ABCs of Fourth Grade


ABCThe ABC's of

Fourth Grade

     The ABC’s of Fourth Grade offers a tremendous amount of information. My goal is, not to overwhelm you, but provide you with all the information necessary to answer any school related questions you may have. I do not expect you read this entire packet in one sitting, but, rather use it as a reference tool throughout the school year as needed.


A is for…

«Agenda Books – Your child will be given an agenda book the first week of school. The goal of using the agenda book throughout the school year is to help the students strengthen their organizational skills and teach them to be responsible for their work. To help reach this goal, one of their morning jobs will be recording their homework and test dates in their agenda book. In order to ensure that your child completes his/her homework successfully please review these assignments with him/her each night.

«Arrival – Students arrive at school at 8:05 a.m. If your child arrives to school early please have them wait in the entrance way by the west office.

«Art – Your child will have Art with Mrs. Gilmore from 8:30-9:10 on Mondays. 

«Attendance is very important! If your child misses school, please remember to write a note, send an e-mail or call the office telling why your child was absent.

B is for…

«Bathrooms – The bathrooms are located down the hall from our classroom. I have a boys and girls pass hanging by the classroom door.  At the beginning of the year, I teach the children sign language for "bathroom."  If they need to use the restroom while I am actively teaching or during a group activity, they need to give me the sign and I will then nod to give them permission. They may then take the pass and head down the hall. If the children need to use the restroom during independent learning times, they need not ask me before doing so.  They must simply put the pass on their desk and go.

«Binder - On the first day of school each child will receive a binder that is to travel to and from school each day.  Your child will keep their materials organized by bringing home homework and important papers in this binder.  You can also send notes to me, lunch money, library books, etc. in it. 

«Birthdays – Every child’s birthday is very important! Due to allergies and our schools food policy birthday snacks will not be allowed for celebrations. Instead, we celebrate our birthdays monthly with an extra recess block!

«Book bag – Please remember to check your child’s book bag every day!

«Books – Looking for a good book? Access our classroom webpage and click on the “Reading Rocks” link for over 200 book recommendations.

«Breakfast – Hot breakfast is available in the cafeteria before school for $2.00.

 

C is for…

«Care Cards – The Jordan/Jackson School started implementing a new school-wide behavior system last year. The students are now following this school model ~ We Care About Our School. We Care About Ourselves. We Care About Others. If the students are following this model and “caught” doing something good they can earn a Care Card. These Care Cards can be traded in for Chance Cards or class gems. The Care Cards are also tallied up every two weeks and the school totals go towards a Spirit Day!

«Calendars – You will receive a school calendar the first week of school. You can also access the school calendar by logging on to the Mansfield Schools website, www.mansfieldschools.com, and clicking on the “School Calendar” link on the left-hand side of the homepage.

«Celebrations – We do have celebrations throughout the year. Many times we’ll set classroom “gem jar goals” to achieve and of course we’re going to celebrate these accomplishments! I will send home notices of these celebrations. Please join us at these times by congratulating your child on achieving those goals and doing a stellar job in fourth grade!

«Cell Phones – Cell phones are NOT allowed in school.

«Chance Cards - The students can also earn “Chance Cards” when they are following the classroom rules, showing model behavior, participating, answering questions, or showing kindness to others. The children can collect these “Chance Cards” put them in the "Chance Bin," and get the "CHANCE" to have their name pulled from the bin giving them the opportunity to pick a reward from the prize bucket at the end of each week. 

«Classroom Calendar – If you would like to take a sneak peak at our upcoming classroom events or are unsure when a class assignment is due you can access our Classroom Calendar by logging on to my website (directions to do so are listed below).

«Classroom Downloads – If your child forgets his homework, curriculum information or notices not to worry! You can download all of this information by going on to our classroom webpage and clicking on the “Classroom Downloads” link.

«Classroom Website – To always keep you in the loop I have created a classroom website! I hope this will be a helpful tool for you and your family. I have included information about the curriculum, how our classroom runs, a class calendar, weekly homework, reading news and book recommendations, daily schedules, classroom downloads, useful links, etc. To access my website you must follow these 5 simple steps:

o   Log on to the Mansfield Schools Website – www.mansfieldschools.com

o  At the top of the page hover your mouse over "Schools" in the menu bar and click on  Jordan/Jackson Elementary school.

o   On the next screen, hover your mouse over “Student” in the menu bar, then over classrooms, and then on Grade 4.

o   Finally, click on my name and you can access our classroom website!

«Communication is very important. Feel free to contact me whenever you have a question or concern. I can be reached by e-mail at jennifer.dicenso@mansfieldschools.com or you can call the main office at 508-261-7520 ex. 41204.

