Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Field Trip to Bloomsbury Farm tomorrow!  Kids each need a sack lunch!

Pictures from Governor Branstad's Visit Today:

Monday, September 26, 2016

Field Trip Thursday!
Don't forget about our field trip to Bloomsbury Farm this Thursday.  Kids will need to bring their own lunch.  We will leave Keystone at 11:15, eat lunch when we arrive there, and return to Keystone by 3:15.  The weather has cooled off a bit, so a jacket may be needed.

Governor Branstad Visit
We are extremely honored and excited to welcome Gov. Branstad to Keystone Elementary this Wednesday, September 28th.  He is visiting 3 different schools across the state to learn from and applaud these districts that were able to significantly increase 3rd grade Reading Proficiency last year.  This will be a great time for us to showcase all of the great things going on in Benton Community!

I'm sure you've noticed papers coming home that show we've been practicing our Double Facts; and some kids have mastered those and have moved on to Near Doubles (double plus 1).  These are two vital skills for your child to understand, so any help you can give at home would surely benefit them at school!  Let me know if you want ideas for how to help them.

Our first unit in our reading curriculum is about Identifying Main Idea and Details when reading.  We teach that the main idea is the one thing that the whole passage is about, and is stated in a sentence somewhere in the passage.  The details tell more about the main idea, or give more information. Another strategy we want them to use when reading is called Ask Question.  It's something they must think about when reading...stopping periodically to ask themselves if they are comprehending or not.  If not, go back to reread so comprehension doesn't break down.    When reading with your child at home, see if they can name the main idea/details and stop to ask  questions too!

You may recall your child being involved in Socktober when they were a first grader.  We've decided to have all grades, K-3, participate in this awesome program.  It will happen during the month of October.  Look for more info to come home soon!
Dates on Deck
Thursday, September 29  Bloomsbury 11:15-3:15
Monday, October 3 Picture Retakes
Wednesday, October 4  1:00 Dismiss for teacher professional development
Monday, October 10  No School - teacher professional development
Wednesday, October 19 1:00 Dismiss for teacher professional development
Friday, October 28  1:00 dismiss - end of middle/high school quarter - elem prof. dev.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Phonics Homework
We started our Phonics units this week and students are bringing home a packet that we've been working on.  The pattern of words have closed syllables which means there is a consonant at the end and the vowel is short.  Eventually we will start having a Friday test, or Quick Check to see if they are retaining the concepts we're learning about.  But for now, I'd like to get them started in a habit of completing a "homework" sheet over the weekend.  On the last page (the back side) of their phonics packet there is a sheet to be done at home.  I've told them that if they are responsible for doing it and bringing it back on Monday or Tuesday next week, they may have a ticket.  Tickets are given when we see kids being responsible, respectful, caring and safe at school.  They can be spent in our PBIS store at a later date.

Speaking of PBIS Store - all kids got to spend tickets if they chose to ask your child what they decided on!

Homecoming is next week!  If kids don't want to participate in the dress up days, they don't have to. On Friday, we will go to the parade and pep rally in Van Horne.  Kids that live in Van Horne may walk home from there, but please send me a note ahead of time so that I know who will be staying.   If you will be there and plan to pick your child up from the Pep Rally, let me know ahead of time, please.  

Dress Up Day Themes are:
Monday - Crazy Hair Day
Tuesday -Safari Day (wear camo, animal print, etc)
Wednesday - Dress Your Best (dress up clothes)
Thursday - Backwards Day (wear clothes backwards)
Friday - Blue and Gold Day

School Delays/Cancellations
Below is a link to Mr. Junge's blog regarding KCRG's text alerts for school delays and cancellations. You can set the app to automatically alert you when decisions are made about school at Benton.

Bloomsbury Farm Field Trip
We are going to Bloomsbury Farm on Thursday, September 29.  Students will need to bring their own lunch. 

