Franklin Academy Pembroke Pines K-8

Parent Newsletter | December 2018

A Message from Ms. Diaz, Principal

The holidays are upon us, and it is a wonderful time of the year! From gingerbread houses to the Jingle Jog, we have a lot of fun events and fantastic activities happening in the classroom. The excitement in the building is high, and we are all looking forward to a happy and healthy winter holiday season.


Attendance is an important part of your child's education. Coming to school on time and staying for the full day is the best way for your child to get the most from his or her teacher's lessons. Please remember that our elementary arrival ends at 7:30 am, with tardies beginning immediately after. Middle Years Programme (MYP) students are expected to be in class no later than 8:30 in the morning. The latest that you are allowed on campus to pick up your child for early dismissal is 1:45 pm. While minimizing absences is a great way to set your child up for success every quarter, we do not want you to send your child to school when they are sick and/or contagious.


The Winter Holiday Break is a great time for your child to do some extra work to get ahead for the new year. Winter Break assignments should have been sent home with directions for completion and grading. Now is the time to get those i-Ready minutes in and spend some more time reading!


It is an honor to have your child in our school, and we hope the best for you and yours this holiday season. As always, please let us know if there is ever anything we can do for your child to help this year to be a success.


Happy Holidays!

What's Been Going On...

Chess Tournament

On Saturday, December 1st, our Franklin Cooper City campus hosted the Franklin Academy Fall K-12 Chess Tournament. This competition included chess talent from all of our Franklin Academy campuses. It was a day of competitive fun for over 60 of our Franklin chess students.


Congratulations to all of the chess players who attended to make this a successful event, and special congratulations to our own 6th grade champion Alan N. who placed well in the K-8 Category.


The Franklin Spring Tournament will be hosted here at Franklin Academy Pembroke Pines K-8 in 2019. More information will be provided in the new year.

Home for the Holidays, A Winter Show

Our winter program, “Home for the Holidays,” was a great success! Mr. Vazquez’s Advanced Band was spectacular, especially with their rendition of “Christmas at the Circus” and their other selections of music. Ms. Amaya’s Hip Hop and Latin Rhythm clubs got the whole audience dancing in their seats. As always, Mrs. Soto’s students did an incredible job with those amazing voices and the a cappella song "Sing Noel" was unbelievable. The drama students, under the direction of Ms. Lubiner, did a great job in Annie, Jr. The kids came alive on the stage, especially when they were singing the classic songs “It’s the Hard Knock Life” and “Tomorrow”.

Franklin Academy Art Show

Our first Annual Franklin Academy Art show was a great success! Art work was contributed by over 200 students from our four Broward campuses. Many of the students and parents attended to see the beautiful art work. There were paintings, drawings, collages, three dimensional work, and ceramics. We are looking forward to an even bigger and better event next year.

Holiday Toy Drive

The Franklin Academy Pembroke Pines Chapter of the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) partnered with Camelot Community Care to provide children with a bit of cheer this holiday season. Our annual Toy Drive brought in donations by our generous Franklin Families which overflowed in every class, our main office, and eventually into the hearts of the recipients. The members of NJHS gathered and counted the donated toys with eager hearts to prepare them for the pick-up date on December 19, 2018. Shortly thereafter, Camelot Community Care expressed their gratitude for the tremendous generosity from our families, who donated close to 700 toys to bring cheer to the children who are less fortunate. The Holiday Toy Drive continues to be a huge celebration of generosity and goodwill, and we are grateful to our Franklin Families for participating so willingly every year!​

Character Counts! Caring is a Gift You Can Share!

A caring culture is constantly being nurtured and promoted at Franklin Academy Pembroke Pines. Everyone at our school is continuously encouraging students to do their absolute best to impact the lives of others in a positive way. This month, the character trait of “CARING” was highlighted in a special way by urging students to show others that they care and appreciate them. Students took the challenge and displayed caring acts by writing special notes of appreciation and making beautiful cards of gratitude for administrators, teachers and staff members at our school. These simple gestures of kindness brought smiles to numerous faces and much joy to many hearts. It is unimaginable how a genuine caring act can have a positive impact in the lives of those around us.

