Welcome to 5th Grade…

And welcome to our class! I’m happy to be your science teacher and hope that you’re excited about the new school year. Although you might be a little nervous right now, I’m sure that it won’t take long for you to feel at ease in our virtual classroom.

See those smiles in the photo at the top of the page? Those were some of my students last year and they’re smiling because they’re happy to be there. Sure, we’ll work very hard on our science lessons. This is Jacksonville Beach Elementary School, after all. Our students love to learn and understand that nothing worthwhile comes easy. That doesn’t mean you won’t have fun, though. From independent projects to cool science experiments and much more, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy yourself while still being challenged.

By the way, I’m wearing Unicorn pajamas in that picture because that was something my class chose as a fundraising reward. In fact, I’ve worn several different pajamas over the past few years! You’ll read about this classroom tradition later. Regardless of whether we go back to the regular classroom or not, we’ll find a way to continue the tradition this year.

Of course, many things will be different this year. Though most of you ended 4th grade in a virtual classroom, it’s a completely different story having to start a new year that way. While we’re used to getting to know others face-to-face, I’m confident we can adapt to this new situation. With cooperation and patience, we can make things run comfortably and smoothly. Please know that I want to make this year as low stress as possible for all of us. If you’re ever having school-related issues of any kind, please know that I’m always willing to listen and help.

This blog will be updated consistently throughout the year and, along with Teams, will serve as the primary way information is distributed between our classroom and your home. On the right side of this page, parents will find a place to subscribe to notifications of updates to this blog. Doing so will ensure that families are kept current on assignments and other important information.

I believe that communication is a vital part of every person’s success. At school, this means open and honest exchange of information between everyone involved. I welcome and value the opinions and suggestions of all parents and students. You can leave a message at school, but email and Teams are the quickest and most effective ways to get in touch with me. My email address is vanlandinj@duvalschools.org . An easy way to send me email can be found on the right side of this page.

Ms. Brothers, Ms, Taylor, and I consider everyone in our homerooms to be part of one big class. We’ll work together closely to develop, implement, and monitor a plan structured to meet the needs of each student. Some of our activities, both curricular and extracurricular, involve all three classes. We strive to work together as a team and believe that this helps us to best serve our students and their families.

If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please let me know. I’m looking forward to getting to know all of you in the coming weeks. If you’d like, you can learn a bit about me on the “About Mr. Van” page on this site. In fact, part of your homework for the first week is to read that page, make a comment, and then click the link at the end. That link will take you to a page where you will tell me all about you! You can reach the “About Mr. Van” page through the link on the right side of this page. Thanks!

Oh, yeah — I’d love to hear your thoughts. Parents and/or students, feel free to leave a comment after any blog post.

8 thoughts on “Welcome to 5th Grade…

  1. I am excited about science experiments and especially biology! I want to be a marine biologist when I grow up.

    1. I love experiments too, Evan! And marine biology is a really cool field of science. I’m looking forward to discussing it with you this year.

  2. Hi! Mr. Van I loved reading about your very interesting life story earlier. I remember putting shaving cream on your hair and wrapping you in TP in Ms. Heideman’s class. It was a very exciting experience for my first year at JBE and I can’t wait to do it again this year!

    1. Hi, Harshitha! I have some photos that I can share of the TP/shaving cream in Ms. Heideman’s class last year if you’d like to see them. I hope you get the chance to do it again this year!

  3. Hi Mr.Van, I am one of your students this year and I am sooooo…. excited to be in your class. I am looking forward to the new school year.

    Thank you,
    Ananya B.

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