The Putney Post

West Homer Elementary--5th Grade

Dates to Remember

August 28- West Homer Elementary Open House 6:30-7:30

September 2- Labor Day, No School

October 3 and 4- Ageya Overnight Field Trip

Classroom Happenings

Welcome to West Homer Elementary 5th Grade! I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the parents and fifth graders of room 317 this past week. We have a fabulous group of kids and a great year ahead of us! This past week was filled with introductory activities and establishing classroom routines. In reading we practiced and discussed our daily reading routines of read-to-self, read-to-someone, and word work. These literacy stations provide daily opportunity for authentic reading and writing. In math we took a pre-assessment in order to provide feedback on what students already know and what concepts need re-teaching. Finally, in writing we started our first writing project. We wrote paragraphs about who we are now, what we were like when we were little, and what we think we will be like when we are thirty. The students of room 317 are incredible workers. We made a great deal of progress this first week and I look forward to the year we have together!

What's Next?

This week we will continue to work on establishing classroom routines and developing our learning community. In reading students will be given more independence at their literacy stations and will be focusing on the skill of making predictions. We will continue to review the elements of a paragraph in writing and publish our first writing piece of the school year. In math we will begin our exploration of place value through millions. In social studies we will be reviewing U.S. geography and creating a clay map of North America.

Weekly Newsletter

You will be receiving our classroom newsletter each week through email. Since I do not have all parent emails yet, I will be sending our first few newsletters home in a hardcopy format. If you do not have internet access at home please let me know.


We are in need of cardboard for a geography project this coming week. If you have extra you would be willing to send to school with your child I would greatly appreciate it!

Early Release

Soldotna, August 15, 2013—Six times in the new school year, KPBSD school days will end ninety minutes early in order for teachers and instructional support staff to collaborate.

An ongoing challenge in our schools is to find time to adequately review data and then plan improvement efforts. While our negotiated agreement does give teachers a small amount of time to work after school, all teachers and instructional support staff will benefit from more collaboration time to support their instructional practices. This additional time supports our five year strategic plan goals in the areas of Academic Success and Organizational Excellence.

Six times throughout the academic year, on a Wednesday, schools will meet the minimum day, leaving teachers with approximately ninety minutes of additional time to work on improvement strategies. The length of the school day on the following six days will be reduced by ninety minutes, for a total of nine hours during the 2013-2014 school year. On these early release dates, school will end ninety minutes (1.5 hours) earlier. Bus transportation will be adjusted by ninety minutes.

September 18

October 30

November 20

January 22

February 26

April 16

We recognize families may need to make arrangements on the early release dates, and thank everyone for the willingness to help our KPBSD schools improve through these six early-release dates.

This and all KPBSD media releases are online at this web page:

Volunteering Opportunities

Are you interested in volunteering in our classroom this year? We would love to have you! There are many volunteering opportunities throughout the school year. You may choose to come in weekly, monthly, or at an "on occasion" basis. The more parents we have involved in our school the better off we are!

However, in order to volunteer at West Homer a background check must be complete. All volunteers will need to complete the online background check each year.

Directions for the Online Background Check:

1. Go to the district website at

2. At the home page, under "Volunteer in a Neighborhood School", clip on "more information and application".

3. Click on "Volunteer Openings".

4. Then, click the "Apply" button next to the West Homer Elementary listing at the bottom of the page.

5. A screen will appear, click on the START arrow and fill in the information needed and move on as instructed.

As soon as your background check has been processed our school secretary, Jean Calhoun, will let me know and we meet to discuss your volunteering interests. If you have difficulties completing the background check, please let me know so I can help you through the process.

I look forward to working together this year!

A Note from Our P.E. Teacher

Happy New School Year West Homer Families! I’m excited to begin! Here are just a few notes about PE.

There are many wonderful activities planned for our year. Every class period begins with some cardiovascular fitness; we then stretch our muscles and then a little muscle strengthening. This is a fun 3-4 minutes set to some groovy music. Next, we move into the lesson or play a game where we can practice our locomotor skills. My goal is to use games, movement and sports to teach foundational motor skills, to develop greater coordination and endurance, and to inspire a love of healthy, active living.

Please have kids prepared for learning and participating in PE. Athletic shoes are so important for the safety of your child because we run, gallop, leap, chase, spin, roll, and sometimes go up-side-down! Kids need athletic shoes that are snugly attached to their feet for these activities. Sorry, but Crocs, boots, flip flops, or dress-up shoes, are safety hazards and can’t be worn to PE. Also, tennis shoes tied very loosely that the kids can just slip their foot into have proven to be very unsafe! I have seen many injuries due to shoes sliding off while running or kicking a ball. Shoes can have laces, Velcro, elastic, buckles, or just slip on, as long as they are securely on their feet.

While the weather permits, we will have PE outdoors as much as possible. We love the sun, space to run, games outside, and the fresh air! Please have your kids in outdoor shoes (not boots) so that they can run and participate safely in our activities. Also, an extra sweatshirt is a great thing to leave at school for cool days.

If PE shoes are forgotten for a day, I have a small supply of “loaner” inside shoes, but please don’t rely upon those repeatedly. If the cost of shoes is a concern, I have a small supply of shoes that you could have for “keepsies;” please let me know if you need a pair. Also, the Salvation Army (open M-S 10:00-5:30) and Pick & Pay (open Sat 10:00 – 3:00) usually have athletic shoes for a minimal charge.

The best choice of clothing for PE would be sneakers, shorts/pants, and shirt/sweatshirt. For girls, dresses are fine, but it would be best to wear shorts underneath.

Keri Syth

Physical Education Teacher

West Homer Elementary

A Celebration of Soccer, the Family Game

The Soccer Association of Homer Presents:

A Celebration of Soccer, the Family Game!

August 24th

1:00-5:00 p.m.

West Homer Elementary

Free fun for ages 3-100

Please bring a potluck item to share

Wear active shoes (Mom and Dad too)