Knights Parent & Family Newsletter
It is hard to believe that we are a few weeks away from the end of the first semester! Students and staff have been working hard this year and will have an opportunity to celebrate their progress throughout the month of December. Information about our "Twelve Days Until Winter Break" is below. It's important that students attend school every day this month so that they can participate in our AttenDANCE on Friday, January 6th!
We hope you will plan to join us for our Holiday Program on Monday, December 19th at 1 PM! Please enter the building through Door 2.
Don't forget that the last day of school for students is Tuesday, December 21st and winter break begins on Wednesday, December 22nd! Students return for second semester on Tuesday, January 4th.
Happy holidays and a blessed new year to you and your family!
Tyler Archer, Ed.D.
"Twelve Days to Winter Break" Kicks off on December 5th!
Winter Program- Monday, December 19th @ 1 PM
Nance Knights Book Club Selections for November & December
All students in grades Pre-K through 2nd are receiving a copy of Jabari Jumps, written and illustrated by Gaia Cornwall. The book tells the story of Jabari, who is eager to jump off the diving board after finishing his swimming lessons and swim test, but must overcome his fear first. Jabari Jumps is a great story about courage and encouragement that connects with all young children and families, no matter what their own unique fears are.
Students in 3rd-6th grade will receive a copy of Elray Jakes is Not a Chicken! Written by Sally Warner and illustrated by Jamie Harper, this is the first book in the popular “Elray Jakes” series. This book takes on the issue of bullying, peer conflicts, and making good choices when solving problems in school. As a humorous chapter book, it’s a great story to share with your child and includes a lot of great topics for conversation about school and peer relationships.
Here are some activities you can complete with your child when you read this month’s Nance Knights Book Club books:
Read the books aloud together as a family.
Before turning the page at different times in the book, discuss what you have read and what your child is learning so far.
Discuss the meanings of complex vocabulary words from the books.
Make connections between the themes of the books and ways that your child may have experienced similar feelings
Draw a picture, create a graphic organizer, or illustrate a comic strip depicting the characters Elray and Jabari from the two stories
Our New Playground is Open!
Join us for Nance Knights Basketball!
- December 10th, 12 PM @ Soldan HS
- December 17th, 2 PM @ Soldan HS
- January 7th, 11 AM @ Soldan HS
- January 14th, 3 PM @ Soldan HS
- January 21st, 11 AM @ Soldan HS
- January 28th, 12 PM @ Carnahan HS
- February 4th (TBD)
- February 11th (TBD)
- February 18th (TBD)
The SLPS athletic department is sponsoring a toy drive flyer for the Winter Season Kick-off day on December 10th. Please help get the word out so we can collect as many toys as possible- a new unwrapped toy donation will get spectators in free for the day!
Nance Receives $5,000 Gift from Cigna!
Ms. Green's Family and Community Engagement News
10 Family Staycation Ideas
Have you ever felt like you needed a vacation but it was not the right time? For whatever the reason you couldn’t get away, a vacation was still needed. As Winter Break is approaching for our students, December 21, 2022 to January 3, 2023, now is a good time to explore some staycation ideas to help engage your child. Below is a list of 10 Family Staycation Ideas for you to consider during the Winter Break.
1. Go to the Zoo
A winter trip to the zoo can be a completely different experience than a summer zoo excursion. For one thing, zoos are much less crowded during the colder months, so you won't have to fight the crowds to get a good view of the animals.
2. Have a Movie Marathon
While you probably don't want your kids glued to the TV for the whole school break, a planned afternoon or evening of movie-watching can be fun. Choose a theme or a genre for your movie marathon, or just have everyone pick their favorite movie. Make some popcorn, grab a few other favorite movie treats and some cozy pillows and blankets, relax and enjoy!
3. Visit a Museum
A trip to a museum is both educational and fun. Depending on the interests of your family, you could visit an art museum, museum of natural history, science center or any number of museums in your area.
4. Go Bowling
5-pin bowling is a fun family activity. For young children or beginner bowlers, many bowling alleys offer bumper bowling, where the gutters are covered so that the ball stays in the lane. This allows the kids to focus on having fun instead of getting frustrated by having their bowling ball continuously roll into the gutter.
5. Have a Spa Day at Home
If you have daughters, they would probably enjoy a little spa treatment at home. Pamper them with a foot soak in a relaxing foot spa or the tub, and then give them a pedicure and a manicure. If you're feeling brave, let them do your nails, too!
6. Go to the Library
If the weather outside is frightful, but you still want to get out of the house, the library can be a great destination. Kids can read books, look for movies to borrow or use the computers at the library, and you can find some new reading material as well.
