Distance Learning in Early School

The unprecedented turn of events caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in our community has completely altered the way that spring typically looks on our beautiful campus.  Distance learning has developed quickly into the best way for our teachers to stay in touch and keep their students learning.  

Even before the decision was made to pause in-school lessons, I was meeting with our teachers to begin developing a plan to facilitate distance learning.  You will not be surprised to hear that every teacher embraced this challenge and began exploring and sharing their ideas on how to best facilitate this new model. 

With every new post, the teachers are working to discover what content will be the most helpful for the students while keeping it fun, engaging, and meaningful along with how best to get the material to them.  They are also being mindful of each family’s time and ability to support the lessons and activities. They are aware that many parents are trying to juggle multiple responsibilities throughout the day. With that in mind,  the teachers are seeking a balance between active and independent learning. This balance is also helpful when working with early school learners as their ability to focus on a task depends in large part on their age.

In an article in Parents.com,  Leslie Harris O’Hanlon states, “Child development experts say that, on average, a 4- or 5-year-old child should be able to stay focused on a task for two to five minutes times the year of their age. So, young kids should be able to focus between 4 and 20 minutes, possibly more, depending on the task.”  It is also important to give yourself permission to leave a task undone if it is becoming too arduous.  

We want nothing more than to get back together in our classrooms and on our campus so that we can once again share the laughter,  our love of learning and care for one another.  

What a joyous day when we again meet!

“When this is over, may we never again take for granted…a handshake with a stranger, full shelves at the store, conversations with neighbors, a crowded theater, Friday night out, a routine checkup, the school rush each morning, coffee with a friend, the stadium roaring, each deep breath, a boring Tuesday, and life itself. When this ends, may we find that we have become more like the people we wanted to be, we were called to be, we hoped to be, and may we stay that way- better for each other because of the worst.” Laura Kelly Fanucci

May I add…when we return, may we give thanks for our school, our teachers and staff, and the joy of learning together.

May we be ever thankful for supportive families, natural creativity, the ability to adjust, the ability to wait, the ability to know this, too, shall pass.

What a joyous day when we again meet!

Judy Thigpen

Springing into action!

Dear Parents,

What an incredibly busy week we have had preparing for things to come. This is definitely a school year for the books. 

Cass is officially the Superkids first Supernoodle. For her first task as the boss of the club, she has decided to have her friends go on a scavenger hunt. Here the Superkids will find the items on her list and then deliver them to Cass. The list consists of a lemon, some buttons, a comic, a red mitten, a hot dog, and some globs of mud. Your kids have worked hard to master the letter M this week. We have practiced our words in spelling bee’s and also practiced our handwriting too! Next week you all will start the P, V, W booklet with your children. 

We also concluded chapter 9 in math which had us learning all about money. We learned everything from the actual coins, the value of each, fair trades, and last but certainly not least, how to add and subtract our money. So next time you head to the grocery store, which I’m sure will be very soon since we are all in need of TOILET PAPER ;), challenge your child by letting them add amounts from the shelves!

This week in Social Studies we continued to review the different cardinal directions North, South, East, and West. For watercolor Wednesday, the kids got to pick a watercolor sheet that represented different things in North America. We had options from the painted ladies in San Francisco to the Statue of Liberty in New York. We also discussed the fact that Canada is North of The United States, and Mexico is South of us.

In science, we scurried over to the lab to finish our unit on measurement. The kids had a really great time in the lab for this unit. They were all such amazing young scientists when using the pan balance and gram bears.  We learned about centimeters, meters, and volume. On Friday we did a special experiment with rainbows by using skittles! I can’t wait for you to see the pictures! We were also able to show each child how a rainbow forms inside a prism. 

As you now know our school has decided to close for the next three weeks. I can’t even begin to say how much of a bummer this is as I will dearly miss your children during our time away. This is certainly not goodbye. Please make sure you are all staying safe and healthy. I care about all of you deeply and want us all to return when it is time. Be on the lookout each morning for an email from me stating what to do for the day in your packets. Please remember I am only a phone call or email away and that I am here for each and every one of you! The kids can’t wait to facetime me to see Guinness my pup, he just gets all the attention lol 😉

With love,
Ms. Porto and Ms. Kathie

“Let’s March into Spring”

With the days getting longer an spring just around the corner, we leap right into March with a renewed sense of excitement!

This week, we will introduce the letter l and m. For science, we will be exploring our taste buds by tasting lime and lemons and graph which one we like best. We can’t wait to see the expressions on their face! For creative art, we will tie-dye coffee filters and use crate sticks to make lollipops. For the letter m, we will marble paint the letter m by using paint and shaking marbles in a box to make a print.

The theme for this week is opposites. We will work on recognizing our right and left hand, draw a happy face and a sad face and create a day and night project.

Investigator Club;

Oral Language – Seek out letters
Objective is to recognize words that begin with the letters l and m.
Alphabet knowledge – Letter Game
Objective is to know that the letters of the alphabet are a special category of visual graphics.

