Central Primary School

March Newsletter

A Note from the Office...

Wow, March is here and we are looking forward to a busy Spring at CPS. We will be celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday with fun dress up days each day of the week from March 2nd-6th. There are Spring pictures, Parent/Teacher conferences, a virtual author visit for K-1, first grade concerts, third grades Illinois Assessment of Readiness, and even Spring Break just to name a few!

Important Dates in March:

  • Dr. Seuss Dress Up Week: Monday, March 2nd "One Fish, Two Fish" Wear something red or blue!
  • Dr. Seuss Dress Up Week: Tuesday, March 3rd "The Cat in the Hat" Wear stripes or your favorite hat!
  • Dr. Seuss Dress Up Week: Wednesday, March 4th "Wacky Wednesday" Get wacky, wear your clothes inside out, backwards or mismatched!
  • Disability Awareness Day: Wednesday, March 4th
  • Dr. Seuss Dress Up Week: Thursday, March 5th "Green Eggs and Ham" Wear something green!
  • Spring Pictures: Thursday, March 5th
  • PTO Meeting: Thursday, March 5th 7:00
  • Dr. Seuss Dress Up Week: Friday, March 6th "Fox in Socks" Wear silly socks!
  • Early Dismissal: Friday, March 6th 11:30
  • Parent/Teacher Conferences: Friday, March 6th 12:45-3:30
  • 4th Annual Trojan Gala: Saturday, March 7th 5:30-10 pm
  • Sandra Markle Virtual Author Visit, (K-1): Tuesday, March 10th
  • 1st grade Concert: Wednesday, March 11th 5:30- Mrs. Couri, Mrs. Gold, and Mrs. Norburg
  • 1st grade Concert: Wednesday, March 11th 7:00- Mrs. Faulkner, Mrs. Schick, and Mrs. Zimmerman
  • Math IAR Testing for Third grade: Wednesday, March 11th-Friday, March 13th
  • VIP Breakfast (Last Names A-L): Thursday, March 12th 7:15-8:15 am
  • School Board Meeting: Thursday, March 12th 7:00
  • VIP Breakfast (Last Names M-Z): Friday, March 13th 7:15-8:15am
  • ELA IAR Testing for Third grade: Tuesday, March 17th-Wednesday, March 18th
  • Early Dismissal: Friday, March 20th 2:30
  • Spring Break: Monday, March 23rd-Friday, March 27th

Leader in Me- Habit 6

Please join us in not only learning about the 7 Habits, but also incorporating them into your homes with your families! The Family Learning Team at CPS will be sending monthly newsletters home describing each habit. Each month will be a different habit. You should have already received the February newsletter for Habit 6: Synergize. Along with educating you on each habit, the newsletter will also include books and activities that you can use at home that pertain to that! We look forward to your participation with incorporating the Leader in Me at school and at home.

PTO Update- Mrs. Redlingshafer

March is here, and wow, time is flying! Our next PTO meeting is Thursday, March 5 at 7 pm in the library at CIS. There are several opportunities to get involved with the PTO and the school for next year, please come to learn more! Our second VIP (Very Important Person) Breakfast will take place at CPS on March 12-13, look for more information to come from the school about that! The last ROCK event of this school year is on April 3 for our CIS students. Thank you to all the volunteers who have helped at these fun nights!

Notes from the Nurses- Mrs. Martin, RN CIS & Mrs. Bright, RN CPS

Trending in the Nursing Offices now:

  • Strep Throat: Fever, headache, sore throat, stomach ache, vomiting

  • Upper Respiratory Illnesses: Running nose, cough, sore throat, fatigue

  • Pneumonia: Cough with (low-grade) fever, fatigue- Please see a doctor immediately!

  • Influenza A & B: Sudden onset of sore throat, fever, headache, muscle aches and soreness, congestion, and cough.

