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Homework Routines

Homework/Study Skills Set your child up for success with a homework routine that works Homework in middle school as opposed to elementary school can usually be summed up with the word more. There is more of it, it is given more frequently and it is more complex. You can help your child make a successful transition if you:
  • Know what your child is doing after school. If you are not at home, have a system through which he checks in frequently.
  • Make sure your child has a place that suits him for doing homework. His nook should be comfortable and well lit.
  • Tell your child that his schoolwork is important to you because your family values education. Set up a schedule. Some children don't need this, but many do.
  • Homework is more likely to get done if the words: "Do homework from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m." are written down in a prominent place in your home.
  • Encourage your child to set goals. Example: Do five math problems daily for weekly assignment. If I complete this goal, I will be done with math by Friday and have my weekend free.
  • Teach your child to plan ahead for large assignments.
  • Have a calendar for writing down due dates.
  • Break up the assignment into chunks and have a due date for each chunk. That way your child will not be doing everything the night before the project is due.

Reprinted with permission from the September 2010 issue of Parents Still make the difference!® (Middle School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2010 The Parent Institute®, a division of NIS, Inc. Source: Sydney S. Zentall and Sam Goldstein, Seven Steps to Homework Success, ISBN: 1- 886941-22-X, Specialty Press, Inc.
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Posted Friday, September 30, 2016

Welcome to the 2016-2017 School Year!

     I am excited that you will be joining us this school year! I trust that you had an exciting summer! I, for one, enjoyed spending time with my family! We decided to purchase a pop-up camper this year and the adventures we have been on have been amazing!

     I wanted to give you a little information on what to expect this school year. There will be many changes in how the Title 1 staff works with your child this year.

     First, the entire Title 1 staff will be working with each grade level. This will allow us to provide additional supports to a larger group of children.

we will be providing Title 1 supports to both elementary and middle school this year. I will be sharing my time,  working with both elementary and middle school students.  My focus this year will be with first grade, fourth, and fifth grades, and all of middle school.   I am excited to see the familiar faces of students that I have worked with when I first came to Black River!

     Thirdly, o
ur general education teachers will be implementing guided reading blocks this year. During this guided reading block, I,  along with other reading specialists, will be in the classroom holding reading groups with children who have been identified as needing additional supports. At times, children will be provided services in a pull-out setting. This means that your child may be receiving their services in a separate classroom.

     These changes have been implemented in order to provide the classroom teacher, the reading specialist, and the student the optimal amount of time when receiving reading support.

     At any time, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call, e-mail, or send a note.  We, the entire BR staff, want the absolute best educational experience for both you and your child!

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Posted Monday, August 15, 2016

December 2015
It is hard to believe that November has come and gone, and we are now at the end of our first week of December!  The month of December is always a magical time!  

In fourth grade, our groups have been focusing on writing about our reading.  We have been analyzing character traits, both their thoughts and their actions.  We have been discussing how a writer will tell us about a character by describing his thoughts and how an illustrator can help us understand a character's thoughts and feelings by illustrating the body language of a character.  

In writing, we have been focusing on giving our opinions about character's actions and supporting our opinion with the use of text evidence.  Your children are continuing to develop their paragraph writing skills by focusing on having one idea per paragraph.

In 5th grade, students have been continuing to focus on fluency through Reader's Theater.  Our focus this week has been understanding legends and folktales in order to identify the moral or lesson of a story.  These lessons help us identify the author's purpose in writing.  

We are also continuing to write about our reading.  Students have been focusing on writing summaries.  We have been using the Somebody, Wanted, But, So, Then, Finally method to help us identify the main characters, the problems and the solutions to the problems.

Many groups are getting ready to begin a novel study in LLI.  As we begin these studies, I ask that you continue to read with your child nightly.  Your child will be expected to read portions of the novel at home in order to participate in group discussions!

As always, thanks for your help!
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Posted Thursday, December 3, 2015
Two of our LLI reading groups have been engaged in reading informational text from the Making a Difference series in the LLI program. This series demonstrates the importance of creating change in the world.

Our students have been reading about Ana Dodson, a young Peruvian girl who has made a difference in the lives of Peruvian Orphans by creating a foundation called Peruvian Hearts. The Peruvian Hearts Organization's motto is "Changing the world, one heart at a time." Click here to read more about Peruvian Hearts.

Along with Ana Dodson, the students are reading another text from the Making a Difference series. This new text is called Ryan's Well. It tells the story of a young Canadian boy who made a difference by recognizing the need for fresh water for children in Uganda. He has created a foundation called Ryan's Well Foundation. Click here to read more about the Ryan's Well Foundation.

I encourage you to discuss with your children, how they can make a difference in the life of others. I have included permanent links to these foundations in the "links" drop down menu at the bottom of the page.
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Posted Friday, November 6, 2015
Our second conference night will be held this Thursday, November 5, from 4:30-8:00 p.m.  I will be attending your scheduled conference with your child's classroom teacher.  If you would like to schedule a longer conference, please call the office to schedule a time.  

If you are not able to attend conferences on Thursday, but would like to schedule another time to meet, please call the office.
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Posted Sunday, November 1, 2015
Black River Elementary School has purchased Moby Max as a tool to provide students with reteaching and enrichment opportunities. Your child is utilizing this program in fourth and fifth grade during their intervention times. Students who come to my classroom for reading intervention are not able to utilize this program during the school day. However, they are able to access the program from home! Simply go onto the Internet and go to Once there, your child will sign in. They will need our school code, listed below. When they loging, their username will be the first letter of their first name, and entire last name. Their password will be their lunch code. Once they are logged in, they may click on any active module (reading, math, fact fluency, etc.)

School Code: OH286
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Posted Friday, October 30, 2015
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