The Cub Reporter

September 22, 2016

Dutch Fork Elementary School Academy of Environmental Sciences

At Dutch Fork Elementary School, Academy of Environmental Sciences, we offer a comprehensive program which includes inquiry-based, hands-on studies of the environment all around us. The program immerses children in an environment that emphasizes discovery and exploration, collaborative study, scientific research, use of scientific tools and technology, and a strong sense of community. In addition, students have the opportunity to integrate and apply the environmental sciences in reading, math, social studies, writing, and the arts.
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Join us for Green Apple Day of Service!

Friday, Sep. 23rd, 8:30am-1:30pm

7900 Broad River Road

Irmo, SC

We hope you will join us for our 3rd annual Green Apple Day of Service! The Green Apple Day of Service is a National, annual event that involves parents and community in environmental and sustainability efforts taking place at our schools. You can learn more at

Please join us here at school for a service project to make our school grounds a healthier and safer place to be for our teachers and students. We will be constructing and repairing raised bed gardens, weeding, putting together rain barrels, and much more. If you know a business or organization that may be interested in volunteering their time as well, please let me know. If you have questions or want to reserve your volunteer spot today, contact Amy Umberger (Resident Scientist) at

**Please bring a lunch and a water bottle for our Green Apple Day of Service. We will have a water cooler for you to refill your bottle and your favorite pair of work gloves (I’ll have some extra if you need them).

PTO Important Dates

September 27: Please meet us at 6:00 p.m. in the PTO room on the 1st grade hall. Everyone is welcome!

October 4: Parent Pickup of Fall Fundraiser items
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Nurse Note:

Parents/Gaurdians, if you have a student that will need any medication

while at school, a permission slip must be signed and a responsible adult should

deliver the medicine and the permission form to school. Prescription medications

must have the prescribing doctors signature on the permission form. Permission

forms can be found on the DFES web site or in the health room, if you have any

questions please call Nurse Miller at 476-3906.

thank you,

Nurse Miller

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Art Announcement: Way to go Bryce Hill!

Congratulations to Bryce Hill whose artwork has been selected for the District Office art showcase. His piece will be recognized on October 10, 2016 at 7pm.

I'm collecting old hardcover chapter books for an altered book project with fifth grade students.If you have any to give away, I would love to have them! Students can bring them to me during art class. Feel free to pass it along if you know of someone with books to spare!

Thank you so much!

Ms. Whitaker

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Spotlight on Literacy: Importance of Reading Aloud

Reading aloud is one of the most important things parents can do with children. Reading aloud builds many important foundational skills, introduces vocabulary, provides a model of fluent, expressive reading, and helps children recognize what reading for pleasure is all about.

Listening to others read develops key understanding and skills, such as an appreciation for how a story is written and familiarity with book conventions, such as “once upon a time” and “happily ever after”. Reading aloud demonstrates the relationship between the printed word and meaning – children understand that print tells a story or conveys information. It invites the listener into a conversation with the author.

Children can listen on a higher language level than they can read, so reading aloud makes complex ideas more accessible and exposes children to vocabulary and language patterns that are not part of everyday speech. This, in turn, helps them understand the structure of books when they read independently (Fountas & Pinnell, 1996). It exposes less able readers to the same rich and engaging books that fluent readers read on their own, and entices them to become engaged readers. Students of any age benefit from hearing an experienced reading of a wonderful book.

Ideas to consider when selecting read alouds:

  • Is the book worthy of a reader’s and listener’s time?

  • Does the story sound good to the ear when read aloud?

  • Will it appeal to my child?

  • Will my child find the book relevant to their lives and culture?

  • Will the book spark conversation?

  • Will the book motivate deeper topical understanding?

  • Does the book inspire my child to find or listen to another book on the same topic? By the same author? Written in the same genre?

  • Is the story memorable?

  • Will my child want to hear the story again?

Developing comprehension strategies through reading aloud is a great teaching tool to foster thinking, listening, and discussion. Learn how to follow your child’s lead; model connections, ask questions, and encourage discussion. Through conversations, children make meaning and share connections that are relevant to them. Reading aloud to children gives them the opportunity to try on the language and experience of others. Thinking aloud helps children learn how to use comprehension strategies that are important when reading independently.

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We are excited about our new addition to the front office. Located by the Lobbyguard, you will find a suggestion box. The DFES staff is continually reviewing all avenues of our school for improvement. If you have any suggestions that will help us with this process, please place them in the suggestion box. You can sign your name or submit a suggestion anonymously. We encourage students and parents to be a part of this process. Thank you for your support.
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This year, school counselor Sara Beckman, will be sharing parenting information with a link each month to the Home and School Connection newsletter. Please take time to click on the link so you can find out about making a smooth transition into the 2016-17 school year. You will find tips for helping your child build friendship skills, and develop positive homework habits. You can also learn how to create a school-year memory book together and teach your child to stay safe online.

Link to September Home School Connection from School Counselor, Sara Beckman

SAVE THE DATE! Book Fair is Coming.....

Scholastic Book Fair

Dutch Fork Elementary Media Center

October 24 – October 28

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Powerful Questioning to Increase Comprehension: Let's get DFES students reading and understanding!

How can I make sure my child comprehends what they read? Many parents ponder this question as they seek to move their reader beyond asking surface level questions such as; “Who was the main character”? Asking smart, higher-order questions is a key component of successful comprehension. Questions can direct and focus thinking. They help engage readers and foster inquiry. Powerful questions are often ones that begin with why, what, and how and won’t have a simple yes or no answer. They lead readers to questions of their own.

5 Powerful Questions Parents Can Ask Their Readers
(1) What do you think?

This question interrupts us from telling too much. It gives readers an opportunity to make sense of and apply new information using their schemata and understanding.

(2) Why do you think that?

After your child shares what they think, this follow-up question pushes them to provide reasoning for their thinking.

(3) How do you know this?

When this question is asked, readers can make connections to their ideas and thoughts with things they’ve experienced, read, and have seen.

(4) Can you tell me more?

This question can inspire readers to extend their thinking and share further evidence from their ideas.

(5) What questions do you still have?

This allows readers to offer up questions they have about the information, ideas, or the evidence.

In addition to asking your reader questions, be sure to provide time for them to think. Depending on their age, the depth of the material, and their comfort level, this think time will vary. Just push yourself to stay silent and wait for them. Try pausing after you ask a question and after your child responds. You may be pleasantly surprised by the amount of information offered by your child. This think time really serves as a cushion for readers to think more, go deeper with their ideas, and begin to share more.

DFES is proud to be a Title I school.

If you haven't visited our website lately you're in for a surprise! The district and school websites have been updated. Check us out: