Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Room 5 Term One Newsletter

Kia Ora All,

Welcome to the start of the school year. For those of you who don't know me I'm the new year 4/5 teacher here at Motupipi School. My family and I moved here in early January from Greymouth, where I've been teaching for the last three years. We're stoked to be living in Golden Bay and have been enjoying all the area has to offer!

Class Programme
Maths: We're starting off the year with a statistics unit. We'll be surveying the class and school community about various favourite things, organising the results, graphing them and interpreting the graphs. If you're looking for home learning to fit in with this you could create a survey with your child, record the results on a tally chart and create a bar graph showing the results.

Reading: For the first two to three weeks I'll be doing some group work with the students and also the usual testing to see where they're at so that I can determine what their learning needs are. I aim to set the scene for a positive year of reading and actively model the enjoyment of books. 

Writing: The first few weeks of the writing programme I have some fun and engaging writing activities planned as well as some activities that will help me determine student needs. As with reading, the first few weeks are about getting to know the students as writers and setting the tone for a fun year of writing. 

One feature of my teaching is that I share a lot of my planning through my learning site. You can visit here to see many of the activities we're doing in class and to check out what I have planned. You'll also find the weekly overview, which is useful for knowing what we're up to in class. I also have a resources page, which I'll add to throughout the year. As the year progresses I'll continue to send out more information and activity ideas for home learning via the site. 

If you want to get in touch with me, email is the best point of contact. Alternatively, you're welcome to ring me at school. I also have an open door policy for my classroom, so please feel welcome to pop in to say hi or talk to me about any concerns that have arisen. 

Extra curricula
  • There will be a school BBQ on Friday the 10th - more details to follow in the newsletter.
  • Information evening / meet the teacher is on Tuesday the 14th.
  • Camp is in week four. We're heading off to Bridge Valley. I'm super excited about this one; I've been to Bridge Valley with a class before and it was one of the best camps I've been on. If you haven't received a newsletter from your student, and they can't find it, you can find a digital copy here on my learning site

ICT within the class programme
I've signed the class up to Reading Eggs and Maths Buddy. I'll be showing the students how to use the programs over the first few weeks at school. We'll be using both of these programs on a daily basis in the class, and I highly recommend them as a part of your home learning programme. Below is a short information sheet about Maths Buddy. Please click the arrow button on the top right of the page to enlarge it.

I don't have a hard and fast rule regarding homework. I will send out a homework checklist on Friday (due back on Friday). If you decide not to participate in home learning your child will not be penalised in any way. If you want to know what I think a solid home learning programme looks like here are my suggestions:
  • I highly recommend 20-30 minutes a day of reading time.
  • Reading to your child daily - a novel or similar.
  • Spending some time on Maths Buddy or Reading Eggs weekly as suits.
  • If you want more than that, the homework checklist will give some other options. 
  • I also do spelling on Fridays so they will have a list on the go sometime in the first few weeks as I get tests done them.

I aim for all of my newsletter-style communication to be through my blog. I find that it's the easiest, fastest and most reliable method of getting information out to whanau. Please leave a comment below or email me to let me know that the email address I have for you is current. 

Rock on,

Mr M

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