Baltz Winter Newsletter

February 12, 2022

Check out the great things that have been happening with instruction at Baltz!

From the Reading Team

February is I Love to Read Month!


I Love to Read Month will be celebrated in lots of fun ways in schools across the country. However, there are also fun things that you can do at home with your children to celebrate, and to encourage a love of reading. For example,


  • Follow their interests. Your children are more likely to read for pleasure if they have books about things that interest them. Take a trip to your local library. Whether they are into football, astronomy, or anime, they will find plenty of choices at the library.
  • Make reading a family activity. If you make reading an activity that you and your children do together, they are less likely to think of reading as something they just do at school. Try designating a family story time. You can choose a book that you will all enjoy and take turns reading, or everyone can read a page from their favorite book.

  • Read anytime, anywhere. Encourage your children to read whenever they can and wherever they are. When you are out, encourage them to read bumper stickers, road signs, menus, etc. When you are at home, encourage them to read cereal boxes, instructions, etc. Use the closed captioning function when they watch their favorite television shows. For younger children, try labeling things around the house so that they can identify the names of things that are familiar to them.

To learn more about these and other ideas, check out the following articles:

From the (ELD) English Language Development Team

The ELD students are working extremely hard taking the ACCESS test throughout the month of February! This test gives us information about students' proficiency in the four domains (listening, reading, speaking, and writing) of the English language. They are motivated and enthusiastic to do well on this test! The students are trying their best and using the test strategies which they have been taught; way to go! Raffle winners will be picked as soon as testing is complete.

Are you wondering how your child(ren) did on the test? You will receive a letter in the mail during the summer. The letter will provide you with the results. The students are eager to find out how they did, so when you receive the letter, please review the results with your student(s).

Once all of our EL students complete the test, we will begin small group instruction again. We look forward to continuing to improve the language skills with your child(ren).


Kindergarten!

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Baltz Kindergarteners are working hard everyday to get ready for first grade. They are continuing to work on following the 3 Be’s: Be on Task, Be Kind and Be Ready.


We are also working on sharing, taking turns and doing our best baltz work.


In Reading, students are practicing identifying uppercase and lowercase letters and are starting to use their knowledge of letter sounds to begin writing independently. We are drawing pictures and then adding words to match using inventive spelling. Inventive spelling is typically where students are in Kindergarten, this means that they try to write the sounds they hear in words. This might look like spelling the word “pickle” like “pikl”. Our stories recently have focused on changes in the weather.


In Math, students are working on recognizing shapes and putting together shapes to create new ones. Each class is practicing rote counting from 0-100 daily, as well as number recognition. In class, students are learning about simple addition and subtraction equations by drawing pictures then adding more or taking away some.


In Science, students are reviewing Trees and how they change during the seasons. We just introduced the forces of push and pull, and students are very excited to be working with engineering materials to build ramps, swings and tops.


In social studies, students receive a SecondStep lesson weekly that focuses on social and emotional skills. Our counselor Mrs. Papa also recently taught students about the zones of regulation, ask your student about the blue zone, red zone, yellow zone and green zones.


We are excited for Valentine’s celebrations in February and possible virtual field trips in March and April!

First Grade

First graders have shown so much growth so far this year! We are excited to celebrate over 100 days of learning!


We have learned about opinions and facts, how important it is to understand characters and settings in stories, and we are now starting to learn about sequencing events. We are working on becoming great writers by adding detail to our sentences; adding adjectives and verbs make our writing more interesting.


We are also starting to work on writing our own narratives! We love learning about how to be better readers and writers, but learning how to grow our brains in math is a favorite!


First graders have been practicing counting by 10’s, adding tens and ones, and now working on mixed story problems with teen numbers.


We become scientists in the afternoon when we explore and learn more about solids and liquids.


Ms. Flowers, Ms. Herrick, Ms. Mullen, Mrs. Simmons, Mrs. Fillette, and Mrs. Lockley are so proud of all our learners; we can't wait to see how much our brains can learn before the end of the year!

Second Grade

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Happy Winter, Second Grade Families!


Our smart cookies worked so hard this marking period on following our 3 B’s! Students turned into mathematicians to learn all about money and measurements. They are experts at counting coins and using centimeter and inch rulers to determine the lengths of different objects! In ELA, students wrote their own narrative piece and did research to create an informative piece on someone in History. Second graders are also quite the engineers! They learned about technology and bridges in Science. Soon, they will be building their own bridges - wait until you see! In Social Studies, our Brilliant Bears learned about empathy - putting themselves in other people’s shoes to understand how they feel. You can continue to support your child at home by practicing sight words, timing their reading, and working on solving math facts to 20 more quickly.


Important Dates:

Parent Conferences: February 18th - Look out for an invitation link from your child’s teacher.

Presidents’ Day: February 21st - There will be no school on this day.

Kindness Week: February 22nd-February 25th - More details to come from your child’s teacher.


3rd Grade

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Hello from 3rd grade!


