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Classroom Rules and Procedures

 

 

Expectations

Our school is a PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) school.  All of our rules and procedures follow the PBIS guidelines and align under our school’s three main expectations:  


                                                                     S tay Safe  

                                                             T ake Responsibility

                   A nd

                   R espect Everyone

 

Classroom Rules for Student Behavior:

     As a class, we will create the rules of our classroom on the first day of school.  The rules will be called an “Essential Agreement” and will relate to our new school-wide behavior expectations.   We will brainstorm appropriate and expected behavior for our class.  The students are expected to follow this agreement to the best of their ability. 

 

Classroom Management Procedures:

 

     Acknowledgements

We acknowledge students who exhibit desired behaviors with Star Cards.  Students can use Star Cards to earn the following rewards: 

  • Each time that a student receives a Star Card, his/her name will be entered into a weekly drawing.  One student’s name per grade level will be drawn on the Friday edition of the Fork Shoals Morning News.  The winning students will receive one token that can be spent at our school store.
  • Each time a student accumulates 5 Star Cards, he/she will receive a token that can be spent at our school store.    
  • Once a student accumulates 10 Star Cards, he/she will have the choice to eat lunch with a friend or staff member of his/her choice at a separate table. 
  • Once a student accumulates 20 Star Cards, he/she will have the choice of a free yearbook or school t-shirt. 

Consequences

We discourage inappropriate behavior in our school and classrooms.  The following guidelines will be followed for discouraging inappropriate behaviors:

  • If a student does not follow one of our school or classroom expectations, he/she will receive a verbal warning and will be re-taught the desired behavior. 
  • If the inappropriate behavior continues, the student will receive a minor referral.  All minor referrals will be written by the teacher in the classroom and sent home to the parent.  The consequences for a minor referral may be silent lunch, 5 minutes of structured recess, or removal from the group). 

 

Estimation Jar:

     At the end of each week, students who have completed all homework assignments will receive a guess for the jar.  The jar will be filled with a different type of candy each week.  Students will need to use their estimating skills because whoever guesses the closest (without going over) will win the candy!  Candy (individually wrapped) donations are always welcome!

 

Student Choices/Jobs:

     The students in my class will play an active role in the decisions made in our classroom.  In addition to taking part in the decisions that take place, students will be active participants in “housekeeping.”  Each student will have the opportunity to be a classroom helper.  They will perform various duties.  Examples of jobs include:  lunch count, chair stacker, and floor cleaner.  My goal is for the students to have a sense of pride and ownership in regards to our classroom (as well as some responsibility).

Teams: 

      The class will be divided in cooperative learning teams.  Teams can receive points for positive choices, timely transitions, and organization.  Teams will be changed each quarter or as needed. 

 

Daily Classroom Procedures

 

Mornings:

     As students enter the room they will make their lunch choice for the day. Students will unpack their backpacks and place all items in the appropriate areas.  Two pencils will need to be sharpened for the day.  Students will immediately begin writing in their daily morning journals (described below).  The morning news begins at 8:00.    

Restrooms:

       Students may use the restroom as needed during non-instructional times.  If this privilege is abused, we will go as a class during designated times throughout the day.

 

Daily Morning Journals:

     Each morning, students are required to write in their morning journals using the given prompt and/or problem to solve.  Journals will be read and shared periodically. 

 

Other Journals:

All class work will be done in a journal or folder that is labeled for each subject.  

 

Transition from seat to cubby:

     Since we will be sitting at table groups instead of individual desks, transitions from seat to cubby will need to be as non-disruptive as possible.  Students will be dismissed by table groups to get needed materials and books for each subject.  They are expected to do this in a timely and quiet manner. 

 

Lunch:

We will have silent lunch for the first 10 minutes.  This is to make sure students actually eat their lunch.  J  Please do not bring items that need to be heated in the microwave. 

 

 

 

Homework Policy:

     Homework will be used to practice skills learned in the classroom.  Students are expected to complete each homework assignment.  Students who are absent will have five days to complete missed homework.  Please remember that homework is a very important part of your child’s education!  Homework assignments will be concise so that students can focus on practicing the skills learned that day.  Students are expected to write their daily assignments in their assignment logs (can be purchased from the school).  Parents are responsible for checking the log daily.  If a child consistently does not have his/her homework a phone call will be made and/or a conference will be held.

 

Procedures for Non-Instructional Routines

     Students will be allowed to sharpen pencils, get materials, and throw away trash (etc.) as needed during non-instructional times.  However, students will be expected to move about the room quietly without disturbing their classmates. 

