GCIS Weekly News 1/20/17

Weekly Celebrations, Successes, and Up Coming Events!

We're not here to be average; We're here to be AWESOME!

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Awesome Students of the Week!

Here is a photo of our awesome students of the week! These students have worked hard demonstrating safe, respectful, and responsible behaviors throughout the week! Keep Being Awesome!
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GCIS Office News

Our lost and found table is rapidly growing! Please encourage your student to take a look and claim what may be theirs!

Remember to give us a call if you know that your child will be out or leaving early for the day! We would appreciate these phone calls no later than 8:20 AM and 2:45 PM (1:00 PM on Wednesdays) . This helps us ensure the safety of your student and to make sure they receive their messages in a timely manner. 515-738-5721. You may also email me - hadleyh@greenecountycsd.net

Principal Shoutout!

Mr. Thompson, our Instructional Coach, Brenda Onken, and myself are working on a grant for some fitness bands to use with PE. HERE is the link for you to explore. We are setting up an opportunity to have some for about a month to try them out! We are super excited to try these out and see the potential they have to increase healthy habits and activity for students, provide feedback to students and parents, and connect to our state standards for PE. Please reach out to either Mr. Thompson, Mrs. Onken, or myself to hear more about this great tool and technology!

4th Grade Happenings!

Reading- We are still looking for snow. As soon as we have some snow we will get a note out to you about Sledding. We just started working on figurative language. Have students share any figurative language they come across while reading. We are working on our conclusions for our book reviews. We will let you know when they are out in the libraries to read.

Science- We are working on an animal research project in science. Students are learning that not everything they read on the internet is true. They also learned that we should research more than one site. We will now apply our learning of research and our animal adaptations to create a project.

Math- We are still working hard on comparison story problems. We are also reviewing and discussing the different types of triangles.

Fundraiser for Gracen Schuermann:

Our 4th grade students heard about Gracen’s accident and want to help Gracen and her family with accident related expenses. A few students got together and for their genius hour (passion project) created special days for next week (January 23rd-27th). If your child participates they are asked to donate anything from $1- $5. Donations will be collected each day.

Monday- Wear orange day

Tuesday- Wear your favorite sport day

Wednesday- Hat day

Thursday- Chew gum day

Friday- Pajama day

Also, at 6:00 PM 0n Friday, January 27th in the GCIS gym students will be showing the movie Secret Life of Pets. Those attending are invited to bring a small blanket and pillow. There will also be a concession stand! Flyers are being sent home so we can get a head count of how many people to expect. Free will donations are being encouraged.

5th Grade Happenings!

Math: We are still working on Fractions. Things are going well. Please keep us in your thoughts as we continue this journey.

Lit/SS: In reading we have been working on quoting accurately from the text when making inferences. In writing we have been working on a mini research project. This week in social studies we have been studying the life and culture of the Northwest Coast Natives.

Science: We are learning about camouflage and mimicry and how these adaptations help animals survive. We have been reading interesting articles in National Geographic for Kids magazines.

6th Grade Happenings!

In science, students are working on supporting their claims with evidence that they gathered from experimenting with the atomic model. Students also developed a couple of algebraic expressions to help them answer some of their questions.

In math, students are continuing to work on algebraic expressions. We will be starting another project next week. Students will be working with a recipe to change fractions. They will also be creating an online cookbook.

In reading, we just started a personal narrative unit. We have been busy brainstorming and discussing how to create a powerful personal narrative. We encourage you to talk with your child about some small moments that they may want to write about.

Music News!

4th Grade General Music: Working on our rhythm unit, we are working with auxiliary percussion instruments. We will be working on songs enhancing this unit as well as continuing work on the recorders.


5th Grade General Music: Students are working on pitch matching, ear training. They are learning about tone color, vocal registers and experimenting with highs and lows. They are also learning how to analyze a piece of music looking into details of the time signature, melodic contour of the notes, identifying note names, and phrases.

