Wendy Lane Smith, bio
Mrs. Wendy Smith is entering her 25th year with the Red Lion Area School District. She is beginning her 9th year teaching 5th grade at Larry J. Macaluso Elementary School. This year, she is teaching writing and science. Prior to teaching fifth grade she traught K-8 gifted support with the district, where she was a co-author of the Mindflex program, which was designed for gifted students in grades 6 and 7. She is certified to teach kindergarten through 6th grade students in any subject. She holds an additional certification in K-12 Art. Prior to teaching in the Red Lion Area School district, she taught taught at the Vanguard School in Paoli, Pennsylvania. Prior to becoming a teacher, Mrs. Smith sang opera. While volunteering in a school "buddy" program in Austin, Texas, she decided to pursue a career in education.
Mrs. Smith graduated from the College of Wooster in 1984 with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. She earned her Master of Music degree (Opera) from the University of Texas at Austin in 1987. She earned her Master of Education degree from Cabrini College in 1990.
When she is not teaching, Mrs. Smith enjoys silver work, painting and reading. She also volunteers as a run coach for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training. She enjoys running half marathons and marathons as well as bicycling. She shares all these activities with her husband. She and her husband, Tom Maganas, "forgot" to have children of their own, but they have served as legal guardian for several young people over the years. You cannot spend too much time with Mrs. Smith without hearing about her two dogs, Angus and Enzo.
I can't believe that November is already here! It has been a busy few weeks and it looks like it will be staying that way. We recently finished our first reading unit. Your children did a wonderful job with their book club groups and learned a great deal about why and how authors use various craft techniques. We are set to begin our first nonfiction unit. In social studies we are learning about Westward Expansion, which will give students some much needed background information for their informational writing unit.
As a team, we are looking forward to seeing you at conferences and discussing your child's progress.
Welcome to fifth grade! I am very excited to be teaching your children this year. We are off to a wonderful start and I am looking forward to great things. In this space, you can expect to see our monthly updates and any important information for our classes. If you have any questions or concerns, please always feel free to contact me. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. If you call the school, they may not be able to contact me if I am teaching, but I do return all phone calls by the end of the day! Thanks!
Off to a Great Start!
Parents and Guardians,
I am happy to say that this has been my easiest start to the school year in my 23 years with the district. I have found the students on our team to be courteous, kind and engaged. I can only foresee an incredible year ahead.
After some initial assessments we have begun lessons in both reading and writing. We have worked a little bit in our social studies books also.
As a reminder, Mr. Kaufman collects math homework daily and I collect homework on Friday. I want to allow students to begin to manage their work and deadlines. I can provide additional support to any student who might have difficulty with this new practice. Please remember that if I email you regarding a missed homework assignment, your child is not in trouble. I have found that when students know I will contact parents, most of them improve nearly immediately. Should a student miss several weeks of homework, I will have them work on it during recess, but I use this as a last resort.
Finally, a word on fidgets. I have a variety of fidgets available in my classroom for student use. We have reviewed that these are a tool, not a toy. I have had requests to bring fidgets from home and I am okay with this, as long as the following guidelines are met:
* Fidgets must fit in the student's hand (without squishing it down to a smaller size)>
* No Rubik's Cubes as these require a different type of focus and draw attention away rather than help the focus on the task at hand.
* No slime or other sticky items.
* If the fidget becomes a distraction to learning, I will ask that it go home and not be returned to school.
Thanks for being awesome parents with awesome kids!