Several Beginning of the Year Updates

Dear Parents,

First, here’s to hoping you are well and happy and looking forward to a weekend! I know that I am, that’s for sure. My mother is coming into town to celebrate my daughter’s birthday, so we should have a ton of fun.

Second, there are a TON of procedural things that I am handling for our team. Wanted to give you some reminders and updates here:

Current Science Magazine Orders Due: In a previous video, I mentioned that we love to subscribe to Science World magazine — a high interest monthly magazine that spotlights important developments in the science world — here at school, but that we need your help to do it because there is no money in the school budget for those kinds of things. We are looking for 25 parents who are willing to sponsor one subscription. The cost is $9.25. If that’s something you are willing to do, there is an order form at the bottom of this message.

BYOD Begins Tomorrow: Our school is a Bring Your Own Device school, which means students are allowed — with teacher permission — to use their own technology in our classrooms. That’s one way that we overcome the fact that we have very few school provided devices in our classrooms. Students who have returned their BYOD permission slip to school can start bringing their own devices to school starting tomorrow.

Team T-Shirt Orders Due: We are going to make a Gnomes Team T-shirt for this year. They are optional, but if your child is interested in having one, please fill out the order form and have it turned in by August 19th. Also, if you order a t-shirt, please be sure to check the sizing guide that is linked on the order form. There is no way to return a t-shirt if it is the wrong size.

Students are in Google Classroom for Science: The main way that I provide students with extra copies of digital handouts is through a tool called Google Classroom. Google Classroom allows me to send handouts directly to students, allows students to open and work on those handouts directly from their devices/the web, and then allows students to turn those handouts back into me electronically. That helps students to be more organized because they aren’t constantly trying to keep up with papers in their binders. All of our students are enrolled in Google Classroom now — we did that on Monday. So if you want to track what your kids are doing in class, ask them for their usernames and passwords.

Beginning Our Scientific Method Unit: The first two weeks in my room are always a grind because I do a lot of the procedural things — collecting permission slips, handing out lockers, going to the media center for orientation — for our team. But we are FINALLY ready to start our first unit, which is on the Scientific Method. If you are interested in knowing more about the specific objectives that we will be covering, there is a Unit Overview Sheet attached at the bottom of this message too.

Hope this helps!

Bill Ferriter