West Rockhill Report

January 2016

Principal's Message

Hello Parents,

Our students are excited to be back in school after the holiday break. This week we are taking part in our Link It benchmarking in reading and math. WRE is an exciting place for learning! As we plunge into the cold-weather days ahead, please be mindful of the following safety concerns:

*Unless the temperatures are extremely low, our students will be going outside for recess. Please be sure that they are dressed appropriately for their much-needed playtime outside. Coats, gloves, hats, scarves, etc. are necessary for their safety during such cold, windy days. Please remind your students of the importance of wearing these items when they are waiting at their bus stops or playing out at recess.

*For parents who use the student drop-off services at WRE: Our drop-off procedures end at 8:50am. The school building doors close automatically at that time, and there is no adult supervision available to support students. Please do not drop your students off at the rear of the building after 8:50am. It is a major safety issue--particularly during the cold, winter mornings ahead. We have reinstated our procedure of closing the entrance gate at 8:50am to provide a visual reminder of this safety hazard. When you see the gate across the entryway, please proceed to the front of the building, park your vehicle, and escort your students into the building to process their late arrival.

*We will be using Blackboard Connect text messaging, telephone calls, emails, and messaging on the district website--to announce school closings, late starts, and early dismissals. Please review your family plans for modified schedules--in the event of inclement weather.

'Old Man Winter' has definitely arrived with a blast! Let's work together to keep our students safe and warm during the blustery months ahead. It is cold outside, but it is warm and safe inside West Rockhill Elementary. It is a MARVELOUS place for learning!

Mrs. Wiley

From the Office

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IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION:

The Pennridge School District is currently in the process of planning Kindergarten registration for the 2016-2017 school year. Information will be posted on the district website (Pennridge.org) the first week of February for any resident with a child who will reach the age of 5 on or before August 31, 2016. If you, or someone you know, has a child that meets the age requirement, please direct them to the district website to complete the online registration process. Complete instructions will be available to you including when we will begin scheduling appointments for the March registration.

PTO Reminder

School store was moved this year! It's just outside the cafeteria/gym on Wednesday mornings from approximately 8:30am-8:50am.

Grade Level Reports

Kindergarten

Now that Winter is upon us, kindergartners will be talking about how animals spend their winter. We have enjoyed learning about animals while reading non-fiction books. Encourage your child to read non-fiction books at home as well. In Math, we will begin adding numbers. This is fun to practice at home using household items as counters. I put 3 spoons and 4 forks on the table. How many utensils are on the table?


Grade 1

It is wonderful to be back in the busy and exciting world of first grade. First graders will wrap up their second reading unit this month and begin to read stories about change. Students will continue to learn new sounds and build their sight word fluency with each story. Small reading groups will continue to review and extend reading concepts for all students. Practice comparing and contrasting story elements and deciphering fact from opinion in your nightly reading at home. In math we will wrap up our unit on measurement by telling time to the quarter hour and creating timelines. We will begin an exciting math project to develop number sense and explore number patterns by creating our own number scrolls. Please send in a paper towel roll to school to assist your child in creating this project. Continue to practice basic facts addition and subtraction facts to ten. There are some great apps and computer websites that can reinforce these skills. Please contact us if you need suggestions! We will finish our science unit on lights and shadows this month by exploring changing shadows and reflections. We will start a new social studies unit on rules and laws. Thank you for your continued support at home with homework and extra practice. We look forward to getting back into our routine this month.


Grade 2

Happy New Year! We hope everyone enjoyed the holiday break and is ready for another great month. At the end of January, we will begin teaching cursive! We know the students have been waiting for this moment all year. We begin by showing students how to form the lowercase letters. We will also help them practice writing their name in cursive.

In math, we are working on Unit 5, which focuses on 2-D and 3-D shapes. In this unit, we will explore the similarities and differences among various shapes through hands-on activities. We will soon move into Unit 6. The focus of Unit 6 is whole-number operations and number stories. Some skills we will be working on are: adding three or more numbers, multiple-step addition and subtraction problems, array number stories, multiplication with arrays, and division stories.

In social studies, we are getting ready to "travel" around the world. We have discussed how travelers need passports and even created our own. During this month, we will take closer look at the countries of Canada and Mexico. In science this month, we will start our next unit which focuses on the states of matter. In this unit, the children will learn about the properties of solids, liquids, and gasses.

We are wrapping up Unit 2 and moving into Unit 3. The theme of this unit is Creative Ideas. This month we will read the story Pearl and Wagner: Two Good Friends and begin the story Dear Juno. We will focus on the comprehension strategies author's purpose and drawing conclusions. We will focus on words with vowel pattern ee, and ea, and words with the pattern o, oa, and ow. We will also talk about verbs. Please continue to refer to the Family Times sheets for activities to help practice these skills at home.



