The Academically Gifted Gazette

Ronald E. McNair Elementary

Volume 6, Issue 7

May/June 2018



21st: Latin finals week

24th: Last day of afterschool tutoring

25th: Field Day

28th: Memorial Day holiday

30th: ELA EOG

31st: Math EOG


5th & 6th: Science EOG

11th: 5th Grade Awards Ceremony and Celebration

12th: Grades 2-4 Awards Ceremony

12th: Last student day (AG and regular report card come home)

15th: Community Theater of Greensboro opens Disney’s The Little Mermaid

"WOW" Wolves

Society of Women Engineers Essay Contest

Raina Lassissi recently joined over 380 other essayists from Eastern North Carolina writing about their choice of a pioneering woman in the field of science, technology, engineering or math. Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman doctor, was Raina's choice. Even Ms. Blackwell herself would have been proud of her thorough research. Raina is interested in the medical field and has drawn inspiration from her research of Dr. Blackwell. Way to make us proud, Raina! (pictured)

Summerfield Open Math Contest

Wolf pride! Several McNair students took part in the Summerfield Open Math Contest this year, meeting once per month after school to test their math skills against neighboring schools' students. Abigail Glass was recently featured in an online publication of the Northwest Observer. Thank you for representing us well, Abigail!

Club 24 Champion Announced

Caleb Baptist earned the title of 2018 McNair Club 24 Champion with his mad mental math skills! He fought neck-and-neck against Trae Patton in the fourth and final round of the tournament. Way to go to all participants who increased their calculation capacity and learned a little something about coopetition along the way.

2nd Annual McNair Talent Show

Congratulations to the fifth grade AG ELA class for another successful service-learning project! Students in this class emceed the event and worked behind the scenes to prepare an unforgettable event. Congratulations to all of this year's participants as well.

Pictured Below: Kingston LOVES puzzles and learned some new transportation vocabulary to boot!

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Who Said It?

Simply guess who said the following quote and click on the link below to check yourself!

Habit of Mind: Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations (testing season)

Hint: 65th U.S. Secretary of State

"There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure."

Summer Reading

In addition to next year's Battle of the Books titles, your child is encouraged to read the several new books they will be bringing home soon with various summer reading resources. Please help your child to remember to track what they read for credit. Just one book can get them double or triple credit through various summer reading programs such as the Greensboro Public Library and the Guilford County Schools reading log. Watch for details coming soon!

Social/Emotional Article

How Parents Can Help Middle School Students Build the Top 10 Skills Needed for Success!

Today, there is an increased focus on social emotional learning, which can be attributed to the need for future employees to have well developed soft skills. Soft skills are the personal attributes needed to succeed in the workplace. Although there is not a manual to help students develop these skills, at the middle school level, there are certain psychosocial skills that are particularly useful in helping students practice the soft skills needed in middle school and beyond:

1. Make good friend choices: Middle school students quickly learn which friends instill a sense of belonging and which ones make them feel uncomfortable. As parents, it’s helpful to ask your child questions, such as: “Do you have fun and laugh with this person?” “Can you be yourself around this person?” “Is there trust and empathy?”

2. Work in teams and negotiate conflict: In addition to helping students master curriculum standards, group projects can be used to help students learn how to manage cooperative relationships. Group projects help students learn how to delegate tasks and divide work efficiently. After group project, help your child reflect on what they could have done differently to ensure that everyone contributed their fair‐share to the project.

3. Manage a student‐teacher mismatch: Students can still learn from a teacher they don’t like. Unless there is abuse or discrimination, don’t bail them out by asking for a teacher change. Help your child focus on concrete barriers to their success in class not the interpersonal conflict. For example, do they need to improve upon their study skills? The parent role would be to help your child learn to work positively with someone they find is difficult. Again, be mindful of abuse or discrimination or other indicators for adult intervention.

4. Create organization and homework systems: The student has to take ownership of this process. Do they use their planner? Are they consistently sharing with you the expectations of their class?

5. Monitor and take responsibility for grades: Students have to understand the connection between preparation, organization, and grades and realize that the grades belong to the student – not the parent. Students should frequently monitor their grades in PowerSchool. Parents function as silent partners by frequently checking PowerSchool (Parent Portal). The parent’s role is not to come in like a shining knight demanding deadline extensions or grade changes. Instead, parents should have conversations with their child that clearly set their expectations regarding class participation, effort, and grades.

6. Learn to self‐advocate: By middle school, students should be learning how to ask teachers for help or clarification. Unless there are concerns of abuse, discrimination or other severe concern, parents should try to avoid reaching out on their child’s behalf.

