McKay's Fantastic 5s!

September 2016

An Introdution...

Hello to all Parents and Guardians and a warm welcome back to the students!

My name is Merrick McKay and I will be your child's grade 5 teacher this year. This is my second-go-round in grade 5 and I am armed with what worked last year and what didn't! I have spent the last 10 years in various roles as a SERT (fancy acronym for Special Education Resource Teacher). Therefore, I have a solid understanding of the Special Education world - something I am proud of! I am an open minded and engaging individual who loves to see students learn in any way that makes sense to them. I endeavour to grow with your child and enjoy everything they and grade five have to offer. Please do not hesitate in contacting me with questions or concerns at Looking forward to an exciting year!

Last year I experimented with Class Dojo. I'm sure by now you are familiar with the application, but wanted to let you know that I will be using it this year as a means to promote student self-worth and a direct way to communicate with parents/guardians. This newsletter will be the only one of its kind this year as I will update and inform you via the Dojo. You are more than welcome to contact me via the Dojo messaging system (it is private) when needed and I will do my best to reply to you in a timely manner. I will post photos and videos of our adventures in grade 5 so you may share in your child's experience. Accompanying this newsletter will be the Class Dojo student and parent codes to sign up at home. Please sign and send back when possible so we may start communicating! In case you are not entirely familiar with the program, please take a look -

Student Supplies...

1) Pencil Case - Extra sharp pencils, erasers, pencil crayons, glue sticks, markers, one blue pen and one red pen. Additionally a calculator would be of benefit for longer problem solving questions. Tip - It is a good idea to label all of your child’s belongings with permanent marker.

2) Gym Supplies - Running shoes, T-shirt and shorts / track pants, deodorant. I will remind students to take home their gym clothes each Friday for laundry.

3) Water Bottle – Water can be left on your child’s desk so they may keep hydrated.

Classroom Needs (aka Wishlist)...

- 3 boxes of Kleenex please for the class to use

-Magazines you normally throw away. (we cut pictures out)

-Class games such as Scrabble, Boggle, CARDS, Chess, Backgammon, etc.


During the first few weeks I will be assessing your child for reading, writing and numeracy. Please sign all tests as they are received. There will be an “Assessment” duo-tang sent home every Friday for you to sign. Please make sure your child returns the folder every Monday. Thank you!

Homework Policy...

Homework is usually only assigned if the student has not completed their work in class or if they are behind in their math skills. There will be times when they will have numeracy math sheets to help build their skills. If you child is away I will prepare a "While You Were Out" folder that include assignments missed on those days - this may be sent home in order to keep your child up to speed. I also usually never give tests on Mondays as I want my students to enjoy family time on the weekends. Spelling and math quizzes will generally be on Thursdays unless we run into scheduling issues (This would be an excellent example of me using Remind to remind you!). Students are encouraged to read 30 minutes per night. Our goal for September is a total of 300 minutes. Please initial in the agenda how many minutes your child read nightly. (Use increments of 30 minutes. It is easier to keep track! )

The Classroom Agreement...

Together, the students and I will create a classroom contract. My main focus will be on respecting each other and taking ownership in their role as a student and citizen of the school. If a student does not follow our contract as set out they will place their name on the white board. Once they reach a third warning I will be notifying you the of the incident. A note will go home in the agenda for your review and signature. If behavior continues, a meeting will be set up with you and your child. Together we can design and create a behavior plan to help encourage success.