Somewhere, Something Incredible Is Waiting to Be KNOWN

Somewhere, Something Incredible Is Waiting to Be KNOWN

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be KNOWN.

-Carl Sagan-

Mrs. Hoedeman/Pre-Algebra and Algebra I/Boyce Middle School

August 24, 2016

Dear Students/Parents/Guardians:


Welcome to accelerated math with Mrs. Hoedeman! You may be “one of the gang” returning from last year, or an old hand at Boyce, but new to our class this year, or you may be a brand new fifth grader…whatever the case, I know we are going to have a wonderful time learning together. Get ready to work hard and think much! It is my hope that you will finish the year feeling stronger, more confident and more in love with the beauty and intricacies of math than you ever imagined (plus, you will laugh…a lot…and form some terrific friendships!). Parents, Open House on September 22 will give you an opportunity to learn more about the class, procedures, expectations and basically “how we roll.” Please put it on your calendar now.

Communication is a Two Way Street

Frequent and open lines of communication between home and school are essential. As parents, you are your child’s first and best teachers. I will count on you to share information with me that will promote your child’s success in school and you can expect the same from me. The best time to reach me by phone is daily from 8:00 to 8:30 AM or 3:15 to 4:00 PM/412.833.1600, ext. 5075. Email is also a convenient way to communicate: (FYI: I have been known to answer the phone well past 4 PM, so please try my extension anytime you have a question! Kids, too!) Since everything we do involves your child, no question or problem is too small to warrant prompt communication.

Keeping Track of Everything

Students will be expected to record their math assignments in their binder reminders. Assignments will also be communicated via a daily group email. All students will be included. If you, as a parent, would also like to be included, just send me an email with your request and I will be happy to add you to the group.

Students will be issued two textbooks, one to keep in their locker here at school and a second to keep at home. Both books must be covered to help maintain their longevity. I will see the cover on the book kept here, but will need your confirmation that the “at home” book did indeed receive a cover. You may simply jot a note in your child’s binder reminder letting me know the job is done or take a photo with the iPad and email that to me.

Absolutely Necessary

A 1-inch or 1½-inch three ring binder with a zippered pouch is needed to keep all math materials organized. (NOTE: This binder will be exclusively for math. Our room is small, furnished with tables, not desks, so there is no storage. Binders for other subjects just take up too much table space.) The binder should be clearly labeled with MATH and your child’s name. The zippered pouch should be stocked with pencils, a brightly colored pen for checking, a highlighter and a calculator. A small ruler and a protractor are optional. Since the kids will be traveling quite a distance to get to my room, there is not time for them to return to their homeroom to fetch forgotten materials. The binder and pouch system will save us all time. The binder should also have at least five tabbed dividers. If the dividers have pockets, then it is not necessary that the binder have pockets; if not, the binder should have pockets on the inside covers. (If you still have last year’s binder and tabbed dividers, go ahead and use them.) In addition, students will need a composition book designated only for math.

We will have an “equipment check” on September 6. By that time, all students should have both books properly covered and a binder set up and stocked with the equipment necessary for success. In summary, supplies needed specifically for math: 1-inch or 1½-inch 3-ring binder (please, no larger), a 3-holed zippered pouch, pencils, a brightly colored pen for checking, a highlighter and a calculator (TI-34’s are requested).

We’ll See You Soon!

Again, Boyce’s Open House is scheduled for Thursday, September 22. Mr. O’Roark and I are working to include a time on that evening when I can meet with the parents of the fifth and then the sixth grade accelerated students without interfering with the homeroom teachers’ schedules. I’m sure you have many questions and I am eager to meet each of you personally, introduce myself to those of you I have not yet met, and get to know more about your children. Until that time, please don’t hesitate to call with any questions or concerns.

For now, please know that I count it a distinct privilege to spend my days with your children.


Kathy Hoedeman