2019 ACCESS TESTING
Testing will take place from January 16, 2019-February 19, 2019. The ACCESS test will include assessments in the four domains of language proficiency: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. We anticipate receiving results in late summer and individual results will be mailed home at that time.
Do you know the difference between tree nuts and peanuts?
Concussion Law Takeaways
On September 1, 2016, Illinois’ new concussion law went into effect. This legislation focuses on the required concussion management at the elementary, junior high, and high school levels.
It’s the phone call all parents dread (and all nurses hate to make)... LICE! Due to a recent increase in the number of cases, we wanted to provide you with some tips and tricks for prevention.
According to the CDC:
“Head lice are spread most commonly by direct head-to-head (hair-to-hair) contact. However, much less frequently they are spread by sharing clothing or belongings onto which lice have crawled or nits attached to shed hairs may have fallen. The risk of getting infested by a louse that has fallen onto a carpet or furniture is very small. Head lice survive less than 1–2 days if they fall off a person and cannot feed; nits cannot hatch and usually die within a week if they are not kept at the same temperature as that found close to the scalp.
The following are steps that can be taken to help prevent and control the spread of head lice:
•Avoid head-to-head (hair-to-hair) contact during play and other activities at home, school, and elsewhere (sports activities, playground, slumber parties, camp).
•Do not share clothing such as hats, scarves, coats, sports uniforms, hair ribbons, or barrettes.
•Do not share combs, brushes, or towels. Disinfest combs and brushes used by an infested person by soaking them in hot water (at least 130°F) for 5–10 minutes.
•Do not lie on beds, couches, pillows, carpets, or stuffed animals that have recently been in contact with an infested person.
•Machine wash and dry clothing, bed linens, and other items that an infested person wore or used during the 2 days before treatment using the hot water (130°F) laundry cycle and the high heat drying cycle. Clothing and items that are not washable can be dry-cleaned OR sealed in a plastic bag and stored for 2 weeks.
•Vacuum the floor and furniture, particularly where the infested person sat or lay. However, spending much time and money on housecleaning activities is not necessary to avoid reinfestation by lice or nits that may have fallen off the head or crawled onto furniture or clothing.
•Do not use fumigant sprays or fogs; they are not necessary to control head lice and can be toxic if inhaled or absorbed through the skin.”
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact your child’s school nurse. We are more than happy to answer any questions!
When To Keep Your Child Home
Hi Parents! Here are some important guidelines to consider when you hear those words, “I don’t feel well; I can’t go to school today:”
When To Keep Your Child Home
Rub Some Dirt On It…
...is NOT good advice on how to take care of a scrape.
Click here for some helpful tips on how to properly care for a wound.
The Top Ten Reasons to be Immunized
As summer is fast approaching and new physician’s physicals are being completed for the new school year, we thought you would be interested in the The Top Ten Reasons To Be Vaccinated
Welcome to my website!
This is a test.
Illinois approved a new Youth Sports Concussion Safety Act, Public Act 099-245. Within the legislation, schools are required to implement new requirements for training and response should a student be diagnosed with a concussion. Visit our Health Topics section on Concussions to learn more and see the District 35 resources.
Welcome to Mr. Pituc’s Website
Hello and welcome to my website! I am extremely excited about helping our students grow into 21st century, digitally literate and responsible citizens! Here at Central School we offer a variety of technology-infused educational programming that includes:
-the 3nd year of our 1:1 iPad initiative in 7th and 8th grade
-our Innovation Lab as a quarterly integrated arts class (taught by Ms. Jean Dalleska)
-iPad pack classrooms in 5th and 6th grade for group projects and collaboration
-iPadcasters to record video for student projects
Technology Integration Specialist
Welcome to the new class website. Look here for pictures, videos, great links to other websites, and information about upcoming events. South School
Welcome to the website!!!
Welcome, parents! Please feel free to use the “useful links” section for great websites promoting literacy, math, and more! Click above to view your options.
¡Hola! Please take some time to explore the West School Spanish website for useful links and videos to practice Spanish outside of the classroom. For additional resources and information please email me, Señorita Evans.
¡Que tengan un buen año!
In art students will…
- Maximize creative and critical thinking skills through projects that challenge them to problem solve.
- Develop skills of observation, communication and respect for the opinions of others.
- Be encouraged to take learning risks.
- Have the opportunity to explore different media and techniques to create original and unique works of art.
Required Medical Forms
Please note the following medical record requirements for public schools. Should you have questions, please call the school nurse.
All children in kindergarten, sixth grade and new to the district must provide the school with documentation of a completed health exam within 1 year prior to the start of the school year.
NEW - All children entering sixth grade, seventh grade, and eighth grade are required to provide proof of Tdap vaccination along with the school physical forms. Read the Tdap information here. Additionally, students entering 6th grade must show proof of 1 dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccination (MCV) on or after 11 years of age. Students entering Kindergarten, sixth grade, or ninth grade are required to show proof of receiving two doses of chickenpox vaccine (varicella), the first received on or after their first birthday and the second dose no less than four weeks (28 days) after the first does. A physician can confirm past history of the disease – in lieu of vaccination – by having examined the infected child, documenting the parent’s description of the child’s history, or reviewing lab results. All forms must be turned in by October 15th. Download the HEALTH EXAM form here.
All children in 7th and 8th grade who will be participating in an interscholastic sports program must provide the school with documentation of a completed health exam. This form must be updated annually. Download the SPORTS HEALTH EXAM form here.
