Welcome to Fourth Grade!
This week, you and I begin a very challenging and rewarding year as your child enters fourth grade. We become partners in one of the most important jobs we have – helping your child become all that he/she can be!
In order for your child to gain the most from this school year, you and I must encourage and support him/her while expecting him/her to offer his/her very best efforts. I strongly believe that a positive self-concept is one of the most important factors in any child’s success in both academic and social growth. He/she needs to know that we believe in him/her and will be there to guide and support him/her when needed.
You will receive sets of your child’s papers every week so that you will be aware of your child’s progress. These papers will be sent home each Monday in the weekly envelope. Please review and keep all papers, but return the signed weekly envelope to school the next school day (Tuesday). In addition, you will receive a weekly report (stapled in your child’s planner) indicating his work habits for each day of the week. This weekly report should be reviewed nightly (along with the planner) and returned to school each day. It will need to be signed over the weekend and returned to school on Monday (it remains stapled in the planner until signed and returned to school). Please use these opportunities to talk with your child about his schoolwork, how he/she feels about his/her performance, concepts that he/she enjoys, as well as concepts that he/she struggles with (I always appreciate your willingness to share relevant insights that might help me meet your child’s needs).
Your child’s work will be assessed with the following grading system:
Grades: Other Codes:
A = 90-100
B = 80-89 S = Satisfactory
C = 70-79 N = Needs Improvement
D = 60-69 U = Unsatisfactory
F = 59 and below I = Improving
Grades will be based upon your child’s performance on daily work, homework (including home reading), quizzes, tests, and projects. Effort and class participation will also be a factor in determining final grades.
Your child will be using a planner this year to write down all homework assignments, upcoming tests, project due dates, and other reminders. Parents must check the planner and sign it (or initial it) every night to keep informed about your child’s progress. The following will also be stapled or written on the planner page for that week: weekly behavior charts, notes regarding misbehavior (“Cool Down Cards”), missing or late assignment notices, letters to parents, and other important notices from the teacher/school.
Please check the planner daily and be sure your child does not leave it at home. The planners are used by the students and reviewed by the teacher daily. Without the planner, your child does not have a consistent place for writing assignments; this also interrupts the communication between the parent and the teacher. Consequently, your child will be penalized (receive a “strike,” see discipline section below) for not having his planner signed and at school each day.
Your child will be expected to read a minimum of 600 minutes as part of homework (at home) each month. Of course, he/she can read more! This will be a part of your child’s reading grade each nine weeks! Since these books will be read at home with your supervision and monitoring, your involvement will be crucial. The monthly calendar in the front of each section of the planner will be used as a nightly reading log to record the title and number of minutes your child reads each night. At the end of each month, please sign calendar and tally the number of minutes your child has read. Home reading logs will be due on the first school day of the next month, and again, is part of your child’s reading grade. These will be checked daily so please check and be sure your child does not leave the planner at home.
Sample questions and other materials will be provided (in the homework folder) for use at home to discuss your child’s reading with him/her each night as he/she completes the reading assignment; this is a critical component of the reading comprehension process. Your involvement makes an enormous impact in your child’s progress! Please assist your child in being responsible and taking good care of the homework folder and planner as these materials are clearly essential in helping your child develop further in fluency, comprehension, and thinking skills. Thank you in advance for taking the time to help your child succeed!
I firmly believe that lifelong success depends on self discipline; therefore, I use a discipline plan that allows every child the opportunity to manage his/her behavior. Your child deserves the most positive educational climate possible for academic and social growth, and I believe that this plan enhances such a climate. In order to guarantee your child and all the students in our classroom the excellent educational climate they deserve, please realize that I will not tolerate students interrupting the teaching process, nor any student preventing another from learning. You will find a list of classroom rules and a brief explanation of my discipline plan below.
- Listen and follow directions immediately.
- Have books, paper, pencils, and completed work ready on time.
- Walk and keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself.
- Work during all work times.
- Use school-appropriate language and actions.
Your child will be rewarded for good behavior by being given “Eagle Bucks.” “Eagle Bucks” can be used to purchase various rewards/privileges of your child’s choosing. (We would love to have donations for the “Eagle Bucks Store,” and ideas are included at the end of this letter!) However, should your child choose to neglect classroom rules and expectations, he/she will have to pay “Eagle Bucks” thereby decreasing the amount he/she has to buy rewards/privileges. Other consequences include walking laps at recess, silent lunch, loss of special programs/activities/privileges (including participation in field trips).
Your child will have a weekly report which lists the components that constitute work habits. He/she will receive a “strike” (tally mark) on this report when neglecting classroom rules and expectations. He/she will bring his report home each day (stapled in the planner). It will need to be reviewed by you daily and signed by you at the end of the week (over the weekend). Notice the areas in which your child is struggling each week so we can work together to eliminate any problems.
Please remember that before your child is asked to pay “Eagle Bucks” and receive a “strike,” he/she will most likely have been warned at least once. Therefore, “strikes” do affect your child’s grade (“conduct” and “work habits” section of the report card/interim report). If your child receives three strikes in a week, he/she will be required to write a note home (“Cool Down Card”) to make you aware of his/her behavior. These notes, like the planner itself, should be signed and returned the next day. If your child receives three “strikes” (or more) two weeks in a row, he/she will be put in isolation (within the classroom) for one week. Note: Fighting, inappropriate language, and disrespect to teachers are considered to be SEVERE disruptions. Students will be sent to the principal for severe disruptions.
It is in your child’s best interest that we work together with regard to his/her schooling. Thus I will keep you informed about your child’s progress on a daily basis (weekly report stapled into planner). If your child forgets to show you his/her weekly report each day, please question him/her regarding the whereabouts of his/her report. Each report must be signed by the parent (after Friday) and returned the next week (Monday) to avoid penalty.