The Wildcat Chat

May 2022

Windy Hills Mission and Vision

Mission: We do things the Wildcat Way! We care, we are accountable, we are team players, and we are safe.

Vision: Windy Hills will be a positive place where we respect each other while working together as a team to grow and learn.

Windy Hills Elementary

School Hours: 7:45 am-3:25 pm M-F

School Colors: Blue and Yellow

School Mascot: Wildcat

Approximate Enrollment: 265

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Upcoming Events

May 2022

3-4th grade Field Trip Trails and Rails

6-5th Field Trip to Expo

9-NO SCHOOL Professional Development

11-Seniors visit Windy Hills

13-3rd grade Tour of Kearney Field Trip

16-Field Day

17-Talent Show

19-Last Day Dismiss at 1:25 (5th grade dismiss at 1:00 pm)

The Power of Partnerships Family Survey 2022

Please provide us with some valuable feedback. Our goal is to have 80% of our families complete this survey.

Principally Speaking

It's been an amazing school and it's coming to a fast close! The staff at Windy Hills recognize the important contributions parents make toward a child's success in school. There is no question about it-success at school begins at home. Parents are the single most important variable in a child's schooling. Parents model both a silent and spoken language in front of their children daily.

One of the most important components of a good school is the partnership between the school and parents who work together for the best interest of children. The close partnership between home and school is one of the exceptional strengths at Windy Hills.

We have always had a strong tradition of supportive, hard-working parents. Throughout the year parents have the opportunity to develop that partnership in a wide variety of ways. Parents join PTO, volunteer in the classroom, help with Fall Festival, attend conferences, read to their children, and help in may other ways.

Thank you for your support with your child's academic and emotional development this year! I especially would like to recognize the Parent Volunteers and Community Partners for their efforts throughout the year! As always, it is a privilege to serve as the principal at Windy Hills.

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Our Playground Field is Closed until August 2022

Our playground field has been reseeded and is closed for the summer! If you are visiting out playground during the summer months, please stay off the grass. The equipment and play pad are still accessible to the public.

Saying Goodbye in 2022

Mrs. Heins who will be leaving the district at the end of this school year to pursue another opportunity in education. Mrs. Heins has been the Librarian at Windy Hills for the past 10 years. We will miss her and wish she well on her next adventure!

We are also saying goodbye to Mrs. Isaac. Mrs. Isaac has decided to stay home with her young children starting next year. She has been a strong member of the 1st grade team for the past 10 years. We will miss her and wish her well on her next adventure!

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Joining us in 2022

Please welcome Holly Johnson to Windy Hills! Mrs. Johnson will be joining our 1st grade team. Mrs. Johnson currently teaches 1st grade at Gibbon. She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge about 1st grade and we are excited to have her joining the Windy Hills community!
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Summer Reading Ideas for Kindergarten -2nd Grade

Give your child lots of opportunities to read aloud. Inspire your young reader to practice every day! The tips below offer some fun ways you can help your child become a happy and confident reader. Try a new tip each week. See what works best for your child.

■ Don’t leave home without it. Bring along a book or magazine any time your child has to wait, such as at a doctor’s office. Always try to fit in reading!

■ Once is not enough. Encourage your child to re-read favorite books and poems. Re-reading helps kids read more quickly and accurately.

■ Dig deeper into the story. Ask your child questions about the story you've just read. Say something like, “Why do you think Clifford did that?”

■ Take control of the television. It’s difficult for reading to compete with TV and video games. Encourage reading as a free-time activity.

■ Be patient. When your child is trying to sound out an unfamiliar word, give him or her time to do so. Remind your child to look closely at the first letter or letters of the word.

■ Pick books that are at the right level. Help your child pick books that are not too difficult. The aim is to give your child lots of successful reading experiences.

■ Play word games. Have your child sound out the word as you change it from mat to fat to sat; from sat to sag to sap; and from sap to sip.

■ I read to you, you read to me. Take turns reading aloud at bedtime. Kids enjoy this special time with their parents.

■ Gently correct your young reader. When your child makes a mistake, gently point out the letters he or she overlooked or read incorrectly. Many beginning readers will guess wildly at a word based on its first letter.

■ Talk, talk, talk! Talk with your child every day about school and things going on around the house. Sprinkle some interesting words into the conversation, and build on words you’ve talked about in the past.

■ Write, write, write! Ask your child to help you write out the grocery list, a thank you note to Grandma, or to keep a journal of special things that happen at home. When writing, encourage your child to use the letter and sound patterns he or she is learning at school.

Visit www.ReadingRockets.org for more information on how you can launch a child into a bright future through reading.

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Summer Reading Ideas 3rd-5th Grade

Read about it, talk about it, and think about it! Find ways for your child to build understanding, the ultimate goal of learning how to read. The tips below offer some fun ways you can help your child become a happy and confident reader. Try a new tip each week. See what works best for your child.

■ Make books special. Turn reading into something special. Take your kids to the library, help them get their own library card, read with them, and buy them books as gifts. Have a favorite place for books in your home or, even better, put books everywhere.