All children in kindergarten, second and sixth grade must provide the school with documentation of a completed dental exam within 18 months prior to May 15th deadline. All forms must be turned in by May 15th. Download the DENTAL EXAM form here. If you request a waiver from the dental requirement, please use this DENTAL EXAM WAIVER form.
Illinois law requires proof of an eye examination by an optometrist or physician who provides complete eye exams be submitted as a child enters kindergarten or is new to an Illinois school. The exam must be completed within one year prior to your child beginning school. All forms must be turned in by October 15th. Download the EYE EXAM form here.
Visit our Health Topic Section on Immunizations to learn more.
Welcome Back Message
Welcome back to the new school year.
Week in Review, Jan 18
This week the students learned more about inferencing. They used their knowledge of inferencing to brainstorm character traits for book characters we know. Then they reflected and wrote their own character traits. They learned about weathering and erosion in science and two addition strategies in math. They also enjoyed ice skating for gym class!
January 14th Green Club
Of the Three R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle), there is a reason “reduce” and “reuse” come before recycle. Reducing overall consumption and opting for, reusable items rather than single-use disposables will have better environmental impacts than simply doing our best to recycle. In order to reduce our use of plastic bags for snack time, students made reusable fabric snack bags.
Week in Review, Jan 11
Happy New Year! This week the students practiced and performed Frog and Toad reader’s theater. They learned about visualizing, inferencing, and character traits in reading and coins and making change in math. In honor of Dr. King’s birthday next week, the students read about him and watched a clip of his “I Have a Dream” speech.
Week in Review, Dec 21
This week the students completed their personal narratives, made snowflakes with their pen pals, and compared their rocks in our rock museum. They also carefully broke apart rocks to find geodes inside and celebrated a holiday party during which they made, among other things, art bags for hospitalized children. Happy New Year!
2019 ACCESS TESTING
Testing will take place from January 16, 2019-February 19, 2019. The ACCESS test will include assessments in the four domains of language proficiency: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. We anticipate receiving results in late summer and individual results will be mailed home at that time.
Week in Review, Dec 14
This week the students learned about inches and centimeters as they wrapped up unit 4 in math. They continued their study of Earth’s Systems by looking at and comparing different rocks. They also continued their personal narrative writing preparation by thinking about the senses associated with their topics and composing interesting opening sentences.
December 10th Green Club
Our recycled art project resulted in fun, personalized holiday gifts. We made photo snow globes out of recycled baby food jars.
Week in Review, Dec 7
This week the students learned about the three different types of rocks, created winter acrostics and winter taguls, explored arrays and measurement, and continued their study of personal narratives.
Hour of Code
Click here for links to the Student Favorites from Hour of Code.
West School: November Innovation Challenge
Nearly half of all food that is meant to be eaten gets thrown away in America. It takes much longer for food in a landfill to decompose than it does in nature. Rotting food, in a landfill, releases greenhouse gas called methane which is unhealthy for Earth. Students at West School became Food Rescuers by designing inventions that will help eliminate food waste in the West School Cafeteria. There were some very BIG ideas including a drone prototype and some very practical ideas like proper advertising and a fun composting game. We look forward to implementing some of these ideas in the West School Cafeteria.
Week in Review, Nov 30
This week the students performed their fables reader’s theater for each other and for their pen pals. They visited the book fair, learned about the water cycle, learned more about telling time, and learned about features of personal narratives.
Social Studies: The Peopling of the United States
Enjoy some photos from our last Social Studies Unit!
Week in Review, Nov 20
We had a two day week that was full of learning and fun! The students read with their pen pals, participated in parent-led math centers, solved puzzles during a Breakout Edu, and participated in The Kindness Connection. They also enjoyed Thanksgiving math, Thanksgiving books, and two short Thanksgiving movies.
November 19th Green Club
The Green Club is always looking for ways to recycle, repurpose, and reuse items that may normally be discarded. As a combined opportunity for civic engagement and to repurpose, the Green Club collected travel size toiletries like shampoo/conditioner, toothpaste and lotion. At the meeting, we assembled 50 hygiene kits to donate to Night Ministry. Thank you to everyone who donated to this project. We will add toiletries to our regular collections of plastic bags, batteries and printer cartridges at West.
Week in Review, Nov 16
This week the students completed unit three in math with a look at subtraction strategies and completed our big changes science unit by learning about reversible and irreversible changes. They also learned about fables and began working on fables reader’s theater plays which they will eventually perform for each other and their pen pals.
Week in Review, Nov 7
We celebrated Readers are Leaders week with a visit from author Matthew Cordell, by hosting a jewelry designer and a reporter in our classroom, and by having two sessions of Drop Everything And Read with special visitors. The students also wrote opinion paragraphs and learned more about growth and fixed mindsets.
Students have the opportunity to engage in one of three exciting enrichment choices. Each one connects to our curriculum. Checkout the choices in our document section of the website.
November 5th Green Club
The Green Team learned how to plant fall bulbs for beautiful spring flowers.
Week in Review, Nov 2
What a week! The students were engineers during science and created ice cube keepers (to prevent ice cubes from melting). They started unit three in math and learned about fact families. They wrote graphic organizers and disguised turkeys in order to save them. The highlight of the week was, of course, Halloween! The students enjoyed the parade, sing, and centers and also participated in a Breakout EDU in which they had to work together in teams and solve puzzles to unlock various locks.