7. Make a Family Scrapbook
If you have a digital camera or a smartphone, chances are you have hundreds, if not thousands, of photos on your computer that you have never printed off. It's a nice idea to get some of them printed and spend some time organizing them into photo albums or scrapbooks.
8. Go Swimming
Many community centers offer extra public swimming times over the holidays. A trip to the local pool can be an easy and inexpensive way to get everyone out of the house to burn off some energy and have fun.
9. Have a Craft Day
If your children like to do crafts, this can easily keep them busy for hours. From painting or drawing to making jewelry or collages, the possibilities are almost endless. Provide them with an assortment of supplies, and see what their creative minds come up with.
10. Redecorate the Kids' Bedrooms
If it's been awhile since your kids' bedrooms have been updated, they might appreciate the opportunity to give their room a bit of a makeover. Whether you repaint, rearrange the furniture or purchase new bedding or a few new accessories, this can be a perfect project to undertake during the school break.
Family and Community Specialist
Ms. Allen's Academic Corner
The end of the first semester is near and I am excited to finish 2022 off strong. December 1-9, 2022 we will be assessing STAR student growth in Reading and Math. The goal for all students is to show at least five months of growth.
From December 12-20, 2022, students will complete Common Summative Assessments (CSA) to measure growth in core academic subjects since the beginning of second quarter.
This month we will also be continuing our choice board activities. Please feel empowered to help students complete their choice boards. Choice board participants will be recognized in the main entry hallway of our school. Participants will also receive a prize for their participation. If there are any questions or concerns about academics please feel free to contact me.
Academic Instructional Coach
Nurse Kaelble's Health Update
As I write this, we just experienced our first snowfall of the season, before Thanksgiving which is pretty early for around here! There are three links below with useful information for families.
- The first one covers some fun activities surrounding flu season and keeping hands washed: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/freeresources/updated/teachingchildrenflu.pdf
- The second link is a list of suggested fun activities families can do together over the winter break.https://handsonaswegrow.com/fun-things-over-winter-break-kids/
- The third link is about RSV which has been in the news. The article is pretty thorough so I will leave it to speak for itself.https://www.cdc.gov/
Have a wonderful holiday break and I'll see you in 2023!
Ms. Worley's Art Studio
The days are getting shorter as we fall into winter; which creates perfect opportunities to create art inside! I love being warm in the home while drawing objects I see close by, or creating snowflakes! In class, we are practicing our scissor fine motor skills by creating snowflakes for our Winter Music performance!
The whole school is coming together to mix blue and yellow to create many different shades of green for Winter trees for the backdrop and adding bits of winter fun like gingerbread cookies and candy canes. The students have been working hard and we cannot WAIT to show off our art while we sing!
Keep up the creative work Knights!
Mr. Taylor's PE Corner
The physical education learning target for the month of December will be physical activity and good health. Students will be able to recognize the value of physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression and social interaction.
Guided movements, low organized games and team sport, skill development are some of the activities planned that will help students reach their learning target for the month.
Student expectation is to have on proper shoes for physical education class. Inappropriate footwear can be a safety issue. Students will, be allowed to, participate in class but their ability to perform may be hindered or limited.
The overall fitness goal for the students here at Nance is to create a daily routine that includes at least 60 minutes of vigorous physical activity. Thanks for being a part of the Nance family.
Physical Education Teacher
Ms. Fields' Music Spotlight
Hello Knights Family!
We are looking forward to our winter program on Monday, December 19th! All classrooms will participate in the performance. We hope you will join us to see what we have been working on this year!
Ms. Foster's Reading Resources
Happy Holidays! Our 1st Spelling Bee was very successful. Our students were very competitive and really enjoyed themselves. I would like to say congratulations to our Spelling Bee Champions:
- 1st grade Kyla Burnett
- 2nd grade Kailyn Fultz
- 3rd grade Gabriella Edwards,
- 4th grade Andrew Stephenson
- 5th grade Rayel Davis
- 6th grade Kolby Kimbrough
Our spelling words come from our MyView Curriculum. These are the same words the teachers use when giving your child a Spelling Test. Please work with your child to learn these words because we will have another Spelling Bee in January. Also your child will be tested over these words by their classroom teacher as well.