 

Attendance and Tardy Policy:

     It is important for students to be at school on time each day unless excused due to illness or a family emergency.  Students arriving after 8:00 are considered tardy.  Students should arrive in the classroom at 7:45 to have ample time to prepare for the day and complete morning work.  Instruction begins at approximately 8:00 each day.  Please keep in mind that early dismissals and absences from school take away from your child’s learning experience. 

 

Student Assessment:

     Students will be tested after each chapter or unit in all content areas.  Quizzes will be given during each unit of study, as needed.  Students will usually be given a weekly grade in each subject.  In all subjects, two quizzes will be equal to one test.  Projects will be equivalent to a test grade.

Grading Scale

A  93-100

B  85-92

C  77-84

D  70-76

U below 70

State guidelines require a grading floor of 62 for end of the year grades.  No student will receive below a 62 average for their end of the year grade.  Greenville County has adopted a grading floor at the elementary level of a 62 for each quarter.  Fork Shoals School has adopted a grading floor of 62 for assessments.  The student’s actual grade will appear on the assessment, but it will be entered in the grade book as a 62 if it was lower. Major assessments are defined as unit tests, chapter tests, book/novel tests, major projects using a rubric, reports using a rubric, major presentations using a rubric, or major pieces of writing using a rubric. Parents will be given notice of major assessments in the teacher’s weekly memo.  These will count for 40% of the student’s grade, except in language arts where spelling tests count 10% and major assessments count 30%.  Minor assessments are classified as quizzes, daily grades, journal entries, participation in group work, anecdotal records, observation checklists, and minor writing assignments. These may NOT be announced in the weekly memo.  They will count for 60% of the student’s grade.  Retesting may only occur on a major assessment when the class average falls at a 76 or below.

 

     Weekly grades/quizzes are a reflection of a child’s learning at any given time.  Please encourage your child to do his/her best on a daily basis, as they will not be given the opportunity to retake weekly grades/quizzes. 

 

Spelling: 

Spelling assessment in Greenville County Schools takes 2 forms: a list test and a dictation test.  The list test focuses on the following:

  • Spelling/Phonetic patterns
  • Prefixes
  • Suffixes
  • Compound words
  • Homonyms/Homophones
  • Antonyms
  • Synonyms

Spelling lists usually will consist of 15-20 words per week.

 

The dictation test focuses on high-frequency/Word Wall words (new and old WWW) and new and review words from the list tests.  At the beginning of the school year, sentences will be sent home for students to study during the first 3-4 weeks.  This gives students a mind set for the type and length of sentence, and it sets the expectation for students for the remainder of the year.   The spelling list and sentences will be on the class newsletter that is sent home every Monday.  They will also be posted on our class website.

Dictation sentences:  3 per week for the 1st and 2nd Quarters, and 4-5 for the 3rd and 4th Quarters.

 

 

Extra Credit Policy:

     Extra credit opportunities may be given to all fourth grade classes from time to time.  Students may complete extra credit work in one subject per quarter.  No individual extra credit work will be given.  All work given must be completed and returned two weeks before the end of the current quarter.

 

 

Communication with Parents

 

Parent Welcome Letter/Welcome Phone Call:

     At the beginning of the year, each parent will be given a welcome packet.  This packet cheerfully welcomes students and parents to our classroom and gives them an overview of our classroom procedures.  Also, parents will be encouraged to contact me as needed.  In addition to receiving a welcome packet, parents who do not attend “Meet the Teacher” will receive a welcome phone call.  These phone calls will be made during the first few weeks of school.  Additional phone calls will be made as needed for positive and/or negative behavior.  Parent/teacher communication is vital for student success!  Please feel free to call or e-mail me with all questions and concerns about your child’s education!

 

Progress/Conferences:

     Progress reports will be distributed halfway through each quarter to inform parents of your child’s progress.  Please note that parents are responsible for keeping track of tests and quizzes sent home.  This is a great way to be sure that your child is not having any problems.

      Conferences will be held after the first quarter.  However, if parents have other concerns during the year, conferences can be requested.

 

Newsletters (“McDowell’s Memo”):

     Class newsletters will be distributed at the beginning of each week.  Important information will be contained in each newsletter including future events, spelling words, and assessments.  It is important that parents read these each week!  The same information can be found on our class website.  

 

Daily Folder:

     The daily folder will serve as a place to keep homework, tests, and important information.  This should be brought home and to school each day!  This will allow parents to keep track of newsletters, tests, homework, and communications with me on a daily basis.  Please be sure to check its contents each and every day.

 

 

E-mail/Web Site/Voicemail:

     Parents can always contact me through e-mail (amcdowel@greenville.k12.sc.us).  Also, be sure to visit our web site (http://teachers.greenville.k12.sc.us/sites/amcdowel) often to stay up to date on what is happening at our school and in our classroom.  You can also view pictures, get information on homework or projects, and much more! You may also leave a voicemail at 355-5058.