«Curriculum Night – Curriculum Night is scheduled for Tuesday September 19th in my classroom (room A204). This is an opportunity for me to share with you what your child will be learning in fourth grade.  I will walk you through a typical day in the life of your fourth grader focusing on classroom rules, curriculum they’ll learn, projects they’ll complete throughout the year and answer any questions you may have. Please make every effort to attend this important meeting.

 

D  is for…

«D.E.A.R - DEAR stands for Drop Everything And Read. It gives the students a chance to wind down, find an interesting book to read, a comfortable spot to sit, and READ! It is a great time to sit down with a favorite book, a book they’ve wanted to read, or even a book written by a member of the class!

«Discipline - During the first week of school we will create our classroom rules. The children will be an integral part in determining which rules will be most important in our classroom. Discipline procedures in our classroom will be based on our “How am I doing today?” card system. This behavior plan helps track the students’ behavior in a clear and constructive way.  Any problems are looked upon as just that--problems to be solved.

E  is for…

«Early Dismissal - If you need to pick up your child early please send a note or e-mail informing me when they will be dismissed.  When you arrive at school to pick your child up please report to the East office. The office assistants will notify me that you are here and I will send your child down to you.

«Early Release – Early release or half days are scheduled throughout the school year. On early release day’s students will be dismissed at 11:10. *Please be advised that school lunch will NOT be served on these days.

«E-Backpack – In an effort to reduce paper consumption and improve communication, the Mansfield Public Schools are implementing an Electronic Backpack program. Papers that are normally sent home in students backpacks will be posted on the Mansfield Schools website instead.

«Electronics – Electronics of any kind are NOT allowed in school.

«Emergency Information - An emergency form for each child must be on file in the office.  In addition to your home phone number, please list all work and cell phone numbers where you can be reached.  Also, please provide numbers for relatives, friends and neighbors that would be available to pick up your child in the event of illness, accident or an emergency school closing.  Please notify the office if there are any corrections, additions or deletions to this card during the school year.

«Emergency Closings – If the school is closed due to a snow day or any other emergency you will be notified through the school systems automated phone line. You can also check local TV stations for announcements.

«Empowering Writers – Students will learn about narrative, expository, and persuasive writing instruction through the Empowering Writers research-based methodology. The methodology uses explicit lessons, teacher modeling, guided practice and application.

«Envisions Math - We are using the Scott Foresman Envisions Math Program. This program is not only aligned with the new common core standards but follows a similar routine as the Scott Foresman reading program. The Envisions math program has many components that meet the needs of auditory, visual, and hands-on learners. It has a fabulous online component that allows the students to manipulate the smart board each day as they solve their math problems! 

F is for…

«Field Trips – We will be going on field trips during the school year. You will receive notification before each trip and should you want to volunteer please indicate so on the form.

G  is for…

«Gem Jar - When the class is “caught doing something good” and is complimented by another teacher, administrator, or me for their model behavior they will be positively rewarded by placing a gem into our class compliment jar. When they have filled the “gem jar” the students will get to vote on their class prize such as; extra recess, pajama day, Read-in, movie, etc.

«Give Me Five - Teachers use this phrase to get the children's attention.  When the teacher says, "Give me five," the students are to stop what they are doing, raise their hand high and look at the teacher.  The "Five" stands for:

1.)Eyes are watching

2.)   Ears are listening

3.)   Hands and feet are still

4.)   Mouths are quiet

5.)   Brains are thinking

«Gym - We will have gym with Mr. Dunlea on Thursdays from 8:30-9:10. Please make sure your child comes to school dressed in sneakers and comfortable clothing.

H  is for…

«Homework - Students will have homework each night that will always be due the following day unless otherwise indicated. On a nightly basis your child will have at least three homework assignments that cover math, reading, spelling, and grammar. Along with your child’s nightly homework they are also responsible for reading at least an hour each week.  *If your child forgets to write down their homework assignments they can log on to our classroom webpage, clink on the Weekly Homework link, and their assignments will be listed there.

«Hornets – We are the Mansfield Hornets! Our official school colors are green and white! Remember to come dressed in our school colors on Spirit days!

I is for…

«Illness - The question of when to keep your child home from school is often a difficult one, especially when decisions must be made first thing in the morning.  It is important however, to keep your child home if he/she is ill.  This helps to make them more comfortable and prevents others from becoming ill.  Children function more effectively in the classroom when they are healthy.  School policy is that your child must stay home 24 hours after vomiting or having a fever.

«Important - It is Important to keep all records current. If you move, get a new phone number, or change babysitters, please be sure to inform the school. 

