WELCOME FAMILIES! August 28, 2012
I am excited about the coming year at Coast Redwood Middle Homeschool. It is the wonderful dynamics and energy of the students, and the support of you wonderful parents that makes each year so great. It will be very fun to have two days back with this group.
We have a few changes this year. I will be incorporating more technology than I have in the past. Over the summer I took a course and became certified as an on-line teacher. That means I learned a lot about Web 2.0 tools and how to use them in the class. I will have online group activities, and online assignments for those students who want to take their learning with me the extra mile. I will be sending more information in the weeks to come.
Tuesdays and Thursdays will start at 9:00 and end @ 1:15, as last year. For those who will take the Algebra class on Tuesday/Thursday, they will have to miss PE. I will be facilitating a Writers Workshop throughout the year. We will also have Science throughout the year, with guest teachers like last year...The final Science Schedule is still to be determined, but as stated at the end of last year, the focus will be on general biology, cells, and DNA.
I will also have at least a semester of World History, integrating Geography as well. It is here that I will focus most of our online learning with individual and collaborative work to connect the relationship to cultures, global issues, and to ourselves.
Thursdays focus will continue to be in work supporting Social Emotional Learning. I will teach more from the Common Sense Media. And will teach and work more with Socratic Dialogues. And of course, we will always have our photography, with monthly Field Trips on this day or possibly on some Fridays.
And I will still continue with 2 Project-Based presentations a year.. and P.E. ..I would love to get someone who is passionate about a specific sport to help us every once in a while.
COMMUNICATION: My preferred form of communication with parents is through email. Please make sure your work and home email addresses are current so you are up-to-date on all of the activities, assignments, and communications of our program. I will be emailing everyone using a Coast Redwood email list. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE EMAIL: Please come into the classroom and check by the door to see if there is any new news.
PARENT MEETINGS: These will still be a once a month event, and a critical way for us to not only stay on the same page with our classroom activities, but also to share the joys and frustrations of our learning at home. Given that there will be a math class in this room at our meeting time, for the fist month or two, we will meet outside at the tables. Then, we will see where works best for us. …We Can Accommodate and Find a Way!
NEXT PARENT MEETINGS: Thursday, September 20 @ 1:30
Thursday, October 18 @ 1:30
Our program works with a parent fund that supports our field trips and activities. The more we have, the more we can do as a class. It is also a reserve for those who do not always have the funds.
The account is shared with the BCHS program. We have two parents who manage the account; Ann Suchomski and Milissa Koloski.
We have some activities that are traditions, some that rotate every few years, and new items that are based on parent, student, and teacher interest. Some already planned and known costs for the year so far:
· Ropes Course: Friday Sept 28. $39.00
· Kayaking at Elkhorn Slough: Oct 11, $37.00
· Berkeley Rep Play, the White Snake Dec. 6, 2011 $12.00
· Yearbook End of year $ 25.00
Charter-wide: Signing up for classes. We are still working on the plan that each child can sign up for 9-10 hours of classes a week. The prioritization is based first for those who are enrolled in the program their child’s teacher of record is with. For example, students on my roster in the CRMS program get 1st priority for options and filed trips in this program. SLVHomeschool families get priority for classes offered at their site, etc. The process will be spelled out in our first All Homeschool newsletter, coming out soon.
Below is an outline of our schedule for the opening of school,
Tuesday August 28 First Day Of School! (HERE WE ARE!)
Home school days begin. We have the first three weeks for 1-1 meeting to start the homeschooling year with some strong planning. I will have regular hours on Wednesdays and after class on Tuesdays and Thursdays for additional meetings for those who’d like to meet consistently. I will have a sign up board at the door for sign-ups and reminders.
Student Pictures and School ID. It is good for all Coast Redwood students to have yearly photos taken for both ID card and school file purposes. We have it scheduled for the first day of class, Tuesday Sept. 18th. We will walk over to Fall Creek together
PLEASE don’t leave to classroom without signing up for your beginning
of the year meeting!
And don't forget the Charter-wide Community Beach Day from 11:00-3:00 @ Seabright/Castle Beach. Open to all ages. Please bring what you would like to enjoy play with at the beach, along with some food, perhaps some wood. Teachers and staff will be there to enjoy the day with you. Remember that this is a family event, and children cannot go in the water without a parent there supervising.
Tuesday, September 18 9am-1:15pm First Day of Tuesday Courses
Classes will focus on World History, Writing, and PE each week. Writing will include a journaling element each class. Writing assignments started in class, will be completed at home, and handed in at the next Thursday class to Rhonda. PE units will include swimming, basketball, and volleyball.
Thursday September 20 10am-2:30pm First Day of Thursday Courses
The underlying theme is working with Social Emotional Learning, working in groups to develop a greater sense of self-identity, and group collaboration at this exciting time of pre-adolescence. Expect regular field trips on Thursdays (schedule to come) for photo shoots and other fun excursions: possible places include UCSC, UCSC Arboretum, Berkeley Repertory theater, the DeYoung Museum, and/or other ideas from you and the students. Field Trip helpers and ideas are needed. J
FRIDAY, Sept. 28 ROPES COURSE
I consider the beginning of the year Ropes course to be a critical piece to ensure class cohesion, and want every student to participate. This year, once again, we are keeping it closer to home, and a little less concentrated. We will be spending, just the day, working the low and high ropes at Mount Hermon. More details will follow. We will be starting the car pool from this parking lot. Please have your child bring a lunch, water, and wear appropriate clothes for wearing a harness and climbing.
PLEASE NOTE: This as a rough estimate of time commitment
REMEMBER! Be sure students bring a lunch & shoes they can play in each school day!
Other activities options:
Afterschool Sports @ the Middle School: Girls' Basketball Tryouts are today and tomorrow! The tryout schedule is:
*6th graders-2:30-3:30pm in the Gym *7th graders-5:00-6:30 pm in the Gym *8th graders-3:30-5:00 pm in the Gym
Boys' Soccer Tryouts: are today and tomorrow from 2:30-4 on the upper soccer field.
Capture the Flag is offered through the SLV Homeschool program, generally twice a month. There is no limit to the participants and is a wonderful way to play and get to know everyone.
A critical request: Coast Redwood Middle School Needs Your Help
You know the true cost of educating a child more than anyone–you have committed to spend your time and energy with your family in learning. Please consider support of their group classroom experience by making a $100 donation. Or donate in another much-needed way–by taking on a classroom job: we need help with keeping the room organized, monthly water and food support done each week. We also need help with organizing the filed trips. I asked each incoming family to donate at the end of last year, and 3 families have jump-started our fund with $900! A family has purchased $400 of textbooks, which you may be using. Thank you so much for getting us started. With the donated money, we can offer scholarships to students for field trips, the ropes/camping trip gas & food costs, and we can purchase supplies for all to use this year. But we need everyone to help however they can. Don't let just a few folks carry the burden. And don't let this request go unanswered–please let me know what your own situation is and we can think of ways for all to help. Thank you!
Tuesday, September 18
Use of KarmaTube. http://www.karmatube.org/index.php. OR Current events based on Student Interest.
KarmaTube is dedicated to bringing inspirational stories to light, using the power of video and the internet to multiply acts of kindness, beauty, and generosity.
*Remember that Wednesday is our All Charter Beach Day at Seabright Beach (across from the Big Whale at the Natural History Museum) from 11-5. Look for the balloons!
*Thursday is our New Family Orientation in the classroom at 9:30am
*Open House/Semester Meeting sign-up is from 10:30-12:30 also on Thursday
A link to California State Standards by Grade Level in various subject areas: