Dragon Tales

News For R.S. Payne Dragons and Families


Principal's Corner

Happy 2021 Dragon Families!!

I hope that each family had a healthy and restful break.

As we begin the new year, please remember to reestablish routines to promote school success including creating a daily routine for remote learning days. Ensure children have a work space free from distractions and needed learning materials. Also, be sure to ensure your child has an adequate amount of sleep each night. It is recommended that children ages 6-12 receive 9-12 hours of sleep each night. Please communicate with your child’s teacher often and alert the teacher when support is needed regarding the learning targets.

Thank you for partnering with our school team to support your child’s learning.

Kellie Baldwin

RSP Vision

We Dream, Believe, and Achieve because we are Respectful, Supportive, and Productive.

RSP Mission

Our team of faculty, parents, and volunteers of Robert S. Payne Elementary School will strive to provide meaningful and challenging learning experiences for all students to help them become responsible citizens of the community.

Important Dates

Jan 7- Zoom PTO Meeting at 7:00 pm

Jan 18- MLK Jr. Day; No school

Jan 26- 2nd quarter report cards go home

Second Step

Happy New Year families! As we step into a new year, we continue to prioritize the social-emotional needs of our students here at R. S. Payne. With that being said, we are continuing to incorporate lessons focusing on these skills through remote and hybrid learning. Students have continued to learn more about emotion management and how to manage and control feelings of anxiety, and anger, as well as finishing tasks. Students practice calm down strategies and use the thinking part of their brain to manage the feeling part of their brain. Students will begin learning about problem solving. Problem solving helps students to handle interpersonal conflicts effectively and will benefit students when they are able to calm down and solve their own problems. Students will be learning to STEP - Say the problem, Think of solutions, Explore consequences, and Pick the best solution. Students with stronger problem-solving skills are more likely to be academically successful, socially adjusted, less impulsive, and less aggressive. Students will continue to participate through watching interactive videos, singing and dancing to interactive songs, and a chance to put what they have learned to practice.

Math Talk

Each month in this section we will share a simple routine that you can use at home to engage your children of any age in math conversation. These conversations will help to build both their math skills and their love of math.

Routine #5: Salute Game

(Adapted from nzmaths.co.nz)

What do you do? This is a three person game using a deck of cards with face cards removed.

  • The dealer gives the other two players one card each.
  • Players do not look at their card but hold the card, facing out, on their foreheads in a “salute.”
  • The dealer adds the numbers on the two cards they can see and says the sum.
  • Using the sum they just heard and the card they can see on the other player’s head, player one and player two have to figure the value of the card on their forehead.
  • The game is repeated with the players swapping their roles.
Why try this?
  1. This is an engaging way to practice math facts.

  2. Students who are just learning to add can be the dealer because their job is to simply add the two cards.

  3. This game highlights the relationship between addition and subtraction because players can use either to determine the value of their card. If the dealer says the sum is 10 and you see a 6 on the other player’s head, you can...
    a. Think Addition: 6 + ____ = 10
    b. Think Subtraction: 10 - 6 = ____

Want more?

  • To begin the game you could select cards from 1 - 5 to form the pack. As children become familiar with the game you can add the higher numbers.

  • You could extend this by multiplying the two numbers together instead of adding them and play in the same way.

  • You could extend the game with four players, three with a card on their forehead and one adding or multiplying the numbers together.

Watch an RSP Family Play Salute

Salute Game


Stop, Think, and Jot While Reading

What is Stop and Jot? Stop and Jot is another reading strategy that teaches students to “STOP, THINK, & Jot” what they are thinking about when they are reading. When students read, events happen in the story that might remind readers of something that has happened to them. They might also recognize something they have seen in another book. When this happens, they can “STOP, THINK, & Jot” the connection they just made. Readers may also Notice or Wonder about something that has happened or not yet happened in the story. Readers can also set a purpose for reading, such as looking for characters, setting, or even when a conflict arises. All of these are reasons to “STOP, THINK, & Jot”. When a student “jots” something down, they can either write a sentence, use pictures or word clues, or even just draw a picture of what they are seeing (visualizing). Below are examples of picture clues that readers can use on sticky notes, cut up pieces of paper, or even help them start a conversation with you about their reading. This strategy is effective for any genre (fiction, nonfiction, fables, poetry, fairy tales, etc).

