Comet Chronicle, Jr.
December 11, 2020
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Kindness and Compassion Drive
Thank you ALL for your support to make our 7th annual Kindness and Compassion Drive a tremendous success! Thanks to the outpouring of family, community, and staff support Coloma Elementary collected:
- More than $150 in cash donations and gift cards for the Wonderland Toy Store.
- 28 boxes of non perishable food items, paper products, and personal care items for Hope Resources including more than 560 lbs. of food!
- More than 25 new or gently used winter wear items.
Thank you for encouraging our ongoing efforts to teach and model empathy by consciously focusing on the message of kindness and compassion through giving!
Our focus at Coloma Elementary is to BUILD A COMMUNITY OF READERS. In order to accomplish this goal we have been, and continue to be, engaged in some very intentional work in regards to how we teach reading:
The district invested in purchasing curriculum resources that provide all students access to quality reading material and instruction that is aligned with state standards.
We continue to develop and refine our assessment and intervention procedures to ensure that all students are receiving additional support exactly where they need it.
We have used data to identify areas where all students would benefit from additional opportunities for practice and have added resources and whole class instruction to provide these opportunities.
Teaching and support staff have been engaged in professional development to stay current on the most effective practices for teaching reading.
We are in the process of aligning our phonics instructional routines and procedures across K-3 to ensure explicit and consistent instruction.
In November we were able to use grant money along with a generous donation from the PTO to purchase classroom sets of decodable readers for K-2. Decodable readers allow students to apply the phonics skills that we have been explicitly teaching.
The most rewarding part of this work is seeing our students growing and developing as readers at rates faster than ever before. We truly have come so far in this journey but there is always going to be room to continue to learn and grow on our end.
A new initiative that is currently in the planning process for us is how to engage parents and families in this work. We would like to provide those interested with training, tips, and tools to empower you to help your child continue to grow at home. If this is something that you or your family would be interested in planning or participating in some time in the future, please click on the link provided and take the short survey. As always, we can do so much more together!
We will randomly select three survey responses to receive gift cards. Here is the survey link:
School Social Work Scene
The Play It Safe!™ child sexual abuse prevention program was presented to our Coloma Elementary students last week in every classroom Y5s through 3rd Grade.
The Play it Safe! Program is a research based curriculum that meets the requirements outlined in Erin's Law (signed into law January 2013; www.erinslaw.org) for Michigan students. You can find more information and previews of the lessons at www.PlayitSafe.org. These age-appropriate lessons are facilitated in your child’s classroom with their regular teaching staff present. While the topics vary with age, each elementary level lesson teaches children general concepts like:
Identifying the safe adults in a child’s life they can go to if they need help.
Recognizing 3 different kinds of touches: Safe, Unsafe, and Confusing.
Using the 3 part safety rule: Say no; Get away; Tell a trusted adult.
It’s never too late to tell, and child abuse is never the child’s fault.
These lessons are designed to build off each other year after year and reinforce these messages over time. We encourage you to talk openly with your children and if you would like additional resources please visit the Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Michigan’s website or call their office at (269) 556-9640.
Our hope is that by providing our children with information of how to avoid sexual and physical abuse, report it if it has occurred, or help a friend in need, we can proactively reduce child abuse in our community.
❤ ~Mrs. DeMercado, School Social Worker
We had fun this past month as we completed November with Thanksgiving games. The Mayflower game, Turkey Tag, and Gobble Gobble Turkey were some favorites. We have implemented our 2nd destress card. We use a spot in the gym called, “The Chill Out Zone” to drain stress, frustration, disappointment, or sadness. These cards (STAR & DRAIN) focus students to work on breathing and stretching to bring back a calm state.
In December kindergarten and first grade will wrap up our unit using scooters. We use the scooters to promote fun, strength, agility, teamwork, and communication.
Second and third grade will continue playing a variety of scooter hockey games. This will lead us into our final week of Christmas games.
As the weather gets colder, please remember to have your child pack shoes for Physical Education class. If you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Third graders are playing Boomwhackers, desk drums, and cups along with some of the music, as well, and they will soon start playing “Jingle Bells” together on resonator bells.
Second graders have played found sounds with “Trepak,” and this week, some classes played resonator bells with “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”
First graders are showing their rhythm-reading skills and got the opportunity to join a Music Google Classroom that links them to music-making activities online!
Kindergarten have continued working with steady beat and are doing Christmas, winter, and Hanukkah music.
Our Young Fives class is working on the skill of underhand throwing and has been doing Nutcracker, Christmas, and Hanukkah songs, movements, and art activities.
What a busy month! Happy Holidays!
Art Room Update
As we get closer to holiday break our students at Coloma Elementary are all learning about drawing houses of all shapes and sizes! Kindergarten is learning to make details and draw a simple house out of shapes. 1st grade is learning to draw houses that are three dimensional, that seem to stick out of the paper. 2nd and 3rd grade are using 2-D and 3-D houses to make a village with mixed media. Don’t forget that students can still access the Art Coloma website at home over break, and continue to play art games and create at home: artcoloma.weebly.com.
If there are snow gear that your student needs, please reach out to your child's teacher and we will do all that we can to support!
Dropping Off and Picking Up Reminder
- Pull all the way forward so that we can unload/load as many students as possible. This will make the process more smooth and efficient.
- Do not attempt to make a left turn into the car rider lane. Traffic is often backed up down S. West St. for drivers making a righthand turn into the lane. Instead, join the back of the line and make the righthand turn.
A safe and smooth process is our priority. Thank you for your support!
24 Hour Rule
Late Start Wednesday
- Come ready to learn
- Always respectful
- Exceptionally safe
Expectations for the hallway, bathrooms, cafeteria, playground, arrival, and dismissal are posted throughout the school. We teach the expectations and review them throughout the school year. Students also earn CARE tickets when they follow the expectations. The office does a ticket drawing where students pick a prize from the CARE Box.
A Common Question
One of the most commonly asked questions is: “How long will someone have to quarantine if there’s a case of COVID-19?" Our response is:
“The health and safety of our students, families, and staff is and will always be our primary concern. We have been working diligently over the past several months to prepare for the safe return to school for our students and staff—implementing sanitization and social distancing protocols across the district. In the event of a COVID-19 situation in one of our buildings or classrooms, we will work with the Berrien County Health Department to assist in contact tracing to determine who needs to quarantine and for how long as every COVID exposure is unique. Ultimately, the BCHD will provide specific guidance related to quarantining and isolation.”