Dear Parents and Guardians,
Good Morning. I have highlighted our year in this letter. It gives you a glimpse into our classroom and the expectations of you and your child. Parent participation is important to this year's success. I look forward to a strong home and school connection. Homework is extremely important. It is an independent review and practice of the day’s lessons, as well as an important assessment tool. It is the parents responsibility to check homework nightly and sign the student planner.
Students are being assessed formatively and summatively throughout each unit of study. Formative assessments are done during a lesson to check understanding. Your children will self-assess and ask questions for clarification. There will be peer and teacher assessments that generate feedback to further understanding and learning. Each student will set personal goals in each subject area based on the formative and summative assessment outcomes. Rubrics are a great tool to help students know what they need to accomplish in a unit of study to meet the Common Core Learning Standards. We will be starting to do Fontas and Pinell Reading Running Records to make sure they are reading on their “Just Right” level. We will be taking our first math test soon and I have been impressed with their efforts and knowledge. The Science and Social Studies curriculum has the students excited and eager. In addition, we are looking forward to educational trips to enrich our curriculum. We will need at least three chaperones for each trip we take. I know it is tough to fit these trips into busy schedules of work, younger children, and appointments, but it is important. It is something your child will always remember. I will let you know about trips as soon as possible.
Throughout the year, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns. I will get try to get back to you in a timely manner. I will also be contacting you with any praise or concerns I may have. Since this connection is so important towards the success of this year I have outlined some of the curriculum responsibilities of your child.
Report Card Distribution: November, March, June
State Tests (see important dates in an above link)
- ELA NYS Test: April 2-4 window
- Math NYS Test: May 1-3 window
- Science NYS Test: End of May window for Performance based testing and June 3rd (written)
- And there will be periodic city assessments
Formative and Summative assessments will be done during and at the completion of a specific topic/chapter.
- On the Spot Assessments
- Discussions (Class, Small Group, and Partnerships)
- Presentations (Oral)
- Published Works ( multimedia or written)
We will be using the New York City approved reading system, ReadyGen and components of Reader's Workshop.
Student responsibilities will be:
· At least 25 books read with proof in their Reader's Notebook and Log (Our class goal is 40 books per student)
· Reading at least a 1/2-hour each and every night
· Working on their reading responsibilities nightly (Post-its, Responses, etc.)
· Talk to you about what they are doing in class (ask about the mini-lesson for the day)
· work at reading independently, in pairs, or within a group
· discuss and debate while being respectful to their peers
· look at writing as readers and writers
· question the text and the authors intent
· Analyze, evaluate, and make connections with evidence to backup their thought process
Speaking and Listening
· While all of these show how your child functions within our classroom society, it also allows for their strengths as an individual to shine through
· Listening and Viewing is graded on a students behavior in and out of the classroom. Examples of this is during peer presentations, cooperative learning, in the auditorium, the lunch room, and outside (recess, drills, and projects, and on trips)
· We will be keeping a Writing Notebook and following the Writer's Workshop Model
· At least one published piece of work will be completed in each unit, in addition to On Demand Writing Pre and Post Writing
· Even though you may not see these pieces until they are done, ask about them
· The students’ writing will show growth throughout the year, let them make mistakes that we can grow from
· Rubrics will be made for published pieces and shared at the beginning of the unit
There are four types of writing we will be focusing on : 1) Reading Responses/Interpretive Essays 2) Narrative pieces 3) Opinion/ Persuasive pieces 4) Informative pieces
Go Math - studies are by topic to lead to more in-depth exploration. NYC has laid out the order we study the topics in and the length of time. The program allows for all levels of exploration and learning. We will also be compacting and engaging in the SMG
· At least one project or test will be assigned for each unit ( New York Geography, NY Native American Studies, NY Exploration, etc)
· There is a library of trade books that goes with each unit. Books are provided for support only and will not have all the information being covered in class.
Science- New Science Standards and Curriculumn
· Tests, labs, projects, and work will be independently given, but interrelated between both Mrs. Gotlieb and myself . Our grades will be averaged and represented on the report cards
Technology will be a huge part of our learning this year. We will be utilizing Google Classroom, EdPuzzle, Smart Notebook, Google Slides, Google Docs, and Google Drive. We have generated a class set of internet safety guidelines, I am very proud of the mature way we discussed this together.
There does not seem to be issues with unruly behavior, just the occasional unawareness of what is acceptable in fourth grade. Students have to work and get along together. Partnerships will be based on productivity and not friendships. Lunchtime and recess allow students time to socialize. I ask that you contact me if you are aware of a problem. If I become aware of a problem, you will be contacted. Class DoJo will be up and running shortly as a great resource for communication.
Finally, I am so excited to have a chance to guide your child. I have taught at PS165Q for over 20 years. I started my teaching career out of high school as a nursery school assistant. I hold an early childhood degree and an elementary teaching degree and licenses. I am also a licensed Reading Specialist (K-12). I have taught Kindergarten, 4th, 5th, and 6th grade in this school. Some of your children have known me since being in Mrs. Ryan's class; I used to sneak down and GoNoodle with them. I have seen your children shine in the short time I have known them. I intend to guide your children to success this year. We will need to work together towards this goal.
Ms. Kim Melenk