The Town Zeller

November 2019: Volume 2, Issue 2

Message from Principal Lin

Dear Families,

Wow! The month of October has left me breathless! And it has all been for great reasons! You are reading one notable change, in fact. Starting this month, we will publish the Town Zeller on the Smore platform, which is an online newsletter template. This will allow us to send the newsletter as a link, and provide better opportunities to share pictures (and videos!) for your pleasure.

As I am sure you have noticed, we have had a lot of productive fun this year developing our reading, writing, math, science, and social studies skills and knowledge base. Recognizing the importance of cultivating well-rounded students, we have also built on our experiences in art, music, physical fitness, library, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Most importantly, we continue to draw attention to ourselves, developing our social emotional well-being in ways that center our development on competencies such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsibility decision making. This can be seen best with the promotion of monthly character traits (e.g. respect and self-control), as well as the reinforcement of our three expectations at school, to be respectful, responsible, and ready to learn.

We like to think that the learning itself is interesting. And, of course, when things are interesting, things also tend to be fun. But that's not to say that we haven't scheduled other fun experiences. In October, we benefited greatly from the community support for our PTO Race for Education fundraiser. The celebration fun run on October 4th was a tremendous success. We are so overjoyed and grateful for all of your support in publicizing and/or contributing to this event. Also, for those who signed up, students enjoyed the Science Explorer after-school program. With a focus on slime, how could it NOT have been fun?! We also celebrated ELCO Homecoming, held a well attended Title I Family Engagement Night, and reaffirmed our status as a drug-free school with Red Ribbon Week. Finally, on Tuesday nights, starting at 7 PM, we will post onto our YouTube channel "Principal Fort Zeller" a weekly segment called "Hit the Hay Tuesday," during which I (or a member of our wonderful staff) will read a bedtime story to you. It is our way of extending our love and appreciation for our children beyond the walls of the physical school. We hope you enjoy!

Needless to say, that was quite a lot for the end of the 1st marking period. And as we kick off the start of the 2nd quarter, it is our genuine hope that your child continues to express interest and enjoyment with the educational and fun activities we have planned moving forward. It is our honor and privilege to serve your child, your family, and our community here at Fort Zeller Elementary School.

With gratitude,

Steven Lin


PBIS Character Trait for November: Self-Control

October Student Spotlights Demonstrating Character Trait of Responsibility

Class of the Month: Mrs. Moore's Class

Big picture

PBIS Recognitions of Student Spotlights

The students above were publicly recognized at our last PBIS Assembly when we introduced the Character Trait theme for the next month. Congratulations!

Counseling and Social Emotional Corner with Ms. Brosius: What are the Zones of Regulation?

The Zones are used to teach self-regulation by labeling all the different ways we feel and states of alertness we experience into four zones. The Zones lessons we deliver to each class provide strategies to teach students to become more aware of their emotions, improve controlling their emotions and impulses, managing their sensory needs, and improving their ability to problem solve conflicts.

The Blue Zone is used to describe low states of alertness, such as when one feels sad, tired, sick, or bored.

The Green Zone is used to describe a calm state of alertness. A person may be described as happy, focused, content, or ready to learn when in the Green Zone. Being in the Green Zone will help students be successful in the classroom.

The Yellow Zone is also used to describe a heightened state of alertness and elevated emotions; however, one has some control when they are in the Yellow Zone. A person may be experiencing stress, frustration, anxiety, excitement, silliness, the wiggles, or nervousness when in the Yellow Zone.

The Red Zone is used to describe extremely heightened states of alertness and intense emotions. A person may be elated or experiencing anger, rage, explosive behavior, devastation, or terror when in the Red Zone. A person is described as “out of control” if in the Red Zone.

Teaching students the Zones of Regulation is important so they are able to appropriately identify the emotions they are experiencing and the way their body feels when in each zone. Students also begin to understand and practice how to return themselves to the green zone so they are able to feel their best and be successful!

Other Tidbits

"Hit the Hay" Tuesday: Tune in Every Tuesday at 7 PM on YouTube!

"Hit the Hay" Tuesday kicked off on October 22, where Principal Lin or a member of our Fort Zeller faculty and staff will read a bedtime story on our "Principal Fort Zeller" YouTube Channel at 7:00 PM. It's just one fun way to promote reading as a fun activity, connect the act of reading with love and warmth, and encourage human connections between our staff and your family.

We will also share the YouTube video links on our Fort Zeller Twitter feed (@ELCOfort). Additionally, our PTO has agreed to share the link on its "Fort Zeller PTO" Facebook page. Kick back and enjoy!

Author Visit By Timothy Young

We are so excited that children’s author/illustrator, Timothy Young, will be visiting both Fort Zeller and Jackson Elementary, Thursday, November 14th. If you would like to order one of Timothy’s books, please complete the order form that was sent home with your child. Order forms and payment is due Tuesday, November 5th. Please visit the link below to learn more about Timothy and his books.

Big picture

1st Marking Period Report Cards to be Issued at Parent Conferences (Nov. 25-26)

The 1st marking period report cards will be issued out during parent conferences on November 25 and 26. This will give our teachers an opportunity to walk through the various components of the report and put markings in the context of skills on which your child is progressing and what skills on which there continues to be more work for development. We also hope this will provide parents with the real-time conversation that is beneficial to answering questions that might arise. For families who are unable to attend parent conferences, we will send the reports home right after parent conferences wrap up.

