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8/24/2015 Newsletter
Monday, August 24, 2015 8:40 AM

Dear Families,

Hooray!  The first week of school is here!  I know it came a little early for some of you, but I have heard from an equal number whose kids are very happy that summer vacation is over and it’s time for school again.  Room 102 is beautiful, thanks to the hard work of Rick and his crew.  We will take things slowly for the first week or two, but be sure there is enough happening to keep ourselves engaged and interested.

Our first unit of study is called “Gaggles, Flocks, and Families: Membership in Groups.”  We will think about animals and how they work together in groups. This week we will dive into a study of fish.  They hang out in schools!  I’ll tell lots more about our learning in our next newsletter, and at Parent Information Night.  

In the meantime, here are some “must knows” about life in Kristin’s Class.

Starting the Day

School starts at 7:30.  That means your child should be in class, ready to learn at 7:30.  I know it’s early, and I’m going to give your children a nice welcome whenever they get to school, BUT- if your child arrives after 7:30, he or she needs to go to the health office and sign in.

It is a wonderful thing to empower your child to hang up his or her own coat and backpack in the locker. I will model how lockers work, and help every student practice putting things away.  Then your child comes into the classroom, and will get help reading and responding to the morning message.  We will start morning meeting by 8:00.

Breakfast

If your child needs to eat breakfast at school, they should swing by the kitchen and get it BEFORE coming to class.

Ending the Day

We will have a closing circle, say goodbye, and gather our things.  I will walk everyone out the back door close to our classroom, put kids on the bus in backwards order (starting with 15 and ending with 1) and then go to the flagpole to wait for parents and siblings who are picking up.

This is a crowded time in the hallway.  If you want to come to class early and pick your child up in 102, you are welcome.   Wait inside the classroom (join the singing!) instead of waiting in the hall- too crowded out there. Students who are supervised by parents can play on the playground AFTER the last bus is gone.

Specialists

We are starting with Pete for phy ed, so be sure to send gym shoes for the first 11 days.  You will get the full schedule on Parent Information Night.

Lunch

On the first day, I will take all students to the lunchroom and show them how to get a school lunch, just in case.  Then we will take our time eating in 102, and learn to sort our trash.  After the first day, Dawn and I will take turns supervising the school- lunchers and the home-lunchers, who will wait in the hall until everyone is ready to eat.  

Allergies

We have three students who are allergic to peanuts, and lots of students with other allergies and food sensitivities. It is important that everyone eats the food planned for them by their families. We share just about everything else in room 102- but not our lunches.

For safety’s sake PLEASE DON”T SEND PEANUTS OR PEANUT BUTTER in school lunches.  It’s hard to be perfectly neat while eating, and contact or accidental ingestion of peanut products could make some of our friends very sick.  I will send a food survey home in the BEE book on Monday to gather info about the special food needs of everyone in the class.

Snacks

We will start the fresh fruit and vegetable program (FFVP) on October first.  While we are waiting, I would love some help getting fresh fruit and veggie snacks for the class.  I am all set for this week- I have bananas, clementines and carrots.  I will send a September snack schedule in the BEE book soon, and you can sign up for a say.  When the FFVP starts, all will be provided!

The BEE Book

The BEE book is a home-school communication tool.  BEE stands for Bring Everything Everyday.  I will send a class newsletter and homework suggestions on Mondays.  The BEE book is the way we will send things back and forth, like forms, permission slips and field-trip money.  It’s important to check the BEE book everyday, and then put it right back in the backpack so it makes it back to school.

Homework

We will start homework in two weeks.   Homework is always optional in my class.  Sometimes kids benefit greatly from some extra practice in privacy with their loving parents at hand to help.  Homework can be a nice bridge between home and school, and can give you some ideas for enrichment and expanding on what we are learning in school.  There will be a menu of homework options and a spelling list.  However, homework should NOT interfere with a sane and healthy family life.  The most important homework for first and second graders, however, is living! Play outside!  Read for pleasure!  Play games: card games, board games, strategy games (not so much video games- screen time is not so good for young children, as you know.)  Go shopping.  Sort your toys.  Help cook dinner.  Do some chores. You will learn a lot.

That’s plenty for now- take it easy  this week and settle into the routine.

Thanks for sharing your kids with me.   Kristin