7. Self‐regulate emotions: If students are going to learn to regulate emotions, they must first learn to label their emotions. When children are younger, parents help them learn to label strong emotions. Acknowledge when you observe your child handling an emotional situation well; what strategy did they implement (e.g., deep breaths; count to 10; listen to music; etc.). Help them to make connections between their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

8. Cultivate passions and recognize limitations: No one needs to be good at everything. Therefore, take time to observe your child; what are their strong interests and passions? Once you discover their passion seize the opportunity to help them go deep by getting books, watching videos, or any other means to learn more. On the other hand, if they struggle in an area or otherwise show disinterest – allow them to pursue something else.

9. Make responsible, safe, and ethical choices: Teach your child to respect his/her body and to make safe and healthy decisions for their physical, emotional, and mental health. Depending on your family’s religious values, also address issues around spiritual development. It is equally important for students to learn how not to put others at risk. As parents, we have to fully embrace our role as the adult by setting appropriate boundaries that maintain the safety of our adolescent child. Parents must be willing to participate in open dialogue and not become too “shocked” when their child honestly and opening shares with them.

10. Create and innovate: Our ever‐changing global community requires imaginative creators and divergent thinkers. Our world’s future problems will only be solved through collaborative thought and action. As parents, encourage your child to make connections across material from different subjects. How can their knowledge coupled with their unique talents and passion lead to change?

Caesar's Corner

Please see the Latin final schedule below:

4th Grade - ALL STUDENTS EXEMPT!!! Congratulations! You demonstrated mastery before the end of year.

5th Grade - May 22nd*

* assuming school operates on a normal schedule; students will benefit from being ready by Monday, May 21st in case makeup classes are necessary for any reason

Technology Times is a phenomenal online resource that allows students to learn how coding works and to move through modules in order to practice the skills. Computer coding is especially exciting for AIG students. Thanks to a former parent, Regina Smith, for sharing this resource from her middle school classroom. :)

Pictured Below: Third grade AG math students use the classroom clickers to register their answers on the TV.

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2nd Grade Nurture

Building Thinking Skills through Math

Students working in this group have been strengthening their spatial/nonverbal skills using brainteasers galore! Just this week, they used given smaller pattern blocks to create larger perimeter shapes using clues.

Building Thinking Skills through English Language Arts

Students have been exploring the concept of complex decision-making through stories such as Henry and the Kite Dragon. They have also been working on higher-order thinking skills in fables, such as theme and developing universal morals for each story.

Maximizing Academic Potential

MAP students in grades 3-4 have been wrapping up their Habits of Mind lessons in preparation for year end. During their last classes, they will explore how those new skills translate to the EOG and beyond!

3rd Grade AG

Explaining the Unexplainable

The engaging scenario for this unit is as follows: your class has been hired by the Greensboro Natural Science Center to present an audio exhibit on the connections between mythology and science. Each of you has been contracted to tell one story and fully investigate and compare and contrast both explanations of the truth, to be told by you at the touch of a button on the exhibit. Through this project, the following skills will be addressed: digital and print research, tracking sources, note-taking, the five stages of the writing process, transitions, writing organization and reading and writing fluency, among others. I have agreed, depending on the caliber of work received, to actually send these off to the Natural Science Center. Who knows? They may spark an idea for a new exhibit after all!

MathQuest (see below)

4th Grade AG

The Hero Within

Students recently became published poets by writing an original poem in the style of Oliver Wendell Holmes. They chose to share their work with their classroom peers by exhibiting it on the 3-5 hallway and in the AG room. Don't miss this profound work!

Ratios, Rates, and Proportions

While sailing the seven seas, these pirates have discovered some valuable treasure - mathematical knowledge! They are proud to announce that all students are "squared away" with square one (equivalent fractions) and are pressing toward the same goal for square two (ratios and proportions). Some have even earned edible treasure!

5th Grade AG

Let Freedom Ring

Fifth grade ELA students, in addition to organizing the talent show, have been busy publishing poetry in the style of Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Their work, while written with Cesar Chavez in mind, includes symbolism for the universal idea of freedom. These students have chosen to publish their work on the McNair YouTube channel. Stay tuned for details about how you can enjoy it!

Math Quest (see below)

Pictured Below: 5th grade students worked incredibly hard on their science projects to end quarter 3 with a bang!

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Math Quest

Math Quest Leaderboard:

The Mathematic Thunder (Taryn and Angel) have just entered Sportsland ahead of the other teams. Will they reach the treasure chest first? Only time will tell!