Spotlight

Four Seasons A+ Elementary School November 2021

CALENDAR

  • November 8 - December 3 - Fall Conferences
  • Friday, November 19 - NO SCHOOL Conferences
  • November 25-26 - NO SCHOOL Thanksgiving Break
  • Monday, November 29 - Phillips Eye Institute Vision Screening
  • Wednesday, December 1 - Picture Day


Calendar note - to prioritize conferences, we will not be holding a Monthly Community Gathering in November.

From Our Principal, Ms. Mickelson

We are approaching our third month back in school. It has been a challenging transition for many (families, students, and staff). The rituals and routines of being in school are essential for the success of our students which is why we are spending so much time teaching and reteaching our expectations. Three things we are currently working on are using school language, being responsible in the hallways and bathrooms, and keeping hands to ourselves. To us as adults, these seem like basic expectations. However, when students haven't been consistently in school for two years, it does become more challenging. Rest assured; we are doing everything we can to support our students with the transition. Some things that we are doing are...


  • all school lessons on using common spaces respectfully (what to do and what not to do),
  • all school lessons about using school language (what is ok to say at school and what is not), and
  • all school lessons about keeping hands to ourselves.


Our school counselor is doing lessons about solving problems and dealing with emotions in healthy ways in all of our classrooms. I am even working on a remote desk outside the bathrooms to consistently remind our students of the expectations.


Changing behaviors can't happen overnight, but we will get there by working together. We need your support too. If your child's teacher calls home to let you know that your child isn't meeting expectations, you can support us by reiterating the expectations of our school. Teachers will be handing out our school-wide expectations document (called a PBIS matrix) during conferences so you will know exactly what we expect of our students and can support us in holding our students to these expectations.


Of course, we are all learning. We will all make mistakes. The important thing is to always be accountable, take responsibility for the mistake, and learn from it. These lessons are vital to success not only in school, but in life too. Thank you so much for your support in the endeavor.

Fall Conferences

We have completed nearly two months of learning together and teachers are eager to meet with families and share what is happening in the classroom. Parent (Family) Teacher Conferences are an important time to exchange information. Families will hear what their child is learning and receive progress information. Teachers will gain information from families on how to support learning at home. Families and teachers will be able to ask questions and set goals.


Four Seasons A+ is committed to 100% conference attendance. Conferences will be virtual. If you prefer an in person conference, contact your child's teacher. Friday, November 19 is set aside for daytime conferences. There will be NO SCHOOL that day. Four Seasons is hosting conferences November 8-December 3. Your classroom teacher will contact you to schedule a conference.

what's happening in the classroom

Big picture

DHH

DHH PRESCHOOL

Apples, pumpkins, changing leaves and weather - our Deaf and Hard of Hearing preschoolers have been exploring the changes that take place each Autumn with real experiences, our dramatic play areas, and activities that involve both play and learning! Our unit this month focuses on the changes happening outside but also how each of them have grown and changed since they were born. These littles just keep growing in height AND in their communication skills. Keep it up preschoolers!!!!


DHH ASL

This month our DHH ASL classroom has been busy learning about fall and seasonal changes! We have enjoyed playing with our friends, exploring outside on scavenger hunts, and learning new signs for the things around us. The students have been practicing our names, alphabet letters, numbers, and learning how to express ourselves in new ways. Come stop in and say hello!


DHH +

Hello families! October was a busy month for our Deaf + classroom! We started the month learning about different animal habitats and decorating our room to look like different habitats. We have been learning about animals we can find in the desert, grasslands, woods, and rainforest. We also started our digital Academic Parent Teacher Teaming (APTT) on SeeSaw. Please make sure you watch those videos and let Ms. Corbett know if you have any questions!

Pre-k

Pre-K has been busy learning about Changes in our World. We have been noticing all the changes happening outside (the leaves changing colors, the leaves falling from the trees, the weather getting colder, the animals (especially squirrels) preparing for winter, etc). We have had fun learning through our play with the new toys in each of our learning centers. We have raked cranberries in our sensory table, played with pumpkins and leaves with trucks in the block area, explored many fun and interesting things in our science center like a deer antler, deer hoof, rabbit fur, and pretend birds, and pretended in the kitchen in our dramatic play center using apples and warm jackets. We have also gone on a shape hunt around the school, started writing letters to form words, and measured ourselves to see our growth this year. We are having a lot of fun in Pre-K!

Kindergarten

Kindergarten has started our new DOW unit: Exploring Change in My World. We have been focusing on the changes in the child’s world. These include recognizing change and growth in themselves, noticing changes in the outdoor environment, and discussing what animals are doing to prepare for the weather change of fall into winter. For Literacy, we have been focusing on letter names and sounds and clapping out the parts of words (syllables). Patterning, sorting items and number recognition continues to be explored during Math. With the changing weather and temperatures, please help your child increase their independence by practicing tying their own shoes and zipping up their own coats. Just like the change in seasons, each Kindergarten student is growing and changing each day!

