Sunday, November 23, 2008

And We're Back

17 days since my last post...sorry about that. Exhibition week sure throws everything for a loop. Parents, kids, and teachers are all scurrying to meet deadlines and make sure everything's ready for the big day(s). Overall, I'd say we did a pretty good job, wouldn't you? I obviously got to view the most Exhibitions, but I was tremendously impressed and very proud. The students worked hard and did a terrific job, especially considering it was their first one in fourth grade. And of course, none of it would be possible without the help of the parents and grandparents and other family members who take time out of their busy days to attend and help and practice and more. I thank all of you very much.

One of the best parts about the first exhibition is that there isn't a single person involved that doesn't learn something that will help them the next time. Students learned what they need to improve and the importance of picking an interest project that truly interests them. For parents, I think the format and my expectations became a lot clearer. And I learned a lot, too. I'll prepare and communicate a little differently next time, in an effort to make sure everyone knows what is required. And I'll stress preparation, the use of note cards, and using a conversational/energetic tone when presenting. I'll also assign different math problems for every student, so that no one has to sit through the same one twice.

And now that we've made it through weeks and weeks of hard work, we are rewarded with a three day week leading up to the holiday weekend. We still have a lot to do, though...
  • This week we'll be pushing forward with our essays. These will need to be worked on over the weekend. I'll provide more on that before Wednesday.
  • We're finishing Unit 4 in math class. That means we'll be taking a unit test on Wednesday. We'll review Tuesday. Pay careful attention to Tuesday's homework. It will be a test review. Tests should be graded and sent home on Wednesday.
  • Students will resume meeting with their regular reading classes this week.
  • We'll return to a more regular homework schedule starting on Monday the 24th. After a long respite, the homework calendar on the class website WILL be updated starting Monday morning. Expect it every night, even during Thanksgiving break. Check out the poll at the top of the blog page. I'd really like your input as to how much homework is acceptable during a holiday weekend. Be honest. If you think there shouldn't be homework, by all means, let me know. I'll take the responses into account when selecting the assignments.
  • Finally, students will be wrapping up the six-week science session. After Thanksgiving, we'll dive back into Social Studies for the next six weeks.

And in other news...I'm looking to get back into the swing of parent volunteering starting in December. I'll post more on this at a later date, but keep it in mind. Help would be needed at 9:00 for writing and 10:00 for math.

Look for more posts later this week as I continue to get caught up.

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