Check out the videos about Stop and Jot

STOP and JOT strategy
Stop and Jot

News from the Library

Happy New Year! I hope that your family enjoyed spending time together during our winter break and are energized and ready to begin a new year. If you are looking for some good books to read, our library has eBooks and Interactive books that are available 24/7. Students will need to be logged in to Destiny Discover with their username and password (student ID # without the zero (0) in front). Parents can do this for younger students. Look for these symbols: to identify the downloadable books. They are the first two lines of books you will see on the Destiny page. If you have any trouble logging in I am happy to help thornhilled@lcsedu.net.


January 2021! January can be considered the “Springboard Month” as we enthusiastically leap into a new year of opportunities, activities, and chances. Our hope of improvement and growth in challenged areas launches us into improvements, gains, excellence, and wins! In January, there is a resolute determination to be better, “do” better, live better, and feel better as compared to the previous year, which may not be so tough after 2020.

2021 is truly unknown and hard to predict. With such uncertainty, there is a need to take some control of the things you truly can control. A famous quote from Mark Twain states…, “The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” A three part starter kit of suggestions may be helpful as we spring into action for this second half of the school year and the New Year, 2021: “Pen, Pal, and Push!” “Pen” simply means, write things down and keep it simple. This means taking notes, writing things on a calendar, outlining a plan, creating a vision statement, journaling and communicating with others in a written format. If you hear something helpful, inspiring, or witty, jot it down. You can reflect on your plans, ideas, and previous thoughts a lot better if it is written down somewhere. Some things can be easily forgotten under stress.

“Pal” is finding someone to share your stuff with who is able to handle it gently and honestly. In gyms, there are workout partners, someone to spot you, help with technique, and keep you safe. Often times there is a need for someone to save you from your laziness, your fears, and your ego. A pal will push you and call you when you running late, absent, or getting off course. This pal will help you stay committed to your vision, mission and plan.

The final part is the “Push”. Pushing through the rough times is the hardest part of completing any project or sticking to any task. The Push is so necessary when motivation is absent or weak, when you can’t put yourself first, and when it is hard to see the finish line because victory feels impossible. The Push can be from the Pal, from the documentation of the Pen or it will come from you. You will push yourself when secrecy is essential and when you are the only thing to keep you from quitting and giving up.

Hopefully, this approach can be helpful in your energetic leap into 2021! Enjoy your efforts for they will determine your outcomes!


Health Reminders

Parents or guardians should notify their school administrator or school nurse in the event that their child shows symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive for COVID-19. LCS staff will work with the local health department for contact tracing and notify any staff and parents or guardians of any student who may have been exposed. Any exposed areas in which a symptomatic individual or an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 will be properly cleaned and disinfected, and LCS staff will consult with the local health department to determine if closure of facilities or school buildings is warranted, and if so, for how long. Daily updates of new positive COVID-19 cases reported can be found on the LCS homepage.

CDC COVID-19 Symptoms:

-Fever or chills


-Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing


-Muscle or body aches


-New loss of taste or smell

-Sore throat

-Congestion or runny nose

-Nausea or vomiting


Vision screenings will be conducted this month.

Big picture

Tech Support


What is Zoom? Zoom is a free resource that allows teachers and students to connect virtually through video conferencing! Your teachers are using Zoom for regular check-ins and support. Zoom is accessible from a computer or mobile device. Be on the lookout for links to Zoom meetings from your teacher.


What is SeeSaw? SeeSaw is the platform PreK-2nd grade teachers are using to manage assignments and create journals of student work. SeeSaw allows you to view your student's journal and communicate directly with the teachers. Student join codes have been sent to you by your teacher. Be on the lookout for family join codes from your teacher as well! Here is more information on how to connect to your student's account.

Google Classroom

What is Google Classroom? Teachers in grades 3rd-5th are using Google Classroom to distribute and collect content and assignments. Students should have received a join code from their teachers. Parents have the ability to view a summary of the Classroom content and assignments. Please contact the teacher if you have not received a parent invite!

Parent Resources

Click here for a document of tutorials that may be helpful to you and your student as you learn about the technology tools that are being used in the classroom!

Technical Assistance

If you are experiencing issues with the tools and resources above, please contact your teacher and they will direct you to the appropriate person. If you are experiencing technical issues with the Chromebook (not charging, missing keys, etc.) please call 515-5090 or fill out this form.


Big picture
Our next PTO meeting will be held on Thursday, January 7th at 7:00pm via Zoom. ALL RSP parents and guardians are welcome! Please click the link to RSVP and receive the Zoom link by email prior to the meeting.