Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Welcome Back to another Great Year! (Newsletter #1)

Welcome Back! I hope you have had a wonderful and relaxing summer. I am pleased to be your son/daughter’s Grade 4/5 teacher this year. It looks as though I have a really nice but large class, full of creativity and energy. There are 28 students in the class. Please take a moment to read this as it explains important details pertaining to your child’s education for the 2012-2013 school year. I have attached a form that I ask you complete and this will help me learn a little more about your son/daughter as a learner. Please return it to school with your son/daughter by Friday, September 21st.
Class Website
I will be using our class website as much as possible this year. My vision for using a class blog is to communicate information about projects, field trips, homework, etc.  I would also like to post some of your child's work. Ideally, students and parents can also post comments and questions. If you have any questions, please feel free to see me. I am certain that this will be a useful tool for you and your child this year. The address of the website is http://lesamisdemmeknoll.blogspot.com. Please bookmark it on your computer. I will be sending you an email invite to the website as soon as possible. You will need a Google or Yahoo email address in order to become a member of the site and to be able to post comments. 
Parent/teacher communication
In addition to the class blog, I like to communicate with parents via email. As mentioned above, I will send home a form that I would like you to complete regarding your child. Please provide me with an email address that you would like to use for easiest communication.
Allergy Alert!!!
This year we have two students in our class with a severe nut allergy. Therefore I am asking for your cooperation in keeping our classroom a safe environment that is free of nuts and nut products. Please try and avoid sending any snacks, treats or lunches to school that may contain traces of peanuts and nuts. We also have one student in the class with a strong allergy towards kiwis. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and for helping to keep our classroom worry-free. I have attached a list of alternate, safe snack and food ideas you can send to school with your child.
Speaking French in Class
Students are expected to be speaking French in class every day. By doing so, their oral and written French proficiency will continue to improve and grow. Speaking French is also a vital component of the French Immersion Program and I will be reporting on their progress and effort throughout the year. Students will also be self-evaluating on their effort and ability of speaking French in class regularly. Their mark for oral French will be reflected by their own evaluations as well as my observations and evaluations throughout the year. You can expect to see these evaluations come home from time to time. When they do, I would ask that you discuss it with your child, sign and return the next school day.
This year I will continue to use agendas on a daily basis. The cost of agendas is $3.00. Please send the money to school as soon as possible if you have not already done so. I feel that planners are an important tool for keeping organized with school assignments, important upcoming events and for parents/teacher communication. Once students have written in their agenda, they must have it signed by the teacher. It is then the student’s responsibility to show it to their parent/guardian on a nightly basis. Please take a moment to read the agenda and sign/initial that you have seen it. The agenda must go to and from school on a daily basis. Good organization is an essential component of being a successful student. Together, we can help your child succeed positively at school.
Library Days
I expect students to take out library books each week so that they can use their reading time effectively each day. Students are reminded to return their books on time. We have a bin in the classroom. Students may take out up to three books; two in French and one in English. Please remind your child to return their books regularly.
At home reading
Please encourage your son/daughter to spend at least 20 minutes each night reading. It is best to spread it up over the week so that he/she reads in both languages. In the past, some families have set aside family reading time during which time all members of the family read together at the same time. Studies have shown that reading to your child on a daily basis helps them to develop their reading, writing and oral language skills.
This may be the first or second year your child receives some instruction in English. The curriculum mandates a total of 5 hours each week. The exact schedule for English has not yet been determined. If you have any questions, please let me know as soon as possible.
I do not generally give extra homework on a regular basis. I give plenty of time during the day for the students to complete their work. However, if your child is unable to finish his/her work in class, it should be completed for the following day or as soon as possible. Larger projects would be the exception and will require some at-home time. If your child is spending more than half an hour a night completing homework, please let me know as soon as possible.
Inside shoes
We have been in school for a little over one week now. If your son/daughter does not already have a pair of indoor/gym shoes at school, please take the necessary steps to ensure that he/she comes to school with proper gym shoes by Monday, September 17th , in order to participate in PE. The weather is already beginning to show signs of fall and we would like to keep our classroom and gym clean and tidy.
Parent helpers
From time to time, I will be asking for parent helpers with fundraisers, field trips or special events. If you are available to help this year in some way, please feel free to let me know.
Merci beaucoup for taking the time to read this information. I am excited to be teaching your child and look forward to working with him/her. I am certain that we will have a very successful and fun year.
Please read, sign and detach this portion and return to school as soon as possible.

Leaving school grounds
Occasionally, I will be taking the students on neighbourhood visits (walks, blocks runs), to the beach at the bottom of Larwood Road and to the forest behind the Fire hall. I will require your permission to take your child off school grounds.
I give permission for my son/daughter ____________________________________ to leave school grounds for the purpose of neighbourhood walks, block runs, visits to the local beach and to the forest behind the Fire Hall. 
The route for block walks/ runs include the following roads:  Larwood Road, Eardley Road, Westgate Road and Harrogate Road, as well as the South Island Hwy and Erickson Road. 
Date signed:                            __________________________________________
Parent/guardian name:           __________________________________________
Parent/guardian signature:      __________________________________________

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