Student's Scoop-Gierman's Class

May 10th 4/5 GT class at Woodland Elementary

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Editor in Chief: Olivia Lopez

Guest writers: Leah Nalichowski, Katie, Nikita, and Christian Zellen

Thanks so much for writing with us!


I had already taken several things home when I took this pic, but I am so thankful for the cards, jewelry, flowers, chocolates, body butter, gift cards, all of the yummy food, and more I was spoiled with this week!! You make me feel so appreciated!

The notes from students are always my favorite-especially when they thank me for "caring about them", "understanding them", and "challenging them". Of course I cried!!

As parents and educators, it is our biggest hope that our little one's know how much we care about them and only want to prepare them and support them :)

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Upcoming Activity-donations needed!

On May 29th at 9:30, Mike Mansour from Hawk Woods Nature Center will come in to help 4th/5th grade GT students make a mold of an animal track as part of our spring project. It will be a review of certain fossils we learned about. Students will make the mold as they think about the "tracks" they will make at Meadows next year! On another day students will paint them with Ms. Green.

We need 1$ per student to donate to Hawk Woods for the materials :)

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What we did this week

By Olivia

P2: Leadership:) See below

Math: Project Based Learnig, workbooks, tests, khan, math murder mysteries-see article and picture!!

Writing: College of William and Mary lessons, roots study-see article and picture!!

Reading: We started a new whole group novel and analyzed/reacted/discussed as we read

see article and picture!!

Science: -Earth changes unit started

Enrichment: Passion projects and supplemental learning.see article and picture!!

Cyclical Change Project!


Hello! It's so nice to be analyzing poetry, it's just my thing. Wait; you haven't heard of our new project?! Well then, I guess it's time me and you had a little chat.

Our College of William and Mary project we are now doing is about Cyclical change. Cyclical change is a constant, repetitive, change, take example the seasons. The seasons go from autumn, winter, spring, and summer every single year (or so we hope), the same thing can apply to other things. In this project, we are analyzing poems and other passages that talk about that change. As we continue to work on this, we start to notice that there is more cyclical change in other areas and not only in weather patterns. It's very interesting to hear about this, and brings a lot of insight. I hope I was able to catch you up! But of course, maybe your son/daughter has some more things to tell!

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Thank you to Mrs Lopez :)

Henlo Am Katie,

In reading we are reading a book. The book is called ‘My Side of the Mountain’. The book is about a boy who dislikes city life so he decided that he would go and live with wildlife. This also ties with our cyclical change unit because the nature in the book talks about how the boy goes through winter, summer, spring, and fall. He talks about them, and he also uses them to his advantage but they still have disadvantages. So far what we read is he ran away from his apartment in the big city (New york) He used to live in a crowded city apartment. He had 11 people living with him in a tiny little apartment. But he runs away to the mountains and starts to get his new forest life together. He makes friends with birds and animals. The mountain is owned by his great grandfather, so he finds ruins of the old house, but instead he makes a house out of a tree.

Mrs. Lopez came in and read a few chapters of our new read aloud.

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Working together in math PBL!

Hi! I am Nikita! I will be talking to about our 4th grade Math PBL! Our choice waas to open a pretend restaurant. The math involved with this is because of two things. #1: Wyatt is making a 3D restaurant out of cardstock. This has to do with math because Wyatt has to do Geometry and scale factors in order to figure out how high and long our building is. #2: Leah and I are making a menu and shopping. This relates to math because we need to use decimals and fractions for our recipes and decimals as money for our supplies.
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Working together in Enrichment!

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Shout out to Reiss!

I shared with my class that I have joined a softball league and am nervous about not being so great at catching and throwing. Reiss offered to hep me practice at recess, and I think I am getting better! Practice always helps. The harder I work at something, the better I will get :)


Miss Gierman

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Food Drive!

The Leadership Team is excited to announce that we will be having a second Food Drive before we wrap up our school year. As you know, summer can be a very tough time for students who are not food secure because they will not be getting schools meals each day. Our goal for this fundraiser is to help Avondale Blessings in a Backpack stock their shelves for summer.

