this page …. Learn about class procedures, behavior management, homework procedures, and more.
Class Policies, Supplies, and Student Job Descriptions, and Behavior Plan updated August 11, 2013. Homework policy updated August 26. Downloads may not be up to date.
Field Trips: I’ve already scheduled a few field trips and will post a schedule during Back to School Night. This year we are scheduling at least one overnight trip. More on that will come later. In 5th grade we do not take as many field trips as other grades. However, we will be doing short field trips every other week, our Fridays in the Park.
Fridays in the Park: Every two weeks, beginning September 7, the class will go to a park between 11:00 and 1:00 p.m. On these Fridays we’ll do the following: 1 outdoor lesson, lunch, and physical activity. Please remember that Fridays in the Park are tied to the behavior program in the class. Refer to the page on behavior for more detail.
Birthdays: There will be no food for birthdays this year. Instead, we’ll do other activities to honor students. If students would like to bring something to share with others, students may bring pencils or other school supplies.
Book Orders: This year book orders will be entirely online. I will no longer collect book orders and money in class. Please see the class website page to learn more about ordering Scholastic Books.
Snack and Recess: Families are responsible for providing snacks for students. Students need to eat their snacks during the recess time. No food is allowed in the classroom unless I specifically give permission. Please do not send candy or other sugary sweets as snack items. Students are expected to go outside during recess and are not allowed to bring books are other materials with them. Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays during lunch recess a limited amount of students are able to go to the library to read. Also, I try not to take away recess as punishment.
Lunch and Breakfast: Please provide either a home lunch for your child or have your child get lunch from the cafeteria. If your child forgets his or her lunch, your child can always get food from the cafeteria. The district policy is that all students have the right to eat. However, if you are not eligible for free lunch, you will be billed for your student’s meal. Lunch costs $3.00. Also, please remember that hungry students do not do well in the morning. Breakfast is available in the Cafeteria at 7:30. Breakfast costs $1.50. Students at breakfast must get to the yard as soon as the 7:50 bell rings.
Phone Use: Please remember that students are not supposed to use cell phones during school hours. Students will not be allowed to use the class phone during school hours, so please plan accordingly.
Before School: Please remember that students are not allowed in the building before school starts with the exception of eating breakfast in the cafeteria and using the restroom. Students should not come to the classroom to drop off bags or chat with the teacher. If a student arrives around the time of the bell, the student should always come outside to join the class rather than going directly to the room. Students who are more than ten minutes late should go directly to the library to get a tardy pass. On rainy days, students should go directly to the cafeteria. Students should not come up to the classroom unless they are late.
After School: Students in an after school program are expected to go directly to their program after school. Our principal wants all students to be led to the yard for dismissal, which means all students need to be ready to leave when the bell rings.
5th Grade Promotion: This is your child’s last year of elementary school! Here are the basics of what to expect regarding 5th grade activities. First, they’ll be fundraising events to raise money for activities. Most likely we’ll also be asking parents to contribute about $20 dollars to help fund activities. Some of this will fund a legacy gift to leave to the school. At the end of the year students receive 5th grade T-shirts, take a Panoramic Picture, go on a fun 5th Grade trip, and have a special breakfast. 5th graders spend their last day of school in a two-hour promotion ceremony, then get to go home.
Wednesday Envelopes: Wednesday envelopes are usually given out on Wednesdays. Whether they come home on Wednesday or later, they need to be returned no later than the next Monday.
GATE: GATE stands for Gifted and Talented Education. Students are designated gifted and talented primarily due to test scores. What’s important to understand is that GATE students do not get pulled out for separate classes. Instead, GATE students often receive more challenging assignments to meet their needs. In my class, GATE students must first demonstrate understanding of the required material before receiving more challenging assignments. Please come to Back to School Night to get more information about how I deal with GATE students.
ELD: English Language Development Time is from 8:00-8:30 each day. During this time I work with a small group of English Language Learners. The other students are given appropriate educational tasks to work on independently during this time. This is our second year having a school wide ELD time of 8:00 to 8:30. In the beginning of the year I set up routines so that students not in my group will know exactly what to do during their independent time.
Donations: I’ve created a wish list on Amazon in case you are ever inspired to get something for the class. Please use the link from my class website to get to the wish list. Donations such as tissues, pencils, and glue sticks are welcome at any time. Thanks!
Student Job Descriptions
Student jobs last for two weeks.
Distributors (2): The class distributors pass out papers and books to their classmates.
Lunch Monitors (2): The lunch monitors help to make sure lunch runs smoothly. If a student is causing a problem, the lunch monitor should inform the adults in the lunchroom. Lunch monitors also wipe down tables after students have finished. However, they should not have to clean up other students’ trash. Each student should clean up his or her own mess.
