Central Primary School

March Newsletter

A Note from the Office...

March is upon us and it has been AMAZING to have all our students back! We are so excited to see the learning grow as our teachers are working with ALL students 5 days a week. The sun and warmer temps have been a blessing as well. Spring must be around the corner.

March Dates to Remember:

Kindergarten Registration: Monday, March1st-Monday, March 15th

CPS Dress Up Week

"One Fish, Two Fish"-Wear something red or blue!: Monday, March 1st

"The Cat in the Hat"-Wear stripes or your favorite hat!: Tuesday, March 2nd

"Wacky Wednesday"-Get Wacky! Wear your clothes inside out, backwards or mismatched!: Wednesday, March 3rd

"Oh, The Places You'll Go!"-Dress Up for your Spring Pictures: Thursday, March 4th

"Green Eggs and Ham"-Wear green!: Friday, March 5th

Spring Picture Day: Thursday, March 4th

PTO Meeting: Thursday, March 4th @ 7:00 p.m.

Spring Picture Day, Fully Remote students: Friday, March 5th

School Board Meeting: Thursday, March 11th @ 7:00 p.m.

World Down Syndrome Day, Wear crazy socks!: Friday, March 19th

No School, Spring Break begins: Monday, March 29th-April 5th

Nurse's Corner- Mrs. Carrie Bright, CPS School Nurse & Mrs. Kim Martin, CIS School Nurse

Dental Forms Due May 15th:

If you have a student in Kindergarten, 2nd grade, 6th grade, or are new to the district this school year, the State of Illinois requires a current dental exam on file. Dental forms must be dated between November 15, 2019 to May 15, 2021. If Central 51 is in need of a dental form for your student, you will be notified.

COVID-19 Updates:

If your student has ANY COVID-like symptoms, DO NOT SEND SICK STUDENT OR SIBLINGS TO SCHOOL! Several students with symptoms are being sent home daily. Sending a symptomatic student to school puts other students and staff at risk of getting sick and being placed on quarantine.

  1. Keep sick student AND all siblings home!

  2. Report students absent via the attendance hotline:

    1. CPS attendance hotline at 444-3580 option 8

    2. CIS attendance hotline at 444-3943 option 3

  3. Contact your students’ teachers for remote learning instructions

  4. Follow Central 51 COVID-19 Guidelines (click for link) to be able to return to school:

    1. Doctor’s note- email to school nurse

    2. Negative COVID test- email to school nurse

    3. 10 day isolation with remote learning

  5. Returning to school:

    1. Asymptomatic siblings may return to school once:

      1. The school nurse has received a doctor’s note or negative COVID test for the SICK student OR

      2. Has completed a 10 day isolation AND

      3. Must remain symptom-free

    2. Sick students may return to school once:

      1. The school nurse has received a doctor’s note or negative COVID test for the SICK student OR

      2. Has complete a 10 day isolation and remains symptom-free AND

      3. All symptoms are improved AND

      4. Has been 24 hours free of fever, vomiting, and diarrhea

PTO- Mrs. Stephanie Redlingshafer, PTO President

The Teacher Appreciation Committee surprised staff with Sweets and Treats for Valentine’s Day! The staff was so thankful and grateful. It is amazing how little acts of kindness can go such a long way. If you have supported the PTO in the past, your donations help the PTO do fun activities like that and many many others. The next PTO meeting is Thursday, March 4 at 7 pm in the CIS library. Looking ahead to next school year, there are several open positions, officers and committee heads. Please come to the March PTO meeting to hear about the openings or check out the PTO minutes after the meeting if you are unable to attend. The PTO cannot function properly without enough volunteers to cover all positions. Please consider donating your time and talents to the PTO so it can continue to support our wonderful staff and students.

