Welcome to Room 315!
Mrs. Bynagle and Mrs. Greear
Mrs. Greear - Hello! My name is Alana Greear. I have lived in the Homer area for nearly 20 years now. Some of you may know me by my aliases: ‘That kid who sings mom’, ‘McNeil Canyon Girl Scout Troop Leader’, or ‘Vince’s wife’.
I am currently finishing my Master’s Degree in Education. Student teaching is a critical part of my educational requirement and I feel overjoyed to have been allowed to be mentored in this endeavor by Mrs. Bynagle. West Homer Elementary is a dynamic school and a very special place. I will be assisting Mrs. Bynagle in all aspects of her day to day classroom activities. Eventually, I will be taking over instruction in the classroom for a part of this semester. I am thinking it will be such a smooth transition no one in the room will notice!
I am excited about this school year and I hope that you are too!
Mrs. Bynagle - Hi everybody! I am extremely happy to be starting another year at West Homer Elementary. This is my 9th year teaching in the district (YIKES!!). I feel very fortunate to have a wonderful teaching partner/ student teacher who I will be working and collaborating with. Mrs. Greear has already proven to be a tremendous asset to our class.
This school year is sure to be a blast! There is a lot to get done this year and I’m very excited to teach this group of students.
This year in reading we will be using both the district adopted Houghton Mifflin Journeys Reading Program and we will be participating in reading workshops. During these workshops students will synthesis, interpret, and critique different forms of writing. My hope is that students will not only become better and more fluent readers, but that they will also begin to build a “reading life” and I will do everything I can to help students become avid, lifelong readers. As the students work I meet with small groups of readers who share the same instructional as well as conference with individual students. After the students work on their reading, I gather them again for a teaching share time. This gives me an opportunity for further instruction and gives each child an opportunity to show each other what they’ve accomplished. Reading will be a rigorous and enjoyable class in which students read, read, read.
In language arts we will using the writing workshop method. In our classroom, the writing workshop lasts for approximately an hour each day. It begins with a 10-minute writing lesson (which we call a minilesson) in which I explicitly teach the skills of good writing. I gather all of the writers for this large group direct instruction and teach them a strategy or method that they can use to make their writing stronger, clearer, and more correct. After the minilesson children work on their own writing for 40-45 minutes. As students work I meet with small groups of writers and conference with individuals. After the students work on their writing I gather them again for a sharing time. This gives me an opportunity for further instruction and gives children an opportunity to show each other what they’ve accomplished. For the pure fun of it all students will automatically be enrolled in the Grammar and Snacks Club! This club will meet at the end of language arts three days a week and will focus students’ attention to the different and exciting world of grammar and mechanics.
This year math is going to look a little bit different. 6th grade teachers ability group their math students. This year I will be teaching one of the 6th grade math groups, so I might or I might not have your 6th grade student for math. Although 5th grade does not ability group, I had to place my 5th grade students into the two 5th grade classrooms. Mrs. Putney and Mr. Miller will be taking my 5th grade students. These classes will still be small, and there will be plenty of support in both locations.
Electronic Newsletters will be sent home each week. iIhope you find the newsletter to be helpful form of communication between home and school.
Now I'm sure the next big question all of you have is about homework.
I believe that homework enhances student achievement by extending learning beyond the school day. Homework also helps foster positive attitudes towards school and promotes the belief that learning takes place at home as well as in the classroom. Learning is a life skill that needs to be promoted in every way possible. With this being said, I do not tend to assign tremendous amounts of homework. Please expect your son or daughter to read every night (between 20 and 30 minutes), bring a math assignment home 4 times a week (it should take 15 minutes or less), and write 2-3 times a week (it should take 10 minutes or less). Homework that I assign will be purposeful, will be challenging, will be able to be completed with a high rate of success, will not require parents to act as teachers, and will not take too much time away from other family activities.
For reading I simply ask that students maintain a reading log. For this students will be expected to write the title of their book with the number of pages read in a given amount of time. I ask that these be brought to school every Friday so that I can look for any patterns that can help me better help your student to become a better reader.
Math homework is review of what we did the previous week; although the student knows how to complete the task correctly they still may not do it fluently. Math homework is assigned the day before it is due.
Writing (language arts) homework might simply consist of looking at family pictures of a vacation/trip/adventure that you have taken recently so that your student’s mind is fresh and ready to write about it the next day, or I might ask that they draw a picture of their bedroom so that they have something to look at as they write a descriptive paragraph about the way their bedroom looks, smells, or feels. Writing is assigned the day before it is due.