As we begin the holiday season, it is also a time when our thoughts go to those for whom the last year has brought hard times. As a combined opportunity for service learning and to practice reusing, the Green Team is collecting travel size toiletries like shampoo, soap and lotion. So if you recently returned from a trip and have these around the house- please consider donating them. A collection bin will be in West School’s Green Corner.
October 29th Green Club
The Green Club repurposed large ice cream containers, donated by Homer’s Ice Cream. Students used recycled decorations to make fantastic Trick or Treat Buckets for Halloween.
West School: October Innovation Challenge
Students worked in pairs to create a scale model of West school. To start, students were given a simple scale drawing of West School and used the drawing to create their own blueprint on graph paper. This challenge explored the following math concepts: measurement data, using a ruler to measure to 1/2 and 1/4 of an inch, and finding the perimeter. Once the blueprints were finished, the classrooms visited the Innovation Station to get their materials and build!
Week in Review, Oct 26
This week the students learned about opinion writing and used Google Classroom to write opinion paragraphs in which they asked their parents for things (like phones, pets, or a new brother!). They learned about frames and arrows in math as they completed unit 2 and learned about being engineers in science. They designed ice cube keepers, which they will build and test next week. Storybook character pumpkins were shared this week, too! We were all impressed with the creativity.
West School students participated in a BreakoutEDU about Healthy Choices. BreakoutEDU brings “escape room” strategies to the classroom. BreakoutEDU is a game that has students thinking critically, problem-solving, troubleshooting, and working collaboratively. Students worked in teams to complete a physical fitness challenge and then used their brains to unlock boxes.
Week in Review, Oct 19
This week the students enjoyed parent-led math centers in which they explored shapes, place value, and even and odd numbers. They also learned about nouns and verbs, how to refuse bullying, and how to separate a mixture of salt and pepper.
The Candy Corn Bandit BreakoutEDU
The candy corn bandit visited South School 1st graders and led them on a scavenger hunt. The students participated in a BreakoutEDU to solve the clues. We practiced our growth mindset as we unlocked the boxes and discovered the final prize!
Week in Review, Oct 12
This week the students started writing their own versions of The Three Little Pigs. They explored non-fiction text features in their reading groups and salt crystals during a science experiment. They participated in two of four bullying prevention lessons and learned about helper doubles facts and turn around facts in math.
Week in Review, Oct 5
This week the students enjoyed many different versions of The Three Little Pigs and learned about text-to-text and text-to-self connections. They began a new math unit with an exploration of doubles, compliments of ten, and addition number stories. They also learned that certain solids dissolve faster in warm water than in cold water.
Using the Class Website
Please use our class site to find weekly assignments in the documents section.
Some assignments will not be on this site, as they are more individualized. Please email me if you need a Words Their Way list, etc.
Innovation Club at West School
Friday morning is the perfect time to wake up your brain with Innovation Club. At our first meeting, the students participated in a $5 challenge. They had to create the tallest structure using a theoretical $5 budget. Each straw cost $0.50 and each inch of tape cost $0.10. Students had to keep track of their balance and stay in budget. This challenge incorporated real-world math skills, design thinking, and problem-solving.
Week in Review, Sept 28
This week the students separated mixtures, completed unit 1 in math, learned how to complete logic puzzles, began reading groups, and wrote stories. The students also learned more about growth mindset and were introduced to The Power of Yet. Please ask your second grader about both!
Innovation Club at South School
Innovation Club at South School is a fun way to spend Monday mornings. At our first meeting, we created name tags. The challenge was to find a way to stick the name tag to yourself without using any adhesive. We had some creative inventions!
September Innovation: South School
Our September Innovation Challenge is to build South School using LEGOS. Students studied pictures of the outside of South School and planned their designs with a partner. Then, they cane to the Innovation Station to build South School.
Week in Review, Sept 21
This week the students learned more about how writers get their ideas. They participated in an idea walk and began writing their own stories. They reviewed even/odd numbers and making tens in math, and they learned abut evaporation and mixtures in science. They also learned about the power of our words during an SEL lesson.
EL Level Descriptors
When a student takes an WIDA Access screener, you get a score. Often you’ll also get some indication of what that score means, expressed as an English level or label, for example “beginner” or “advanced”. There are many different English leveling systems in use, which have implicit or explicit leveling systems built into their scoring.
Level 1: Beginning - Entering
This student is often a new arrival with little previous English training and—this is the key—a very limited vocabulary. This student is lost in the classroom and has nothing on which to base his ability to function, comprehend, and respond. The student has no knowledge of English beyond answers to simple questions like “What’s your name?” He/she may respond with “yes” or “no,” but not always consistently or correctly. He/she may not be able to write in Western script. He/she lacks sufficient vocabulary and oral comprehension to be able to follow directions or do simple classroom assignments. This student may have no knowledge of the American classroom and its participatory style. He/she is not able to work at grade level, even if he/she is placed in first or second grade.
Level 2: Emerging
This student can understand some classroom directions and attempts to do simple assignments but with great hesitancy and misunderstanding. Vocabulary is still greatly limited to commonly-used words. He/she reads and writes with great difficulty, usually below the assigned grade level. This student may be unable torespond to some activities which involve independent decision making, due to differences in the American classroom or teacher style. This student responds very positively to extra attention from the instructor or other students.
