Monday, August 9, 2010

Dear Parents,

Thank you for viewing my webpage. I appreciate your comments.

Please contact me at the school or via email at appleforteacher@hotmail.com . I will reply within 1 - 2 days; please give your phone number or email address so I can get back to you.

I invite you to learn more about my experience as a teacher. My resume is posted on the last page of this website (Z: About Mrs. Gall) with information about my education, certification, and experience teaching (since 1997).

Your child's success is very important to me. I feel that it is my responsibility to understand science very well- and more importantly, to understand the needs, abilities, and motivations of students. This will allow me to make science interesting and worthwhile for your child. I believe that hands-on, project- based learning is meaningful, so I work to make science a hands-on subject as often as I can. I believe that "inquiry"- asking questions- is an important way for students to accept the importance of science. I will often show a confusing demonstration or ask misleading questions to challenge students to ask questions and make guesses. I hope that your child will have the courage to try to tackle activities and questions that are new, because this can allow your child to learn more, faster, than if I tell students what to know, or ask them to read. In return, I will praise students who are brave enough to try new things. I will guide students to ask questions and try activities that will lead them to useful answers- and the answers that they will see on standardized tests in the future!

Please ask, and encourage your child to ask, every time I can give better, deeper explanations.

It is my job to watch, listen, and check assigned work, to know when more explanation is needed, and I will do my best every single day.

Please know that a strong education gives your child more opportunities to make successful choices as an adult. The freedom to choose from several paths is powerful. My role is to help your child find success. I follow state guidelines for science education, but I can do more. Please be very specific about the goals you and your child have for time spent in their science class. Any lesson can be presented in a number of ways to suit your needs. I differentiate the way I approach teaching and learning to accomodate visual, verbal, hands-on, social, independent, accelerated, special- needs, physical disabilities, goal- oriented, exploratory, symbolic/ mathematical, text/ prose, and creative forms of learning and abilities. Students will be expected to learn and express themselves in a variety of ways in class. Students will also have choices at times, to allow them to choose a method that is comfortable, or one that is more interesting than other choices.

Your child will keep a notebook with each day's agenda, warmup, and any notes taken in class. These notes will be a dated record of their progress in science class. Please ask to look at it each day or each week. This will encourage your child to remember and explain what was most meaningful in science class.

I look forward to contact with you, so we can work as a team for your child's success. I will send notes and assignments home, update my website, and email or call you from time to time. I will address you with respect and in a positive manner, with the goal of helping your child succeed. Lying, disrespect, and poor character are not tolerated from any student in my classes. These are not tolerated in our school, and they destroy a positive learning environment in my classes. I will actively work with students to promote a high- quality education in our school. I will give your child information about projects, activities, awards, and concerns as they arise; I will email or call you as needed, or require a signature on a written note sent home with your child. I keep written records of many classroom situations. I work to maintain a balance between expecting your child to take responsibility and working with you to ensure your child's success. If you prefer more or less contact, please let me know and I will work with you.

I am looking forward to a rewarding, educational, fun school year.

With warmest regards,
Mrs. Nicole Gall