Welcome to fourth grade! I am so excited to have you in OUR community classroom for the upcoming school year! I know that “classroom” now means many things but I feel strongly that building OUR community classroom is a key to success. Fourth grade is an exciting year for many reasons. You will become better readers, writers, mathematicians, and form new friendships! Each day will be a step and not a leap. Each of you is unique and brings your own talents to OUR community.
This year you will be part of our classroom community. I keep referring to the classroom as “ours” because we are all part of this learning community. I believe that we all share responsibility to help each other inside and outside of our classroom doors/online space. Character is important and my job is to guide your growth as students within our communities. Mistakes are okay and I expect that they will happen but it is how we learn from them that defines us as individuals.
Some of you may have met me last year at Westwood. I am a father to three daughters (14, 11, 9), a husband to a college professor and grew up myself in Bloomington. I still have family that lives in Bloomington and take pride in being part of this community once again. I enjoy woodworking, engineering and traveled to Europe last summer for two weeks with my family. We also enjoy spending time together in northern Minnesota while working on our lake place near Grand Rapids, MN.
My goal is to assist you with any means that you or your student require. I will try to bullet point, hyperlink and try to keep the information so that it is easy to skim to read what parts you find the most important for your family. I still encourage daily communication with your students by asking probing questions like “tell me something that you enjoyed today” instead of “how was your day”. The first one requires more than a one word answer of “okay”. TIME has an article called 7 Powerful Tips for Great Parent-Child Communication that you may find useful as we sometimes find ourselves communicating through screens (I’m guilty).
Please reach out to me if your student is having a difficult time academically, socially, emotionally or just a rough patch in life. I would also love to hear feedback from when you talk and what parts of the day they are enjoying. I am there to support your family in whatever way possible. If you would like to meet via computer or speak over the phone, please reach out to me via email and we can arrange a time. I believe that the more information we can share, the better prepared I am to support your student and the easier it is to work as a team. Please also let me know if none of these methods work for your communication needs and we will figure out alternative methods (including the needs of translators or other printed languages).
Direct communication with me is preferred via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) I will respond to emails as soon as I am able to during school hours.
PHONE (Google Phone):
Last year, I created a Google Phone number so parents and students could directly reach me during distance learning. The Google phone number (507) 312-9655. I can receive phone calls and voicemail messages directly to my email. Please add that number to your cell phone to assist in receiving calls from me.
There will be a Google Classroom website. I am not sending the link out yet as I am awaiting the finishing of some links and final information. This website will be used to relay assignments during all learning activities and the daily work will be posted there.
This will be a daily requirement for attendance. I will also be utilizing SeeSaw within the classroom to assign in and out of class assignments, share completed work and to communicate within the system. Bloomington Public Schools (BPS) is still working on the complete rollout and I will provide additional information on how to log in and utilize the app when it becomes available. I have used this in the past and found it to be a great way to observe individual student work and communicate with everyone.
For daily reminders or if you need to “text” me a message, I use the Remind app. The district has purchased the application for all teachers to communicate with. It is a free application and allows me to send out group texts in which you can respond directly to them if desired.
I look forward to meeting and helping you along in your journey! Feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns!
Mr. David Palmer
4th Grade Teacher - Room 213
Westwood Elementary School
3701 W 108th St, Bloomington, MN 55431
School office number 952-806-7200
Google phone number (507) 312-9655
"It is measured actions that best define the character within, and those actions are most valuable when you use the working tools you have been entrusted with." - Unknown