Happy New Year! Here at school, we are ready to make 2015 a year filled with success through hard work and dedication by providing students with daily opportunities to grow. The hard work is the responsibility of us all-teachers, students, staff, families, and administrators. I know together we can make learning an exciting adventure.
Looking back, it’s hard to believe another month will soon be coming to a close. So far, our regular routine hasn’t been interrupted too much by severe weather. However, we did have our one canceled day and one late start. I want to thank you for your patience and understanding as we deal with these uncontrollable factors. The students are always excited to find out there is a snow day and they will get to stay home. Unfortunately, we will be making our canceled day up at the end of the year and the students may not be as excited about that in May. In addition, I would like to clarify a few things about our late start procedures. If we have a 2 hour delay, then everything is pushed back exactly 2 hours. The first bell will ring at 9:50, with the second bell at 9:55. Students should not be dropped off before 9:25 because there is not any morning GO on these days. Therefore, in efforts to ensure proper supervision of our students, we ask that no students are dropped off before this time. We also do not provide breakfast on these days, so we ask that if at all possible your child eat at home. Just a reminder that you also can sign up for text alerts about school cancelations and delays on our website.
Progress Reports for the second quarter came home last week. As you know, we do not have scheduled conferences again until the end of third quarter. However, if you have questions, concerns or need some clarification of what you are seeing on your child’s progress report, please be sure to contact your child’s teacher. We were so excited to see the significant progress that our students have made during 1st semester and look forward to seeing what additional growth they can accomplish in the next 4 months.
What are Exploratory Classes?
What are Exploratory Classes? The Exploratory, or “Special” classes, as they used to be called, are subjects not usually taught in the same way in the classroom. I am old enough to remember our teacher helping us do some sort of craft for “art”, no one had computers, we didn’t have Physical Education, no library, and our poor music teacher used to come in pushing her little piano. No one talked about how to move your body without getting hurt, how important it is to get exercise or eat right or play fair. No one told us about the different artists, what they did and how we could try our hand at doing the same thing with different types of materials and methods, textures and patterns. No one explained what makes music “work”. Why some note combinations sound better together than others and why, and how you can change a chord and change the whole mood of a piece. We played recorders—not ukuleles and we didn’t learn about composers or the different types of music that they have written through the years. The only thing we knew about computers was that they were evil and only showed up in science fiction movies. It wasn’t until high school we even had a library and that was only for checking out books. No one worked with us to show us how to research, to find the information we needed, or use it once we had found it. We didn’t learn how to read a map, or decimal numbers to find nonfiction books. We didn’t talk about plot, characters, setting, and so on in the library—but now we do.
The Exploratory classes are just that. We help students explore who they are by expressing themselves through different methods. They try their hand at different types of art, create and play music and learn to sing as one choir—everyone singing the same note at the same time. They learn how to move their bodies, play fair, create their own games, and share. They learn to express themselves through slide shows, photography, book reports told by animated characters. They learn to think and figure out problems and support their ideas with facts.
Exploratory classes are NOT play time. We have fun learning in different ways and using different senses and techniques—but the focus is on learning.
From time to time, some videos or movies might be shown that have a PG rating either during the school day or during the GO Program. If you would prefer for your child not to watch these items with a PG rating, please contact your child's teacher or the GO program to inform them. If you have questions about materials being viewed, please contact them as well.
29th-Title Reading Night
20th-First Grade Field Trip
16th-19th-Book Fair/Parent Teacher Conferences
2nd-Title Math Night
7th-Title Math Night
25th-Speedy Spoofhound 5K (tentative date-more info. to come)
We had an assembly last Friday, honoring and celebrating the life of Marj Hansen (former teacher at EFES). Our library now has a new loft and "Hansen's Hammock " so our students can use these to foster a love for reading.
Our school's start time is 7:55. We have a school bell that rings at 7:50, and then the late/tardy bell rings again at 7:55. We have had several students showing up late, so please arrive by 7:55!
Health and Fitness
GO Fitness will meet from 3 – 3:30 Monday through Thursday, beginning Tuesday, January 20th! Students will participate in activities such as walking, jogging, strength training, kick boxing, aerobics, and many fun games!
GO is also teaming up with the Maryville Community Center to support the Kids Mileage Club. The Kid’s Mileage Club is a 6 week program that provides a chance for youth grades Pre-K to 8th to earn prizes while getting fit! (See attached flyer)
We hope 2015 is a healthy, active year for all of our students and families!
Hello from the EFES Library! Books are flying off the shelves each day, beginning at 7:25. We have quite a crowd that loves to return and check out books. Some students even stay to catch a few minutes of reading before their day begins.
In library class, Kindergarten has been learning about how to take care of books, book parts and have begun checking out 2 books at a time. They are expanding the areas they check out from too!
First grade has been comparing fiction and non-fiction, as well as going back over “right-fit” books, that will help build our brains.
Second grade has been working on checking out one book for enjoyment and one for building our brains. We have been enjoying a realistic fiction book All About Sam.
Third grade finished reading about Marvin Redpost-a third grader. He had to do a class survey in our story, so we did a class survey about reading—and found out 96/103 liked to read!… Next, we will be learning even more about finding books more independently.
Fourth grade has been studying using the online catalog to search for and reserve books, finding non-fiction by subject and call number, finding fiction alphabetically by author and next, and how fiction series are set up. We want all students to be able to find books they are looking for. In January, we will begin working with Almanacs in class to prepare for a future competition!
During the first week of December, all library students took a few minutes in class to write thank you notes to the Hansen Family for their generous memorial donations. We received our beloved loft and new “Hansen Hammock” from them, as well as other library resources. The students were very thoughtful in their writing, and the new stations have been well received! (Be sure to check them out and more on our website.)
During large class groups, I help as many students as possible try to find the perfect books. If your student is needing more specific book searches, please encourage them to come in before school or during one of our open library times, or even send in some suggestions with them. I can help with lexile levels, specific interests, or introduce something new!
Thanks for all the families participating in our School-wide PAWS reading program. So far, it seems like a huge success. Daily, we get blue PAWS sheets and tickets turned in for reading the required amounts. Students that “Penciled” in some time for reading in December, received a new pencil for each ticket turned in!
Read Every Day!
Changing Dismissal Plans
If your child's dismissal plan changes, please let our office know the new plan for your child after school. If you need for your child to do something different than their regular plan, please try to call before 2:00. This gives us ample time to get them a note to inform them and their teacher of the change. Thanks for your help with this!
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