September 21, 2013

Scholastic Reading Club!

This week I sent home an order form for the Scholastic Reading Club.  This is the same as the old "Scholastic Book Clubs". . .they just gave it a new name! I just wanted to point out some new (and some not-so-new) features. 

  • Book of the Month: Each month there will be a featured book.  If 5 or more students order, the class will also get a free copy, special teaching materials, and a bookmark for everyone in the class.  Please don't feel pressured to purchase one, but if the featured book looks interesting and "Just Right" for your child's reading level, why not? September's featured book is Star Wars: Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown.
  • $1 Books: Every month there will also be a featured book specially priced at $1.  This month's selection is Frindle by Andrew Clements. This book is often a favorite of 4th graders!
  • Online Ordering: Sign up for a free account at the Scholastic Reading Club Online and you'll be able to access search settings to find "Just Right" books for your child, to have access to hundreds of other books that are only available online, and to have the option to pay by credit card.  The books will still be delivered to our classroom just the same as always, unless you choose a different shipment option. When you order, please enter our class activation code: L3JBD.
  • READING LEVELS: Perhaps the best thing about the newer book orders is that most books list a Reading Level in the description, which will help when choosing the best books for your child.  Research has shown that the single most important activity for reading success in school is to spend a lot of time reading at a student's JUST RIGHT reading level.

September 15, 2013

Welcome to The Snyder Spot!

I will be posting updates here to keep parents informed about all the learning students will be doing this year. 

It is now the end of the second week of school and I've been saving up a number of things to share with you, so I'll just dive right in!

Snyder Spot Website
This link will take you directly to our class website.  It's still in progress, but there is a homework page that lists all current assignments. This will be updated daily.  I have also started a collection of links for different subject areas. These are all available for students to practice their skills at home, as well as at school.

Class Dojo
Hopefully, by now you have received two updates from Class Dojo.  Is it helpful to receive this kind of information electronically? Students have reported that some parents are having difficulty connecting to the Class Dojo website.  I have heard that Chrome or Firefox work best to view this site, so if you are using a different browser, you might want to try switching.

Baggie Books
This week students started to bring home a book to read for homework each night.  The requirement is to read 20 minutes each day.  Our Baggie Books volunteers will begin meeting with students on September 23.  Thank you for monitoring at-home reading.  Studies have shown (and I've personally witnessed) that when students increase their time reading books at their "just right" reading level, their reading achievement grows significantly.

Pledge of Allegiance

Michigan has a new state law that requires all students to have the opportunity to recite the Pledge of Allegiance each day.  At the beginning of each day, Ms. Owens will lead us in the Pledge over the PA system. Please contact me if you have any questions about this tradition.

Glerum Mission Statement
This year the Glerum staff worked together to create a mission statement that we hope reflects Glerum's unique character and goals. It is:

At Glerum 
we are a learning community
empowered to:

Think creatively
Strive for our best
Respect everyone
Celebrate diversity

Testing Schedule

At the beginning of the school year, there are several tests that students need to take to identify their current level of learning. Already, students have taken the DELTA Math screener (which measures mastery of 3rd grade math objectives) and the DIBELS Benchmark assessment (which identifies student levels of reading fluency). This week students will be taking the Discovery Tests for reading and math.  These two tests will be given on the computer and will take the place of the West Ottawa Interim Assessments.  These tests will be given two more times over the course of the year and will be used to determine the progress of student learning through the year. 

Monday, 9/16     Discovery Reading (10:30 AM - 12:00 AM)
Thursday, 9/19   Discovery Math (11:00 AM - 12:00 PM)

Picture Orders 
Student picture packets were sent home on Friday, September 13. Since picture day was on the 2nd day of school this year, some parents may not have been prepared to order pictures. If you missed the opportunity to order pictures, there are directions inside your child's picture packet that will help you order online.  You can also visit the Geskus Photography website  and enter the school web code of 270OEUTIWBKIQ for online ordering.

Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns. Week THREE. . . .here we come!