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We are off on another exciting adventure!
Below is a Parent Letter that is traditionally sent home on the first day of school, followed by some frequently asked questions. Please
feel free to contact me with comments or questions about the fun and exciting things we will be doing this year as fifth graders and sixth graders
at Huffman Elementary.
I would like to welcome you to another exciting school year! I am teaching the students in room B-1. I would like to prepare my students for the transitional challenges they will face in
the intermediate grades and then into Middle School by integrating some of the intermediate style strategies of organization and assignment preparation here at Huffman Elementary.
My mission as a teacher is to instill in my students part of my enthusiasm for life long learning, the ability to inspire, motivate, and make any dreams my students have come true
through hard work and commitment to their goal. I want my students to reach their goal- physically, mentally, emotionally, and intellectually by having a strong belief in themselves.
There are many exciting topics and areas in the fifth and sixth grade curriculums that we will be covering in the classroom and I hope that your child will be sharing them with you at
home. Here is a brief overview for you of some topics:
MATH: We will continue using GO Math. During the course of the year we will work on sharpening our multiplication and division skills, fine tuning our number sense, integrating
the new Common Core Standards into our daily math routine, and working in other areas such as fractions, geometry, and some pre-algebra. Students can learn that math concepts
can be fun as well as challenging! Students will learn and understand the importance of the 8 Standards of Mathematical Practice. I will be hosting a parent meeting about math implementation in my classroom from 4:30-5:30 on August 31st. A parent sign up for that night will go home soon.
SOCIAL STUDIES: In 5th grade we start out with some geography, we will be working on maps and globes skills that will follow the students through the rest of their public
school requirements. 5th grade will be working their way from exploration and westward expansion of the Americas from the colonies and finish up with the Civil War - one of my favorite units of study. Students will also have the pleasure of taking part in an actual simulation of westward expansion by using the Hacker Trail!
In 6th grade we start out with some geography, we will be working on maps and globes skills that will follow
the students through the rest of their public school requirements. 6th grade will be working their way from Reconstruction (post-Civil War) through present time. We will include both World Wars, Vietnam, and Korea. This is an amazing adventure for the sixth graders and will bring many current events into the class for conversation.
SCIENCE: Our units are as follows: 5th grade starts with Variables, then Exploring Energy, and Ecosystems. We will be working in the classroom on the units so attendance and attention to detail are very important. Our 5th grade class will be expected to take part in the Science Fair in March as well.
6th grade starts with "There Is No Away", a study in recycling and renewable resources, then Astronomy, and Structures. We will be working in the classroom on these units and they require small group and whole group participation, so attendance and attention to detail are very important. Our 6th grade class will be expected to take
part in the Science Fair in March as well, however, one of their projects relating to our science kit will be able to be submitted if your family so chooses.
HEALTH: Students will be attending an hour long Health class in a rotation of two weeks and then attend Art for the following two weeks.. Units on Stress, Allergies and Asthma, Human Growth (5th and 6th grade), and other natural body systems and reactions will be studied in Health.
LANGUAGE ARTS: This year the students will be engaged in both reading and writing workshops. The workshops are to encourage students to work independently and cooperatively
in order to better their abilities in the areas of writing and reading comprehension. This is very exciting for the students after they get themselves into the routine. Students will be using Writer’s Notebooks in the classroom and students are encouraged to share these with you frequently. The Writer's Notebook is a tool used for organizing writing, spelling units, notes, reading lessons, and anything we can incorporate. Your child will find great pride in his/her Writer's Notebook. We will be completing Bloom’s Taxonomy research papers, writing informational pages and reports, enjoying Book Clubs, and other recreational reading activities this year. I love reading Shakespeare with my class...I really hope to put on a readers theater with the whole class if time permits!
It is my expectation that my students will have approximately 50 minutes (5th grade) and 60 minutes (6th grade) of homework each night, Monday- Thursday. I will be communicating with you through your child’s
assignment planner and by entering grades into Zangle, when an assignment is given and when it is due. Larger projects will have information sheets that will be coming home and may
need to be signed stating that you know about the project and its due date. These sheets will remain in your child's Writer's Notebook for your (and your child's) information.
