A toolbox for elementary school parents

Monthly Archives: August 2012

A change from your August Newsletter…

This year our periods are only a half hour long.  Because of this, changing for gym would make our gym time really, really short.  So, this year your child will not be required to change for gym class.  However, they will still need running shoes for gym class.  They should have running shoes at school every day.  On the days that our class does not have Phys. Ed. in the schedule we will be having D.P.A. (Daily Physical Activity) for 20 minutes at some point in our schedule and, therefore, will need running shoes for these activities.


Planners are used daily in our class as a means of communication between home and school as well as a means to teach/reinforce good organizational habits..  We are very fortunate this year to have received a grant and so the cost of our planners has been reduced to $4 from the original $8.  Please have your child bring in $4 for their planner as soon as possible.   

How YOUR CHILD will be using their Planner

Students are expected to write in their planner daily and share their planner with you nightly.  Students are given 5-15 minutes* DAILY to record their message (*depending on the length of the message).  In the planner you should find a planner message recorded in your child’s handwriting/printing that includes information about homework and upcoming events.  If there is no new news, the note in your child’s writing should read “No New News”.  If you see nothing written it is an indication that your child did not record their planner message.   In the planner there is also a month-at-a-glance calendar at the beginning of each new month.  We will be using this calendar to record important dates throughout the month (e.g., pizza/milk order due dates, test dates, field trips, PD Days, holidays and so on).

In the front pocket you will also find important newsletters, permission forms, tests and assignments, and notes from the teacher.  Please initial your child’s planner each night to communicate to me that you have seen it.  Planners will be checked daily for notes and parent initials.

How YOU can use the Planner

  1. The planner is an excellent way for you to communicate with your child’s teacher.  Notes that teachers find helpful from parents include:
    • Information about upcoming absences for appointments and so on
    • Updates on significant events in your child’s life (e.g., If something awesome is happening in their life…let us know so we can ask them about it and celebrate with them OR if something not so great has happened that you think might throw them off that day give us a heads up)…of course, what you share with us is up to you, but this sort of information helps us in understanding your child on a day-to-day basis
    • Requests for a meeting with/phone call from the teacher
  2. The planner is an excellent way for you to help your child stay organized with events in their home life.  Help your child to record information about upcoming events and activities (just like you would record them in  your own planner/smartphone/calendar/or whatever you use to stay organized).  Things that would be helpful for your child to record in their planner include:
    • Outside of school activities such as sports practice, dance class, swimming lessons, etc.
    • Birthdays and celebrations
    • Other family commitments
    • etc.

This is a great website for online games, activities and worksheets for your child to get extra practice on topics in mathematics.  The site has FREE RESOURCES  as well as an opportunity to subscribe and become a member.   Be aware that it is linked to American curriculum standards and so not every link at each grade level applies to what we will be learning.  However, overall it’s pretty awesome.  Be sure to check out the math section of our class blog for monthly learning goals.  You can find the learning goals by clicking on the month.  If you hover over the month you will also see links to other supportive websites.

To connect back to our class blog, click HERE.

To check out AdaptedMind, click HERE.


Children today need to know how to type.  Computers are a part of every day life and proper typing skills are critical.  BBC Schools has created an excellent website for children to use to learn how to type.  Don’t delay, have your child start practicing today!

Dance Mat Typing | BBC Schools

Note:  This website provides the user with instructions on how to type and where to place his/her fingers.  However, parental supervision early on and periodically is important to ensure that the user is actually keeping their hands in proper position throughout the duration of the exercises.


This episode of Scholastic’s Savvy Schooler offers study strategies and tips for improving student focus and concentration.


This episode of Scholastic’s Savvy Schooler will give you suggestions for things you can do at home to help your child develop better listening and concentration skills.