B.B RICE ELEMENTARY

April 2019

904 Gladstell Street

Conroe, TX 77304

936-709-2700

Fax 936-709-2799

School Mission

More than competency in the basic skills of reading, writing, and math, it is this school’s mission to nurture in each child:


The habit of creative independent thinking, a positive self-image, an attitude of social cooperation and moral responsibility, pride in self, community, state, and country, and

the ability to be a producer, not just a consumer, of Knowledge.



“In this school, we reach for the stars.”

School Calendar

Please use the link to access our school calendar.

Eat Breakfast at School!


Breakfast is served at school! School breakfast will give your child a healthy start to the day. A nutritious breakfast helps students be more alert so they can learn more in class. Breakfast has vitamins and nutrients for a strong and healthy body.


Breakfast at school is affordable at only $1.35. If you qualify for free and reduced price meals, you also qualify for the breakfast program, with no additional paperwork. You can’t find a healthy breakfast at such a low cost anywhere else.


Help your child start the day right with school breakfast!

Rice Facebook Page

See what is happening at Rice!!!

BB Rice PTO Facebook Page

Get connected with our PTO!!!

School Information

  • The building doors open at 7:30 for students to eat breakfast and go to class.
  • Please do not drop off students before 7:30 as there is no adult supervision.
  • Breakfast is served from 7:30-7:50. 1st through 4th grade eat inside their classrooms. PK and Kinder eat in the cafeteria. Morning PK students go directly to the cafeteria and meet their teachers.
  • Afternoon PK begins at 12:10. If they are going to eat lunch, then they need to arrive at 11:45.
  • Students may not be checked out or change transportation mode after 2:30. This is for the safety of the students.
  • Dismissal begins at 3:10.
  • Please make sure you have your car rider sign in your car for car rider. You will be asked to park and come inside if you do not have your tag.
  • Thank you for all your help to make this the very best year!!!

Message from the Principal...

I hope each of you had a chance to spend some time with family and friends over Spring Break. March was an exciting month as it was packed full of academic activities and continuous learning opportunities. We had a great turnout for our Math & Science STEM night! Lots of fun was had making slime, building structures and experiencing the cool technology our kids have access to each day.


I want to take a moment to share some incredible news. Because of YOU and your generous donations during our Color Run, we have been able to provide our students with an outdoor classroom. This is located next to our garden. Classes have already begun enjoying this space. Our PTO is going to have an Open House in the coming months to showcase this spectacular space!!! Thank you for supporting the students at Rice!!!


Thank you for entrusting us with your most precious gift,

Mrs. Stewart

Message from the Assistant Principal...

Happy April!

We are gearing up for the end of the year and want to remind you of a few important dates for assessments.


4/3 3rd grade Math benchmark

4/4 4th grade Math benchmark

4/9 4th grade Writing STAAR


Please remember that students need to arrive on time and well rested on testing days (and all other days). Please refrain from making any doctors appointments on these dates as well. Visitors and lunch drop offs are not allowed on STAAR testing dates.

Testing days should be stress free and just another day at school for students to show what they know! Thanks for your continued support and please check the Rice Parent calendars for other important events coming!

Message From School Counselor...

Dear Parents,

Happy Spring! Hope you all had a wonderful Spring Break. It’s always nice to spend some extra time with your family and friends. The kids always come back from Spring Break excited and ready to learn.

With April comes a crucial time of year with our STAAR test. This will take place on April 9th for 4th graders and on May 13th &14th for 3rd and 4th graders. They have all been working hard all year to prepare for this test, and we know they will do great! As we get closer you might begin to notice your child experiencing anxiety before/during/or after the test. By working together, we can make your child’s test experience positive and successful. Here are some suggestions that you can do to help your child succeed:

  • Make sure your child gets a good night’s rest.
  • Have your child eat a healthy breakfast at home or in the cafeteria at school.
  • Make sure your child arrives to school on time.
  • Gently encourage your child to do their best.

I will be meeting with both grade levels this month to help provide techniques to minimize their testing stress. A little encouragement goes a long way, if possible please take a moment to write an encouraging note and give it to your child the first morning of testing. One of the most important things you can say to your child is “I believe in you.” They have been working hard all year long and will do a great job!

Thank you again for all you do!

Angela Orr

Bond Information Night

Parents and the community are invited to an informational presentation by Dr. Curtis Null, Superintendent, about the 2019 Bond Referendum. The presentation for our feeder will take place on April 1, 2019 at 6 p.m. in the Conroe High School auditorium. Anyone seeking information about planned projects impacting our campus can learn more by visitinghttps://bond.conroeisd.net/#feeder or https://bond.conroeisd.net.

