Norterra Canyon News

December, 2017

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Follow us on Twitter! @NorterraCanyon

Do you Tweet? Follow us for exciting things happening across campus. #PiratesOnSocialMedia
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Our goal for Hour of Code this year was 100% participation. We are proud to announce that every grade level participated in this opportunity this year!

Kinder through fifth grade teachers chose an activity and did it in class with their students.

  • Kindergarten experienced coding with the Kodable program.
  • First graders used Kodable with help from 5th and 7th grade students and did an unplugged Gingerbread Coding activity.
  • Second graders did Star Wars, then an activity of their choice.
  • Third graders created a Google logo.
  • Fourth graders did Star Wars.
  • Fifth grade classes redesigned the Google logo.

Middle school students did Hour of Code activities in Technology/Design class with Mr. Agrawal for several class periods, including the following activities:

  • Sixth grade
1. Make it fly: Used animation to make an character appear to be flying by moving background objects

2. Birthday card: Made an animated birthday card with embedded music and movement

3. Google Logo: Made their own animated Google logo

  • Seventh and Eighth grade started on JavaScript on Khan Academy. They learned to draw and sketch using JavaScript and did many activities. It also blends into their future learning. These are the specific activities they did:

1. Make a Super Snowman: Draw a Snowman using simple JavaScript commands, reinforcing X-Y coordinates through hands-on application.

2. Make a Wild Animal Sketch: Expansion of learning from Super Snowman using JavaScript and the coordinate system to internalize learning.

3. Make a self portrait: Expansion of learning (and repeat practice) from Super Snowman using JavaScript and the coordinate system to internalize learning.

Check out our photos from the Hour of Code experiences below!

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Studies cited in the Washington Post concluded that volunteers are instrumental in assisting elementary students increase their literacy skills by an additional two months.The effect is not limited to literacy as similar results can be found in the growth of math skills. Volunteer today and grow our pirates' skills. Contact for a list of opportunities.

Kindergarten Pirates Made Bread Just Like the Little Red Hen!

In our kinder classrooms, students connected English Language arts, science, and math through an exciting bread making activity. They read several versions of The Little Red Hen and learned about friendship and cooperation. The story aligned perfectly with their science unit on farms and plant life cycles. In The Little Red Hen, students followed the steps the hen took to grow her wheat and then how the miller turns the wheat into flour. In math they have been learning about capacity and measurement, so students were really able to see and apply these skills while using different measuring tools for liquid and solid ingredients. Super fun and yummy!

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From Our Mask Coordinator: Self Esteem

Self esteem affects everything we do as humans. A great deal of academic research has concluded that there is a link between self esteem and academic achievement. In elementary age children, self esteem is discovered through navigating to find themselves. Once they reach middle school, students focus on fitting in socially. In both age groups, fostering interests and skill development are key to promoting self esteem. MASK Parent University assists parents in starting conversations with students that enable families to help bolster self esteem.

Register for the next MASK Parent University or email

Library News

In kindergarten through third grade, we have just finished reading all ten of the picture storybooks for the Grand Canyon Reader Award program. Each student was able to vote for their favorite book. Ask your child what their favorite book was, and why. We will tally and email our votes to the Arizona State Library Association. After the April 1st deadline, they will let us know what Arizona's favorite book was.

If you want more information about this fun reading program, check out their website

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Earn and Learn runs October 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018. Each receipt submitted to earns Norterra Canyon points which in turn converts to a cash grant from The Shops at Norterra. The amount is based on the school's ranking among 10 schools. One can also earn points for the school by “Liking” the Facebook page and commenting with the school name on the page. For those on Instagram, follow and comment with the school name to earn points once per month. Thank you for supporting Norterra Canyon School.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus Visit Norterra Canyon!

We enjoyed our second annual visit from the REAL Mr. and Mrs. Claus! Students and parents joined us for muffins and milk before school, and if they donated a gift for the Arizona Foster Care system, they took a photo with our special visitors. After the breakfast, Mrs. Butkiewicz introduced us to her son, Joey, at the PRIDE assembly. She told us Joey's story of his experience as a foster care child before Mr. and Mrs. Butkiewicz adopted him.

We are especially grateful to our cheer team for setting up and running the event, the staff members who decorated and collected donations, and to Mrs. Gaydos, who has a personal connection to the Clauses and was able to introduce us. Enjoy the photos below!

