News from Room 16 – September 2, 2015

Hello families!

I can’t believe we are already a week into the year already!  We have been busy establishing routines, building up stamina for work times, and doing a bit of art, too.  As of right now, we have achieved almost 20 minutes of stamina Read to Self and about 12 minutes of stamina for Working on Writing.  Nice!!  We will continue to practice until we have mastered all of our goals to help us become independent readers and writers!

This week I am sending home the Wednesday take home folder for the first time.  This will be my primary mode of sending things home – and a great way for you to make sure things get sent to me, too!  Every Wednesday your child will bring home their folder containing their homework packet for the week, the school newsletter, and any other items that need to be sent home.  When your child is ready to return their homework packet, just slip it back in to the folder and have them return it to the green basket in the classroom.  Sometimes this takes a while to master…  :)

That’s all for this week, but feel free to follow me on Twitter (@epdingus) for photo updates, check the blog (, or email/call/stop by if you have questions or concerns.

Until next week!

-Ms. Elissa

Welcome Letter 2015-2016

Dear Families,

Hello! My name is Ms. Elissa and I am delighted to welcome you to Room 16! I hope you guys are sharing an enjoyable summer together. My summer has been full of adventure; I took some classes, spent some time with family and friends, and did a lot of gardening (let me know if you need any tomatoes…). I am looking forward to the new school year and meeting each of you!

This will be a positive year for your child as we build on past successes and learn new things in the third grade! I place emphasis on creating a sense of community with my students and building personal relationships with each child. I recognize the importance of structure and routines as well as students’ need for movement and exploration. Part of creating a cohesive classroom community is parent involvement – I am looking forward to getting to know each of you over the school year, too! With home and school working together, your child’s academic and social skills will continue to grow throughout the year.   Another way to keep in touch is via our classroom blog: – I update it frequently with photos and other goodies that you can share with family and friends. I just joined Twitter as well – you can find me at @epdingus for assorted classroom and education updates.

In Room 16, we are starting off the year by looking back. Waaaay back. We are going to have a “Who’s That Baby?” bulletin board up to see who can match the student to their baby photo. This will reinforce the feeling of our class as a family and community of learners (plus it’s fun!) In order to do this, your child will need to bring in a baby photo on the first day of school. I can’t wait to see them!

In order to know your child better and gain insight to help guide my teaching, I am asking for your help. I would like to know your child as an individual, as a student, and as a reader. An open letter from you to me would help me get a head start in learning about your child. What are your child’s interests? How does your child express himself/herself best—through art, speaking, writing, music, etc.? Think of your child’s favorite teacher – what distinguished him/her from some of your child’s other teachers? Are there any special needs or concerns? These are just a few ideas of what your letter to me might include. You know your child best, so add any information that you would like me to have as we kick off this year together.

I am looking forward to hearing from you and also to beginning the year with your child. I also look forward to working with you to support and enrich your child’s academic growth. Please email your letter to or send your letter to school on the first day. See you on Thursday, August 27th!


Elissa Dingus

Ms. Elissa, age 8 with her brother.

Ms. Elissa, age 8 with her brother.

News from Room 16 – June 10, 2015

Our final days are here and we are busy with reflecting back on our year and having fun!  Thank you to all of you who were able to make it out to our Museum Day event and/or our walking field trip!  Don’t forget to bring in a few books for our book swap on Thursday and take home your bridge project!  Take care over the summer and read, read, read!!!

-Ms. Elissa
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News from Room 16 – June 3, 2015

Lots of special events coming up!  Read on for more details!

Thursday is Field Day and the weather promises to be a little better than it has been so far this week, so make sure your child wears some sneakers and clothes that are good for doing some running around in.

Next Monday, June 8,  we will be celebrating the end of our study of Portland’s history by having a Museum Day so families can come take a walk through time and see what we have been working on.  Come join us anytime between 2:30 and 3:30 pm on Monday afternoon.

Next Tuesday, June 9, our class will be taking a walking field trip to Berkeley Park with our kindergarten buddies at 1:00 pm (with no chance of cancellation due to transportation issues!).  We will be having some afternoon treats down at the park – please see the sign up sheet outside of our room to  be a chaperone and/or see what you can bring for us to enjoy!

Our book swap will be on the last day of school, so check out your bookshelves at home and bring a couple of books in before then!

Finally, just in case this is the last newsletter of the year, I would like to say that it has been absolutely wonderful to get to know all of you over the course of this year. We have laughed, learned, and grown together and I will miss these guys a ton. I would also like to thank you, families, for all of your support and help throughout the year. I couldn’t have done it without you.

Have a wonderful summer (and don’t forget to READ!)

-Ms. Elissa