ABCs of Ms. Merlini’s Class

Assessment Folders
All tests, quizzes, and other graded assignments will be sent home periodically in an assessment folder. Each item in the folder should be signed or initialed by a parent and returned to Ms. Merlini the following school day.

Much of our learning takes place together in class. We do lots of hands-on activities and group work. Please plan to attend school every day, except in cases of illness or emergencies. If you know your child will be absent, please inform me beforehand. Otherwise, send in a note the day your child returns to school.

Behavior and Work Expectations

Room 212 Expectations
1. Respect your classmates, our classroom, and yourselves
2. Be responsible for yourself and your belongings
3. Persevere through challenging work
4. Do your best
*These rules cover the gamut of classroom procedures*

First Warning: Verbal Warning
Second Warning: Loss of Privilege
Third Warning: Parent Contact

End of Month Incentive: Students will have the opportunity to participate in a 30-minute bonus recess at the end of every month. Students will earn this privilege based on behavior and completion of assignments. The incentives will typically take place on the last day of the month.

Box Tops

McCall Home and School Association collects Box Tops for Education to raise money for our school. All the classes at McCall participate in a competition to see who can collect the most box tops. Please support McCall by collecting box tops at home and consider asking to friends and relatives to participate as well.

Class work
Class work that is not completed at school will be assigned to be finished at home. This includes work that is missed during instrumental lessons, choir, or other activities that cause a student to miss class time. Class work for the day will be listed on a weekly homework sheet and updated on the Google drive document.

Are held at the end of the first and third quarter. Watch for information and reply accordingly. I am also available to conference as needed, however, and we will need to schedule a time convenient for both of us.

Communication Folders
help keep us organized. This folder houses our homework, and other important information that assists with communication between home and school. They should be taken home and returned to school DAILY.

Contact Ms. Merlini
The easiest way to contact me is via email at I will do my best to respond to emails within 24 hours. You may also call the McCall office at 215-351-7350 and leave a message.

Daily Schedule
All students are expected to line up in the schoolyard at 8:25 each morning. Students will be dismissed at 3:09pm from the doors on the 7th Street side of the building. Our lunch and recess period will be from 12:45-1:30. Please be aware that all visitors must sign in at the office upon entering the building.

Google Drive
I often use Google Drive as an important resource for collaborating with parents and sharing documents. I keep an updated “real time” homework assignment document where parents and students can check for updated homework and classwork. Assignments can be turned in and other resources can be “shared” with this great tool. We will also schedule report card conferences and use Google Drive for other sign-up lists. Stay tuned for more information on how students will be receiving their own Google Drive accounts. Parents can email me at to connect through Google drive.

Homework will be given Monday through Thursday nights and should be turned in at the beginning of the following school day. Homework will be given nightly. Students will receive a homework grid on Mondays and are responsible to keep it updated throughout the week. The homework grid can also be viewed online as a Google Drive document. In addition to homework, I expect students will read about 20 minutes a night (any book they choose.)

Is a goal for students because it builds self-esteem and self-confidence. Fourth graders are very capable of doing many things on their own and I encourage them to do as much as they can for themselves in the classroom. Please encourage them to think through and problem-solve in everyday situations.

Keep Informed
by checking the Communications Folder daily for notes and information. Also, please check out my blog for information on great websites for your child and classroom information at

Koresh Dance
My class has a partnership with Koresh Dance. Once a week, a professional dancer comes in to teach movement and dance. We will have a performance at the end of the year to exhibit our work!

If your child has any medications that need to be administered during school hours, please send them to Nurse Benjamin to be kept in her office.

Need In Deed
I use a year long service learning framework to guide students through a process of self-discovery, reflection, research and action that connects the classroom with the community. Stay tuned for more info!

News and Current Events
Your child will be asked to complete a writing assignment based on a current event they have read about monthly. Please check out or for kid friendly news stories.

Instead of asking your child, “What did you do in school today?” ask, “What book did you read during independent reading?” or “What did you learn in math?” or “Tell me what you wrote about during Writing Workshop!” Show that you’re interested, and ask specific questions. Most likely, your child will respond positively and more openly.

Kids need snacks! When healthy snack choices are made, they provide the nutrients and calories kids need for growth, good health and energy to get through the day. Please pack your child a healthy snack to enjoy on a daily basis.Students will be permitted to eat the snack between 10:30-11:15 on most days.Please be sure that the snack is easy to clean up. The snack and water privilege may be taken away if it becomes a disruption.

Specials Schedule
*Note we no longer have “A” and “B” weeks. Students must wear sneakers for Gym. Every other week students will have Spanish on Friday afternoons.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Library schedule is TBD. Remember to bring back your books to be renewed or returned on our library day 🙂

Study Island
Study Island is a web-based program that gives students rigorous practice in all of the skills included in the PSSA test. Students will have the opportunity to work on these assignments at school, but they may also complete them at home.

Tests and Quizzes
On a typical week, students will take assessments to measure their understanding of content. This is an approximate weekly schedule for regular literacy assessments:

Thursdays – Grammar Quiz
Every other Friday – Weekly Skills Assessments

*Math, Science, Social Studies, and Writing assessments will occur, but not in as much of a weekly routine as reading and grammar.

Uniforms & Dress Code
It is the School District of Philadelphia’s policy that all students wear a uniform to school. Students need to wear their uniform each day. Tops are to be white and bottoms are to be navy blue. Blue jeans are not allowed. Hooded sweatshirts may be worn as jackets to and from school, but may not be worn in class.

Each student in my classroom is unique. I will do my best to differentiate instruction to ensure that all children get what they need to be successful in fourth grade.

We are seeking parent, family, or community volunteers to help with tutoring our students on a regular basis throughout the school year (weekly, bi-weekly, etc.). Ms. Merlini will supply learning activities for each tutoring session. If you or anyone you know are willing to commit to tutoring this year, please let Ms. Merlini know. Nurse Benjamin is the volunteer coordinator for McCall and can provide information regarding the necessary clearance forms.

Water Bottles
Please feel free to have your child bring a water bottle to class. I prefer the reusable, aluminum water bottles with tight fitting lids (fewer spills). Please encourage your child to bring their water bottle home regularly to wash it.

Wish List
An wish list has been created for this classroom with additional school supplies and activities that would be great to have for the school year. This list is titled “McCall Room 212 Wish List – Mr. Oliver.” A link can also be found on

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