Dutch Fork Elementary

Academy of Environmental Sciences - Week of December 7 -

DFES Beliefs

  • We believe all people deserve to feel safe, valued, and loved.
  • We believe all children are naturally curious about the world around them.
  • We believe learning is a social process.
  • We believe inquiry fosters a culture of noticing and questioning.
  • We believe in learning from authentic primary and secondary sources.
  • We believe in learning from multiple perspectives.
  • We believe in encouraging learners to take risks.
  • We believe reflection should lead to change and growth.
  • We believe reflection should lead to social action.
  • We believe our actions should be aligned with our beliefs.

DFES Academic Goals 2015-2016

  • By the conclusion of the 2015 - 2016 school year 65% of 2nd-5th graders will meet or exceed their spring MAP reading growth goal.
  • By the conclusion of the 2015-2016 school year DFES homeroom teachers will have received a minimum of 10 hours of environmental sciences professional development to build teacher capacity and support magnet theme implementation.

A thought from Kylene Beers

If children need to learn new vocabulary...

  • they should read

If they need to develop fluency...

  • they should read

If they need to learn about a topic...

  • they should read

If they need to write...

  • they should read

If they need to be a person they are not...

  • they should read
If they need to grow, to stretch, to dream, to laugh, to cry, to find a friend, to vanquish a foe..they should read

Kids should read.

Curricular Conversations with Heidi Mills

Monday, Dec. 7th, 8am-2:15pm

S. Somerall's Room

We have arranged for grade levels to have vertical conversations with Dr. Mills for 90 minutes each.

  • K/1st will investigate the power and potential of expert projects.
  • 2nd/3rd and 4th/5th will inquire into testing as a genre study with a close look at close reading.
  • Second and Fourth grades will switch related areas, lunch, and recess schedules for tomorrow.

Cosby's Class Gathering

Monday, Dec. 7th, 11am

Mini Theater

See the details previously sent by Terri:

Our class is spearheading some efforts with our Digital Integration Specialist, Mrs. Reit, to encourage all kids to code! We've worked on persuasive writing and will feature some commercials based on this writing. We have invited classes to join us. You're welcomed to attend as well. This is our first student planned assembly and we will hold another one after winter break.

Check out our commercial!!


The students have created their own blog, which I have linked on my web page. Some students also embedded projects on there. This is the first experience with coding for most students. Some tried it last year during the Hour of Code. Projects are based on different lessons in Google Storytelling Club. For the link, go to:


Subject: The Hour of Code is Coming!!

Computer Science Education Week is December 7-11.

Our school has committed to every child having at least one hour of code in the month of December!
The students are going to really love this year's coding activities- Minecraft and Star Wars! These can easily be done on chromebooks and iPads. Information from our tech specialist is below.

Book Club Party

Tomorrow night we will host students and their families who participate in "book clubs" (Tier 2 or 3A intervention) with a "book club" party. We will serve a pizza dinner and offer a presentation on how to support readers at home. We are excited about celebrating the growth of these students.

Content Coordinators

Beth Boland (Science Coordinator) and Melony Sanford (Social Studies Coordinator) will be in the building Tuesday afternoon for observations.

They will be following the schedules that you all provided for us. If there have been any changes please let us know and update them outside of your classrooms.

Their goals as coordinators include helping to build teacher capacity within the content areas and to share resources.

Tuesday's PD

On November 18th we inquired into the predictability of a word. We asked for homeroom teachers during their reading conferences to listen and look for places in your talk where you jump in (in a good way). Bring examples of those conversations this Tuesday.

Our PD Tuesday will focus on The Illusion of Looking at Every Word. Looking forward to the discussions. We will meet in the media center.

Joint PTO/SIC meeting

Wednesday, Dec. 9th, 6-7:30pm

DFES Media Center

Strings/Chorus Concert

Thursday, Dec. 10th, 9am

DFES Mini Theater

We look forward to the upcoming performances by our 5th graders as they display their musical talents.

Birthday Wishes!

  • 12/12 T. Geurkink

We develop students who care about the world we live in and express critical thinking through natural curiosity and wonder.

Where Wonders Grow!