Room 9 Updates

Monday, December 14, 2009

Hi All,

Wow! the second graders did a fantastic job in the play. I know all the parents and their fellow students really enjoyed this year's performance. Thanks so much to all the parents who helped make the show possible, especially Sandi and Jennifer and Patti, who organized the refreshments. Thanks as well, to the other second grade teachers, who rehearsed day in and day out, while I was upstairs with our third graders.

On Thursday our class is going on a field trip to the Natural History Museum. If you signed up to drive, please update your driver information in the office. It has to be renewed each trimester. On Thursday, there is also a performance from the Rio Rock Bands. Our class will be attending after we return from the museum, at 12:30.

Finally, there will be no third grade spelling homework or test this week. There will be math homework this week, so try and maintain consistent routines through the week.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Hello All,

This week second graders will be performing their play. Second grade families have been asked to donate toward the cost of refreshments for the parent performance on Friday. Please send in your envelope ASAP.

In addition, there are still several students who have not returned their permission slips for our field trip to the SC Natural History Museum on Thursday, December 17th. I am also a little low on drivers. Please return your forms for this trip, along with the $1.50 for the museum.

Finally, thanks again for all you do. The kids had a great time with the Red Hot and game party on Friday. We had healthy snacks and some treats. It's great, with your support, to be able to recognize the kids' efforts in academics (Red Hot) and behavior (the games).

Have a great week. If it looks rainy, please send your child in rain gear or and/or with an umbrella: it's quite a trek to the restroom from Room 24!

Take care,

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I hope you all found this week off as restorative as I did. It was a wonderful time to take stock and take a breath before the last burst of activities for 2009. Thanks so much to our room parents, Sandi, Cynthia, and Jennifer for the fantastic feast and celebration. If you haven't already, take a look at the pictures Cynthia posted. They really reflect the tenor of the day.

This week students are bringing home information about Flat Stanley. All second graders are participating and it's optional for the third graders, although many expressed interest in doing this activity again. I'd like to encourage the third graders to send their Flat Stanleys abroad, if they are able.

In addition, all of the class will bring home permission slips for our field trip to the Museum of Natural History. This field trip is an opportunity to learn about the Ohlone Indians, and also plant and animal life in our area. We are asking for a dollar per student for this field trip, which will be on the last Thursday before Winter Vacation.

Second graders continue to work hard on their play, which they will perform for parents on December 11th at 8:20. The third graders from our class will see it the day before with the rest of the school.

Thanks for all your support, both inside and outside of the classroom. Continue to set high expectations for your children with their homework; it should be complete, timely, and well done.

Take care,
Carroll Mayer

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hi All,
Report cards were sent home on Friday. Hopefully, this has given you and your child a chance to reflect on their progress, and set goals together for the future. Please remember to send in signed report card envelopes on Monday, as they are re-used each trimester. I'd also appreciate it if you left the second sheet (report card "back") in the envelope, as that will allow me to save on time and copying next trimester.

On Friday of this week the Room Parents are planning a Thanksgiving style gathering. In addition,make sure your child has brought in his or her decorated thankful feather. Amazingly, this is our last week before Thanksgiving!

Finally, Scholastic book orders went home on Thursday and are due this Friday. You can order on line or in class the traditional way. This will be the last order before Christmas, and I'm happy to keep any gifts behind my desk until parents can pick them up.

Have a great week!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hello All,
First of all, thanks to Sandi Kolassa, Cynthia Jacque, and Lisa Zahraie for chaperoning our 2nd graders at Seacliff State Park to view and learn about fossils. Your extra support is much appreciated.

The class also had the good fortune to receive new dictionaries as a gift from the Aptos Rotary. The children will be writing "Thank you" notes on Monday. Also on Monday, the entire school will continue with our weekly flag ceremony, held first thing in the morning unless it rains. At these meeting we say the Pledge of Allegiance, sing a patriotic song, and discuss admirable character traits. This month's trait is pride. The students were asked to think about and share instances when they felt proud, and why. Mrs. Dorney will select some to share with the entire student body.

Finally, just a reminder that Wednesday is a holiday, but Tuesday is still a Restructured Day. This week is also the beginning of the second trimester; report cards will go home on Friday.
Have a great week!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hello All,

First of all, thanks so much to all the parents that worked so hard to design a great Halloween party for the class, especially Jennifer, Cynthia, and Sandi. The kids really enjoyed and appreciated the party, and the fantastic decorations.

