The Paine Post

October 2021 Edition

A Letter from Dr. Lothspeich

Dear Paine Elementary Parents,


We are off to a great start this school year! I am so happy to report that we will be sending "The Paine Post" to you each month to provide important information and highlight the great teaching and learning occurring in our school.


We began our year with a new vision statement for Paine Elementary School. Our school leadership team collaborated with a group of our parents this summer to develop our new vision statement. It serves as a way for us to share our overall purpose and long-term goals with our stakeholders.

Big picture


We have gathered our baseline student data in both reading and math and our teachers are working hard to make sure we meet all students where they are. They are using this data to differentiate instruction, ensuring all students are growing academically. We are also invested in our students’ social and emotional growth through our daily focus on character development.


We have added two rotations to our specials time which will be offered each Tuesday on alternating weeks (A Week & B Week). This is in addition to Art, Music, and STEM. The first is a Skills Rotation, focusing on skills development that is crucial for each grade level. The Skills Rotation for Kindergarten will include manuscript (how to properly hold a pencil and form the letters); they will progress to basic keyboarding skills in the second semester. First grade students will have a review of manuscript and will quickly progress to keyboarding skills. Second and third grade students will use this time to learn cursive handwriting. We teach the letters in second grade and connecting the letters and writing sentences in third grade. Fourth and fifth grade students will work on text-dependent writing, alternating writing their responses on paper (using cursive) and on the computer. Text dependent writing is an important writing skill where students use specific evidence from what they read to support their writing.


On alternating weeks, students in all grades will participate in enrichment activities through our EnRICh (Engage, Reinforce, Inspire, & Challenge) Program. Students have been engaged in STEM activities during this time up to this point. We will begin the official rotation in a couple of weeks, and we have some exciting and challenging learning experiences planned for our students.


We have added a third PE Coach and converted our North Field into a PE Field. It now has a beautiful, new fence around the perimeter. We have created a schedule where students rotate to outside PE (weather permitting) every other week. We will also utilize both of our gyms. The outside rotation is allowing us to expand our lessons to include development of sports skills. Our students have been working on soccer skills in the month of September.


We converted our amphitheaters to music rooms this year. We have new carpet and built in risers which are perfect for music! We purchased a class set of beginner guitars, so this will part of our 5th grade music curriculum beginning this year! We are so excited (and so are our 5th grade students)!


We have started a “Keeping the PACE at Paine” initiative with our students. Every morning, during announcements we focus on our monthly TCS PACE Character Trait. To reinforce students demonstrating these positive traits, our faculty and staff are randomly handing out “Keeping the PACE” tickets to students “caught” leading by example and “Keeping the PACE at Paine”. Students will turn tickets into the large drawing container in the library, where ten names are called out every Friday afternoon before dismissal and announced over the intercom. These students come to the library to select a small prize.


A primary focus for our school this year is student engagement, and one of our goals is to plan and create EPIC learning moments for our students (as defined in the book The Power of Moments). These are experiences that are meaningful and memorable for our students. In future Paine Post publications, we will share some of these EPIC moments with you.


It is such a privilege for us to teach your children, and we are going to have an amazing year!


-Dr. Lisa Lothspeich

Important Dates: Upcoming

  • 3rd Grade Music Programs: October 12th & 14th
  • PTO Meeting: October 14th
  • Friday Freeze forms are due: October 15th
  • October Awards Assemblies: October 19th
  • Turn Trussville Pink: October 20th
  • School Bus Safety Week: October 18th - 22nd
  • Bus Driver Appreciation Day: October 22nd
  • Order form fall pictures due: October 29th
  • Red Ribbon Week: October 25th - 29th
  • Book Fair: November 1st - 5th
  • Fall Festival: November 4th
  • Chior Veteran's Day Program: November 9th
  • Veteran's Day: Schools Closed November 11th


More information about dates listed above can be found on the PES Website.

Grade Level Updates

Pre-K & Kindergarten


Students have been learning about the elements of fairytales. They retold The Three Billy Goats Gruff and The Three Little Pigs with live animals! Kindergarten students also had a visit from Goldilocks, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Cinderella! They were asked to help them with activities in the classroom. Kindergarten students celebrated the end of their fairytale unit with a Fairytale Ball on October 8th. For Constitution Day, many classes dressed in red, white, and blue, and created a class constitution!


What's Coming Up?

Students will participate in a Fire Safety Presentation on October 14th. The Kindergarten fieldtrip to Old Baker Farm will be on November 3rd.

1st Grade


Students studied maps and communities and used the skills they learned to create a map of a town. They learned all about rules and laws leading up to our Constitution Day. Each class wrote a constitution and signed it. Students learned about symbols of the United States, as well as our state symbols and unique facts about our state. They learned a few square dance moves since that is our state dance! Several classes are researching Johnny Appleseed. They also took a virtual field trip to the apple orchard (map skills), studied the seasons of an apple tree, and had an apple taste test activity.



What's Coming Up?

Students will learn all about the behavior of light in science! Students will also participate in a Fire Safety Presentation on October 14th.

2nd Grade

Students have been learning the properties of matter and used this knowledge to build their effective egg drop designs. Their creations protected eggs during a five-foot fall onto concrete.

Students created art work from paper place value blocks and added up the total value of their art work.


What's Coming Up?

As part of the building blocks of matter scope, students will use Legos during a media center collaboration. They will demonstrate and explain how structures made from small pieces can be disassembled and then rearranged to make new and different structures.

3rd Grade

Students became cartographers and created a map of their own imaginary town applying map skills learned in class. They also incorporated writing skills as they wrote a story demonstrating their knowledge of directional skills. Students learned about life cycles. They learned specifically about pollination and the parts of a flower that allow for new flowers to be created. In order to bring their learning to life, they dissected flowers to see the different parts of a flower for themselves.


What's Coming Up?

Students are in the middle of reading Because of Winn Dixie. Students will learn about variation in traits by participating in an apple tasting. Third grade music programs "All Things Fall" are October 12th & 14th.

4th Grade

Students have been working hard on their Alabama map projects showing state symbols. Some classes participated in an archeological dig for Alabama history! In math, students are wrapping up their place value unit and starting their multiplication and division unit. All students are reading The Tiger Rising to study character development.


What's Coming Up?

On November 1st, students will wear neon to celebrate their energy and electricity unit. Fun activities will take place!

5th Grade

Students are participating in realistic fiction book clubs and working together to understand the theme of novels. Students are also studying properties of matter. They participated in experiments, working to identify matter based on the scientific properties.


What's Coming Up?

Students will be creating migration journals, telling a story from the point of view of an early Native American.

Thank you faculty, staff, and students for going gold in September for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month!