Level 3: Intermediate - Developing
This student participates in most classroom activities and follows directions adequately, though with frequent misunderstandings. Vocabulary is limited but rapidly improving. He/she may feel comfortable enough in the classroom to respond orally, despite frequent errors and incorrect word selection. This student may be able to do academic work close to grade level but needs frequent writing and vocabulary support. He/she exhibits growing confidence in his/her ability to comprehend and respond in English.
Level 4: High Intermediate - Expanding
This student easily participates in classroom and social activities, constantly adding to his/her knowledge of vocabulary, American culture, and teacher expectations. His/her speech still exhibits a considerable accent, but grammar and vocabulary errors should be receding. This student’s English is changing rapidly at this point, and his/her confidence level should be increasing at the same rate.
Level 5: Advanced - Bridging
This student is able to participate and excel in all classroom and social activities, requiring less frequent teacher intervention with vocabulary and directional assistance. He/she should be able to read at near-grade level with the help of a dictionary, but writing skills may require more teacher support. A noticeable accent may still be present, depending on the age the student was when he/she arrived in the US. This student can function adequately at grade level and often does extremely well because of a high motivation level.
Raising a Bilingual Child
Below are a few articles which share helpful resources.
- Why Reading to Your Kids in Your Home Language Will Help Them Become Better Readers
- But What If I Don’t Know English?
- Learning Two Languages
How Can Children Learn English Using Websites?
Children Learning English on Websites
Work Together and Learn Together
Explore various websites and apps together. Let your child explore the various options and model your enthusiasm to learn.
Find Topics that Interest Your Child
Find your child’s interest and explore topics that personally motivate them to want to learn more
Make it Fun
Play games on the computer, have friendly competitions and make it interactive.
Don’t Take Too Long
Limit activities online to 10 minutes or less. If you are reinforcing an activity, spend no more than 20 to 30 minutes a day depending upon their age.
Browse and explore various websites where your kids can learn English at home and school.
Week in Review, Sept 14
This week the students participated in a fire drill and a bus evacuation drill. They had an ice cube melting race, learned how authors get ideas, and reviewed coins and number grid puzzles. The students also continued building their classroom community by learning to be assertive, responsible, dependable, and encouraging.
Parent Guide for Access Scores
In January of each year, your child will receive an English Language Assessment. This assessment will measure the progress that your child is making in speaking, listening, reading and writing in English. In addition, it also determines whether or not your child continues to be an English Learner, and if so, the amount of support your child will receive. Results will be sent in September.
I received my students Access Score Report. A parent guide to interpret EL scores from the Access assessment. Click Here for more information.
Have you seen the Innovation Station at South or West School? This is a space to foster the 4Cs - collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and communication - as our students tinker with everyday items to solve challenges. Students will be introduced to the engineering design process that involves asking questions, imagining possible solutions, planning, creating and improving on a plan. The maker movement is all about teaching our children to think for themselves, to think creatively, and to look for innovative solutions. The Innovation Station at South School is located in the CLC. At West school, the Innovation Station is off of the CLC. Ask your child to tell you more about the Innovation Station.
Week in Review, Sept 7
What a great week! The students learned about solids and liquids in science and about coins and number grids in math. They continued to build their classroom community by learning about being open-minded, neighborly, and determined. They also wrote All About Me books.
Google Suite for Education
All of our students have their own Google accounts. The Google Suite for Education web-based apps provide many ways to go paperless through sharing and collaboration options. Teachers are scheduling time with the CLC director and Tech Integration Specialist to introduce these tools. Student reviewed Internet safety and learned the basic functions of Google Drive, Google Docs, and Google Slides.
Week in Review, Aug 31
Second grade is off to an amazing start! The students have already begun to build their classroom community by learning about self-control, empathy, and cooperation. They have enjoyed a number of books and have created two class books. They have played two math games, set goals for the school year, and learned to be bucket fillers.
The Just Right App
Parents often ask how we choose apps for our school iPads. The App Store currently has 2 million apps to choose from! Many of these apps are focused on lower-level thinking skills. We search for apps that require problem-solving and creative thinking. The first question teachers ask is not, “What apps do I use?”, but rather, “What is my learning goal?” Finding the app to support the learning goal helps teachers stay focused on learning. We carefully research apps before making a purchase. One great place for educators to research an app is Common Sense Media reviews. Common Sense Media offers in-depth editorial reviews that provide detailed information on educational apps and teaching tips. This makes it easier for educators to find the best apps, games, websites, and digital curricula for their classrooms. Check it out!
Common Sense Media Reviews
Welcome to 4th Grade!
Welcome to 4th Grade! We have an exciting year ahead! We will be busy in the garden planting fall crops, exploring energy all around us, visiting the regions of the U.S. and building American symbols.
7th and 8th Grade Art
Over the course of the 2018-19 school year 7th and 8th graders will create a variety of projects. Each quarter students will have the opportunity to create a 2D painting/drawing as well as a 3D project.
6th Grade Art
Over the course of the 2018-19 school year 6th graders will create a variety of projects. Each quarter students will have the opportunity to create a 2D painting/drawing as well as a 3D clay project.
English Learners in District 35
EL Learners = English Language Learners
Educational Program for students who speak or are exposed to more than one language.
Need Support in understanding English used in the Classroom & by Peers
What does my Child do in EL Class?
