Parent Handbook

Dear Parent(s) and/or Guardians,

 

Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year! I will be your child’s fourth grade homeroom teacher. I will also be his or her Math, Science, Social Studies, and Spelling teacher. Mr. Mitlo will be your child’s Reading, Grammar, and Writing teacher. Below you will find some helpful information about our class.

I am very excited to meet you and work with you as a TEAM. Please know that I welcome and highly encourage communication. Never hesitate to contact me. I try to check my email as much as I can.

Let’s make this a fantastic year full of growth and fun!

 

Thank you,

Mrs. Erika Planavsky

 

Specials

 

Day 1              Library

Day 2              Computers

Day 3              Choir and Art

Day 4             Band and Health

Day 5             Gym and Music

Day 6             Computers

 

Supply List

Pencils/Pens/Glue Sticks/Erasers
Protractor (kept at home)
Zippered Binder
Black Sharpie
Highlighter
Dry Erase Markers
Take Home Folder
1-Subject Notebook

Communication

My main form of communication with you this year will be through my school email address listed above. You may call between 8:15-8:30 and 3:30-3:45. (724-353-9577 ext. 4020)

If you need to pick up work for your child or if there is a change to dismissal, please call the front office(724-353-9577).

Our classroom website, on the Buffalo webpage, will list study guides, spelling lists, games, and other resources throughout the school year. I also like to upload pictures to our class photo album. You will receive a link later in the year for this. Additionally, Mr. Mitlo and I will be sending home weekly newsletters and we will also email them to you as well.

Arrival Time/Tardiness

Students arrive between 8:35-8:45. The tardy bell rings at 8:50. All students arriving after 8:50 will need to get a late slip from the office. Students are dismissed at 3:30.

Reading/ELA  

We use the reading series, Journeys, that is aligned to the ELA Common Core standards.  This series also includes grammar, spelling, and writing instruction.  Students will be working in reading stations this year.  The readers and packets are differentiated for the different reading levels of 4th grade students.  Your child may change groups based on assessments, classroom performance, and teacher discretion.  Please check the newsletter for the weekly story selection, skills, and assessments and/or due dates. 

To encourage reading outside of the classroom, students will read chapter books and complete different book reports throughout the year.

You can access the Reading book online: https://www-k6.thinkcentral.com/ePC/start.do

The login information is: Username:Buffread4     Password: fasd2019

Math

This year, we have the math program My Math, which is aligned with the Common Core Standards. Students use a book that they write in, and have access to the book online. As we move through the chapters, I will demonstrate tools and games online that your child can use at school and at home.

The math website is: https://connected.mcgraw-hill.com/connected/login.do.

The login information is: Username: BuffMath4   Password: fasd2019

Number sense, problem-solving, and estimation are stressed along with writing to explain. Computational proficiency is necessary for success. All incoming students are expected to have mastered the addition and subtraction facts to 20, as well as their multiplication facts to 9.   

Your child will have homework almost every night. Homework is worth 1 point. There will be short quizzes, chapter tests, and chapter vocabulary tests.

Social Studies

Emphasis this year is on the United States. The units study the United States by dividing it into the five regions and their geographic features, natural resources, culture and economy. Study guides, group work, videos, projects and chapter tests make up 4th grade Social Studies. The study guides are due the day of the test. We alternate Social Studies and Science because of time constraints.

Science

Our Science curriculum is FOSS (Full Option Science System). The FOSS program encourages active engagement through hands-on experiments and participation when learning about Science. Students record data and observations in their Science Notebooks and class discussions are an integral part of instruction and understanding.

Access the book online: https://www.fossweb.com/dashboard/sis-student-home

 

The login information is:     Username: Buffsci4         Password: fasd2019

Spelling (homeroom teacher)

Students will receive 20 words each week. The spelling test will be on the last day of the week, unless we have a shortened week. If your child should happen to lose or misplace his or her list, please visit our class website to view the list(s).

