Mr. Villanueva - Fourth Grade

     Welcome to fourth grade!  Before I explain what will be happening in my class this year, I would like to tell you a little about myself.  First, my full name is James Villanueva.  I was born in NAS Lemoore and raised in town.  I spent my first six years in school at our rival, Neutra School. I am proud to say that my mother was a teacher there for many years.  I received my bachelor's degree from California State University, Fresno, where I majored in business administration.  I worked in the business world for a few years until I decided to follow in my mother's footsteps and become an educator.  I was a substitute teacher for a year before being hired in 1997 as a full-time teacher for Lemoore Union Elementary School District.  There I taught second grade for three and one-half years.  Then I moved to Neutra in 2001 and became a fourth-grade teacher.  I spent nine years there before moving to Akers in 2010. This school has a wonderful and supportive staff, and I am honored to be a part of it.

     The first day of every week I will send home a newsletter to keep you informed about the activities I have been, or will be, conducting with my class.  I strongly suggest that an adult in the household read it since I often provide important information, such as details about classroom projects, upcoming events, and field trips.  Current spelling words are also typically listed in my newsletter.  In case you are unable to locate a particular newsletter but need information from it, you can find a copy on my wikispaces.com web site.  The "More from Mr. V." link above will take you there.

     A course syllabus for fourth grade and my classroom-management plan can also be found on this supplemental web site.  Please take some time to read these documents.  I feel that you should be aware of what is happening in my classroom; in this way, we can work together to provide your child with the best possible education.

     Regarding homework, my policy is to use it to give your child an opportunity to complete unfinished classroom work or to provide additional practice with a skill that has not been fully mastered.  I encourage you to work with your child on his or her homework; however, please do not complete it for him or her.  If your child has difficulty, particularly while practicing a skill, I suggest "guiding" your child to the correct answer.  This makes the homework more meaningful, and your child will feel a sense of accomplishment when he or she can come up with the correct answers.

     Your child's homework will be listed in a School Agenda (planner) that he or she will complete whenever anything is assigned.  It should be taken home at the end of each school day and brought back the following one.  I suggest that you purchase a three-ring binder that your child can use to carry the School Agenda, as well as any homework and important notes, to and from home.

     My students typically correct their homework in class the day it is due.  This is done with my guidance and provides them with immediate feedback. They will then take it home for your review.  To ensure the students are doing their assignments, I do quick checks as they are correcting their work.  Those who do not have a properly completed assignment will lose points towards the final grade and might also be required to finish it during lunch or after school.  Parents will receive a notification on my Weekly Behavior Report whenever their children have missing assignments during any particular week.  Occasionally, I will collect assignments for a more thorough inspection.  These will be sent home every few weeks with graded classwork and tests.

     I am looking forward to being your child's teacher this year. Please feel free to contact me at school if you have any questions or concerns (e-mail is best; a link is underneath my photograph). I will try my best to meet your expectations for both the school year and your child's education.