The CPES BobChat

September 10, 2023

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What "CRAzy" Model Do We Use for Math Instruction?

"That's not the way I learned it." I often hear parents tell their children this when they are helping them with math. We do teach math a little differently now because we are developing deep conceptual understanding rather than simply teaching an algorithm. Here is one of the frameworks for teaching math that really helps our children. It is called the "CRA Model" and we hope you will use it to support your child's learning as well. 1. Begin with Concrete. Kids need objects and manipulatives at the start of learning a new skill. Two bears or beans or blocks plus two more of them equal four. They need to touch items and hold them so that it "cements" the learning in the brain. Eight pieces of pizza really do make a whole pizza. Examples are endless and our kids need to experience them in real life before they can see them in their mind. 2. Move to Representational. This is the shift to a picture. Two real blocks plus two real blocks can become two blocks drawn on paper plus two more blocks drawn on paper. The drawing "represents" the concrete objects. This is a step towards the concept becoming a little more abstract. The visual image still helps clarify the learning. 3. End with Abstract. 2 plus 2 = 4 Numbers and symbols become the shorthand to represent what is drawn on paper or used as manipulatives. This is where the algorithm comes into play. Often, we see kids who can learn the process easily because they recognize patterns but they can't explain what the process represents. They have surface knowledge but lack deep knowledge that can be applied in a variety of situations. They can get the answer (which is OK) but they cannot meaningfully understand how to use the solution in a real world setting. That is the depth of mathematical learning we are developing in our children. So, if your little one is frustrated and can't see how to solve the problem, start with concrete, move to representational and end with abstract. (You can also simply let us know and we're glad to reteach.) This CRA Model also honors the various learning styles (i.e. hands-on, visual and auditory) and the stages of development (concrete to abstract) of our children. The truth is that this is most likely not "the way we learned it." We believe this "new way" is a much better way of learning for our children.

Strength and Blessings,

Mr. Maness

P.S. Here's a quick article that explains the CRA Model:

Please remember to complete Technology Forms in Parent Portal and to pay the Technology Fee of $20. See info below.

The first PTO Meeting of the year will be this Monday, September 11 at 6:30 PM in the Media Center.

Notes and Reminders

1. Technology Forms and Fees--Parents, please know that personal mobile computing devices and chargers will be distributed each year only after parents/guardians and students sign the Technology Agreement and parents/guardians complete and pay the $20 Technology fee. These forms can be completed online in Parent Portal and technology fees can be paid online here: See button below if you still need directions to sign up for Parent Portal.

2. Teacher Appreciation--The Teacher Appreciatiion event for September will take place on Friday, September 15. We have planned a snack cart that volunteers will deliver to each staff member. There are opportunities for parents to bring in food and drink items and also to volunteer packing snacks on Thursday, September 14 and passing out snacks on September 15.

Please review the available slots below and click on the button below or the link to sign up. All donated food and drink items need to be delivered to the school no later than Wednesday, September 13.

3. Bobcat Dash on October 27--The PTO is excited to host the 4th Annual Bobcat Dash Fun Run this October! This is our only school Fundraiser and we need everyone's help to make it successful. Please consider Sponsoring the Bobcat Dash or asking your place of employment for a Sponsorship. You can click on the Bobcat Dash Sponsor Letter button below for more information. The Pledge Forms for students to collect donations will go home at the beginning of October. Our goal this year is to raise enough money to complete the turf installation on the playground. This will benefit every student in the school. Please send all questions about Sponsorships or the Fun Run in general to the PTO at

Every student at Cherry Park will receive a FREE Bobcat Dash T-shirt to wear! If you have not yet done so please use this link ( or the button below to send us your child's t-shirt size. This will need to be filled out for every child you have at CPES. Please do not submit sizes again if you have already done it. If you have any questions please email the PTO at

3. District Elementary Honors Choir for 4th and 5th Graders--Please click on the form below to find out more information if your child would like to try out for the Rock Hill District Elementary Honors Choir.

4. Dismissal Reminders--If your child is not at your car by the time cars are ready to move, please pull down to the end of the car loop, let a staff member know the child you need, and wait for your child there. Parents of 2nd-5th Graders, know that it may be easier for you to use the Caswell Car Loop to pick up your child. It is moving quicker for our older students. If you choose to change car loops, send a note to your child's teacher and get new car tags from the office.

5. Mouthguards and Varsity Football Tickets--Please see information below from Clear Orthodontics. This information is being sent home in paper form as well.

6. Updating Powerschool and Parent Portal--Know that it may take up to 48 hours for information to be update in Power School and Parent Portal. We work to get it updated by the same day but it often takes two days for the update in the system.

7. Parents Dropping Off at Cherry Road--Starting Monday, we will return to having parents go into the building to sign in children who are late. Thank you for all you have done to help our arrival go so well.

Teacher Appreciation SignUp Genius Link

Click here to sign up to help with the September 15 Teacher Appreciation Event.

Bobcat Dash T-shirt Link

Click here to give the size of your child's t-shirt for the Bobcat Dash.

Parent Portal Signup Directions

Click here for directions how you can sign up for Parent Portal.

Cherry Park Website

This is the link to our school website and includes our Family Handbook, Attendance Guidelines, PTO Information and many more resources that can answer questions you might have.

School Calendar

September 4--Labor Day Holiday (No School); Last Day to Order CPES Spirit Wear

September 11--6:30 PTO Meeting

October 10--Teacher Professional Development Day (No Students)

October 20--Half Day for Students (Students will be dismissed at 11:00)

October 27--Bobcat Dash

Parent Organizations

School Improvement Council--This group seeks to determine how Cherry Park Elementary can be the best school it can be. It is a sounding board and feedback group for the school and district. Members are elected for two year terms. Members of this year's Council include Anitra Meeks, Paloma Fernandez Sanchez, Brittany Jensen, Celia Kerr, Ashley Petit, Latisha Givens, and Scott Kennedy. Ex-Officio Members are Mr. Maness (Principal) and Mrs. Futrelle (Assistant Principal). Meetings are held at Cherry Park on the second Monday of each month at 5:30 PM. All parents are invited to attend.

Parent Teacher Organization--This group has three main goals: Raising funds for the school, appreciating the staff and securing volunteers as needed. The Cherry Park PTO is a 501c3 tax deductible organization. Meetings are held at Cherry Park on the second Monday of each month at 6:30 PM (right after the SIC meetings.) All parents are invited to attend. All financial records are distributed and updated at each month's meeting. Officers this year are Amanda Winters (President), Emmanuel Daniel (Vice-President), Celia Kerr (Secretary) and Michelle Dawkins (Treasurer).

Previous Newsletters for 23-24 School Year

"What Do We Need to Know about Arrival?" September 3, 2023

"Did You Know that a Bobcat 'ROARS?"' August 27, 2023

"What Do We Need to Remember as We Start Back" August 20, 2023

"Technology Forms and Fees"--August 25, 2023

"How Can We Work Together to Keep Everyone Safe?" August 13, 2023

"How Can Checklists Help You Start a New Year?" August 6, 2023

"Who Are the Newest Hires and What Are the Latest Changes with Technology?" July 30, 2023

"What's the Latest News at Cherry Park" July 16, 2023

"Challenger Be Great Academy Update" June 23, 2023

"What Staffing Changes Have Been Made at CPES?" June 18, 2023