Eagle Heights March Newsletter

February 28, 2022

Dear EHE Families,

I hope this newsletter finds you healthy and happy! There are a lot of updates in this newsletter, so please be sure to read it all the way through. Please remember that we will continue to go outside for recess if the weather permits, so please make sure your child has dressed appropriately.

In my last newsletter, I let everyone know that I am retiring at the end of this year. I am happy to announce that Dr. Rachael Marchetti will be stepping into the lead principal role at Eagle next year. I know that Dr. Marchetti will do a fantastic job! I am still out on medical leave, so please reach out to Mrs. Doll, our assistant principal, if you have any questions. dolla@smithville.k12.mo.us

Thank you,

Mrs. Slack

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Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

We have been focusing on Habit 5 during February. Below is a blog from a parent that has been actively focusing on Habit 5. I hope you'll take a few minutes to read through her reflection.

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood® is the habit of listening to other people’s ideas and feelings. It’s trying to see things from their viewpoints. I listen to others without interrupting. It’s about being confident in voicing your ideas. It’s about looking people in the eyes when speaking. Habit 5 is a timeless principle we all strive to teach our kids; it teaches them to be confident when speaking to others while also teaching them the importance of listening to others when they are speaking. Habit 5 is about communication. The best way to teach someone how to communicate is by practicing it with them.

I am fortunate to be a member of a large extended family. My father’s side has 101 people and my mother’s side has 50, plus we have at least two babies on the way that we know of right now. In total, that’s 153 pairs of eyes and ears. That’s 153 different mouths. And with that 153 comes a lot of communication; a lot of speaking and a lot of listening. So for my family, habit 5 is especially important since communication is key to preserving our family’s history.

Growing up, both my mother’s and father’s parents lived within 10 minutes of us as well as most of their siblings. Family gatherings were frequent and often crowded. I loved it! I suppose I appreciate those days more now, as most of the family has spread out across the country making our gatherings less frequent.

I recently had the opportunity to visit my paternal grandparents, who just celebrated 71 years of marriage. It was a welcome opportunity to spend quality time alone with them. In that visit, they asked me so many questions about me and my family and genuinely wanted to know the answers. They responded to each answer I gave them with such love and warmth that I had no doubt they were really listening and taking in all I was saying. At the conclusion of my visit, my grandma asked me to follow her into the other room. She asked me if I remembered the butterfly picture she had brought back from a trip to Africa. I certainly did! I have admired that particular memento since the day she brought it home in 1992. The picture is of two African women holding baskets on their heads and is created with butterfly wings. I am sure I have told her hundreds of times over the years that one day I would love to have that picture in my home.

On that cold winter day, she took it off her wall and handed it to me.

I cried.

I was so overcome with the emotion of the day. I had felt so valued and so loved through our conversation and the picture was the icing on the cake. Every time I look at the picture above my desk I smile. It reminds me that my grandparents value me and love me. I know when I speak to them, they will listen.

However, being on the listening side of a conversation can be just as rewarding, if not more, than the talking side.

My mother’s parents just finished a one-month stay in my city. I live in a warmer area of our state and they needed a little getaway. My 82-year-old grandma recently retired from the shop she has owned for almost thirty years. My 83-year-old grandpa still has a farm he runs.

They are the definition of hard work and are always on the go. For them to drive 360 miles and leave their work and home behind was a big deal. Consequently, they got a little bored after a few days. They called me for ideas about what to do and where to go. I gave them as many as I could think of; one idea was to visit a local pioneer home. I offered to take them; they agreed. It ended up just being me and my grandparents. My grandpa asked that I drive his truck since I knew where I was going.

The 20-minute drive to the pioneer house was fantastic! My grandpa would tell me about riding his bike around the neighborhood they were staying in and new trails he found to take his side by side bicycle on. We passed a man walking on the side of the road with a large backpack and my grandpa told me about his hitchhiking days when he was in the army.

While at the pioneer house we were introducing ourselves to the guides, and they told us they were from a little town in Canada. It turned out my grandpa’s ancestors were from the same town and they knew the same stories from the history of the town.

I was grateful to be there to listen to that exchange.

Later in the day I took my kids to the house they were renting, and we went for a side-by-side ride. I was teasing my son that going up and down the hills was better than any roller coaster we could go on. That reminded my grandpa about the first time (and last time, I might add) that he took his dad on a roller coaster. Through listening to him and asking questions about his experiences, I have come to know my grandpa better and love him even more. I was recalling some of the stories he told me to my aunt, and she told me that even she had not heard some of them.

