August 20, 2007

 

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian of 4th Grade student:

My name is Matthew Luvera and I will be your child’s fourth grade teacher.  Mr. Phil Chirkis, a special education teacher, will be working with some of the students in our classroom.  Fourth grade is considered the first year of the "intermediate" grades, (primary is K-3) and there is a definite adjustment many students will need to make from their third grade experience. Some of the fourth grade procedures and responsibilities are included in this letter, which fourth grade teachers follow. With your awareness of these increased responsibilities, and your support, your child should have no difficulties in meeting these challenges, and will become more independent and self-assured as a student.

Studying is necessary for success in 4th grade. Material in 3rd grade is not as textbook dependent nor does it emphasize content-based material. Many children with good common sense and some prior knowledge have been able to be successful without acquiring study and time management skills. There is a big change in academic requirements in 4th grade. Social studies and science content is very specific and studying will be needed. At least two days notice will be given before any test. Review sheets done in class and study guides will be assigned for homework to be studied. We will discuss in class how to study for a test and what to study. Every test will be required to be signed by you, and if you see a poor grade and did not see your child study for the test, you will know you need to discuss proper preparation for tests and your expectations with your child.

Throughout the year, emphasis will be on your child's self-control and free choice to behave and receive rewards, or misbehave and suffer the consequences. Choice of behavior is entirely your child's with a great deal of positive reinforcement on my part, hopefully fostering a sense of responsibility for his/her own actions. Throughout the days ahead, there will be time for your child to do quiet independent work, for working with partners, and group interaction. Respect for each other and individual responsibility will be fostered.

Attached you will find some “Frequently Asked Questions” on fourth grade classroom procedures and the classroom disciplinary code.  Please look over this whole letter, as it contains useful information that I will refer to throughout the year.  I look forward to meeting you at “Back To School Night” in September.  Please visit our web page at http://teachers.catskillcsd.org/ces/fourth_grade/Mr_Luvera/ for useful information. If you ever have any questions or concerns please feel free to check the website, contact me at school at 943-0574 at my extension (room number) 273 between 8:15-8:30 a.m. or 3:15-3:45 p.m., or my e-mail is mluvera@catskillcsd.org (which I check very often at school and at home). I am looking forward to working with you this year to make your child successful.

 

                                                                                                                                    Sincerely,

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                    Mr. Matthew Luvera

                                                                                                                                    Grade 4 Teacher

                                                                                                                                    Catskill Elementary School


GRADE 4 CLASSROOM PROCEDURES

“Frequently Asked Questions”

 

ABSENCES

When students are absent, they are responsible for making up the work.   Students will find a list of missed work with any packets or sheets done in class on their desk when they return.  Students have the same number of days they were gone, for example, if John misses 2 days of school, he would have 2 days after he returned to school to make up the work.  Much of our classroom activities cannot be done at home (group work, experiments, in-class games, buddy class activities, etc), so regular attendance is necessary.  If a child is absent more than 20 days, they may be required to repeat the grade.

 

AFTER-SCHOOL REVIEW

After-school review will not begin until after the first quarter parent-teacher conferences.  This gives me the opportunity to assess the necessary skills your child needs to be successful in fourth grade, as well as meet with you at the conference to discuss their progress.  After-school review will focus mostly on math, or a particular need based on student request, each Tuesday until 3:55 p.m., unless there is a vacation or emergency dismissal due to the weather.  You will be required to send in a note stating that your child has permission to stay after-school, and if they will be a parent pick-up, or need to take the late bus.

 

ASSIGNMENT BOOK

The PTA provides each child with an assignment book. The homework assignment is on the board when the students arrive in the morning, and is left up the entire day. As part of their morning routine, they are to copy the assignment in their books. At the end of the day, I go over all of the materials that need to be brought home for that night. I ask you to please sign the Assignment Book each night and I will check them the next day. If the book is not signed your child will not receive a chance ticket (see rewards) for that day.  The Assignment Book keeps good communication between you and me, and the expectations for that day.  It is critical that you sign this book each night to help your child with their education and organization.  You may visit the on-line updated assignment book, http://teachers.catskillcsd.org/ces/fourth_grade/Mr_Luvera/AssignmentBook.htm, with the daily homework assignment.  If a student loses their assignment book, it will cost $5 to purchase another one from the PTA.