J is for…

«Jacket – It’s always great for your child to have a light jacket or sweatshirt at school in case they get cold.

K  is for…

«Kindness - In our classroom we learn first that we are a family and no unkind words will be tolerated. We are all different and our classroom is made up of many different backgrounds and learning styles that make us unique and special.

L  is for…

«Label, Label, Label! - Please mark all backpacks, removable clothing and loose items with your child's first and last name.  You would be amazed at how quickly unclaimed items can accumulate (especially in the winter!).  This will go a long way in helping to keep us organized.

«Library - We will be visiting and checking out library books every other Wednesday from 10:45-11:10  with Mrs. Dundon. Your child will be allowed to pick out one fiction and one nonfiction book. The books may go home with your child but need to be returned to school by our next library visit. Please help your child remember to bring their library book back on time.  If your child forgets his/her library books they will be a “browser” for that library visit. They will not be able to check out a new book until the old one has been returned.

«Lost & Found – Please have your child check our schools lost and found if they are missing any items that they could not find in the classroom.

«Lunch – Our lunchtime is 11:45-12:10 on the “East” side of the cafeteria. Your child may bring or buy lunch each day. School lunch is provided for $2.50. A calendar will be sent home each month with the daily lunch schedule.  If your child brings lunch from home they will keep it in the cubby area until it is time to go to the cafeteria.  If your child's lunch needs to be chilled, please make sure to include an ice-pack, as I do not have access to a refrigerator.  Please label all bags, containers, etc. with your child's name.

«Lunch Calendar - You will receive a school lunch calendar every month, if you choose to receive a paper copy, to let you know what's on the menu each day. There is also a school calendar link on the left-hand side of the Mansfield Schools homepage (mansfieldschools.com) or by typing www.mansfieldschools.com/Calendar/calendar.htm into your browser page. You can use this link to access the monthly lunch calendar. You can also access the E-backpack to download a monthly lunch calendar as well.

M  is for…

«Math Facts – Please help your child practice their math facts! It is important for all fourth graders to have a strong understanding of their math facts. Great ways to practice are flash cards or signing onto IXL. You can also access many other math fact websites by visiting our classroom webpage and clicking on the “Useful Links” tab.

«MCASThe Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) is the Commonwealth’s statewide assessment program developed in response to the Education Reform Act of 1993, MCAS, along with other components of education reform, is designed to strengthen public education in Massachusetts and ensure that all students participate in a challenging curriculum based on the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. Your child will be administered two MCAS tests this year. In March your child will take the Reading Comprehension and Long Composition MCAS and in May they will take the mathematics MCAS.

«Money is difficult for a child to keep track of. When sending in money for lunch, field trips, or books orders please send it in a sealed envelope with your child’s first and last name on the outside.

«Medicine - Any medication your child requires must be taken to the nurse’s office and a form must be completed. Please make sure that I am aware that your child needs to go to the nurse’s office to receive medication. Parents MUST deliver all medications to the nurse’s office personally, NO medications may be sent in your child’s backpack.

«Music – Your child will have Music with Mrs. Holster on Tuesdays and Fridays from 8:30-9:10. 

«Mystery People - Each day I will tell the students I am going to be looking for mystery people. These mystery people will be showing me stellar behavior by listening attentively, working efficiently, showing kindness to others, and following known class rules, routines and expectations without reminders. The students never know who the Mystery Person is or if I am watching their behavior, actions, and choices. This mystery model motivates the children to maintain a positive, hard working attitude throughout the day. When a child receives a Mystery Person card they can put it into the “Mystery Bin” and get the chance to have their name pulled from the bin giving them the opportunity to pick a reward from the prize bucket at the end of each week.  

N  is for…

«Nurse - Our school nurses, Mrs. Johnston and Mrs. Haskell, are on staff to take care of any emergencies and needed medications. Your child’s health is very important in order for optimal learning to occur.

O  is for…

«Open Circle – The Open Circle curriculum is a comprehensive, social competency program that supports elementary school children in developing social and emotional skills needed to be good learners and form positive relationships with their peers.

«Opportunity - Help in the classroom is always welcome, but I know that you have lots to do and coming into the classroom isn’t always an option. If you are willing to be helping hands from home and cut lamination, assemble books, or do small projects please let me know.

«Outside- Weather permitting, we will go outside from 12:20-12:40 for recess.  Please make sure your child has appropriate outside attire.

P is for…

«Parent/Teacher Conferences - The school system sets aside two opportunities (Fall/Spring) for us to meet for parent/teacher conferences. But please feel free to contact me anytime for a conference.

