Category: General Team Info

Still Looking for 15 more Field Trip Chaperones

Dear Moms and Dads,

As I mentioned in a message earlier this week, we are going on a field trip to Bond Park on Tuesday May 7 for a day of fun outside!

In order to pull this off, we are going to need a BUNCH of parent volunteers. We will need volunteers to help chaperone individual groups who will be participating in a scavenger hunt AND we will need parent volunteers who are willing to cook and serve a hot dog lunch for students. The trip will last from about 9:30 AM until about 1:30 PM.

If you are willing and able to join us, please fill out this form.

We are still looking for about 15 more chaperones.

Much appreciated!

Bill Ferriter

Science Update

Dear Parents,

Here’s an update about what’s been happening in science class:

(1). We are finishing our study of energy with a quick study of the measurable parts of waves. We completed a short lab in class that resulted in a test grade called "Wave Demos." Students used large slinkies to model different types of waves for me and then had to correctly make adjustments to the waves based on my instructions. Students did relatively well on that assignment — so that should have a positive impact on averages.

(2). There will be a quiz next Wednesday or Thursday on the vocabulary connected to wave parts. There will be nine words on the test. They can all be found in this Quizlet. If you are not happy with your child’s average, this would be a good opportunity for them to raise their grades. The words on the test are not new to your kids — we’ve been using them for several weeks in class. That makes the "easy A" factor on this test pretty high.

(3). We will be moving on to a study of the Lithosphere next. That includes layers of the earth, plate tectonics, the rock cycle and soil. If all goes well, we will finish that unit before we track out again.

(4). Please make sure that your child has a pair of earbuds in their pencil pouches. We use videos all the time in class for lots of different purposes. It is WAY easier for your child to learn from a video if they have earbuds. I’ve purchased some headphones that kids can borrow if they don’t have earbuds — but I don’t have enough for every child and I’ve been running out lately because there aren’t very many kids who are bringing their own earbuds to class.

Hope this helps,
Bill Ferriter

Second Quarter Honors Assembly Monday

Dear Parents,

First, I hope this email finds you well and happy.

Second, be aware that the second quarter report cards are coming home today. They need to be signed and returned to school as verification that you have seen your child’s grades.

Third, we will be holding our second quarter honors assembly on Monday from 8:30-9:30 in the Auditorium.

If your child is receiving a special award (Teacher’s Choice or Kid of Character), you have been notified directly via email or letter.

We will also be giving out honor roll certificates, too. We do not notify parents directly about the honor roll status of their students. You can find out if your child is on the honor roll by looking at second quarter grades in PowerSchools or on the report cards coming out today.

There are two honor rolls: High Honor Roll recognition goes to students with As in every class for the second quarter. Honor Roll recognition goes to any student with all As or Bs — OR to any student who has enough As to balance out any Cs that they have earned. That works out to a 3.0 GPA.

I have helped kids figure out if they are on the Honor Roll in class today — so your student should also know if they are receiving a certificate.

Hope this helps,
Bill Ferriter

Would You Consider Donating a Wired Mouse?

Dear Parents,

As you know, we use computers in my classroom almost every single day. One of the things that I’ve learned is that most of my students prefer using a mouse when working on a computer — instead of the built in touch pad.

I have a bin of wired USB mice that kids can borrow — but I don’t have enough for every kid that uses a computer in my room.

Would you consider donating one to my classroom?

If so, here’s a good example of what I need: Amazon Basics 3 Button Wired Mouse

If you do make a donation, it has to be a wired mouse — simply because I won’t have to worry about battery replacement in the long term!

Thanks for considering this,
Bill Ferriter

6-4 Students Visiting the Book Fair on Tuesday

Hey Gnome Nation,

First, here’s to hoping that you had a terrific track out! I know that I’m feeling rested and ready to return to school. Can’t wait to see everyone again on Monday.

Second, the SMS book fair is running next week — and we will be visiting as a class during Science.

Here are the details:

The Book Fair is coming! The Salem Middle School Book Fair will run from January 23-31 in our school library. The fair will be open daily from 7:45am to 3:00pm. Students are free to drop in on their way to class before school or during lunch. Each class will also have a scheduled visit during the fair. If you are interested in volunteering during the Book Fair, you can sign up here.

Shop online anytime! Can’t make it to Family Night? Don’t find what you want? We have an online shop, too! Find an expanded selection of books for readers of all ages, including older teens and adults. All online purchases will ship to the school for free. Check it out here!

Your child’s scheduled class visit will be on:

6-4 Fighting Gnomes — Tuesday, January 29

Hope this helps,
Bill Ferriter

With Gratitude!

Dear Parents,

Just wanted to send a quick note of thanks for all of the kindness that you showed me today. Your gifts and Diet Cokes and holiday cookies and candies and kind words were MUCH appreciated indeed.

I also want to thank you for sharing your kids with us! They really are a curious and kind hearted group. I love working alongside them each day, that’s for sure.

Wherever the next few weeks take you, please be safe and enjoy your family!

With gratitude,
Bill Ferriter

Keep an Eye on Pride Guides

Dear Parents,

Just a quick heads up: Behavior on the Gnomes Team has been below average for a few weeks now.

We’ve seen lots of kids not paying attention in class and being easily distracted by their friends. We’ve also seen lots of bickering with each other and trouble with keeping hands to ourselves. We’ve also seen lots of disruptive behavior — mostly in the form of shouting out during class or doing "Fortnight Dances" during lessons.

While none of this behavior is particularly terrible, it has become a pretty big challenge to keep class heading in the right direction because of the volume of "small things" happening at any given time. These behaviors are also coming from well over half of our students — so there’s no easy or quick solution.

Here’s what we are going to try: We are going to start signing Pride Guides a lot more frequently over the next several days.

Those are the yellow behavior trackers in the back of your child’s agenda.

If your child receives three signatures, we will contact you directly to discuss the behavior that we are seeing.

Here’s how you can help: Keep an eye on those Pride Guides over the next week — and if you see a signature on your child’s, squeeze ’em a bit.

Hope this helps,
Bill Ferriter