Policies and Procedures

Mrs. Hawk – Fifth Grade
Policies and Procedures

I am so very excited to be teaching your child.  Here are a few of the often asked about policies and procedures for our classroom.  Please feel free to contact me with any further questions or concerns.

I see homework as a tool for children to revisit what we have worked on in class, create a routine, and show parents what they’re working on in class.  I do a combination of daily and weekly homework.  Most weeks, the students will be given a weekly vocabulary packet to complete that will be due on Friday.  I also ask for a reading and math facts log to be completed and turned in on Friday.  As fifth graders, the expectation is to read 100 minutes a week and do 30 minutes of math fact practice a week.  This does not have to be divided evenly each night, but each child can make it work based on his or her activity schedule. Reading time can be reading independently, reading with an adult or a younger sibling, and should be a fun, enjoyable reading time.  

Besides vocabulary and the reading log, homework will be turned in the following day unless noted otherwise.  We will have a nightly math page almost every single evening!  If homework is not turned in, students will be required to fill out an OOPS slip and have it signed by a parent.  If the homework and signed OOPS slip are turned in the following day, I will consider it completed on time.  It is important to know that I will give appropriate amounts of work time in class for assignments to be completed.  If students do not choose to use the time in class to do work, then their class assignments will also become homework. 

Homework should not take more than 50 min. a day.  If you are finding your child’s homework to take more than that, please let me know and we will modify assignments that are too difficult.  Also, homework should not be a frustrating battle every night.  Students will be prepared to do the homework from our work in class, and if something becomes too frustrating, please STOP working on it, and send me a note.

Each student has been given a personal, yearlong planner.  We write in these as a class every single day.  I will display an example of what should be written and also discuss each aspect of the homework listed in the planner.  If you have questions about homework, please check your child’s planner.  I also post the nightly homework on my blog under the homework tab.  It is the student’s responsibility to write down the correct homework assignments and to bring the planner back and forth to school everyday.

OOPS Slips
Our OOPS slips are simply a way for me to keep track of students’ homework and behavior and to communicate with parents what is happening in class.  If students receive two OOPS slips in a week, they will miss out on our Friday afternoon recess or activity.  If students receive more than two a week, then we will need to have other consequences including missing recess, having a meeting with an administrator, and/or having a parent teacher conference with the student involved. 

Grading Explanation
On most assignments, I will make comments about individual problems or questions and then give an overall grade of 1-4. This rubric stands for:

4 or +  The work is exceptional and the student’s explanation, quality of work, or evidence of deep thinking is above and beyond my expectations.
3  or checkmark
            The work is clear, well explained, and meets all explanations.
2          The work meets some expectations, but may be somewhat unclear or have a few minor inaccuracies. 
1 or -   The work is inaccurate or unclear and does not meet expectations.

Please remember that each assessment or assignment will be graded on its own merit so that if your child receives a 2 on one, they may receive a 4 on another depending on the work done and shown. 

I also often put checkmarks next to problems that are correct as a quick visual for myself to mark them off as correct.  If something is wrong, I will make an X through that number and write the correct answer. 

Sometimes I only glance at work to get a sense of the progress being made, but do not use the assignment as a grade.  If you see ungraded work, please feel free to review it.  As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns about graded material sent home.

I do not grade homework, but we do review it in class daily.  I do record homework as complete or incomplete to reward the effort and behavior behind completing it.

Birthday Celebrations and Class Parties
I love celebrating students’ birthdays in class and am always open to treats or special things being brought in to acknowledge the day.  We will celebrate birthdays during the last half hour of the school day.  Please contact me in advance if you would like to bring something in for your child’s birthday.

We will be having four class parties this year: Halloween, winter holidays, Valentine’s Day, and an end of the year party.  I love having parent support to plan these parties so please contact me if you are able and interested.  We will send home information about the parties several weeks in advance so that each family can prepare for it.

When students are absent, I will collect the work that they missed in a “While You Were Out” folder and leave it for them.  They have two days for each day absent to complete the work and turn it in.  If you would like me to send the folder home with a sibling at the school, please contact me as early in the day as possible so I can coordinate that.

If you know that your child will be absent ahead of time, please let me know in writing and I will prepare a homework packet for them to complete. Please understand that much of a school day’s learning experiences cannot be replicated in homework.  If your child will be missing a number of days, the following activities are ideas of substitutions for missed class work.

  • Read and record a reading response as well as reading time.
  • Keep a journal of places visited or experiences.
  • Gather information about the places visited and prepare a report.
  • Practice math facts or play math games from class.
  • Free write in writing journal.

Behavior Expectations
I have the same expectations in my classroom that we have at Gold Rush as a whole.  Our motto is to “Go for the Gold”: Give respect, Own your actions, Listen and learn, and Do your best.  I model and discuss my expectations for student work and behavior daily.  If a student is not meeting those expectations they will receive two warnings and then will be required to fill out an OOPS slip and discuss their behavior with me one on one.  If a student displays consistent behavior problems, I will communicate with you and with the administration my concerns and we will work on a plan to address those problems. 

We will have two quick working snack breaks every day so please have your child bring two nutritious snacks to school.  This snack should not be an additional meal, but simply a quick and easy supplement.  Also, please have your child bring a water bottle to school that they can leave on their desks. 

I will be posting on my blog, http://hawksflock.blogspot.com/ at least twice a month. I will notify you when a new post is made. Please read these so that you are aware of the learning taking place in our class.  The blog is also a great place to look for resources, links, project information, etc… I will send home graded work and whole school information in the Thursday folders.  Email is a wonderful way to communicate with me and I can be reached at allison.hawk@dcsdk12.org.  I try to answer all emails within 24 hours.