Pre-K

We hope that everyone had a wonderful Spring Break! This is a very busy time of year for pre-k! Please make sure your child is practicing writing his/her name, letter identification, letter sounds, number identification (0-9) and counting 1-30.

Just a reminder:

* Write your child’s name on their coats and backpacks.

* Take all papers out of Daily Folder and backpack every day.

* Keep a clean change of clothes in your child’s backpack.

* If you need to change transportation please do so in writing.

* Read to your child daily

Kinder

We have 2 Field Trips scheduled in April! We will be going to Kids Day at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds on Tuesday April 2nd and 7 Acre Wood on Thursday April 25th. Your child will not need to bring any money for either of our Field Trips. A signed permission slip is required for your child to participate. If you would like to be a chaperon for one or both days please complete the CISD Volunteer Application on the district website. Additional information regarding the Field Trips will be sent home in daily folders. Please check for this information!

First Grade

April is officially here! In readers Workshop First grade will be learning poetry and starting a new unit in fiction at the end of the month! In Writers Workshop students will also be creating and writing their own poetry! We can’t wait to share them with family and friends! Math is full of lots of hands on learning. We will be continuing working on fractions as well as counting coins. Have your child practice at home counting coins. We also by adding and subtracting to 20. In Science students will be learning about animal life cycles include frog, chicken, and fish. For Social Studies we will be learning about weather and natural resources. Towards the end the month learning we will be learning

about Economics including needs and wants as well as goods and services. Please make sure your child is reading every night.

Second Grade

It's hard to believe that spring is already here and there is still so much to do and learn! We are looking forward to many upcoming activities this spring. Our Second Graders did a wonderful job on their Second Grade program! They have accomplished so much this year and we're still working hard. In Math, we have been counting money with quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies, we are continuously practicing problem solving. We've learned about geometry and their many attributes. In science we have learned about weather patterns. We are also learning about the basic needs of plants and animals. We want to remind you to keep reading and practicing their math facts to 18, count money, practice telling time, and two and three digit addition and subtraction with regrouping. Our second graders will also be learning about Economics and will be having an Economics Fair to celebrate their success. We will send home information soon. We are looking forward to a fun and successful month ahead. We would like to thank you again for all your hard work at home, and we look forward to a fun and rewarding spring.

Third Grade

Happy Spring! We are in the last two months of school and every minute counts. We have a lot of learning still left to do in 3rd grade.

In Math, we will start our geometry unit. Students will classify two and three-dimensional figures. They will also use attributes to recognize rhombuses, parallelograms, trapezoids, rectangles and squares. Then we will dive into personal financial literacy. During this unit, the students will understand the cost and benefits of planned and unplanned spending. They will also learn how to save money and the benefits of saving money.

Your readers will be wrapping up their study on non-fiction. We have learned about the text structures, main idea and details, context clues and text features. We will begin STAAR Review this month. We will be reviewing all genres including fiction, non-fiction, poetry and literary non-fiction.

Your writers will be working on composing and publishing a literary essay. We will be giving our opinions about a fiction text and supporting these opinions with evidence. This is a great unit to apply reading and writing together!

Fourth Grade

The Writing STAAR test is April 9th. Our fourth graders are working very hard to do their best on their STAAR tests. Thanks for helping your student prepare by being rested, fed, and calm. Just a reminder that the important Reading and Math STAAR tests will be on Monday, May 13th (Math) and Tuesday, May 14th (Reading). We will send home a reminder when the date gets closer! ATTENDANCE IS ESSENTIAL AT THIS TIME! PLEASE MAKE SURE YOUR STUDENT IS HERE EVERY DAY ON TIME!!


Here’s what is coming up in fourth grade:


Reading: Work is continuing on the higher-level questions that we will encounter on the more rigorous STAAR test, such as making inferences, predicting outcomes, determining character traits, and selecting author’s purpose. Continuous practice of these skills are crucial during this time!


Math: The students are finishing the study of measurement. The first part of April will be the time to apply all our skills to word problems. The last part of April will be a review of all skills covered for the STAAR test.


Science/Social Studies: Fourth graders will be studying life cycles in plants and animals. We will explore different environments (Wooded area, Rain forest, and Deserts) and food webs created in them. We are learning about Texas history during the Civil War in social studies. These are some of the favorite subjects for the children, so ask your student to tell you what he or she is learning in school!


