Central Primary School

February Newsletter

A Note from the Office...

Believe it or not February is upon us and we are looking forward to Valentine's Day parties and moving closer to Spring with each passing week.

Important February Dates to Remember:

  • PTO Meeting: Thursday, Feb. 2nd at 7:00 p.m.
  • PTO VIP Breakfast: Thursday, Feb. 9th 7:00 am-8:00 am, Last names A-K
  • PTO VIP Breakfast: Friday, Feb. 10th 7:00 am-8:00am, Last names L-Z
  • School Board Meeting: Thursday, Feb. 9th at 7:00 p.m.
  • Superbowl Spirit Day: Friday, Feb. 10th: Wear your favorite team gear!
  • Valentine's Day Spirit Day: Tuesday, Feb. 14th: Wear your red, pink or purple!
  • Valentine's Day Classroom Parties: Tuesday, Feb. 14th at 2:00 p.m.
  • President's Day, No School: Monday, Feb. 20th

Nurses's Notes- Mrs. Jennifer Brown, RN

Happy February!

The nurse's office has been extra busy lately. Please remind your students to wash their hands frequently as germs are everywhere these days. I am seeing so many children with chapped lips. If you can send chapstick to school with your student they would be able to use it frequently to help with this. It is also a great help to always have a change of clothes in your child's bookbag. I have a limited selection of clothes to use when needed and they are not always returned. We have many reasons that need a change of clothes, (i.e. spilling, accidents, recess mishaps).

It is very important to let the nurse know about any medications and/or medications that can affect the child at school. This will allow the child to be cared for the best way possible. It is also important to let the nurse know about medical testing that could affect the child at school, such as allergy testing. I can't provide accurate information to the cafeteria staff if I am not aware of the information.

PTO Update with Mrs. Brielle Meinders, PTO President

Hello from PTO! Thank you to everyone that attended the Rivermen game last month. We appreciate our Scouts combining forces with us and hope everyone had a fun night out. February will be a VERY busy month with the VIP Breakfasts happening 2/9 from 7-8am for last names A-K and 2/10 from 7-8am for last names L-Z. We also have the Valentine’s Day parties to look forward to on February 14th and we will be kicking off pastry sales on February 27th.

Our February meeting is Thursday, February 2nd at 7pm in the CIS library—Hope to see you there!

Congratulations to Mrs. Kris Mertens & Mrs. Sarah Cox

We have two CPS teachers who received PNC Grants for their proposal.

Awesome job to Mrs. Kris Mertens and Mrs. Sarah Cox!

Central Primary School Making School a Calming Place for ALL submitted by Mrs. Sarah Cox is awarded $850; Building up our sensory room will allow students to access things that will improve our Social Emotional Learning and Autism programs. This will also help us keep more students in our community schools rather than having to find new placements because of behaviors they exhibit when needing sensory strategies. These strategies are individualizedk and students can find what works for them when we are able to provide a large array of items to help suit their needs. This project will address the following Social Emotional Learning Standards in Illinois: Engage students directly and actively students will be able to find different strategies to help them become successful in a general education setting. Encourage creative and interdisciplinary experiences for students. Students will have access to various sensory imputs that are both engaging yet calming. Students will be able to discover what works best for them and how they can best use strategies necessary to help them be successful.

Central Primary School Build Math Thinkers submitted by Mrs. Kris Mertens is awarded $675; Hands-on math is so important. Math Stackers provides students an opportunity to see the relatioship between numbers, concepts, and flexibility within numbers. It gives students a chance to visually see number relationships. Math Stackers can show basic number sense all the way up to representing multiplication for third grade.

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Intervention Corner- Mrs. Kris Mertens, Math Interventionist & Mrs. Stephanie Standish, Reading Interventionist

As our winter assessment window comes to a close, we will be holding our winter data meetings to discuss students who may be struggling. If your child’s teacher has a concern about your child, you will hear from them in the next few days, if you have not already. Once meetings have occurred and we have had a chance to look at students building wide, teachers would then call you back with any information we have discussed and decisions that have been made regarding your child’s progress and plans for instruction moving forward. If your teacher brings your student to our meeting and we are not able to pick them up as interventionists, we will work with the teacher to get a classroom intervention going and give extra support as needed. If at any time you have questions or concerns about your student’s progress or decisions that are made during these meetings, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher or the interventionists personally. We are happy to discuss these things with you at any time.

Math Facts: We see a lot of kids struggling with math fact memorization. This does not mean your child will never know their facts, but in order to build that math fact library in their heads it is important to teach the kids strategies to help them learn their facts. We introduce these strategies in math class and play a lot of games utilizing these strategies. Here is a list of great addition strategies to start with if they are struggling with facts. Subtraction has its own set of strategies that can be worked on also. If they are able to use the strategies mentally, this will help with their ability to process facts at a quicker pace and at some point eliminate the reliability of using their fingers. If you are working on math facts, remind them to use strategies instead of relying on their fingers as much.