Supply Assistants (2): Supply assistants will be responsible for getting out and putting away any supply materials kept in the closet.
Homework Monitors (2): Homework monitors will check homework for name and completion and check with students about their homework.
Homework Charters (2): Homework charters will check off students who have completed homework on the chart.
Botanists (2): The botanists will water classroom plants Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings. These helpers will also water outdoor plants after lunch when necessary.
Recyclers (2): At the end of the day, the Recyclers will take the recycling bin down to the large recycling bins. They will also help remind people to recycle rather than put paper in the trash.
Composters (2): At the end of the day, the Composters will take the composting bin down to the large composting bins.
Daily Rotation Monitors (2): Daily Rotation Monitors will change the daily rotation chart each morning.
P.E. Helpers (2): Assist Mr. Drum with taking out and putting away equipment during P.E. times. These monitors may sometimes help other classes with P.E. setup.
Line Leaders (2): Line leaders help students get into line in the proper order, get quiet, and prepared for transition.
Office Helpers: (2): Office helpers will take the attendance sheet down to the office everyday at 8:30 a.m. They will also be responsible for taking down and picking up Wednesday envelopes.
Pencil Monitors: (2): Pencil monitors will sharpen pencils when available, empty the pencil shavings into the trash, and clean up around the pencil sharpening areas.
Phone Monitors/Substitutes (2): Phone monitors will answer the phone each time it rings, saying, “Room 227, Student Speaking.” They will also act as substitutes when other students are out.
Mailbox Stuffers (2): Mailbox stuffers will put Wednesday Envelopes and Mr. Drum’s Handouts into mailboxes when necessary.
Recess Equipment: If it is your turn to choose an item for recess, you are responsible for sharing the item fairly during recess time and returning it after recess. If the item is not returned, you will lose a point and miss your next turn getting recess equipment. When in class, hallways, or in line outside, please make sure to hold all equipment. Do not bounce balls or swing jump ropes.
Reading Time is from 12:40 to 1:00 p.m. everyday. During this time you will read silently from your choice of reading materials unless you are selected for a different option.
Conference Time: During Reading Time 4 students will do conferencing with Mr. Drum. The conferences will be about some piece of work the student is working on, most likely writing or reading. Students can do their silent reading time until called by Mr. Drum
Computer Time: If it is your turn for computer time, you may only do academic activities from Raz-Kids, Mr. Drum’s Website, Apps from Edmodo, or IXL. Mr. Drum will let you know if there are any other options.
Problem Solving: Academic Choice time will also be used to solve any major problems between students. If you have a problem you are unable to solve quickly, you can sign up for problem solving time during this time. A teacher or fellow students will help you solve you problem.
Later in the year options involving the iPad, Smartboard, art, and other academic pursuits may be available during Reading Time.
Students must organize their school materials in folders and notebooks. The school has purchased homework planners for each student. Students will have time everyday to write the homework in their planners.
Here are my requests:
- Each student will need 5 color-coded notebooks. If you are not able to find the right colors, that is okay. Notebooks are often turned in for grading or review, so please do not send your child with an all-in-one notebook.
- Purple: Reading Notebook (Reading Workshop requires a lot of writing about reading)
- Green: Language Notebook (Writing, Grammar, Vocabulary, Spelling)
- Blue: Social Studies (History, Geography, Current Events)
- Red: Math
- Yellow: Science
- Students will also need a folder for each subject, plus an additional folder for Homework. I recommend that each folder be the same color as the notebook. Therefore, Students will need 6 folders.
- Students will need some kind of pencil box to hold pencils.
- The following items are not necessary, but could be helpful to your student.
- A small pencil sharpener
- At the beginning of the school year I will provide pencils and dry erase markers. However, both these items run out and I won’t be able to continue to supply them throughout the school year.
- Water Bottle – this will prevent kids from needing to use the water fountains during class time. Please provide a durable container for water rather than a plastic recyclable container. The clear plastic containers are usually left in the classroom, played with, and are generally wasted.
Please make sure you label all items with your child’s name. Students should not bring binders. In general students should limit the items they bring to school, as we do not have much space in desks or in the classroom.
Other Classroom Supplies
There are some things that we constantly need in the classroom. I’d be most grateful if each family could contribute some of these items throughout the year.
- Please bring in a box of facial tissues during the first week.
- House Plants are always welcome.
- Hand Sanitizer
- Paper towels
- Disinfecting Wipes
All supplies should be ready by Wednesday, August 21.
