GCIS Weekly News 1/15/2016

Weekly Celebrations, Successes, and Up Coming Events!

GCIS Office News

Lost & Found

Our table is looking better but still have multiple items that need to go home with students. Please encourage your student to check out the table for any missing items that might belong to them!

Lunch Money

Please remind your students that if they have lunch money to turn it into us in the office. You may pay online too. Just ask us how!


The temps have been cold! Our students go outside everyday for recess if the temps are at or above zero.

Students need to be dressed appropriately for outdoor play or they will sit inside for recess. If this is an area of concern for you please contact us at the school to see what we can do for you.

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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Next PBIS Incentive Day!

Our next PBIS Incentive Day will be Thursday February 25th.

Students actually get to choose what trip they would like to work toward with their safe, respectful, and responsible behavior. The following choices include,

  • Sledding at 7 Oaks in Boone
  • Swimming, Game Room, and Open Gym at Hidden Acres in Dayton Iowa
  • Skating in Jefferson

How does my student qualify to attend one of these trips?

  • Students need to complete a reading challenge in addition to positive behaviors in order to attend one of these trips. (These are coming out soon!)

  • Students will be earning key cards in all areas of our day as they demonstrate safe, respectful, and responsible behaviors. Each homeroom sets a goal and works towards earning key cards.

Recess Reminders & Private Dining Tickets

  • You will be notified from homeroom teachers if your student has earned one of these.
  • These are issued at recess and in the lunchroom.

  • Recess: Students are given a verbal warning, then asked to take a 5 min break. If students are still making a choice to not be safe, respectful, or responsible, a recess reminder will be issued.

  • Lunchroom: Students will be given a verbal warning reminding students of the desired behavior in the lunchroom. If students are still deciding to make choices that are not safe, respectful, or responsible, the student will be removed and will eat in a different location, along with getting a private dinning ticket.

  • Any student receiving more than 3 of the Recess Reminders and/or Private Dinning tickets, will stay back at school during the PBIS incentive trips.

If you have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to call the office or your students homeroom teacher. All students attending one of these trips will have to return a parent permission slip. These will go out when it gets closer to the trip date.

-Mrs. Van Cleave

GCIS Principal

Reading Incentive Challenge

GCIS students will be receiving a BINGO Reading Challenge. Teachers will be going over this with students on Friday January 22nd in homerooms. Students will get their BINGO challenge on that day. Our Winter Reading BINGO challenge Starts Friday January 22nd and runs through February 12th. Students will be responsible to return signed BINGO card by February 12th!

How can parents support and be involved?

  • Encourage your readers to read each night.
  • Read with your student!
  • Take on the challenge with them!
  • Monitor and sign the BINGO card once completed!
  • Help remind your student that they need to have the card handed in by Friday February 12th
  • Make plans to stop by in the AM on February 25th and join us for a morning of reading from 9:00-10:30. (If you would like to participate please call the office!)

Iowa Assessment Info


We are gearing up for Iowa Assessment testing week. GCIS students will be taking the Iowa Assessments the week of February 8th-12th. We will be having students test in the morning during this week, with the week of February 15th-19th for make up testing.

We are looking for families to help out with snack donations. Below is the letter that was sent home.

Dear GCIS Parent:

Greene County Schools will be doing the Iowa Assessments the week of

February 8-12, 2016.

As these tests are extremely important, we would like to offer nutritious snacks to

our students each morning before testing begins, and we are asking for donations

of snacks such as granola bars, whole grain fruit bars and other healthy snacks.

Please send your donations with your child to school by Friday, February 5th

so we may organize the snacks for our homeroom groups.

Thank you in advance for your donations!

Greene County Intermediate School Staff

4th Grade Happenings!

Hello from 4th grade!! We are busy learning about civil rights and primary and secondary sources . We encourage all students to be reading at least 20 minutes a day at home and to bring back their book logs.

Can you hear me now? We are just finishing up the sound part of our energy unit. Students have learned about how sounds work as well as sound waves and how your ears work to help you hear.

We are finishing unit 2 in math. That unit covered a LOT of concepts. We studied square numbers, finding area of rectangles, and finding perimeter. We discussed units of time, classified triangles and quadrilaterals. We learned what factor and factor pairs were. We now know what multiples and prime numbers are. We reviewed symmetry and finding patterns. . Wow, that was a mega-math unit!

5th Grade Happenings!

Math: We will be ending our fraction unit soon. Testing will be either the end of this week or early next week. All depends on readiness. They are working hard on this.

Lit/SS: Students have been working on identifying the overall structure of fictional text. In writing, students are continuing to work on their research reports.

Science: We have started our unit on ecosystems and are dealing with living and nonliving factors that affect them.

6th Grade Happenings!

In science, students are beginning to explore the parts of an atom. They are learning about protons, neutrons, and electrons.

In math, students are continuing with algebraic expressions. They are working on simplifying expressions and phrases.