«PBIS - The Jordan/Jackson School has started a school-wide behavior initiative called Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports or P.B.I.S for short. P.B.I.S. is a research-based approach to managing student behavior in a positive and preventive manner. It emphasizes prevention in establishing and maintaining a safe and supportive school culture and building a school environment where team building and problem-solving skills are expected, taught, and reinforced. 

Qis for…

«Questions - Any questions you have please feel free to ask! You can reach me at jennifer.dicenso@mansfieldschools.com or call the main office at 508-261-7520 ex.41204. 

R is for…

«Reading – Your child is responsible for reading at least an hour each week.

«Recess - Students will have recess each day from 11:20-11:40.  Recess provides children with a physical release and gives them a time to socialize with friends from other classrooms.  Unless it is raining/snowing, we will go outside every day.  Please keep this in mind when your child is getting dressed in the morning. 

«Report Cards – Report cards are issued three times a year.  When report cards go home with your child, they will be enclosed in an envelope.  Please sign both the report card and envelope and return it to me.

 

S is for…

«Scott Foresman Reading Street - Scott Foresman Reading Street is a scientifically research-based reading program. Reading Street provides organized and explicit instruction on the 5 core elements critical to reading success: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension. Reading Street is complete with a fully integrated language arts strand, including writing, grammar, and spelling. This program is designed to meet the needs of all students.

«Schedules – I will send home a specialist schedule with your child at the beginning of the year. You can also see your child’s daily class schedule by clicking the “Daily Schedule” link on our classroom webpage.

«School Supplies – All necessary school supplies will be provided for your child. However, if your child would like to bring in pens, pencils, highlighters, erasers, etc., of their own they are more than welcome.

«Science – Your child will have Science twice a week for thirty minutes with Ms. Shruhan. Ms. Shruhan's lessons will be based out of the Silver Burdett Discovery Works program. The student’s will be experimenting and learning about plants, animals, and properties of matter, weather, and climate.

«Snack Time – We will have snack time from 10:25 - 10:40 each day to recharge our batteries. Please send in a healthy snack (fruit, granola bar, veggies, and yogurt) for your child.

«Social Studies – Your child will have Social Studies twice a week for thirty minutes with me. My lessons will be based out of the Regions and Social Studies Alive Texts. The children will be reviewing and learning about map skills, geographic terminology, and the five regions of the United States.

 

T is for…

«Tardy – If your child is tardy please report to the East Office. You can sign your child in with the office assistants and they will send your child to me. 

«Toys – Please remind your child that toys are NOT allowed at school. 

«Transportation Changes - If your child will be going home a different way than usual, please send me a note or call the office before the end of the day.  Please do not email me about a transportation change, as I may not check my e-mail until after the school day is over.  Your child will not be allowed to go home a different way without written or called-in consent from you.

 

U is for…

«Understanding -  Your child is important to me! I will always treat your child with lots of love, respect, and Understanding. 

«Unique Fourth Graders - Every 4th grader is a UNIQUE individual. I strive to meet all unique individuals and their needs. Any input, as a parent, that you can give me about your child is greatly appreciated. Teamwork and comminucation is the key to a successful 4th grade year.

V is for…

«Vacation – There are three vacation weeks scheduled throughout the school year. Those three weeks are: December 26th – January 2nd, February 19th – 23rd, and April 16th– 20th.

«Visitors – We love visitors, but all visitors must stop in at the East Office to obtain a visitors pass. Please do not come directly to the classroom. The school policy is designed for the safety of the students and staff.

«Volunteers – Volunteers are always needed and appreciated!  If you have some time to spare, at home or in the classroom, please let me know!

 

W is for…

«Wear - Have your child wear practical clothes to school.  I will make every effort to protect your child's clothes.

«Wish List – Tissues, baby wipes, hand sanitizer, plastic bags, and small Dixie cups are some of our fourth grade classroom wishes.

 

X is for…

«X’tra Clothes - We have extra clothes in the nurse's office if your child has an accident, gets wet, etc.  If your child needs to change, the school nurse has some articles of clothing that she will lend. The supply is very limited! These clothes need to be washed and returned as soon as possible. NOTE: If you have any old clothes to donate to the school, it would be greatly appreciated.

«X'tra TLC - It is perfectly normal for children to feel overwhelmed, tired, nervous, etc. during the first several weeks of the school year.  Simply acknowledging this with your child will be a big help for him/her.  Once routines at home and school are established, things will run quite smoothly. 

Yis for…

«You - You are the most important adult in your child's life, and no one knows him/her better than you.  You are your child's biggest supporter in their education, and I sincerely value your input.

 

Z is for…

«Z,z,z,z,z’s - It is very important for your child to get plenty of sleep at night so they are ready to learn each day.