- We work on Listening, Speaking, Reading, & Writing
- Offer support in Core Subjects such as Science, Social Studies, Math & Language Arts
- Students work one - on -one, small groups, and use technology.
How do I know my Child is learning?
- Progress Reports by Teacher
- Report Cards posted on Family Access
- Parent Teacher Conferences
- Thursday, November 9th and Friday, November 10th
- sign up online on November 2nd - 4th
- Access Testing
- Will take place in January 2018
- Results are returned in September 2018
- Phone Calls & Emails
- Updates from Your Classroom Teacher
- Gradebook & Schoology
Should my Child learn in our Home Language?
It is very valuable for children to learn more than one language. If possible teach your child to read, write, listen, and speak in your home language!
Use his or her primary or home language as a vehicle to help learn in English.
What can I do with my Child to help at Home?
- Read in both languages with your child
- Have your child write in both languages
- Help with homework anyway that you can
- Come to school function, like Open Houses/Parent Teacher Conferences
- Ask your child about their day
- Go to the public library for books and events
- Communicate with your child’s teacher
Ideas for Learning Extension at Home:
- Alphabet Flashcards / “Go Fish”
- ABC Books for all ages
- Sight Word Games
- RAZ Kids
- Keep A “fun” journal or a travel journal on your trips.
Social Work Services
Social work counseling is offered to students who are struggling with social or emotional issues that may be interfering with academic success. Any Central School student is eligible for social work services. Each of our social workers is assigned two grade levels. The grade level assignments rotate every year so that each student will have access to the same social worker all four years.
Difficulties may include:
- Peer relationship issues
- Family stress (divorce, loss, etc.)
- Motivational problems
- Self-esteem concerns
- Difficulty concentrating
- or any other issues that may be interfering with academic success
The social workers visit each advisory classroom at the beginning of the school year to introduce themselves, or in most cases re-introduce themselves to the students and explain how to access social work services as well as the types of situations that would typically require social work support. Students are encouraged to seek out social work support for additional assistance problem solving or coping with any given situation that is distracting them from their academic responsibilities.
Students may be referred for social work services by:
- Principal/Asst. Principal
For more information, please contact:
Jason Glassman (5th & 7th grade)
Heather Olson (6th & 8th grade)
Amy Langendorf (District wide)
Tips From Our Social Workers
This is a really interesting time of year for our 8th graders. Many have mixed emotions…..excited for high school and the next challenge ahead but sad about leaving Central. Our students spend more time in Central than they will in any other school building. They get very attached and comfortable here and leaving their comfort zone is never easy. We talk with 8th graders every year about the transition to high school and most are both excited and nervous about the transition. We remind them that those are very normal emotions given the transition ahead. Some are more excited than nervous and others are more nervous than excited. New Trier (as well as some of the private schools in the area) does an amazing job getting students acclimated to the high school experience. The feedback we get from former students is that our students end up being extremely well prepared for high school, and in many cases more prepared than their counterparts from neighboring districts. We wish our soon to be graduates a wonderful final month in District 35 and the best of luck in high school. Our only request is that they come back and visit us in the future!
We are knee deep in PARCC testing this week and most of the students are enjoying limited homework along the way. For our students that may be a little behind on their work due to recent absences or other factors, it can be a great opportunity to get caught up. It is also a great opportunity for students to get some work done on long term projects and perhaps get ahead a bit in some other areas if they so choose. When PARCC finishes up next week, there will be less than 2 weeks left in the quarter which can mean tests and quizzes. The end of a quarter can be a stressful time as kids make the push to get their grades over that hump, from a D to a C, C to a B, or a B to an A. As a social work staff we try to remind all kids that their mental health is more important than their grades! Seeing a B may look nicer than a C, but in reality the difference between a 79% and an 80% isn’t much. Do you best and don’t get get too worked up about the letter grade. The reward at the end of 3rd quarter is Spring Break! Since the quarter ends at Spring Break, there tends to be fewer assignments that hang in the balance as compared to Winter Break. We come back from Spring Break to the start of a brand new quarter. When we return from Winter Break, it is the final 2 week push of the end of 2nd quarter. Even though it’s shorter, Spring Break tends to bring with it a more relaxing feel. It also helps that the weather is starting to improve…..little by little! After this weekend we’ll have some more daylight which will help all of us mentally and emotionally. We are all missing that big yellow ball quite a bit these days. Good luck with PARCC and give the end of the quarter your best effort before what we hope is a glorious Spring Break for everyone!
In the coming days, our 8th grade students will get their registration materials from New Trier along with their class recommendations. This can be an overwhelming process but doesn’t have to be. Feel free to stop by Mr. Glassman’s office if you have any questions. Parents are welcome to call with questions as well. It is a lot simpler than it looks. Some kids get caught up in the level recommendations and the test scores. Those aren’t as important as they seem. This is only a recommendation of where to get started. Once you get to New Trier you, your adviser, and your teachers will figure out where you stand and what type of classes you need to be taking after freshman year. Check out the incoming freshman website in the “Useful Links” section to the right for more information on all things New Trier.
We are in a tricky time of the school year. Everyone is getting back into the swing of things following Thanksgiving and many of our students and even the staff (yes we like vacations too) start to look toward winter break. With these built in breaks, it is easy to get distracted from the responsibilities we have on a daily basis and simply cross off days on the calendar as we inch closer to time off. We encourage everyone to stay in the moment. Stay on top of your work and enjoy other activities you are involved with including free time with friends. Too often we spend our moments looking ahead and forgetting about what we have now. Enjoy now. Work hard for now. Tomorrow is a whole lot easier and more successful if we take care of today!
