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TEAM 104 – 2017-2018 Class Overview

Welcome back to another exciting school year at Ralph Brown Elementary School.  I know we are all looking forward to a year filled with fun and learning for our students.  I am Mr. Laroche, the Room 104 teacher and this letter will give you a glimpse of what is happening in our room this year.

Classroom Structure

As the year progresses, you may notice that our classroom doesn't run like other classrooms. We will be learning through Whole Brain Teaching, a research based system that utilizes all areas of the brain, keeps children engaged throughout their lessons, and helps them retain much more information than the standard lecture-discussion model. Whole Brain Teaching is a highly interactive form of instruction that delivers information to students in short "chunks." Kids then teach what they have just learned to their partners, using hand-gestures to help remember specific vocabulary. While students teach each other, the teacher walks around the room to discover who understands the lesson and who needs more instruction. Research shows that children retain more information when they have an opportunity to put it into their own words and use gestures to emphasize key instructional units …plus, it's amazingly fun! For more information about Whole Brain Teaching please contact me and I will gladly discuss this in more detail with you.

Subject Overview

Math

Our school is using a math program called Jump Math. It is a very effective program in teaching mathematics to students of all abilities and I am really excited to track the success our class will achieve by using this program. Some of the bigger topics we will be learning this year are both addition and subtraction with regrouping, multiplication and division and memorizing our basic +/- and x/÷ facts.

ELA

The aim of English Language Arts is to provide students with opportunities for personal and intellectual growth through speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Our main focuses this year in regards to reading we will be developing different strategies for how to choose a book that is just right, distinguishing between different types of fiction and non-fiction, and exploring a variety of ways to respond to literature.  In writing, our class instruction we will be following the Six Traits of writing format. The Six Traits approach to writing instruction makes writing accessible for all learners by breaking a complex cognitive process into six key component processes; Ideas, Organization, Voice, Word Choice, Sentence Fluency, and Conventions. We will also be trying something called oral writing. This is where students will practice "writing" while speaking and using physical gestures for punctuation.

Home Reading 

We will also be running home reading on a daily basis. All students in Team 104 have new or updated Raz-Kids accounts which provide access to hundreds of e-books using the school's subscription to www.raz-kids.com. Children can read and listen to books on Raz-Kids and even record themselves reading. Our hope is that all children have access to the internet at home in which to complete their home reading online. This eliminates the need to transport books, assignments and book bags on a daily basis. More information regarding Team 104's Home Reading Program will be going home shortly.

Homework Policy

While I won't be prescribing homework this year, at times your child will have work to complete at home that they should be able to be complete individually and independently. It will be based upon work that was not completed in class time due. It is very important that they finish the work and have it back at school the next day to ensure they do not fall behind the rest of the class.

It would great to have support from home to make this Home Reading and Homework Programs a success.

Parent-Teacher Communication

Parent-teacher communication is very important to me and because of that there are many options available. Email is an excellent way, and probably the best way, to get a hold of me regarding any concerns you may have. My email address is mlaroche@wsd1.org.  I check my email multiple times a day and I promise to get back to you within 24 hours. I am also available by telephone before school most days between 8:00 and 8:45 a.m. and after school until 5:00pm. (Except Friday's, it's the Weekend!) If you leave me a message I will return your call promptly (please indicate if there is a preferred time or time of day for me to return your call). 

I cannot stress this enough, if you have any concerns, questions or suggestions to help our school year run better, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Marcel Laroche

Team 104 Teacher

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