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Mrs. Melin's Handbook

Here is some information about our classroom…

We love birthdays and are happy to celebrate with a treat if you wish to send a special snack for everyone.  We have 19 children in our classroom.  If you wish to send a treat, please send one for each student.  For Summer Birthdays, we will celebrate before school is out and notes will be sent home when.  Healthy treats are always encouraged and appreciated!
Please dress your child in layers for comfort throughout the school day. It is a good idea to have a sweatshirt in the morning along with a t-shirt so children have an option if they are too warm or cold.  We do go outside to play everyday.  Very soon children will need a jacket…then it won’t be long until hats, mittens, warm coat, snow pants, and boots will be required.
See our weather chart below so students know what to wear outside for recess:
Below 40 - jacket, hat, mittens
40-49 - jacket
50-59 - long sleeves
60 and above - short or long sleeves

Our literacy program has an at-home reading component. Students are expected to read at least 15-20 minutes every night. They may read from guided reading books as well as any book the child has at home. There will be a sheet for you to initial each night confirming your child has read or completed the assigned activity for reading that evening.
Math homework will consist of weekly learning opportunities to help review skills we are learning in the classroom. If they complete the learning opportunity it will only help them better understand their math. Feel free to help your child if they are struggling. Most children need the extra practice to become strong in their math skills. All students are expected to be fluent in addition and subtraction, and multiplication facts by the end of the year. It will take time and a lot of practice! You can help by quizzing your child on their adding, subtracting and multiplication facts!

When sending money to school, please enclose it in an envelope with your child’s name, amount, Mrs. Anderson, and the purpose.  This will save any confusion as to where, what and whose money it is.
Students may bring a healthy snack for snack break.  Examples of a healthy snack include granola bars, snack mix, peanuts, fruit, vegetables, crackers, cheese etc.  Please try to stay away from candy!  We have snack break in the morning, as we eat a late lunch at 12:30.
Your child is encouraged and welcome to have a water bottle at school daily.

Daily Planner:  
3rd graders will be using a daily planner to communicate from home to school this year.  In the planner it will show what students are working on each day, any learning opportunities that can be completed at home as homework, and also any communication that needs to be sent home.  Please read the notebook and sign saying that you read it.  The students need to bring it back to school the next day.  This is part of their homework and they really enjoy sharing with you for a minute about their day.

3rd graders will be using a SACK to store their reading books, daily planner, and folders in.  Students are allowed to bring this home each night and back to school each day.  Please review over the things within the sack and check for homework, learning opportunities, notes, and sign their planner each night.  Make sure to return the sack each day to encourage and foster responsibility.

We always enjoy having volunteers come to assist in the classrooms and go on field trips!   You need to make sure you have filled out the appropriate paperwork from the office and are APPROVED as a volunteer for our school district.  Any questions, contact the Elementary office.

Transportation Drop Off / Pick Up:   
Drop off in the mornings is 8:00am.  We don’t have staff coverage of your child until then.  Please drop off your child in the north parking lot and the doors will be open at 8am for them to enter the building.  If you are going to pick your child up or he/she is to get off the bus at a different stop, you MUST send a note each time stating the change.  No child is allowed to change transportation without written permission or a call from you ahead of time.  When picking up your child from school, please wait for him/her on the benches.  We will send children to the benches before buses leave and be sure to park in the north parking lot to pick up your child.  You will not be allowed in the main parking lot during the busses pick up/drop off time.  If you plan on picking up your child daily, please send a note stating that is your plan for the year.  School policy is without a note, everyone goes on the bus.

Work and Study Habits:  
We encourage and help students to develop life-long strong work and study habits for success.  Children are expected to be responsible, to try, to do their best, to follow directions and to complete assignments on time.  We have a helpful tip and suggest that you schedule a set time at home for homework (15-20 minutes or so).  Daily routines for this make for a good positive study habit.  A set routine also helps children develop responsibility for their studies and makes it easier to do when the expectation is there.

Reading and Writing: 
This year in Language Arts we continue to use many great resources to help us meet our standards.  In addition to that we will still be using Guided Reading groups.  Guided Reading is defined as the teacher working with a small group that needs instruction on similar reading strategies.  The groups change based on needs of the students.  The Grantsburg Elementary School staff has developed a library of Guided Reading books from which the teacher selects and introduces new books for each lesson, and supports children as they read the text themselves.  The Guided Reading groups will meet almost daily and the books will be sent home to reread.  Although I may not meet with each group daily, be aware your child will still have reading homework that evening.  It is expected that children read their homework each night and get their assignment signed by an adult. We will also be doing a Reader’s Workshop routine throughout the reading block too.

This year in math we are using a new program called Math Bridges.  I’m super excited about our new math resource this year.  I do expect your child to memorize their addition and subtraction facts and work on multiplication facts once we get to multiplication as part of the third grade standards.  Also, there will be learning opportunities that support what we are doing in math that will be sent home each week.  These learning opportunities will be a review of skills learned in class already and will help your child practice them even more.  Learning opportunities can be sent back to school when your child finishes them at some point during the week if they choose.

Our third-grade phonics program was designed by Mark and Isabel Beck, authors of Making Sense of Phonics. It teaches students to read longer multi-syllable words by breaking them down into meaningful chunks. Students learn how to pronounce words based on syllable rules and will also learn the meaning of important prefixes, suffixes, and root words helping them not only read but understand new words they encounter.  We will also be tested on third grade sight words as well, which will be an individualized.

Recess and Lunch:  
Recess will be in the morning when students arrive and again after lunch from 12:50-1:20.  Lunch will be from 12:30-12:50.

Discipline System: 
We use a school wide system called PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports) and it promotes positive behavior.  Students will be rewarded in many ways for behaving positively and following The Pirate Way!  There will be information going home about the system and the expectations.  Students will participate in lessons throughout the first few weeks on appropriate behavior in and out of school.  Please make sure to read the information so we can support this at home also.  Rules for our classroom we will create together and sign a contract agreeing to them following the PBIS system.  I also use a positive behavior tracking system called Class Dojo.  I LOVE using Class Dojo and can't wait for you to see the MANY positive things it has in store this year for you and your child.

Holiday Parties:  
We celebrate Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter/Spring.  Reminder notes will be sent for when you need to bring a treat for the class.  If your family chooses not celebrate that holiday, please let me know so I can make a switch.  Any questions, please contact me.  Please plan for 18 students.

When it comes to snacks for parties here are some examples:
Sweet:  cookies, brownies, candy, etc.
Salty:  chips, popcorn, pretzels, etc.
Healthy:  fruit, veggies, cheese & crackers, etc.