Mark your calendar;

Bedford Falls Book Fair is now here at the Woods. The book fair (It) will be open March 9th-13th in the Few Cottage. Hours of operation is M-T-W-F from 12:00 to 4:00. Wednesday from 7:45 to 9:00 am and Thursday from 12:00 to 6:00 pm.

We would like to welcome Mr. Willison (Cooper’s father) as our reader this week. We are looking forward to listening to some of Cooper’s favorite books and having Mr. Willison as part of our Fun Friday.

Fun Friday is Silly Sock day- Wear your silliest socks to school.

St. Patrick’s day party is March 17th- Wear green to school.

Spring party will be held on April 2nd. Please provide a bag of plastic eggs filled with treats for the bunny to hide no later then April 1st.

Early dismissal is on April 3rd during our carline time. (12:45) Wood Acres will be closed for Spring break
April 6th through April 10th.

End of the year party will be held on May 20that 10:30. We would like to invite you all to join us as we close this year out with a bang. The children will be performing songs and a dance for you. We look forward to seeing you all there.

Have a good week,
Ms. Orsano & Mrs. Thomas

March 9th GAZETTE

DONUTS FOR DADS:
“Donuts for Dads” was a big success! The children were so excited for that special day! Thanks to the Dads and Mom for taking the time in their busy life to come and spend part of the morning in our classroom.
SUPERKIDS:
In this book, the Superkids are really getting their club organized. They decided they needed a boss and their boss will be called a “Supernoodle.” This week, we will be introduced to synonyms and antonyms. Please keep reading everyday with your child.
Just like the Superkids, starting on Wednesday, we will have a Supernoodle in the classroom. The children seem to be very excited about it! We will get a new “Supernoodle” every three days. The Supernoodle leads the morning meeting, is the line leader and will be able to take Switzerland home one last time.
Today we started to work on the letter M. We worked in teams as well and made word families. The kids always enjoyed working as a team!
THE “N–M” WORD LIST TEST WILL BE ON FRIDAY, MARCH 13th.
MATH:
Hard to believe Chapter 9 is almost over. The best part of this chapter is the shopping. The kids love it! Thanks for helping me to keep the store inventory interesting and stocked! In order to practice counting our coins, we will keep shopping. The Chapter Test is on March 17th.
SOCIAL STUDIES:
Our new unit: Continents and Maps.
Today we enjoyed the beautiful weather and learned about maps outside on the quad. We all loved it! We also had a mini review on continents and directions. Before we leave on our big trip around the world, we will get our passports and suitcases ready! This last unit will be super fun!
IMPORTANT DATES:
~ April 1st: Field Trip to the Chattahoochee Nature Center and lunch at the Roswell Park where you can all join us for lunch. (more info to follow)
~ April 3rd: 1:00pm RELEASE ~
SPRING BREAK: April 6th – April 10th
Have a good week!

March 7, 2020 Newsletter

Here comes the sun! Even though we couldn’t go out on the playground Friday, it was still nice to see the sunshine. The P.E. room has been our saving grace because we can use it for games and balls since there are no P.E. classes on Wednesdays and Fridays. Hopefully, this week will get some playground time. Fingers crossed!!

Thank you for sharing your Dr. Seuss books with our class. Theodore Seuss Geisel was a master of rhyming words even if he had to make up words so they rhymed. We learned some rhyming word families this week. How many words can your child rhyme with cat? Have fun with other words that rhyme too. Dr. Seuss also taught us through, “Green Eggs and Ham,” to taste foods before we say we don’t like them. Whenever I hear at lunch time, “I don’t like it,” I remind them of Sam I Am. This encourages them to at least taste it and sometimes they actually like it!! It was a funny day on Wednesday when the class dressed in wacky clothes and hairstyles. They heard the story, “Wacky Wednesday.” See the photo below.

Moving on to the alphabet and letter K, we had a fun time playing kangaroos looking for little joeys. The children wore pouches around their waist. I hid some joeys labeled with different letters and the boys and girls had to collect only the joeys with letter K on them. I posted some pictures of a few kangaroos playing the game.

A huge thank you to Inga Raz, aka Knuffle Bunny, who was our Mystery Reader and brought delicious bunny cupcakes for a treat!! See pictures.

Next week, it’s on to letters L & M, opposites and rainbows. Also, the Book Fair opens on Monday. We will write down your child’s favorite books from the fair and send the list home. This way you will be able to surprise them with the ones they picked out.

Don’t forget to set your clocks to Spring Forward!!

March Update

Hello Everybody, 
Well, the weekend has certainly been delightful and seeing the sun is a wonderful change. Tomorrow, I am hoping to enjoy it as much as I can because rain is in the forecast for next week. Ugh. 

I will say that Mother Nature really helped while I was teaching the last few science investigations on the Earth’s Surface. PLEASE note that on Monday, my homeroom will have their science test over the entire cell on The Earth’s Surface. On Tuesday, Mrs. Littleton’s homeroom will have their test over the same information. We have been reviewing quite a bit and if your student has been using their study guide to study at home, then your student is prepared and ready for this final assessment. 