By taking the time and opening the door for these conversations to happen, I have learned that when people feel valued, they will open up to you. Just like when you feel valued and really listened to, you are more willing to share your thoughts and feelings.

That’s what habit 5 is about. And that’s why this habit is so important to me and my family.

I have been working to apply these principles when conversing with my children. It is enlightening to hear what they have to say when I do slow down and actively listen to them. In addition, they are coming to me with issues they have because they are learning I will let them explain it all to me first before I ask if I can help in any way.

I am not perfect at it. I still get in a rush and want to jump straight into giving advice or answering their question without listening to the whole statement. I must remind myself to slow down, listen first, then give a genuine, calm, reflective response.

Who knew listening could be so involved? It’s sure worth all the work to feel like a million bucks when a conversation is over. I will do the work for that any day.

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Board of Education Awards

March 1, 2022

7:20-7:50 pm

At the PAC

Your child's teacher has contacted you if he/she is receiving an award.

Counselor: Mrs. Downey


In the month of February students in Kindergarten and First grade learned about naming how they feel to tame their uncomfortable feelings. First graders also learned what their bodys feel like when they are calm, alert and ready to learn. These lessons are rooted in Dr. Dan Siegals work and he has a book that I like to recommend to all parents ``The Whole-Brain Child.” In his book you can find strategies to help nurture your child and their developing mind.

Second through Fourth-grade lessons focused on learning to use their social filter. We read the book ``What if Everybody Said That?” and students worked in groups to decide if they should say the thought in their head, filter it by taking out the mean words, or not say it all. We talked about the power of our words and how we should be using them for good. In Fifth grade, students are learning that we have a choice when we have a conflict. We can either escalate or deescalate the situation by making things better or worse. In sixth grade students have been learning about reputations and what they want to be known for. We also played a fun game of Jeopardy to learn how the sixth graders as a whole have the same feelings and thoughts about risky behaviors.

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Fourth Grade Update

We are having a blast in 4th grade. We are currently spending our days exploring and learning how to elaborate and articulate our opinions through writing reviews. In Science, we are wrapping up our energy unit. Our students have enjoyed creating energy transfer machines (Rube Goldberg), wind turbines, and electrical circuits. We are getting ready to move into our next Social Studies unit in which we will explore how Missouri has impacted our nation. Our math learning has taken us on a journey through investigating fractions. We have learned about equivalent fractions and how to compare them, as well as how to add and subtract fractions. For readers' workshops, we have dug deep into fiction texts to synthesize our learning about various plot and theme strategies. Our leadership focus has been Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood. We learned about asking questions to clarify and how to listen using eyes, ears, and heart.

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Art: Ms. Aeschliman

Hello Eagle Heights Families!

Here a quick update on what students have been up to lately in the art studio: PreK students just finished up their brown paper bag puppets. They really enjoyed making them. K-1 has had a cardboard center and fibers center open up! I have been teaching them the running stitch and whip stitch using lace-up cards. They will get to stitch into some styrofoam pieces next! 2nd grade began printing with found objects to create some snowflake prints. We also just started a play-doh creation as an option as well. 3rd began using tempera paint this past month and we talked about creating tagboard prints. 4th grade was introduced to some architecture stamps that can be used to stamp a work of art. We also began working on styrofoam printmaking. 5th graders have also had the option to create gyotaku fish prints and some are working on paper mache hearts as well - both new options to them this past month. Sixth-grade 2D Art has been finishing up watercolor paintings and is currently working on monoprinting using a gel plate. They are creating a stained glass collage.

March is Youth Art Month (YAM). We will have some artwork on display at the Smithville Public Library along with some of the other Smithville schools. Feel free to stop in at the library to check out the art display during the month of March!

We’re also celebrating YAM at Eagle Heights the week of March 21-25 with the following dress up days: Dress Up Days for Youth Art Month

March 21 - 25, 2022

Join us in celebrating Youth Art Month by “dressing up” each day.

Monday – Art Shirt – wear any kind of art shirt! (one you made, a work of art, etc.)

Tuesday – Tye-Dye! – wear your tye-dyed attire!

Wednesday - Primary Colors Day - Wear red, yellow, & blue!

Thursday – Pattern Day – Wear your craziest combination of patterns!

Friday – Green/White Day – Our favorite colors! - Smithville Colors!

