Ms. Kane

April 17, 2015


Filed under: Uncategorized — mpkane @ 10:19 am

Report card pick up/parent teacher conferences went well. Communication with parents is helpful, right?

Scholastic Book Fair is on!

Just because it’s Spring and the weather is wonderful, don’t give up on the learning in the classroom. Work towards learning is best not left to chance.  Do everything the teacher says and all will be well.

March 17, 2015

March 16 – 20

Filed under: Uncategorized — mpkane @ 12:34 pm

PARCC Testing in MATH is planned for Tuesday and Wednesday this week. Anyone can access practice tests on the internet. Parents – PLEASE take the time to try this. You will see the complexity of the tests and how much concentration and focus is required just to understand the question! You will see the expectations for students to solve multi-step math problems at the highest difficulty of their grade levels.

Are students reading at LEAST 20 minutes every day?  Especially weekends.  That’s when they have the extra time!

If you download an app called HOOPLA from the Chicago Public Library you can borrow 6 items a month including movies, music, tv shows and of course – AUDIO BOOKS.

Did you know there is a FREE font that can be downloaded from an organization called  The claim is that this font is easier to read for some people with dyslexia.

WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH means students in 511 will be doing research.  As I always say, there are more sources for research than the internet.  I know that students today think of the internet and nothing else BUT the internet is not always reliable.  Wikipedia is ok but not for serious educational research.  There are lots of bogus, fake, and deceptive sites out there.  Don’t get tricked!  The Chicago Public Library has many excellent sources online but you do have to have a library card to use the online help.


March 12, 2015

March 9 – 13, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — mpkane @ 11:33 am

– Half way through the third quarter! Progress Reports going home on Friday. Four weeks until Report Cards – April 2. WOW. Getting straight A’s in my class is simple: Do the homework, pay attention and do your best in class. Homework is not supposed to take all evening. 20 minutes of reading (EVERY DAY), about 20-25 minutes of math, and when there is a writing project, the focus will be on that. Don’t think of homework as more than an hour!

Saturday is 3.14.15 = Pi Day!!!  Celebrate the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter with a slice a la mode.

This week is the PARCC test for English/Language Arts (3 days, 75 minutes per day) and next week will be Math for two days.

The weather is getting better so students can go outside but they may not be able to go on the field – too muddy. Don’t wear your best or newest shoes to recess.

If you make a habit of going to the Public Library, you will see which Museum passes are available. You can’t beat a day at one of Chicago’s great museums. I’m going to the Planetarium this week!

IMG_1747 IMG_1748

March 3, 2015


Filed under: Uncategorized — mpkane @ 9:06 am

We made it to March and there are FIVE weeks of school – NO HOLIDAYS – until Spring Break! Progress Reports for the 3rd quarter will go home on Friday, March 13.  This is a period of uninterrupted time to learn and build those skills!


Today’s morning math warm-up was multiplying 20 minutes a day of reading by 31 days in March which is 620 minutes.  If you read 30 minutes a day, it’s 930 minutes!  ALL the research shows that daily reading is the most important and beneficial thing students can do to succeed in school.  Read together.  Read aloud.  Listen to books on audiotape or audioCD.  Read from the many websites for kids.  Go to the public library regularly. Parents, please keep up with the Reading Log in theHW folder.

There will be some opportunity for after school Spring sports in April.  Stay tuned to the Ray School News.

Thank you for all your support and contact me with any questions.


February 5, 2015

Brrrrrrrrr! February 5, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — mpkane @ 9:47 am

These cold days are perfect for digging in to a good book or learning new things.

We have completed the NWEA MAPS (Measures of Academic Progress) Middle of the Year testing.  Most students are showing wonderful growth.  We teachers are targeting the kids who need extra help.  Parents, please encourage your child to be ACTIVE learners and ask questions, give extra practice to the skills that seem difficult.  We’re in this together.

Wednesday the 11th is the evening program for Black History Month.  This is always a highlight for the Ray school year.

Monday the 16th is a day off for Presidents’ Day.  Happy Birthday Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.  The Chicago Public Library will be closed that day but check out a Museum Pass and explore the treasures in our own back yard.

As always, thank you for your support.

January 28, 2015


Filed under: Uncategorized — mpkane @ 12:49 pm

February is African American History Month and Ray students work on a variety of really wonderful projects which go on display for the evening event February 11. Mark your calendars! Check the Ray School website and get the Ray enews for the latest details.

We begin the second half the the school year on February 2nd. Students in my room are expected to give their best effort AT ALL TIMES. Being organized and responsible pretty much takes care of that! The only piece left is RESPECT. If the students respect the learning environment – which includes the teacher, the materials and the other students – all is well. The good habits of always bringing homework back and reading EVERY DAY will reap great rewards!

I know I sound like a preacher! I thank parents for all their support and I thank students for asking questions and making me work hard!

