Shannon x 4

This is by no means my biggest fish to fry right now, but I just greceived some of my students’ emergency cards and I was startled to discover that three of my students’ mothers’ names are Shannon. Four Shannons can’t be wrong, I suppose… 🙂

Shannon Falls in British Columbia, Canada

Shannon Falls in British Columbia, Canada

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Family Letter

Here’s a sneak preview at the family letter I’ll be bringing with me when I begin home visits TOMORROW (Friday)!!!

Dear students and families,

Can you believe it’s already time to head back to school?! I’m so excited! I have been thinking of you all summer long and can’t wait to see your eager, intelligent faces back in our classroom on September 3!

You might remember that our classroom was chosen to start the Daily 5 and CAFÉ model of reading instruction! That means you won’t switch classes for SFA. You might still receive extra tutoring or special classes outside of the classroom. We’re very lucky because our school is working with the women who created the Daily 5. They just might stop by to visit us if we’re lucky!

While I’m talking about scheduling, our school might be on a 6-day schedule. That means our specialist schedule rotates every 6 days instead of every 5 days. What this would mean is that some Tuesdays you’d have music, but other Tuesdays you’ll have P.E. I wanted to tell you so you wouldn’t be surprised when school started. It’s good because then Mr. Grout would have more time to take on intramural sports. Also, did you know you can join honor choir this year?

This school year is going to be very challenging and I have set high standards both for you as students and for me as your teacher. Here are my goals for myself this year:

1) Call at least 2-4 families each week (with good news!)

2) Read 4 full books a month.

3) Keep my desk area clean.

4) Have papers graded and returned within one week.

We will talk more about your goals once you arrive at school! It’s so important to always be working to improve ourselves.

We will continue to have homework every night except Fridays. Your homework will usually be your Letter to Ms. Houghton or a spiral review math sheet. I will also occasionally have Mathlete problems on the back of your homework. These are problems that are optional, but I’m including them because some students and families have asked me for more practice work.

I’ve been thinking a lot about family volunteers. I didn’t ask for much help last year because I didn’t know how to best use you! I think I have a better plan… make sure you come to Back-To-School night (tentatively set for Sept. 10) so I can tell you more!

I am so deeply grateful for all the love and support you give your families. I consider myself extremely lucky to serve my students and those who care for them. Thank you for trusting your student to learn with me during 4th grade. We are going to have a blast.

Love,

Ms. Houghton

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Penultimate Day :(

Penultimate means the next to the last. It’s almost the end of our time here, and I’m not ready to think about that yet. I’m also not quite ready to go through all my photos for my posts, although I’ve been trying to stay on top of everything. I’ll give you a few sneak peeks.

At Repulse Bay, Hong Kong. Buddhists believe that if you walk across this bridge and back, you add three days to your life.

At Repulse Bay, Hong Kong. Buddhists believe that if you walk across this bridge and back, you add three days to your life.

Students performing with the diabolo (Chinese yo-yo). They taught me how to use one too!

Students performing with the diabolo (Chinese yo-yo) in Taiwan. They taught me how to use one too!

Caryn and I took the "hard" option for our hike up the Great Wall.

Caryn and I picked the "hard" option for our hike up the Great Wall.

Sulphur!!! Just like we studied in our Rocks & Minerals unit! I wish I could have brought some back for you! It smelled sooooooo strongly. Do you remember what sulfur smells like?

Sulphur!!! Just like we studied in our Rocks & Minerals unit! I wish I could have brought some back for you! It smelled sooooooo strongly. Do you remember what sulfur smells like?

Holding my dinner!

Holding my dinner! Yes, it was eventually cooked.

I miss everyone, and I’m ready to head back to Seattle. You know who I miss? KITTIES!!!

Olive!

Olive!

 

I’m off to eat part of my dinner, I think, and then maybe venture out to the giant bookstore. See you soon!

Part of my dinner tonight (it's ham & cheese wrapped in a pastry)

Part of my dinner tonight (it's ham & cheese wrapped in a pastry). It cost 36 NT, or Taiwanese dollars, which is about 1 US dollar.

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Typhoon in Taipei

We’ve been in Taiwan for the past few days, but today we got a chance to spend some quality time in the city. I’ll post in more detail later, but I wanted to let you know we’re safe and sound, despite the fact that a typhoon is en route.

The mayor of Taipei came out on a loudspeaker and broadcast a warning for everyone to avoid using cars as much as possible over the next few days. Crazy.

I’ll be leaving for home at 12:00 PM on Saturday, Taiwan time. I’ll arrive 13 hours “later,” at 12:40 PM on Saturday, Seattle time. Oh, International Date Line, how you mess with my time-space continuum…

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