Wallace Elementary School

Quarterly Newsletter, Marking Period 1

Celebrating Our Culture and Community

Inside this Issue

  • Principal's Message
  • The Power of Yet
  • Creating the Unexpected
  • Celebrating Us
  • Recommended Read
  • Upcoming Events

Principal's Message

Let me begin by saying it has been my honor and privilege to start my fifth year as Principal of Wallace Elementary School in such a positive and exciting manner. Our first marking period has built a solid foundation for one of the best years to come. Our faculty and staff started the year ready to challenge our students, while simultaneously developing engaging atmospheres that are conducive to a quality education. We are truly firing on all cylinders.

As you peruse our newsletter, you will notice that Growth Mindset is a theme throughout. This year, we are looking to build the resilience of our students by helping them develop a growth mindset. A growth mindset is a belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed over time. We are looking to instill this belief in every child that walks through our doors. Here at Wallace, we believe in the immeasurable potential of every one of our Wildcats. This belief is evident in our Novel Studies, Project Lead the Way, Band and Chorus, and every other aspect of the school day. We aspire to empower our students to take ownership of their education, personal connections, and their future. Please join us on our journey through 1100 Willow Ave.

Martin Shannon


We Believe in the Power of Yet

One of the most powerful words we use daily is "yet." As important as it is to focus on math, reading, social studies, and core subjects, it is just as critical to help our students develop growth in areas such as perseverance, fortitude, and grit. Teaching growth mindset provides all students with strategies to successfully access the world around them. We believe that it is important to help our students have the ability to fall and get back up.
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Have you meet our new friend NED? Not only does he have excellent yo-yo skills, he also has a “go” brain. In October Wallace students participated in a school-wide assembly where Ned shared an acronym for his name as a concrete strategy for remembering the key components of a growth mindset.

The writing process takes time and effort and offers no shortcuts nor quick formulas. A student’s reward, though, of trusting and investing in the process, makes the productive struggle totally worthwhile. This quarter students have been provided with many opportunities to write a range to pieces, all while developing into stronger, more capable writers. In Kindergarten through second grade students our writers have been working to illustrate and construct sentences. Students have also explored narrative writing and worked to formulate strong plots with a beginning, middle, and end. In the upper grades students are challenged to take a "Now what?" approach in ELA. By asking students these two words during writing conferences, they are empowered to become arbiters of their own learning. As students engage with both daily and monthly writing tasks through this lens, they begin to identify their own glows, celebrations of success, and grows, opportunities further improvement.

A positive attitude and growth mindset are critical for math learning. Throughout this first quarter, students in all grade levels engaged in quality, collaborative math tasks to create a culture that recognizes and values mistakes as opportunities to learn! In kindergarten, students began exploring number sense through tactical counting and cardinality activities to strengthen their ability to identify how many items are in a set. Using manipulatives requires students to use tools appropriate. Our first grade scholars built onto their prior knowledge of number sense as they worked to generate strategies to solve addition and subtraction problems using place value. Students certainly had to embody a growth mindset as they persevered to solve problems.Third grade students increased their understanding of numbers and operations as they engaged in collaborative discussions and number sense games to make connections between addition and multiplication. Fourth grade explored the concepts of multiplication, division, and the roles factors and multiples play. Our fifth grade scholars continued to develop multiplication and division skills, increasing to multi-digit factors, dividends, and divisors. Students then applied their understanding of multiplication as they explored the properties of three-dimensional objects and determined the volume of combined rectangular prisms. Regardless of the level, students utilized self-assessment, peer discourse, feedback, and revision in their math classrooms to train their brains that challenges and mistakes help us grow.
FAIL- First Attempt In Learning. Across all grade levels, PLTW students have spent the first quarter working through the Engineering Design Process. Although every aspect of this step-by-step process is important, it is evaluation, revision, and improvement that makes students real engineers and scientists in the classroom. When our students are problem solvers, they learn that there are many solutions to an issue. Then, through this work, trial and error, and the willingness to experiment, students learn that with a growth mindset anyone can succeed. The picture shows a revised prototype of car. Students were challenged to create a car that safely protects the passenger, an egg, during a collision.
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Mojo Monday. Every Monday Kindergarteners begin their week learning about different social-emotional topics that are important to their learning and help them to develop a growth mindset. The topics have ranged from moods and attitudes, to peace and respect.

