August 28, 2017
The new school year is under way and so far, so good. After an exhausting first full week of school I can easily say that you all have amazing children and I am lucky to have the opportunity to get to know them this school year.
For those of you who were able to come to Curriculum Night last week, some of the following may feel a little repetitive. My apologies in advance…
We have started the school year with a slew of assessments. In class, your child has completed (or is in the process of completing) both the end-of-year 3rd grade math assessment as well as the beginning-of-year 4th grade assessment. These give me a good idea of your student’s skills and background knowledge and lets me know if there are any gaps we need to fill.
Additionally, approximately half of the students have also now completed their beginning-of-year reading tests (DAZE, DIBELS, and DRA2) to assess their reading fluency and comprehension. Those students who did not come in for testing today will do this tomorrow.
Lastly, students will be completing both the fall math and ELA portions of the MAP assessment this week in class (Wednesday and Thursday afternoon). These assessments will be taken again in December and May and are all computer-based. We will practice on the computers as much as we can in class, but please know that our resources are limited and that your student will benefit greatly from any keyboarding practice you can provide at home.
You can expect your kiddo to start coming home with homework this week. Students will have math homework most weekdays (though I try to avoid giving homework on Fridays when I can). You might occasionally see homework in other subjects, but I typically stick to math to reinforce the skills and concepts we have been learning in class.
Please note that your student should only be spending 30 minutes maximum on his/her math homework per night. Any more than 30 minutes is only going to push your student (and maybe you, too!) to frustration. If your kiddo is struggling to finish the assignment, please just write me a note at the top of the page letting me know.
Additionally, it is important for your student to read every night. This can be independently or out loud to a parent or sibling (or dog or cat or…). It is also extremely valuable for your child to listen to you read as well. Any reading is good reading!
In order for your child to be successful in math, he/she must know his/her math facts. This includes adding and subtracting as well as multiplying and dividing 1-12s. As the school year progresses, concepts get more challenging and the number of steps in a problem increases. Kids who cannot quickly recite their math facts often get bogged down trying to remember the numbers and end up losing their place or forgetting what the next step is.
If flash cards aren’t your thing, try Learning Wrap-Up Keys. You can also find various games online, or I can recommend some that we play in class.
If you are here, you have successfully made it to our classroom website. Congratulations! Here you will find our regular updates, a link to the 4th grade math homework (in case your child loses or forgets it), a list of important dates, and other pertinent classroom information. You will also find a page of photos from the classroom. This particular page is password protected. Please send me an email or check the email that was sent to you for this password. We currently have a few photos posted from our first week of 3rd grade that you are welcome to take a look at.
**Please let me know asap if you do not want photos of your child on the classroom website.
As you likely know by now, we have flexible seating options in our classroom (yoga balls, stools, traditional desks, floor mats, etc.). Please feel free to have a conversation about which option seems to work best for your child and encourage him/her to make a choice that allows for the greatest learning opportunities. Because this is new, most students are still choosing seats by their friends rather than choosing seats bases on their needs. The hope is to transition to making good choices for ourselves as the weeks roll on.
Also, please note that we do have traditional desks available for any student that wants/needs one. Please encourage your child to advocate for him/herself and let me know if we need to pull more desks into the classroom.
There is absolutely more to talk about, but this has become extremely long-winded already and I cannot imagine anyone wanting to read any more for today. To those of you who made it to the end, thanks so much and I look forward to an awesome school year with your student.
Please send me an email if you need any elaboration on anything mentioned above or if you have any additional questions.
Meet Mrs. Morrison
My name is Mrs. Morrison and I am thrilled to return for my third year teaching third grade at Kyffin Elementary! Prior to venturing into third grade I taught fourth grade, subbed, and student taught - all at Kyffin. Not only that, but I was also once a student in these very same hallways. Needless to say, I am dedicated to this school and will always be a faithful Kyffin Cougar.
In addition to being a teacher, I am also a wife and a mom. My husband, Mike, and I have been together for over 15 years and have two amazing children, Braeden and Aurelia. B is eight years old and is also attending Kyffin this year as a third grader in Mr. Lindstrom's class (which he is very excited about!) and Aurie is our one-year-old bundle of sass. At home, we have two dogs, one cat and one leopard gecko - sweet Oscar. In my (non-existent) free time I like to read, watch movies, attend sporting events and spend time outdoors with my family.
A few other things about me - my favorite animal is an elephant, my favorite color is blue, I love tacos and chocolate, I can't stand seafood or mean people, and I have a degree in zoology (in addition to elementary education).
I absolutely love that I get to spend my days with your phenomenal children, helping them learn and grow, and I can't wait to see what this school year has in store for us!
We are always on the lookout for any "crafty" items you can think of - rafia, modeling clay, pipe cleaners, felt, paints and brushes, old fabric, used containers, wire hangers, etc. - as we will be using these throughout the school year for various projects.
Thanks so much!
Thanks so much!