Ware Elementary Newsletter

February 2023

Office Staff

Veronica Wait - Principal

Kimbre Smice - Asst. Principal

Olga Delgado - Head Secretary

Norma Cornejo - Child Nutrition Secretary

Ashlee Meharg -Registrar

Jennifer Brooks - School Nurse

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Important Dates

Feb 6 – School Counseling Week

Feb 9 – Music Program Spirit Day! Dinosaur Day

Feb 9 – 6:00 Second Grade Music Program

Feb 10 – 100th Day of School Spirit Day

Feb 13 – No School Teacher Professional Development

Feb 14 – Valentine’s Day

Feb 15 – Q3 Progress Reports go home

Feb 16 – Papa John’s Night

Feb 17 – Ware Mart

Feb 21 - PTO Mtg. 3:30

Feb 22 – National School Bus Driver Appreciation

Feb 27 – Readathon Begins

Feb 27 – Read Across America Spirit Week – Spirit Day themes coming soon

💘 Getting in the Mood 💘

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Principal Letter

As I take my oldest to various practices throughout the week, I find that my daughter is drawn to her friends who are playing or watching videos on various electronic devices while waiting for the activity to start. She looks at their screens and asks quite frequently if she can have one of her own. While we haven’t given her one yet, I know it is time that my husband and I sit down, do our research and talk about our expectations for when that time comes.

To prepare for this conversation, we looked at many different websites but we found that www.commonsensemedia.org/ had a lot of great resources all in one location. It gave us information on how much time kids should be spending on the device, good educational apps for students of varying ages, internet safety and many more helpful connections for parents. I hope that you find the information as useful as we have.

Also, when it comes to technology make sure that you set boundaries for your student. Discuss as a family about how long they can be on their device, what the expectations are on things that needed to be done before devices are turned on (homework, chores, clothes picked out for the next day, etc) and what activities they can do on their devices. Technology is here to stay and only continues to get more advanced. These are just some helpful thoughts on how to maintain that healthy technology relationship.

The Internet is a wonderful place to learn and for entertainment purposes. Please continue to monitor your children when they are accessing information or playing on their devices. All students take part in a digital citizenship class with our library media specialist throughout the year and are taught good practices when accessing the internet. If you ever have any questions or need guidance on how to handle your child and their usage, please reach out so we can help.

In closing, I thought we could all use some lighthearted reading. With it being February, I asked a question to various Ware Bears throughout the building and I am excited to share their answers. I asked “what is something that you love about Ware?” and they said:

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Charles- “I love the library and the variety of books. I never had this many choices at my old school and there are so many I have never seen before!”

Cavan- “I love having a big class and all of my classmates!”

Charley- “Everyone is welcoming and kind to one another!”

Abraham- “I love the teachers. They are nice and they help us learn.”

Ezra- “We have fun things to do like playing with friends and working on our computers.”

Alex- “What I love about Ware is the principals. We also work hard here and I love to learn.”

Penelope- “Mrs. Larsen is so nice to everyone.”

Madison & Makena’- “We love doing homework and how nice everyone is to one another.”

Nurse Jenny- “I love the positive attitude with all of the staff.”

Mrs. Smith- “I love the kids, my colleagues and I am excited for work each day. The parents are very supportive as well.”

Mrs. Thissen- “I love my students and the people I work with each day.”

Ms. Olga- “This is my home away from home. This is my family!”

Kimbre Smice

Assistant Principal 💝

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My how these kindergarteners are growing! This third quarter of the school year is very exciting as many kindergarteners are catching on to new concepts and building on the skills we’ve learned thus far. One area in which you may have noticed the most significant growth is writing. Many kindergarteners are beginning to use the letter sounds they’ve learned to form words and sentences. We are learning how to write stories and expand on them. You can help foster your child’s writing skills by having them write a letter or note to someone they care about. Imagine a loved one getting a handwritten valentine from their favorite kindergartner! What a treasure!

We are delving deeper into the world of reading. We are continuing to learn more and more letter sounds. Please continue to help your child practice sounding out CVC words (consonant, vowel, consonant). These words (as well as our sight words) are a huge part of our reading foundational skills. Continued reading of a well-practiced story is a great way, not only to practice sight words, but build fluency as well. Make sure you let your kindergartner know what an amazing job they’re doing with their reading and how proud you are of them! Reading in kindergarten…it’s so exciting!

In math, we will continue reinforcing mathematical concepts and number sense. We will work on addition and subtraction within 10, which the kids are very excited about!

February also brings the 100th day of kindergarten and Valentine’s Day! Keep an eye out for more information regarding these special celebrations.

Your Kindergarten Team,

Chelsea Tajchman/Leah Call

Ivory Larsen

Cara Baltazar

Avery Rice

Sydney Moler

Leslie Rankin

Freda Felton

First Grade

Our 1st graders are LOVING learning with their friends. We are so proud of their hard work! February may be a shorter month, but it is full of key concepts.

In math, students will be working on understanding tens/ones and comparing numbers. We focus on counting the ones first then counting the tens, just in case we can make a group of ten with the ones. Ex: 13 ones and 2 tens would be 3 tens and 3 ones or 33. Students will add double digit numbers when the sum of the ones is less than, equal to, or more than ten. This work lays the foundation for adding and subtracting any numbers.

In reading and writing, first graders will learn the other common long vowel sound spellings which will make this a very important reading month. Our new phonics will be - a (apron), ai (train), ay (play), e (me), ea (tea), ee (tree), ie (field), o (no), oa (boat), ow (snow), oe (toe), i (iron), igh (bright) _y (fly), ie (tie), _y (puppy), ey (key). Please practice reading and handwriting at home too. Students can even find these sounds in library books. Weekly communication sheets will help you know the focus and words to practice too. Students will learn about key figures in our history through research projects and learning about informational writing. We will integrate science into our ELA lessons through learning about animals, their habitats, and how they work together.

Be on the lookout for information about Valentine’s Day (February 14th). We ask that all valentines are only addressed FROM your child (do not worry about class names). Teachers will send out information on ClassDojo and/or in your child’s Ware Bear folder. Thank you for your support!

Your First Grade Team,

Brittany Scott

Aubrey Rumford

Sarah Hernandez

Rachel Smith

Shanda Bandi

Abigayle Weber

Freda Felton

Second Grade

We are finally back in the swing of things for the third quarter! We have a lot of exciting activities to look forward to in the month of February!

We will be working on subtracting 3 digit numbers at the beginning of the month before moving on to measurement using inches and feet. In writing, we will continue working on fictional narratives and making sure that we have a problem and solution in our stories. In science we will continue our exploration of pebbles, sand, and silt. Towards the end of the month, we’ll start our study of economics in preparation for Market Day in March. More information on this exciting learning opportunity will be shared at a later date. As always, please remember to read with your child for 20 minutes every night, and make sure they are writing 2 sentences in their planners.

Second grade will have their music program on Thursday, February 9th at 6:00 p.m. The students have been working hard in their music classes to prepare something very special. Please join us that evening to celebrate all their hard work.

We will also celebrate Valentine’s Day on the 14th. Look for more information coming from your child’s teacher as that day approaches.

Have a Ware Bear Day!

The Second Grade Team,

Mrs. Moorman

Ms. Heigert

Mrs. Burnham

Mrs. Schmidt

Mrs. Wienckoski

Abby Vest

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Third Grade

Happy February! We are loving everything third grade. Since Valentine's Day is coming up, we will be having a Valentines party, so keep checking your child’s backpack and Dojo for on update on that!

In reading, we are continuing to read a wide variety of texts, including poetry. We are working on finding the author’s point of view within a story and applying our own point of view to the same stories. We have been doing comparing and contrasting with different types of texts as well. Please make sure your student is reading nightly for at least 20 minutes and writing a few sentences summarizing what they read. We notice a difference when students read nightly; it helps them tremendously in reading class.