Testing Guidelines

For chapter tests, students will have time to review skills in the classroom. A study guide will be sent home for each chapter in Math, Science, and Social Studies with ample time to get ready for the test. Please review these with students and help them develop good study skills. I understand that the expectations of the upper elementary classroom can be challenging for some students at first. My goal is to help your child make a successful transition to the fourth grade classroom.

Illnesses/Schedule Changes

Please contact the office if your child is ill and you would like work sent to the office to be picked up. Also, please contact the office or write a note if your child is going somewhere other than normally scheduled. Please do not rely on my voicemail or my email to make changes on the same day, as I may not be able to check either before the end of the day.

Homework

Your help and support will not only make your child more successful in school this year, but will also instill good study habits that will last a lifetime.

Math homework is assigned almost daily, unless I feel that the class has a deep understanding of the material.

Students should be studying their spelling words every night. Spelling homework will be assigned on Monday, or the first day of the week, and due on Friday (or the last day of the week). You and your child can decide what days/nights are best for completing the homework packet.

Assignments should be manageable for students, therefore, if you find that your child regularly struggles with homework and needs special assistance from you, please let me know. I will try my best to only assign homework when I feel there is a need.

Your child’s planner needs to be filled out and checked daily. This will help your child stay organized. Please check it at home. Supervise your child’s work, but please do not complete it for him or her.

Missed Work

Missed work is due as soon as possible. Please call before 10:30 to request work sent home. Indicate who to send work home with. Do not call at the end of the day to request work.

Grades

Please refer to PowerSchool to routinely check your child’s grades. If you see an assignment with a “0” beside it or a missing grade, please have your child complete the assignment AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

PowerSchool link: https://fasd.powerschool.com/public/

 

Grading Scale

91-100 A

81-90 B

70-80 C

60-69 D

0-59 F

Behavior and Expectations

I expect students to behave respectfully and cooperatively at all times. I will contact the parent/guardian if a student has had several warnings and the behavior still persists. Below is the reward/consequence list in our classroom.

 

 

Rules

Be respectful of other people and their belongings.

Be responsible for school property, your property, and your actions.

Be punctual and prepared for class.

         

        Rewards:                                                       Consequences:

    Treasure Chest Prizes                                         Warning

            Candy                                                 Lose 5 minutes of recess

      Class Parties                                           Lose 10 minutes of recess

           Movies                                                Contact Home/Principal’s Office

       Extra Recess

Each student will receive a STAR card. When he or she fills the card from positive behavior and/or class participation, a prize will be given.

Lunch

Please send money in an envelope with student’s first and last name.

Snacks

Because of our lunch schedule, students may bring a snack into school. Snacks should be healthy, but not messy. Water bottles are permitted and should go home each day. Students may eat their snack whenever they would like. We do not have a scheduled snack time. 

Recess

Please dress for the weather. A note is required to stay inside.

Scholastic Book Club

We will have a book order every month. You may order online and enter our class code: J2GKJ. Please do not send cash. Checks are the only payment method and they must be made out to Scholastic Book Clubs.

Birthdays or Celebrations

Please let me know in advance if you will be sending a treat to school. Cookie cakes or cakes should be cut PRIOR to sending them to school. Please send in napkins and/or plates. If your child has a summer birthday and he or she would like to celebrate in school, please let me know and we can pick a date.

Conferences

Fall Conference: November 7th and 8th 

Winter Conference: February 13th and 14th

PSSA Testing

Please try and refrain from taking trips and scheduling doctor appointments during these dates if you can. Testing is usually from 9-12am each morning.

ELA: April 20-24

Math and Science: April 27-May 8

Volunteers

Please let me know if you would be interested in volunteering in our classroom. I could always use assistance making copies, laminating, or assembling materials.

Any parent, who wishes to volunteer to attend the field trip as a chaperone, will need to have the required clearances.