 

CLASSROOM CALENDAR

Please refer to the Catskill Central School District Calendar for important dates.  If you did not receive one, you may visit our class website or contact the Catskill Elementary School Main Office at 943-0574.

 

CONFERENCES

Conferences are scheduled for parents and teachers to meet twice a year.  The first conference is scheduled in November.  It is expected that we will meet at this conference to discuss your child’s progress in grade 4.  The second conference is optional and is scheduled in April.  At the second conference, I will schedule a conference with you if needed, or you may request a conference.  E-mail is the best method of communication, or you may just simply send in a note with your child.  You may also call my extension in the classroom.  I am only able to receive and make calls from 8:15-8:30 or 3:15-3:45.

 

EFFORT

Students are always expected to turn in their best work.  If a homework assignment is poorly done, incomplete, or not understood, the student will receive the paper back in their Friday Folder for you to check.  They are to re-do the assignment and hand it in on the following Monday.  See the Classroom Disciplinary Code at the end of this packet for the expectations of a 4th grade student and visit our class website.

EXTRA CREDIT

Students have the opportunity to receive extra credit in all subject areas.  If a student wishes to do an extra credit assignment, they can find them on our website or the student may approach me with something they would like to do.  Only pre-approved work will be acceptable.

 

FIELD TRIPS

We will take several field trips over the course of the year.  Fourth grade teachers will send a note home with the date, expectations, and details of the trip.  For each field trip, a homework/behavior agreement will be in place and will determine if your child participates.  More information on the agreement is sent home weeks before the trip.

 

FRIDAY FOLDER

I will provide each child a Friday Folder that will include any graded assignments / tests / quizzes and notes for that week.  Please sign all graded materials, the folder, and return the Friday Folder with the graded materials back with your child on Monday. It is critical that the Folder is returned in a timely manner. If it is not returned by Tuesday of the following week, the student will stay inside at recess until everything is returned.

 

GRADING

Grading is based on the New York State Assessment rubrics.  A four (4) means the New York State Standards are met with distinction, and the student is performing above the current grade level. A three (3) means the NYS Standards are met and the student is performing at grade level.  A two (2) means that NYS Standards are partially met and the student may be slightly below grade level.  A one (1) means that NYS Standards are not met and the student is performing below grade level.

 

 

HOMEWORK

Homework is given Monday through Thursday, for approximately 45 minutes each night, and occasionally on Friday. Math homework is always given Monday through Thursday to review and practice the day's lesson, as well as the weekly Spelling unit. There may be an additional studying or assignment in another subject on some days. Feel free to offer assistance to your child, but do not complete homework for them. Please write me a note and let me know if your child had difficulty with the assignment for that night. A school wide homework plan is in effect, requiring serving of lunchtime detention for any missing homework OR if the student does not put forth their best effort in their work. Unless your child gives me a note from you explaining why they could not complete their work, they will complete it during their recess. Missing more than 2 homework assignments in 1 week will require serving an after-school detention. The class website “online assignment book” is updated daily with all of the homework assignments. 

 

HOMEWORK CLUB

Students who turn in 100% of their homework ON TIME for the entire quarter will become members of the Homework Club!  At the end of each quarter, students will receive a certificate showing their accomplishment along with a lolli pop and a Your Choice Award. 

 

NEWSLETTERS and NOTES

A class monthly newsletter will be published and sent home in your child’s Friday Folder.  Newsletters may be viewed on the class website.  Most notes from the district will be sent home in your child’s Friday Folder, unless it is something that needs immediate attention.  Those notes will be in your child’s take-home folder.  Notes from me will also be available on our website.  If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to write me a note and tell your child to hand it in to me when they first arrive at school.


NEW YORK STATE ASSESSMENTS

(Dates will be announced soon)

N.Y.S. English Language Arts Assessment requires a demonstration of reading, thinking and writing ability of considerable level.