In math, we have moved on from area and have been working on multi-step word problems. These word problems usually include multiple operations, so students have to work diligently to figure out what the problem is asking. We have also started to work on reading and figuring out data from scaled graphs. This means students are looking at bar and picture graphs to solve problems.

In science, students have been learning about the human body and bones. We have gotten to dissect owl pellets. We are still waiting on the crayfish to come! Lots of exciting things are happening in science! In social studies, students are learning about economics. They are learning about saving, spending, borrowing, and lending money and how the economy works. They are also learning about goods and services.

With how cold it has been, please check the weather forecast. It is so important that your student has a coat because they will go outside for recess! If it is raining outside, please send them with appropriate clothing and shoes. If you ever have questions or concerns, please let your child’s teacher know! Dojo is the best way to get in touch with your child’s teacher.

Your Third Grade,

Katelyn Brinker

Dominique Wiedmaier

Karolena Cormier

Emily Grantham

Abby Vest

Fourth Grade

The Ware Bear fourth grade is a fun place to learn and grow right now! In Math, we are beginning to learn about fractions. We are learning to compare, add, and subtract fractions. Students really need to be able to reason about their answers and think critically when solving word problems. The more they can experience fractions in the real world the better their understanding will be. If you are cooking, baking or working on anything with fraction measurement, get them involved! There are many websites that we use with the students that are standards based and will help them even if you only have 10-15 minutes to practice. Here are a few: Prodigy, Xtramath, Freckle, Splash Learn, and Sumdog.

In Social Studies, we are working on learning about the states and cultures of the Midwestern part of the United States. In writing, we are working on stating our opinions based on information we have learned about certain subjects and people. In Science, we are focusing on rocks, soils, and landforms. Start asking your student questions in your everyday life about how the weather might be affecting the land around us. Are you noticing cracks, falling rocks, erosion, etc.? How are these things impacting the way we live. We will continue to be do many hands on lessons with the students to really get their minds thinking about science in a new and practical way!

As we know, February brings with it Valentine’s Day. Please be on the lookout for information regarding celebrations from your student’s homeroom teacher. Please also be considerate of other students’ feelings and make sure that if your child brings cards that they are bringing them for the whole class. We want this to be a fun and memorable time for all! Thank you for your help in this matter.

Our good wishes go out to those families who have a loved one deployed. Please let us know if there is ever anything we can help with to make it easier for you or your student.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Your Fourth Grade Team,

Stephanie Hilton

Emily Moorman-Meador

Darissa Maley

Christine Turnbow

Rebecca William

Fifth Grade

Time seems to be flying by here in fifth grade, and February looks to be another busy month. In math, we will be continuing our work on fractions with a focus on using multiple strategies to solve word problems and equations. In reading, we will continue to practice skills that increase reading comprehension and fluency while learning about the structural elements of Drama and Poetry genres. The skills practiced at school also need to be practiced at home with nightly reading and respond homework. Early this month, students will be taking Kansas KITE interims in both math and reading. These practice tests look much like the 5th grade state assessments that students will take in April and help students practice the format and expectations.

In Social Studies, students will study the colonization of the Americas and discover the many reasons colonists came to the Americas and then began moving westward. In Science, the study of mixtures and solutions continues as students investigate the properties of matter and determine whether a mixture results in a newly formed substance. Students will use a claim, evidence and reasoning format to support claim statements in science, social studies and writing. Finally, students use what they have learned about persuasive and argumentative writing to produce a persuasive piece of their own.

Progress reports for your student for Quarter 3 will be coming home on February 15th. Please watch for future notes being sent home with your student about other classroom events or celebrations occurring this month!

As always, daily student attendance is crucial, especially as we begin gearing up for state testing. Thank you for your continued support in this matter. We wish everyone an enjoyable February!

Your Fifth Grade Team,

Jamie Deville

Kylie Huneycutt

Sina Kinsley

Rebecca William


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Early Childhood

We are beginning our unit about Transportation. We will focus on how people travel (ground, water, etc.) different types of vehicles and job specific vehicles, the importance of maps, how a calendar is useful for travel and different types of water. The letters we will introduce this month are K, U, G, and W. Math we will start learning about size, weight and volume.