After a challenging start to the year in January, it feels like everything is finally settling down! After all the absences, kids and teachers, last month it’s great to feel like we’re getting back to normal. In Math we just finished up a unit on place value, rounding, addition and subtraction and are now starting to explore the world of fractions! In reading we have looked at several informational stories about people in different cultures and communities. We’ve been focusing on finding and using text features and identifying main ideas.


To go along with that, the kids have also been working on writing an informational piece of their own on the person our school is named after, Austin Baltz and people who inspire them. It’s hard to believe we’re already halfway through the year! The kids had a lot of fun with our Winter Workshop and we’re all looking forward to the Spring!


4th Grade

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Our Baltz 4th graders welcome a new year of learning in

2022 using our 3 B’s, following our dress code, proper mask wearing,and spreading kindness whenever they can. Fourth grade has just completed their winter IReady testing and are ready to implement strategies needed to help them progress even more.


Math RTI has begun to help students strengthen their foundational skills as well as giving them the confidence to apply with their daily math lessons. All fourth graders are also working on ReFlex Math which helps them gain mastery in their multiplication facts. By daily practice, students can achieve their grade level goals.


In ELA, students are digging deeper into cultures and communities using our Ready Gen Unit 2 story collection and will be able to demonstrate their understanding of both literary and informational texts. Students will also apply their writing skills in order to state their opinion of communities and how interactions affect cultures and people.


In Social Studies, we will learn about government and economics, and enjoy an “in school” field trip from Kalmar Nyckel which will engage students in colonies and economics even further.


In Science, students will learn about Earth’s features and our environment. The Fourth Grade Team would like to thank you for your continued support as we move into our new marking period.


5th Grade

We can’t believe we are in the third marking period. We always tell our students that fifth grade flies by crazy fast, and they don’t believe us until now.


Math

We kicked off the marking period with Unit 3, multiplying and dividing fractions! We have started the first half of the unit with multiplying fractions. Our Brilliant Bears will gain understanding of what happens when you multiply with a fraction. Soon, we’ll be able to determine the difference between multiplying and dividing with fractions. Although it is extremely similar, there is a difference.


Reading

Unit 2 Module B is all about identifying courage in historical texts. Here are the three titles- Real-Life Superheroes, The Great Migration, and Angel Island. Who is demonstrating courage and how did they change social movements in our society? It’s not always easy having courage and fighting against the odds. So, to start the marking period, students had to have courage and express and defend their opinion in their opinion essays.


Science

This marking period we will begin our Astronomy Unit. Students will explore the effects of the earth’s axis tilt, rotation, and revolution. They are all aware of what happens, but will they know why it happens?


Social Studies

We will be spending a great amount of time learning about the Westward Expansion. Our students will learn how our country expanded, and became the United States of America. They will also learn what happened to those natives that were already on this land.


Homework

Any missed or incomplete work is expected to be completed for homework. Students should be using their agenda books to write any homework assigned or incomplete work.


Reminders

  • No hoods are allowed in the building. It is a school-wide rule that students should not wear hoodies.

  • Students should be practicing their multiplication and division facts every day for 20 minutes.

  • Students should bring their own water bottles with water only. Students can refill throughout the day using the water fountains.

Unified Arts

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Welcome to the Learning Lab!

Technology Special now has a new focus and a new name: Learning Lab! Students are learning and growing through STEM activities. STEM? What’s that? STEM combines Science, Technology, Engineering and Math into project based hands on learning! These past months, students in K-1 created shelters for animals that hibernate and adapt. Students in grades 2-5 created snowflakes, learned how snowflakes develop and programmed robots to demonstrate the life cycle of a snowflake. Some students used robots to show the sequence of events in a story. Magnetism: students explored magnet properties and concepts.

By using Legos, Duplos, Lincoln Logs, PlayDoh, building blocks, toothpicks, marshmallows, beads, and magnets, all students at Baltz have had the opportunity for hands-on STEM experiences at their grade level. Coming Soon: students will create bobsleds to explore inclined planes and slopes. Ask your students what’s going on in the Learning Lab!


ART:

March is youth art month and Baltz will have 6 students representing our school at Nemours Children's Hospital for the youth art display. In addition, we have artwork displayed in the district office highlighting many of our talented students for their artistic ability until the end of March. Letters and certificates will be sent home soon. Unfortunately, no in-person celebrations will be possible due to the pandemic guidelines.


LIBRARY:

Choice Board Bonanza!

Each month in the library, Miss Vickers posts a choice board to keep young minds growing & learning! See the example below! Schoology can be accessed at any time including at home! So, remember when there is a snow day or other down time, Schoology can always help!





PE

In Physical Education we are spending time on the Winter Olympics. The Winter Olympics began on February 4th in China and conclude on February 20th. We have been talking about the history, traditions, and symbols of the Olympics as well as learning about the sports. Students have been enjoying video clips of the sports and then trying our own version of them in class (without the snow and ice of course!). Ask your student which winter sport is their favorite!