment to good work habits and to the helpers in our class. ClassDojo has an option for parents to see their students’ points but it is not necessary or expected of parents to sign into an account. ClassDojo also has a neat option of presenting our class totals in a graph and percentages format, so we learn some math principles such as counting multiples and visualized data in the process. We have decided as a class that when we have earned an aggregate class total of 1000 points we will vote on a special privilege such as a pyjama party or fun field trip.
With Halloween on a Tuesday, our class will have a party to share our costumes and perhaps do some crafts with our little buddy class. Normally I organize a potluck where each student is in charge of bringing a shareable treat -- any from chips to juice boxes to cupcakes. I am open to suggestions from parents for alternate Halloween ideas as well!
Starting in mid-October, every Thursday afternoon your child will attend an Explorations elective. Students will have the chance to choose from a variety of activities offered at Belmont. This might include knitting, coding, cooking, Outdoor Education, photography, clay animation, and journalism. More details will be provided by next week.
Over the next couple days you will receive an email inviting you to access Fresh Grade. This is my platform for documenting and communicating your child’s learning and assessments. Fresh Grade will also let you know if your child has forgotten to hand in assignments, or is chronically late in handing them in. Please note that if you have not received an email in the next couple of days, this means that your email address in the school system is incorrect and needs to be updated. Please email me if you suspect this is the case (firstname.lastname@example.org), as I can fix that.
Thank you for your help and communication this September. I look forward to meeting you at Parent-Teacher conferences. As always, I have an open-door policy in my classroom and you are welcome anytime to chat before or after school.
- Mme Bournelis