  • Stomach flu: Stomach ache (severe pain reported by some students), vomiting, diarrhea, fever

Dental Forms Due May 15th

If you have a student in Kindergarten, 2nd grade, 6th grade, or are new to the district this school year, the State of Illinois requires a current dental exam on file. Dental forms must be dated between November 15, 2018 to May 15, 2020. If Central 51 is in need of a dental form for your student, you will receive a letter in the mail.

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Social Emotional Learning Corner- Mrs. Freeman, School Social Worker and Mrs. Arms, School Counselor

What's a Clique? https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/cliques.html Reviewed by: Kathryn Hoffses, PhD

Friendship is an important part of kids' development. Having friends helps them be independent beyond the family and prepares them for the mutual, trusting relationships we hope they'll establish as adults.

Groups of friends are different from cliques in some important ways.

  • Groups of friends form based on shared interests, sports, activities, classes, neighborhoods, or even family connections. In groups of friends, members are free to socialize and hang out with others outside the group without worrying about being cast out. They may not do everything together — and that's OK.

  • Cliques sometimes form around common interests, but the social dynamics are very different. Cliques are usually tightly controlled by leaders who decide who is "in" and who is "out." The kids in the clique do most things together. Someone who has a friend outside the clique may face rejection or ridicule.

Members of the clique usually follow the leader's rules, whether it's wearing particular clothes or doing certain activities. Cliques usually involve lots of rules — implied or clearly stated — and intense pressure to follow them.

Kids in cliques often worry about whether they'll still be popular or whether they'll be dropped for doing or saying the wrong thing or for not dressing in a certain way. This can create a lot of pressure. Kids may be pressured to take risks like steal, pull pranks, or bully other kids in order to stay in the clique. Kids also can be pressured into buying expensive clothing or getting involved in online gossip and teasing.

Cliques are often at their most intense in middle school and junior high, but problems with cliques can start as early as 4th and 5th grades.

When Cliques Cause Problems

For most kids, the pre-teen and teen years are a time to figure out how they want to fit in and how they want to stand out. It's natural for kids to occasionally feel insecure; long to be accepted; and hang out with the kids who seem more attractive, cool, or popular.

But cliques can cause long-lasting trouble when:

  • kids behave in a way they feel conflicted about or know is wrong in order to please a leader and stay in the group

  • a group becomes an antisocial clique or a gang that has unhealthy rules, such as weight loss or bullying others based on looks, disabilities, race, or ethnicity

  • a child is rejected by a group and feels ostracized and alone

How Can Parents Help?

As kids navigate friendships and cliques, there's plenty parents can do to offer support. If your child seems upset, or suddenly spends time alone when usually very social, ask about it.

Here are some tips:

  • Talk about your own experiences. Share your own experiences of school — cliques have been around for a long time!

  • Help put rejection in perspective. Remind your child of times he or she has been angry with parents, friends, or siblings — and how quickly things can change.

  • Shed some light on social dynamics. Acknowledge that people are often judged by the way a person looks, acts, or dresses, but that often people act mean and put others down because they lack self-confidence and try to cover it up by maintaining control.

  • Find stories they can relate to. Many books, TV shows, and movies portray outsiders triumphing in the face of rejection and send strong messages about the importance of being true to your own nature and the value of being a good friend, even in the face of difficult social situations. For school-age kids, books like "Blubber" by Judy Blume illustrate how quickly cliques can change. Older kids and teens might relate to movies such as "Mean Girls," "Angus," "The Breakfast Club," and "Clueless."

  • Foster out-of-school friendships. Get kids involved in extracurricular activities (if they aren't already) — art class, sports, martial arts, horse riding, language study — any activity that gives them an opportunity to create another social group and learn new skills.

If your child is part of a clique and one of the kids is teasing or rejecting others, it's important to address that right away. With popular TV shows from talent contests to reality series glorifying rude behavior, it's an uphill battle for families to promote kindness, respect, and compassion.

Discuss the role of power and control in friendships and try to get to the heart of why your child feels compelled to be in that position. Discuss who is in and who is out, and what happens when kids are out (are they ignored, shunned, bullied?). Challenge kids to think and talk about whether they're proud of the way they act in school.

