Monday, August 29, 2011

Week #1 Message

This marks the first complete week of school. And as I see it, we're off to a great start. I'm sending you a hard and electronic copy of my weekly classroom message. These messages will help you look forward to what is coming for the near future in our classroom.

In the succeeding weeks, I'll only be sending you an email message. I've created the mailing list for this weekly message from the email addresses you provided at the school open house and from addresses the office provided to me. If by chance you didn't receive an email message or have received multiple email messages, please let me know which email address(es) you prefer by emailing me at

My weekly messages do come in blog form, so if you would like to subscribe to the blog or even be tweeted when a new post comes, click on the "Subscribe to Weekly Message" link at our classroom website

Homework Packets
When your child arrives home today they will have their blue Monday folder. In this folder you will see a homework packet. My purpose for homework is to provide students with practice opportunities for what I have taught them in class. When they finish the homework, please take a moment to check to see if homework is done correctly.

I also have elementary--as well as middle and high school students--at home and know how completing homework can be a challenge. For this reason, I've limited homework so it shouldn't take longer than 30 minutes each school night to complete; it's important that kids get a chance to play--especially outside. I'll give you the flexibility of choosing when during the week your child will work on their homework.

Each homework packet has a cover sheet. Feel free to cut off the bottom portion of the coversheet and retain it to practice spelling words. But, make sure to keep the top part of the cover sheet attached to the packet. I'll use this cover sheet to mark scores for the work your child completes.

You'll notice that I require each of my students to read 20 minutes at home each school day as part of their homework. I tell my students, "You don't have to read every day; just on the days you eat." I'll let you choose in what form this reading takes:
  • Child reads aloud to a sibling or an adult.
  • Sustained Silent Reading (SSR); child reads to himself silently.
  • A parent reads aloud to the child.
  • Family reads from a book all together (round robin reading).
In any case, it has to be done each school day for 20 minutes and it can't be made up if missed. Reading daily is part of the culture of learning. Daily reading is much like taking a daily multivitamin. A little dose every day make a large difference over a long period of time. If I miss taking a vitamin one day, I don't take a double dose another day.

Notes Home
If a note needs your immediate attention I'll send it that day. Otherwise, I'll retain any notes to you from the school and include them in the Monday folder. Please have your child bring their Monday folder back on the first school day of each week--but early folders are also accepted. If your child returns their homework and Monday folder on time, they will be entered into our "On the Ball Drawing," and could be rewarded with sitting on an exercise ball for an entire week rather than a chair.

I look forward working with you and your child this school year. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Mr. Bunker