Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Toy Donations

Please consider helping out the Girls Basketball program with their community service project this year.  They are collecting toys for the University of Iowa Children's Hospital.  Donations can be brought to school and given to your child's teacher.  Please watch this video that is linked below that the team has made.  We've watched it at school too!  Below are restrictions/suggestions the U of I has outlined for this toy drive due to health concerns for their patients.  Thank you in advance for your support in this project.  The girls are excited to deliver the toys on behalf of Benton Community.  Donations will be collected through December 16th!  The winning class in each elementary building will earn an ice cream party provided by the basketball team!

Toys must be in Original packaging and from a smoke, dust, and pet free environment

Unacceptable items:
Used items
Riding toys
Violent toys

Popular items:
Gift cards
Iowa apparel
CDs, DVDs, and games rated G, PG, or PG-13
Coloring books
Logo sets
Matchbox cars
Board games
Baby dolls

Kindness Calendar

Our PBIS team has put together Kindness Calendar for the month of December.  These are being sent home today and give 31 ideas for spreading kindness to others.  Some of the things we will do here at school, and some can be done at home.  Spread kindness every day in December!

Christmas Store

Kids have a chance to buy items at the PTO Christmas Store on Tuesday, December 6.  If you haven't sent a list and money, please do so by the 6th!  Thanks, PTO, for putting this together!  It's a lot of work and the kids really enjoy it!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sunday, November 27

Christmas Program

Our Keystone Christmas Program will be this Friday, December 2 at 7:00.  A note was sent from our music teacher, Mrs. Galligan, so refer to that for specifics.  I don't recall exactly what it said, but do know she doesn't want kids to wear jeans.

Parent Teacher Conferences

Thanks for taking time to come to conference about your child's progress in school.  It really makes a difference when we communicate and work together toward a common goal.  I was excited to have several parents tell me they work with their children on items missed on work that comes home.  That's exactly what I hope for, so keep it up!


Tomorrow we will begin Unit 4 and the strategies taught are summarize/synthesize and analyze story elements.  Basically, that's all about retelling a story by naming the important parts in a short summary!  These are important comprehension skills needed to sort out all the information they read in texts.  It's a foundation that will be used as they move up through the grades and need to understand content area reading such as science and social studies.  They are beginning to "read to learn" instead of "learn to read", which was the focus in preschool, K and 1st grade!

I'm so pleased with the progress they've made with independently working during Literacy Stations!  Here are a few pictures I took last week during Read to Self time.  It's crucial that they actually accomplish things during these independent times because it would be pretty easy to just kill time and not do very much.  I'm trying to get them to understand that they are in charge of their own learning and progress!


Tomorrow we will also begin a new unit in Math called Mental Addition.  This is a beginning step for adding two and three digit numbers, so it's pretty important that they understand place value (tens and ones).  Because it's "mental" math, no algorithims will be taught (like carrying or borrowing the one).  We want them to think of answers mentally, or use a tool like a hundred chart to help find answers. The problems will be adding multiples of 10 to another 2 digit number, like 26 + 30 (only the tens place changes); or making another ten when adding, like in 37 + more ten is made when adding 7 and 4.  Here are a couple pictures of my teacher's manual, so you can see what I'm talking about:

We start with this mental math in hopes of children gaining an understanding of what it really means when they "carry the one".  In my experience, some children really struggle with doing this mentally, but when given the old fashioned algorithim of "carry the one"...they can do that!!  By the way, we don't use the phrases "carry" or "borrow" anymore!  Now it's called regrouping, so that's what you'll need to use when working with your child!

Dates on Deck

Friday, December 2  Keystone Christmas Program 7:00
Monday, December 5  Benton PTO meeting at Keystone 6:30
Tuesday, December 6  Christmas Store at Keystone
Wednesday, December 7  12:00 dismiss
Friday, December 9  Old Creamery Theater at Keystone
Thursday, December 22 1:00 dismiss for Christmas Break
Tuesday, January 3  Classes resume