The WOHE's What's Up

Willard Orchard Hills Elementary's Monthly Newsletter

Hello WOHE School Family!

Here's your February Newsletter! It has been a great month! February can sometimes seem long between winter break and spring break, but we made the most of it and enjoyed our time together. We hope you stayed well!

As a reminder, this newsletter is a hub packed with information about what's going on at WOHE each month!

You can expect this newsletter near the end of each month so that we can update you with all the exciting things happening across the building!

We hope you'll continue to enjoy this monthly update!

What's Up at WOHE this month:

WOHE School Family Excitement:

February was FABULOUS!

ECSE (Early Childhood Special Education):

February was a fabulous time in ECSE. We enjoyed decorating hearts and celebrating our friendships. It’s good to see our friends taking turns and caring for one another. We encourage them by saying, “That was helpful!” As our friends gain independence and achieve things they have been working on, we celebrate by saying, “Way to go! You did it!”

Speech Therapy - ECSE:

We’ve been working hard this month on basic concept words for describing what something looks like, the location of items, how many items there are, feeling words, as well as time (first, next, then, last). Here are some ways to practice basic concepts: play “I Spy”, read opposite books, do a movement game like an obstacle course. Playing is the best way to learn!!

Occupational Therapy - ECSE & K-4:

In ECSE, we ended the month celebrating Leap Day. Our students participated in a fun frog obstacle course. The had to slide into the pond and find a frog, jump over the logs, walk across the wobbly bridge, match the frog to the log that had the same shape, and then finish with scooter boarding through the lilly pads. They loved working on skills such as balance, visual motor, core and motor planning in such a fun way. We also completed a multi-step fine motor task. The students had to fold paper, back and forth for the legs. They then used their finger to spread a wet texture (shaving cream, glue, and green food coloring) to fill in the frog. Fun was had by all.

K-4: This month we have been exploring our emotions, using the zones of regulation program. We have also been talking about and identifying strategies that help us either calm our body or wake our body up, depending on what our body needs. The green zone is the optimal level for when our kids are at school. These emotions consist of being calm, happy, and ready to learn. The blue zone consists of being sad, sick, or tired. The yellow zone consists of being frustrated, being silly/wiggly, or excited. The red zone consists of being mad, angry, or total loss of control. The Zones of Regulation program explains that it is okay to feel all of the emotions, but then helps provide strategies to get back to the green zone.

Physical Therapy - ECSE & K-4:

All students have been working so well with my student physical therapist, Miss Kirsten. Her Paw Patrol group activity with the ECSE classes was a big hit as students worked on following directions through a “stop” and “go” game, balance on low beam/throwing to target and an obstacle course on the scooter.. K-4 students are working very hard on IEP goals through a variety of balance and ball skill activities.


Our Pre-K class has been showing kindness to others and when we see it a kindness note has been added to our board. Our kiddos have been so excited about this. Kindness is contagious. Can you catch it?


Kindergarten students have been learning about American symbols. In addition, students have learned about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. This learning has been applied to our informative writing unit.

During math, kindergarteners are working on subtraction math story problems and equations.

1st grade:

Out first graders have been learning all about U.S. symbols and what they stand for. They have also been working on adding 2-digit numbers! Students are continuing to build good reading habits to become better readers, and are working on meeting their reading goals.

2nd grade:

Second grade has been learning about how to coach others to improve their fluency! We have been learning how to recognize fluency in our own reading so that we can recognize it in others. Synergizing in reading helps us be better readers and our friends!

3rd grade:

Third grade has finished reading the book Because of Winn Dixie. We have been focusing on learning all we can about characters, character traits, and watching as character change from the beginning to the end of a story. In Math, we have been working on fractions and telling time!

4th grade:

Fourth Grade has been hard at work in the Revolutionary War! This has been our focus in reading, writing and social studies this quarter. Students have finished their first chapter book All About the Revolutionary War and are beginning their second book where they have chosen a Revolutionary War figure to research on. Remember all families are invited for presentations on March 12 from 2:30-3:10!

Cross-Categorical Special Education with Mrs. Raby:

We have been learning how to research and write biographies in upper grades! We’ve been learning opinion writing in lower grades! We also have focused on Habit 5...Seek first to understand then be understood! We are learning to be more active listeners!

Essential Skills with Mrs. Carter:

We have been working hard on sorting into categories and distinguishing between vocabulary words “same” and “different”. We read the books ‘Caps For Sale’ and ‘APair of Socks’. For our recipe this month we made monkey face snacks!