N.Y.S. Math Assessment requires students to not only solve story problems showing their work, but to explain in writing their reasons for the processes they used.

N.Y.S. Science Assessment consists of three-parts, a manipulative section (experiments with written responses) and content and skills based questions (multiple choice and short answers).

 

REPORT CARDS

Report cards are distributed 4 times per year at the conclusion of the quarter.  You will receive the first quarter report card at our parent-teacher conference.  Other report cards will be sent home with your child in their Friday Folders.  Please sign the envelope and return it to me.  If you are scheduled for a conference at the end of the 3rd quarter, you will receive your child’s report card at that time.  Grading is based on the New York State Assessment rubrics.

 

SNACK

We will stop for a short snack break and any fruit or vegetable is fine. "Junk" food, like candy, will not be permitted for snack. Chips, popcorn, or pretzels are fine.

 

SUPPLY LIST

To be left in school

To be left at home

# 2 pencils (need at least 2 everyday)

# 2 pencils

3 – Black and White Composition Notebooks

(Library, Language Arts, Social Studies)

Loose-leaf wide ruled paper

Loose-leaf wide-ruled paper

3 – extra pocket folders

2 – Highlighters (different colors)

Crayons / Colored pencils

1 – Three Subject Notebook (Math)

1 – small pencil sharpener (home only)

3 – pocket folders (library, music, health)

(other subject folders will be given by Mr. Luvera)

 

1 – Expo Dry Erase Marker

 

Crayons / Colored pencils

 

glue stick

 

** Note from parents regarding special interests/concerns of or for your child

 

TAKE-HOME FOLDER

Each child will be given a Take-Home Folder for assignments and handouts for that day. Please review with your child and check any completed class work done during the school day, and then keep any class work at home.  Completed homework assignments should be put back in the folder, ready to return to school. Helping your child create a system for organizing time and materials is really important for success, and checking homework nightly goes a long way to instill good work and organizational habits. 

 

 

 

 


SUBJECTS BEING STUDIED THIS YEAR


ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS

Reading – Writing – Listening – Speaking

Independent reading will include "free choice" from extensive selections in both reading level and content from our classroom library.  Certain books will be highlighted during specific units in our reading series textbook.  We will also be reading selections from the reading series, where skill lessons will be integral to the total reading program. Each student will have a composition book that will be used as a language journal where writing relating to reading/thinking in all content areas will be kept. In addition to that, we will have "Writing Workshop" where students will use the writing process (brainstorming, drafting, editing, conferencing and publishing) to create original pieces on both assigned and self-selected topics. There will be many opportunities to use computers to learn word processing, keyboarding, and publishing skills.  Students will have the opportunity to do projects integrated throughout the curriculum, and will be required to present these projects to the class.

 

Spelling

Monday is the introduction of the week's spelling words. The student will complete spelling unit pages that will be due on Thursday. As a final assessment of the unit, the students will be required to write a spelling story using the week’s spelling words in a paragraph.  

 

Vocabulary

On Monday, the students will receive a vocabulary study guide to use that goes along with our weekly reading series.  Throughout the week we will read, write, listen, and speak with these words, and on Friday, the students will take a vocabulary quiz.  The student needs to know the spelling and meaning of the selected words.

 

MATH

The students will be working with the math text published by Addison-Wessley, which is the same series used in 3rd grade. The focus of the math curriculum will be problem solving and explaining solutions in writing, and we use many hands-on manipulatives to explore solutions and concepts. Discussion and thinking in new ways will be emphasized. Rote knowledge, although needed for basic math facts, will be vehicles for stimulating, challenging, and thought-provoking strategies.  The 4th grade math curriculum includes place value, addition and subtraction of whole numbers with zeros, decimals, addition and subtraction of fractions, multiplication (memorization of basic facts is a MUST for success at 4th grade math) division, time and money concepts…just to name a few.

 

SCIENCE

Many hands-on experiments, demonstrations, and activities will be part of how the students explore science concepts.  Units of study in science this year will be magnets, electricity, plants, animal adaptations (coloration, body parts, special features, etc.) and properties of matter.

