Nuts and Bolts

Dear Parents, September, 2017

Welcome to third grade! I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with you and your child this year! I hope we can work together to make this year a positive learning experience for all of us. The following information shares in detail my homework and discipline policies. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me by a written note, telephone (360-0825), or e-mail ( I would also be glad to conference with you at any time! Here are some items of information that may be helpful to you:

1. GRADING: Your child will receive letter grades this year. The Henrico County grading scale for elementary children is as follows:

A 9o – 100 D 65 – 69
B 80 – 89 F 64 and below
C 70 – 79

2. HOMEWORK/GRADED PAPERS: Homework in third grade is designed to help all students achieve greater academic success and develop responsibility and effective work habits. I will assign homework each day as an extension and reinforcement of our third grade curriculum, and the bulk of it should be completed at home, not at school. Performance on homework also helps me to recognize any student who might be struggling with a concept. Henrico County Schools suggest that third graders spend approximately 40 minutes doing homework each night. In addition to written assignments, students should spend time reviewing notes in the binder, practicing math facts, completing word study (spelling) activities, and reading for pleasure. I expect homework to be completed neatly with quality and returned on time. The PTA has provided your child with a spiral homework notebook that is to be kept in his/her three-ring binder. Your child will be expected to write homework assignments for each day in this notebook and check off each assignment when it is complete. Upcoming quizzes and tests will be noted in this notebook. If your child is absent, an assignment form will be completed by me listing any work that has been assigned that day. Your child is responsible for making up all missed assignments the next night or as soon as possible. If you would like work sent home with another child, or if you would like to have it picked up in the office, please let me know as early as possible. Thank you for helping to reinforce and encourage healthy study habits at home!

Graded papers will be passed out and sent home in your child’s pocket folder as soon as they are graded, so the “keep at home” side of the folder needs to be checked nightly! Please remove all papers from this side and keep them at home. Please do not remove papers from any other part of the binder. Papers within the subject dividers should remain there for your child to use a reference. Often, I will refer back to papers previously completed and kept in these sections. If they are removed, your child may be left out of an activity or confused about what we are discussing. We will be cleaning out these sections together as a class once the unit is completed.

3. DISCIPLINE: I believe that a mutually respective, pleasant atmosphere is the key to having a great day of learning take place! Our class will be thinking about how we can accomplish this and will soon develop our own class rules. Each child will agree to and sign a copy of the class rules for their binder. When your child shows this to you, please sign your name also to show that your child has reviewed our class rules with you.
I always like to recognize and reward examples of good behavior! If the class as a whole gets a compliment from another adult, they earn a chip or two for the “Cardinal Compliment” jar. 100 chips earns the class a special treat, such as extra recess or lunch in the room with a movie. Next, our classroom’s seating arrangement is in teams. Every time the team is working together well to show good behavior I will give them a point on the team chart. At the end of the week, the winning team gets cardinal cash which can be turned in for prizes. Finally, each student begins the day with his/her name under the “Cardinal Way” poster. If a student has a discipline problem (after a warning from me) their picture will be moved to a “yellow” face and then “red”. We also have a “blue” face for not turning in homework! Individual students who have kept their name under the “Cardinal Way” poster all week will be able to participate in PAT time (Positive Attitude Time) at the end of the week. They may use this time to do an activity of their choice. Students who have moved to a different color or forgotten homework during the week will spend some of their PAT time reflecting on ways to improve in the following week.

In the case of inappropriate behavior, the following steps will take place:

Step 1 – Verbal Warning from me.

Step 2 – Move name to yellow, fill out a yellow note to take home to be signed by a parent, and lose 5 to 10 minutes of PAT time. Behaviors could include not paying attention in class, talking/distracting other students, playing with items in the desk, not following rules around the school, being unkind, etc.

Step 3 – Move name to red, fill out a red note to take home to be signed by a parent, and lose 15 to 20 minutes of PAT time.

Step 4 – Conference with principal and/or parent

I believe parental support is extremely important in both these areas. You can help by letting your child be responsible for his/her homework and having a discussion with your child if a behavior card comes home. I will not hesitate to contact you with any problems I am seeing, and I hope you will feel free to contact me with any concerns you may have.

I will go into more detail about our plans and procedures on the PTA Back to School Night. The third grade team is anticipating a terrific year of learning and growing, and I look forward to working with you to form a meaningful partnership to help your child this year. Parents, students, and teachers working together will contribute to a successful third grade year for all!

Debbie Taylor


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