Counselor's Corner- Ms. Gail Massa

Miss Massa is SO excited to have everyone back full time! For February, I focused my efforts on helping students and staff transition back into a “normal” school routine. February 1st-5th was also National School Counseling Week. For that week, a fact about the role of a School Counselor was added to the morning announcements each morning. For March, I will focus my classroom lessons on career exploration. Each grade level will complete an activity to help them better understand some of the various careers they could have when they get older!

Intervention Corner- Mrs. Kris Mertens, Math Interventinist & Mrs. Breanna Guse, Reading Interventionist

Math Facts:

We see a lot of kids struggling with math fact memorization. This does not mean your child will never know their facts, but in order to build that math fact library in their heads it is important to teach the kids strategies to help them learn their facts. Last month I provided some great strategies for addition and subtraction. Here are some great learning strategies for multiplication. Do not start out by memorizing the facts and using flash cards. Kids should start out with manipulatives. They need to connect and see what multiplication truly is…

The Three Phases of Basic Multiplication Fact Fluency

Phase 1 – In this phase students need the information to be concrete. This is where you would practice modeling and counting. For instance, if you gave students the problem 6×4, you and your students would model 6 groups of 4 goldfish crackers (for instance) and skip-count.

Phase 2 – Introduce students to strategies based on known facts. For instance, if a student has the problem 6×4, they can reason that 5×4 is 20 and add one more group of 4. Remember not to just teach the strategy and ask students to use it. That removes the reasoning. It also defeats the purpose, creating a “thing” to memorize. Instead, support students’ thinking and ask what strategy they might use. Help them see the possibilities and choose to get to the solution.

Phase 3 – Once students arrive at this stage, they have mastered their basic facts and have come to know them from memory. They just need repeated practice. Now the problem is 6×4=24. To increase your students’ fact fluency, you don’t want to bring in the flashcards or the timed tests. Instead, the key to effective mastery is through meaningful experiences with these phases.

Reading Tips

Moving Past Sounding Out

No matter how old we get, we are always going to come across words in our reading that we don’t know. As fluent readers, we use strategies to figure out words without even realizing what we are doing. However, if our students have never been taught what to do, they automatically fall back to sounding out letter by letter. Can this work? Absolutely! It is not the most efficient strategy though. So what are more efficient strategies? Our end goal is that students be able to quickly decode unknown words, allowing them to resume fluent reading so as not to lose the comprehension of their text. Here are some strategies to use with students to move away from letter by letter sounding out.

  1. Look to the pictures. We can gain meaning from pictures as well as text. Look to pictures to see if there are clues that can help figure out unknown words.

  2. Look for known words or word parts. If we know the word long, we can use that to figure out along, longing, longer, belong, etc.

  3. Use meaning. Think about what would make sense in the sentence, then check to see if it matches with what is written.

It will take time and practice to get here. We don’t expect our young readers to just pick these up automatically. As teachers, we work on this at school all the time. Working together, we can get our students reading and decoding fluently. If you have questions or we can help you in any way, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher or myself.

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Library-Mrs. Katie Mann

Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ Birthday (March 2nd)

Here are a few activities that you can do at home to help your child celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday all month long!!!

Write and Draw Like Dr. Seuss

Inspired Imagination: Many of Dr. Seuss’ books give free reign to let your imagination run amok. Read some of these titles out loud with your child: McElligot’s Pool, And to Think that I Saw It on Mulberry Street, Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?, If I Ran the Circus, or Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! Then encourage your child to write and illustrate their own wildly imaginative stories in rhyme. They could describe things they might see in their own neighborhood, invent never-before-seen wildlife they’d feature on a one-of-a-kind African safari, and explore more “things to be thankful you aren’t” and more “thinks you can think,” etc.

Arts and Crafts

Character Sock Puppets: Using a variety of socks, felt and fabric scraps, beads, pipe cleaners, scissors, stick-on eyes, yarn, ribbon, feathers, and glue, (be creative with materials you find at home!) make puppets of your favorite Dr. Seuss characters to use in retelling the stories.


