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                                        FOURTH GRADE NEWS!!

Dear Parents and Students,

Welcome back to Cougar Run 2017 as new Fourth Graders!  I hope you each had a wonderful Summer Break, filled with fun times with family and friends.  I look forward to learning together this year!

                    Please read on ... Mrs. Gammie

ARRIVAL/DISMISSAL  Our school day is 8:40-3:30. It is important not to drop your child off too early because our School-Wide Soft Start begins at 8:25 and there is no adult supervision outside.  If you arrive after the bell rings, be sure to have your child check in with the attendance staff at the office before coming to the classroom.  Students are directed at the end of the day to leave from the same doors they enter through in the morning. Be sure that you and your child identify a regular meeting spot outside of the school. 

SNACKS  We have a 'working' snack time at about 10 a.m.  Please send a healthy snack that can be eaten while your child is working - fruit, cut veggies, bars, etc.  Please do not send candy or soda. 

WATER BOTTLES  Please send a filled water bottle with your child every day.  We get thirsty and staying in class is important to our learning process.

BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS  We love to celebrate/recognize birthdays!  You do not need to notify me if you plan to send in birthday treats with your child.  We will eat the birthday treats during snack time or after lunch so treats need to be brought in before 10:00.  Please send treats that are easy to pass out (individual servings) and not too messy. Please send napkins with the treats. We often have students with nut allergies, so please avoid nuts in treats.

FRIDAY FOLDERS  Friday Folders will be sent home each Friday. Be sure to empty the folder over the weekend and send it back empty (unless there is a paper to be returned to the office or me) on Monday with your child. Your Friday Folder may have important information from the office or myself. Please note, Cougar Run is making an effort to cut down on the use of paper and most important information will now be posted on our school and class websites. I will send classwork home in the folders.

EXPECTATIONS  In our classroom, your child will participate in a variety of learning activities in a variety of ways, including partner work, team/table small group work, individual tasks, role-playing, and whole class discussions/work.  To ensure that these activities take place in an environment conducive to learning,  my expectations for students include that they care about their work and actively participate in the learning process, care about and respect others (at play as well as at work), follow directions, make safe choices, and organize themselves, their time, and their materials for success.

In kid friendly terms this means it’s their job to do school well: to learn, listen and participate actively but not blurt out disruptively, write neatly, clean up, help others, choose to do the right thing, and be nice.

GRADING  If your child demonstrates a complete understanding of the assignment, he or she will earn a plus. If your child demonstrates proficiency, he or she will earn a check. If your child really struggled with the assignment, or it was not quality work, they will earn a minus. 

HOMEWORK  It is important to establish consistent homework habits.  Homework provides an opportunity for students to reinforce classroom learning, develop responsibility, and learn how to budget their time.  It also helps you, as a parent, to stay connected with the learning that is happening in the classroom and provides you with an opportunity to see how your child is understanding these concepts. If you find that your child is struggling with an assignment, and truly providing their best effort, abandon the assignment and write me a note.

Students will typically have a math study link every school day, a weekly reading or writing assignment that is passed out on Monday and due (with parent signatures) on Thursday, and a few additional assignments every now and then.  I expect students to read at home every night for 20 - 30 minutes, as well as practice basic math facts in the 4 common operations.  I do not typically assign homework over the weekend.

ACCELERATED READER With the Accelerated Reader program (AR)  students are able to read books that are appropriate for their individual reading level and then take quizzes about the book on the computer. When the student passes the test (80% or higher), he or she earns points that accumulate. Your child and I will set new goals at the start of each of the three AR marking periods. These goals will be listed in your child's assignment notebook.  There is a link to the AR book finder on our school website. It can be found under "useful links". This is very helpful when trying to find books in your child's AR book level. 

BOOK ORDERS  Book orders will come home about once a quarter; they are a great and affordable source for reading materials. I will usually send them home either in the Friday Folders or with the weekly homework.  When ordering books from the book orders, PLEASE DO NOT SEND CASH.  I can only accept checks made out to Scholastic.  You can also use your credit card and order online.  Books usually arrive within about two to three weeks.