Spotlights Around the Fort


Kindergarten has been working hard on letters, sounds, and new words. Students are excited to be able to “read” some words in their special books. They are also working on numbers and number writing. Kindergarten students have been using their five senses to become aware of their surroundings and to write about their observations. They also enjoyed the fire truck visit and sent a special thank you to the firefighters who came in. As a gradelevel, classes also talked about the big word “Respect,” and how they can all show respect to all of their friends and the community. Finally, the students enjoyed their role in participating in the PTO Race for Education fundraiser and celebration!

1st Grade

First graders practiced reading and printing words using short e, and short u word families. Currently, they are reviewing all the short vowel sounds and high frequency words that have been introduced so far. During math time, students used counters to model subtraction stories and practiced printing subtraction number sentences. The first graders enjoyed participating in the PTO Race for Education fundraiser and celebration. They also went on their field trip to Corn Cob Acres in Mountville, PA. A special shout out goes to the Fort Zeller PTO for their support in both of those activities. Students also had the opportunity during Fire Prevention Week to view several safety vehicles.

2nd Grade

2nd graders modeled teamwork while hypothesizing whether flour, a cloth, salt, or a paper towel would melt ice the fastest. Many students used their experience of using salt to melt ice in the winter to form their hypothesis. Next, they enthusiastically set about the task of trying to see if their given item would be the one that would melt the ice faster than their teammates! Our second graders love STEAM projects and the challenges they post! In Social Studies the students had discussions about why rules and laws are important for people in a community. In reading, students worked on retelling fiction stories, making visual images in their minds while reading to help comprehend. They practiced using headings in nonfiction text in order to ask questions that helped to form a purpose for reading. Beginning and ending consonant blends have been a focus, both as readers and spellers. Our reading decoding skills have focused on words with suffixes, such as ed, ing, s, and es. As a grade level, the classes of students look forward to fun, educational centers with a fall theme to culminate October!


This month in Mrs. Panza’s art classroom, ELCO artists were focused on learning. In Kindergarten, students continue to work on classroom routines. They also began to work with printmaking, focusing on using shapes and learning about the 3 primary colors. First graders also worked with printmaking tools and tempera paints to create a blend of fall foliage. They also discussed how to create depth in their abstract fall forest artwork. Finally, second grade artists were challenged to create a non-objective piece of artwork that shows the art principle of contrast. Artists worked as problem solvers to create a piece of artwork that is “just interesting to look at.”

Physical Education

October has been an exciting month in physical education class. Students have been participating in lots of fun activities with the giant parachute. They are also involved with continuing to use gross motor skills to work together in group challenges, games, and fun exercises. Classes worked towards a very exciting incentive, a glow-in-the-dark parachute class that took place just before Halloween!


In Kindergarten, students are finding the heartbeat of music through songs like "Johnny Works With One Hammer" and "Alligator Pie." Students are also writing quarter notes and eighth notes (Ta’s and Ti-ti’s). In first grade, students are learning note names and values. They are practicing to draw quarter, half, and whole notes. They also started their 1st musical listening story! Finally, In second grade, students have started playing the ukuleles! They are working on the first two chords, C and A minor. They are also learning proper holding techniques and posture.

Library and Innovation

In library class, students continue to read stories with Ms. Breeden that emphasize responsibility. They read several stories from the Black Lagoon book series to help make connections to being respectful in school, including on the bus, with their library books, as well as for our upcoming author visit. Students are also beginning to look at non-fiction books in 1st and 2nd grades. As a friendly reminder, please remember to keep water bottles away from library books and in outside pockets of backpacks. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

With regards to the Innovation/STEAM program, Mr. Wright is enjoying his time going into classrooms and exposing students to the Engineering Design Process (EDP), while also kicking off with their first STEM lessons and challenges. The students are looking forward to the 2nd marking period, as it promises to bring about more projects. Meanwhile, Mr. Wright would like to thank members of the community for their many generous donations (via the STEM Monster Donation Bins) the STEM room at Fort Zeller is getting filled up with many resources, which are in the process of being organized.

Upcoming Dates

Notable Events

November 3, 2019:
  • Daylight Saving Time Ends

November 4, 2019:

  • ELCO School Board Meeting: (6:00) ELCO High School Library

November 5, 2019:

  • Order Form for Signed Book by Author Timothy Young Due
  • PTO Art to Remember Forms Due Back
  • PTO Meeting: (6:30) Fort Zeller Library
  • 1st Session of Science Explorer "Pop, Bang, Fizz": (3:45-4:45) For those who signed up

November 11, 2019:

  • Veteran's Day Breakfast: (8:15) Please RSVP ahead of time

November 12, 2019:

  • 2nd Session of Science Explorer "Pop, Bang, Fizz": (3:45-4:45) For those who signed up

November 14, 2019:

  • Author Visit by Mr. Timothy Young: Order form for signed book due November 5

November 18, 2019:

  • ELCO School Board Meeting: (6:00) ELCO High School Library

November 19, 2019:

  • PTO Book Fair Begins: Arctic Theme
  • 3rd/Last Session of Science Explorer "Pop, Bang, Fizz": (3:45-4:45) For those who signed up

November 25, 2019:

  • Parent Conferences: 12:30-8:00 - 1st Marking Period Report Cards Issued (Book Fair Open)

November 26, 2019:

  • Parent Conference: 8:30-4:00 - 1st Marking Period Report Cards Issued (Book Fair Open)

November 27, 2019:

  • K-12 Inservice Service Day (No School for Students)

November 28, 2019:

  • Thanksgiving: Thanksgiving Break

November 29, 2019:

  • Thanksgiving Break

December 2, 2019:

  • Last Day of Thanksgiving Break

December 3, 2019:

  • Beginning of Operation Warm a Child: Donations of gloves, coats, scarves accepted
  • PTO Meeting: (6:30) Fort Zeller Library