Grade 3

Welcome back! We hope everyone had a wonderful winter break and happy New Year! Now that we’re back in the swing of things, we will be finishing up many units that were started before the beak. In math we are finishing up unit five and moving into unit six. The primary focus of unit six is geometry. This encompasses many skills including lines, line segments, rays, angles, symmetry, and shapes! In reading, we will be finishing up unit two of Reading Street and dipping our feet into unit three. The big focus question for unit three is “how are people and nature connected?” Please refer to your child's Family Times for more information on the specific skills for each weekly story. We will also be finishing our social studies unit on the Native Americans of the Plains. At the conclusion of this unit, we will be switching back to science and exploring matter. Be sure to ask your child to point out different types of matter at home!


Grade 4

Fourth graders have had an exciting start to their new year. In reading, we continue to talk about working together to reach a goal, whether it is as a family, on a team, or even working with animals. Writing has us on our toes, with the use of figurative language, and we are trying our hand at incorporating it into our poetry. (Did you notice the 2 idioms?) Time has us racing to do our facts and many students have shown great improvement since the first timed test. Of course, knowing our facts has helped us greatly as we conquer division. Finally, in Social Studies, we are finishing our lessons on cultures and immigration and moving on to the regions of the United States. Maybe we could help parents with the next vacation planning!


Grade 5

In Reading we continue to explore “What makes people choose to do the right thing”. We are analyzing what motivates characters to make the choices that they do. Our theme is driving the students to realize that doing the right thing has many positive outcomes.


In Social Studies we are currently wrapping up the 13 colonies and discussing the differences between each colony. We are studying each colony’s location, climate, land, and resources to determine how these factors influenced their individual life styles. How their resources effected their economy and eventual success as a colony. We will then dive into the subject of Slavery and how slavery led to the civil war, along with all of its complications divided the North and the South.


Math classes are exploring fractions and their many uses. Mixed fractions, equivalent fractions, reducing fractions, renaming fractions as decimals, fractions being converted to percents, and graphing fractions are some of the exciting lessons to be presented.


Science classes are beginning to delve into the world of weather. All aspects of weather will be explored including climate, changes in weather, and even attempting to forecast the weather. Good luck with those weather forecasts fifth grade. Maybe we will see one of our students in the future presenting our weather to us.

Reading Connection

Click here to view Mrs. Giuliana's January Reading Connection.
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There’s a simple way to encourage your child to learn and use more advanced vocabulary in his/her writing. First, make up a list of easy words that your child typically uses over and over in his/her writing. You can start with just a few words and add to the list as more over-used words are noticed. Our students have words such as big, fun, good, like, said, and went on their lists. We tell the students that these worn-out words are “off-limits” and must be replaced with more descriptive vocabulary in their writing assignments. Resources, such as a thesaurus, are a great way to generate word banks of better alternatives. If you don’t have a thesaurus, you can even find one online. Using words such as towering, amusing, splendid, cherish, exclaimed, and escaped instead of the worn-out list will begin to enhance the style in any student’s writing.

Mountain Lion 4th and 5th Chorus Information

Happy New Year! The Mountain Lion Chorus will resume rehearsals the week of January 11th. New 4th and 5th grade members are welcome to join. Here’s the rehearsal schedule for each week:


  • 5th graders--- Day 1 at Lunch Recess
  • 4th graders--- Day 4 at Lunch Recess
  • EarlyBird Chorus (singers in both 4th & 5th grade) on Day 4 at 8:15 a.m.


Students choose ONE rehearsal to get to each week. Sign up/commitment forms have been sent home. Please also consider signing up for remind.com reminders about Chorus rehearsals.


Please mark your calendars for these events:


  • WRE Spring Concert: Tuesday May 10, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.
  • WRE PTO family event at the June 11th Iron Pigs game: 4th & 5th Chorus singers who participate in both the Winter and Spring Concerts this school year will sing The National Anthem on the field before the baseball game. More information will be available in the coming months.

Wise Words- By Nurse Lynda Tennett

We have come to the time of year to expect cold and flu symptoms. Some of these are unavoidable but there are several things you can do at home to help prevent illness and keep everyone feeling healthy. Here are some tips to remember:

• WASH, WASH, WASH YOUR HANDS! This is still the best defense against illness. Encourage your children to wash, especially before meals, using soap and warm water. To ensure they are taking enough time to adequately kill germs, have them sing the ABC song while scrubbing.

• Get plenty of rest. School age children should get 9-11 hours of sleep each night. Grownups should try to get 8 hours.

• Drink lots of fluids and eat a balanced diet - especially breakfast!

• 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 you may want to consider a hat and gloves as well. Even in cool weather they need the exercise and fresh air during recess.

Unfortunately, even with the best care, a virus can make us sick. Cold symptoms are best relieved with rest and fluids and may last as long as 10 days. If symptoms persist longer than this, the child should see a physician. Please keep in mind the guidelines below when deciding if your child should come to school. Any child with the following symptoms should stay home:

-A fever 100 degrees or higher. A child should not come back to school until the temperature is normal for 24 hours without medication.

-vomiting or diarrhea

-a frequent cough

-any rash accompanied by a fever

-ear pain and/or eye drainage

-sore throat with a fever and/or rash