Grade 1

Reading:

We are meeting with our small reading groups and continue our daily read alouds.

Writing:

We are working through the alphabet, practicing how to form upper and lowercase letters.

Math:

We are working on number identification, patterns, skip counting by 10s and 5s.

Science:

We are learning about fall and the changes we see happening around us.

Social Studies:

We will be exploring celebrations and holidays that our classmates celebrate.

grade 2

For the past quarter, second/third grade has been working on building reading stamina and learning classroom routines. We have been working in small reading groups to improve reading skills.


In math we have been learning about patterns, place value, and addition. We have also enjoyed using new math apps on our iPads, like Prodigy.

grade 3

Third grade has been working on building reading stamina and stamina in general. Students are reading daily and practicing daily math work. We are building stamina as a class by adding more work to our day as we continue to teach, re-teach and fine tune the classroom and school expectations.


We continue to grow as a classroom community as we work through problems and solutions, emotionally and mentally. We have seen student growth since the beginning of the school year.

Grades 4-5

The fourth and fifth grade team continues to practice rituals and routines for a successful classroom environment. In Reading, we have been implementing small Guided Reading groups and practicing independent reading stamina skills. We have also implemented Words Their Way for students to practice their vocabulary and comprehension. In Math, we are working on multi-digit multiplication, input/output, and word problems.

MLL Department

The teachers in the MLL Department continue to work on foundational English skills with our students. We were also happy to welcome new Oromo and Spanish speaking students to Four Seasons in the past few weeks. Ms. Casey Seeling, who works with our second graders, will be leaving Four Seasons to work full-time at Highwood Hills Elementary. Ms Seeling was working half time at Four Seasons and half-time at Highwood Hills. There will be another teacher replacing Ms. Seeling and there will be more information about the new teacher in our next newsletter.


Parent Teacher Conferences are happening this month. Look for information in another part of this newsletter. We look forward to meeting parents and adults of our English learners. You will be getting information about scheduling. Please sign up as soon as you are able so we can schedule interpreters for you. If you have any questions, please contact your child's MLL teacher. The MLL teachers are assigned to grade levels as follows:


  • kindergarten and first grade. - Ms. Xiong
  • second grade- Ms. Seeling
  • third-grade and Mr Taylor's 4/5 class - Ms. Moga
  • Ms. Smith, Ms. Spear, Ms. Becker, and Mr. Proferl 's 4/5 classes - Ms. Rodefeld

school funding & lunch forms

Social Work update - winter gear

Hello Four Seasons Families-


I can hardly believe that it is November already! As the mornings get colder and colder we know the Minnesota Winter is not far behind. We have hats, mittens, scarves, snow pants, and winter jackets available for students who need cold weather gear. Please reach out to your student's teacher. PLEASE label the cold weather gear with your child's name as we have a lot of black snow pants and blue jackets that all look similar. We encourage families to take what they need. Our community partners are extremely generous. Storage space is limited at school so the more we can get these items to students the better 🙂


As a reminder if your family needs extra support, know school can be a resource. The social worker and counselor have community resources that can be especially helpful to families over the winter months. You can call the school directly and Susie our amazing clerk can connect you to myself or the counselor. Your student's teacher is always a great resource for this too.


Parents I continue to be grateful to those of you who are constantly sharing resources you think would be helpful for school. If you know of a resource, please email me the information.


In partnership,

Ann Elenbaas

phillips eye institute vision screening

Monday, Nov. 29th, 8am-1:30pm

318 North Moore Street

Saint Paul, MN

Students in K, 1, 3 and 5 will soon be participating in vision screening DURING THE SCHOOL DAY.


If you do not want your child to participate, please notify the health office at 651-888-7623.

big brothers big sisters

Free mentoring for students grades 2-4. Mentors meet with students 1 hour/week during the school day. Click the Big Brothers Big Sisters button above to fill out the application. See Counselor Update for more information.

counselor update

Greetings Four Seasons families,


K-5 students have been hard at work during school counseling classroom lessons! We have been utilizing the Zones of Regulation curriculum to help with identifying our feelings, tools we can use to calm down along with the size of the problem and our reactions.


We also have Big Brothers Big Sisters partnering with our school. With this program, we are able to match students in 2nd-4th grade with a positive, caring college student or community adult through out the school year. If you have any questions about this opportunity or if you're interested in signing your child up, please feel free to contact Stephen Eskro at seskro@bigstwincities.org or 651-789-2437.


Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns about your child. I can be reached at 651-744-2018 or via email at brooke.hardman@spps.org.

Four Seasons family handbook

For policies and general information about our school, see the Four Seasons A+ Family Handbook.