Dear Magnet Parents/Guardians,
I am truly excited to begin the 2020 – 2021 school year as a member of the Braddock Gifted Magnet Family! I am eager to meet and get to know your child. I am also looking forward to meeting you and creating a partnership that will result in an academically successful and enjoyable school year. I am currently creating both online and in-class learning environments in preparation for the start of school on August 18th.
Academically, I will focus on teaching the Common Core State Standards while accelerating and enriching the curriculum. Students will have opportunities to work together as a whole class, as well as in groups and individually. Students’ abilities and interests will be emphasized for projects and individual study. Skills that prepare students for middle school will be taught, including budgeting time, planning, and keeping track of assignments. Please understand that some alterations in class assignments may need to occur if we remain online for the entire school year.
Currently, your child’s emotional health is of particular importance. If there is anything that arises that may affect his/her ability to perform in class or if your child needs additional time to complete assignments due to unforeseen circumstances, please do not hesitate to let me know. These are stressful times for everyone, especially children who may feel that they have even less control over their lives than usual.
I am also aware that distance learning is stressful for social development. Students will be given time to work together, whether online or in the classroom. If possible, I would like to have breakfast or lunch with the whole class once a week to allow students time to socialize. Prior to the beginning of school, I would like to meet with you and your child to get to know both of you, since it is possible that we may not be able to meet in person on the first day of school.
Below is an overview of what you can expect this year. I am always open to comments and suggestions.
Fifth Grade Teacher
SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL: Whether online or in the classroom, school will be a safe, positive, and respectful environment for all students. Students’ social and emotional health will be addressed through Mindfulness, Council Circles, and Restorative Justice, as well as through classroom discussions and assignments.
ATTENDANCE: Attendance at all class sessions is extremely important, whether online or in the physical classroom. Please assist your child in being ready on time and prepared for class each day.
HOMEWORK: Homework will be given Monday through Thursday. It will be posted on ClassDojo and Google Classroom. Assignments will be related to what your child is learning in class. It may be practicing a skill that was taught or reviewing a concept. Students are expected to read at least 20 minutes each day. A reading log will be provided. Additionally, projects will be assigned. Homework must be turned in every day. Students will use a planner to record homework assignments and dates that they are due.
STUDENT INCENTIVES: Students will be rewarded with participation points for good online citizenship and participation within their groups. Points can be redeemed for various online activities of the group’s choice to be announced at a later time.
CELEBRATIONS: We will celebrate birthdays at the end of each month by creating a Google Doc birthday card from all students in the classroom. If your child’s birthday occurs in a month when we are not in school, we will specify a day to celebrate those birthdays.
CLASSROOM RULES: Our classroom rules will focus around being safe, respectful and responsible, whether online or in the classroom. LAUSD online protocols will be followed at all times. Students who do not comply with our class rules will be given two verbal warnings. If the behavior continues, a student-teacher conference will be held. Parents/guardians will be informed of any continuing behavior that disrupts the learning environment.
LANGUAGE ARTS: The curriculum will include Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop, along with Literature Groups, class novels and novels selected by individual students. Multicultural literature and literature that goes along with our Social Studies units will also be included. Vocabulary building will be implemented using SAT words. Narrative, Informational/Expository and Opinion/Persuasive writing will be addressed. Creativity and writing conventions will be stressed.
MATHEMATICS: EngageNY, a program that contains elements of Common Core and Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI), will be implemented in the classroom. My Math, Noetic Math Challenges, Spectrum Workbook (at the appropriate grade level), Khan Academy, Math Prodigy and logic games will be used for skill-building and/or differentiating the curriculum. Students will be taught as a whole group, in flexible groups and individually, depending upon the skills being taught and their level of understanding.
SCIENCE: Mosa Mack Science will be used to access the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Mystery Science and other supplemental curricular materials will also be integrated into the curriculum. Students will engage in hands-on learning (when possible).
SOCIAL STUDIES: The California History-Social Science Framework will be used for Social Studies. Students will use the textbook, Our Nation, in addition to the use of historical novels and primary source documents, as well as NewsELA articles.
HEALTH: We will use Health and Wellness for our health textbook. Our focus will be on emotional, social and physical health using the textbook and through projects.
ART: Students will be provided with opportunities to create art. We will tour various museums online.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION: Online physical education will be done through “Go Noodle”.
PROJECTS: Students will be assigned projects throughout the school year that complement the curriculum and their interests.
PARENT VOLUNTEERS: At this time, I am looking for volunteers who would like to work with a group of students (online) in such areas as math acceleration/enrichment, creative writing, music and art. This could be done as an in-class activity or during an afterschool, supervised club. When we return to the classroom, I will send out a sign-up form for parents who are interested in assisting in the classroom and on school curricular trips. Hopefully, we will be able to incorporate an overnight Science-based field trip into the fifth-grade activities.