January 16, 2015

JAN. 20 – 23, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — mpkane @ 4:41 pm

We are closing in on the half-way mark in the school year. January 29 is the end of the second quarter. Students have Friday the 30th off while teachers work in the building.
It’s not too late to work hard and improve those grades. READING LOG means reading at home at least 20 minutes EVERY day of the week! Completing and returning HOMEWORK is simple. DO IT! Give your best effort in class and focus on the teacher, not distractions, – AND YOU’VE GOT AN A!
511 students will be taking the NWEA MAPS tests this week and that is a score that is looked at OFTEN. Students will be in small groups in the computer lab. The Math test will be read aloud individually to each student. The best thing I can say here is that students need to have better stamina for taking this test. Often they give up when it seems long. They must think it doesn’t matter – but it does!

December 3, 2014


Filed under: Uncategorized — mpkane @ 12:03 pm

We have three weeks until the next holiday break. I expect the students to work hard and start the two-week winter vacation with lots of fresh knowledge. THEN – the New Year can start off on good footing. Start thinking about the student’s New Year’s Resolutions – the ones that pertain to school success.

PLEASE don’t forget to read everyday. EVERYDAY. Ten minutes after dinner and ten minutes before bed and you don’t miss anything. A minimum of 30 minutes is recommended and required at Ray.

The 5th graders will have a walking Field Trip to Mendel Hall at University of Chicago on Friday, December 12 for a performance of The Nutcracker.

As you know the weather is variable.  Keep the mittens and hats ready to grab.  And please encourage your students to wash hands often.  It’s the season for the cold virus to spread.

And as always, thank you for your support.

November 3, 2014

NOVEMBER! Lots of important information.

Filed under: Uncategorized — mpkane @ 4:43 pm

My daughter called this month “no-school-November”.

Students have SIX days off! Friday, November 7 is teacher inservice/school improvement day. Tuesday the 11th we are all off for Veterans Day. Students are off the following day Wednesday the 12 for Report Card pick-up/Parent-Teacher conferences. And then that last week of November includes a full three days off for Thanksgiving. THANK YOU!

There is a free font that claims to  help some readers with dyslexia. I haven’t seen research but it would interesting if you tried it and let me know.

All for now. More to come.

October 17, 2014


Filed under: Uncategorized — mpkane @ 11:42 am

It’s a short week and I hope the long weekend worked wonders for your health and happiness.  Enough alliteration!


If we have indoor recess, students should be prepared with something enjoyable to do.  They can read, play a quiet and stationary game, talk with friends.  Just be ready.

Please check other teacher’s blogs as well as the PTA eNews for lots of helpful information.

5th graders should be working on the “Famous Dead Person” project.  Help from home in the form of finding props is greatly appreciated.  Students are expected to write, speak and “perform”.  It is due on Friday, October 31.

To stay healthy, please eat well, wash your hands, and GET ENOUGH SLEEP!  Many students are not at their best, ready to learn – because they are tired. That’s what they tell me.

Happy fall.

Ms. Kane




September 30, 2014

FALL IS HERE! September 29-October 3, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — mpkane @ 11:20 am

Progress Reports – also called Midterms – are coming out next week.  They look like a regular Report Card but the grades represent WHERE A STUDENT IS HALF-WAY TO Report Cards.  If the grades are good, keep up the good work!  If the grades are low, that means they can be better by Report Card/Parent Teacher conferences in November. 

My advice:

1.  Set a routine for doing Homework.  Don’t try to rush it. Look at the clock and note the beginning time and end time for me.

2.  Make ORGANIZATION a big part of Homework time.  Clean out the book bag.  Check the calendar.  Don’t forget the homework at home!

3.  THREE things every night:  

get out and play, get fresh air, get a break from school.

  do the Homework with your best brain (not tired, distracted)  

READ, please, please, please, READ for pleasure.  Listen to a book on audio before bed.  Student MUST read a wide variety of material to learn.

Thank you very much. 


September 8, 2014

Welcome to the new school year!

Filed under: Uncategorized — mpkane @ 9:46 am

The 2014 – 2015 school year began with beautiful weather and smooth transitions to new grade levels.

We have FOUR wonderful administrators and the “Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports” (PBIS) system is in place. Students receive Ray Warrior tickets for following the expectations of BE SAFE, BE RESPECTFUL, AND BE RESPONSIBLE.  Tickets may be used at the new school store.

If students do not follow the expectations, a “minor incident” form will be completed and parents will be called.  Two “minor incidents” for the same problem (for example, inappropriate language) = one “major referral”  form.  Every staff member in the building is on the team so we’re hoping to establish a well-behaved community from the start.

I sent home a parent letter on blue paper.  Let me know if you ever need another copy.  Stay tuned to the School website and the Ray enews and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Happy Fall!!!

Mary Kane



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