Degrees and Certifications:
B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies K-8 MA.Educational Neuropsychology, pending graduation
Ms. Tracy Ball, 3rd Grade Teacher
Welcome to Third Grade at Crawford! You are now a part of the Caribou Family!!
My name is Tracy Ball and I have taught at Crawford for the last two years and 2019-2020 will be my third year here. Before moving from Alabama to Alaska, I taught 6-8 grade math, 4th grade, and 1st grade. I enjoyed teaching sixth grade at Crawford and hope to stay here for as long as I can. I graduated from Western Governors University and am working on a masters in Educational Neuropsychology at Ball State University.
Subjects: In the next school year, I wll be teaching 3rd grade.
Reading: In reading, I will use the basal reading book "Journeys" as well as books from our classroom library. i will be using the researched teaching methods taught in the books, "The Daily 5" and "The CAFE Door", which concentrates on self selected reading, student accountability, and student selecting what they want to work on: 1). read to self 2). Read to someone, 3) listen to someone read 4) Teacher Conference 5) Writing. In third grade my reading goal is to build their stamina (or length of time a student can read without being distracted). We will focus on topics in reading such as: Listening Comprehension, Vocabulary, Text Based-Comprehension (skills and strategies, craft and structure), Research and Media Literacy, Speaking/Listening Comprehension, Grammar, Writing, and Spelling.
Math: In math this year, we will go over Numeration, Number Sense: Addition and Subtraction, Meaning of Multiplication, Multiplication Facts, Meaning of Division, Division Facts, Understanding Fractions, Fraction Comparrison and Equivalence, 2D shapes, Time, Perimeter, Area, and Volume and Mass, and Data. Please understand that they way we are teaching math in a way that may seem unconventional or not the way we were taught;however, the point is that we are trying to make thinkers, problem solvers, and persistance in solving a problem. I use academic language when I teach, because they will see these tems on standardized tests, and I ask that you use them as well at home so that your child is used to saying the words and know what the word means.
Classroom Management: I have a very simple order to my class room. The students use hand signals for anything they need (holding up 1 finger means may I go to the restroom, holding up 2 fingers means I need a drink of water, 3 means I need to leave my seat for tissue, sharpen pencil, throw something away, etc, 4 fingers means I have a question, and 5 fingers means I know the answer) and I use CHAMPS which stands for Conversation level (noise level 0=silence 1=whisper, 2=person sitting next to me taking voice, 3= Table talk 4= presetation voice 5=out of control, outside only), Help (tells them what to do if they get stuck or need help), Activity (describes what they should be doing), Movement (tells them if they are allowed out of seat, sit by buddy, sit with groups, etc.), Participation (explains what one would see or hear the students doing if they are on task), Success (feels amazing, good grades, awards, etc.).
In additon to that, I use positive reinforcement to control behavior which means, they earn prizes like cookies, doughnuts, pajama day, etc. When they spell a word for being recognized by anyone outside of our classroom as being the amazing class I know that they are, the get a letter. Once they spell a word out, we celebrate. If there is a major problem, I will ask a student to pull a stick and it will be recorded under the attendance in PowerSchool and on their behavior chart in their binder with the reason they pulled a stick. Typically, a green stick is a verbal warning, a yellow stick is to stand on the wall during recess that day or the following, or silent lunch, the red stick gets a discipline referral, phone call, and/or email from Mrs. Sperl, Mrs. Bussa, and/or myself. I will have a behavior sheet in thier binder that you can check. Green=excellent day, Yellow= opps we had a set back, Red=I had to receive a discipline referral to Mrs. Bussa and/or Mrs. Sperl. So when you see these colors on their chart you can expect anywhere from quick comment to a phone call.
Homework: I give reading, spellig, and math homework. It will consist of a spiral of what they already know in order to keep those skills alive and dthriving well. I only send home about 2-3 problems of reading/grammar and math questions each day. It should not take more than 20-30. Included in this time, is their 15 minutes of reading each nght. If a student does not finish a day assignment, it becomes homework that must be turned in at 8:00 a.m. If they do not turn it in, it will be recorded as a zero and they will stay in during recess to complete the projet for their grade. Late work will receive a 5 point deduction for each day that it is late. Also, if a student misses school, there will be a folder on their desk of the work they missed. If they miss one day, they have one day to finish it and turn it in. If they miss a week, they have a week to turn it in. For example, if you child misses a Monday, returns to school on Tuesday, the work is due to me on Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. Again, if the work is not completed, it will be recorded as a zero until the work is completed durng their recess. I recommend downloading the Powerschool app on your phone and keeping a close eye on their grades and not let them fall behind. If a grade is over a week old, it will become a zero with no additional oportunities to make it up (I give multiple opportunities during the day so if they don't do the work it will be a zero).
