Saturday, January 5, 2013

Happy New Year!

      Dear Parents,
      It's good to be back in school.  I hope you enjoyed having your children home, and that you made some great family memories together.    A few activities coming up:

      Biography/Autobiography Book Project:    Before we left for Christmas break, we discussed a date for students to share their book boxes with the class, and we decided that they could share on any day they come prepared--Monday 7th through Thursday 10th.  Thursday will be the last day to share, since the term ends on Friday and I need to have all assignments entered in the computer.

     The Magic of Writing, South Elementary's writing contest has begun!   We held a contest throughout the school to come up with a good title for this annual event, and our own Hannah won with the submission of the title, "The Magic of Writing".    Every student in my class is required to submit a piece of writing.  Remember, it can be a narrative (tells a story), informational, or opinion (persuasive).  It needs to be 200-1000 words in length.   Every 3rd-5th grade student was given a purple letter that explained all the rules, along with a rubric from which the writing will be judged.  I hope you had a chance to read it.   The writing entries are due Friday, February 8th.  

      Literature Reading Groups will begin this week.  We will need a few parent volunteers, if you can help us.  Volunteers would need to be here from 11:10-11:40 on Mondays or Thursdays.   Please let me know if you would like to sit with your child's literature group.  Your job would be to monitor the oral reading and to discuss the content and vocabulary with them as they read.  (I would tell you more about it, if you can volunteer).

     Martin Luther King day will be January 21, Monday.  There will be no school on that day.

    Harmonicas!   We will begin learning how to play the harmonica the first week of February.  If possible, I would like each child to own his/her instrument.  I can get very basic harmonicas (Blues Harp brand) for about $4.50.   If you'd rather not buy one, I do have a few I can loan out.  The borrowed ones would have to stay at school, so students wouldn't be able to practice at home (but maybe that's a good thing for you:)     We will perform at Arts Night, the Memorial Day program,  and other events in the school after we learn how to play.  Many students from past years have told me that they still have their harmonicas and play at family gatherings.  It's a fun instrument to keep throughout their lives.    If you would like to buy a higher quality harmonica (Cedar Music Store or online) instead of buying one through me, you may.  Just make sure that it is in the Key of C.   

      Thank you for all the thoughtful gifts and cards.   I don't expect gifts, and I am humbled by all the kindness you have extended, not just in gifts, but in your show of support in the education of these wonderful children.   I truly love each one of them and feel grateful that I can teach such high-caliber young people!   
     Let me know if you have any questions.  
                                          --Jeanne Payne

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