Reading Tips

What do I do to help my child with word-solving?

As your child is decoding unknown words, I know it’s tempting to just tell them the word and move on but try not to miss this learning opportunity. Your child should use what they know about phonics (letters, sounds, vowels, etc.) to slowly stretch out or blend the sounds together to decode the word. There are many other decoding strategies to try if “blending the sounds” doesn’t work such as:

  • Cover the ending/affix.

  • Look for chunks or words within the word that you know.

  • Notice the first sound and read the rest of the sentence. Sometimes there are context clues that will help!

  • Try flipping a sound…short vowel to long vowel, hard c to soft c, for example.

  • Notice if the root word has “magic e” and correct your vowel sound.

  • Reread the sentence and start blending the beginning sounds of the word.

  • Split the word into syllables (or words if it’s a compound word) to decode smaller parts.

and many more…

After your child decodes the word, have them cross-check it by using the picture and by asking themselves “Does it look right?, Does it sound right?, Does it make sense?”

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Social Emotional Learning Corner- Mrs. Gail Johnson, School Counselor, Mrs. Maggie Bagley, School Social Worker & Mrs. Alayna Miller, School Psychologist

For the month of January, our TROJANS code word was Joyful. As a school, we focused on having positive attitudes and spreading joy within our school community. Mrs. Johnson’s grade-level classroom lessons were centered around different ways to spread joy. Students practiced giving and receiving compliments and learned how their words have the power to lift others up through the #powerofpositivity activity. For the month of February, we will be focusing on the TROJANS code word Attitude. Mrs. Johnson’s classroom lessons will focus on how our thoughts and attitude can affect our behaviors. We will learn the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset and how having a growth mindset can help us overcome difficult situations. Here is an article of how you can help your child foster a growth mindset at home.

Art with Ms. Lacey Gleason

Kindergarten just recently started a study on artist James Rizzi and his ferryboat paintings. Rizzi took ordinary objects and brought them to life using Characteristic Style.

First Grade is starting a fun study on Horace Pippin. This lesson ties into both the Harlem Renaissance and Black History Month. Pippin is an interesting artist whose right arm was injured in World War I. He eventually learned that he could hold up his right arm with his left and still draw with his injured hand. We recreated one of his pieces and made it look as if we were drawing on a piece of wood just as he would have done.

Second Grade students recently learned the Japanese art of folding paper into decorative shapes and figures. Our origami fox project was a big hit! We are showing them off in the display cases by Central’s new gym.

Third grade worked on a fun northern lights watercolor project. We used salt to make it look like the watercolor was dancing around the page just like the real northern lights! They turned out fabulous!

A little Note from Music- Mrs. Kathryn Cunningham

Kindergarten- Kindergarten has been learning about dynamics. Dynamics is the volume of the music. We are learning about loud and quiet. We have practiced singing, playing instruments, showing movements to reflect loud and quiet in the music.

First grade - The 1st Graders are learning about tempo. Tempo is the speed of the beat in music. They have learned 3 Italian words for tempo: Largo, Moderato, and Presto. We have had fun moving to these 3 tempos in class.

Second grade- The 2nd Graders learned all about their notes and rests. They have done a great job writing measures and playing the different rhythms. We are now learning about dynamics. Dynamics is the volume of the music.

Third grade- The 3rd Graders have been doing so well with their recorder. We have learned the notes B-A-G. Just a reminder that your student will be bringing them home for practice. Please keep their recorders in their backpacks to use for music class. All music and resources will be posted in their Music Google Classroom. If you have any questions please reach out.

Mark your calendars!! Each Grade level will have a concert in the spring. Dates and times are below:

Kindergarten- May 4, 2023 in Holford Gym at 5:30 pm

1st Grade- May 4, 2023 in Holford Gym at 6:30 pm

2nd Grade- May 11, 2023 in Holford Gym at 5:30 pm

3rd Grade- May 11, 2023 in Holford Gym at 6:30 pm

I’m looking forward to this month of learning and don’t forget to check the Music Google Classroom for more supplemental activities.

PE Corner- Mrs. Chris Dalberg

During the month of February we will work on a bowling unit. We will be working on the game of bowling as well as working on a basic understanding of how to score the game. We will continue with our Work out Wednesdays and working with aspects of the fitness gram. Just a quick reminder with the cold temperatures and possible snow/ice please make sure to have students bring a pair of tennis shoes to school in their book bags if they wear boots to school in the morning.

STEM with Mr. Robert Deatherage

Happy February! I cannot believe we are over 100 days into this school year. As we enter this new month, in STEM, we are going to highlight some important African American figures in Science Technology Engineering Math.

Looking forward to a great discussion about innovators of our past.