Mrs. Ottley’s Fourth Grade information 2011/2012
The best way to communicate with me is via e-mail. However, be advised that I may not be able to respond to your e-mail immediately. I will get back to you as soon as I can. When e-mailing about absences and tardies please e-mail the office and me. THANKS!
D.O.G. – Daily Organizational Guide – This is a notebook that comes back and forth between school and home each day. It is critical that this is well cared for and checked and signed by parents each day. The DOG contains a planner with homework due, parent communication, and other important information. Refer to it daily to keep track of what we are doing at school. A parent signature is required each day on the planning sheet. This way I know that you are seeing what your child is supposed to be doing. Students can put a check mark in the box when they complete the assignment. After the assignment is put back in the DOG the student may cross the check mark and the homework is ready to go back to school.
Grading – Fourth grade is a time for students to become responsible and independent learners. Students are encouraged to persist in their assignments, so that adequate progress and good grades can be achieved. Assignments are graded on content and timeliness. If your child turns in an assignment late, the score for “timeliness” will reflect lateness. The grading scale is as follows …
A 90 - 100 %
B 80 - 89 %
C 70 - 79 %
D 60 - 69 %
F 59% and below
Late assignments loss 10% credit for each day they are late, unless the student is absent. (See absences.) An assignment is late when not turned in on the due date during morning check-in time.
Homework or assignments that are not up to the student’s abilities will be returned. Those assignments must be redone and will be considered late and will follow the above rule. Please do it right and WELL the first time.
Engrade - I am using a grading system called engrade. You and your student need to register on-line to use the site to track your student’s grades and missing assignments. The first week of school your student will come home with their student code.
How engrade works…
2. You can then enter their codes at http://www.engrade.com/students to register for an account by creating a username and password.
3. Once registered, you and/or your student can log in anytime with the username and password to see real-time grades.
What certain codes in engrade mean….
m The assignment has not been turned in and must be in by the next Monday. It will be graded late, and will receive 70% credit or less, unless the student was absent.
0 This is a zero and the assignment was not turned in. I DO NOT GIVE A’s IF STUDENTS HAVE 2 OR MORE ZEROS IN A PARTICULAR SUBJECT. Students can still turn in work and I will change the 0 to a 1. See below.
1 This is one point, it means the student turned the assignment in past the Monday LATE due date and really got no credit, but it will not count as a zero so they can work towards achieving an A in that subject.
If a score is blank it means I have not yet entered the grade into engrade
Be advised that I will NOT be sending home weekly progress reports and will refer you via
You are always welcome to e-mail me with any concerns or possible mistakes.
(Note: If your child habitually turns in late work, I often may not get their work posted, so let me know if this is the case and I will fix it. I enter grades when they are due and it takes a lot of extra time to go back and enter late work and often unintended mistakes occur.
Homework – The three purposes for homework are practice, preparation, and elaboration. Homework provides an opportunity to deepen understanding and enhance skills because it extends the learning opportunities beyond the school day. Homework also sends the message that learning occurs outside the classroom.
Homework will be assigned on a daily basis and is due at the beginning of each day and is turned in during student check-in each morning. Homework will require 45-60 minutes per night in addition to the required independent reading. Students will be given 3 homework passes per term, which will give them an extra day to finish an assignment. If homework is consistently late and not done, a parent/teacher conference will be called. There will be a study hall available through the MITCH after school program. (See MITCH web-site for details.)
Late work without an excused absence or homework pass will result in the loss of points.
For your child to be successful with homework he/she needs:
A place to do homework: If possible your child should do his/her homework in the same place (an uncluttered, quiet space to study) complete with a thesaurus, dictionary, ruler, extra paper, pencils and other supplies.
A schedule for completing homework: Design a schedule as to when homework is to be done that fits with each week’s activities and your family’s lifestyle. Children need routines to be successful.
Encouragement, motivation, and prompting: Please use positive reinforcement to encourage the completion of homework. Remember your child needs to independently apply what he/she has learned in class. However, comments, suggestions, and minimal help from parents are appropriate, but please do not do the homework for your child. If your child consistently cannot complete homework assignments alone, please contact me.
Absences – If a child is absent they have until the following Monday (after their return to school) to turn in missed assignments. After that Monday morning, homework will be considered late. The day after the absence the student will have an absentee folder containing the missed assignments and homework. Please return this folder to school with all the finished homework. For extended absences, a plan will be worked out with me for getting assignments done.
See the guidelines listed for “timeliness” in the Grades section of this handout. When a student is absent they will miss important concepts taught during their absence. It is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to make sure their child learns the missed concepts. For certain items such as note taking, etc. that are missed, students will need to miss a special (PE or MUSIC) to make up the missed work. Extended absences WILL affect a student’s grade. (See handbook.)
Tardies – Your student will officially be tardy at 7:46 a.m. Please have your child here daily no later than 7:40 a.m. so they can be seated and ready to learn at 7:45 a.m. Morning warm-ups missed due to tardies, will become homework. Homework will be marked late and points will be lost for tardiness.
Math – Saxon Grade 5 – See math policies.
Spelling– Riggs Level 2 – Students will have spelling homework each night. See DOG for details.
