If you have questions about what is shared on this page, or about anything going on in our classroom, please do not hesitate to contact me.
You can find my contact information on this page.
We will be using a text messaging service called Remind in order to communicate important information to you and your students. There is not a charge for the service, but each message DOES count as a text message on your texting plan through your mobile carrier.
Please sign up to receive text message reminders sent directly to your phone! You receive about one text per week. Reminders will help you and your child know about due dates, homework, tests, etc.
Whole Brain Teaching
As the year progresses, you may notice that our classroom doesn’t run like other classrooms. We will be learning through Whole Brain Teaching, a research-based system that utilizes all areas of the brain, keeps children engaged throughout their lessons, and helps them retain much more information than the standard lecture-discussion model.
Whole Brain Teaching is a highly interactive form of instruction that delivers information to students in short “chunks.” Kids then teach what they have just learned to their partners, using hand-gestures to help remember specific vocabulary. While students teach each other, the teacher walks around the room to discover who understands the lesson and who needs more instruction.
Research shows that children retain more information when they have an opportunity to put it into their own words and use gestures to emphasize key instructional units …plus, it’s amazingly fun! For more information about Whole Brain Teaching please contact me, arrange with the main office for a classroom visit and/or go to www.WholeBrainTeaching.com
Each student is required to read 40 books by the end of the school year. I understand that many books of interest to students are significant in length; in these cases, every 150 pages of longer books will count as ONE BOOK. If students have a question about a particular book, they are encouraged to see me as soon as possible. Students will record this in their binder or folder that they bring to class.
Quarterly Book Commercials
At the end of each quarter, students will practice their Speaking and Listening Skills by advertising for the favorite book that they've read that quarter. Students will be given time in class to prepare, but the majority of practice time should happen at home. Students will be required to capture the attention of the class, share about the book without giving away secrets, and tell about why they decided to share the book with the class.
Students will be creating and maintaining a personal blog in order to record their reading reflections throughout the school year. Blogging is an incredible tool which gives students a global audience rather than just the teacher or their parents. Students will blog weekly a response and reflection about the book that they are reading independently. Additionally, we will blog as a class about nonfiction texts that we read during class.
Each week, Mr. Hribar (Blue Team Science) will assign an article on NewsELA. Students will log into their NewsELA accounts, read the article and answer the questions for Science. Then, students should utilize the Google Form to write a summary of the article, which will be turned in for ELA.
Both parts are required, one part for Science and one part for ELA.
Check the front page of my website to see the assigned article for the week. You can also go to Mr. Hribar's website here.
Students should be reading a book of their choice each night. It's recommended to read 30 minutes each night. This can translate to reading over 2,364,000 words throughout the course of the year. We know that the only way to become a better reader is to read more, so reading at home is incredibly important!
Homework will be recorded each week in Progress Book; however, it will not be counted toward a student's class average. Students are required to complete this each week, as it gives insight to student comprehension skills.
Nearly all assignments will be recorded in Progress Book for parent viewing and participation. It is important to remember that while all grades will be visible, not all grades will count toward the student's average. Homework, for example, will not be counted toward students' grades. Additionally, formative assessments will not be counted toward students' grades.
What is a formative assessment? A formative assessment is a formal or informal means of assessment, but may not always look like a typical test or quiz. It may be a quick-write, a drawing, or an oral response. The purpose of formative assessments is to give a "quick check" towards students' mastery of the standards. It helps the teacher to know what should be taught next and the concepts that may need to be reinforced in the next lesson.
Assessments that will be counted for a grade are called summative assessments and will also be listed on Progress Book. These will evaluate student learning at the end of the unit. It may be a test, but may also be an essay or written response.
A helpful way to remember the difference
"When the cook tastes the soup, that's formative; when the guests taste the soup, that's summative."