Musical talent does not come without its fair share of challenges. Whether is during band, chorus, or a specials class, our music educators at Wallace help students to develop a love and excitement for the process of learning musical skills and knowledge. When students come together and work in a collaborative atmosphere, the power of “YET” grows inside the classroom, and they are able to expand their minds, think outside the box, and be able to accomplish their goals.

This quarter, Mr. Panfile provided opportunities for students to see that ability isn't fixed and can grow and develop just like our musical talents. Second grade classes have learned the song “Rock The Capitals - South America” and our currently working on posters, like the one pictured here, of different South American countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Ecuador. Fourth and fifth grade music classes have studied music through a similar lens. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month students have learned songs and dances from countries such as Colombia, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. Through this close study of multicultural music students are able to see the vast array of music present in our world, grow in appreciation of it, and celebrate culture.

In Physical Education we are developing strong students one thought at a time. Wallace P.E. kicked off the year with the pacer test to see if student’s cardio vascular

endurance further developed since the year prior. Students were asked to run from one side of the gym to the other when the audio track had prompted them to do so. Some students explained that they did not reach their target score but are okay with that because through the power of YET, they are confident that they will. Students did a fantastic job with the Pacer Test and are looking forward to the next one!

Following the Pacer Test, our students started the first sports unit of the year with football! Channeling their inner Joe Montana and Jerry Rice, students started out the unit by throwing and catching with partners and were really able to bring it all in. All of the skills were tied together when we incorporated route running and snapping the football. Students were happy to try the different positions and put their skills to the test.

With football coming to an end, students are looking forward to the start of the second unit, hockey. Not only will students be developing dribbling skills, but students will also learn to pass, shoot and most importantly use teamwork and good sportsmanship. At the end of the unit, students will have the opportunity to showcase their skills to their classmates when we close the unit with a modified hockey game.

A lot of learning, fun and character building lies ahead of us this year, but out students are eager to out their best foot forward and give it their best shot!

We Believe in Creating the Unexpected

WES kicked off the 2019-2020 school year by joining the Get Your Teach On Team's Rock Your School Day! On 9.19.19 our educators were challenged to create an outside-the-box educational experience for our students. Our teachers made the ordinary content become extraordinary by creating unexpected experiences, captivating all students, and making learning FUN!

The goal at Wallace was to create a movement that continues in classrooms throughout the school year and not just on one day in September. The pictures below, and the countless not included, speak to the creativity and passion that WES brings to everything we do. It is through these unique learning opportunities that we see the impact student engagement has in our classrooms and most importantly in the lives of students.

Our Kindergarten rockstars literally took their learning OUTside the four walls of their classrooms. In the morning they practiced letter recognition by recording letters they identified on a scavenger. As mathematicians, students rolled dice and then added the numbers together by hopping to determine the sum. To conclude the day they wrote all about the unexpected fun they had when they took their learning outside.

Thursday Might Football. Our fifth grade scholars experienced the unexpected when an ordinary Thursday became "Thursday MIGHT Football." On this day students were challenged to learn with all their “might” as they engaged in academic tasks across all subject areas while competing in a friendly game of football. All day long students were cheered on by their fellow players and coaches, with competition concluding to an end with very close final score and a celebration of sportsmanship.

PLTW challenges come in all shapes and sizes, but always make learning FUN. This marking period, the Cup Stacking and Roller Coaster Challenge have made it to the top two favorites. In the first, students were challenged to construct a tower by stacking six cups on top of one another using only four pipe cleaners and rubber band. Each group timed themselves to see how fast they could stack the cups in three different tower formations. In the second, and favorite challenge, students built their own model roller coasters to explore potential and kinetic energy. Each group was challenged to include at least one loop in their roller coaster and had to make sure the marble stayed on the track for the entire ride.

Lights, Camera, Characterization! Fourth graders were beyond excited to walk down on the red carpet as a character in the First Annual Character Fashion Show. To prepare for their big debut students selected various props, such as star sunglasses, feather boas, and different colored hats. When they were show ready they took turns demonstrating their understanding of characterization. Students did an amazing job showcasing their ability to not only construct a fictional character, but also use adjectives to describe their features. Learning was certainly the best fashion accessory!

