The Ririe Report


Settling Down

It has already been a month since school started and I've loved every minute of it. The kids are settling down into our routine (Soft Start, Morning Meetings, classroom jobs, etc.) and almost all of them have learned what the expectation is concerning work in my classroom.

Homework: Students will turn in their homework every Friday (unless otherwise posted). That applies to both paper and online homework. Some of them have come to me on Friday and tried to give a variety of reasons for not having the homework. It doesn't work. I often remind them that Friday morning is not the best time to come tell me that they had trouble logging in. Remember, I allow them to work on their homework in class during Soft Start.

Classwork: I am very generous with the time allotted, especially when I see that a student is really focused and trying. I have a "Finish" folder (hangs on one of the cabinets) where students put their unfinished work. They are welcome to come in during Soft Start to finish. Many students do not take advantage of this extra time . After several days, and reminders, I have to grade what they have on the paper - finished or not.

Executive Function

I am a great believer in helping my students take responsibility for their actions. I constantly tell them that THIS (being a student) is their job right now. Throughout the year, they will learn about executive function skills and how these skills can be applied to everything they do throughout the rest of their lives.

Executive function and self-regulation skills are the mental processes that enable us to plan, focus attention, remember, and juggle multiple tasks. Throughout the year the students will work on working memory, mental flexibility, and developing self control.

My students are familiar with my THINK-PLAN-ACT statement. I use it every day.

THINK: Think about what you need to do

PLAN: Visualize how you are going to accomplish that task, whether it's a project, or just getting ready to pack and go home.

ACT: Stay focused on the task and do not get distracted, don't stop to talk to other people or play around. You should accomplish the task before you do anything else.


We are currently reading Esperanza Rising and have had the sweetest, most wonderful discussions about this novel. I love reading with your children and then discussing the events of each chapter. Today we had a wonderful discussion about one of the minor characters, a poor peasant named Carmen; she has eight children and sells eggs to provide for her family. In the story she says, "I am poor, but I am rich. I have my children, I have a garden with roses, and I have my faith and the memories of those who have gone before me. What more is there?" A big thank you to Alessandro and DJ for bringing this up during our discussion.

One More Thing...

Please don't forget to pay your activity fee and the party fee. The party fee is $10 and goes straight to PTA for the two parties this year. The activity fee goes for things like classroom resources, supplies, buses for field trips, etc. Just click below to pay the activity fee.