Ask teachers, guidance counselors, or other school officials for their perspective on what is going on in and out of class. They might be able to tell you about any programs the school has to address cliques and help kids with differences get along.

Encouraging Healthy Friendships

Here are some ways to encourage kids to have healthy friendships and not get too caught up in cliques:

  • Find the right fitdon't just fit in. Encourage kids to think about what they value and are interested in, and how those things fit in with the group. Ask questions like: What is the main reason you want to be part of the group? What compromises will you have to make? Is it worth it? What would you do if the group leader insisted you act mean to other kids or do something you don't want to do? When does it change from fun and joking around, to teasing and bullying?

  • Stick to your likes. If your child has always loved to play the piano but suddenly wants to drop it because it's deemed "uncool," discuss ways to help resolve this. Encourage kids to participate in activities that they enjoy and that build their confidence.

  • Keep social circles open and diverse. Encourage kids to be friends with people they like and enjoy from different settings, backgrounds, ages, and interests. Model this yourself as much as you can with different ages and types of friends and acquaintances.

  • Speak out and stand up. If they're feeling worried or pressured by what's happening in the cliques, encourage your kids to stand up for themselves or others who are being cast out or bullied. Encourage them not to participate in anything that feels wrong, whether it's a practical joke or talking about people behind their backs.

  • Take responsibility for your own actions. Encourage sensitivity to others and not just going along with a group. Remind kids that a true friend respects their opinions, interests, and choices, no matter how different they are. Acknowledge that it can be difficult to stand out, but that ultimately kids are responsible for what they say and do.

Remember to provide the big-picture perspective too. As hard as cliques might be to deal with now, things can change quickly. What's more important is making true friends — people they can confide in, laugh with, and trust. And the real secret to being "popular" — in the truest sense of the word — is for them to be the kind of friend they'd like to have: respectful, fair, supportive, caring, trustworthy, and kind.

Social Emotional Learning Corner- Mrs. Neal, School Psycologist

Most adults have been introduced and know the health benefits of Yoga! However, did you know that kids can benefit as well? In general, Yoga teaches us all about taking care of ourselves. It is a great way to move our bodies and feel healthy. Teaching our children how to take care of themselves, both physically and mentally, is one way to show love! Research has shown us that Yoga helps kids in lots of areas.

  • Yoga helps kids manage stress and anxiety by learning to focus on breathing to relieve tension and promote mindfulness.

  • Yoga helps promote a healthy body by building strength, flexibility and coordination.

  • Yoga provides a positive mental health potential, including improved mood, calmness, increased self-regulation and improved body awareness.

  • Yoga releases endorphins which combat feelings of stress and sadness. It can increase a child’s sense of wellbeing and promote self-esteem.

  • Yoga is inclusive to all varying abilities of kids. Whether in a one-on-one or small group setting, Yoga allows kids to do poses in a way that feels right for their bodies!

Check out this article for more information on Yoga!


YouTube also has lots of Yoga for kids videos! Check this one out!


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Interventionist Corner- Mrs. Mertens, Mrs. Guse, and Mrs. Holmes

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. Last month I provided some great strategies for addition and subtraction. Here are some great learning strategies for multiplication. Do not start out by memorizing the facts and using flash cards. Kids should start out with manipulatives. They need to connect and see what multiplication truly is…

The Three Phases of Basic Fact Fluency Mastery

Phase 1 – In this phase students need the information to be concrete. This is where you would practice modeling and counting. For instance, if you gave students the problem 6×4, you and your students would model 6 groups of 4 goldfish crackers (for instance) and skip-count.

Phase 2 – Introduce students to strategies based on known facts. For instance, if a student has the problem 6×4, they can reason that 5×4 is 20 and add one more group of 4. Remember not to just teach the strategy and ask students to use it. That removes the reasoning. It also defeats the purpose, creating a “thing” to memorize. Instead, support students’ thinking and ask what strategy they might use. Help them see the possibilities and choose to get to the solution.

