Parent Open House, August 20, 2012

posted Aug 19, 2012, 12:20 PM by Paul Schwan   [ updated Aug 20, 2012, 11:55 AM ]
Welcome to St. Michael Fifth Grade, Mr. Schwan's Homeroom!

If you missed the orientation meeting tonight, or if you would like to review what we discussed, here is the list:

Getting Acquainted
Miscellaneous Items (principles that guide us)
  • TEAM - Together Everyone Achieves More
  • 3-legged stool - student, parent, teacher
  • Homeroom - feel free to communicate with me and, when necessary, I will put you in touch with the appropriate instructor(s) for your child (math, social studies, band, etc.)
  • Assignments - all are listed online for students and parents to view each day. A student planner is available for writing down daily assignments and planning ahead. Recommended, but not required. Students are required to turn in all work on time. 
  • Friday Folder - my weekly communication link for academic progress
    • teacher
    • student
    • parent(s) - make it a weekly event; close the loop by acknowledging receipt
Online Activities
  • Collaborize Classroom - a place where our class will get together online to discuss our lessons and learning. Nobody outside of students and their parents and teacher can login, so this will be a private and safe place where students can collaborate.
  • Our Blog - this is a place where we will post student work. It will all be completely moderated by me to protect student privacy and safety.
  • My Website - please USE IT! - Use the Search Box, too -

Space Camp

Student Orientation
  • Tuesday, August 21 from 8-11 am
  • Bring all supplies to school
  • Student Organization Checklist - download and print. Check off items as they're completed. Bring completed form to class by Monday, August 27. (Note: I'll provide a paper copy at the Tuesday student orientation)
Netbook Software

Here's a list of the programs you'll need to download and install. They're all free, so you should only need to purchase a netbook, a carrying case to keep your netbook free of scratches or other damage, and we're asking all students to also bring an inexpensive set of earbud/microphones for their netbook.

  • Open Office ( – click on “I want to download”). Uninstall any trial version of Microsoft Office on your netbook, as we won't be using it.

  • Avast ( – in the far-left “Free Antivirus” column, click on the blue “Download” button; then, the grey “No thanks, I want free protection” button (not the upgrade for $19.99). Delete any trial versions of anti-virus programs, as these will conflict with Avast.

  • Adobe PDF Reader – - click on “Download Now”

  • Audacity – (click on “for Windows” 2.0.1, best version for Windows 7)

  • Adobe Flash – - click on “Get the latest version”

  • Google Chrome ( – click on the blue “Download Chrome” button). Students may use either Chrome or Internet Explorer, which should already be on their netbooks.

I will send all students an invitation to Dropbox. Download this program when we set you up with an email account and send the invitation to that email address.

Parents, I'll provide you with ongoing orientation to all the new technology tools we're using in fifth grade so you can help your children at home and be involved in what they're doing. Please help them with these initial downloads of software. 


If you don't have WiFi, try the FREE WiFi at McDonald's, Panera, etc. Students will need Internet access after school hours, and they can use the WiFi at school if necessary.