Sunday, August 21, 2016

Week 0: Welcome to Laguna, Where Everybody Belongs (week of 8/19/2015)

Hello parents and guardians (and any students who happen to be reading this). This blog is a weekly "what's happening" in my classroom. I'll be emailing out the link each Friday or Saturday to keep you in the loop. If you would rather not receive the weekly email, feel free to shoot me an email and let me know (I won't be offended, I promise).

Welcome to Laguna Middle School!
I hope that your final week of summer was relaxing and stress/anxiety free, especially for the students. On Monday, August 15, 2016, Miss Ahearn, myself, and 65 eighth-grade leaders hosted the inaugural WEB (Where Everybody Belongs) Orientation. You'll hear a lot about the WEB program this year so I'll explain the program and its purpose before we jump into the ins and outs of my class.

The WEB program (LINK at the high schools) is a transition and orientation program geared towards easing anxiety for our incoming seventh graders while creating a cohesive, inclusive campus environment for all students on campus. Monday's orientation started with a whole group assembly led by a crazy teacher with way too much energy (see: me). After some inspiring and enlightening activities disguised as fun and silly, the eighth-grade students took their seventh-grade group into the classrooms for some small group activities. Students got to know each other really quickly through teambuilding and get-to-know-you activities with the awkwardness subsiding as quickly as it started. After the small group activities, the eighth-grade leaders took their small groups on a "Stories of Laguna" campus tour. All seventh graders will receive another campus tour on the first day of school but that tour is more formal and rule oriented. The tour they went on Monday was focused on the school and its impact on our leaders who shared stories of their favorite classes, teachers, activities, clubs, and moments from their seventh-grade year. After tours, students met back in the gym for a closing assembly complete with free t-shirts, dance parties, and words of wisdom. I really enjoyed being able to share my love of Laguna with the incoming seventh graders. More importantly, I'm incredibly blessed to have a group of 65 student leaders who love this school as much as I do, who shared their love with the incoming class to ease their transition and show them that Laguna truly is Where Everybody Belongs.

*If your son or daughter was unable to attend orientation or didn't get a shirt for some reason, send them to G-6 (my classroom) to claim their shirt. EVERY seventh grader has a shirt waiting for them.*

As for my English class, we have a lot to look forward to this year! I'll be talking about my class a little more in depth next week, both in the blog and at Open House (Thursday, August 25, beginning at 6:30pm). In a nutshell, we'll be speaking and listening, reading and writing, changing and growing, and having a lot of fun in my class this year. If there's ever anything I can do for you, please don't hesitate to ask.

Other things to be aware of:
-My class website can be accessed here
-Please join my Remind class (text @laffin#, replacing the # with the period number, to 81010). It's free and phone numbers are NEVER exchanged.
-Consider follwing my teacher account on Instagram, @thelaffinplace. You'll see what's going on inside and outside of class as well as the adventures of a certain, well-known amphibian who isn't having the easiest time being green.
My brother, Kris, and Kermit enjoying the Great Wall.

Questions for the drive home and dinner table:
-What are you looking forward to in middle school?
-Did the WEB orientation help ease your anxiety (if you had any) about going into middle school? What helped?
-What's one goal you have for yourself this year?

Warmest wishes,

Kevin Laffin

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