■ Get them to read another one. Find ways to encourage your child to pick up another book. Introduce him or her to a series like The Boxcar Children or The Magic Tree House or to a second book by a favorite author, or ask the librarian for additional suggestions.

■ Crack open the dictionary. Let your child see you use a dictionary. Say, “Hmm, I’m not sure what that word means… I think I’ll look it up.”

■ Talk about what you see and do. Talk about everyday activities to build your child’s background knowledge, which is crucial to listening and reading comprehension. Keep up a running patter, for example, while cooking together, visiting somewhere new, or after watching a TV show.

■ First drafts are rough. Encourage your child when writing. Remind him or her that writing involves several steps. No one does it perfectly the first time.

■ Different strokes for different folks. Read different types of books to expose your child to different types of writing. Some kids, especially boys, prefer nonfiction books.

■ Teach your child some “mind tricks”. Show your child how to summarize a story in a few sentences or how to make predictions about what might happen next. Both strategies help a child comprehend and remember.

■ “Are we there yet?” Use the time spent in the car or bus for wordplay. Talk about how jam means something you put on toast as well as cars stuck in traffic. How many other homonyms can your child think of? When kids are highly familiar with the meaning of a word, they have less difficulty reading it.

Visit www.ReadingRockets.org for more information on how you can launch a child into a bright future through reading.

10 Ways to Build Math Skills This Summer

  1. Note numbers.

    Increase your child’s awareness of numbers by looking around the house to find examples: the kitchen clock, the calendar, a cereal box, a TV dial, a stamp or inside her shoe. Have her write down the numbers she sees, or give her a number and ask her to look around the house for examples of the number. Boost your older child’s awareness of how numbers are used by pointing out the movie times, weather forecasts and sports statistics in your daily newspaper.

  2. Two, four, six, eight, now it’s time to estimate.

    Estimation is one way to increase a child’s number sense. Before you put a stack of folded towels on a shelf or fill a bowl with peaches, ask your child to estimate how many will fit. Then count afterward to compare the actual number to the estimate. Helping your child learn to make appropriate predictions will help her see how numbers are used in everyday life. Learning to ask, “Is my answer reasonable?” will help her as she tackles math problems in the classroom.

  3. What does a hundred look like?

    Understanding the concept of 100 is difficult for young children, even if they can count that far. Suggest that your child start making collections of 100 things — rubber bands, watermelon seeds, pebbles or buttons. You can divide the objects in groups of 10 or 2 or 5 to see how these smaller groups add up to 100 in different ways. Glue the objects onto a piece of colored construction paper for a math collage. Seeing 100 will help her conceptualize it.

  4. Unlock the code.

    Help your child recognize numbers and think critically by appealing to his love of mystery. Write out all the letters in the alphabet on a sheet of paper, leaving room underneath each letter for a number. Under each letter, write the numbers from 1 to 26. In other words, a=1, b=2, etc. Practice writing coded messages using numbers rather than letters. You can use the code to leave simple messages from one another.

  5. How tall are you?

    Many families record the height of their child on a door or wall chart. If you do the same for everyone in the family, your child can join in the measuring and see how the heights compare. Measurement and understanding relationships between numbers are crucial to the development of mathematical thinking.

  6. Play grocery store math.

    The supermarket is an ideal place to use math skills, particularly for older children. Point out that yogurt is $2.59 a six-pack. Ask how much it would cost to buy 3? Your child can round up to $2.60 or $3.00 and figure this out. Talk about how he arrived at that number, point out how the estimate differs from the true cost. Or get the latest advertisement announcing sales from the grocery store. Have her look at the specials on fruit and determine how to spend $10.00. Supply her with paper and pencil, and maybe a calculator, as well, so she can practice using calculators the way adults use them every day.

  7. What’s on the menu?

    The next time you go to a restaurant, hang on to the menu while you are waiting for your meal and play some math games with your child. Ask him to find the least expensive item on the menu, then all the items that cost between $5 and $10 or three items whose total cost is between $9 and $20. This will not only fill the time while you’re waiting to eat, it will show your child how math is used every day.

  8. Cook up a math game.

    The kitchen is a great place to practice math, as long as there’s an adult home to supervise. How many tomatoes will you need to double the recipe for sauce? If you put 10 slices of mushroom on the pizza, ask your child to put to twice as many olive slices. How many is that? If there are three people in your family and 15 strawberries to divide equally among them, how many strawberries will each person get?

  9. Measure the distance.

    You don’t have to leave home for this game, although it’s ideal for vacations. Get out a map that indicates the distance in miles between cities. Measure the distance between Los Angeles and San Francisco, and between Phoenix and San Francisco. Which is greater? How does that compare to the distance between New York City and Chicago?

  10. Change up.

    Give your child an assortment of quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies. Put a piece of fruit on the table and tell him it costs 45 cents. Tell him he needs to find five coin combinations that equal 45 cents. Change the item, raise the price and find five more. Keep a tally of all the ways to pay for each item.

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