Classwork: I assign classwork in each subject. Sometimes, I will take quizes on items we have gone over; otherwise, I will give points for classwork completed or notes taken. I have specific drawers labeled with the subject for turn in, extra copies, ets.. I will be introducing cursive writing this year. If your child struggles, please work with them on the proper way to write in cursive.
Grades: I grade on the 100% scale and add in points/grades during the week for classwork, notes, projects, writing, participating, etc. I give spelling and reading tests on Fridays. If there is a vacation coming up, etc, let me know a week in advance so I can have their work ready for them to do while gone. When I grade I take points away for no names, sloppy work, conventions, and/or late work.
Their graded papers will come home every Monday for you to review. I will not need any of the papers back just the folder they came in with your signature on the front that you saw the papers. If you do not sign the envelope, I will call or email you to verify that you saw the papers.
3-Ring Daily Binder: In their 3-ring binder the front cover will have their name on it, the first inside pocket is for school announcements, the pnecil pouch is for money sent to school (please label it with your child's name, how much you put in, and for what reason). Sometimes kiddos wil use their lunch money for things like ice-cream, pop corn, or book fair. There will be a weekly newsletter, a homework page each night, and a communication log for any questions or concerns your may have (please write in cursive because your child will not be able to read it (in case they are in trouble because sometimes, they will through it away befor it gets to you or me).
Celebrations: If you wish to celebrate your child's birthday at school, please let me know a week in advance so I can let the lunchroom know not to cook as much food that day. You are welcome to eat lunch with your child any time you wish--no reason needed.
Classroom Volunteers: I will be looking for a room parent who can work with other parents to help set up parties during Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines Day, Month of the Miiitary Child. It would be so helpful tor me to keep focus on educating your child, if classroom volunteers help with things like decoating bulletin boards, making copies, cutting out, or to read with students.
Holidays: For Halloween they are allowed to wear their costume, no mask over the face, and it must remain in dress code. The children exchange candy, kind of like trick or treating in the class, they eat as much candy as possible before I send them home. We have a traditional Thanksgiving lunch (I will set up a Sign-Up Genious for you to sign up for what you wish to bring).All family members are invited to celebate Thanksgiving at school with us. At Christmas I order pizza for the whole class, they bring a soda and desserts of their choice, and what ever knick knacks so they can snack all day. We also play 'Dirty Santa". Boys bring a $10 boy gift, girls bring a $10 girls gift. If the student wants to participate they can and if they don't they don't have to. On Valentines Day, the students exchange Valentines with each other and again bring any sweets they want to snack on. April is the month of the Military Child. We do things throughout the month to thank our little heros. May, the last days of school come too fast. We typically have a school wide field day, we take the class to the movie theatre on base or to the bowling alley and food court, have free hotdog day and then we let you take them for the summer.
Dress Code: Please read the student handbook and look at my visual chart on dress code rules. Leggings are a BIG NO NO unless unless they are worn under a tunic or dress. If a student is not clothed according to dress code they have two options: find something from the lost and found or you bring them a change of clothes; Otherwise, they will be written up for disciplinary action. Rule to go by if the top, dress, or shorts do not come to your child's fnger tips while arms by their side, its too short. Leggins must be worn under ripped jeans to cover skin. staps on a top o dress should be 3" wide.
Snow Gear: If this is your first winter in Alaska, you HAVE TO HAVE snow gear, no eceptions. The children go outside to play until the temperature outside reaches 20 degrees below zero. If it is colder than -20 they have indoor recess. For outoor recess, they will need snow boots, snow pants, heavy insulated jacket, gloves, warm hat, scarf or neck gator. Even when the temperatures "warm up" if there is snow on the ground, they are required to wear snow boots, snow pants, hats, and gloves to keep from getting their clothing wet when the snow on them melts. They get snow on their clothes while outside, they come in, it melts, and ther clothes are wet for the rest of the day.
