Wallace Elementary School
Quarterly Newsletter, Marking Period 1
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.
We Believe in the Power of Yet
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.
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
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.
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.
We Believe in Celebrating Us
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.
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.
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.
- 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.