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Dear Students and Parents;
Welcome to TeamTaranto! I am so excited to begin our third grade adventure together, and I can’t wait to get to know each and every one of you. Here are just a few items to help you get to know me and the way our classroom (the “team”) will work.
The 2012-13 school year will be my third year in third grade. For the two years prior to coming to Oak Grove third grade, I was an Academically Gifted Resource teacher, working primarily with students in grades 3-5. Before that I was a classroom teacher at BrooksMuseumsMagnetElementary School. I have worked with students of all ages from preschool through 5th grade, and taught developmental drama classes to students in grades K-8. I am very pleased to be here at Oak Grove and to be in third grade full-time. Third graders rock!
I truly believe that we have to work together as a team in order for everyone in our class to have success academically, socially, and emotionally. My philosophy is to give children the tools and skills they need to solve problems in all three areas. We will cooperate and collaborate this year on the road to becoming lifelong problem solvers. A few housekeeping details:
Communication: I am committed to communicating with parents on a regular basis. You will receive a newsletter with important information about what is going on in our class and at Oak Grove. It is OGES policy to send newsletters electronically unless a hard copy is requested, so please let me know if you would prefer the paper version. The best way to reach me quickly is through e-mail: email@example.com. I check my email at least twice during the day and every evening. I will answer you within 24 hours unless your message is more urgent. In case of an urgent message, please include your telephone numbers in the email. I have “office hours” on weeknights when you or your student may call me with questions about homework, school work, etc. My cell phone number is posted on my Blackboard site for this purpose.
Website: I have a Blackboard page on the OGES website where I will post assignments, newsletters, notices, and interesting resources. I will show the students how to use the website in the first weeks of school.
Monday Folders: Monday folders will contain items from the school and from our classroom that need parental attention. Please look through them on Monday nights and return the folder promptly on Tuesday.
Homework: WCPSS homework policy for grades 3-5 is to have up to 50 minutes per night of homework. My personal philosophy is that homework is practice for what we are learning during school day. It is also a step toward building the consistent study habits students will need throughout their academic years. IF YOUR CHILD STRUGGLES TO COMPLETE THE ASSIGNMENTS IN 50 MINUTES OR LESS, ALLOW THEM TO STOP and let me know the next day. Homework is PRACTICE and no child should be frustrated by practicing something they don’t understand. I will be happy to help them out with whatever they might be stuck on! Your student will have an agenda and will record their assignments in it every day. I will initial the agenda to be sure they have written down their assignments. Part of the homework is to read for 20 minutes every night (80 minutes per week.) Students will write down their homework every day and have you initial their agendas.
Binder: Students will bring their binder back and forth every day. The front pocket will have UNFINISHED WORK (including homework) and the back pocket is for FINISHED WORK. Their writing in progress and their spelling assignments will be in the binder as well.
Snack: Our lunch will be around 12:15pm. Please send a small, healthy snack everyday to help your child get through the long morning! Students may keep a water bottle in the room. Be sure to label bottles, lunch packs, ice packs, etc.
Birthdays: We will have a special birthday snack once per month for every child who has a birthday that month. If you would like to contribute a treat for that day, please let me know at least a week ahead of time. The Birthday Snack dates will be published in the class newsletter, and will usually be on the last Friday of the month unless we are tracked out. If your student has a birthday party outside of school, please do not allow them to distribute invitations in class. You may send them to me and I will be sure they get into the appropriate student mailbox, to be included in the Monday folder.
Volunteers: Parent volunteers are welcome and encouraged! At Open House I will have a volunteer form for you to complete, indicating the type of volunteering you are willing to do. Please be sure to register as a volunteer in the Media Center. You must be a registered volunteer to work in school or to chaperone on field trips! This must be done at the beginning of every year. As a working parent, I understand that not everyone can come in during the school day – I have other ways that you can help our class from home, so don’t be discouraged by that day job!
My first newsletter will have more up-to-the-minute updates, so check those Monday folders. And please, if you have ANY questions or concerns, contact me directly.
Let’s have an OTTERLY PAWSOME year!
Mrs. Ann-Marie Taranto