Mix up batches of Berry Blue Jell-O and fill clear, plastic glasses halfway. Chill until partially set and add two to three gummy fish to each glass. Serve with spoons as the perfect accompaniment while you read One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.

Dr. Seuss Math Story Problems

  • At the end of Ten Apples up on Top, the lion, the tiger, and the dog each have ten apples on their head. How many apples do they have all together?

  • The first “Who’s-Asleep-Score” in The Sleep Book is 40,404. The next is 8,000,808. How many sleep talkers, sleep walkers, snorers, and other assorted creatures fell asleep between those two counts?

  • In Horton Hatches the Egg, Horton the elephant is captured by hunters and sold to a circus, where he is put on display for “10 cents a peek.” If 435 people pay to see Horton, how much money does the circus take in?

  • If I Ran the Circus was first published 56 years ago. In what year did it come out?

Internet Activities

Seussville! This child-friendly website is bright and busy with a biography of Dr. Seuss, click-and-play games, videos, a story maker, and more. It’s a little noisy, but lots of fun, with dozens of printable word games, mazes, coloring pages, and matching games.

PBS Kids: The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot about That! Check out this site full of science and math-based games, videos, and printables, etc. for early and middle grades.
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Art Corner-Ms. Gleason

In Kindergarten we are doing an artist study on James Rizzi. We are drawing his ferry boats and fun fish. This project will have us using shape, line, and working on our tracing skills. We are going to talk about the Abegweit, an Ice-Breaker Ferry Boat that takes cars from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island and then we will create our own ferry boat.

First Grade is starting a fun study on Horace Pippin. This lesson ties into the Harlem Renaissance and Black History Month. Horace Pippin is an interesting artist! Pippin's right arm was injured in World War I, however, he didn't let that stop him! He learned that he could hold up his right arm with his left and still draw with his injured hand. We are recreating one of his pieces and making it look as if we are drawing on a piece of wood just like he would have done. Before March is over we are going to have a little fun with tie-dyed Dr. Seuss directed drawings as well.

Second just wrapped up their street art unit and are now moving on to their worm’s perspective drawings! We decided to wait on these until we had everyone back at school.

Third grade is still working on their James Rizzi artist study. We are learning how Rizzi developed what we call Characteristic Style. Rizzi took ordinary objects and brought them to life giving them a personality. Obviously here, he’s doing that by giving them faces and making it seem like they are people. We are excited to create our wacky cityscapes!

What a fun month we have planned!

A little Note from Music Class- Mrs. Kathryn Cunningham

Here is what we have been up to in the music room.

Kindergarten has been learning about meter. In music, our beats can be organized into 2, 3, and 4. We are singing, playing, and moving to the music every class.

First grade is learning to read melodies on the staff. They are making such great progress!

Second grade is starting a unit on music from the Baroque Period. We will listen to the famous composers of this time and learn about the characteristics of this music, and how it is different from other music periods.

Third grade is learning more about reading rhythm notation. Also, the Remote Recorder Club started this week! If you are still interested in joining and haven’t, please contact Mrs. Cunningham.

Don’t forget to check the Music Google Classroom for more supplemental activities.

PE Corner- Mr. Chris Dalberg

It’s awesome seeing so many students back in school. As students come into the gym they are sanitizing their hands and do the same as they leave the gym. We also have the divider down to keep classes separated. Students have assigned spots that are socially distanced and so far PE has been great. I do want to continue to remind everyone that students should be wearing tennis shoes to PE class. I know with snow/water still on the ground many students are wearing boots to school, please send them with shoes if this is the case.

Technology Corner- Mr. Robert Deatherage

This year is flying by! As we get into the busy season please make sure your kids are charging their chromebook. We are running into many issues where kids' devices are either dead or not making it through the day. We do not have extra chargers lying around to take care of this. Should you need Chromebook help, do not forget about techsupport@central51.net to have your Chromebook needs addressed. If you have not been to this Google site, CPS Online Resources, it contains most but likely not all of the resources we are utilizing both in the classroom and at home.