Classroom Handbook


Classroom handbook


WELCOME 4-4 and 4-5



Mr. Archinal-Math and Science

Mrs. McCulligan-Language Arts (which includes language, reading, and spelling) and Social Studies

Mrs. Meffan-Music

Mrs. Barnett-Art

Mr. Bechtel-Physical Education

Media-Miss Boak

STEM-Mrs. Traganza




Homework-We believe that homework is necessary for practicing skills that have been learned or for enriching the classroom experience. If students finish their assigned homework, please encourage them to study spelling words, practice math facts, and utilize online programs pertaining to fourth grade standards, or read.

 In order to help students stay organized with their assignments and important information pertaining to school, students will use a three-ring binder that contains folders, a red folder that will come home daily, and an assignment book that is given to students at the beginning of the school year. Students will write their assignments and important information in their assignment book and place any important papers, homework, and unfinished assignments in their red folder. After students complete an assignment at home, they should place it in their red folder and bring it back to school the  next school day.    

 We expect all homework and class work to be turned in on time. All homework will be documented in order to track that students are practicing skills and their work habits. Students will not be allowed to call home if they forget their work. Students should pack their backpacks at night with all the materials needed for the next day. Organization is the key to success!


Remind-We will be utilizing Remind to help keep families informed about classroom activities, assignments, and much more! Remind is a free service that lets us send quick messages via text, push notifications, or email to everyone involved with the class. We’ll be able to stay in touch without revealing our personal contact information. We have found that using Remind is a quicker form of communication for teachers as well as parents.  Signing up for our messages on Remind is easy. A flyer containing information about Remind and how to sign up for Remind will be sent home at the beginning of the school year and is also included on our sites.


Textbooks-Students are assigned books at the beginning of the school year. If the assigned books are damaged or lost, students are charged to repair/replace the books that are damaged or lost.


State Assessments-Online state assessments for fourth grade include ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS AND MATH. Testing will be in the spring. The actual dates for testing will be forwarded to parents after administration creates a calendar that aligns with the dates designated by the state of Ohio.


Language Arts (Mrs.McCulligan)-Language Arts class is comprised of many facets. We will read several stories each week that focus around mastering a skill (i.e. author’s purpose, visualizing, and etc.)  Most reading and reading assignments are completed during class. Each marking period, we will use our reading series Wonders along with a chapter book. Language Arts consists of grammar practice, writing samples, and poetry. We will also be using the computers for writing, book studies, and overall skills.The students can expect daily practice in (any of) these areas each week. Please refer to my classroom webpage for more details on our reading program. We might have a book project(s) during the school year, I will send information if we will do them.



Spelling (Mrs. McCulligan)-The spelling lists will be given out a week in advance. Each student will be responsible for several classroom assignments as well as homework. We will have a test at the end of each week or at the end of the story.


Social Studies (Mrs.McCulligan)-The students will need a spiral bound notebook to be used for vocabulary. This notebook can also be from the Language Arts notebook. It will be the students Social Studies Dictionary.  Grades will be comprised of homework, quizzes, and tests. We will be doing many online activities with Ohio As America. We will learn many facts about the history of our state and the growth of our country. The students will have tests over content. They will be given study guides to help them to remember what we discussed in class. All test material will be given a week in advance. This skill will help your child to prepare on how to study for tests.


 Math (Mr. Archinal)-Students will complete hands-on activities, worksheets, workbook pages, an interactive math notebook, periodic assessments, utilize online technology, weekly tasks January to March, and be a part of differentiated instruction. Students will also be responsible for learning and using vocabulary that is part of the curriculum. Math vocabulary will be part of the interactive notebook we will be putting together this school year. Also, the interactive math notebook will be used by students to provide opportunities for problem solving that will enhance critical thinking skills. In addition, students are expected to master basic facts for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Science (Mr. Archinal)-The variety of processes that shape and reshape Earth’s surface, electricity, heat, matter, Earth’s living history, and scientific inquiry will be a part of the curriculum for science this fourth grade year.  Elementary students use the FOSS Program for Science at Northwest. FOSS provides tools and strategies to engage students in enduring experiences that lead to deeper understanding of the natural and designed worlds in connection with science. Reading from science texts, utilizing supplementary educational handouts, experiments, various activities involving technology, and science notebooks will enable me to thoroughly cover the standards required by the state of Ohio.

     There will be tests throughout the year. It is a common practice for me to give a study guide to students one week before a scheduled test. A study guide is given one week before a test because I realize that fourth graders are developing proper studying habits. Students need to realize cramming is not good. Test material should be reviewed a little every night in order to comprehend and retain the tested material.



Physical Education Program

Our classes participate in physical education. We do exercises, run laps, practice PE skills, and play games. Therefore, your child needs to wear appropriate clothing and footwear on gym days.  Slick shoes or restrictive clothing can be a hazard during physical education activities.




Students will choose books to read from the Stinson Library and be a part of various activities while attending the library.



STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. STEM education makes learning “real” and gives students opportunities to see the connection between the content they are studying and the application of that content in authentic and relevant ways. Students will have STEM once a week for 50 minutes in Mrs. Traganza’s lab.  