This week the second graders will begin rehearsing the play. They will attend play practice daily while I remain in Room 24 with our third graders. Second graders will also be going on a field trip this week to Seacliff State Beach as a supplement to their study of fossils in science. On Thursday, please remember to send your second grader dressed appropriately for walking, possibly in cool weather, and with a sack lunch.

Have a great week!

Monday, October 26, 2009


I hope your children had a chance to tell you about the assembly we attended on Friday: a musical performance by Shoreline Middle School's band. It was so impressive and a great reminder of the value of music in our schools.

This week will begin in a new way at Rio del Mar. We will be having a flag ceremony every Monday morning, outside on the intermediate playground. I will bring our class down today, and when Mrs. Dorney and Mr. Coffin feels the students are ready, we will have the kids independently gather and line up for classes down there. During the flag ceremony we will be discussing character traits. This month's trait is pride. We will talk about taking pride in our school and our own behavior, and taking actions of which we can be proud.

The bookend to this first flag ceremony will be the Halloween parade on Friday. The class will meet at Rm. 24 and then head down to the other playground at the usual time-- I believe it's 8:15. Each class "parades" around the basketball courts so that the rest of the school can see their costumes. Parents and younger siblings are welcome. Our class will be having its party at 9:40, after the first recess.

Have a great week. While the kids usually start escalating in their excitement as we head toward Halloween, let's remind them that we still expect their usual strong efforts. The third graders will still have their spelling test on Friday, and the second graders retaking the "Envelope Test" will do it then as well.

See you soon,

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hi All,
What a wild week! Conference week is always a little different, but the weather and power outages were an interesting twist. Fortunately, I was able to meet with most of you (sometimes in the dark) and we had some great conversations about your kids.
The remainder of the conferences will be made up this week, or on an individual schedule.

It was also fun to celebrate our first Red Hot party this week (in the dark.) Thanks to all of you who contributed such fun and healthy red foods. I think the kids felt proud of their accomplishments.

It will be a relief to get back to the regular schedule. However, both grades will be taking Unit 3 tests in math on Monday, so there will be no math homework on Monday night.

Despite the weather, the Landforms Projects turned out really well! The kids were excited and eager to share their projects and explain what landforms they included and how they made their models. Some students picked out specific places to model their landforms after, which was very cool. The second graders enjoyed seeing the models and are eager to have their chance next year. We also toured Mrs.Terribilini's and Mrs. Maraldo's rooms to see the other third graders' work.

I will be out of class on Wednesday this week, attending a training. Mrs. Nigh will be substituting this week, and also for a half a day next week.

Finally, a big thanks to those of you that attended the school book fair and purchased books for your kids and/or our class. The book fair is another great way to support our school. If you were unable to attend, I understand they are extending it for 2 more days (Monday and Tuesday) because of the power failure.

Keep in touch,

Sunday, October 11, 2009

October 11, 2009

Hi Parents,

As this week will be restructured (short!) every day, I've decided to cancel Language Arts centers. Those of you that volunteer in the second academic block, from 9:40-11:00, will have the week off.

In addition, I've scheduled a "Red Hot" party to celebrate our students' achievements in Reading & Spelling, and Timed Math. Students received a sticker to place on our chili pepper every time they passed a Red Hot Spelling list, or a Timed Math Test. (This way 3rd graders could be included.) Please have your child bring a red food on Tuesday to share. If this is an inconvenience, let me assure you that there will be other parties and that you may pass on this one. Please email me if you wish to bring something sweet, but let me encourage you to think beyond sweets to healthier foods like: tomatoes, strawberries, watermelon and red peppers. If you participate, just send a small amount (like a bite or piece for each child). Finally, the children should wear red on Tuesday if it's at all possible.

I'm looking forward to seeing and meeting with all of you this week to discuss your children's progress and our goals for the year. Please arrive on time, so that we may keep our room, and your other children's teachers, on schedule. Feel free to let me know if you need to wrap up a conference to head to another room. (It's somewhat of a hike from our room to the rest of the campus.)

Carroll Mayer

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Hello All,
I hope you are enjoying our lovely autumn weather. I saw many people at the Harvest Festival on Friday, having a great time. The playground was jammed when I left! I'm so glad our school began such a pleasant, community-building tradition.

This week, third graders will not bring home spelling homework. I am giving them the week off, and I expect them to use the extra time wisely, working on their Landforms projects. The projects are due on Wednesday, October 14th, and will not be accepted late. Students should have brought home a handout explaining the details, but if it has been misplaced, please let me know and I will send a replacement. Only third graders will be doing this project, although second graders will get to see them, and tour the other third grade rooms when we visit and admire the students' handiwork.