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Mrs. Wild's Bright Child Kindergarten Class poses with Santa's Elf, Ms. Michelle, after Muffins with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

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Pirate PRIDE

Do you attend our PRIDE assemblies? This is a great time for us to come together as a community and celebrate our successes! We meet in the courtyard at 8:15 on all Fridays except early release days. The photos below are from the assembly celebrating students whose teachers nominated them for showing respect. We also celebrated our Jump Rope For Heart fundraiser by watching the top earners pie the PE coaches in the face.

If you don't already join us, please come! We have a lot of fun together.

Catapulting to Success

Mrs. Hoernig's fifth grade students built catapults in science, then tested them for accuracy and distance.

Third Graders Show off Their Landform Projects

Mrs. Sears's ELA Class Acts out Vocabulary Words

Little Pig, Little Pig, Let Me Come In!

Mrs. Bussiere’s second grade students created a fourth little pig's house. Mrs. Bussiere used a hair blower to try to blow the houses down but they were all strong and study enough to stay in tact.

Norterra Canyon Spelling Bee

Congratulations to all of the winners of class competitions and the winners and alternates of the school bee:

4th-6th Grades

Alyssa- winner

Cade- alternate

7th-8th Grades

Sean- winner

Carly- alternate

The winners will represent Norterra Canyon at the Deer Valley District bee on January 29, 2018.

Middle School Winter Dance

Our 6th, 7th and 8th graders had a wonderful night under the stars at their Winter Dance.

Winter Band Concert

The NC 5th Beginning, 6th Intermediate, 7th & 8th Advanced, Zero Hour Jazz, and 7th & 8th Jazz Bands played under Ms. Belliveau's direction to a packed house at the Winter Band Concert.

Winter Chorus Concerts

Mrs. Sears and Mrs. Frisby directed our 5th and 6th grade chorus and Ms. Belliveau directed the 7th & 8th grade chorus. With the loss of a music teacher earlier this year, it was a real team effort to prepare the students for their performances. Our teachers and students really stepped up and provided beautiful entertainment for our families. Thank you all for your support with the changes this year.

Pirates are the DVUSD/CCUSD Division II Champions!

Our mighty Pirates finished an incredible season with a 38-35 win against Anthem at Talking Stick Arena. It was a close, tense game and our boys played hard! Congratulations to Coach Hinton, Coach Chartier, and the team. You make us proud!
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Upcoming Events

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  • December 22- EARLY RELEASE: School dismisses at 11:35
  • December 25-January 5 WINTER BREAK: No School
  • January 11- STAR PARTY: See flier above for details
  • January 11- PTSA MEETING: 7:00 PM in the NC Media Center
  • January 15- NO SCHOOL: Martin Luther King Day
  • January 26- EARLY RELEASE: School dismisses at 11:35

Morning Recess

Starting in January, we will be bringing back an old tradition here at Norterra Canyon. When we return from break we will allow students 1st to 5th grade on the playground in the morning. All we ask is that at the 8:00 bell the students come in and place their backpacks at their line, then if they choose, to head to the playground. At the 8:10 bell, they are to walk quickly back to their line to meet their teacher. As a parent, we ask that you stay at the circle and do not go to the playground for the safety of all involved. We are truly excited to have the kids use this space and get involved in the brand new activities that our Pirate staff painted at the playground over the Thanksgiving break. Thank you for your continued support.

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Lunch Accounts

Pirate Families! It is important to keep your child's lunch account current. We have many students with negative balances. Please take a moment to log on to to review your student's account and set up automatic reminders!

A BIG "Thank You" to the Families who Gave to our Staff!

This year was the first time we've had a Gift Tree for our staff. Our amazing PTSA put a beautiful tree in our lobby at the beginning of December. It was perhaps the only white tree we'll see this year! Not only did we enjoy the beautiful display, we were overwhelmed by the generosity you showed our staff. Each staff member had three wishes to fill out and place on the tree. Throughout the month, our thoughtful, generous families brought in gifts to fill those wishes. The joy it brought across the campus was truly very exciting. We hope you enjoy the photos showing our surprise and excitement as our wishes were filled!

We appreciate our families more than we can say, and we wish you a safe, happy, restful holiday break!

Norterra Canyon- Home of the Pirates

Attendance: 623-445-8290