The Green Team is excited that West School has been chosen to pilot a new composting program for the district. Lunchroom food scraps will be picked up weekly by Collective Resource, inc. and will become a nutrient-rich soil amendment. West School students have been composting for many years using Green Cone Digesters and a traditional compost bin. The addition of a service will greatly increase the volume of compost, especially in the winter. In addition to all food products, we will now be able to add napkins, compostable utensils, and other paper products. Go Green!
Social Work Services West
Welcome to the Social Work Corner! Social Work support at West is available to all third and fourth grade students who may be struggling with social or emotional issues that are impacting their academic success.
Difficulties may include:
-Family Stress (moving, divorce, loss, etc.)
-Maintaining Attention and Focus
Students may be referred for social work support by their parents, teachers, principals, or themselves! Social work support may take place in many different forms: individual, pairs, small groups, large group, or full classroom lessons.
There are a variety of groups available at West to help support students’ social and emotional needs. These groups include:
*Family Support Group
*Social Language Group
*New Student Group
*Friends with Allergies Group
Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns!
October 1st Green Club
Green Club members raided their recycling bins for old glass jars. We transformed them into amazing Halloween decorations using glue, paint and recycled paper.
Tips For a Great, “Green” Halloween!
1. Make your own costume from things around the house.
2. Purchase non-toxic or hypoallergenic cosmetics.
3. Trade costumes with a friend, start a “costume closet” to share.
4. Buy treats with minimal packaging - or give pencils, erasers or money.
5. Use a reusable Trick or Treat bag or pillowcase.
6. Don’t be a litter bug.
7. Stay local to trick-or-treat, bike, wagon or carpool.
8. Use rechargeable batteries in your flashlight for trick-or-treating.
9. Don’t throw away the pumpkin seeds - bake and eat, or feed the birds.
10. Compost your old pumpkins.
11. Keep Halloween decorations so you don’t need to repurchase .
12. If you are hosting a Halloween party, use reusable dishes, tableware, cups napkins, etc. Serve from a pitcher instead of individual bottles and cans.
Third Grade News 9 /22/17
As students continue to work on developing their keyboarding skills at school, it would be beneficial for them to have additional practice at home through Typing.com. Details on how they can do this were sent home earlier this week. If you are unable to find these, I would be happy to send home another copy.
From West School Website:
Wednesday, September 27th: Tom Watson, author of the fun and popular children’s book series, Stick Dog and Stick Cat, will visit with West School third graders. Mr. Watson’s book, Stick Dog has been nominated for the 2018 Bluestem Book Award, Illinois Children’s Choice Award. Mr. Watson will be happy to sign and personalize books for students. Please print out the book order form and return to Mrs. Kelly in the West CLC by today, September 22nd
We are still working on our first math unit, Unit 1: Math Tools, Time, and Multiplication. In addition, to nightly Homelinks, regular practice on Xtramath.com is an effective way for students improve their fact fluency. Your child’s pin number can be found on the inside of their green home folder.
I am always happy to pass along information and afterschool plans to students while at school, but please be aware that there are some days that I am not able to get to my email in a timely manner or before dismissal. However, there is always someone in the West School office available to take a message or pass along details to your child. (847) 835-6600.
Thursday, October 5: Field Trip to Botanic Gardens
Friday, October 6 – No Student Attendance – Teacher Institute Day
Monday, October 9 – No School – Columbus Day
Thursday- Friday, October 19-20: PTO Scholastic Book Fair
Friday, October 20: West School Fair 5:30 - 7:00 pm
This Week’s TOP TEN REASONS Why it is Great to be in THIRD GRADE:
1. Having our first fire drill
2. Reading about Auggie’s terrible Halloween at his new school in our WONDERFUL read aloud, Wonder
3. Estimating Max’s pasta
4. Writing about places we want to visit
5. Reviewing multiplication and division in math
6. Discussing positive reading behaviors (e.g. rereading, reading captions, using pictures/captions, making predictions, and making connections)
7. Learning more about Casey, our “Student of the Week”
8. Continuing to work on our Monthly Journals
9. Practicing more “clock climbers” in cursive
10. Soaking in the beautiful summer weather (even though it’s now officially fall)
Spartan Tech Team Off to a Great Start to the Year
The Spartan Tech Team is off to a wonderful start of the school year! The Spartan Tech Team met this morning to plan out some of the activities for this school year. As team building is an essential component of the club, team members participated in a challenge that involved trying to lift a tennis ball off the ground.
Our major initiative this Fall and Winter is to open up a student run Genius Bar for students and staff to drop in for questions about technology during lunch hours. Over the course of the next few weeks, Spartan Tech Team members will be undergoing training in preparation for the opening of the Genius Bar that covers Customer Service, App Support, Device Support, and Google Drive.
We will be accepting members throughout the school year so feel free to join us Tuesday mornings before school at 7:40a in the Spartan Lab!
First Green Club Meeting
Green Club members learned what can and can not be recycled in Glencoe. We also watched a video that showed how paper, glass and plastic are processed at the recycling center. We tested our knowledge by playing a fun recycling relay team game.
