Create Learn Grow

September 2016

News from Ms. Owen

Welcome back to school!

I’m very excited to be at Hillcrest P.S. and get a chance to work with all of you! If you haven’t done so already, please check out our class website I will be making updates to this website with information about class and school activities. There’s also a calendar on the website, which is updated frequently with new important dates. My contact information is posted on the website. You can contact me by phone, through email, or with a written note. Please feel free to use the method that works best for you!

Our monthly newsletters will also be added to the blog by the beginning of each new month. If you don’t have regular access to the Internet, please write me a note and let me know. Then I will make sure to send home a hardcopy of the newsletters and other important informational items.

Thanks! Have a great month!


How can you help?

While students are always learning and sharing a lot at school, it’s wonderful when they can continue their learning at home. I know that the students work hard all day, and that many of them are tired by nighttime. Taking this into consideration, the only consistent homework this year will be minimal. Stay tuned for more information about our Home Reading program and Family Math Games.

During our day at school, we will also be taking photographs and videos to document our learning. This will be shared with you in you child's digital learning journal> Seesaw. These posts will hopefully encourage you and your child to further discuss and investigate at home. This is not required homework, but just another way for you to extend the classroom learning at home. If you have any questions about this homework routine, please just let me know.


I believe that technology is a wonderful tool that helps students learn. Over the course of the year, students will be using computers, iPads, chromebooks, the SMART Board, robots and other tech tools to share their thinking with others and to practice their skills. They will also be using pencils, pens, markers, chart paper, notebooks, and regular paper, as I believe strongly in the importance of balance.

Thanks to the use of technology, I also plan on blogging and using Twitter with my students. As the year progresses and students begin to write more, I plan on creating a group blog for our class through Seesaw. When we start to blog, I’ll let you know, so that you can see our posts and even reply to your child. Since we’ll be inquiring a lot this year – asking lots of questions and wondering on different topics – students will also get a chance to do some micro-blogging (short blogging) through Twitter. Our class twitter account is @Tigercubs12 I also have my own Twitter account which I use for professional learning and sharing @lowenEDU . You can definitely follow along with these Twitter accounts if you wish, and even tweet the students as they pose questions and share their learning.

While I feel that blogging, Twitter, and tech tools are great ways to provide an authentic audience for student work, learn from people around the world, and share learning with others, I also know that students need to be taught how to be safe online. We will continually be looking at online safety this year. Please note that I also regularly check all blog posts, approve all comments, and sign into all Twitter accounts so that students never know the passwords. I also don’t have students share their last name or any other personal information online, and I only post photographs and videos with your permission. I see the tremendous value of using technology in the classroom, but I also want to make sure that you see this value as well. If you have any questions about how I’m using a tool or why I’m using it, please contact me and let me know. These conversations are important!