GCIS Weekly News 12/4/2015

Weekly Celebrations, Successes, and Up Coming Events!

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GCIS Office News

Our Lost & Found table is overflowing! Please ask your student to check the table for any lost items that may be theirs!

With the change in weather, it is crucial for your student to wear appropriate attire for outdoor play. (Coat, gloves, hat, snow pants, boots, etc.) Students will go outside everyday unless it is raining or temperatures are below zero. If you student is not dressed appropriately, they will be sitting inside for recess and making a phone call home notifying you. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help in this area!

Infinite Campus is a great tool! It allows you access to your student’s grades, lunch account, absences and more! If you are interested please contact the office to get signed up!

If you know that there will be a change in your student’s schedule, or that they will not be attending school, please notify the office as soon as you can! 515-738-5721.

Fundraising Pick Up!

Parents & Students,

Please remember to mark your calendar for December 10th from 3:00-6:00pm for our Fall Fundraiser pick up! We will be set up in the lunchroom. We have exceeded our fundraising goal and will know soon how much we have raised! Thanks again for your support and efforts!

We are currently scheduling the limo ride for those that qualified for the last few days prior to break. I should know in the next few days when the limo ride is taking place. If your student qualified he/she be asked to fill out a permission slip in order to go on the limo ride! These will be sent home or can be picked up on December 10th when picking up your fundraising items.

Funds raised are going to PBIS incentive Celebrations, grade level field trips, and supplies for Project Based Learning & Genius Hour Projects!

Mrs. Van Cleave

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Principal Shoutout!

It's been a great week back at GCIS! It has been fun to hear about all the things students did over break! As we look to the next few weeks prior to winter break, I challenge the families of GCIS to take time to think about a Random Act of Kindness project that you can do as a family.

Many homerooms are having these conversations with students, and also doing an act of kindness or service this month and leading into January. We would love to partner with local businesses, if there is interest! Please contact our GCIS office if you have an idea or would like to partner in anyway! We have lots of eager homerooms and groups of students that would love to help out!

Our work with students on a daily basis consists of so many things! We not only desire students to be great achievers in all they do, we also desire our GCIS students to know and understand the importance of reaching out in our community, helping others, and know what it means to be a caring citizen. Creating students that have empathy for others and finding ways we can participate in our community, is hands on learning at it's finest! Looking forward to hearing from you with ideas or needs!

Mrs. Van Cleave

GCIS Key Players of the Week!

Another Great Week at GCIS! Below are our Key Players of the week! Staff nominate students for demonstrating Key Behaviors throughout the week and coming to school every day trying their best, respecting all students everyday no matter what, and modeling leadership behaviors and qualities! Congrats to these students that make our school community great!
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4th Grade Happenings!

Science: We have started our new unit on energy this week. We are learning about the different types and forms of energy. Next week we are looking forward to discussing this further.

Reading: We are still working on the different uses of figurative language and have started using them in our writing. We are also discussing the theme of our read aloud books and learning about ways to identify the theme in other books.

Math: We are exploring the formula for area of rectangles. As we move into learning our multiplication facts, we will be learning about factor pairs

5th Grade Happenings!


We just finished unit 2 and will start working with fractions in this next unit. We will add, subtract, multiply and divide them. Here we go!


We have started our new unit on animal adaptations this week. We are learning how/why certain animals are adapted to live in specific climates. We will be reading articles from National Geographic for Kids this week and next.


We are wrapping up our unit on identifying the main ideas, supporting details, and summarizing informational texts and taking our post-test. Our next unit will be reading closely to determine what the text says explicitly and making logical inferences from it. We have been studying the Far North Natives’ culture. The students are finding this group of natives very interesting! Please have your child continue to do their home reading and fill out their tracker.

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6th Grade Happenings!

In science, we started our unit on matter. Students designed and did an experiment to explore liquids and their properties.

In reading we are starting to discuss the theme of a text. We just completed our Flag Essays for the Elks Lodge competition. We are also doing a book challenge from now until Christmas break. Each homeroom is setting an amount of books they think they can read by Christmas break. If they meet their goal we will do something fun in reading the day before break!

In math, students are working on multiplying and dividing decimals. Students starting using Google Classroom in math to answer story problems. Keep practicing multiplication facts!

PE Happenings!

In class with week, we tried some more literacy type activities. This time, a student had a partner with four definitions on a sheet a paper and a scooter. The vocabulary words to their definitions were at the opposite end of the gym inside four different color of hoops. With using the scooter, each person had to remember the definition and go down and find the correct vocabulary word. It was fun to watch the collaboration between the partners to figure out their final answer to their puzzle of definitions.

Music Mania

4th General Music

Students are learning how to articulate notes through the method of tonguing. Most students have successfully completed the first level of Recorder Karate piece, Hot Cross Buns. They are advancing to level 2 and 3 quickly.

5th General Music

Students looked at 2 part harmonic pieces. We will be shifting between the rhythmic and harmonic units.

6th General Music

Program preparation.

