Hello families of Room 147!!

Wow, what a way to discover that my printer is out of color ink! You probably noticed on the note that came home on Friday that my email address was intended to be included at the end of the letter. I failed to proofread the final print, and therefore did not notice that my email address, formatted as a hyperlink, was displayed in blue, which did not print due to my aforementioned lack of color ink.

Why am I starting my introductory letter with an explanation of my failure? Because this process is one of the pillars of our experience in Room 147. Hopefully, your child has come home speaking of failure and mistakes; if not, they soon will be. Our culture tends to instill in us the belief that failure is a bad thing. That “failure” is the opposite of “success.” In our little learning community, we know better. We know that being able to recognize, take responsibility for, and thoughtfully explain our failures allows us the opportunity to learn from them. We know that is only through this process that we are able to push beyond our boundaries and grow in our capacity as life-long learners.

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to our learning community, and to tell you just how excited I am to be able to work with your family this year. As we build upon the successes and challenges of our first two years, there are bound to be a few questions, and this letter is intended to answer as many of those questions as I can. In addition, the informational packet sent home last week contains several important forms, and I would greatly appreciate it if you could complete these and return them to me as soon as possible if you have not already done so.

Curriculum
I will be working closely with the other members of the 2nd and 3rd grade teaching teams in order to ensure that your child receives the best possible instruction tailored to meet his/her individual needs and interests. Specifics regarding our Project Based Learning approach and curricular resources employed will be shared over the next few weeks, as well as at our Curriculum Night/Open House in early October. Stay tuned!

Home Folders
Your child will have a red Home Folder that s/he will take home every day and return to school every day. This will carry important notes from school, weekly & daily Extended Learning assignments, and books. Please help your child remember to bring his/her folder to school every day.

Extended Learning Policy
Extended Learning assignments are an integral part of your child’s learning experience, and my expectation is that students will complete all work within the given time period. Assignments will frequently be assigned on a daily basis, on most days consisting of a mix of math practice and word work. In addition, students are expected to spend at least 30 minutes every evening engaged in independent reading. They will soon be provided with a reading log, which is to be filled out and signed each night.

Classroom Supplies
In Room 147, all learning materials are shared within the classroom community. If your child has a special pencil box that s/he would like to use, that is fine, but all crayons/ markers/pencils/etc. will be added to the general classroom supply. In terms of other useful classroom supplies, we always need more tissues and sanitizing wipes. Simply put, if you want to donate something to our classroom, we’ll find a way to use it! Anything that you can contribute is appreciated.

We have also asked for each family to provide $35 that will go into a general classroom supply fund. If you have already sent this in, thank you very much!

Snacks
Snacks are a very important part of life, and our classroom is no exception. Donations are always appreciated, especially when said snacks are of the healthful variety. We have a general “no frosting” rule in our classroom, with the exception of times when we will make it ourselves from scratch. If you wish to celebrate your child’s birthday with us, a small, special treat may be arranged with me directly. Fruits and vegetables are always the ideal, and we have a refrigerator in the classroom to accommodate. I am interested in getting our class a subscription to one of the many fresh produce co-op services available, and will be asking for sponsorships for this and other classroom needs in the near future.

Communication
By far, the best way to reach me is via email (drgluck@seattleschools.org). I will endeavor to return all messages within 24 hours, whether by email or by phone (2062528496). In addition, if you are on Twitter, please follow us @MrGlucksClass for news, home extension activities, and other assorted tidbits.

As our school year gets up and running, we will decide as a class what our online presence will look like. This will include, at the very least, an account with either Dropbox or Google Docs, which will allow us to share information quickly and universally. For example, a weekly Extended Learning Log will be kept up-to-date with assignments and other pertinent learning supports. Again, stay tuned! We run on systems here, and we understand that throwing everything at the students (and at you) all at the same time does not create conditions for successful implementation.

Everything Else
Please check your child’s Home Folder every Monday and Friday for important notices and forms, especially during the first few weeks of the year. Additional information regarding field trips, special events, and volunteer opportunities will be coming soon.

Questions? Comments? Concerns? My door is always open!

Again, thank you so very much for joining us on this adventure. It’s going to be an awesome year!

Sincerely,

Mr. Gluck

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