Star Testing has begun! Please encourage your child to stay focused when taking the Star Test. This is our district assessment and it tells us what grade level your child is reading on. By now, 1st grade should be at 1.5, 2nd grade should be at 2.5, 3rd grade should be at 3.5, 4th grade should be at 4.5, 5th grade should be at 5.5, and 6th grade should be at 6.5. If their grade equivalent score is less than these numbers then they are reading below grade level. If their GE is above these numbers then they are reading above grade level.
Please encourage your child to learn their spelling words, vocabulary words, and read for 20 minutes each day. Along with classroom reading assignments, these things will help to build your child’s reading skills. Please remember good attendance is also important to academic success!
Reading Intervention Teacher
Ms. Noelle's STEAM Update
This month, students in grades 3-6 have been able to explore with block coding and our Dash Robots! Students are applying reading comprehension skills to coding to make their robots tell jokes and drive to different locations! Students in first and second grade will start exploring with Dash after Christmas! Students in Pre-K and Kindergarten will experience coding with some low-tech robots! We have a school full of young engineers!
Supplemental Instruction Teacher/STEAM Instructor
Ms. Jackson's School Counselor News
There has been so much in the media about mental health for all age groups. One method of delivery in addressing a mental health issue(s) can be therapy. Therapy, also called psychotherapy or counseling, is the process of meeting with a licensed mental health professional to resolve personal/problematic behaviors, beliefs, feelings, relationship issues, and/or somatic responses (sensations in the body). A common misconception is that something must be wrong with your mental health in order to benefit from therapy. (This is not true.) We take the time to seek out treatment for a broken of injured body part by going to a medical doctor. When presented with internal issues such as depression, anxiety, and stress; some individuals refused to seek the services of a therapist/counselor for self or family member.
In selecting a therapist/counselor, it is important to formulate some questions for the therapist/counselor. Below is a short list of suggested questions:
- What is the counselor’s general philosophy and approach to helping?
- Can the counselor clearly define how they plan to help you to solve whatever issue or concern has brought you to therapy?
- Can your counselor accept feedback and admit mistakes?
- Does the counselor encourage dependence or independence?
- Does the therapist have experience helping others with the particular issues for which you are seeking therapy?
- Does your counselor adhere to ethical principles concerning issues such as boundaries, dual relationships, and confidentiality?
- What is the counselor’s post-graduate degree, professional licensed, and years of services?
Therapy typically begins as a process of exploration. In the broadest sense, therapy guides people toward greater self-awareness, self-empowerment, and overall happier and more fulfilling lives. Today, we are dealing with numerous stressors at home, work, and in the community. Let us also take into consideration environmental issue, world health, social inequity, and the economy. It is okay to talk with a mental health professional about your thoughts and feelings.
In general, therapy is designed to help increase your personal insight, promote healthy behaviors, and improve upon or teach new methods for coping. Armed with these new skills, you can begin to make changes in your life. The ultimate goal of therapy is to improve your quality of life and provide you with better overall functioning.
Marilyn Jackson Luster
Professional School Counselor
Second Step Social Emotional Learning
Some of the topics students are currently learning about include:
- Pre-K: Accidents
- KG: Caring and Helping
- 1st: Showing Care and Concern
- 2nd: Introducing Emotion Management & Managing Embarrassment
- 3rd: Introducing Emotion Management & Managing Test Anxiety
- 4th: Managing Strong Feelings
- 5th: Managing Anxiety & Frustration
Parent resources for the Second Step program are available at the link below, or by contacting your child's teacher.
How to Keep Your Child Learning During Winter Break
As winter break quickly approaches, it seems everyone’s mind is on presents, parties and people. But, just the same way that kids lose knowledge over the summer that they’ve worked hard to cement during the school year, a bit of “brain drain” also occurs during the end-of-year time off. It’s a good idea to sneak in a bit of knowledge practice during the holiday break, just to keep those neural pathways active.
Holiday knowledge practice doesn’t have to be ho-ho-hum, though. Your child can enroll in a variety of winter break camps, or you can work your kids’ mind muscles with game-based learning and practice through play. Different personality types enjoy game-based learning for different reasons, so be sure to key into these aspects of the experience to maximize the learning fun for your kiddos until they head back to school in January.
Not sure what personality types each of your kids are? You can find out for free on kidzmet.com.
These kids enjoy focusing on the big picture and what “could be”
Create a die with a different subject you’d like to practice on each side. (In our house, there’s one side for spelling, one for math, one for Spanish, one for writing, one for music and one “you choose.”) Once the die is rolled, have your child come up with the game-based idea for how they’d like to practice that subject and the rules for the game.