To watch the video click here
Trends in Smartphone Apps
A new app came out over the summer called Sarahah that can work in conjunction with SnapChat. This is an app that allows others to post pictures and comments on your profile anonymously. It is possible to prevent this by unchecking the box in settings to not “allow anonymous people to post”, but the default is to allow. While the app has an appeal because it allows for kind comments and compliments that you may be too shy to share if identified, it also allows for the type of pictures and comments you would never send if you were identified. The connection with SnapChat does allow for the messages to be screenshot and passed on. Attached is a good read for parents about Sarahah. If your child has Sarahah, do not panic, just help them to put measures in place to protect themselves from any unkind or unwanted messages and remind them that you are here to listen if they or their friends have any negative experiences.
Snowflake will be undergoing exciting new changes for the 2017-2018 school year. In the past, a small group of 8th graders worked all year preparing for one big presentation to 6th grade students. Now, we are taking a much larger group of both 7th and 8th grade students to work with the 5th and 6th grade students REGULARLY throughout the year. 7th and 8th graders in Snowflake will be put in small groups and work with one advisory per group all year long, providing them with the opportunity to create a bond with those younger students in more of a mentor role. 8th graders will be assigned to a 6th grade advisory and 7th graders will be assigned to a 5th grade advisory. Meetings will be Wednesdays during 7th and 8th grade lunch periods.
Chess Club, Spartan Tech Team, and STEM Club
I’ll be sponsoring the Chess Club, Spartan Tech Team, and STEM Club (w/Mrs. Rosensen) this year. Here is some key information to know:
Central School Chess Club is a place for students to improve their chess game, build camaraderie with other students, and have fun! We welcome all abilities and both competitive and casual players to our club. Chess club club meets Wednesdays after school in the Spartan Lab in the CLC from 3:30-4:30p. During club meetings, students can expect a short chess lesson from me in the first 10 minutes followed by free play. Chess encourages perseverance, problem-solving, and critical thinking.
Meets Wednesdays after school at 3:30p (see calendar) Starts 9/20.
Parent Chess Club Resources Google Drive Folder
Spartan Student Tech Team
Students will work with Mr. Pituc and the technology department to learn about how Central’s technology department works. Students will have the opportunity to run their own “Genius Bar” in the library during lunch for students and staff members to visit. They will also explore technology in the corporate, non-profit, and governmental sectors with a field trip planned for the Apple Store to see a “behind the scenes” tour. Much like Google does with their 20% Time program with their employees, students will have time to work on and explore a individual topic or interest of theirs with teacher support as needed. Being student technology leaders, club members will also get to voice their opinions that impact technology decisions at our school. So whenever we have new tech equipment or education software we want to test out, we want to know what students think!
Meets Tuesday mornings before school at 7:40am. (see calendar) Starts 9/19.
Parent Spartan Tech Resources Google Drive Folder
5th and 6th Grade STEM Club
In this club, 5th and 6th grade students will be introduced to the engineering and the design thinking process. Club members will get a chance to collaborate on a number of design projects using a variety of mediums. During last year’s major project, students constructed a life-size floor mat piano using Makey-Makey circuit boards and computer programs. Students will get to explore computational thinking, problem-solving, and develop empathy for end-users and stakeholders involved in creating products or processes.
Starts January 2018
7th and 8th Grade iPad Training
Welcome back to school! The excitement in the air as I walk the halls of Central School are palpable. During the first week back at school all 7th and 8th graders will undergo iPad training with the CLC staff and myself during their literacy blocks.
During the trainings we will explore the best ways to maintain student iPads, student iPad expectations, and the how to use the many school apps in our Self-Service.
Go to School Night
I look forward to seeing all fourth grade families on Thursday, August 31st, at 6:30pm for our Go to School Night!
5th Grade Art
Welcome to fifth grade art. I want to help each student realize that art is for everyone, not just the individual who is talented. During our 9 weeks together students will complete 4 projects and take a quarter review. They will be learning how to draw using 2 point perspective. They will create a vase using a clay coil building technique. Students will explore color theory through a value painting and for their final project they will create a unique radial string print. Through these educational exercises I believe students will enhance their creative skills as well as their critical thinking skills; skills that will help them be effective problem solvers in and outside of school.
As usual West School participated in the Trex Challenge. Students learned about plastic film and bag recycling. West students collected 866 pounds of plastic between last November and April. That’s a lot of plastic saved from the landfills! Trex collection bins are in the lunchrooms and hallways of West School.
Students use a variety of robots and programming capabilities.
LEGO EV3 Robots
Students build and program LEGO robots.
Students create and play their own video games with Bloxels!
Students Reimagine Post-It Wars
Students create digital art based on the popular Post-It Wars implemented in NYC building windows.
Makey, Makey and Scratch
Students use Makey, Makey and Scratch programming to play a musical piano!
Students are designing and editing .stl files, and printing with the Dremel Idea Builder printer.
Our Field Trip to the Chicago History Museum
On Tuesday, December 6 our class went to the Chicago History Museum. We were all so excited to see some of the artifacts that we have been learning about in the classroom. We spent time walking around the exhibits. We loved seeing Lincoln’s carriage and death bed. We also enjoyed our classroom experience and learning more about the World’s Columbian Exposition. Everyone had a great time and learned so much about the Second City!
A Digital Citizen
Recently in CLC, West School students learned what it means to be a digital citizen. A digital citizen is a member of a worldwide community linked by the Internet. Students learned a good digital citizen is someone who acts safely, responsible, and respectfully online. All West students will sign a digital citizenship pledge, pledging to:
- Communicate responsibly and kindly with one anther.