THANK YOU to those of you who sent in supplies last month! I am wanting to build up some materials for fibers and weaving projects so if you have any of the following items you’d like to donate, please send it to school with your student in a bag marked Art.

Here’s what I am needing:

  1. Felt (any color - good scraps are fine as well)

  2. Stuffing/fiberfill

  3. Yarn Skeins (leftovers are fine in any colors)

  4. Burlap (4” x 6” pieces or larger that students can stitch into)

You are an amazing school to work for! I am blessed to have your creative student(s)!


Ms. Aeschliman

Eagle Heights Elementary

PreK - 6th grade Art Educator

Library: Ms. Johnson

This month in the library:

1st-grade students finished reading the Show Me nominee books and have voted on their favorites. We are now reading through several different biographies to celebrate Black History Month. Preschool and Kindergarten are enjoying these reads as well.

2nd and 3rd graders have finished their Mock Caldecott unit. We will be transitioning into some focused author & illustrator studies over the next few weeks.

4th graders just finished their Wordless Picture Book unit. We will now be working on a Nonfiction unit focused around author/illustrator Jason Chin. Students will be learning to research, take notes, and cite sources as they complete a research project on one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

5th graders are celebrating Black History Month by researching a black athlete of their choice. Students are learning how to find and utilize credible sites. They will ultimately be creating a speech or letter to the National Black Sports and Entertainment Hall of Fame convincing them to include their researched person.

A couple of notes:

  • EHE Spring Book Fair is coming March 25th! The Book Fair will be open to families on Shine Night (March 29th).

  • Thanks to all who donated milk jugs to our igloo. Unfortunately, after much hard work and effort, our igloo doesn’t seem to want to hold together. It was an adventure nonetheless!

  • Book award reading incentives (grades 3-6) are ending soon. Students must finish reading by Spring Break in order to participate in the incentives. More information can be found below.

3rd Grade Incentive 4th Grade Incentive 5th Grade Incentive 6th Grade Incentive

Smithville Public Library is hosting Kids Book Groups from March-May. If your child would like to participate, here is the link to sign up for the first book.

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Physical Education: Coach Parker

PreK- 1st Grade:

Students have been focusing on their physical fitness this month and will continue to do so through different activities. This month students were introduced to a game called Bulldozers and Builders. Essentially, the bulldozers run around the gym and knock orange cones over with their hand, while the builders are to set the cones upright. At the end of a two-minute round the team with the most cones standing up or knocked over wins. Students were exhausted at the end of each round and had a lot of fun with this game. Students are also working on team relay races this month. We did a relay race where students had to chase their color ball and return it back to a bucket. If they were the first person to do so they earned a point for their team.

2nd- 6th Grade:

Students have started their second round of fitness testing this year. It is Eagle Heights school-wide goal to have 85% of our students score equal to or better than their previous Fitnessgram Pacer, Curl Up, Push Up, and Sit and Reach test. We discuss the importance of making good healthy choices and making sure that we set fitness goals to help us improve our everyday lives.

Make sure your student is continuing to bring the correct shoes to PE. We have had several students forget their PE shoes and this is especially important for fitness testing.

Music: Mr. Venner

Pre K, Kindergarten, and First will be playing percussion instruments, ukulele, and playing music games this month, we will also mix in a few music games. Second and third grade will be starting recorders, I will send a note home the first week of March with details. The fourth and fifth grades will be working on creating and recording sound sculptures which we will present in the spring. The sixth grade will be playing bass drums and guitar. They will also be producing recording and editing short podcasts.

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Important Dates

  • Mar 2: National Read Across America: Dr. Suess’s Birthday!

  • Mar 8: Missouri Statewide Tornado Drill: 10 am
  • Mar. 7: PTO Meeting: 5:30 pm at Eagle (Virtual link available)
  • Mar. 9: Late Start Wednesday
  • Mar. 9: Board of Education Meeting: 7 pm
  • Mar. 11: 3rd Quarter Ends
  • Mar. 11: FLY Day and 3rd Quarter Assembly
  • Mar. 14-18: No School: Spring Break
  • Mar. 23: Late Start Wednesday
  • Mar. 25: Grade cards go home
  • Mar. 29: Student-Led Shine Family Night: 4-7 PM
  • Mar. 30: Late Start Wednesday
  • Mar. 31: Kindergarten Screening at Eagle
  • Apr. 1: Kindergarten Screening at Eagle