August, 2017

Dear 6-9 Families,

If you are new to our class, WELCOME! The 6-9 teachers are looking forward to getting to know new  students and families. To those of you returning, welcome back to a new school year! New teachers in the 6-9 program include Eve Cusack as the Walnut classroom lead and Megan Carpenter as an afternoon teacher in the Maple classroom. This letter will touch on some things you need to know to be prepared for the first day of school.

Arrival: Each day we will have the classroom ready and the door open by 8:15am, and will begin
Morning Meeting at 8:30. It is so very important that your child is present and settled in at this
time, as we begin by going over the plan for the day and presenting large group lessons. It is
essential that your child have this information.

Supplies: Your child will need to bring a pair of “indoor shoes” to leave here at school. This
helps keep our carpets clean as children come in and out from recess. Ideally, indoor shoes will
have backs to keep them firmly on children’s feet, as well as a hard sole. We will provide all
school supplies. If children have items they need to bring to and from school, we suggest they use a backpack or bag.

Lunch: Please make sure your child is either signed up for school lunches through the BMS website or brings a packed nutritious, balanced lunch from home. For home lunches and any other food items, please remember that we are a NUT-FREE campus due to life-threatening allergies in the community. We will also provide a healthy snack each day. In addition to filling out the forms in the registration information, please let a teacher know directly if your child has allergies.

Birthdays: The children will lead a short ceremony to honor a birthday child (for those that fall
on a school day) at the end of the day. We will focus on gratitude. What are we, the members of the classroom, most grateful for about this person? What do they bring to our community? Also, what is the birthday person grateful to receive from us? Each student will also be honored as a “Person of the Week” during the school year (during the week of his or her birthday when possible).

Curriculum: We will be covering the Montessori mathematics curriculum (computation, fractions, geometry, measurement, etc.) language (reading, writing, word study, etc.), what we refer to as the “cultural subjects” (botany, zoology, physical science, environmental sciences, history, and geography), and art. In geography, there will be a special continent-study focus on Oceania and Antarctica second semester. If you have special cultural knowledge relating to these geographical areas, please let us know if you would be willing to come in and give a presentation or lend us interesting artifacts or art. Your expertise would be greatly appreciated!

In a few weeks, spelling words will start coming home every Monday as part of your child’s
Language Circle to help them prepare for spelling tests on Friday. Please help your child
practice these words. Here’s one possible website for ideas on ways to practice:
The priorities for the spelling test are NOT to memorize the list, but to understand the pattern or rule for independent application as well as to build independent study and responsibility skills into home practice.

On most Fridays, students’ notebooks will come home for the weekend and MUST RETURN
ON MONDAY. This is an opportunity for your child to show you what they have been working
on. Please notice the workplan to see what your child worked on and how many of these
projects were completed. Completed projects and works are initialed by a teacher. Larger,
long-term projects are identified with a “P” and often may take more than one week to complete.  All LOOSE PAPERS in the pocket of the notebook should be kept at home each weekend, leaving the pocket empty to begin a new week.

The daily schedule:
8:15 -8:30 Arrival Time/ Journaling
8:30 – 9:00 Morning Meeting
9:00 -12:00 Work time (Workplans, language circle meetings, lessons, etc.)
12:00- 12:30 Lunch
12:30 – 1:10 Recess
1:15 – 1:40 Classroom jobs/math fact tests/handwriting
1:40 – 2:00 Story (Peace Circles on most Wednesdays)
2:00 – 3:00 Work time (and rotations through Spanish, Music, or other lessons)
3:00 – 3:15 Silent Reading
3:15 – 3:30 Dismissal

A teacher will greet your family each morning at the door and is available for daily
communication needs. We welcome the opportunity to meet with you one-on-one to discuss
your child-specific questions and concerns. Please set up a time in advance with the lead
teacher for this type of meeting so that we can give you the time and attention you deserve. We
feel so fortunate to have your family as a part of our community and we are looking forward to
working with you throughout the year.

Your teachers,

Jess, Eve, Jacob, Evan, McKenzie, Alice, and Megan
Lower Elementary (6-9)