We know this is a long letter, but we want you to be thoroughly informed for the upcoming school year. Please fill out and sign the back page and have your child bring it back to school ASAP.
We are looking forward to a new year with your 5th and 6th grade students! We want to partner with you to make this a great year for the students. Your child will have three teachers for the core subjects. Mr. Setterholm teaches Social Studies and 5th grade Spelling, Mrs. Lundquist teaches Math, and Mrs. Dirckx teaches Science and 6th grade Spelling. We will each be teaching Language Arts for our homeroom class, and Accelerated Reading (AR) will be managed by the homeroom teacher. We hope that our various strengths will give your child the best possible education.
DAILY HOMEWORK PLANNERS
Each student will receive a Homework Planner. The cost of these is $4.00 per student. Please contact the school if it is a financial hardship for you to buy one. We will encourage students to write their daily assignments and other information needed and to bring it home every night. Please check their Planners at home and communicate with your child about his/her assignments. There is a section on each day for parent and teacher comments. We may write notes to you in this section, and we encourage you to communicate with us through the Homework Planner. However, students will be responsible to show us the note. They must have their Planner back in school every day. If they lose it, they will need to purchase another one.
All students have a right to learn. A student who chooses not to follow class rules interferes with his/her own learning and the rights of other students. We will be using a “Passport” system to communicate information about behavior problems, incomplete work, and missing materials (i.e.: no pencils). You will find these monthly Passports in the front of the Homework Planner.
A student’s Passport will be signed for incomplete or forgotten/lost/eaten by the dog homework, (This includes AR weekly pages not read.) not having materials for class, or inappropriate behavior. If a student continually has trouble with study habits or classroom behavior, we will try to develop an individual plan to help that student.
A PARENT SIGNATURE IS REQUIRED ON THE PASSPORT EVERY WEEKEND. (Please sign by writing your first and last name in ink and date it.) This way you can be informed weekly how your student is doing in the in the study/behavior area. It will be your child’s responsibility to ask you for your signature. Please help us with this routine.
*Homework needs to be completed BEFORE the next school day begins.
* If your child says he/she doesn’t have any homework, encourage him/her to study any notes that have been taken or read ahead in AR.
The guidelines in the Student Handbook specify that students have one day more than the number of days absent to make up work. Work must be turned in according to the guidelines. If you would like to pick up your child’s make-up work you need to call by noon so that we have time to organize it. We will send the work to the elementary office. Attendance is very important for student achievement. What they miss in class cannot be replaced.
Our philosophy is that teachers don’t give grades; students earn grades. There are no surprises. The grading scale is in the Student Handbook. Class expectations and grading guidelines are explained in each class. Our program is geared for student success, and with reasonable student effort every student can succeed. You will receive a midterm report after nine weeks of each semester and a report card after 18 weeks, but please feel free to contact us about your child’s grades at any time.
SCIENCE- MRS. DIRCKX
The students have very little homework in Science, other than studying for tests. The students take notes after sections of a chapter in their Science book. Your child should be bringing
Science notes home frequently. The tests will be 70% of their grade, and daily work/homework is 30%. A student’s grade can go up or down significantly after a test so ask your child to show you his/her tests and check their grade on Infinite Campus. Tests are usually handed back to the student the day after they are given. If your child is attentive in class, participates actively in their activity groups, and studies for the tests, he/she will do well. When students are absent they may miss presentations, class discussion, demonstrations, or hands-on activities that can really help them to understand concepts, so attendance is very important.
Small amounts of extra credit may be earned by bringing in any piece of science news (health, space, natural disasters…). It must be written with the name of the source (i.e.: ABC News). All extra credit must be in one week before the end of the term.
Because I feel that responsibility is such an important part of learning work that is not done or handed in on time will have points docked.
I am looking forward to working with your child. My goals include preparing your child for a successful year and future using math. After all, math is everywhere! In 5th and 6th grade we are wrapping up a deeper understanding of the fundamentals of math, focusing on the four basic operations (multiplication, division, addition & subtraction), number sense, noticing patterns, beginning functions and other topics-in algebra, data analysis, probability, spatial sense, geometry and measurement. These topics have been selected based on the recommendations of the State of Minnesota. The state of Minnesota has developed standards emphasizing algebraic thinking throughout elementary grades in preparation for all students taking algebra I in 8th grade. The incorporation and mastery of algebraic thinking will propel Minnesota students beyond national leaders into world class leaders in education.
While we will be preparing to meet state requirements; I personally feel helping students understand the connection between everyday life and math is extremely important. We will also use the Accelerated Math Program to manage your child’s progress along with the Everyday Math Series. Accelerated Math is a computer based program that creates assignments and tests based on each individual student’s progress as your child shows understanding and mastery of each objective. (Objectives are smaller parts of concepts e.g. Place value, or dividing by 2 digit divisors). Current research emphasizes the importance of homework in improving academic achievement and teaching life skills to students. Parental support is essential in creating a successful partnership between school and home.
LANGUAGE ARTS-HOMEROOM TEACHER
Language Arts in the upper elementary is the combination of reading and English skills. In the reading portion of class, we will be reading novels. Students at this age love the novels we’ll read and are very excited about them. We will work on reading skills that go along with the novels, as well as other reading activities. We look forward to some great book discussions with your child! We will also be reading some stories and working on reading and grammar skills from the Macmillan McGraw-Hill Series. For the English part of class, we will be teaching from the grammar section of the reading basal and will be doing some writing. Students generally have plenty of class time to finish daily work, so there should not be much homework in language arts unless they are not using their class time wisely or have been absent.
For 5th graders this year Accelerated Reader (AR) time in school is significantly shorter than in previous grades. Because of this most of the reading for AR will need to be done at home. Your child will need to bring his/her AR book home each night and bring it back to school each day. Each 5th and 6th grade student is expected to read at least 75 pages a week. We will check weekly, but please check frequently to see if he/she is keeping up. We will be giving your child a point goal which will be written on the AR Reading Log. The school website is http://www.battlelake.k12.mn.us . You can check this for information on the school and to find the list of AR books and quizzes. The public library also has this list specifically for Battle Lake School.
Fifth Grade Only
The highlight of 5th grade is our 3 day trip to Long Lake Conservation Center! This is scheduled for May 12-14. The kickoff for the fundraiser is October 3rd. The students will receive a catalog of items to sell. We need a parent volunteer who would be willing to do the book work for the fundraiser. Please contact Jean Dirckx.
Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns during the year. Be sure to contact the teacher of the subject for which you have questions or concerns. The number for the elementary office is 218-864-5217. The best time to reach us is after school. Our email addresses are:
Emails may not be read until late in the day, so if it is urgent please call the office. We ask that you complete the attached sheet so we know how to best contact you.
Thanks for your time. We look forward to partnering with you to make this a successful year for your children!
Jean Dirckx, Stacy Lundquist,
and Bret Setterholm
Student name (printed): ____________________________________________________
I have read the letter attached and am aware that I will need to check and sign my child’s Homework Planner every weekend.
Parent Signature: ________________________________________________________
(Please sign your full name in ink.)
Home phone: ____________________________________________________________
Hours to be contacted at home: ______________________________________________
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3:40-7:40 time(s): _________________________________________________________