Welcome Letter

Dear Parents/Guardians,

This letter contains information regarding important aspects of our classroom and program. I will send this letter home with your child on the first day of school and ask that you sign and return the slip at the end of the letter.

My name is Carol Hart and it is my pleasure to welcome your children into my 3rd grade classroom! I have been very excited to meet the students and begin a year full of enriched learning. The month of August will consist of activities that will enable the students to get to know each other and to get to understand more about how our class will operate. Our language arts program will begin with The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo. The sixteen novels we will read this year are listed on our class website. It is more fun to read them together when students are reading them for the first time so it helps if you can avoid buying a book on the list if your child hasn’t already read it. The link to the novel list follows. http://www.misshartsclass.braddockgiftedmagnet.org/about-us.html
We will also be assessing and reviewing math concepts the first month and, in science, we will start with animal adaptations.

The First Week of School
I will be spending the first few days of school helping students get to know one another and become comfortable with various classroom routines. One of my goals is to help students become cooperative learners, so students are getting used to completing work as a team and helping team members learn. Students also need to be independent workers, though, so students are currently learning how to organize work in their subject portfolios, file papers, and organize their desks. They will spend some time each day at various learning stations, working independently or in small groups. During this time the emphasis will be on completing skills work independently, and putting materials away. As students learn to work on their own, it will increase my ability to meet with small groups of students, and to help students progress at their own pace.

Homework
Beginning today, all students will bring home a blue home and school (homework) folder. Please check it daily. I will ask students to put parent notices from school into this folder for you to read. Also students will have homework placed in this folder. Please make sure your child completes his/her homework, and please also put your initials on the Homework Planner and on the homework each day so I know you have seen and checked it. Please correct your child’s homework with him/her. Parent involvement is crucial. The more involved you are in your child’s learning, the greater success he or she will have in school. On Monday and Tuesday your child will bring home a spelling and/or vocabulary word assignment. The homework will be a daily activity using students’ spelling and vocabulary lists. Watch for these spelling lists to come home each Monday. On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday there will also be some math homework. Students who fully complete and turn in daily homework will not have homework on Fridays. I want to be sure there is clear and frequent communication between home and school. To that end, please check in your child’s home-school folder every day for notes from me or from the school. Homework may change from time to time…. I will try to keep you informed.

I will keep announcements and homework listed on the class website, as much as possible. It is helpful if you have internet connection at home. We may sometimes have online homework in the math program or in Sumdog Math online. Our website can be found at www.misshartsclass.com. My contact information is on the website. Please feel free to email me or leave me a message at school.

Absences/Tardies:
When your child is not at school, work will be collected on his/her desk and sent home when he/she returns. Your child will have a day to make up work for every day that he/she was absent. (example: 2 days absent = 2 days to complete and return missed work.) Please make sure that your child is at school on time. Tardy students miss crucial morning directions and disrupt the class.

Birthdays
We have been instructed to let families know that instructional time, and even lunch and recess, can no longer be used to celebrate birthdays at school. I’ll try to recognize children with an announcement, a song, and a birthday pencil.

Expectations for Behavior in the Classroom

We will constantly emphasize three expectations in our classroom: be responsible, be respectful, and be attentive. In addition to these expectations, we will work on students learning to become increasingly independent as the year progresses and to find areas of study that they are passionately interested in. My goal is for ALL students to become independent and cooperative learners. If a student has difficulty with behavior, I will ask him/her to fill out a problem-solving form to come up with a solution to the problem. Chronic problems, or severe misbehavior will need to be handled with more specific consequences. I will let parents know immediately if a student is having severe problems with behavior at school.

Home Transportation:
If your child will be going home in a different way than normal, you must send a note specifying the change of plans. In order to keep your child safe, I need your permission before I can allow someone else to pick up your child. Also, if you will be picking your child up early and know about it in advance, please write me a note as well so I can help to prepare your child for an early departure. Thank you for your cooperation with these important issues.

Contact Information
If you have any questions or concerns, please call or email me and I would be happy to schedule a time to meet with you. My email is csh9043@lausd.net and the Braddock Drive Gifted Magnet phone number is (310) 915-5977.

Sincerely,
Carol Hart
Grade 3
Room 11