As we push into February we begin our Kids Heart Challenge! Information on this will be coming home soon.


The kiddos are continuing to work on their Art to Remember projects. (More info on that coming soon.)

Kindergarten: using basic shapes to create flamingos and background things

1st Grade: using overlapping and creating a puppy picture with a theme that matches the puppy to the background

2nd Grade: learning about Primary colors and Scarlet Macaws. Focus on variety, jungle theme, mixing paints, and balance.

3rd Grade: creating landscapes with 1 topic and at least 5 supporting details

4th Grade: creating optical illusion art; introduction to using vanishing points and why they are important


3rd and 4th grades are reading a fairy tale and finding a problem that they can solve with building something on our 3D printer.

2nd grade is reading different versions of Cinderella and retelling the stories to make a movie on WeVideo.

1st grade is finishing up the Show-me Nominees and will vote in early March.

Kindergarten has started a unit on Insects.


All grades have wrapped up a unit on digital citizenship.

3rd and 4th grades have been practicing math in anticipation of spring MAP testing along with keyboarding.

1st and 2nd grades are also practicing keyboarding and working on their literacy and phonics skills with Teach Your Monster to Read.

Kindergarten has been working on navigating digital books, and completed kindness examples for Valentine’s week. Their examples are currently hanging in the hallway.


Our Recorder Karate wall is looking marvelous!! Most of the 4th graders have passed at least one level if not more. We are trucking right along with our unit!! Ask your students who Perry is :)!! Continue to encourage your 4th grade student to practice at home.

PW = wohemusic

2nd and 3rd Grade Musicians have been deep into their music units thus far this semester. 3rd graders have enjoyed learning about instruments of the orchestra and 2nd graders continue to study the masterwork Carnival of the Animals.

1st Grade Musical is upon us!! Thursday, March 5th our wonderful WOHE 1st Graders will be performing “I Like School.” Doors open at 6:30 with performance starting promptly at 7:00 (matinee at 2:30 for our school family). All performers need to wear their Friday, WOHE school t-shirt!!

Kindergarteners are also preparing for their upcoming musical which will take place on Thursday, April 2nd!! Stay tuned for more info. to come on this!!

Speech Therapy - K-4:

I can’t believe February is almost over. This year is flying by. I continue to be so proud of my speech kiddos. They are progressing by leaps and bounds.

Counseling with Mrs. Perryman:

The month of February has just flown by! We have spent this month talking about personal space, what to do with our feelings of worry and how to become a better friend.

Food Service Ladies:

We love seeing our student's smiling faces everyday for breakfast and lunch!


Thanks to everyone for helping us keep our school clean.

Nurse Amber:

Please continue to encourage good hand hygiene to prevent illness!

Reading Recovery / Title-1 Services:

What can you say besides “Sound it out?”

There are many things you can say to help your child figure out a word. Being flexible in problem solving provides more information to allow the child to be


To help a child use meaning (of the story or illustrations):

Look at the picture to help yourself.

Think about what would make sense.

To help a child use language structure (the way we talk):

Does that sound right?

Can we say it that way?

To help a child use information in print (the way the word looks):

Look at how the word begins.

Read the words up to the tricky word and start it.

Say more of the word.

Does that look right to you?

To help a child use two sources of information:

Think about what would look right and make sense.

Think about what would make sense and start like that.

A frustrated reader is a reader who is not going to take necessary risks to improve his skills. If your child is still struggling after 5-6 seconds, say the word. Praise the

child’s attempt by saying:

I like the way you tried to help yourself.

You were nearly right.

You noticed it wasn’t right. What did you notice?

A reader is like an athlete. The more a child reads, the better his or her reading becomes.

Tiffany Houghtaling:

WOHE teachers have been developing lessons that increase a child’s ability to think critically. Our Monday Early Outs have been centered around looking at how instruction can incorporate the emotional, behavioral and cognitive side of a child. In addition, we have spent time with the national Impact Teams trainer Sarah Stevens in our efforts to best support our students with intentional lesson and assessment development.

Did you miss our January First Fridays for Families? No problem! Our next one will be on March 6th and we'd love to see you there!

First Fridays for Families

Friday, March 6th, 7-8am

4595 West Farm Road 140

Springfield, MO

Come enjoy a free breakfast with your child(ren), work together to complete a task as a family, and have fun.
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ECSE ladies on "twin" day!

Here are some of the Early Childhood Special Education ladies participating in "twin" day for Fabulous February.
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Follow us on Twitter at @WOHETIGERS for more building updates and photos!