Cooperative Learning-We wholeheartedly believe in cooperative learning in the classroom.   Research has shown that all students do better when they are allowed to discuss and defend their ideas as they learn. Working in small groups also help students learn valuable social skills they will need throughout life.  Parents are often concerned about grades in the cooperative learning classroom. Don’t worry! No student's grade will be raised or lowered based on the performance of others in the group. We’ve had great success with this technique throughout the years.

Differentiated Grouping-All teachers at Stinson utilize differentiated instruction. Differentiation is a classroom practice with a balanced emphasis on individual students and course content. The idea of differentiating instruction is an approach to teaching that advocates active planning for and attention to student differences in classrooms. Through differentiated practices, all students are ensured to master important content.


Red Folder-Your child will bring home a red folder containing graded assignments, tests, newsletters, and work that has been completed every day. Most of the graded work will be in the red folder every Friday. Please go over the contents of the red folder with your child daily and make sure your child brings the red folder back to school daily.  Please contact your child’s homeroom teacher if you have questions or concerns about the red folder and its contents. Please check for missing assignments using ProgressBook.


Redos-Students will be given the opportunity to redo assignments to guarantee understanding of all standards. A higher mark will be recorded if the standard or standards in question have been mastered or progress is demonstrated with understanding and applying the standard or standards that require extra instruction or clarification. Redos will be completed at school, but some will be completed at home if the child is rushing through assignments. If a parent chooses to have their child make corrections on any work that is contained in the red folder, please feel free to make the corrections. Please note there are no redos during the last week of any grading period.


Home Access Center (HAC) is an online grading system that parents can access from any computer. Parents will be able to access their child’s grades, attendance, and any assignment information by utilizing HAC. We highly recommend parents check their child’s progress weekly by utilizing HAC. The marks M (Mastered), P (Progressing), and SN (Support needed) will be used to keep you informed of your child's progress.

     Assignments will be stamped, marked with a T (representing we checked the assignment together), or the number of correct points over the total number of points.


**Errors do happen. If you notice any errors with your child's grades when viewing HAC, please contact the subject teacher immediately. We can usually identify the error and make adjustments instantly.

Standards-Based Report Card-Students will be assessed a minimum of 3 times per standard. There will be a certain number of standards covered each grading period. By the end of the school year, all the fourth grade standards will have been covered. The marks M (Mastered), P (Progressing), and SN (Support needed) will be used to keep you informed of your child's progress.



Rules-Stinson‘s rules are printed in the Stinson Assignment Book. Classroom rules, playground rules, lunchroom rules, and indoor recess rules are posted in the classroom. Rules will be discussed with the students the first day of school.



Conferences-Parent conferences are held in the fall and spring. All parents may not receive a fall conference slip. Fourth grade is the time when students begin to switch classes. This makes it impossible for our team of teachers to meet with all parents in the fall since both teachers conference with parents together. If you do not receive a conference slip and a conference is requested, we will work out a time to meet with you. Please keep in mind we do everything we can to meet with as many parents as our conference schedule allows



Mid-morning Snacks & Water Consumption-We have found it beneficial for the students to have a mid-morning healthy snack. Each student needs to bring a small snack each day. Only send enough for one day, and please don’t send snacks that need refrigeration. Please do not send in sweet or sticky items like cake, brownies, frosted cookies, or cupcakes. Fruit that is precut and dry cereal in a baggie are awesome choices. If packing pudding, applesauce, or Jell-O please don’t forget to pack a spoon. Water bottles containing only water must be brought to school daily. We have stations that students use to refill their water bottles while at school.


Lunch Money-As you know, students who do not receive free lunch must either pay for one or bring their own from home. Each year we have many students who forget their money or lose it before lunch. Having students pay by the week or the month can eliminate most lunch money problems, but students may pay on a daily basis. Our school has a computerized system that effectively keeps track of all money paid into each child's account. When a student is absent or chooses not to eat lunch, the money remains in his or her account.



Absences-Regular school attendance is critical to the learning process. When your child is absent, he/she misses valuable instruction time. Whenever your child is absent, it is required that you call the Stinson office to report your child’s absence and write an explanation that your child can bring to school upon their return. It is best that you request absent work when calling the office to report your child’s absence in the morning. This will give teachers ample time to gather all assignments. ***The work must be picked up in the office before 3:30.


****** Make-up Work-Students have an equal number of make-up days to absence days to turn in completed assignments when they are absent. For example:  2 days absent = 2 extra days to make-up work. Students need to have all make-up work turned in on the necessary day for credit.






Weekly Schedule and Classroom Supplies-Classroom schedules are listed on our teachers’ sites. The supply list is on the Northwest Homepage. The supply list is always given out the previous school year on the last day of school.



Northwest on the Web-It is highly recommended that students and parents frequently visit the website for Northwest Local Schools and the teachers’ sites. Many of your questions can be answered, and you can view current school news by utilizing these sites. Plus, assignments are posted on a daily basis in case there are questions about what is written in the assignment book. Stinson Elementary staff post a great deal of classroom and school information in order to communicate with the Northwest community. Please visit our sites!


Please be patient with our response time to emails because our obligation during the day is to teach students, so we may not reply until students are at recess, lunch, or at the end of the day. Thank you in advance for understanding this situation.


Northwest Local Schools:


Mrs. McCulligan







  We are looking forward to having a successful year with your child! 




Mr. Archinal and Mrs. McCulligan