At the beginning of each new school year, students and parents have many questions about things like class rules, supplies, and schedules. We will talk about these during the first weeks of school, both in class and during Curriculum Night (for parents) but for your convenience, I have also posted this information all in one place on the blog. I will try to update this post if there are any changes to this basic class information during the school year.
While the SSIS Core Values of Dedicated Service, Academic Excellence, Respect for All, Balance in Life, and Sense of Self do not change from year to year or teacher to teacher, students usually find that their new teacher does things a little bit differently than last year’s teacher. For a list of our class policies and expectations, and assorted advice for a happy, healthy, and successful year, please click on the link below. (Students will also receive a hard copy during the first week of school.)
Ms. Rayle’s Class Policies
In years past, some kids have and parents have struggled with bringing healthy snacks. Basically, a healthy snack meets the SSIS Food Policy, is low in sugar and fat, and contains enough nutrients to help the child stay focused and energetic between breakfast and lunch. Snacks that have some protein and healthy fats help keep kids full and focused longer. A snack that is pure carbs, such as fruit or crackers, may give a quick energy boost and healthful vitamins, but may not satisfy the child through lunchtime. Adding some cheese, nuts, or nut butter will help. Kids who are growing rapidly, eating little or no breakfast (I know–it happens!), and/or doing workouts (such as Swim Club) before school may need a more substantial “snack” that looks closer to a mini-breakfast or lunch. This is not a problem–time is given to eat and I am snacking myself! Below is a poster I’ve found helpful in thinking about my own snacks.
Families should have received a list of needed supplies for fifth grade over the summer. Please put your name on supplies with permanent marker whenever possible. (I will have markers available in class.) Don’t worry if you don’t have everything on the first day. For the first week, you will mainly need pencils, erasers, uniform and PE clothes, a hat for recess, and a water bottle. You will need most or all of the supplies starting next Monday.
Please note that notebooks need to be A4 size. You can find A4 size notebooks in our school store and some local stationary stores.
A note for students and parents who are new to our elementary schedule: We operate on a two-week rotation. The two weeks are called A and B. Classes are similar but not totally identical between the two weeks. Academic classes (math, English, unit studies, Vietnamese) are basically the same each day and time each week, with minor changes due to timing of specials (Art, Music, PE, Library, Drama). Occasionally a lesson may run shorter or longer than scheduled in order to finish a lesson, activity, or test.
Afternoons often see a flexible integration of reading/writing with Superunit time–the schedule shows a clear division, but many of our Superunits are heavy on reading, research, and writing, so in fact students may be doing some combination of all of these for the entire afternoon! For those new to SSIS, Superunits include a combination of subjects that are often taught in Science or Social Studies classes in some schools. Our first Superunit focuses on goal-setting, planning, and personal wellness (health habits) including nutrition, personal safety, and first aid.
Here is a link to our daily schedule as it now stands; it will also be given to students to paste in their planners on the first day of school, and available to parents at Curriculum Night. Students will also receive a monthly calendar listing their specials for each day.
Note for those who have already logged in before the first day of school–although we are scheduled to have PE at 8:05 AM on Wednesday, we will not be doing that on the first day of school. I think we need to spend some time first getting to know each other. I know that for many of you, PE is a highlight of your day, and I apologize for taking a class from you. But it’s just really bad timing on the first day of school! Our first special of the year will be Library first thing Friday morning, and you will start PE first thing next Monday.
For now, PE will be in the gym or on the playground (depends on the activity and sometimes the weather–be prepared for either each day with sports shoes, water bottle, and hat). Our class will have two “blocks” when PE will be in the pool for several weeks. The first one is later this fall, so unless you are joining the “Seven Dragons” swim club, which starts next week, there is no need to bring swim supplies yet. (See me or Ms. Elizabeth if interested in Seven Dragons.)
CONTACTING MS. RAYLE
The best way to contact me in a non-emergency situation is by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). I check that e-mail several times during the school day, as well as early morning (around 5 AM) and at least once or twice after school in the evening. (Please be aware that because I get up very early to train, I go to bed quite early–any e-mails received after 8 PM will probably not be read till morning!) If you wish to meet in person, please e-mail to set up a convenient time to meet. For quick questions that don’t require privacy (such as arranging a time to bring birthday treats), you can usually catch me after school in my classroom until about 4 PM. (Except on days when I coach track from November to March.) If the message is time-sensitive (for example, you need to pick up your child early or change his/her after-school plans), please phone the school office, and they will forward the message to me immediately so that I can let your child know. For homework concerns and other messages, you can also write a note in the comments section of your child’s planner.
I look forward to meeting all of you soon at Orientation and Curriculum Night!