• Assignments must be turned in on their due dates. (As stated on the paper and/or in the daily planner)
• Any work not turned in on time is considered late and will earn a zero until it is turned in complete.
• If a late assignment is turned in, I will note it in Zangle.
• All assignments must be completed.
Please check Zangle with your child. My grading is "active" or "live" meaning, you will be able to see your child's grade as the day, week, month, or quarter progresses. Grades in
my classroom are not a surprise. You can also check a section in your Zangle Parent Connect section to allow for an email any time a change has been made to your child's
progress/record. We can talk more about this at Parent Teacher Conferences if necessary or please give me a call or send me an email.
Students receive daily reminders if they have any missing assignments…please look in their planners for these activities.
If you have any concerns regarding your child’s study habits, please contact me at school- 742-5650.
Mrs. Marcea Tjaden
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
What is the GRADING SCALE?
My grading scale:
F Below 60%
What is the HOMEWORK POLICY?
I believe managing homework and developing good study habits are skills your child must have to be successful in school and in life. Homework is useful for reinforcing what has been
taught in class, extending, and generalizing concepts, teaching responsibility, and encouraging positive study habits. Generally, homework is assigned Monday through Thursday
nights. Homework should take students no more than an average of 50 minutes (60 for 6th grade) to complete each night, not including studying for tests and long-term projects. Students are expected
to use their planners for scheduling their homework priorities. The planner is also a tool you may use to check the activities and assignments of the classes your child takes part in on
a daily basis. One longer research paper will be assigned each quarter. This research paper may be an “at school” assignment or may be
one that is to be completed at home, more on that later. Since our class is a "combo" class, each grade level may be working in a very different project so please refer to your child's
planner not just what might be assigned in the classroom.
I expect students to do their best job on their homework. The homework is to be neat and have a complete heading and assignment title. Students should do the work on their
own and ask for help after they have given it their best effort. Students need to understand that it is their responsibility for completing and handing in their assignments, only then will
they feel the pride associated with the grade at the end of the quarter.
Homework can be a positive experience for your child. I request your help in making homework a top priority by providing necessary supplies for your child at home. Help your
student to identify a quiet homework area, helping set a daily homework time, providing praise and support, and contacting me if you are encountering any problems.
We can do this-- together!
What is the classroom BEHAVIOR POLICY?
While we work through the expectations in the 5th grade, I would like to remind students of the expectations we have in our classroom. The following is the procedure that
students will go through if there is a behavior issue in the classroom:
STEPS TO POSITIVE BEHAVIOR
Time Out to WATCH good behavior (Student will sit away from the class but be facing the class to see what good behavior looks like.)
Time Out to THINK about good behavior (If the student repeats misbehavior or is messing around inappropriately while on Step One, he will then face away from the class to listen to
Removal from group to BUDDY ROOM to EXPERIENCE good behavior of others (While in the buddy room a form will be filled out for you to sign, a copy will be kept in the office.)
Detention: This will be assigned for either the day of the incident or the next school day, Monday through Thursday. No detentions are on Friday. The parent is required to pick the
student up at 4:00. The detention will be from 3:30-4:00 in a specified classroom varying throughout the year.
Step 5: PARENT CONFERENCE (This meeting will include the child, the principal, and the teacher.)
Please know that if you are notified of a behavior, we have definitely addressed the issue with the student about correcting the behavior.
How can I check on my CHILD’S PROGRESS?
Every day you can check your child's progress through the Zangle Parent Connect link from the ASD home page. When ever I enter a grade, it will be changed right there for you
and your child to see. There is also a place in your Zangle set up that will push an email to you when I do any updating of grades. I suggest at least once per week students check their
grades on line. This is a great habit for students to get into, in sixth grade they are required to check as well as in middle school and high school. This is the start of responsibility and
How can I COMMUNICATE WITH THE TEACHER?
On a daily basis your child’s planner will be coming home with a spot at the bottom where you can write me a note. I will require parents to sign student planners the first quarter so
we will be used to checking these each day. At any time you may email me at Tjaden_Marcea@asdk12.org or you may call the school at 742-5650 to leave me a message. I pride
myself on supporting students and parents with questions or concerns they may have so please let me know if you have anything you need clarification on throughout this school year.
Thank you for supporting the learning of your child and the children at Huffman.