Reading at Home (RAH) DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) – The purpose of RAH is to further solidify independent reading skills. Each student will be required to have a reading book at school. This is to be a book of their choosing, at their reading level, which is approved by me. Book reports, Reading Responses, and other assignments on these books will be due at various times throughout the year. They can check out books from the 4th grade library or the public library. If a student brings a library book from home they cannot share it with the other students. Reading homework is 20 minutes minimum each night and 1 hour over the weekend. A RAH Log will be provided each month to track reading. During DEAR time at school students are required to have their reading book. They will lose points for not having this book at school. Parents are welcome to come in my classroom to see the titles I have available. Please review what your child is reading and if you object to any titles they pick you are free to bring it back and choose a different book.
Parents may read with their child and are encouraged to ask the student basic comprehension questions such as; Who are the main characters? Where is the story taking place? What were some of the highlights of the chapter? Was there anything that was confusing? What new vocabulary words did you come across? What do you mean? …
History/Science/Ag – These subjects will mostly be taught and discussed at school. See scope for Core Knowledge subjects being taught. There will be projects associated with these subjects that will be done at home. Students will participate in a school wide science fair.
Literature – Students will be involved in various literature studies and may have some required reading at home during these studies. (This reading can be used for the required 20 minutes of reading each day as mentioned in the RAH section.)
Writing – We do a lot of writing at school. The majority of writing will be done in class, however, drafts will be sent home as homework, if not completed in class. Parents may act as editors when these assignments come home. Editors give suggestions, check for grammar and spelling errors, but they do NOT DO THE WRITING. If an assignment is to be typed, student’s may “hire” a typist if they do not know how to keyboard. Again, a “hired” typist types what the child has written. We will use the Excellence In Writing curriculum combined with the 6 + 1 traits of writing.
Keyboarding – Student’s need to start learning keyboarding at home. We do not have the computers to do this at school. Be aware that assignments may come home that need to be typed. The library and internet have great keyboarding programs for your child to start learning this essential skill. Upper grades will require more computer skills in projects and written work, so start getting your child these skills now.
Grammar – Students will learn grammar and punctuation basics. See scope for grammar topics. Grammar lessons are organized in packets. Packets not finished during class time will be sent home as homework.
Character Ed – We use Character First curriculum. Students will have a character journal that they will work on throughout the year.
Health – The Great Body Shop -There are a few sensitive topics and I encourage all parents to come in and look at the curriculum and to follow up at home with the student issues that will be sent home. See scope monthly topics.
Projects – All projects to be completed by students at home or in class will have detailed instructions/rubrics. Project instruction sheets should be kept in the Project Info. section of the student’s DOG.
Rewards – Students earn “tickets” for positive behavior that they can redeem treasure box items. Donated treasure items are greatly appreciated. These are small trinkets, pencils, etc. that I have found at the dollar store or other places. For class rewards they will choose different privileges throughout the years.
Portfolio – Students best work will be kept for a portfolio, which will return home at the end of the year. You can come in and view your child’s portfolio when scheduled ahead of time.
Self-Managers – Students will be given an opportunity to apply to be a self-manager. Being a self-manager will give students special privileges at school.
Birthdays – Do not send private birthday party invitations through our school system. Also, we do not except candy, cakes, or treats for birthday celebrations. IF YOUR CHILD BRINGS THESE TO SCHOOL THEY WILL BE RETURNED. Thanks for your understanding. We will recognize individual students on their birthday or half birthday.
Holidays- We do not celebrate holidays at school in the traditional manner, unless it is in keeping with our Core Knowledge curriculum. Please refer to the MITCH student handbook.
Discipline – See school wide discipline policy as detailed on the website.
Dress Code – See school wide dress code policy. (Girls, please wear shorts under your skirts!) Also, I will expect students to be in dress code during specials, recess, and lunch, even if we are outside. The only exception is that winter coats and jackets may be worn outside during recess. A sweatshirt, hoodie, sweater, or fleece does NOT constitute a winter coat
Friday Field Studies – See field studies handout for dates and details.
Volunteers – There are various needs for 4th grade. I will have a box inside my door with items that need to be done. Also, watch for e-mails for different needs throughout the year. All classroom volunteers must take a volunteer training with Mrs. Lorence.
State Testing – Fourth grade has mandatory state tests for math, and reading. State Testing will occur on Fridays. You will be notified as those dates become available.
Core Knowledge Event – We will have a night of Revolutionary War Heroes and Heroines. More details on this will be forth coming. See school calendar for the date of this event.
Lunches/Snacks – Please pack a healthy lunch and snack for your children. No candy, gum or carbonated drinks are allowed at school. Also, children need a water bottle at school each day.
Snow Days – Refer to MITCH student handbook.
PE – Please be sure your child wears sturdy, athletic type shoes on PE days. PE days are Tuesdays and Thursdays. Please note that PE days are the only days children can wear their MITCH T-shirts to school
Hygiene – Please be sure your child is regularly bathed, at least every other day, if not every day. This is the age where their bodies are starting to change and deodorant may be needed. The class will definitely know if a child does not bath regularly.
A note to parents…
You are critical to your child’s education. We are a team and together we can provide your child with a great education! Thank you in advance for all you do. Together we can make this a great year!