These kids prefer step-by-step instructions and repeating/reproducing things they’ve done before. Take your game-based lead from board games your kids already know how to play, then give it a little twist. Here are two familiar games you can adapt:
Uno – Pick a number you want to practice and the function (add, subtract, multiply, divide, exponents, etc.). On his turn, each person must say the equation and correct result. (Say you selected “19” and “subtraction” at the beginning of the game. If your child puts down a “5,” he would say, “19 minus 5 equal 4.”) A wrong answer means picking up two cards instead of putting one down. All other rules remain the same. Extra credit: a wild can change the function and/or the number.
Trivial Pursuit – Substitute your own questions tailored to what your kids are learning. Each color could represent a different school subject. Use this template to print your questions.
You can also find new ways to play Twister and Sorry.
These kids relish black-and-white rules and competition. Create a holiday game Olympics. Put the different subjects you want each of your kids to practice on a display board, along with exactly what you’ll be practicing over the break. Establish a recall “baseline” for each subject before the holiday begins, then do time trials every few days in each of the subjects. Wrap up winter break with trophies, medals or certificates for most improved times in each area, most accurate answers in each area, and all-around improvement. Make sure you clearly define the rules for each reward, as Thinkers prefer to have a black-and-white choice for each winner.
These kids enjoy interaction, consensus and activities like cheerleading
Key into “everybody wins” games where you can tie the new knowledge to an emotion at every opportunity. One idea is vocabulary charades. One family member acts out the vocabulary word and everyone has to guess what it is. If the family comes up with the vocabulary word, the actor scores a point for the family. Once the family earns a certain number of points, everyone wins. Make the game even more exciting by adding rewards; for example, earning a certain number of points means family movie night, a favorite dinner, or bedtime extended by an extra half hour.
Before the last day of school, be sure to connect with each of your kids’ teachers to find out what (if any) subjects your child is struggling with in class and what’s coming up just after winter break to give them a leg up in January. You probably got a good sense of this at your most recent parent-teacher conference, but it doesn’t hurt to just reconfirm the most important areas to practice. Most importantly, remember that you don’t have to go crazy with this practice – one game a day should do the trick.
This article was first published in the December 2012 issues of DallasChild, FortWorthChild and NorthTexasChild, and was updated on Dec. 10, 2018
Urban League Mentor Update- Ms. Lee-Moore
As we are nearing the end of this year, I want to share with you a few upcoming events that may interest you.
> December 1st- The Urban League Peter Bunce Campus is hosting Network & Chill
Come out to learn about new resources, and network with other agencies. Dinner and daycare will be provided.
>Jazzy Brunch with Santa
Enjoy brunch and entertainment with Santa
Youth and Family Center
818 Cass Ave
St. Louis, MO 63106
Date: December 15th
> Santa's Sneaker Ball
Come dress to impress with your favorite sneakers, and let's end the year with family, comfort, and style.
Youth and Family Center
818 Cass Ave
St. Louis, MO 63106
Date: December 22nd
If you would like to write a letter to Santa, you can access the link below. You will have the option to either write a letter to Santa or adopt a letter from Santa. This will give the children the opportunity to practice those handwriting skills. The letters are to be postmarked and sent in by the deadline of December 12th. There is a
chance the children will receive a gift from their letters to Santa. www.uspsoperationsanta.com
Few Resources Reminders:
> Wellness Wednesdays
Come out and relax your mind and body at the Youth and Family Center. Every Wednesday from 10am-12pm.
Days left for December are: Dec. 7th, 14th, 24th
> Food Assistance
> Community Food Pantry- Monday, Wednesday, Friday; 10am-2pm
Urban League Peter Bunce Center
2125 Bissel St
St. Louis, MO 63107
> Youth and Family Center Community Cafe'
818 Cass Ave
St. Louis, MO 63106
> Urban League Headquarters
1408 N. Kingshighway Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63113
>Operation Food Search- Nance Elementary
>Number of resources for utility, rental, employment assistance. Please reach out for additional assistance.
Student and Family Mentor
Thursday, December 1st- Friday, December 9th- STAR Reading & Math Assessment Window
Monday, December 5th- "Countdown to Winter Break" Spirit Week Begins!
Thursday, December 15th- Kids Vision for Life Exam Day
Friday, December 16th- Lost and Found Pick-Up Day
Monday, December 19th- Holiday Program, 1:00 PM, Nance Gym
Monday, November 21st- Friday, November 25th- Thanksgiving Break
Wednesday, December 21st- Tuesday, January 3rd, 2023- Winter Break (No School)
Tuesday, January 3rd, 2022- Second Semester Begins & Quarter 2 Report Cards Go Home