The food drive will begin on Monday, May 6 and last through Friday, May 17. Each grade level/ group will be responsible for bringing in a different item (ours is listed below) and the group who brings in the most items will earn an extra recess and popsicles (generously provided by the PTO).

Our Food Drive Items:

Gierman/Martin-Canned soup

Let's FILL this box to the BRIM!!!

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Leadership means that you value each member of your group and inspire people to do their best. Leadership can be both formal and informal. It is concerned with getting others to do what needs to be done while maintaining group morale to ensure readiness to act in the future. This character strength’s focus is on the personal qualities of leaders, rather than the practice of leadership. These qualities include the ability to understand others and inspire them toward a common goal, the capacity to mitigate conflict and mold consensus, and the desire to lead other people.

Positive psychology focuses on transformational leaders. This type of leadership is a process where “leaders and their followers raise one another to higher levels of morality and motivation.” These leaders are able to create a vision, communicate the vision, develop a coherent strategy to achieve that vision, and lead the charge towards its attainment. Through their words and actions, these leaders develop an inspirational relationship with their followers. That is, they fill others with the spirit to attain the vision.

This week, we highlight Jim Collins. Collins is the author of multiple best-selling business books to include Good to Great, Built to Last, and How the Mighty Fall. I read Good to Great as part of my EdS work. If you stop trying to get better once you think you are doing great, you are already sliding backward. Through his team's intensive research, Collins found leadership -- specifically what he calls "Level 5 Leadership" -- to be the critical component to an organization's transformation from good to great.

So what is a Level 5 Leader? A leader that combines personal humility with fierce resolve towards their organization's success. As Collins explains in the below video, successful leadership isn't about the leader's personality or charisma. Instead, it's about "a leader's answer to a simple question: Why are you in it? Are you fundamentally doing something that's about you? Or are you trying to build something great or accomplish something great? If it's fundamentally about you as a leader, why should anyone give themselves over to what you're trying to do? But if it's fundamentally that you're channeling your ego into a cause or a company...that is not about you, that's when people are going to sign up."

Jim Collins' Video

So, why does this matter?

For individuals, leadership is a way to achieve what you know is important, as groups of people invariably achieve more than individuals. If you want to achieve your vision for the future, you need to inspire others to join you. As an individual’s ability to lead develops, so does that person’s confidence and sense of self-efficacy. However, common dangers to guard against are egotism and arrogance.

A group’s effectiveness and sense of inspiration are tied directly to the leader. Study after study shows that leaders (and managers) have the biggest influence on group success and morale. Leaders can be developed and it starts with character. As General Schwarzkopf said, “Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.”

PTO Candidates

Be sure to come and make your voice heard: voting will be held for contested positions at the May 14th Woodland PTO Meeting at 7pm.

Important News and Dates

Normal School Hours: 8:32 - 3:39 (GT dismissal 3:34)

Half Day Hours: 8:32 - 11:45 (GT dismissal around 11:40)

Early Release: 8:32-1:39 (GT dismissal around 1:34)

  • May 14: PTO Meeting @ 7pm
  • May 21: 5th Grade Music Concert @ 7pm
  • May 27: NO SCHOOL - Memorial Day
  • June 6: Kindergarten Music Concert @ 2:45pm
  • June 7: Field Day
  • June 13: HALF DAY - PM Records
  • June 14: HALF DAY - Last Day of School
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Our Class Schedule

8:35-8:50: Morning Work/Welcome

8:50-9:40: Writing Workshop

5th Graders:

9:40-10:26: 5th Grade Specials

10:26-10:35: Snack (Healthy, Nut-Free)

10:35-11:30: Science/Social Studies with Ms. Martin

4th Graders:

9:40-10:35: Science/Social Studies with Ms. Gierman

10:35-11:21: 4th Grade Specials

11:21-11:30: Snack (Healthy, Nut-Free)

4th/5th Graders Return to their Teacher:

11:30-12:30: Math Workshop

12:31-12:53: Lunch

12:53-1:15: Recess

1:15-2:30: Reading Workshop

2:30-2:45: 2nd Recess

​2:45-3:30: Enrichment

  • Woodland follows an “ABC” specials schedule. Tuesday, September 4th will start with “A” day and continue from there.

