Mustang Tales

March 17, 2023 Vol. 3 Issue 66

Message from the Principal

Dear Families:

We had an amazing PLANET MANITOU at the Space Foundation last night. We had over 350 attendees at this special event funded by both PAC and MSES. Families were able to see third grade space projects, holograms, and even drive a remote Mars rover replica. This comes after weeks of studying about astronomy and making rockets in third grade.

Second grade has been busy learning about place value in math and how to group or bundle objects to count faster. This is part of our new math series, Eureka Squared. At the close of the week, students created some leprechaun traps. I'm not sure any leprechaun were caught, though I did hear a group of students saying they were responsible for the sudden, unexpected snow storm today. Hmmm.

Thank you for sharing your children with us. It is both a privilege and a pleasure!



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Important Dates

  • Mar 22: Late Start Wednesday (2 Hour Delay for Students)
  • Mar 24: Fitness Friday 7:30am-8:00am
  • Apr 5: Late Start Wednesday (2 Hour Delay for Students)
  • Apr 6: 5th Grade Science Fair
  • Apr 12: Late Start Wednesday (2 Hour Delay for Students)
  • Apr 20: MSES Night of Excellence SPED Fundraising Event
  • Apr 21: No School - Staff Work Day
  • Apr 26: Late Start Wednesday (2 Hour Delay)
  • Apr 28: Fitness Friday 7:30am-8:00am

MSES Planet Manitou

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Ask Your Experts!

First Grade

This week first grade has been learning all about Fairy Tales. What is a fairy tale? (It is a story that is make believe and has some magical elements.) Who are the Bothers Grimm? (They are two brothers from Germany that wrote down fairy tales that had been passed down orally.) How did Rapunzel get her name? ( She was named after the lettuce that her father stole from the witch's garden)

First grade has also started practicing for their play, Sleeping Beauty. Ask your expert what part they have and be on the look out for their script before spring break.

Third Grade

As students wrap up the "Astronomy: Our Solar System and Beyond" CKLA unit, they have been reading about Nicolaus Copernicus and Mae Jemison. Ask your expert about their education and challenges. Copernicus was a mathematician, and he also studied medicine and law. Although he was a doctor, his real love was astronomy. Can your third grade expert explain the difference between the heliocentric and geocentric theories? (Copernicus knew the planets were in orbit around the sun (heliocentric), while everyone else at the time believed that Earth was the center of the universe (geocentric). Mae Jemison was always interested in space. At 16, she graduated high school and studied chemical engineering at Stanford. She also went to medical school and became a doctor, and joined the Peace Corps to help others. Finally, she applied to NASA and was chosen to be an astronaut. She was the first African-American woman to go into space!

Fifth Grade

Fifth grade is multiplying and dividing fractions. Remember, doing even one problem a day can really boost confidence. Try 7/8 x 3/4. Then ask, can you simplify the fraction? Try simplifying 5/35. How do you know if a fraction can be simplified? Why is it important to simplify fractions? Fractions can be scary, but everyone is capable of learning fractions. Don't fall into the myth of a "math brain." Every brain is a math brain! We just need practice.

This Week in Music:

In first grade Music, students are practicing supporting one another with feedback, listening carefully for accuracy in notes, rhythms, and fluency. Here, Ms. Carley's students Olive and Grey work together on the Alphabet Song. As we celebrate Music in Our Schools Month, young artists are performing, challenging themselves with new opportunities, and exploring solo and small group learning options. Student choice and voice is a hallmark of Music at MSES, especially in our final quarter. This helps students tap into their passions and strengths, allowing them to break away from what everyone is doing and learn in the way that makes sense to them.


The Intervention Team continues to work with small groups of children who need support in reading and/or math. Our first purpose is to determine the children’s missing foundational learning skills. Then, we work to strengthen the identified challenges.

Most of our students struggle with decoding, or sounding out, the written language, so that’s the focus of most of our instruction. We learn about letters, sounds, vowels, consonants, syllable types, and high frequency words. With the small group experience, our students build stamina and skill to progress through their reading skills. You can ask your intervention experts:

  • What are the vowel letters? (a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y)

  • What are the short vowel sounds? ( /a/-apple, /e/-edge, /i/-itch, /o/-octopus, and /u/-up)

  • What is the first syllable rule? (Every syllable has a vowel.)

  • Which high frequency words are you practicing? (Answers will vary.)

Many parents ask us how they can help at home. Truthfully, one of the best ways to help at home is to read aloud to and with your child. Shared stories build your child’s vocabulary and background knowledge which are as important to learning to read as decoding is. If you prefer to listen to reading together rather than reading aloud yourself, there are my audiobook options available.

As a part of MSES’s commitment to literacy development, we have an on-going reading challenge for all students! We hope to have 100 MSES families read the book, Because of Winn Dixie, and complete a Doggie Dollar. Once we have 100 Doggie Dollars, Ms. Masone will spend a day “in the doghouse” with Day. If you would like to participate, we have a limited number of the books available at no cost in the front office. Please follow this link to download a copy of the Doggie Dollar to submit when you’ve completed the book. Doggie Dollar Download

The Intervention Team hopes this reading challenge encourages you to encourage your child’s reading development with rich vocabulary, background knowledge, and discussion opportunities. (Remember, listening to Because of Winn Dixie as a family counts as reading it together!)

2nd Grade Leprechaun Traps!

From the Security Team:

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Tech Corner:

Protect Your Personal Information

  • Lock down your login: Fortify your online accounts by enabling the strongest authentication tools available, such as biometrics, security keys or a unique one-time code through an app on your mobile device. Your usernames and passwords are not enough to protect key accounts like email, banking and social media.

  • Make your password a sentence: A strong password is a sentence that is at least 12 characters long. Focus on positive sentences or phrases that you like to think about and are easy to remember (for example, “I love country music.”). On many sites, you can even use spaces!
  • Unique account, unique password: Having separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals. At a minimum, separate your work and personal accounts and make sure that your critical accounts have the strongest passwords.
  • Write it down and keep it safe: Everyone can forget a password. Keep a list that’s stored in a safe, secure place away from your computer. You can alternatively use a service like a password manager to keep track of your passwords.

WLACN Poster Contest!!

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Yearbook Order Forms:

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In Our Community:

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Box Top Digital Earnings:............... $211

We have officially surpassed 20% of our goal ($1000) so far this school year!! Thank you, Families, for your committment to our schools!

Box Top funds are used to support your students by purchasing supplies for classroom celebrations, games and outdoor activities, extra books for classroom libraries, and more. Download the Box Tops app today and start scanning your grocery receipts to help us keep learning fun at MSES!

Manitou Springs Elementary School

Maria Masone, Principal

Jennifer Sueppel, Assistant Principal