GCIS Weekly News 12/11/2015

Weekly Celebrations, Successes, and Up Coming Events!

GCIS Office News

Any remaining fundraising items were sent home with students today. Students that qualify for the limo ride need to have their permission slip returned by Wednesday if they want to participate!

Temps have been abnormally high for this time of year, with them returning to normal chilly temps again this next week. Please make sure students have the proper winter clothing moving forward!

Our dance party will be happening this Friday December 18th! We will have plenty of picture to share out with all of you! Looking forward to celebrating our key behaviors!

Infinite Campus is a great tool! It allows you access to your student’s grades, lunch account, absences and more! If you are interested please contact the office to get signed up!

If you know that there will be a change in your student’s schedule, or that they will not be attending school, please notify the office as soon as you can! 515-738-5721.

GCIS Key Players of the Week!

Another Great Week at GCIS! Below are our Key Players of the week! Staff nominate students for demonstrating Key Behaviors throughout the week and coming to school every day trying their best, respecting all students everyday no matter what, and modeling leadership behaviors and qualities! Congrats to these students that make our school community great!
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4th Grade Happenings!

Science: We focused on light energy this week. We discussed a few key vocabulary words- reflect, refract, absorb and prism are just a few! See if your child can tell you more about those words and what they have to do with light energy!

Reading/Writing: This week we started our snow globe stories. We read the book, Snow Globe Family by Jane O’ Connor, to introduce the idea of being in a snow globe. We plan to create our own fictional stories about being trapped in a snow globe, we are looking forward to seeing how the students work figurative language into their writing. To follow up we are creating a craft to go along with it.

Math: This week in math we have been focusing on factors and multiples of numbers, and how we use that information to find prime and composite numbers.

Thank you so much to the families that have donated items for us to decorate gingerbread houses on the 21st. We are still taking donations if you would like to purchase something from the list we sent out last week. Contact your classroom teacher if you would like to help decorate houses with us.

5th Grade Happenings!

Science: Our study of animal adaptations has led us into body parts and body coverings that help animals survive in their environments. We also are discussing camouflage and mimicry as well. Please study your notes for a quiz early next week.

Math: We are trying hard to work with fractions in story problems. We are working to find out what to do with remainders in division practices

Lit./SS: In reading, we have been working on accurately quoting text and making logical inferences. We are going to be doing a mini-research project to prepare for our upcoming research report in writing. In Social Studies, we have been studying the Northwest Coast natives’ culture.

IMPORTANT- To end our Native American unit, we will be having a Potlatch celebration on December 22nd. Please ask your child about that!

What is a potlatch!

A potlatch is a gift-giving feast practiced by indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast of Canada and the United States.
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6th Grade Happenings!

In reading we have been working on finding the theme and how it is conveyed through the text. We also had a debate about one of the articles that we read in our Junior Scholastic magazine. Make sure to ask your child about how it went!

During math and science class on Wednesday, students worked on learning how to code. Students were excited and engaged for the entire hour. They couldn’t believe that the hour flew by so fast!

In science, students are working on a simulation to learn about mass, volume, and density. We also discussed their findings to negotiate a deeper understanding of the concepts.

In math, students are working on multiplying and dividing decimals.

Band News

Music Mania

4th General Music

Students have been working through some holiday carols preparing for a caroling venture with their homeroom teachers. It has been fun creating a songlist the students would like to share with their caroling audiences.

5th General Music

Students have been singing and discussing winter songs from around the world. Songs they have sung include: Winter Wonderland, Good King Wenceslas, It’s Hanukkah and Song of Winter.

6th General Music

I want to congratulate the 6th grade classes for demonstrating some of the varying skills of General Music through their song, instrumental playing and dance.

Much time and work went into each performance. Thank you, 6th Grade for a job well done!

The 2015 Music Standards are all about Music Literacy. The standards emphasize conceptual understanding in areas that reflect the actual processes in which musicians engage. The standards cultivate a student’s ability to carry out the three Artistic Processes* of

  • Creating,

  • Performing, and

  • Responding.

These are the processes that musicians have followed for generations, even as they connect through music to themselves and their societies. And isn’t competence in Creating, Performing, and Responding what we really want for our students?

Students need to have experience in creating, to be successful musicians and to be successful 21st century citizens.

Students need to perform – as singers, as instrumentalists, and in their lives and careers.

Students need to respond to music, as well as to their culture, their community, and their colleagues.


5th graders are getting ready to cook. They have learned safety and sanitation, nutrition, my plate, kitchen terms, measuring techniques and how microwaves work. They told me how to make cookies this week and were surprised there were right and wrong ways to measure.

6th graders have been treating themselves and their teachers to a buffet of snack items this week. They make dips and fruits, vegetables and their favorite bread sticks. They display the food appetizingly and evaluate what each group makes and how it looks and tastes. This gives them an opportunity to write and critique each other and learn from what others have to say.


All grades have been diligently working on their Christmas trees! We discussed what a Festival of trees is and how each tree has a specific theme. Then the students broke up into groups based on what they wanted to do for a theme. The hallway looks so festive and awesome with the Ram color backgrounds!! The only problem is finding a place to hang them all!

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4th Grade TAG - ZOOB Challenge!

They had to figure out how to put the pieces together because there are multiple ways to do it. Then they were challenged to create a cube, a robot and the numbers 1-9. Learning & Thinking FUN!

5th and 6th Grade are working on a new Tinker crate challenge! We will be building a flashlight and they will be learning how to program a rover bot to perform tasks! How cool!

Tech Lit & Media


This week during Tech Lit. the students participated in a world wide Hour of Code event. The Hour of Code was a one-hour introduction to computer science and programming. It was designed so that ANYONE could learn the basics of computer programming. In celebration of Computer Science Education Week, the Hour of Code allowed students to join thousands of others from all over the globe in an effort to get students interested in the computer science field. It required students to use their problem-solving skills, logic and creativity. Anyone can participate!! Click the button below and have fun!

This week in the media center, students split into groups and shared Holiday and Winter themed picture books with each other. Each student chose a book to read aloud to their group. What a great way to practice reading skills and enjoy colorful artwork at the same time. I believe students discovered some new favorites from the giggles and smiles witnessed during this activity!

Counselor's Corner

Courage is that thing that helps us go on even when we feel we can no longer continue...

In school courage shows itself often.


In the classrooms, academic courage abounds. Students show the courage to care about their learning, to try hard, to do their homework, to raise their hands. This may seem minor, but in some schools it is simply not cool to care. They show the courage to ask questions, admit confusion, and to make mistakes in front of peers. They show the courage to try out ideas and concepts when they are not yet sure if they understand them fully. They even show vocabulary courage – trying out academic and disciplinary language in making arguments, very different from the language of their neighborhoods. Classroom lessons, which frequently involve students showing the courage to speak up and publicly reflect on their learning.

Courage leads to learning and growing.

See more on this topic at https://www.teachingchannel.org/blog/2014/03/26/building-academic-courage/

Nurse News

A good formula for a healthy lifestyle is 5-2-1 almost none. 5 servings of healthy fruits and vegetables every day. Two or less hours of screen time. One hour of physical activity. Almost none for sugary drinks such as soda, sports drinks, and fruit drinks that are not 100% fruit juice.

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