Words from Walsh February, 2022

Staying connected with Walsh School

Greetings from Principal Martin

Dear Parents and Guardians:


I am so proud of our students in their attempts to stay safe at school. They really have done a great job of trying to socially distance and keep their masks on correctly. Way to go, friends...keep up the good work!


At this time of the year, I like to remind parents of some arrival and dismissal safety measures; it's good practice to review them. Continue to stay vigilant in following the drop-off pattern in the North Street parking lot. Stay alert when moving in the line, and follow the instructions of our aides. During pick up times, it is especially important to keep your children right with you as you cross parking lots, as cars are on the move during this time. If you ever have concerns about our procedures, please feel free to call me. This helps to keep everyone safe.



I'd like to give a huge shoutout to our teachers, paraprofessionals, support staff, custodians, nurse, kitchen staff, and everyone else at Walsh for their continued dedication toward keeping our students safe, healthy and happy. So much goes on behind the scenes, and I want to recognize and thank the staff for their efforts; they are an amazing bunch of people!


On February 14th, we will be celebrating Valentine’s Day with parties hosted by classroom teachers. We will have a day off this month and some fun spirit days, so please make sure to check our calendar for all our special days and times.


Please take a few moments to complete the 5 Essentials Parent Survey (survey link). Your input helps us in our school improvement planning.


As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

~ Mrs. Teresa Martin, Principal/Walsh School

Important Dates in February

Mark Your Calendars

1 - K/1 Data Dig

11 - Walsh Spirit Day - Western Day (Yee Haw! Learning is fun at Walsh!)

14 - Valentine's Day - Parties from 2-3PM

(parties are planned and hosted by the classroom teacher)

15 - Board of Education Meeting @ District (7:00 pm)

18 - Second Trimester Ends (Walsh, Reed, and Ludwig)

21 - No School - President's Day

25 - Walsh Spirit Day - Crazy Hair Day

25 - Report Cards Go Home



Looking Ahead...

March 2 - Walsh Spirit Day - Dr. Seuss Day

March 4 - No School - Teacher Institute Day

March 7 - No School - Casimir Pulaski Day



Remember to call the office by 9:00 a.m. if your child will be absent.

Office hours are 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. ~ 815-838-7858 www.d92.org

Every Wednesday is early dismissal @ 2:50 p.m.

Please be prompt for pick up at the appropriate time.

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**********************2021/2022 YEARBOOK*******************

Don't Forget to Order Your Yearbook!

All yearbooks must be ordered online by March 21, 2022.

Please use this school code when ordering: 12828522

Click here to order your yearbook YBPAY.LIFETOUCH.COM

We do not anticipate having any extra books, so make sure you reserve your copy today.

Walsh, Reed and Ludwig schools share the same yearbook. Oak Prairie has a separate book.

5 Essentials Parent Survey

Please help us to improve our school by completing the 5 Essentials Survey provided by the Illinois State Board of Education.


This survey focuses on the 5 indicators that affect and influence school success:


  • Effective Leaders
  • Collaborative Teachers
  • Involved Families
  • Supportive Environments
  • Ambitious Instruction


We value your feedback and appreciate your willingness to participate.


http://survey.5-essentials.org/illinois/survey/parent/

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The Great Kindness Challenge at Walsh School

In January, the entire school participated in the Great Kindness Challenge. Every day we focused on doing kind things, using kind words, and showing the world that kindness matters. We joined over 15 million students in over 28,000 schools in 115 countries who also participated in the Great Kindness Challenge to prove we can truly build bridges through KINDNESS! Students were given a kind acts check list to see how many acts of kindness they could complete through out the week. The school enjoyed every opportunity to spread kindness and positivity into our community and look forward to participating again next year!

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A Note from the Nurse

The season you either love — or love to hate — is in full swing. Whether you’re out and about with your family braving the elements, or getting cozy at home, dress appropriately for cold weather. Please help your child choose warm, comfortable clothing for school each day, including socks. Make sure they are wearing a coat and a hat, and please don't forget the gloves, too, so they can go out for recess when the temperature allows. Even in cool weather, they need the exercise and fresh air, so bundle up and let's get outside.


I would like to thank all of our Walsh Parents for your cooperation and understanding during this time. The students have been terrific at social distancing and keeping their masks on. If your child is ill and demonstrating any Covid symptoms, you must keep them home. Please call the office with any specific questions.

P.E. News by Mr. Wallace

During February, PE will probably be cold. We have been making the most of the time inside by playing a lot of fun games. We will be going outside most days that it is above 10 degrees. That has been the school policy for recess in the past, so we will stick to that. Please make sure students are dressed warmly. Also, on days it snows and they wear boots, please make sure they also have gym shoes. I am trying to keep the students moving and getting fresh air as much as possible. We will continue to keep up fitness as much as we can and work on some other things like throwing this month. Thank you for your help; I think they will benefit so much from this (and so will we).

