September 2015 Newsletter

for Archer & Allen Jay Elementary

Meet Ms. DePrez

This is my 15th year of teaching. I have previously taught 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grade in the general education classroom and have taught 3rd, 4th and 5th grade AG classes for the past four years. I currently teach at Archer Elementary on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays and at Allen Jay Elementary on Thursdays and Fridays. Other schools that I have worked at are Erwin Montessori, Madison, Sternberger, and Liberty Drive Elementary in Thomasville.

A Few of My Favorite Things:

Hobbies: Reading, Making/Stamping Cards, Photography

Sports: Watching football-GO COLTS!!! Playing basketball or volleyball

Favorite exercise: Zumba

Colors: blue and green

Vacation Spot: Dale Hollow Lake on the Kentucky and Tennessee line

I look forward to working with your children to help them reach their potential. Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.

My email is

Allen Jay (AJE) phone # 336-434-8490 (voicemails left from this number come to my email)

Archer phone #336-294-7335

My Class Website:


GCS AG Website:

On the GCS AG website be sure to check out the tab called Elementary Resources for a variety of different sites dealing with the units we are currently teaching.

Why did the Ancient Greeks create myths?

In 4th Grade ELA we are asking ourselves why did the Ancient Greeks create myths? Was it to calm the masses or explain the unexplainable? As we study about Greek Mythology we are delving into the scientific phenomena that Greek myths really explain. Check out the links below to find out more about Ancient Greece and Greek myths.

Students will be working on creating a product to that includes a written and visual/multi media piece to summarize a Greek myth and explain the "truth" behind the myth. They have the option to create a piece of art to accompany their writing, a skit, a stop motion animation video, a puppet pal video, and more!

Learn about Ancient Greece

Find out more about Ancient Greece at

Greek Myths

Read a variety of myths here:

Do you know your Human Rights?

Did you know that there is a universal document that Eleanor Roosevelt helped create that lists 30 human rights that all people throughout the world should have? In 5th grade ELA we will be working on understanding what our rights are and then how can we make others aware of injustices. We will be doing a Socratic Seminar where everyone will have the chance to discuss their ideas. We will be using is Youth for Human Rights website and app along with a book called Every Human Has Rights.

Students will be working on creating a product to that includes a written and visual/multi media piece to tell about the importance of human rights and focus on 1 right that they feel others do not realize is a right. They have the option to create a piece of art to accompany their writing, a skit, a stop motion animation video, a puppet pal video, and more!

What are your Human Rights?

You can view videos about human rights here:

Math Quest (4th and 5th Grade Math)

The students will be traveling through an imaginary land where they are learning how to work cooperatively to solve math problems using different strategies.

The Six Problem Solving Strategies are:

  • Guess and Check
  • Draw a Picture
  • Make a Table or Chart
  • Look for a Pattern
  • Work Backwards
  • Act It Out

Along the way they choose fate cards which allow them to advance, earn gold or could lose points for the day. Their goal is to earn enough points through problem solving to make it through all 7 gates and finally to the treasure!

There are 3 levels of this unit. Last year in third grade they used Level A. Now in fourth grade they will use level B, and current fifth graders will use level C.

Which strategy do you think would be most useful in solving this problem?

There are nine students who wanted a chance to play against each other in checkers. How many games will they have to play so that everyone has a chance to play every other student only once?

AG Schedule

Click here to view the full schedule

Archer Schedule:

2nd grade classes are once a week on Mon., Tues. or Wed. for 30 minutes

3rd grade classes are are once a week on Mon., Tues. or Wed. for 45 minutes

4th Grade Reading Wed. 8:40-10:10
4th Grade Math Wed. 10:10-11:40
5th Grade Reading Mon. 8:40-10:10

5th Grade Math Mon. 10:10-11:40

*I will also do Guided Reading with 5th grade reading students Mon-Wed. from 8:00-8:40

AJE Schedule:

2nd grade classes are every other week on Thurs. or Fri. for 30 minutes

3rd grade classes are Thurs. or Fri. for 45 minutes

4th Grade Reading Fri. 9:00-10:30
4th Grade Math Fri. 10:30-11:20 & 12:30-1:10
5th Grade Reading Thur. 8:45-10:15
5th Grade Math Thur. 10:15-11:45

Social/Emotional Corner from the AG Department

Raising Gifted Kids: Carol S. Dweck on the Impact of Mind-set

“Great accomplishment, and even what we call genius, is typically the result of years of passion and dedication and not something that flows naturally from a gift.”