Students will be given explicit instructions for each task, including what to do, how to do it, and how they should behave while doing it.
As students begin the work, I will notice students who are following directions and describe their actions without judgment.
“Elena is getting her book out silently. Ricky is silently reading.”
I will notice between 2 and 3 people each time. This gives the other students time to get on track. Students who are not following directions when I finish the behavioral narrative will have a consequence.
Consequences and Point System
Students are awarded 3 behavior points each day. Students lose these points for inappropriate behavior. Using the example above, if “Fanny” is not following directions after I acknowledge “Elena” and “Ricky”, “Fanny” will lose a point. Lost points are indicated by the students name going on the white board. A check mark indicates another lost point. So, name on the board plus two checks equals loss of all 3 points.
For students who lose all three points in a day, I will either call or email a parent or guardian. Students who did not lose all three will have extra reading time at the end of the day.
Homework Points: Students get a point for each homework assignment. There will be 15 points available each week. Every assignment not turned in is a lost point.
Classwork Points: Classwork points are for work assigned during independent times. There will be 15 points available each week. Every assignment not turned in is a lost point.
- Behavior Points: 3 each day (15 each week)
- Homework Points: 15 each week
- Classwork Points: 15 each week
- Total possible for 2 week period: 90 points
- Total needed to participate in Friday in the Park: 72 (80%)
There are two incentives. First, each day after lunch is our Reading Time. During this time students do silent reading in the classroom from 12:40 to 1:00. This is a time of relaxation when students are allowed to read any material they choose. Students who lose all three behavior points will miss out on this and be sent to another class to do other work.
The major incentive is the Friday Party. Every other Friday we will spend time after lunch doing fun activities, such as a watching a movie and eating popcorn. However, students who don’t have the required number of points will not participate. They will be sent to another fifth grade classroom during this time.
Consequences for Lack of Homework: A student who does not turn in homework will have to do it during the Reading Time after lunch. A student will use this time to finish homework. I do not take away recess except in extreme circumstances.
Consequences for losing/not turning in Weekly Point sheet: The weekly point sheet is an important part of student responsibility. These sheets show how many points a student received during the week. Weekly Point Sheets (WPS) are given on Fridays and need to be returned, signed by a parent, by the next Thursday. If a WPS is not returned signed by a parent or guardian, the student will miss out on the Friday Party, regardless of points.
Class Points: The class gets 10 points each day. The class loses points for not being lined up appropriately, not following directions during work time, or not cleaning up appropriately. If only one or two individuals are causing problems, those individuals will lose points, not the class. The class loses points when a significant number of students are not following directions.
Points Needed for Reading Time: The class needs at least 7 points at the end of the day to have Reading Time. The class needs 70 points in a two-week period to have Friday Party
What happens when Reading Time is lost? If Reading Time is lost I’ll fill in the time with another lesson. Usually there is something to make up.
What happens if Friday Party is lost? There is always something to learn, so this time will be used for regular class lessons.
Mr. Drum’s Class 2012-2013
The San Francisco Unified School District states that students in grades 3-5 should have 30 minutes of homework. Many teachers believe that students should have about 10 minutes of homework per grade level; therefore, 50 minutes for 5th grade. Keeping these ideas in mind, my policy is that students should spend 30 minutes on homework involving worksheets (language arts worksheets, and math and language arts practice books) and at least 30 minutes of reading each night. Students should spend at least 30 minutes of concerted effort on their worksheet assignments. If a student has not completed the worksheets after 30 minutes of effort, you, the parent should decide whether or not your child should continue.
My thoughts about homework: In 5th Grade, homework means practicing skills and practicing responsibility. In the past, when I’ve given a lot of homework, many children could not be successful with either goal. I try to give the right amount of homework to help all kids be successful. If you feel like your child needs more “homework” it is up to you to provide this work. Keep in mind that homework will increase in the spring, and there will occasionally be assignments that may take more than 50 minutes.
Practicing Skills: Since children are practicing skills while doing homework, please help them by giving them strategies and tools to solve problems on their own. This is what I do during class. You can also help by checking some or all of the homework to see if your child has followed directions.
Responsibility: Students are expected to turn in all their homework assignments completed, with name and date in the appropriate places and with demonstrated effort. Please help your child to be responsible by checking that he or she has completed the assignment. If your child does not understand how to do a problem, he or she should write that he or she doesn’t understand the problem on the homework sheet.
Excuses: Please help your child to come up with solutions rather than excuses. Students should find ways to get the work finished. The only excuse I will accept is a written note from a parent explaining the situation. The child will not lose a point on the homework chart, but the homework will still need to be completed.
What happens to homework once it is turned in? Homework is checked for completion and marked on a class chart. Ms. Whitlow and I check the homework to see if students are having issues. Sometimes the homework is marked up if we have time. Sometimes issues are addressed during class lessons, and sometimes we have individual meetings with students. In any case, the homework is returned and students may take it home.
Internet: This year we will be using the Internet for much of our communication. As long as your child has access to Internet, he or she should be able to get help from another student, and sometimes even the teacher. If your family doesn’t have consistent access to the Internet we will find other ways to support your child.
Absences: Absent students will receive all papers in a While You Were Out folder. If a family member is able to pick this up at the end of the day, the child should do that work while absent. Once students have become familiar with the computer activities we’ll be doing, I’ll create a list of other activities students can do while absent. Most assignments should be completed. I will let your child know if there is an assignment that does not need to be completed.
Weekend Homework: Students should expect to a do a Weekly Reflection on Kidblog every weekend. Occasionally, there will be other weekend homework.
Studying: Any time I write “Study” on the homework board, students should know to bring home their notebook for that subject and study the pages in the notebook that relate to the test material. Often there will be other ways of studying as well, such as online study guides, crossword puzzles, quizzes, or games.
How is your child doing? As I mentioned before, please be aware of your child’s work habits so that you are not surprised. However, you will be informed every week how your child is doing, as this ties into our point system. The report will indicate how responsible your child has been with homework and in class assignments, as well as behavior.
Homework Points: Students get a point for each homework assignment. There will be 15 points available each week. Missed assignments are subtracted from the point total. For example, if you child earns 10 points for homework in a week, that means your child has missed 5 assignments. Please see the Behavior Plan for more information.
Formatting Homework: For homework assignments where there is a specific place for a name and date, students should put their name and the date in those spots. For homework on regular paper, homework should be turned in as follows:
Name in right corner
Date below the name
Title Centered on Top Line of Page
(skip a space below the title)
Start homework on left margin. If it is a writing assignment, students should remember to indent paragraphs
Assignments, including tests, are graded using a four point scale. If the test has a large number of questions, I’ll calculate a percentage. The percentages correspond to the numeric score.
4 – Advanced (91-100%)
3 – Proficient (78-90%)
2 – Basic (67-77%)
1 – Below basic (0-66%)
I do not assign letter grades, i.e., A, B, C, D, and F.
Major Writing Assignments:Major writing assignments, i.e., narrative, responses to literature (book reports), research paper, and persuasive essay, are graded with a number rubric. This number rubric is aligned with the scale above: 4 – Advanced, 3 – Proficient, 2 – Basic, and 1 – Below basic. Students will receive a number score on the rubric for each of the standards that go with that writing assignment. When the writing is assigned, students will be given a rubric so that the criteria on which they will be graded is clear.
Projects: Not all projects are graded. Projects are often done to practice a skill or gain knowledge beyond the curriculum, and are often done with the aid of teachers and other students. Any project that will be graded will have a rubric associated with it.
Homework: Homework is not graded, but is checked. The exceptions is when the homework is also a larger assignment, such as the final draft of a writing assignment. These are always graded. The homework “grade” on the report card reflects the percentage of homework turned in.
Grading Sheet: Tests will come home with a grading sheet attached. The grading sheet explains the test, shows which standards were addressed, and the grade for each standard (1, 2, 3, or 4). Writing Assignments and Projects will be sent home with the rubric attached.
Please return all tests and writing assignments. The grading sheet has a part for parents to sign. Students will get a homework point for returning the grading sheet with the test or assignment. All tests and writing assignments stay in the student’s class binder. At the end of the quarter, you get to see all the work and take home most of it. Writing assignments stay in the binder until the end of the year.
Friday Quiz: Every Friday students will have a quiz on some of the topics taught during the week. These will be graded in class and taken home. Friday quizzes do not have to be returned and do not count for grades.
Notebooks: This year I will be grading the notebooks. The notebooks will affect grades in the following ways:
Language Notebook: Writing Standard 1.2 and 2.2
Reading Notebook: Reading Standards. 2.1-3.7
Math Notebook: Mathematical Reasoning Standards 1.0-3.0
History Notebook: The current standard the class is working on.
Science Notebook: Investigation and Experimentation Standard 6.0
Parent Teacher Conferences: Twice a year we have meetings to discuss your child’s progress. You’ll be able to review the work in your child’s binder and take home any projects your child has done during the quarter. During this time, I will also have available any standardized test results I’ve used to determine grades.
If you are concerned about your child’s progress in between conference times, please set up a meeting. Please do not come after school or before school to discuss important issues without setting up a meeting.