For social-emotional learning we are going to talk about how to play fair with friends and invite someone to join in play. With our Feeling Buddies we have been focusing on the first 3 steps of self-regulation: I am (acknowledging we are upset), I calm (taking a deep breath) and I feel (naming the feeling). We will begin to introduce step 4 which is I choose (choosing something we need based on the feeling we are experiencing).

Our 100th Day of School Celebration will be on Friday February 10th and our Valentine’s Celebration will be on Tuesday, February 14th. Stay tuned for more information about those or ask your child’s teacher if you have questions.

As always thank you for sharing your children with us at school.

Your ECC Team,

Sahra Bennett

Mary Cook

Heidi Ring

Bridget Mooney

Just a friendly reminder...

Please make sure your child is safely secured when traveling to and from school.

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Early Childhood Students:

All students will be greeted by their teachers.

Drop off areas:

AM students (beginning at 7:50): Ring - Main entrance, front doors Bennett and Cook – bus loading zone adjacent to Montieth Road

PM students (beginning at 12:20): All classes main entrance, front doors.

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“‘How do you spell love?’ asked Piglet. ‘You don’t spell it, you feel it,’ said Pooh.” — A.A. Milne

PE News

Our physical education classes have been working on dribbling and various outdoor games (cornhole, frisbee golf, ladder ball). This month we will begin working on various jumping and jump rope disciplines such as short ropes (jumping alone), long ropes (with partners), and Chinese jump ropes (Google it!) which are all invaluable in building rhythmic-coordination skills, muscular strength and endurance, and small group cooperative skills. These physical “tools” help students add different avenues of opportunity to achieve their daily dose of physical activity which is undisputed in its various social-emotional, cognitive, and physical benefits to the human body. Our daily physical education programming focuses on students acquiring motor skill proficiency, self-confidence, and social skills needed to build a foundation of lifetime movement.

Physical education is helpful to students’ proper development, but it’s only part of the equation for building a healthful and happy child. As we get closer to the spring and “outdoor” weather, we encourage you to start planning recreational activities for your children. Better yet, volunteer to help assist with those recreational activities! It might be playing on a sports team such as baseball, softball, volleyball, soccer, or basketball. If you prefer individual sports then consider tennis, swimming, wrestling, golf, or gymnastics lessons. Non-competitive pastimes such as dance, camping, fishing, or even music lessons can also be fun on their own or in addition to competitive-type sports. All of these activities can teach valuable social-emotional skills that carry over into other facets of children’s lives. The more opportunities and experiences that we can provide for your children, the more likely they are to reach their potential in life. Active children are happy children, and happy children become confident and resilient adults! Keep your eyes open on social media, news outlets, or search the Fort Riley MWR and Play JC websites:

Play JC!


As always, please help your child to remember to bring tennis shoes to school every day they have P.E.

Mrs. Tara Gruver Mrs. Kelli Thissen

taragruver@usd475.org kellithissen@usd475.org

Music News

This month students are learning how to read rhythms and write their own through a variety of activities. We will also continue learning about the instruments and how to play some of them.

Performances will continue with nine Ware 5th graders representing our school at the North Central Kansas Music Educators Association Elementary Honor Choir on Saturday, February 4, 2023 at the Junction City High School. They will perform at 12:00 p.m. and the concert is free and open to anyhone who would like to attend.

Second graders will perform “Dino Soaring” on February 9; first graders will perform “Pajama Party” on April 20; and kindergarten students will perform “The Best Pet Show Ever” on May 11. All programs are at 6:00 p.m. in the Ware Gym #2 and everyone is welcome to attend. Please watch ClassDojo for more specific information for your grade level as we get closer to each performance.

A select group of students will also perform for the USD 475 Annual State of Education presentation on April 17 at Junction City High School. Auditions will be held after the first of the year for that group. More information about all of the music programs will come out closer to the events.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us at 717-4600 or SusanGillespie@usd475.org and JulanLeibach@usd475.org.

