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Dear Parents,
Hello! My name is Jennifer Gold and I will be your child’s third grade teacher! I am looking forward to a productive and prosperous year together!

A few things you might want to know about my classroom…

I welcome you all into my room this year. I feel that parent involvement and communication are extremely vital to the teaching of children. I welcome you during numerous learning activities and will write home asking for volunteers. At Back To School Night, I will provide a signup sheet for class helpers and Mystery Readers. In addition, I would love your company during field trips and class parties.

This year, your child will be working on responsibility and organization. I expect papers to be neatly organized into a binder with labeled folders. I expect clean desks and neat work. I expect children to go the extra mile, and give me more than minimal work. (They're going to love me!!!) Please help me by reinforcing these skills at home.

Each night, your child will bring home a nightly folder. Inside of that folder will be two labeled sides- “Take Home”, and “Bring Back.” Coming home each night will be homework, flyers, and my behavioral plan (on Fridays) for the students. Coming back will be finished homework, any notes to be delivered to me, and the signed behavioral plan (on Mondays). Make sure to check each night for notes from me, and that your child is remembering to write down his/her homework, as well coloring in his/her behavior chart every day. Remember that a mandatory change of dismissal note is required each day your child will deviate from his/her regular dismissal routine. Please send the folder back to school each day. This should be your child’s responsibility, but you might have to help out a bit in the beginning to establish a routine.

The behavioral plan in my classroom is based on the Responsive Classroom approach. Instead of being "punished", students will be more reflective on their behavior and how to change it. The first consequence is to "Take a Break". This is similar to "Time Out", only it's not really looked upon as negative. It's a chair in the back of the room, away from everyone, where the child goes to get away from whatever is distracting him/her and causing him/her to act inappropriately. The second step is "Think Time", where the child will go to a classroom across the hall, to take a break from the classroom environment, as well as to write up a reflection that will be sent home that evening for the parents to sign. Finally, if the behavior doesn't change, I will send the child down to the principal. Each day, students will log their behavior on a chart, which gets sent home to be signed on Fridays, and returned to me Monday morning.

Of course, positive reinforcement is even more important. Your children will experience such things as the Classroom Economy where they earn Classroom Cash for their behavior and responsibility, Homework-opoly, Compliment Parties, and Table Behavior Competitions. I also have a reading program in tact which motivates children to read at home, and when they reach their goal, they may join me for a special “Book Club Luncheon” at the beginning of each month. I've also created a Mastery Club for students who wish to excel in learning outside of the classroom. There are also hundreds of Extra Credit Projects and a Family Activities page, since I understand how important it is to have quality time with your children, while learning at the same time.

Each day, please send with your children a healthy snack (water is preferred instead of juice), as well as a book from home if your child would like. If you have any books or items which would add to the comfort of our room, donations are happily accepted.

Check out my web site weekly, as I update it quite frequently. My web site and email are my main source of communication. I have everything on here from classroom procedures, to printable homework assignments, to important dates to remember. Please familiarize yourself with it, and use this as a tool to bridge the communication between school and home.

To see what types of activities your child will be participating in this year, you may want to look at the archives page, where you'll see writings and projects from past years. I'd also really appreciate it if you could take the time to vote in the Parents Poll Question, which changes every few weeks.

If you wish to contact me before school begins, you may email me at Jgold@mtsd.k12.nj.us. I am really looking forward to becoming your child’s third grade teacher! This is going to be a wonderful year!

Mrs. Gold

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