I am so excited to see so many smiling faces back at school tomorrow! The beginning of a new school year is always so exciting. The kids get to see friends they haven’t seen all summer, meet new friends, see former teachers and meet new teachers!.

The first few days of school are always an especially busy time as teachers have to do “housekeeping,” trying to get to know the students and go over important school and classroom procedures.

Tomorrow all 7th grade students will come down the team complex and go to the room they have been assigned to for 1st hour. There are lots of signs posted out in the hallway to let the students know which room to report to. For example, I will meet with all Lion team students whose last name begins with A through G.

Students will take a seat and watch the morning news and the teachers will pass out their schedules. We will also collect team supplies that students bring for use throughout the entire school year (kleenex, hand sanitizer, paper towels, etc.). I know some students may not have these items on the first day and plan to go shopping this weekend and that is absolutely okay! Any donations of these items are appreciated at any time throughout the year. When cold and flu season hits we usually start to run a little low on kleenex so that is the big item we usually need the most.

After the morning news students will go to their 1st hour exploratory class. Students will go through their entire schedule tomorrow from 1st through 7th hour. Teachers will be collecting student materials (i.e. composition notebooks for class, etc.) and going through the school-wide CHAMPS PowerPoint. This is just a reminder for many of the Hayes students about proper behavior for the hallway, cafeteria, at assemblies, etc. and lets new Hayes students know the “Hayes way.” Teachers then have a little bit of class time to begin to get to know the students better. 7th hour is when students will receive their “first day” packets to take home. This includes yearbook orders, health information for the school, parent survey, etc. Students will also be filling out bus passes and giving their transportation information to the teachers.

Thursday and Friday are when teachers will be able to go over their classroom rules and procedures, classroom syllabus, discuss summer reading, etc. We are also having a back-to-school CHAMPS assembly on Friday afternoon!

As you can see, the first couple of days of school are pretty packed with “housekeeping.”

Mrs. Van Hoose said she intends to assign lockers to students beginning on Monday, August 19! This will also be our first library day for the school year! We go to the library every other week on Mondays.

I am hoping that most of the students will have their composition notebooks for class by Monday, August 19. We are going to be using this notebook daily in class this school year for lots of journaling about our reading.

I have spent a lot of time this summer looking into some excellent research and books all about helping students become better readers and able to think and really analyze the books that they are reading. One of my favorite activities when I was in school was discussing books with my peers and analyzing the text for deeper meanings. I am really excited to work with the students this year more one-on-one and in groups to help them become even better readers! My goal this year is to instill a love of reading in my students and to inspire them to see how enjoyable reading can be.

This is why the journal is going to be so important in our classroom. Students will be interacting with their reading on a daily basis. This will help them to see their thinking and to reflect on it. This also will allow me to see their thinking and to assist them when needed, such as teaching reading and comprehension strategies as well as help them to think deeper and really analyze their reading. I will be responding back and forth with the students frequently to talk about their readings.

This is why I would like for the students to have their composition notebooks by next Monday, August 19. I am going to spend a day or two allowing the students to personalize them in class. This really helps them show some of their personality and take ownership of their notebook before we begin journaling. This will also give me some time to spend talking with the students about what they like and dislike about reading and getting to know them better.

I hope this gives you a glimpse of what is to come in the next week or two at Hayes.

I look forward to working with you and your student this school year. As always, please let the team know if you have any questions or concerns. We are here to help!

Sincerely,

Mrs. Finley

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