Alta Vista Voyager Connection

An In-Depth Newsletter for Alta Vista Families

Upcoming Events

December 5: CDMC Meeting at 4:15 pm

Oustanding Teacher Reception (Recognizing Ms. Rawles) at 6:30 pm at Waco High

December 12: Grades PK, Kinder, 1st, and 2nd Caroling at Richland Mall at 6:30 pm

December 13: Grades 3rd, 4th, & 5th Caroling at Richland Mall at 6:30 pm

December 14: December Reading Challenge DUE for Free Book!

December 15: Holiday Parties & Early Release

December 18-January 3: Holiday Break for Students

January 4: Students Return to School!

Celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas with Us!

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Parent Involvement Opportunities

Join us on Tuesday, December 5 at 4:15 pm for our 2nd Campus Decision Making Committee (CDMC) Meeting of the school year. We will review current testing data and discuss parent involvement plans, including ideas for Reading Night.

November Makerspace Fun!

Pack of Hope Drive

Thank you for helping us collect over 2,000 items for our annual Pack of Hope food drive. We are blessed by your support!

Monthly Book Challenge

Decorate the tree with a scene from your favorite winter or December holiday book (Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years, etc). Include the title of the book and decorate! Return it to Mrs. Helton by Thursday, December 14 for a FREE BOOK!

Check out Mrs. Helton's video for more details!

Conscious Discipline Tips

With the holidays approaching, there is talk about who is on the “Naughty or Nice list” and you may even have an Elf on the Shelf that will soon be making regular visits to your home with his job being to listen, watch and report back to Santa about your child’s good or bad choices. There is a Conscious Discipline twist that can be put on these ideas and that is the Power of Attention.

The Power of Attention: What you focus on you get more of. There is an abundance of research that supports developing our power of attention to focus on behaviors we want to see from our children instead of those we don’t. At any given time,there are children being helpful and some being hurtful. Which ones will get your attention? Where do you want to put your focus?

You can use your Elf on the Shelf or Santa’s “Naughty or Nice” list to be the vehicle that retrains your eyes to see the love and positivity that surrounds you. You can help your children grow up seeing the glass as half full instead of half empty. We can also teach our children that when there is an oops, it is an opportunity to learn, focus on a solution and find the beauty in the situation.

So… How can the Elf on the Shelf tradition be tweaked to focus on helpfulness? Here are some suggestions:

Watch “Shubert Sees the Best” with your child.

1. Present each child with his/her own pair of heart shaped glasses to decorate. FREE printable:

2. Everyone color and decorate their own pair of heart-shaped glasses just like Shubert's!

3. Once decorated, everyone put the glasses on and have a family meeting to talk about what it means to see the best in others.

4. Tell the children that the Elf on the Shelf will be seeing the best in others too! Make sure your elf is wearing his very own pair of heart shaped glasses everyday that he visits!

5. Poster board titled, “(Elf’s Name) _____ Helps Us See the Best! Cut snowflake shapes out of construction paper and put them in a basket near the board. Explain that when somebody notices someone being helpful or kind, they can write that person’s name on a snowflake and tape it to the board. Make sure the Elf on the Shelf is adding snowflakes to the bulletin board!

6. Have the Elf leave little notes that contain encouraging words and notices helpfulness: “You _____ (describe what the child did) so (describe how it contributed to others). That was helpful!


You cleaned up the race cars so no one would fall. That was helpful!

You reminded your Mom to put on her seatbelt so she would be safe. That was helpful!

You got up on time so we would not be late for school/work. . That was helpful!

For more tips on how to help children manage stress during the holiday season listen to Real Talk for Real Teachers with Dr. Becky Bailey and special guest Jill Beck, Episode 008: Managing The Stress of Your Children During the Holidays:

Mayborn Family Memberships

Did you know that you can receive a discounted family membership to the Mayborn Museum for only $10 if you have an EBT card? The family membership is good for admission for your family (up to 2 adults and children) as often as you like for one year! You can also get a reduced admission rate of just $1 each for up to 2 adults and the children in the household if you have an EBT card. To learn more, visit the front desk of the Mayborn Museum or call 254-710-1110.

Math Chat

Watch our monthly math chat video to learn different ways to chat about math at home and build math skills.
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Read, Read, Read!

You may have noticed that we don't believe in assigning homework at Alta Vista Elementary. Why? We want kids reading!! Over the break, we encourage you to check out your local library (if you haven't already). The Waco libraries are open late several days a week and on Saturdays to accommodate busy families. Getting a library card is FREE; all you need is your license and a bill with your current address.

Of course, don't forget to have your students READ! They can read silently or read to you. Even if your making dinner, doing laundry, or cleaning, your child can still read out loud to you. He or she will benefit by hearing the word said aloud, and this builds fluency and reading comprehension.

If you are struggling with what to get your kids for Christmas, try books! They're fun, can be read over and over, passed down to younger siblings, and they support your child's learning. Plus, they don't cost a whole lot. You can find affordable books at Wal-Mart, Target, and even Dollar Tree!

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Hour of Code

Alta Vista students will be participating in Hour of Code next week (December 4-8). They will be learning how to program different type of robots using simple coding language. Some of you may ask "why??" According to, "With technology changing every industry on the planet, computing knowledge has become part of a well-rounded skill set. But fewer than half of all schools teach computer science!...Every student should have the opportunity to learn computer science. It helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity. By starting early, students will have a foundation for success in any 21st-century career path."

The great thing is that students can practice computer coding ANY TIME from a computer or phone with internet access. Here is a website with some really fun games to help students learn more about computer coding:

They have activities for the youngest students all the way to high school students. If your students are looking for a fun computer game, but you want to keep it educational, we highly recommend you check out that website!

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You can also read more about what's happening and view pictures on our campus website at