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Nurse News

February typically brings very cold temperatures. Please take extra precautions to keep your children and yourselves warm and healthy. Dress in layers, this will keep you warm and dry. If your children suffer from winter nosebleeds, try using a cold air humidifier in their room for the night. Saline nose drops may help keep the tissue moist. Colds and flu are common in the winter. Remind your children to wash their hands frequently and to sneeze and cough into the bend or their elbows to help reduce the spread of germs. The most important factor in keeping healthy is having a strong immune system. Be sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and get regular sleep at night. Vitamins C and D are super important, especially during the winter months when we don’t get enough sunshine for vitamin D and viruses run rampant.

Just a reminder that if your child comes home in clothing borrowed from the school, please wash and return to the Nurse Office. You can keep the underwear. I am continuing to accept donations of used clothing and new underwear. The sizes I need most are pants and underwear for boys sized 4-8. I will be sending home reminders again soon for those who are non-compliant with immunizations. The letter states which vaccines are missing. Kansas requires Hep A and some other states do not, so this is usually a source of many letters.

Thank you for responding and getting those records to me.

School Nurse,

Jennifer Brooks 💘


Save the Date! Our Enchanted Forest Book Fair is scheduled for March 22-24! Be on the lookout for more information.

We look forward to seeing your little bear on their library day! Please continue to encourage your student(s) to turn in their books when finished, as to keep them from being overdue. We have many students that are waiting for books to be turned in so they can have a turn reading them. Library books are overdue after two weeks after they are checked out.

This month in the library, we will be celebrating Black History Month by featuring prominent African Americans and Civil Rights Activists. To include, but certainly not limited to, Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson, Ruby Bridges, Harriett Tubman, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.!

Also in February, we will feature books for Groundhog Day, the 100th day of school, Valentine’s Day and the Super Bowl!

Thank you for all your support in helping develop your student’s love for books!

Haley Kaus

Library Media Specialist

Paige Callaway

Brandy Davis

Library Clerks


I can’t believe it’s already February! This school year has been flying by and I’ve been so excited with the progress I’ve seen in the speech room. We have been enjoying lots of books and games this month during speech-language sessions. Playing games is a wonderful way to target many speech and language skills, including conversational turn-taking, vocabulary, sentence structure, forming questions and responses in complete sentences, verbal reasoning, sequencing, and critical thinking skills. The best part is we get to have fun while we do it! Be sure to take some time to play some games with your student to practice these skills at home. Some of our favorites include Guess Who, Headbandz, Zingo, and Go Fish. Feel free to contact me if you ever would like more information regarding how to help your student with his or her speech and language goals!

Laura Thompson

Speech-Language Pathologist

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Our Ware Bears have continued to learn about identifying their emotions through Zones of Regulation and identifying coping skills when they are experiencing strong emotions. In February, we will continue the cycle of lessons on identifying and practicing coping skills and for 3rd - 5th grade, we will add tips and tricks for testing as that time of the year is quickly approaching.

Prior to each lesson, we will discuss and recognize Black History Month. Additionally, the 12th - 18th of February is Random Act of Kindness Week. Below are some great books to read to recognize and celebrate Black History Month.

February is also the month that School Counselors get to celebrate their role in the school. National School Counseling Week is February 6th - 10th . This week honors school counselors and provides recognition for school counselors who implement comprehensive school counseling programs, a vital part of the educational process for all students as they meet the challenges of the 21st century.

To learn more about National School Counseling Week, visit www.schoolcounselor.org/nscw

Check out these books:

Sulwe by Lupita Nyongo'o

The ABC's of Black History by Rio Cortez

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison

Young, Gifted, and Black by Jamia Wilson

The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles


STUCO has been very quiet this past month! Our members worked hard during Ware Mart by helping your shoppers look for fun items to purchase! They are also meeting to start planning some new and fun activities so keep on the lookout for information about upcoming events! Thank you for all your support throughout the school year!

February Ware Mart Dates:

· February 3rd

· February 17th

Please direct any questions to one of the STUCO sponsors!

emilymoormanmeador@usd475.org ashleymalmquist@usd475.org

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