FastBridge Benchmarking

Our students will be took the FASTBridge Winter Benchmark assessments in reading and math in January. Benchmark testing is used to set baseline achievement data and measure progress toward academic standards and goals. This is an opportunity for teachers to collect information on student performance and compare it to other students in the grade level and nation. We use this information to help teachers plan for instruction across the class and grade level, as well as to help identify students needing additional support or enrichment. Please feel free to call my office if you have any questions. Results will be sent home at a later date.

SEL Focus for January and February - Social Awareness



Social awareness helps children cope in new situations and increases their emotional wellbeing. It helps them recognize how their emotions and behavior influence their interactions. They also use empathy to recognize the mood of others and consider different points of view to build positive and diverse relationships.


Students who have developed social-awareness skills are able to:

● Take others perspective before, during, and after an event

● Empathize with others

● Appreciate diversity

● Respect others


Why is Social Awareness Important? Social Awareness is a key skill that will help your child throughout life. Throughout the day, teachers are promoting social awareness in classrooms. Skills such as empathy, respect, curiosity and perspective taking are continually being modeled and discussed throughout the school day. Below are a few examples of what this might look like in your child’s classroom:

● When reading, teachers may ask their students to put themselves in one of the characters shoes. They discuss how they feel about a situation in the perspective of the character. This also gives teachers a chance to address a challenge that is occurring in the classroom and encourages students to think about feelings from another point of view.

● Teachers and schools sometimes work with their students to complete a service project that benefits the community. In doing this they are helping their students develop empathy and understanding for others.

● From the beginning of the year, teachers work to develop a classroom community that is respectful of differences. Using each school’s core values, teachers model and encourage cooperation, respect, and kindness towards one another in and out of the classroom.

Our students had a blast celebrating the 100th day of school!!

We love spirit days at Walsh!

Kindergarten News

February is here and the kindergarteners are showing others how kind and caring they are in the month of love!


In Fundations, we will be continuing to learn the rest of our uppercase letters, along with decoding and writing CVC words. Students will also learn to distinguish between long and short vowel sounds.


In reading, students will continue to practice their superhero reading powers when reading books! We will finish up our Mo Willems author study and move onto nonfiction! Students will be exploring different nonfiction texts, discussing the different parts of a nonfiction story, and continuing to work on comprehension when reading.


In math, we will be finishing up Unit 5 in our Bridges curriculum and starting Unit 6!

The Bridges math skills we will be working on will include:

  • Comparing 2D and 3D shapes
  • Identifying 3D shapes
  • Exploring teen numbers
  • Revisiting combinations of ten


Please continue to set time aside for your child to read and practice sight words every day.


As you can see, we are working very hard in Kindergarten this winter! Have a happy Valentine’s Day!

First Grade News

February is jam packed with fun in first grade, and we have plenty to keep us busy! We can’t wait to see if the groundhog predicts an early spring or six more weeks of winter. We’ll learn about leaders, past and present, celebrate black history and our 100th day of school!


In our Fundations curriculum, we’ll continue to work on digraphs, blends and glued sounds. We’re moving on to blending and segmenting up to five sounds in a closed syllable, learning all about vowel teams, suffixes ‘–ing’ and ‘-ed’, and the tricky silent ‘e’. Please continue to refer to the Fundations ‘cheat sheets’ that come home when a new unit begins.


During our Schoolwide reading and writing time, we’re starting our fiction unit of study. We’re learning all about what fiction has to offer and digging into some award-winning fiction books. Our writing will shift to narrative and opinion writing structures.


In our Bridges curriculum, we’ll continue to focus on addition and subtraction to 20 and develop fluency with addition and subtraction facts to 10. Students will learn how to write and solve equations that involve unknowns in all positions, and determine whether addition and subtraction equations are true or false.


Our first graders have had a great start to the new year!

Early Childhood News

The preschool classes are planning a fabulous February. In addition to our Bridges Math and Fundations Phonics Programs, we will spend time working on the very special aspects of Valentine's Day, including the importance of sharing and being kind to our family and friends. We will discuss the work presidents do with posters and pictures. The month will end with a unit on dental care, using a huge set of teeth that we practice brushing and flossing. A very special "Happy Valentines Day" to all of our Walsh friends!

Making Math Count by Mrs. Romeo

Below are two activities I have found most helpful with students to work on fluency. It is through play and hands-on math activities that young learners practice various concepts—from counting to recognizing number patterns—no matter where they’re from or where they are on their mathematical journey play exploration has a direct connection to success.


Activity 1: Penny Baggies (Kindergarten)

Key Standard: Decompose numbers less than or equal to 10 into pairs in more than one way using objects or drawings.


