The Campfire Chronicles

reported by Miss Camp

September 13, 2002

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Curriculum Guide Lit & Math Centers Class Constitution

On Meet-the-Teacher Night, the parents of our class each received a guide to our curriculum plan for this year. There are only a few super-important pages. Here they are:

  • Page 4: Dates to Remember (the 2002-2003 schedule of holidays, half-days, and days off)

  • Pages 12-13 (parts e and f): Math Facts & Math Homework

  • Page 27: Homework Logs and Take-Home Folders

  • Page 52: Spelling Words for the whole year (5 words per week) – The spelling program is explained on page 26 – the 2nd paragraph is particularly important.

  • Pages 59 – 60: Tips for improving math, reading, and spelling at home

  • The very last page: Dates for Weeks 1-35 (students may bring home work dated Week 7, or Week 22, etc. – and this page gives the dates for each of our 35 weeks)

If you were not able to come to Meet-the-Teacher night, please read carefully the sections about “authors on the web” and the “online conference” on pages 21-22 as a permission slip is required for those items. If you would like to meet with me prior to the parent conferences in November, please send a note in with your child and I will give you a call to set up a time. If you prefer, you may contact me by e-mail. At the bottom of the Home Page for our class web page, click on “contact the webmaster” and that will send an e-mail to me.

The Guide for Parents described above may be accessed from our class web page. It requires that your computer has Acrobat Reader. If your computer does not have Acrobat Reader, you may install it for free by clicking on the Acrobat button below:

If you already have Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can click here and then click on "A Guide for Our Parents."


During our blocks of time for Reading and for Math, I meet with the students in small groups. While the students are waiting for their small group to meet, they are busy working on independent “lit centers” or “math centers.” (“Lit” is short for literacy or literature). These centers are an opportunity for the students to independently practice important skills. They are more fully explained on pages 10 and 14 in the curriculum guide.

How it works: On Mondays, the students get a checklist for their Lit Centers and for their Math Centers. The Lit Centers they are working on are kept in their pink folder, and the Math Centers they are working on are kept in their light blue folder. As they complete the different centers (tasks), they check them off on their checklists. At the end of the week, all of their centers are stapled to their checklist and sent home. (They may be sent home on Mondays if there is a time crunch on Friday).

Although centers will generally be done independently, they are being done together for the first few weeks of the year as the students get used to the routine. Hopefully, centers will be checked and corrected before being sent home (eventually by student checkers), though if time is a factor they may go home as is.


Because our school only goes through third grade, the significance of September 11th was only recognized in a moment of silence following the Pledge of Allegiance. In our classroom, on September 11th, we watched a Peanuts video about the U.S. Constitution. We learned that before the United States had a Constitution, the 13 states (colonies) did not have one government to unite them. Each state had its own ideas about what the government should be like, and about what rights each person (citizen) should have. Representatives (delegates) from each state met in Philadelphia for several months to reach an agreement about how the states of this country could be united by one government, and by rights that all people would have.

It is because of those delegates being willing to work out their differences, and come to an agreement, that our country gives each person the right to live in freedom. The Constitution decided on by those people also gives each of us the rights to free speech, to go to school, and to go to church. It allows each adult to vote – to have a say in who leads our country. The U.S. Constitution is what makes our country a land of freedom. We are proud to be Americans because we live in the land of the free – and that is because those delegates, back in 1787, were willing to talk through their differences until they reached agreements that are still today the basis of our country.

The U.S. Constitution, first adopted on September 17, 1787, begins:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Camp Linus is adopting a Class Constitution created by a class of fifth graders in Hawaii:

Classroom Constitution

We the people, in order to form an ideal classroom and establish attentive listening, mutual respect, appreciation with no put-downs, the right to participate or pass, and safety, do ordain this Constitution for our class:

Article 1: Attentive Listening
We will listen with our eyes, ears, and hearts.

Article 2: Mutual Respect
We will treat people the way we want to be treated.

Article 3: Appreciation/No Put-Downs
We will speak kindly to others and think of other people’s feelings.

Article 4: Right to Participate/Pass
We have the right to pass in certain activities, and know that the more we participate the more we gain.

Article 5: Safety
We will always think of safety first.

These 5 articles are the Community Agreements at Camp Linus to which we have all signed our names.

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