Annual Jingle Jog

Our 3rd annual Jingle Jog was a great success! Students from Kindergarten through Fifth Grade participated in fitness merriment as they ran, danced and sang into the holiday spirit. Hosted by the Elementary Specials team and DJ Donzo, the students were able to celebrate together for one last time in 2018. The Annual Jingle Jog is always a popular event!

Kindergarten Gingerbread Houses

Hello, December! The kindergarten students spent a memorable morning creating their very own gingerbread house with a special loved one. They each built their own gingerbread house using graham crackers, icing, skittles, peppermint candies, M&Ms and other delicious treats. The parents and students got super creative in constructing different structured houses. The students danced away to some holiday tunes as they worked on their houses. Each student took home their very own gingerbread house as a special treat to enjoy. Everyone had an amazing time during our start to our December holiday festivities.

First Grade Learns About Holidays Around the World

December is a special time for all, but for First Grade it’s out of this world! We have a new friend named Scott, who is a globe trotter. He teaches all of us about the different holidays in amazing countries. We ate Buche de Noel, played dreidel, drummed like Ugandans, gazed upon beautiful poinsettias, compared La Befana to Santa, created our own Matryoshka Doll, made our resolutions for Chinese New Year, and lastly, created a lantern to celebrate Diwali. These amazing activities were given to us by our amazing friend, Scott. He delivered boxes each day with information, activities, and food. We learned that, while our traditions are different, we still share many similarities with each one. First Grade thanks Scott!

Second Grade Tours the World!

Second grade has taken a quick tour around the world learning about the various holidays that are celebrated in different countries. From America to Russia to the Far East, people celebrate holidays with special traditions and festivities. We have been learning about Hanukkah, Chinese New Year, Kwanzaa, Diwali, and Christmas in Japan, Australia, and Russia. We have learned fascinating traditions, delicious foods, and fun facts about each of these countries. The students have enjoyed studying about these multicultural celebrations. Holidays and celebrations are some of the best times to gather with family to create lifelong memories, and families around the world cherish many traditions together.

Big picture

Third Grade Celebrates Our Great Country

Third Graders are very busy completing our study on the U.S. Government. Students created Flip-Books, a Book of Terms, and a Brochure detailing our Constitution and the three branches of government. We spent lots of time discussing our democracy, our Founding Fathers, and how people vote to express their concerns and their needs. We learned that freedom is not free, and that we all have the right to be happy, safe, and free. We learned so much!


We finished the second quarter of our school year with i-Ready Diagnostic Assessments and our i-Ready Challenge. Several classes have completed over 200 lessons so far. Third Grade rocks!


For the holidays, we did a book exchange and celebrated with hot chocolate, pajamas, and treats. We have all enjoyed this awesome weather in Florida!


We are looking forward to our winter break so that we can spend more time with our families. Happy Holidays to everyone!

Fourth Grade Goes to Lion Country Safari

It was a beautiful December day when Fourth Grade students trekked up to Lion Country Safari for our first field trip of the 2018-2019 school year. First, our classes enjoyed an hour-long presentation about animal adaptations. Then, students enjoyed feeding giraffes large lettuce leaves. Finally, after lunch at the park, we all got back on the bus and drove through the safari to see lions, rhinos, zebras and more! Oh my!

Fifth Grade Spends a Day at Dickinson State Park

On December 17 and 18, our fifth grade students took a field trip to the Jonathan Dickinson State Park. Students began their journey hiking through the park’s multiple ecosystems and compared the different plants and animals found in each ecosystem. They were able to hike up to the highest point of South Florida and observed the beautiful views. The students then traveled along the Loxahatchee River by canoe where they worked in teams to paddle their way down the river, explore mangroves, test the river’s water at different points, and record the data they collected. We then traveled to the beach where we explored the Coastal Hammock and the Barrier Island ecosystems. The last stop on our trip was to the Marine Life Center’s Sea Turtle Hospital. Here, the students were given an in-depth tour of the grounds and were able to observe the hospital’s many turtles as they are recovering. After a long day of exploring the different ecosystems of the park, students worked together to compare and contrast their scientific observations through journaling. This was a fantastic trip that the students will never forget!