Phase 3 – Once students arrive at this stage, they have mastered their basic facts and have come to know them from memory. They just need repeated practice. Now the problem is 6×4=24. To increase your students’ fact fluency, you don’t want to bring in the flashcards or the timed tests. Instead, the key to effective mastery is through meaningful experiences with these phases.

Reading Tips

Moving Past Sounding Out

No matter how old we get, we are always going to come across words in our reading that we don’t know. As fluent readers, we use strategies to figure out words without even realizing what we are doing. However, if our students have never been taught what to do, they automatically fall back to sounding out letter by letter. Can this work? Absolutely! It is not the most efficient strategy though. So what are more efficient strategies? Our end goal is that students be able to quickly decode unknown words, allowing them to resume fluent reading so as not to lose the comprehension of their text. Here are some strategies to use with students to move away from letter by letter sounding out.

  1. Look to the pictures. We can gain meaning from pictures as well as text. Look to pictures to see if there are clues that can help figure out unknown words.

  2. Look for know words or word parts. If we know the word long, we can use that to figure out along, longing, longer, belong, etc.

  3. Use meaning. Think about what wound make sense in the sentence, then check to see if it matches with what is written.

It will take time and practice to get here. We don’t expect our young readers to just pick these up automatically. As teachers, we work on this at school all the time. Working together, we can get our students reading and decoding fluently. If you have questions or we can help you in any way, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher or myself.

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PE Corner- Mr. Dalberg

During the Month of March we will be focusing more on Heart Health. We will be participating in a program with the American Heart Association, previously known as Jump Rope for Heart. This program will help raise money for the American Heart Association. We will talk with the students more about heart healthy choices they can make to maintain or improve their overall health. We will have an assembly to kick off the event early March and will send home more information home soon. We recently brought in a couple members of the Washington La Cross team to talk to 2nd and 3rd grade students about the game and we were able to go through 3 different drills that the kids were able to participate in.

A Little Note from Music Class- Mrs. Cunningham

Kindergarten has started working on their Spring Concert music. Their concert is on April 22 in the CPS gymnasium. Please mark your calendars. A letter with more information will be coming home in the next few weeks.

First grade is preparing for their upcoming concert on March 11 in the CPS gymnasium. Please mark your calendars. I sent home a rehearsal packet with all the song lyrics for them to look over and practice at home. The concert times are below. Students should be in their teacher’s classroom 10 minutes before their concert time. I am looking forward to a great evening!

5:30 pm Concert- Mrs. Couri, Mrs. Gold, Mrs. Norburg

7:00 pm Concert- Mrs. Faulkner, Mrs. Schick, Mrs. Zimmermann

Second grade has been focusing on all the instruments of the orchestra and the instrumental families. They are getting ready to start a unit on Peter and the Wolf by Sergei Prokofiev. .

Third grade had a wonderful concert! I was so proud of all their hard work. Thank you for coming out on a snowy evening. Third grade is continuing their recorder unit, so please make sure their recorders are in their backpacks for music class.

Art Corner- Miss Gleason

Third grade recently finished an artist study on Vincent van Gogh. We recreated one of his pieces where we focused on perspective and focal points. We created tulip fields like you might see in Holland. We even drew silhouette windmills, barns, and trees in the background.

Second Grade just wrapped up a multimedia still life projects using pineapples. This was a lesson on shape, blending with watercolor, and shading. We learned how to use charcoal to create shadows.

First Grade just finished an artist study on Wayne Thiebaud, who will be 100 years old this year. We created a large ice cream sundae with all the toppings you could want. We also talked about the word nostalgia, because that’s how Wayne Thiebaud wanted people to feel when looking at his work.

Kindergarten just wrapped up a watercolor project where we created rocket ships. We learned about a local astronaut Scott Altmen. We are just beginning an artist study on August Macke. We are currently recreating a piece called Landscape with Cows and Camel.