Decomposition is the act of breaking a whole number down into parts. Students learn this concept in kindergarten, and what better way to help them sharpen this skill than by playing a game! In this game, five to ten pennies are placed in a resealable baggie with a line drawn down the center. After shaking and placing the bag on the table, students identify and discuss the addends—the numbers you add together to make a whole number. In this game, the addends are two groups of pennies divided by the line on the baggie.


Activity 2: Sums-of-Ten Go Fish (Grades K–2)

Key Standard: For any number from 1 to 9, find the number that makes 10 when added to the given number.


Go Fish…with a twist? Go Fish is a common card game, and there are plenty of variations out there. In Sums-of-Ten Go Fish, students pair cards representing number bonds for 10 (think 5 & 5, 6 & 4, and so on). By the end of the game, the player with the most number bonds wins.
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Music Notes by Mrs. Moan

What a month of music-making at Walsh! Happy New Year!

Thank you for supporting the Walsh music program. ☺


Early Childhood: In January, the students practiced using movement scarves and beanbags. We used our listening ears to discover whether the scarf should move like pudding or popcorn! We passed beanbags and used teamwork in the Beanbag Boogie. In February, we will enjoy some fun stories, like The Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow and the story of The Mitten. We will act out the story, and put animals into the mitten. We will play drums, sticks and step-bells!


Kindergarten: The Kindergarteners are growing so quickly! During January, we practiced “Pease Porridge Hot”, a song that allows the students to practice the rhythm of the words while clapping. We also practiced playing the rhythm in the song, “Hear the Instruments”. We have been practicing our four different voice qualities: singing, speaking, whispering and shouting voices. We watched the conductor and changed our voices to follow the directions. We had so much fun acting out the story, “The Snowy Day” and followed Peter as he played outside in the snow. The Kindergarteners have also practiced songs about the alphabet. We shaped our bodies into letters, and explored letters with curves and lines. I am looking forward to Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, another great story about letters! But, I think my favorite song is “Alphabet Soup”. Your children put the silliest things into our alphabet soup! ☺ In February, we will begin some passing and balancing with our beanbags! We will continue to practice our musical opposites too.


1st Grade: Whew! In January, the first graders practiced melodic direction, especially using two notes, so and mi. We sang about snowflakes using so and mi and added some beautiful chime tree sounds to represent snowflakes. We also played the part of the teddy bear in the song, “Teddy Bear”. Students enjoyed composing new lyrics to the song! Did you know the teddy bear really likes to drive a car?! ☺ We explored movement in the song, “What Shall We Do When We All Go Out?”. The students could choose what season and what activity to pantomime. The first graders really enjoyed learning about Martin Luther King, Jr. Ask your child to perform “Sing About Martin” for you. We brainstormed ways to be peaceful, loving and kind, not only on MLK Jr.’s birthday, but the whole year through. At the end of the month, we will become cats and mice in the song, “The Old Gray Cat”. In February, we will continue our study of so and mi with fun songs and games!

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Art News by Mrs. Deckinga

In February, both the kindergarten and first grade students will be studying the colorful heart themed paintings and sculptures of Pop artist Jim Dine.

The kindergarten classes will be using bleeding tissue paper and tempera paint, while the first grade students will be using a combination of tempera paint and pastel chalk to create to create their own Jim Dine inspired "heart art".

The Reading Corner by Mrs. Squires, Kindergarten Reading Specialist

Give your child lots of opportunities to read aloud. These tips from readingrockets.org offer some fun ways you can help your child become a happy and confident reader. Try a new tip each week. See what works best for your child.


Don’t leave home without it

Bring along a book or magazine any time your child has to wait, such as at a doctor’s office. Always try to fit in reading.


Once is not enough

Encourage your child to reread favorite books and poems. Rereading helps children read more quickly and accurately.


Dig deeper into the story

Ask your child questions about the story you’ve just read. Say something like, “Why do you think Clifford did that?”


Be patient

When your child is trying to sound out an unfamiliar word, give him or her time to do so. Remind your child to look closely at the first letter or letters of the word.


Pick books that are at the right level

Help your child pick books that are not too difficult. The aim is to give your child lots of successful reading experiences.


Play word games

Use magnetic letters to make words. Have your child sound out the word as you change it from mat to fat to sat; from sat to sag to sap, and from sap to sip.


Write, write, write!

Ask your child to help you write out the grocery list, a thank you note to Grandma, or keep a journal of special things that happen at home. When writing, encourage your child to use the letter and sound patterns he is learning at school.

News from the Media Center

We have been working on a variety of skills in the Media

Center. Students have practiced logging into their Clever

accounts using their student number/email. This means that

each student can log into clever using their student I.D.

followed by @students.d92.org. This is very helpful in the

event that a student misplaces their Q.R. code. If you are not

sure of your student’s I.D. it can be found in Power School.


We have also began working on coding using Tynker Jr and

Kodable. Both of these apps can be located under my page in

the clever app. Both apps begin lessons with using picture cues

to have students create and learn code.

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