We Believe in Celebrating Us

Wallace Elementary School believes in our students, staff, families, and community. We celebrate the unique skills, talents, traits, and experiences that each of our members brings to our school. Throughout the school year we have many opportunities to celebrate us. We ask that you join us in celebrating the academic and community successes we've had this quarter. To stay in touch with our future celebrations please remember to follow our School Dojo account and weekly newsletters sent by Mr. Shannon.
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We celebrate US by rallying for peace, kindness, and healthy choices. Wallace honored the Week of Respect with our annual Peace Week celebration. Students participated in a “Pause for Peace” period in which the entire school community “paused” for a special lesson focused on respect and kindness. The week concluded with a school wide Peace Rally where students sang and cheered for peace in our school, in our town, and our world. At the assembly Wallace’s October Peace Pals and the first Peace Raffle winners of the school year were announced.

As the fall continued students took part in growth mindset lessons and learning experiences. They went on a journey to find a positive mindset where they learned to never give up, encourage others, and do their best.

Continue to encourage your student to follow the Wallace School Peace Pledge for a chance to win our weekly Peace Raffle, and/or be nominated for the coveted monthly Peace Pal honor.

Wallace University, a space to celebrate the work of WES educators. Room 302 has a different name and look this year as it has been repurposed to provide teachers with a room dedicated for professional learning. Teachers frequent Wallace University to attend common planning and professional development sessions facilitated by administration, district supervisors, and our very own teaching staff. The collaborative conversations, laughter, and creative planning ideas flourish in this space and we can't wait to see how it continues to grow over the course of the school year.
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The votes our in and the Fifth Grade Team is excited to publicly announce the formation of our 2019-2020 Wallace Student Council. Two representatives from each fifth grade classroom will serve as peer leaders by attending meetings with their advisors, Mrs. Martinez and Ms. Lawrence, to share ideas, interests, and concerns with our school community. The Student Council, pictured above, served as Student Ambassadors at Back To School Night greeting and helping to direct families to their students' classrooms.

Currently, Student Council is working alongside the PTO to promote the our school-wide initiative, Wallace Gives Back. WES students are challenged to to help us give back to our community, by donating bring nonperishable food items for the the Hoboken Shelter. The collection began on November 11th and will conclude with an in-school event on November 25th. Collection Bins are located in the classrooms, but if you would like to donate the main office is happy to receive the items and direct them accordingly.

Rain, rain, go away, our Annual Halloween Parade is today! Despite the weather we managed to stay dry and our Halloween Parade was a beautiful sight. Our communities enthusiasm and smiles made all of our young ones feel truly special. amazing Rockin’ Redwings Band and also to the traffic division of the Hoboken Police Department. Without the help of everyone, we would not be able to move the entirety of the city’s largest student body in a safe and orderly manner. Thanks are also in order for our always on-point PTO for sponsoring the annual Halloween Dance last Friday. This popular event is always one of our biggest fundraisers. Your support is so greatly appreciated.

Recommended Read

When we’re overwhelmed by emotions, we’re usually not our best selves. We may blow up, say hurtful things, or burst into tears. In this recommended read, Permission to Feel; Unlocking the Power of Emotions to Help Ourselves, Our Kids, and Our Society Thrive, Mark Brackett shares a blueprint for understanding our emotions and using them wisely so that they help, rather than hinder, our success and well-being. Wallace educators selected this title for the first professional learning book club of the school year. However, this illuminating read is not just for teachers or for our school. This book inspires all readers to interpret and reconnect with their own emotions and focuses on how we can utilize Brackett’s tactics, such as the mood meter, to help ourselves and our children alike.

Upcoming Events

  • Wallace Gives Back, November 11th - November 25th
  • The Wallace Band and Chorus students are diligently preparing for their upcoming holiday concert on Dec. 18th at 7PM in the HS Auditorium. We are also very excited to welcome the many new members joining our band program. These band students will play with Brandt and Connors to form a District Elementary Band for the holiday concert. Beginning band students are very excited to make new friends and have the experience of playing in a large group. On December 19th at 9AM students will perform a holiday assembly for the district. The Select Choir will perform at the Hoboken Tree Lighting Ceremony on Dec. 2nd at City Hall along with many other district ensembles. We hope to see you at these events! If you wish to join the program, please email Ms. Safko.