  • 4th Grade students travel as a class together to specials. Their specials schedule is:

A-PE B-Music C-Art

  • 5th Grade students are split among the three regular 5th grade classes. Their specials schedule depends on the teacher they attend specials with. It may change during the year.

Phou: A-PE B-Music C-Art

(Margaret,Trevor, Katie)

Davison: A-Art B-PE C-Music

(Gabe and Brent)

McNaughton: A-Music B-Art C-PE

(Olivia and Danje)


We again have several students at Woodland that have a severe allergy to peanuts and/or tree nut product. Because of that, Woodland is a peanut and tree nut free school. Please understand that even touching a small amount of a product or accidental ingestion containing nuts could be a life-threatening situation. For these children, reactions can be immediate and life threatening. We are asking for your assistance in providing these students with a safe learning environment.

A no peanut or tree nut product policy means that there may not be any snacks or lunches that include contains any nut in the ingredients as well as anything that was made on shared machinery. It is OK to send snacks that say that they were made in the same facility as items containing nuts.

Birthday policy

If your child is interested in celebrating their birthday in school and you would like to send in something for the class, please do not send in food items. We suggest a small trinket, pencils, etc. instead. Thank you!

Wish List

For the student prize bin:
  • 5$ gift cards to subway, target, etc-I will raffle off 4 gift cards every month starting October-I just buy them if none are sent in

For the classroom/teacher:
  • Fiction and non-fiction Books for grade level 6-11 or lexile 800-1200 content appropriate
  • bean bag chairs
  • seat cushions


  • Don't forget to also check out the Woodland Website! It has important forms, Principal newsletters, PTO information, and P.B.I.S information.

Contact me

If you need a quick response, use text messaging. If you need a response within 24 hours, use the email provided below :)

P2 for the week!

This week we will focus on the following strength: Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence.

Appreciating beauty and excellence means that you notice and value the world’s beauty and people’s skills. This is the ability to identify and enjoy that which is admirable in the world. There are three types of goodness in which positive psychology focuses: physical beauty (e.g. a sunset, song, or building); an exceptional skill or talent; and moral goodness (e.g. a character strength). Appreciation of beauty can generate awe; appreciation of a skill can generate admiration; and appreciation of moral goodness can generate moral elevation. All of these feelings (awe, admiration, and moral elevation) help us forget ourselves and find increased joy and meaning in the world.

This week's examples is Tracy K. Smith. She is the current poet laureate of the United States. She sees this role "as an invitation to celebrate poetry and its uses in our day-to-day lives" and is working to help Americans understand that poetry is "a way of talking about our lives, and it’s a way of listening to other people—listening to a voice together and going somewhere as a result of that process."

Smith's Life on Mars won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. In this poetry collection, she brings language to her feelings and memories. As Smith explains, "The last section of the poem is directly about my father. It begins when my father worked on the Hubble space telescope. And it really was my attempt — or the opportunity that I took to go backwards and think about that moment in our family, when my father was still this all-powerful figure who would live forever and the questions that were being asked, not only by the scientists and engineers, but also the children...So much of my poetry begins with something that I can describe in visual terms, so thinking about distance, thinking about how life begins and what might be watching us."

Tracy K. Smith Video

So, why does this matter?

Appreciating excellence and beauty helps an individual experience positive emotions and connect to the worldaround hi m/her. It’s an outward facing strength, meaning the individual is focused on the world outside his/her head. And, not only is the individual outwardly focused, but often deeply absorbed in a sense of awe or admiration, freeing him/her to forget anxieties and troubles. And it is associated with other strengths, such as gratitude, curiosity, love of learning, and connection/purpose.

On a group level, those who appreciate excellence and beauty make our lives more enjoyable. First, it means that they’re not looking to criticize the world or its people, but instead take pleasure from their excellence. Second, it is the writers, painters, musicians, and filmmakers who help us better appreciate the world around us. It’s due to their admiration for the way the sun hits off a wave or the quiet perseverance of a cross-country runner, that we are able to see the world with fresh eyes.