This week, second graders will bring home a permission slip for their field trip to Seacliff to study fossils. Our second graders will join Mrs. Werner's class on this trip, and I will be staying back at school with the third graders. We will need 2-3 parent chaperons for our 10 second graders. Second graders will also be discussing fire prevention this week. Students from our class will join Mrs. Hegerle's students for a presentation on fire safety from a local fire fighter. They will have homework supporting this presentation during the week of October 12th, after all the classes have met with the the fire fighter. The week of October 12th is also conference week so you will be receiving notice of your conference time as soon as I do. Let me know if there are any problems.

Have a great week. I look forward to seeing you all soon.
Carroll Mayer

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Hello All,
What a lovely weekend! Fall around here is such a pleasure, from the heat to the fog!

This week in math, third graders will begin multiplication. We will be working on the concept, using arrays and pictures, and we will also review the math facts addressed in 2nd grade: 2s, 5s, and 10s. From there, we will work our way through the times tables. In a few weeks I will be shifting all the 3rd graders to multiplication timed tests, regardless of whether they passed the 2nd grade addition and subtraction timed tests. Just a reminder, that nightly practice is the best way for your child to develop automaticity, whether they are working on addition, subtraction, or multiplication.

In addition to flash card practice, third graders take home a spelling packet each week. Unfortunately, some students don't put forth their greatest effort on this homework. Please take the time to glance over your child's spelling, especially the sentences. Some kids are returning papers with glaring errors, such as missing periods, or misspelled SPELLING WORDS. Let your child know that that quality of work is unacceptable.

The second graders have been working very steadily through the Red Hot Readers lists. Please let me know (with a note or email) if your child hasn't been tested within several days of returning their list. While we occasionally get backed up, in at least one case the list was misplaced and I didn't know the student was ready to be tested. On that note, please remind your child to put their name on their list, otherwise we don't know who to test!

Second graders are also beginning a new unit in math:money! Please give your child every possible opportunity to practice with real money. While we will be addressing the concepts in class, the kids that really understand what they are doing are the ones with practical knowledge. The same holds true with measurement and telling time.

Finally, don't forget about the Harvest Festival this Friday, October 2nd. The kids really look forward to this event each year and it's a great way to celebrate our community.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Hi All,
I only have a few brief reminders. First of all, this Wednesday our entire class -- along with the two third grade classes -- will be attending the fair. On that day students should come with sack lunches, including drinks, and be dressed to walk around the fairgrounds. They are not to bring money, and no adult chaperons will be buying snacks for kids at the fair. We are fortunate to have wonderful chaperons that make this fair day possible and safe.

Secondly, now that we're fully into the year please be sure that you make time for a consistent homework routine. Students in both grades should be reading out loud, doing math homework, and practicing math facts every week day. In addition, 3rd graders have a spelling packet and 2nd graders have the self-paced Red Hot Readers Spelling program. Most of the class have been turning in carefully done work, but please continue to monitor your child's homework. As I am only expecting students to do 2 of the 6 leveled story problems, they should be answered carefully and completely. Furthermore, the spelling sentences that are part of the third grade spelling packet have varied in quality, so please have your child show you the work before turning it in.
I hate to return papers for a redo!

Finally, thanks for all your help. It's been great these last 2 weeks as I get to meet all of you parent volunteers. I've been finding the help invaluable and our class is settling into some great routines.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Dear All,

I hope you have enjoyed a refreshing 3 day weekend! It's amazing what an extra day off can do for the psyche.

This week we will continue building the routines that we began last week regarding Centers, although the schedule is slightly shifted with the extra day off. Parent volunteers may find themselves with slightly different tasks this week, but I still need lots of copying and collating of workbook pages in order to keep the class running as smoothly as possible. We may also be watching the President's speech on Tuesday morning, although there is some concern that our technology infrastructure on the district level may be overwhelmed. We will do our best, but I encourage you to check in with your child and watch at home if we are unable to do so at school. Goal setting--the speech's topic-- is a valuable exercise for all of us.

Have a great week; I imagine it will fly by!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hi All,

It was great to see all of you on Thursday night. I know my presentation was somewhat breathless, but it seems like there is so much to cover in such a short amount of time! Hopefully, everyone has a clearer picture of the class, its organization, and my expectations. If you volunteered to help in the class, please begin this week. In addition, if you find yourself unable to come, please notify me and/or arrange for a substitute. Danyiel Woodley and Wendy Rice both volunteered to be substitutes, so contact them if you need help.

