(sample to be replaced by the actual letter before the start of the next school year)
Hello, Ms. Smith,
My name is Adrian Spencer and I will be Jane's teacher this year! We have a lot to learn this year in third grade, and I look forward to meeting you and your child. I will be in the classroom a week before school starts if you'd like to drop by and introduce yourself, or we can also arrange a meeting at the school or at your home, if you'd like. Whether we meet beforehand or not, I look forward to seeing you at the Open House on August 17th at 7:00 P.M., where you'll get to see my classroom and learn more about what your child will be doing this year, and I'll get to learn more about you.
I strive to create a community of learners, a safe place where students try their best and care about their education. Therefore, my rules for this year are the following:
We will discuss these rules and the expectations that go along with them during the first week of school, and students will work together to create one or two rules of their own. If students fail to meet expectations by being disruptive, these are the consequences I will use:
Don't worry, though, I won't just contact you if I have bad news! I'll be sending home bi-weekly progress reports, and I have a password-protected blog page on my website just for students and parents, where you'll be able to see what your child is learning this week. I also plan to set up days for parents to come in and share about themselves or their careers, and you are always welcome to come visit or volunteer in the classroom with notice!
You might notice that my classroom isn't very traditional. Your child will never receive busy-work from me, however, I will have students working on projects and challenging classwork, which they may need to spend extra time on at home as homework. I may also send home optional enrichment homework. I will have a very active classroom. I will use brain blasts - short activity breaks where students can get up and move their bodies by dancing, jumping, etc. - and very little of the school day will be spent sitting in a chair looking at a board. I want your child to care about learning instead of being bored at a desk all day, so most of the day, students will be working independently or with others on practicing the skills and knowledge they have been taught. During these parts of the day, students can sit wherever they like - even on the floor! We will also have daily Morning Meetings, where your child will be greeted by name every day and every student throughout the week will be able to share something (a story about something cool they did that weekend, a new book they really liked, etc.) with the class.
You may also hear from your child that some of their classmates are working on different things than they are. That's because my classroom is based on differentiated instruction and personalized learning models. That means that every student will learn the same general material, but some might learn it quicker or more slowly, and some may learn it in a different way or present it differently. There will be a lot of choice in my classroom. For example, students may all complete a project on the states of matter, but they would be able to choose how they would like to present the project. They could do a demonstration and oral lecture, they could make a PowerPoint, they could write an essay, they could make a video, or something I haven't even thought of! Students will be assessed based on how well they know the content, not on what tool they use to demonstrate that knowledge. Feel free to ask me any questions about it.
I very much look forward to meeting you and Jane, Ms. Smith. This is going to be a fantastic year!
Last updated: 01/2016