Thursday, July 6, 2017


At this point in the summer, many of you may be starting to prepare for the new school year by thinking about supplies.  When you come to the meet and greet on Monday, August 7th, you are encouraged to bring your child's supplies in order to make the first day of school a little easier.   These 25 minute sessions can get a little overwhelming as you are trying to figure out what supplies go where, while you are trying to meet the new teacher and your student is exploring their new surroundings.  Therefore, I wanted to be a little proactive in organizing the supplies prior to our meet and greet so we get a chance to talk and everyone leaves feeling comfortable, calm, and excited about the first day of school. 

Below is a list of supplies that the students will have in their desk at all times.  All other supplies will be collected for "classroom supplies."  I will have marked bins for supplies that will be collected.  If you'd like, please feel free to prepare the pencil box in advance so that it can easily be slid into  your kiddo's the desk along with the folders and composition books.   Please understand that organizing everything before you come in is not something you have to do.  I just thought it might reduce the chaos on Monday and give us more time to meet one another.  I will be more than happy to help your student get everything situated if needed.   (If you ordered supplies through EduKit, they will be on your student's desk when you arrive.)

Desk Items
All folders (do not label with subjects, student names are fine)
All composition books (do not label with subjects, student names are fine)

Pencil Box (please try to avoid the over-sized boxes as desk space gets a little tight)
Scissors (or left in backpack)
Coloring Pencils
Personal Pencil Sharpener should fit in the box

I know that many kids like picking out their own supplies.  Please keep in mind that certain supplies are collected and distributed when needed, such as post-it notes.  This is to eliminate any distractions that they can cause in a student's desk and to ensure that they are there when we need them for an assignment.  We also have "classroom pencils" to make sure that no student ever goes without one.  However, some students like having mechanical pencils or a few "special pencils" which stay in their personal pencil box. All other pencils will be collected.  Students will keep all of their own composition books. Colors and designs are completely fine.  We will label each book on the first day to indicate the subject.  Please do not do that in advance.  In order to prepare the kids for middle school, I will walk them through color coding all folders and journals.  The folders should be the colors that are listed on the supply list (blue, red, green, yellow).  Each student will use an additional folder for their homework folder.  Most students like to get a folder with a design to show their personality,  such as Minions or puppies.  That's a great way to keep the folder separated from the basic subject folders.  If your student would like to do that, it's perfectly fine.

Please feel free to contact me via email if you have any questions or concerns. I look forward to meeting you and starting a great year!


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Welcome to 5th Grade!

Dear Parents,
I'd like to welcome you and your child to 5th-grade at Gold Rush Elementary for the 2017-2018 school year. My name is Lauren Rayens and I am excited to be your child's teacher! I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself and share my plans for the upcoming school year.
I am very excited to be entering my twelfth year of teaching and glad that I have the opportunity to do it here at Gold Rush with you and your family!  Gold Rush provides an excellent environment that promotes childhood learning, while having supportive parents, and amazing kids. I am excited to continue being part of such an incredible school!
In my career, I've had the opportunity to teach 2nd and 3rd grade and have taught 5th grade for the past nine years, during which I've developed a passion for working with 5th-grade students.  Students at this age are developing unique personalities and they make each day a new and exciting adventure!   I graduated from the University of North Florida (UNF) with a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. This August I will graduate from Walden University with a master’s degree in Reading and Literacy. I began my teaching career working in the school district that I attended as a child and where I graduated high school, in Jacksonville, Florida.  Although I thoroughly enjoy reading a good book and writing creative stories, my favorite subject is math.  As a child, math was the subject I struggled with the most.  It’s my hope that with fun songs, games, and math tricks, I will be able to take the fear of math away from kids and show them how simple and fun math can be in the real world.  When I’m not in the classroom, I enjoy exploring Colorado with my husband Joshua and our Labrador, Susie.
For the upcoming school year, I plan to challenge your child and prepare them for their future education. I believe that a solid education begins at the elementary level and that the foundation we build together will ultimately contribute to their success for years to come.  In my classroom, I work hard to promote a safe and fun learning environment. In my experience, the more engaged the child is with the curriculum; the more they are willing to dig in and to absorb knowledge. In class, students will work with one another and take ownership of their education and actions. I strongly believe in a student led classroom. I encourage students to talk through new concepts and bounce new ideas off each other.  Critical thinking, problem-solving and fostering a positive community are also goals that we will maintain throughout the year as a class.
Finally, I wanted to let you know that I am here to support you and your student in any way possible.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns. Communication is very important to me and to the success of your child.  E-mail is typically the best way to reach me. During the school year I will be working with our students during school hours, so if I am not able to respond immediately, I will do my best to respond after school or the following morning.  I look forward to working with you and your child.  This is their last year of elementary school and I want it to be a memorable and fun learning experience.  I can't wait for them to experience all of the fun and exciting lessons and activities that I have planned!
I am looking forward to meeting you and your student at our meet and greet. If for some reason you are not able to attend, I will be more than happy to chat via email or set aside some time to call.