Upcoming Events: Fourth graders have many off-campus opportunities in spring. We visit the 5th grade campus Cryar Intermediate, the community outreach project at Elmcroft Nursing home, NASA field trip, and to Conroe High School to participate in Future Tiger Challenge. We are working hard to make each student is responsible for his/her behavior and choices during this time. Thanks for your support in helping your child become more independent and self-disciplined as he or she transitions from elementary to intermediate school.

From The Library...Ms. Parks

Stop by the library the next time you visit our school. We have been adding new books to our collection and we would love to show them to you! Thank you for your continued support of our library program. Our parent volunteers have helped make our library more efficient, effective and fun. I look forward to seeing you and showing you our new books! Happy Spring!

Nurse

Please do not send any medication, prescription, over-the-counter, or cough drops to school with your child. Prescription medicine must be in the pharmacy container with a prescription label. A parent or guardian MUST sign in medication to be given at school, just come by the clinic and sign the permission form. Students are not allowed to transport medication to and from school. This is to keep ALL children safe! Thank you for helping me keep our Rice Raccoons safe and healthy!



Michelle McLaren, RN

School Nurse

Prevent Sleep Problems in Kids: Keep Technology Out of The Bedroom


July 20, 2015 by Craig Canapari MD - director of the Yale Pediatric Sleep Center

Full article link: https://drcraigcanapari.com/prevent-sleep-problems-in-kids-keep-technology-out-of-the-bedroom/?mc_cid=b2e98d51e1&mc_eid=57b760c165


If you met me at a party, and wanted to know my best single piece of advice to keep your child from having sleep problems, here it is:

1. If you child has technology (television, computers, smartphones, tablets, video game systems) in his room at night, TAKE IT OUT.


2. If your child does not have technology in his room at night, DON’T LET IT IN THERE.


When I started writing this blog in 2012, the primary way technology interfered with sleep was via television in bedrooms. In just the past three years, the landscape has evolved. It is very clear to me now that using devices at night is a major cause of sleep disruption in kids and adults.


Here’s a typical scenario. I recently had a mother and daughter in Sleep Clinic for a common concern: the girl was tired in the morning and her mother was worried that she wasn’t getting enough sleep at night. When we talked about her bedtime routine, it became clear that she was on her phone until she fell asleep at night. I told them both that the daughter needed to stop using her phone after 9:30–10 PM. Her mother was incredulous. “I don’t think she’s going to be able to do that.” To be frank, this makes me angry. I’ve heard all of the excuses about why kids can’t be expected to give up their technology at night, and I’m calling shenanigans on them all. Smartphones didn’t even exist until 2007, and teenagers were falling asleep for millenia without the aid of these devices.


It is critical that you do not let your children start using these powerfully addictive devices in their rooms at night. Falling asleep with a television is bad enough. I think smartphones and tablets represent a greater threat to quality sleep for children and teens, for several reasons:

  1. Both the proximity to the face and the emission of blue-white light from a tablet or smartphone make these devices more likely to suppress melatonin, resulting in insomnia and later sleep onset.
  2. Remember that most apps (video games and social media especially) are designed to give you inconsistent reinforcement, like slot machines. Every app on your phone is competing for your attention, and the best way for them to get it is to make you addicted to checking it.

More and More Children Are Struggling with Screen Addiction

In a recent New York Times article, “Screen Addiction Is Taking A Toll on Children”, Jane Brody quotes a Harvard clinical psychologist named Catherine Steiner-Adair: “We’re throwing screens at children all day long, giving them distractions rather than teaching them how to self-soothe, to calm themselves down.” I can tell you that in my practice, I have seen more than a few kids who have been failing out of school, and life, because they simply could not pull themselves away from video games. Does this sound crazy? It did to me, until I kept hearing it over and over again.


Many kids and family are able to strike a good balance around these issues. However, I would still argue that these devices have no place in a child’s bedroom, or during a child’s sleep period.


Our Addiction Is the Problem Here

Part of the problem is that us grow-ups are addicted to these devices ourselves. We can’t help checking Facebook, or Twitter, or Instagram whenever we have a free moment. Like Pavlov’s dog, we can’t help but respond when our phone beeps, pings, lights up, or does something else cool. We have traded our time and attention for a few likes on Facebook. Talking about vacation the other night, a friend said, half in jest, “Where are we going to go to look at our phones next year?”


As parents, we are also addicted to the convenience and the peace and quiet that devices provide. Younger children may pester us ceaselessly until we hand over our phone. Teenagers will retreat into the virtual and real cocoon of their rooms, phone in hand.