Dates on Deck
Wednesday, September 21  1:00 Dismiss for teacher professional development
Friday, September 23  Alzheimer's Walk - Keystone Care Center 10:45-11:20
                                 Homecoming (Parade & Pep Rally in Van Horne @ 1:30)
Saturday, September 24  Bobcat DASH in Van Horne 10:00 am
Thursday, September 29  Bloomsbury Farm Field Trip 11:15-3:15

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Reminder:  No School tomorrow!  Teachers have Professional Development meetings all day!

The days are flying by and we're starting to settle into our routines.  Soon we will start our reading curriculum and we're ready to start topic 2 in Math on Tuesday.  The assessment for topic 1 will come home on Tuesday.  Attached to the test will be a form showing an item analysis that describes the different types of questions.  You will be able to see what the exact areas of concern are, if there are any.  Let me know if you have questions or comments about this form.  Would you please sign and return it so that I know you're aware of how your child did on the test?  If it's easier, you could just shoot me an email saying you've seen the test instead of signing and sending it back.  

We've been "testing" your child in reading, writing, and math and the results will soon be shared with students and parents.  We do this to find out where they are at the beginning of the year; and to determine what their academic needs are.  I like this graphic because I think we all need to be reminded to not focus solely on academics, but also give our attention to showing kids how to be good people who are willing to help others.  Being kind is just as important as being smart, maybe more important!

Dot Day is this Thursday!
A note went home last week about Dot Day.  It is a global celebration of creativity, courage and collaboration. It began when teacher Terry Shay introduced his classroom to Peter H. Reynolds’ book The Dot on September 15, 2009.The Dot is the story of a caring teacher who dares a doubting student to trust in her own abilities by being brave enough to “make her mark”. What begins with a small dot on a piece of paper becomes a breakthrough in confidence and courage, igniting a journey of self-discovery and sharing, which has gone on to inspire countless children and adults around the globe.  Below is a link to the read aloud of the story.  We will watch this at school and do a few activities to give kids ideas of how they can "make their mark"!

Homecoming Dress Up Days
Monday, Sept. 19 - "Hair"Day...crazy hair
Tuesday, Sept. 20 - Safari Day...animal print, dress like an animal, camouflage or explorer
Wednesday, Sept. 21 - Dress your Best
Thursday, Sept. 22 - Class Distinction each class/grade will decide 
Friday, Sept. 23 - Bobcat Spirit Day - wear blue and gold

Dates on Deck
Thursday, September 15  Dot Day (kids can wear dots if they want to)
Friday, September 23  Alzheimer's Walk with Keystone Care Center Residents 10:45-11:20
                                 Homecoming (Parade & Pep Rally in Van Horne @ 1:00)
Saturday, September 24  Bobcat DASH in Van Horne 10:00 am

Friday, September 2, 2016

Book Orders
A book order will be coming home today.   Orders must be paid by check or placed online at  I cannot accept cash.  The  Class Activation code for online orders is:  GRFNP  Scholastic book orders are a great way to buy inexpensive books as rewards and incentives for your child, and your order earns bonus points for our class to be used on books or supplies!  September 9 is the due date for this month. 

Saving Sam!
Last Wednesday we did an activity called Saving Sam.  Students worked in groups of three to complete a challenge of getting Sam, the worm, into his lifejacket, and then back into his boat.  The "catch" was that they couldn't touch Sam with their hands!  They had to use paper clips and their own creative thinking.  It was a fun activity that required cooperation in a group and problem solving!

Dates on Deck:
Monday, September 5  No School - Labor Day
Tuesday, September 6  Benton PTO meeting in Keystone 6:30 pm
Wednesday, September 7  1:00 Dismiss - Teacher Professional Development
                                           6:30 pm Parent Partnership Night
Friday, September 23  Homecoming (Parade & Pep Rally in Van Horne @ 1:00)
Saturday, September 24  Bobcat DASH in Van Horne 10:00 am