In reading we are continuing to look at conflicts around the world from the past and the present. We will be having a debate this coming week. We have also been focusing on primary and secondary sources. Please remember each student needs to be reading for 20 minutes each night!

Music Mania

Grade 4

With the holidays behind us, we have begun to review recorder concepts. Students will begin earning belts with the Recorder Karate program.

Grade 5

Our musical, Get In the Game, lends itself to some cross-curricular study. In each class, students have chosen a sports topic from the musical to research. They will be making mini-presentations to educate each other on terms used in the musical. They have been very enthusiastic about this project. I believe it is important singers understand the text they sing. Mr. Thompson works on skills in P.E. for each sport. This will be helpful when it comes time to prepare portions of the musical.

Grade 6

Students are composing two-part rhythmic inventions to be performed on various percussion instruments. Some of the students are eager to create melodies to compliment their rhythmic inventions. This skill incorporates math when using full beat notations and subdivided beats.


Solo and ensemble plans continue on schedule. I’m looking at March for a performance date, and will post more when I have something solid to pass on.

Physical Education

We had another good week working on our basketball fundamentals. Mrs. Roberts and I will be working together to perform the musical, Get In the Game. This musical is about 10 different sports and our part will be teaching and learning the skills for each sport.

I sent home with my students a letter about our bowling unit starting Jan. 25th, which is two weeks away. I also created a link to the same letter last week on this newsletter. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me anytime at school.


In Art classes, the 4th and 5th graders added their own stories to their illustrations of A Snowman at Night. They are awesomely creative stories that I am proud to hang up in the hallways! Come and read them all!

The 6th Graders added stories to their perspective drawings of a snowman. They could choose to write a story from the snowman’s perspective or from another small animal, depending on the perspective of the drawing that they chose.


4th Grade TAG students got to create an automaton. It was really cool to watch it work… until it broke. Unfortunately, it is made out of cardboard and wood. I took it home to try and find a more solid piece to replace it, but until then, they were also able to create a separate automaton that they can make do different things, like make an egg hatch and a butterfly of their creation actually flap! Ask them about it!!!

We also researched Geodes and the students made a poster to tell all about them. We are also making our own geodes out of Model Magic and we would like to plan a field trip to look for actual geodes here in Iowa! Does anyone know a good place to search?

5th and 6th grade TAG students finished work on their “rover-bot” and got to program it to run errands!

Tech Lit & Media

Students in all grades are finishing up their projects from last week. Now they will begin to polish their typing skills with the Typing Club application in Google. The typing program begins with basic keyboarding skills and students will be encouraged to be mindful of using both hands on the keyboard and using good posture as they proceed through each lesson.

There are several students struggling with returning their books to the library in a timely fashion. Please have your children check for any books from our library (or teachers in our building) that could be laying around your house or in your vehicles. Please remind your children about the importance of being responsible when borrowing items from others.

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Counselor's Corner

With Iowa Assessments coming up in February, being prepared is key for students to do their best on each assessment. Here are some tips on reducing some of the anxiety that some students may feel going into Iowa Testing time:

Reducing Test Taking Anxiety

Test anxiety is when a student excessively worries about doing well on a test. This can become a major hindrance on test performance and cause extreme nervousness and memory lapses among other symptoms. The following are tips on reducing test taking anxiety.

Being well prepared for the test is the best way to reduce test taking anxiety.

Space out your studying over a few days or weeks and continually review class material. Don't try to learn everything the night before.

Try to maintain a positive attitude while preparing for the test and during the test.

Exercising for a few days before the test will help reduce stress.

Get a good night's sleep before the test.

Show up to class early so you won't have to worry about being late.

Chew gum (if allowed) during the test to help relieve test anxiety.

Stay relaxed, if you begin to get nervous take a few deep breaths slowly to relax yourself and then get back to work.

Read the directions slowly and carefully.

If you don't understand the directions on the test, ask the teacher to explain it to you.

Skim through the test so that you have a good idea how to pace yourself.

Write down important formulas, facts, definitions and/or keywords in the margin first so you won't worry about forgetting them.

Do the simple questions first to help build up your confidence for the harder questions.

Don't worry about how fast other people finish their test; just concentrate on your own test.

If you don't know an answer to a question skip it for the time being (come back to it later if you have time), and remember that you don't have to always get every question right to do well on the test.

Focus on the question at hand. Don't let your mind wander on other things.

If you're still experiencing extreme test anxiety after following these tips, seek help from your school counselor.

Nurse News

Governor Terry Branstad has declared January “Radon Action Month”. Radon is a odorless, colorless, tasteless naturally occurring radioactive gas that causes no immediate health symptoms, but long-term exposures may cause lung cancer. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, one in 15 homes across the nation has an elevated radon level and five out of seven homes in Iowa have a radon level above a safe level. Test kits are simple to use and typically cost less than $20. To order a test kit or learn additional information about radon, call the Radon Hotline at 1-800-383-5992. Information from the Iowa Department of Public Health Website.

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