Other Gear: The students will need gym shoes just for the gym. They are not allowed to wear these outside.
Parent Teacher Meeting: Aside from the scheduled parent teacher conferences, you are welcome to call, email, or visit the classroom any time you wish. All I ask is that if you need to talk to me about your child, to make an appointment with me so the whole class doesn't lose instuction time. We have conference rooms available and I can have someone come in to take care of the class only if it is an emergency or if you work nights. Just let the receptionist know that you need an emergency conference.
Deployments: I know the "D" word is so hard on the whole family structure. If you have someone in your family deploying, please let me know. I will not announce it (I understand OPSEC) but there are specialists, here at school, who are hired by the district to help your child cope with the pressure and seeration of a deployment. Also, your child can call and/or FaceTime their parent from school. If you will me know what time your child needs to talk or FaceTime, I will make sure they have a private room to do so. My son is a soldier and I understand how important it is to the child and the parent to communicate with you, it is knowing they are safe that helps ease minds. Our MFLAC and Deployment councelors also has access to school related items if you need assistance with let's say, school supplie, gloves, etc. We have a mail carrier that sits with your chld to write a letter to your deployed soldier or airman then it gets sent to them to brghten their day.
Cellphones, Electronic Devices: Cell phones are not allowed to be powered up or in a student's possession. They must be turned off (not just silenced) and in their book bag. They only time they can take it out is when a staff memeber asks them to (in cases of a real emergency) or when they exit the building to go home. If a cell phone is found turned on or in the student's possesion, it will immediately be taken away and sent to the office vault. It will not be returned until you pick it up at the front desk.
Car Line: The car line is for drop off and pick up only. The building opens at 7:45 a.m. Please do not leave your child outside in the cold. The outside lanes of the loop drive are for parking while waiting for your child. The middle lane is for driving away. The speed limit is 3 mph in the loop drive/car line. Little one sometimes will dart out before you can react. Students are not to cross the 3 lanes without a security person to hold a stop sign up for them to cross safely. Also ,the child must be able to enter the door NOT facing the middle lane. Students who walk or bike to school are asked to wear a helmet and walk their bike off campus before rinding them on the sidewalk to get home. Students that go to the School Age Center will walk with someone from the program. If an older sibling picks your child up, the older siblilng must wait outside the exit beside the gym until your third grader comes out, then they can walk or ride bikes home. If your child rides the bus, they will walk with a faculty member to wait for the bus on the side of the building where the entrance is located. Children are NOT allowed to exit the building through the front door at any time unless you are present to check them out of school.
Field Trips: We are on a very limited budget and have $100 for school supplies for the classroom and for field trips. We do go to Anne Wein for the Alaska Room, which is a free field trip, we go to the Symphony Orchestra, which is also free, we will go to the UAF Science Museum, another free trip, and we will go to a ballet which the students have to pay for. I would like to add a couple of additional trips in like visiting the gold mine and go to the movies one day (close to Christmas). The school funded "paid trips" do not require a permission form since it is a learning experience. The other trips require a permission form. If you decide to volunteer for a field triip, please do not bring younger siblings because your job for that day is to focus on a groups of children from the classs (and don't worry I will put your child under your care so you can enjoy spending time with them).
3rd Grade School Supply List 2019-2020
1.*2 Packages of #2 Pencils~NO MECHANICAL PENCILS PLEASE
2. *Crayons (box of 24)
3. Scissors-pointed Fiskars (small) NO LARGE ONES
4. *4 Purple Elmer’s Disappearing, Washable Glue Sticks
5. 2 Yellow Highlighters
6. Gym shoes with non-marking soles, to be left at school for P.E. (not for outside use)
7. Washable thin markers set of 12
8. *2 Pink erasers
9. *2 Packages WIDE-RULED Paper
10. 2 Two-pocket folders
11. *Large box of Kleenex or Ziplock Bags (Any Size)
12. 1 1⁄2 inch- 3 Ring Binder (Not D Ring If Possible) NO TRAPPER KEEPERS!
13. Ear Buds or Headphones
*Please do not label supplies.
I look forward to meeting you all and I can hardly wait for school to start--August 19th!!