As for homework, the spelling packet I am sending with 3rd graders this week is typical of what they will be doing for the balance of the year: practice book pages, alphabetizing and writing sentences for the 8 "challenge" words, and studying the list for a Friday test. Second graders should receive their first Red Hot Reader list this week. I am trying for Monday, but as I was gone for most of last week, I'm behind on copying, etc. As I explained at Back-to-School Night, the Red Hot Reader program is self-paced. When your 2nd grader is prepared to put all the words on their list in sentences orally, as well as read and spell them; they are responsible for notifying me that they are ready to be tested. In addition, while I am not yet prepared to send math facts flashcards home with either grade, that doesn't mean they can't be practiced. Encourage your child to test himself, or practice the facts orally in the car.

Finally, you will be receiving a permission slip for the SC County Fair this week. We are going on Wednesday, September 16th and I will need 4-5 drivers for the day. (They are limiting the amount of adults we can get in free to one for every four students.)

Looking forward to seeing many of you this week!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hi All,

I was very impressed with your children's responsibility this week. Kids came to school with completed homework and "unpacked" carefully. I am only missing one Reading Log and NO MATH HOMEWORK! Impressive. We will continue building routines over the next several weeks. I encourage you to incorporate them into your own at home time, as well. It is always great to see students who take responsibility for their own homework folder. (I should NOT hear, "My mom forgot to put my homework in my folder.") Even if your child occasionally forgets to do it, this is a great job to turn over. When students are in the upper grades, late homework is marked down, so it's great to build habits before that time!

I look forward to seeing you all on Thursday night at Back-to-School Night. I will be having sign-ups for parent helpers, and the jobs will begin the following Monday. I will also explain what students will be doing this year in Room 24. On a side note, I will not be in class Wednesday- Friday, but will see you Thursday evening. (I will be attending a district training.) Mrs, McCraw will be substituting.

See you soon!
Carroll Mayer

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hi All,
We had a fun first week, getting to know one another and discussing expectations. It was a surprise on Friday to have indoor recess in the afternoon, due to poor air quality. However, it was a fun way for the kids to interact, and an opportunity for them to explore the various Rainy Day games, including Legos and Twister.

This week students will begin to have homework. For 2nd graders, there is a Reading/Learning Log and a daily math page. Parents should fill out one square of the Reading Log each day after students read aloud for at least 15 minutes. The parts of the Reading Log that say Flash Card Practice and Red Hot Readers will be explained at Back-to-School Night. Additionally, students should do the front of the math homework entirely (labeled Homework in the upper right corner.) Your student must also do 2 of the 6 story problems on the other side of the paper (labeled Leveled Problems.) The math homework is due each day; the Reading Log on Friday.

Third graders should follow the same procedure as 2nd in regards to Reading Log and daily Math. In addition, 3rd graders will bring home a Spelling Packet on Monday that is due on Friday. Third graders will not have Red Hot Readers or a place to document Flash Card practice.

Both grades are also bringing home a Mystery Bag assignment. This is a special, fun project. Students are to select 3 items to place in a bag. The items should be clues about their interests, and are a way for the class to get to know each other. Names should not be on the outside of the bag. The bags are due this Wednesday, the 19th.

Thanks you for your timely support with all the supplies listed on the Class Placement letter. I've stored many of the pencils and erasers, as well as the wipes and Kleenex, so that they can be pulled out and used throughout the year as the need arises. I look forward to meeting you all at Back-to-School Night on August 27th, and getting to know you as the year progresses.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hi All,
It was an exciting first day. Our class did many getting-to-know-you activities, especially crucial when combining 2 grades. We will continue through this first week with community building. Your children were kind, friendly, and inclusive.

Thanks to all for the prompt response regarding supplies. Most of the students were well prepared with these materials, and the class should have enough Kleenex and wipes for a few months. Our class has also been loaned a digital projector for the year!

Please feel free to keep in touch via e-mail or notes. However I will not usually reply to notes until after school, and I don't check my email until the late afternoon.

Thanks again, you've raised some wonderful kids!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Hello Room 24 Families,
Welcome to a great new year! I am excited to begin the year and get to know you all. I'm sure many of you are familiar with the location of our classroom. (We have a great spot, right by the playground, next door to Speech and Bob!)

During these last few days of summer vacation, as you enjoy yourself, try to get into a bedtime routine so that the adjustment to school is not so tough. I will be in meetings on Monday, and busy in the classroom on Tuesday, planning some interesting activities for the first week.

Have a wonderful few days, and I'll see you on Wednesday at 7:49.