Monday, August 18, 2014

The Last Waltz

Hello again, everyone!

This will be the last time I formally email everyone with a news blip until I begin sending regular weekly newsletters. The room is DONE and ready for students. I can't wait to get everyone in here to find out just how well my space planning genes are holding up. There are just a few things to remind you of and a couple new items as well. I tried to put keywords in red so that you can skim. Here we go!

The official 2014-2015 weekly schedule is now live on the class website. I don't think it will change at this point, so feel free to click on through and check out how we are going to be spending our time in Room 110 together.

A few additional summer reading postcards have trickled in. I can't say enough what a joy it is to hear from the kids who chose to take part in this project during my first try. If you have unused summer reading postcards at home, please send them back to me so that I can use the stamps for another idea. At 34 cents per card, it comes out to $1.36 per student or about $30 total, so it all really does add up.

Speaking of adding up, I have been tracking my steps all summer long, trying to get to 10,000 steps per day. It's a big goal but has helped me stay focused on movement, which can be hard for me. Thanks to MCS's new PE teacher, Mr. Chris Shackett, I have acquired a bunch of pedometers for us to use to track our steps as a class. I hope that this challenge will be accepted by the kids this year. The pedometers can be used by anyone who wants one for the whole year and require a watch battery (model/size LR43) to operate. Students with personal learning devices might choose to use an app to track their steps, which is how I do it, but I thought this would be a fun way for all of us to be more mindful about movement! If you want a pedometer, just bring in a watch battery and we'll sign one out to you.

The first day of school is a Wednesday and our Unified Arts class that day is PE, so the students will want to make sure they have appropriate clothes and shoes for PE on the first day of school as well as on Mondays and Wednesdays this year. As well, for the first two weeks of school, we will be using morning Math time to map out a walking course and do some team building with Ms. Pierpont's class. Please make sure to have decent walking shoes and clothes for that also. We will be outside, weather permitting, for most of it.

Lunch on the first day of school is spaghetti with red sauce (we call it "gravy" at our house). Sandwiches and salad bar will be available, as will breakfast in the morning. We learned yesterday that the cafeteria can no longer support credit accounts for students or staff, so please make sure there is money in your student's account. If you forget and your students need a meal, a sandwich will be provided and you will be billed.

As I have said for the past few weeks, there are a lot of great deals out there for school supplies, things like 1-cent pocket folders and 17-cent notebooks. Please take advantage of these awesome buys if you can! Here is a link to the letter that was sent home at Step Up Day with the things every student will need. I don't anticipate it costing more than $5-$10 for each student to be well-equipped for the year. Most sixth graders left their supply stash at school and it is waiting for them. It might not last the whole year, so a back-up will come in handy, but they are ready to start.

We're $343 away from our Donors Choose makerspace project ... OH WAIT, NO WE'RE NOT!!! I came in to school this morning to find out that we had received matching funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, so with only $48.03 to go, I put us over the top about 10 minutes ago. We are FULLY FUNDED!!! Those materials should arrive in a few weeks. See, I told you we could get it done before school started! Speaking of, our makerspace is looking sharp with donations coming from the most wonderful variety of places as well. It's going to be so fun cracking open this new educational egg. If you're new to makerspaces, please scroll through to find older posts in the blog to see how you can help us collect goodies for this project. We also have brochures, which we printed for the First Annual MCS Ice Cream Social.

It was so nice to see everyone yesterday afternoon at the Rec Field! What a great way to kick off the year for families, both new and returning. This was a Hinesburg Community School tradition and I am so glad Mrs. Knox brought it down the road with her when she came. It's going to be a fabulous year!

With that all being said, I wish you the best final few days of summer vacation. I want to spread an idea that I read on the web a week or so ago and that I shared in my remarks at in-service... We don't come back to school in the fall, we come to school to look forward to all of the wonder, joy, and learning that the coming year holds for us. I can't wait to get started and hope you feel the same!

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