MYP Year 1 Designs a Human Chess Match

On Tuesday, December 18, the MYP Year 1 Design: Chess class hosted a “Knight” to Remember with Franklin Academy’s inaugural Human Chess Tournament. The event was held on the patio of our beautiful building.


The MYP Year 1 Design: Chess class finished the semester by applying the analytic skills they learned through playing chess to the design of costumes needed to create and participate in a human chess game. The assignment required the students to work as a single team, with student managers assigned to work through all of the design and management issues needed to bring the project to fruition. Each class came up with original ideas that resulted in 5 kingdoms with unique themes. These included the BLU Kingdom, the LION kingdom, the SUPER MARIO Kingdom, the Kingdom of SWAG, and the Kingdom of SPORTS. Using the design cycle, the classes created a design brief and design specification needed to create their final products. Each kingdom produced 16 costumes, a coat of arms shield, a flag, and a narrative telling the tale of life in their kingdom.


Under clear skies and festive lighting, students gathered on the patio to assemble their armies and do battle on the giant chessboard which featured squares measuring 3 square feet. The commanders of the human chess pieces were none other than the class champions which included Alan N., Adrian M., and Thomas V. Two games were played. The first ended in a scholars mate, and the second was a draw, giving the championship to the LION Kingdom.


It was an audience participation event, and in addition to the MYP Year 1 Design: Chess students, siblings and parents also enjoyed donning costumes and getting in the game.


Add to that musical accompaniment from the Franklin Academy Band, and good cheer from everyone present, and it was a perfect formula for an evening of royal fun and excitement. We are already anticipating the battles to come with the incoming MYP Year 1 Design: Chess classes in the spring.

MYP Year 2 Takes on the Toy Drive

Franklin Academy’s Toy Drive was in full swing this holiday season, with our official Toy Drive starting on December 4, helping those in need have a happier holiday season. Our MYP Year 2 students were happy to participate. Franklin Academy Charter School partnered up with Camelot Community Care (www.camelotcommunitycares.org). Gently used toys will benefit the “Love Me Again” Toy Drive in February to help children in the Dominican Republic.


Students were happy to help, stating “…it’s always good to help those in need, and it feels good to give to others.” Other students stated as well that “…our teachers always say that giving is better than receiving, and that’s really true!”.


The toys collected covered many themes. We saw board games, dolls, superheroes, and even a robot or two. Footballs, basketballs, and volleyballs were also seen! LOL playsets, Legos, and Star Wars troopers were around and about. But, more importantly, we saw the generous spirit of Franklin Academy shine through. If a school is supposed to be about more than academics, then we proudly affirm that we are about this, too.

MYP Year 3 Works on IB Projects

MYP Year 3 students in Ms. Cristo’s class have been working on their latest IB project. Their assignment was to apply what they have learned about graphing linear equations to create a map of a favorite city from around the world. The students had to study the city and generate their graph to include major attractions and points of interest. They used their knowledge of the properties of linear equations to produce a map to include streets and intersections. See some of the finished projects below.

Upcoming Events

Kite Cart for Elementary Students

Wednesday, Jan. 9th, 7:30am

18800 Pines Boulevard

Pembroke Pines, FL

Other Upcoming Events

Winter Holiday Break/No School (All)- January 1 through January 4

No School/Teacher Planning Day (All)- January 7

Classes Resume (All)- January 8

Quarter 2 Report Cards Are Issued (All)- January 9

Annual Domino's Fundraiser (All)- January 10 through January 24

Quarter 3 Student Clubs Begin (All)- January 14

NJAHS Induction Ceremony (MYP)- January 15

IB Report Cards Go Home (MYP)- January 16

Parent Academy: IB Report Cards (MYP)- January 16

Benjamin Franklin's Birthday (All)- January 17

Bone Valley Field Trip (MYP Year 1)- January 17 & 18

National School Choice Week (All)- January 20 through January 26

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day/School Closed (All)- January 21

Pirate Adventure (1st Grade)- January 22 through January 25

Field Day (All)- January 22 through January 29

Museum of Discovery and Science (3rd Grade)- January 25

Celebrate Literacy Week (All)- January 28 through March 1

Personality Portraits (All)- January 30

Character Counts! Student Assembly (All)- January 31

Early Release Day (All)- January 31