Wednesday, January 29, 2014

February 2014

Dear Parents,

              We have an exciting and busy schedule ahead.  I'd like to give you a heads up on some important information:

*Harmonicas--We have officially begun learning how to play this fun little instrument.  If you'd still like to buy one, I have more for $4.00 (Jawbone brand, Key of C).  If you'd like to buy one for yourself, just send the $$ with your child.  You can learn together:).  

*Book Review--This term's Book Project will be a book review, and is due Friday,
 February 14.  I have a few samples I will send home with them.  It can be written about any novel of any genre they have read this third term.  It needs to be type written, to give them added typing practice for the Direct Writing Assessment coming up.

*Essays--Students have been writing daily, gaining expertise in writing their essays.  We've had three students score a perfect 30 on the last writing assignment ("Should Parents Pull the Plug on Electronic Devices?").  In addition, 15 students have scored 25 or higher.   I am so pleased with their progress!   (Their writing is scored on
         Students must score 24 or above to be considered proficient in writing.  To give them a boost, I am asking that a parent or older interested person sit down with them and give them suggestions on how they can improve their essay.    I hope that you will be available to help when they approach you.

*Direct Writing Assessment--
         Our assessment is scheduled for February 25, Tuesday, 9:00-12:00.   This is a challenging test.  Students are given a prompt and two articles of opposing viewpoints.  Then they must take a stand.  They need to organize their thoughts and type a 5-paragraph opinion essay that is good enough to score at least 24.  No dictionary or spell-check.  No help of any kind.  And all within one sitting.  (Whew!)   Practicing at home will give them a definite edge.
        PLEASE make sure your child is in school that day.  If you know you will be gone, let me know in advance so I can make arrangements for him/her to take the test at an earlier time.  Our class is at the end of the cut-off window for taking the test, so this is important.  Thanks!

School Spelling Bee--is on February 28, and the spelling words are on the South Elementary Blog.  If you can't find it, let me know.  You can also pick up a copy in the office.  Students can begin right now studying for the class test, given on February 14.  The top two students will be selected to compete.  This is an optional activity, but if your child excels in spelling, I hope s/he gives it a try. 

Book Orders--due February 14. 
      Thank you for your support in and out of the classroom.   As always, you are welcome to come spend time in our classroom.  If your schedule allows you to volunteer, I could use help in math on Thursdays (9:30-10:10) and Fridays (10:30-11:10).   I look forward to visiting with you at SEPs the first week of March.  
                                 Thank you for sharing your child with me this year!
                                                           --Jeanne Payne  


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