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Band News

The winter concert is quickly approaching. It is next Monday, December 7th, at the Greene County Middle School in Jefferson.

  • The concert starts at 7pm, but students need to arrive by 6:30pm for warm up and tuning.

  • Dress for the concert is just "dress clothes". Whatever that means in your house will be acceptable. Feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions.

Music Mania

Winter Program

6th Grade General Music classes will be joining the 5th and 6th grade Bands for a Winter Program Monday, December 7. The Program will begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Greene County Middle School in Jefferson. Non-band students should arrive by 6:45 p.m. 6th Grade students will be seated in a designated area of the bleachers. All 6th grade students will sit with their homeroom classes and teachers.

Ms. Manken’s homeroom has been asked to wear dark clothing for their part of the program.

The students have put much time and effort into producing a night of entertainment. Thank you for your support. We look forward to seeing you Monday evening.

Future Events

Spring Fling -

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

4th Grade Program

@ Greene County Intermediate School-GJ

7:00 p.m.

Spring Program -

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

5th/6th Grade Bands

5th Grade General Music

@ Greene County Middle School - Jefferson

7:00 p.m.


5th graders are gearing up to cook. We are going over expectations and terms that we use in the kitchen. Many are surprised at the many terms that mean something else to them. Some just haven’t heard the names of utensils and equipment. Thanks for giving them an opportunity to learn from you and me.

6th graders are learning the importance of how food looks and how it affects our appetite. Their challenge is to make a healthy snack buffet that looks appetizing and where we follow proper safety and sanitation procedures.


This week in art classes we are making a festival of trees to decorate the hallways! Each group needs to decide on a theme for their tree and then they have the choice to decorate it how they want! I hope to have some pictures next week!

Here is a cute and easy ornament to have the kids make for your Christmas tree! You can find butterfly paperclips at Amazon, Walmart or an office supply store. Just tie a piece of ribbon in the middle, tie a knot, thread a pretty bead onto it, tie another knot and make a loop! It makes a perfect gift for a teacher!! (Hint, hint!)


4th grade TAG students worked on some challenging Brain Game puzzles and had to figure out what the Answer to last week’s “Close-up” picture is… a pineapple!

Oompa Loompa Doopity doo… I’ve got another puzzle for you! Answer next week!

5th and 6th Grade TAG - Here are the results of the Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl!!!

The 5th graders scored a 77% which ranked them 16th out of 61 schools in Iowa who took the Quiz!

6th Graders scored 80% which ranked them 30th out of 63 schools in Iowa who took the quiz! AWESOME JOB to both teams! We will be doing another quiz bowl nationwide called America Answers in April!! Play those Trivia games!

Tech Lit & Media

We are encouraging students to pick out a really good chapter book before leaving for Christmas, so that they keep engaged in reading over the winter break! It’s so exciting that there are several new books to choose from when visiting the Media Center!

The coming time off from school is also a great time to start, or continue a lovely tradition in your home...the gift of reading together as a family. There are many great holiday stories that are perfect for cuddling up on the couch and sharing at this time of the year. Many of the great animated specials you may watch have been based on a book. It can be quite fun comparing the differences between the written word and how it has been interpreted as entertainment. Why don’t you give it a try? Some examples:: How the Grinch Stole Christmas and The Night Before Christmas.

Counselor's Corner

Our Word of the Month for December is Courage.

We often think of courage as big — as something that is perhaps lacking in our own makeup. That’s because courage looks different from the outside than it feels from the inside. Interesting, isn’t it? From the outside, the work that superheroes do looks courageous. From the inside it feels like “just being me.”

Perhaps our confusion results from how we hold the word courage. The word itself is derived from the Latin cor, meaning heart. Maybe courage isn’t as much about heroism as it is about moving in the direction of becoming our best selves: to be connected, contributing members of our community. Sometimes that might manifest as a heroic rescue, or a bold and daring act. Most of the time, though, courage is quieter.

Courage is welcoming a new neighbor, cooking soup for a friend who is sick, speaking out when a friend is being taunted or hurt, sharing your sandwich with a friend at school who forgot her lunch or picking up garbage not because you dropped it but because it is the right thing to do.

Because courage can be quiet, we tend to underrate or overlook our own acts of courage. I frequently work with teachers who can easily identify courage in their students, but fail to recognize the kind of courage it takes to show up every day in the classroom, eager to share knowledge but expecting that there will be unanticipated obstacles that will make sharing knowledge both challenging and rewarding.

Where do you see courage, in yourself and in others? How can we help our children understand what courage looks and feels like?

For more tips on how tips for teaching your children about courage, visit:


Nurse News

Is my child too sick to go to school? Many parents wonder if their child isn’t feeling well enough to go to school. It really comes down to one question. Is my child able to participate in the regular school activities. If your child has a cough, sore throat or runny nose but continues to do their normal activities at home they are probably well enough to come to school. Never send your child to school with a fever, nausea and vomiting, or diarrhea. Parents know their kids best, go with your instincts.

Information from KidsHealth.org

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