Curriculum Corner

November/ December 2017

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Community Circles

As we shared at the beginning of the year, one of our main focus areas for this year is on relationships. We want to build our relationships within our classrooms, between our staff and with our community. We began incorporating community circles weekly in our classrooms as a way to build our knowledge of each other through questions. In learning more about each other, we identify commonalities, differences and a deeper understanding, which connects us in new ways. Some of the questions we have asked our students include: What was the first time you lost a tooth? What makes your teacher special? If you had superpowers, what would they be and why? Some questions are more serious than others, but in the end, the answers to these questions can lead to new friendships, less conflict and a greater sense of community in the classroom. When a child feels safe in a classroom, they are more likely to take risks, participate and engaged in their learning.

Another way we have increased awareness of each other is through the Heritage Homes, which you can see posted throughout the building. Students and staff created a picture of what is important in their culture, homes and families. If you have not had an opportunity to see some of these beautiful and engaging homes, please come on in!

With our staff, we have been working within our HOPE team and through our Social Committee to plan events and activities in which we learn more about each other. For the last couple of years, we have shared our holiday cards or family photos. We ask "community circle type" questions of our staff, for example, if you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would buy? There are staff breakfasts, special lunches and holiday secret buddies that allow us to enjoy one another. As a staff, it so important to lift each other up and share our successes with positive notes and letters. We will continue to look for ways to incorporate staff building activities.

For our community, we have been working with our PTA and representatives from central office to plan community circles for our families. The intention is to learn more about your questions, concerns and any barriers that may be preventing you from feeling welcomed at CLES. We are still in the planning stages, and look forward to sharing more soon!

Curriculum Related News

Primary - Resources

Have you heard of Ready Rosie?
Schools and families work better together when families understand exactly how they can support their child! ReadyRosie Modeled Moment Videos take place in real environments such as restaurants, grocery stores, and playgrounds, to demonstrate how to find learning moments in everyday activities.

Families, YOU play an essential role in the education and well-being of your child. ReadyRosie exists to support you in that role!

Ready Rosie is aligned with our standards. See the alignment document produced by HCPSS:

RAZ Kids - K - 2

RAZ-Kids is a website that we have paid for as a school for students in grades Kindergarten through 2nd grade. This website allows students to access books online at their instructional level. Research shows the more we read, the better readers we will become. If you have lost or cannot find the information about your child's account, please contact your teacher directly. You can visit the website to learn more about it!

Editing Expectations K - 5

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In previous curriculum corners, we explained and shared resources on the writing expectations at each grade level. As you move ahead with any writing at home, or if you simply want to understand the expectations for editing at your student's grade level, please see the attachment below.

Haven't seen the Independent Daily Reading Letter Scoring Rubric? See picture and attached PDF.

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Upcoming Event -- Math Night

Math Night

Monday, Dec. 11th 2017 at 6pm

3825 Centennial Lane

Ellicott City, MD

Have you been wanting to learn about strategies taught in your child's classroom? Do you need assistance in understanding Canvas? Join us to learn more!

Canvas - Main Source of Communication from CLES


How do I make sure I receive announcements that my teacher is sending out?

How do I find my teacher's Canvas page?


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PTA Sponsored Upcoming Cultural Arts

December 8th - Dr. Recess - All grades will be participating in this fun-filled assembly during their related arts block. They will all go to the gym for that time period.

What is the Dr. Recess Assembly?

The Dr. Recess Assembly & Playground Games program is an on-site assembly and games program that promotes the importance of being active and living a healthy life by using developmentally appropriate games to teach social/emotional skills, thinking skills, and motor skills to elementary school children. It was created by award-winning teacher and author, Curt Hinson, Ph.D., as part of the Trouble-free Playground program. Dr. Hinson’s Trouble-free Playground program is currently being implemented at schools in all 50 states. The Dr. Recess Assembly & Playground Games program allows schools to improve the health and fitness levels of children by teaching them appropriate games and activities to play during recess.

December 12th - Kindergarten - Reptile Wonders- Nature Center on the Go

Reptile Wonders: The Nature Center on the Go is a environmental education center and wildlife rehabilitation facility that is dedicated to awakening the communities’ sense of awareness to the natural beauties of the environment and our role amidst

Earth’s biological diversity.

Reptile Wonders: The Nature Center on the Go is founded on two main principles. The first is to provide traveling educational programs for schools, camps, girl scout and boy scout functions and corporate events. This is done through interpretive, interactive, hands-on programs. The second principle is to provide a rehabilitation facility for injured wildlife, specifically injured reptiles (i.e. Turtles with broken shells after an encounter with a motor vehicle).