Believe me, I am more guilty than most. I blog, I Tweet, I Facebook, and Instagram to beat the band. I love technology, and really believe in the life-changing properties of these tools to connect people. It connected me to you right now, after all. And I routinely chat with friends around the world: this would have been unimaginable ten years ago.


Phones In The Room Equal Bad Sleep
It is no secret that smartphones and tablets keep you awake at night. Here’s a video explaining why.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=115&v=mnDfPpUC_jg



In a terrific piece in The Atlantic, Olga Khazan explores the research showing the relationship between smartphones and bad sleep. . She references a survey from 2012 (which might as well be 1950 in tech terms) that 24% of 18–24 year olds think that they don’t sleep well because of technology, and that about 70% of people less than 44 slept with their phones in their room. In a more recent survey, almost 25% of people admitted to falling asleep with their smartphone in their hand. A recent post in the Huffington Post summarizes recent research relating high levels of smartphone use to worse mental health, including a study that high smartphone use was associated with depression and poor sleep. Meir Kryger has also written here previously about the perils of smartphones in the bedroom.


We Need to Set A Better Example

We as parents are responsible for how our children manage their use of technology and electronic media. How do you look to your kids in this context?


One girl among the 1,000 children she interviewed in preparing her book said, “I feel like I’m just boring. I’m boring my dad because he will take any text, any call, any time, even on the ski lift.” A 4-year-old called her father’s smartphone a “stupid phone.”

(From another NYT article, “How to Cut Children’s Screen Time? Say No to Yourself First”)


Ideally, you start working on this when your kids are little. But I don’t think that it is ever too late, even if your kids are teenagers. Technology is a tool. It is up to us how we use it.

Here’s my guide to dealing with teenagers’ objections to removing their devices at night:


Dr. C’s Guide To Smartphone Excuses

Here are some of the common ones, and the way to respond:

  1. It’s my alarm clock.
    1. Easy. Take it out of his room and buy him an alarm clock. Get your kid an old school clock radio and support this blog.
  2. I can’t fall asleep without music.”
    1. Again, a clock radio will do. To be frank, I”m pretty convinced that many teens say this so they can continue to use their device for other reasons than music, such as “vamping” and using social media. Again, a clock radio can help.
  3. I watch Netflix to fall asleep.”
    1. Well, then that’s a problem and we need to work on that. Falling asleep without watching a show is an important goal for children and adults. Watching television in the room is associated with shorter sleep, worse grades, and weight gain.
  4. We’ve always done it this way. Why are you punishing me?
    1. Explain that you are concerned about the health effects. People did not always realize that smoking was bad, either, but now no one would let someone smoke in their child’s room.
  5. You do it too!
    1. If that is true, you need to set an example by also surrendering your device after a certain hour unless you need it for work.
  6. I’m using it to log my sleep.
    1. This may be a special case, but I have a few issues with apps like Sleep Cycle. a) It’s not clear how well these apps line up with more sophisticated (medical-grade) sleep measuring devices. B) I am very leery of any plan that puts a smartphone right next to someone with insomnia all night long.

And here are some good rules of thumb that I recommend to friends, families, and patients.


Healthy Rules for Technology At Bedtime

  1. I recommend that all technology should be out of the bedroom an hour before sleep, including for mom and dad. There is no substitute for physical control of the device.
  2. Download this terrific guide from the Harvard School of Public Health, Outsmarting The Smart Screens, which has advice about technology which can help you manage this issue, and how you can discuss this with your children.
    1. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/prc/2015/01/07/outsmarting-the-smart-screens/
  3. Put computers in common areas of the home as opposed to in kids’ bedrooms. Why? Because you can monitor what your kids are doing on them.
  4. Set a good example yourself. Turn off your phone when you get home. Make it clear that time with your family is more important than being on your phone. If you must check something (e.g. for work), explain what you are doing and why.
  5. If kids (or grown ups) need to use computers for schoolwork, use strategies to mitigate blue-white light exposure. Here is my guide on how to go on a light diet as much as you can.
    1. https://drcraigcanapari.com/light-is-like-caffeine-avoid-insomnia-by-managing-your-screens/

For more on this topic, the indispensable Claire McCarthy published an article at HuffPo on “The Five Pieces of Advice about Screens I’d Give if Parents Ever Asked”.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/advice-id-give-about-screens-if-parents-ever-asked_n_7787212


I would be lying if I said we had it all figured out in our home. We struggle every day to manage our use of electronics (both ours and our children).


Generally, our rules include:

  • no electronics in the bedroom,
  • no video games on school days,
  • limited television after school only, and
  • some soft limits on screen time and video games on the weekend