Our class has earned a special treat! Our “compliment chain” has reached the floor! This is a chain of paper links that now stretches from the ceiling of our classroom to the floor. One link has been added each time the whole class has received a compliment from another teacher for their behavior, effort, or performance.
After an exhaustive discussion and vote, we are celebrating tomorrow with the following array of activities:
⇒ Attire: pajamas, accompanied by stuffed animals
⇒ Show and tell
⇒ Games (no electronics!)
⇒ Extra recess
Our celebration will occur during our math period. Please make sure your child wears closed shoes or boots to school, but he/she may bring in slippers. Also, games from home are welcome, but no electronics or devices, please.
Enjoy your vacation!
… your child may be wondering if we are exchanging Valentine’s cards on Tuesday. If so, you might need names of students in our class. I’m including the first names of all our classmates; no last names, though. If your child wants to give cards, please encourage him/her to give to everyone so there are no hurt feelings:
Enjoy the snow!
Here we are on the eve of February 1, and we’ve barely experienced even a trace of snow. If you love winter as I do – I am a cross-country skier – you may be somewhat disappointed in the lack of snow. I have always said if it is going to be cold, it might as well snow so we can enjoy the season.
That said, a lack of snow days means we benefit from a continuity of learning, and that is far better for students. We have been busy this past month in all subjects, and students show continued signs of growth and responsibility. The Fifth Grade Student Council has been especially busy. The Kindness Committee is planning a new fund raiser for the Epilepsy Foundation, and the Safety Committee is working on a handbook for new students. Through these efforts, fifth graders have opportunities to invest time and energy in projects that benefit others.
Before February vacation, all fifth-grade classes will begin preparations for the Fox Hill Post Office. That school-wide letter writing program will start after February vacation and continues for one month. All fifth grade classes are involved in running this program. I’ll keep you up to date on those plans.
I hope you will take a few minutes to read my updates to each blog page. As always, feel free to contact me by phone (781.238.5684) or e-mail (email@example.com). In the meantime, enjoy winter (even if that means no snow), and dream of the vibrant colors of spring!
I just wanted to inform you that Fox Hill had a practice lockdown today. Students did great job listening to directions and taking the drill seriously. If you’d like more information about what is referred to as the Standard Response Protocol, please check out Mrs. Johnson’s blog.
Your child is coming home today with materials/resources to complete a science project that was started in class. The project involves illustrating the reproductive parts of a flowering plant and writing/typing a summary of that process. Both the written portion and the illustration were modeled in class last week, and students started the drawing in class today. Please talk with your child about this project. The directions (and grading rubric) are very clear.
Let me know if you have any questions.
I write this new post on the eve of returning to school. I hope you enjoyed your holidays and vacation. I spent most of the month of December preparing for and then performing in a winter solstice production called Christmas Revels. It was a wonderful way for me to satisfy my love of music. The final show was December 27, so I have been enjoying the last week of my vacation by relaxing and catching up. Hopefully, you and your family are well rested, and your children are ready for new challenges. We have much to accomplish in this second half of the year.
For now, I invite you to review each page of this blog for a look back at the major topics we completed in the month of December 2016 and a look ahead at what January 2017 has in store for us. As always, feel free to contact me during the day by phone at school (781.238.5684) or by e-mail at (firstname.lastname@example.org).
– Jamie Jaffe
Good Morning Families!
This is a reminder that our class visits the Fox Hill Holiday Shop today. Sponsored by the PTO, this “shop” is a marvelous opportunity for your child to buy small gifts for family members this holiday season. If you’re so inclined, please send your child to school with some money today.
With our waistlines expanded from a well-deserved Thanksgiving break, we settle back into school for the final month of the calendar year. November is challenging for all teachers, because we had few five-day weeks the entire month. No doubt, we all love a break, but it disrupts the continuity of learning. Of course, December is not much better – children are understandably looking forward to the holidays and the mid-winter break at the end of the month.
As the year progresses, students are maturing, accepting and understanding their responsibilities, and rising to the challenges before them. It is exciting to see such changes. I hope you see these signs at home, as well. I enjoyed meeting with many of you this past week for parent-teacher conferences. It was a pleasure to share with you your children’s numerous accomplishments.
On a personal note: I will be performing this month in the Christmas Revels. This annual, winter solstice celebration is held at Sanders Theater at Harvard University. It is one of the highlights of my year, and this year I even have two featured solos. Don’t be surprised if you see a slight decrease in the homework I assign starting the week of December 5. My rehearsal and performance schedule pick up this coming week. If you are interested in knowing more about the Christmas Revels, check out the Revels web site at http://www.revels.org/ .
I invite you to visit each page of this blog for a summary of the major topics we covered in November and a preview of some of the topics we are soon to explore. As always, feel free to contact me during the day by phone at school (781.238.5684) or by e-mail (email@example.com). – Jamie Jaffe
I wanted to remind you about two important approaching deadlines …
- WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23 is our annual Vocabulary Parade! For this all-school event, students “dress up” as a vocabulary word of their choosing. A flyer about this event was sent home last week, and it included ideas for grade-level appropriate vocabulary words. We discussed this again in class today, and your child knows to bring his/her costume or sign to school that day (as opposed to wearing it on the bus!).
- WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30 is the deadline for Student Council’s People Helping People holiday food drive. Fifth grade has been assigned the following food items to collect: pancake mix, pancake syrup, and spaghetti sauce. There is a box in our pod for your child’s contribution.
Thanks for your continued support!
October was quite a productive month in our classroom, and we have settled into a rhythm for the year. With all of the movement to and from different teachers for English language arts, social studies, and technology, we cling to the precious minutes we have each day in morning meeting to help us sustain a sense of community.
In the weeks ahead, you can expect to hear from me about the upcoming parent-teacher conference. At Back-to-School night, some of you signed up for a conference on Thursday, December 1. I will remind those who signed up that night and will notify those of you who didn’t pick a time that night that you can select a conference time for that day. Meanwhile, some highlights for the month of October include:
► The Science Center delivered our classroom pets! We are now the proud host to two gerbils that we have in the classroom for the entire year. Students have been quick to assume responsibility for animal care, and some highly motivated and enthusiastic handlers even sacrifice their recess time to play with the gerbils. Also, as we move into the second half of our science unit on animals, we will welcome three invertebrate visitors: a crayfish, a tarantula, and a tank of hissing Madagascar cockroaches.
► By October we were in full swing switching classes for English language arts. This is quite a challenge, but students seem to enjoy the opportunity to get to know other fifth grade teachers. They also seem to understand that this is good preparation for middle school. As teachers, we love the opportunity to get to know students from other classes; however, the challenge it presents us is to help students learn better organizational skills as they transition from one subject and one teacher to another.
While I love keeping you informed through this blog, I will always favor a more personal communication style. So, feel free to connect with me by phone (781.238.5684) or via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). Face-to-face meetings are always appreciated, as well.