In her article “The Secret to Raising Smart Kids,” Stanford Professor of Psychology Carol S. Dweck writes about children “who coast through the early grades under the dangerous notion that no-effort academic achievement defines them as smart or gifted.

“Such children hold an implicit belief that intelligence is innate and fixed, making striving to learn seem far less important than being (or looking) smart.

“This belief also makes them see challenges, mistakes and even the need to exert effort as threats to their ego rather than as opportunities to improve. And it causes them to lose confidence and motivation when the work is no longer easy for them.”

“Praising children’s innate abilities reinforces this mind-set, which can also prevent young athletes or people in the workforce and even marriages from living up to their potential.”

Teach a growth mind-set

“On the other hand,” she continues, “our studies show that teaching people to have a ‘growth mind-set,’ which encourages a focus on effort rather than on intelligence or talent, helps make them into high achievers in school and in life.

“People do differ in intelligence, talent and ability. And yet research is converging on the conclusion that great accomplishment, and even what we call genius, is typically the result of years of passion and dedication and not something that flows naturally from a gift.

“Mozart, Edison, Curie, Darwin and Cézanne were not simply born with talent; they cultivated it through tremendous and sustained effort.

“Similarly, hard work and discipline contribute much more to school achievement than IQ does.

Stay teachable and motivated

“Such lessons apply to almost every human endeavor. For instance, many young athletes value talent more than hard work and have consequently become unteachable.

“Similarly, many people accomplish little in their jobs without constant praise and encouragement to maintain their motivation.

“If we foster a growth mind-set in our homes and schools, however, we will give our children the tools to succeed in their pursuits and to become responsible employees and citizens.”

From The Secret to Raising Smart Kids, Scientific American Mind, Dec 2007.

Books by Carol S. Dweck, PhD :
The handbook of competence and motivation.
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.

A related book: Your Own Worst Enemy: Breaking the Habit of Adult Underachievement, by Kenneth W. Christian, PhD.

3rd Grade Whole Class Services

During the 6 weeks before the CogAT test on October 6th-8th I am working with students on a variety of thinking skills. These thinking skills will help them understand how to solve problems that they will see on the CogAT next month.

We are practicing analogies, equation building, classifying (putting into groups), paper folding, and figure matrices. Some of these skills can be reviewed at

2nd Grade Talent Development

Each 2nd grade classroom will receive 7 lessons on a variety of thinking skills to help identify students who may benefit from Talent Development services for this year only.

We are working on patterning, sorting by attributes (color, size, shape, thickness, etc), classifying, analogies, and equation building.

Students who show great analyzing skills for these different lessons may have the opportunity to continue to build those skills during enrichment lessons later in the year. Parents of these students will be notified once we complete the whole class lessons.

Guilford County PAGE Information

Click here to find out more about Guilford County PAGE and how to become a member.

CogAT Testing for 3rd Graders

Tuesday, Oct. 6th, 8am to Thursday, Oct. 8th, 11am

All Guilford County Schools

CogAT testing will occur on Oct. 6th, 7th, and 8th. The test is broken into 3 sections, Verbal, Nonverbal, and Quantitative. Each section is tested on a separate day. There are 3 parts to each section and every section takes less than 20 minutes to complete. Students must work quickly and accurately to complete this ability test. The results of this test will allow us to see which students may qualify for AG services. It also helps teachers see the strengths that students have. For example a student with a high verbal score may have a vast vocabulary. While a student who scores high in quantitative is able to solve problems with numbers more quickly. To help with some of the types of problems students may see there are some practice activities that can be found at: