Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Classroom Connections

Hello Readers!  The next phase of learning in our classroom is beginning to take shape; the classroom to home connection.  Any project or assignment that is given at school will have been introduced and practiced, at the minimum as an entire class, before being sent home.  Student responsibility to write assignments in their planner and keep track of due dates becomes increasingly important.  During the school week, students get blocks of independent work time to work on current assignments and projects.  All assignments are designed for students to complete with minimal support.  If your child is having a difficult time with a certain concept or skill, encourage them to ask for some help during independent work time.  The following list are important links to online learning extensions of our classroom.  If you have any questions or concerns about them, please contact me.  Students will be introduced to these websites and tools very soon but you are encouraged to explore them with your child at home. 

Math facts are crucial to success in mathematics.  Xtra Math is an online portal for children to practice math facts at their own pace.  At the end of the fourth grade year, it is expected that all fourth graders are able to demonstrate mastery of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts.  This site is a great tool to guide independent practice.  You should have seen a flier with login information come home with your child. 

Edmodo is a very new kind of learning tool.  The idea behind Edmodo is that children will have an online environment to communicate with their teacher and classmates.  Online etiquette and learning tools must be taught if students are expected to use them appropriately.  This is why Edmodo becomes a valuable tool.  Due to privacy and security concerns, our online learning community will only be available and viewable to individuals that are invited to join; this means only students and teachers.  Parents will need their child to login in order to see what everything is all about.  Student typing speed and skill will be increasingly important if we are to utilize learning tools to their greatest potential.  This is where Custom Typing comes into play. 

For more information about these learning tools, please visit the sites and read about them.  Learning should no longer need to be limited to the traditional classroom environment and is increased when students have multiple opportunities to connect things from school to home and as well as home to school.