6th Grade General Music: Buddy Holly, Bo Diddley, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry… voices of the 1950’s music era. We have discussed influences of jazz, country, rhythm and blues, swing on the rock ‘n roll style. The 1950’s brought in many rebels, however the 1960’s really shakes up the music scene. Onward we travel!


4th grade students finished their glacier/northern lights project, so they got to play a visual art game called Q-bitz. It is where you have to make the pattern on the card using blocks. The first person to re-create the pattern correctly gets to keep the card. The player with the most cards at the end of the game, wins.

5th grade Art students finished their Keith Haring inspired stick figures. They are getting hung in the 5th grade hallway!

6th grade art students finished their model magic animals by painting them. They all look awesome!!

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Thanks to the ice, 6th Grade TAG was not able to meet on Monday. However, we will work it in so they can come down at 2:00 Thursday. They are still finishing their poster to present the marble run to their classrooms.

5th grade TAG students came up with a really cool project based on animal sounds. I am going to bring an animal caller, called a FoxPro, to school and they are going to perform a game show and call contestants from their classes to guess which animal is making the sound! We even borrowed buzzers from Mrs. Roberts. Then we are planning on taking a field trip to the Des Moines Science Center where they have an exhibit called Wild Music.

Some 4th Grade TAG students are working on an infinity mirror and are going to be able to explain to their class how it works. Other students are presenting their rubber-band race car and how it stores up the energy to move.

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Media & Tech Lit

As each student works at a different pace in the Tinkercad environment, some are starting to enter the next project involving primitive shapes. Primitive shapes are the building blocks of design. With the lessons in this project, students will begin to understand how to take an idea from their mind and start to construct it by using a set of primitive 3D shapes. Those simple shapes are combined in many different ways to sculpt or build a more complex shape. Even though it can be difficult to master right away, you might begin to notice your student starting to recognize those primitive shapes that are around us. Good examples would be a circle or a cube. Think of those primitive shapes as you sit down to a plate of food at dinner, or turn on your TV afterwards to watch a sports game or television show. How many primitive shapes can you identify in your world?

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Special Education News

All students are being tested with the FAST assessment and the reading Fountas and Pinnell assessment. These are given for the winter to see where our students are and if they are growing. This is the time we look at what we are doing and make adjustments.

Physical Education

Ladder drills for improving speed, agility and running form.

Our bowling unit will start Monday, Feb 6th at Spare Time Lanes.

Counseling News

In Life Skills this week we are reviewing “I-Messages” and role-playing steps of resolving problems. I-messages in conflict resolution help each person focus on the problem and avoid simply blaming the other person.

We are using the 6-step problem-solving model that was developed by Naomi Drew, M.A.. Once children and adults learn how to use it, these “win-win guidelines” allow for full resolution of the conflict, eliminating any resentment as both people are satisfied with the solution.

Step 1. Cool off

Conflicts can’t be solved in the face of hot emotions. Take a step back, breathe deep, and think about the issue.

Step 2: Tell what’s bothering you using “I messages.” This takes away blaming and puts focus on the actual problem.

Step 3: Each person restates what they heard the other person say. This helps with clarifying the actual problem to be resolved.

Step 4: Take responsibility. It takes TWO to have a conflict--how is each person involved?

Step 5: Brainstorm solutions and come up with one that satisfies both people.

Step 6: Affirm, forgive, or thank the other person.

A handshake, hug, or kind word gives closure to the resolution of conflicts. Forgiveness is the highest form of closure.

Caltha Crowe also shows how this student-to-student conflict resolution process works in her educational article, Coaching Children in Handling Everyday Conflicts. Read the article in its entirety at https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/coaching-children-in-handling-everyday-conflicts/

Be sure to read about how our awesome Fourth Graders are helping Gracen’s family with their fundraiser next week! What great kids we have! See details in the 4th Grade Section of this newsletter.

Nurse News!


Here is a link to information on frostbite and hypothermia. Please continue to be aware of the potential for both. Predictions are for warmer weather but that does not mean no coats, hats, and mittens. The warmer weather also means they are getting wet when they are outside. Please have the students bring their boots.
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