Wednesday, March 11 is our field trip to Tellus Museum. Thank you for returning your student’s permission slip so quickly. If you have any questions regarding the field trip, please do not hesitate to ask Mrs. Littleton or me. This week, the Bedford Book Fair is coming to Wood Acres! Here is a great opportunity to shop for your student’s summer reading or just for pleasure. We will take a sneak peek on Monday, so you and your student can fill their wish list or find some unexpected treasures while browsing the shelves. Have fun and Happy Reading to one and all! 

Learning continues in 2nd grade. This week, we should finish up our current chapter in math. I am hoping to have the final quizzes and tests will be at the end of the week, but we will see what happens. Soon, we will start learning and working with money. I have found that when young children use real money instead of plastic money, their understanding is better for using and counting it along with making change. Next week, I will ask your student to create a “wallet”to use at school. I will send out more details later next week. 

Reading,grammar, and spelling continues as we read The Goat in my Rug. We will learn about linking verbs, suffixes, and review compound words.  I am still amazed at the amount of information your student is learning all day long it all subject areas and handling it all very well. I am so proud of everything they have achieved so far this year, and I hope you are too. I think that is all for now. Heading outside for the rest of the day and don’t forget to turn your clocks AHEAD one hour tonight. I promise to ease your student into a quiet and calm Monday morning because I will need it too. Until then, thanks for your time and I’ll be in touch soon.

Yours truly,
Cheryl Leagan
2nd grade teacher
The Wood Acres School

5th Grade Weekly Update for Week of March 9th

Math: Our unit test for chapter 7 is on Monday. In addition to the study guide students received, they should also study the unit vocabulary terms and types of graphs graphic organizer. Our next unit will include decimal operations. We will begin with a review of decimal place value. Then, students will learn how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide decimals.

ELA: We have completed are outlines for the research paper and are currently working on writing our papers. Students are handwriting a rough draft a section at a time. Then, we conference about that section, and they type it before moving on to the next section. This allows students to work at their own pace. Mark your calendars for Friday, April 3rd for our Presidential Trivia Celebration! We invite parents to join us as we break into teams and test our trivia knowledge of our presidents! This is a fun way for students to show what they learned throughout the research process because they help create our trivia questions! Trivia will begin at 9:45 a.m. in my classroom.

Our second Daily Paragraph Editing test will be on Wednesday, March 11th. It will include excerpts from the following passages: “Foreign Exchange”, “Trade Route to India”, and “Busy as a Beaver”.

We finished reading the Watson’s Go to Birmingham in class and students received a study guide to prepare for the novel test, which is on Friday, March 13th. We will begin our next outside reading assignment on Monday, March 23rd, so please make sure your child has ordered a copy of The Van Gogh Deception by Deron Hicks.

Science: In lab, students are exploring the concept of density. They learned that liquids and solids that are more dense will sink and those with less density will float. Then, they learned how to calculate density using the formula mass divided by volume. Through experimentation, students learned that there is a direct relationship between an object’s mass and volume. As mass increases, so does the volume. However, the density will remain the same. On Monday, students will continue exploring this concept as they create rainbow density towers in a test tube. I will also introduce the extra credit assignment where students can build their own density tower at home. Then, share a picture with the class by Monday, March 16th to receive 10 bonus points on a previous test. On Thursday, students will complete a quiz to show what they have learned about density.

History: We will really dive into the Renaissance this week! Students will learn about the progression from an artisan of the medieval time to an artist in the Renaissance time period. We’ll look at the shift in status that these men had throughout the Italian city-states. Artwork from both time period will give visualization to students, so they’re able to use those primary sources to gain a deeper understanding. We’ll then turn our attention to Florence and the prominent families that lived in that cradle of Italian culture. Students will take a “Which Medici are You?” quiz to match up their personalities to Cosimo de’ Medici, Lorenzo the Magnificent, and Pope Leo X. Our last focus of the week will be Venice: it’s republican government, printing advances, most famous artist, and its eventual decline.

Other: We are gearing up for our trip to Camp Widji! As you begin preparing, please let me know if you have any questions. Also, remember that the final payment is due on Monday, March 9th. Thank you for those who volunteered to donate snacks. You are welcome to drop them off with me, and I will store them in our conference room until our trip.

Our Spring Book Fair begins on Monday, and it will continue until Friday, March 13th. Flyers will be sent home on Monday.

Week at a Glance:
Monday: Camp Widjiwagan payment due; Chapter 7 Math Test; WGTB study guide due
Wednesday: DPE Test 2
Thursday: Density Quiz
Friday: WGTB Novel Test

Future Dates to Mark:
-Bring 4th quarter outside reading novel to class on Monday, March 23rd (Parents need to purchase)
-Presidential Trivia Celebration on Friday, April 3rd at 9:45 a.m. (Parents are welcome to attend and participate)

This Matters At Wood Acres.

  • High Expectations For Teaching And Learning

  • Strong Instructional Leadership

  • Safe Learning Environment For Everyone

  • Positive And Welcoming School Climate

  • Valuing Time On Task For Mastery

  • Close Home School Partnerships