Welcome to Yellow

August 16, 2016

    Welcome, or welcome back, to Yellow Cluster!  We hope your child had a wonderful first day back and that it is only the beginning of a wonderful year of fun, hard work, and learning.  We wanted to explain a couple of things to you now, so that you can help support your child at home until you hear more from us at Back to School Night, Tuesday, August 30th.  

    Normally, you will receive a weekly news from us on Fridays, via the school’s mail chimp system, that will tell you about the week, upcoming classroom and school events, and the next week’s homework.  If you’ve changed your email since last year, or you didn’t receive this also as an email by Tuesday evening (check your spam folder just in case), you should update your address on the school’s website.  This isn’t something we can do for you, so, while an email to us letting us know you’ve changed your email is great, it’s not going to help get our weekly news to you.  If you would prefer getting our weekly news on paper, please let us know, but also know that sometimes the news doesn’t get written until after school on Friday, so if you get in on paper, you might not get it until Monday afternoon.

    We hope the homework routines and systems that we will be using this year will engage both you and your students in productive, sometimes challenging, and hopefully sometimes fun, work at home and help your child become more independent.  It will take a few weeks for us to introduce all of the programs and routines that will eventually comprise each week’s homework, so know that the first few weeks will be a little different than the rest of the year.  Please be patient with us as we work to clarify and refine and build what is happening with homework, and be sure to read the weekly news carefully so that you can support your child in knowing what to do as the routines get established.  A crucial part of this routine is the assignment sheet your child will have in the outside front pocket of his/her yellow homework folder.  This is designed to do two things - show everyone the upcoming homework that is due (the column on the right) and give your child a place to plan how he/she will do the homework during the week (the column on the left).  This is our way of trying to balance the flexibility of week-long assignments with your child also taking responsibility for knowing what needs to be done, and planning for getting things done, without rushing at the last minute.  We hope that this begins as a collaborative process and, later in the year, becomes one your child is able to do more independently.  A new assignment sheet will go home every Tuesday, as, generally, our homework is due each Tuesday.  This assignment sheet also includes our version of a reading log, which also needs to be signed by a parent each week.

    For this week, there are two main assignments.  The first one involves your child thinking about what he/she thinks a Quality Learning Community looks like, sounds like, and how you would feel in one and writing his/her thoughts down in a graphic organizer called a thinking map.  We will have discussed this with the students and shown them how this map works in class today.  On the back is another kind of thinking map in which your child will be writing down things that he/she thinks we need to do in order to create the kind of community envisioned on the front of the paper.  This is due next Tuesday.  The second assignment is to talk with you about how your child was named, which is due Monday.  They will be writing a paragraph using this information in class on Monday.  We don’t want them writing full sentences, or the paragraph with you, just writing notes about his/her name.

     Also, if you haven’t yet emailed us the pictures we emailed you about a couple of weeks ago, we do need those by Saturday.  The students will be using a program called Comic Life to create getting to know you graphic pages, probably during the second week of school.  We would like the students to be able to use their own digital images for this project, so we are asking everyone to please, with your child, find 5-10 digital pictures and email them to us at yellow.clusteratme.com, if you haven’t done so already.  These can be pictures you already have or ones that your child takes this week of things, places, and people that are special or important to him/her.  If you don't have email access, you can send them in on a jump drive.  We can also scan images that are printed, but those would need to be sent in by Thursday.  If you don't have access to digital images, you can also help your child use the internet to find pictures of things that tell about him/her, but we are really hoping for more personalized pictures.  We don't want this to take up an enormous amount of time, but we do want your child to be involved in choosing the pictures.  

    There is also a lot of paperwork for you to fill out that went home today.  This includes the trip packet if you didn’t pick it up on Saturday, an extra trip form that didn’t get copied into the packet, and a packet of paperwork from the office.  The sooner you can fill all of this out and return it to us, the better.  Please try to at least send the emergency card in tomorrow.

    We love parent volunteers and are ready to welcome you in to help any time you are able to come in.   Drop in help is always great, and, as they come up, we will let you know about special projects that we need your help with, too.  If you want to set up a regular weekly time, let us know and we will work out times that suit your schedule and the kind of help you most enjoy giving.  We sometimes have at home typing and other kinds of projects, as well, so if that is something you would like to do, let us know and we will send materials home for you.  

    We look forward to a wonderful year together!

Denise (Benjamin) and Jessica (Stewart)


Expiration Date: 
Jun 30