- Protect our own and other’s private information.
- Stand up to cyberbullying.
- Respect each other’s ideas and opinions.
- Give proper credit when we use others work.
- Talk to our parents or another trusted adult when we have questions about the things we see or do online.
Please visit the West School website or the Internet safety web page to locate the Internet Safety Newsletter for more information and resource.
Math Unit 3
In this unit, students explore fraction equivalence and compare and order fractions using different representations. They then extend their understanding of fractions to decimals, comparing and ordering decimals using the same methods as for comparing fractions. Please be sure to look at the Family Letter as it explains the concepts in more depth, provides Do Anytime Activities, vocabulary definitions, and answers to the Home Link questions.
Reading Fluency and Ways to Help Your Child at Home- K-5
As your child progresses through the grade levels you will hear a lot about your child’s reading fluency development from their classroom teacher. Click the link below for information about Reading Fluency and ways to help your child at home.
Phonological awareness means being able to hear the sounds that make up a word. Children who have developed phonological awareness are able to recognize words that are similar, including words that rhyme like “cat” and “hat” and words that start with the same sound like “cat” and “car.” They are also able to recognize when words are different from “top” and “cow.” Children who have developed phonological awareness usually have an easier time learning to read.
Chicken Coop (K-3)
Match the beginning sound using picture clues
Human Body Sounds (K-3)
Say the sound provided at the beginning of a word.
Phoneme Pop (K-3)
“Catch” the letter that makes the provided sound.
Learning the Alphabet
The alphabetic principle is the idea that words are made up of letters that represent sounds. When children develop an understanding of the this principle, they recognize that the letters they see in printed words are related to the sounds they hear when they say the word out loud. This helps children that the relationship between letters and sounds can be used to help them read new words.
ABC Game (K-3)
Click on a letter box to hear the letter name and sound.
Which Letter is…....? (K-3)
Choose the correct letter.
Early Stages of Reading Development Survey
Take this quick survey to determine your child’s current stage of reading development. This is a useful tool for identifying reading areas to develop with your child at home.
Parent Guide to Phonics Rules
Brush up on your phonics rules and help your child with their decoding and spelling skills. Click the link for learning more about phonics.
What Should I Do With the Little Books My Child Brings Home K-2
Are you looking for some fun ways to help your child develop their reading skills using simple leveled books?
Before reading the book- The Picture Walk:
Going on a simple picture walk with your child, before reading the book can stimulate their natural curiosity and spark an interest in the story. By taking a picture walk with your child you are activating their prior knowledge of the book’s topic, discussing new vocabulary words that may be difficult for them to read and basic story structure. Taking a picture walk is as simple as flipping through the book, page by page, without reading any of the words. You ask questions about each picture they see and try to prompt answers that are based on the images on the pages. Always stop before the last page and predict how the story is going to end. Then read to see how the story does end. Use the simple picture walk strategy below as a guided for you and your child. Eventually this will become a simple habit.
During the reading of the book- Reading Together Strategies:
A beginning reader needs help and encouragement getting through the text in a new book. A wonderful reading together strategy for the early reader is called echo reading. This strategy helps the child gain confidence in reading aloud, develops their sight vocabulary and models what fluent reading sounds like. In echo reading the parent reads a sentence first and points to each word. The child then becomes the echo, reading the sentence back to the parent and pointing to each word. It is very important to remind the child to point to each word as he/she reads.
Another excellent reading together strategy for the early reader is called choral reading. This strategy also helps develop a child’s reading confidence and builds an enjoyment in the whole reading process. In choral reading the parent reads aloud slowly and the child reads in unison with the parent. Both the child and parent should be looking and pointing at the words while reading together.
Using Context clues to figure out unknown words while reading:
When your child comes to a word he/she does not know, there are many different choices they can make. They can skip it and continue reading, they can ask an adult for help, or they can look it up in a dictionary. Usually the strategy of using context clues is helpful in finding the meaning of words in the text that a child does not know. Click on the attachment below for all of these during reading activities.
After Reading the Book- Check for Understanding:
Story Mapping Using Question Cards: Most children’s stories have a basic structure; one or two main characters, a setting where the story takes place, a goal that one character wants to achieve, or an obstacle, and a resolution of the conflict or goal. After reading a story with your child, use the question approach to check your child’s understanding of the story. Go back to the illustrations and text if needed and reread to support your child’s answer.
Read, Cover, Remember, Retell: is another great strategy for checking your child’s understanding of a story. Introduce the strategy by first modeling it to your child. Read only as much as your hand can cover. Usually a paragraph in a chapter book or a few lines in an early reader. Cover the words with your hand and think about what you just read. It’s okay to peek if you forget. In YOUR OWN words retell what you just read. Click the after reading link below for a bookmark of these two strategies.
Choosing Books for Independent Reading Grades 5-8
Students in grades 5-8 are administered the Star Reading Assessment two times during the school year- September and February. One of the purposes of the assessment is to identify your child’s Lexile level. A Lexile score is like a thermometer, except rather than measuring temperature, the Lexile Framework measures a text’s complexity and a reader’s skill level. Books can be found within your child’s lexile range at Lexile.com. Ask your child’s reading teacher for more details about your child’s lexile.
Understanding Your Teen as a Middle School Reader
The following links discuss many reading topics a parent of a middle schooler may encounter: