You will have to experiment and try things out for yourself
and you will not be sure of what you are doing.
That's all right, you are feeling your way into the thing.
September 5, 2017
Welcome to grade four!
Although many of Emily Carr's paintings have beautiful, creative names (New Growth, for example, or Light Swooping Through), there are many others that she left, simply, Untitled (as in the image above), and it is these, perhaps, that can be most inspiring, as they leave open a world of possibility and personal interpretation for the viewer. The idea of “what could be”, as well as the development and nurturing of an individual viewpoint, are hallmarks, in fact, of the early junior school years, and the main reasons that I am so very pleased to be teaching grade four. This school year promises to be a busy and exciting one, and I am very much looking forward to beginning a new journey with this group of students as we work together to create a positive, challenging, and enthusiastic learning environment.
Students entering the junior years are strongly encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning so that they can independently order their time, materials, and space. To support this skill development, agendas will be used as organizational tools for students to record homework assignments, reminders, important dates, and other necessary information, and have been sent home with the children today. To promote student responsibility and accountability, I will sign the agendas each school day, and would like to ask that you read and sign the agendas each evening; please feel free to use agenda space to communicate with me as well.
Attached at the bottom of this letter is a list of recommended supplies for the year. In addition to this list, students will be asked to have a book with them at all times in the classroom; as a vital component of the language program, independent reading time will be a priority each day. On the days when we do not have a scheduled gym time, we may participate in a Quality Daily Fitness program; for comfort and safety reasons, the children will need to have appropriate gym clothes available every day (shorts or track pants, t-shirt, and non-marking running shoes). These clothes can be kept in bags in the students' lockers. Please note that the children will NOT be able to wear jewelry at any time during gym this year, in accordance with Halton's Physical Education Safety guidelines.
Halton's homework guidelines recommend between 20 - 40 minutes each evening for grade four. Some homework will be assigned on a standard weekly basis throughout the year (e.g.: spelling, sketch, grammar); as well, skill-extension and extra practice homework will be assigned throughout the week. Should homework not be completed, a student may be required to complete the assignment during recess or to have the work prepared for the next school day. Reading is also strongly encouraged as often in the evenings as possible, particularly the reading of different materials that the students have not yet experienced (magazines, newspapers, various book genres).
Communication will be a fundamental focus in our classroom. To promote the concepts of community and responsibility, pathways must be open for all partners to have a voice. I have always made it a policy to be available to students at any recess when I am not on duty, and am very happy to make appointments for both before and after school as well. Comments, questions, and feedback (from both students and parents) are valued and encouraged; I can be easily reached through students' agendas, by phone and by e-mail. There is also a class website that is consistently updated, so please feel free to use it as a reference for homework, resources, explanations, and expectations (all numbers and addresses are noted below).
It is important that our classroom is inclusive, open, and spirited, and to that end, you are welcomed and encouraged to participate. Last year, many parents offered assistance both in and out of the classroom, and the students and I were most grateful for their support. Please let me know if you are interested in volunteering, and you will be contacted as needed. Also, please note that those volunteering in the school must have a completed police check (with a vulnerable sector check) on file in the office.
I am so looking forward to meeting you all and working together with the kiddies to create a wonderful grade four year!
e-mail: email@example.com (please note the 3 L's!)
phone: 905 - 827 - 3928
RECOMMENDED SUPPLIES FOR GRADE FOUR
*millimeter / centimeter ruler
*duotangs (one each: green, red, light blue, dark blue, orange, grey, black, yellow, white, purple)
*set of personal earphones or earbuds
PLEASE NOTE: 3-ring binders are not necessary for our program;
all work will be stored in notebooks or duotangs