 

SOCIAL STUDIES

The 4th grade curriculum is the study of New York State, but of course our state is part of the larger history of the United States and everything from Native Americans to the American Revolution to Immigration will be part of this year's study.  In addition to this, we incorporate the use of many primary source documents and document-based questions to prepare for the 5th grade state test.

 

 

Integration of subject matters, including the use of technology,

will be done throughout the year to reinforce concepts and real-life experiences.
Classroom Disciplinary Code

Agreement

 

Parents and 4th Grade Students:

Please take time to review the classroom rules, consequences and rewards together.  After reviewing, please sign the agreement below.  You keep one copy at home and return the other copy to me.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at any time.

 

Keep this copy at home - - Do Not Return

 

Classroom Rules

  1. Be respectful to others and their property at all times.
  2. Raise your hand and wait to be called on.
  3. Always follow directions the first time they’re given.
  4. Be prepared for class with all your materials (pencils, paper & assignments).
  5. Keep your hands, feet, and objects to yourself.

 

 

Consequences                                                                                    Expectations of a 4th Grade Student

Name = warning                                                                                   1. To be independent & responsible.

Name ü = write the rule / write letter to parents                                   2. To be respectful at all times.

Name üü = after-school detention & write up                                    3. To help other students learn.

Name üüü = sent to principal and parent conference                        4. To complete assignments on-time.

                                                                                               

 

Rewards

1.  Chance tickets

-         homework pass                              -    Be First All Day Pass

-         prize box                                        -    Teachers Helper for a Day Pass

-         Lolly Pop                                       -    Homework Late Pass

-         Computer pass                               -    Your Choice Award

 

2.  Participate in class parties and Freedom Fridays

 

At our Friday meetings, I will give out chance tickets to those who had good behavior for the week.

I keep track on a checklist if the student was absent or if the student failed to follow classroom procedures.

The students can only win once per week, but will get back their chance ticket if pulled again!

 

 

We have read the classroom policies and procedures contained in this packet.

 

 

______________________________                        _______________________________

                           Mr. Luvera                                                                  parent/guardian

 

                                                                                                _______________________________

                                                                                                               4th grade student

 

Bookmark our Class Website: http://teachers.catskillcsd.org/ces/fourth_grade/Mr_Luvera/


Classroom Disciplinary Code

Agreement

 

Parents and 4th Grade Students:

Please take time to review the classroom rules, consequences and rewards together.  After reviewing, please sign the agreement below.  You keep one copy at home and return the other copy to me.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at any time.

 

RETURN THIS COPY TO MR. LUVERA ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

 

Classroom Rules

  1. Be respectful to others and their property at all times.
  2. Raise your hand and wait to be called on.
  3. Always follow directions the first time they’re given.
  4. Be prepared for class with all your materials (pencils, paper & assignments).
  5. Keep your hands, feet, and objects to yourself.

 

 

Consequences                                                                                    Expectations of a 4th Grade Student

Name = warning                                                                                   1. To be independent & responsible.

Name ü = write the rule / write letter to parents                                   2. To be respectful at all times.

Name üü = after-school detention and write up                                  3. To help other students learn.

Name üüü = sent to principal and parent conference                        4. To complete assignments on-time.

                                                                                               

 

Rewards

1.  Chance tickets

-         homework pass                              -    Be First All Day Pass

-         prize box                                        -    Teachers Helper for a Day Pass

-         Lolly Pop                                       -    Homework Late Pass

-         Computer pass                               -    Your Choice Award

 

2.  Participate in class parties and Freedom Fridays

 

At our Friday meetings, I will give out chance tickets to those who had good behavior for the week.

I keep track on a checklist if the student was absent or if the student failed to follow classroom procedures.

The students can only win once per week, but will get back their chance ticket if pulled again!

 

 

We have read the classroom policies and procedures contained in this packet.

 

 

______________________________                        _______________________________

                           Mr. Luvera                                                                  parent/guardian

 

                                                                                                _______________________________

                                                                                                               4th grade student

 

Bookmark our Class Website: http://teachers.catskillcsd.org/ces/fourth_grade/Mr_Luvera/