Timberwolf News

Talkeetna Elementary Newsletter

A learning community that connects, nurtures and challenges.

October 18, 2016


Hello Talkeetna Elementary Families,

If you have ever visited my office, you would know why student's call it "sticky note world". I do have a few tasks written on sticky notes. There is just something a bit satisfying about crumpling one up and tossing it in the recycle bin. I have a few with scribbles for this week's newsletter!

  • We are so excited to share some technology we are doing with students! At our evening APTT Conferences, you should see google classroom, and student smore publications created by multi-age teams.
  • Announcement about electronics: please let your child know that their personal electronic device they are using on the bus must go into the basket at Ms. Kaki's desk as soon as they enter the building in the morning. We are not allowing use of those devices in the gym in the morning, or during our day. We prefer they go into Kaki's basket rather than backpacks, just so things don't magically disappear.
  • We had an amazing music concert last week! You will see it referenced in this newsletter a few times. It was called the "art of live looping". Ask your student!
  • Halloween: your child is welcome to wear their costume to school on Monday, October 31. We ask please no masks, and your child must still be able to learn while wearing their costume. As in, they need to write, talk, sit, move, etc!
  • Title I Parent-Student Compact: check out the compact here: https://www.smore.com/r8mv1. Have feedback? Watch for our annual Title I meeting at our November Principal's 2nd Cup Meeting.

Whew, now I get to crumple a few sticky notes! We look forward to seeing you all here for conferences next week.

Take care,



Week of October 17:

  • PTA Meeting, Thursday, October 20, 3:15 pm in the Library

Week of October 24

  • Picture Retakes, Tuesday, October 25, morning
  • Parent-Teacher Conferences: Wednesday, October 26, Academic Parent Teacher Team meetings, 5:15-6:15, grades K-2; 6:15-7:15, grades 3-5. Food provided.
  • No School Thursday and Friday, October 27 and 28 for students; Parent-Teacher Conferences (scheduled individual)
  • Elementary Round Robin Basketball Tournament at Su Valley, starting at 10:00 am on Saturday, October 29, running all day. Student Leadership Council is hosting the concession stand. Tanaina Elementary, Larson Elementary, Trapper Creek and Talkeetna are all participating, including an exhibition game with our 2nd and 3rd grade team! Don't miss it!

Week of October 31

  • Harvest Carnival, Monday, October 31 (Halloween), after school, 3:30-5:00 pm; Volunteers set up at 1:00 pm

Ongoing After-School Activities

  • Monday: Battle of the Books, grades 3-5, ongoing
  • Tuesday: Math O and Chess Club, grades 3-5, ongoing
  • Tuesday: Basketball, grades 2-3
  • Wednesday: Roller Skating, grades K-5, ongoing
  • Thursday: Basketball, grades 4-5
  • Friday: Basketball, grades 4-5

APTT (Academic Parent Teacher Team) Conferences

Wednesday, Oct. 26th, 5:15-7:15pm

13930 E Timberwolf Loop

Talkeetna, AK

we invite, encourage, beg, and ask please that all families come visit their child's classroom! We will have food to share for adults, will share data for how students are doing, will have discussion about what your student does during their day, will showcase the hard work students have been doing, and will answer questions you may have. We would like for everyone to join us, regardless of whether or not you have an individual conference scheduled. We will have childcare and food for kids as well.

Harvest Carnival

Monday, Oct. 31st, 3:30-5pm

13930 E Timberwolf Loop

Talkeetna, AK

Come have some fun at this fundraiser! All proceeds benefit our 4th and 5th grade trip to Kachemak Bay. We still need volunteers for time, goodies or prizes. Please call Kaki if you can help.

Talkeetna Parent Teacher Association

Our PTA is ambitious, productive and we welcome new ideas! ​ Talkeetna PTA is looking for 2 people to fill board positions. Requirements include attending 2 meetings per month as well as your time and energy attending to details via email/facebook and helping in various events of your interest. If you are willing to partner with our stellar school to make a better place for your child and our communities' children, please respond to Kristy Mossanen at kristym@denalibrewing.com or Becky Moren at becky.moren@matsuk12.us
Some things our PTA does...

1 snack/week, salad bar 2 days/week, teacher appreciation 4 times/year, Holiday bazaar, Bun2Bun run, paint nights, family Olympic night, funding support for art, soccer, and basketball


All grade level music students have been choosing songs for the winter concert. First through fourth grade students are practicing notes and songs on recorders. Chilren are performing solo recorder songs to earn Karate Belts. Several children have already earned their white belts.

Fifth Grade Band is Monday and Wednesday afternoons. Instrument Practice books were handed out Wednesday. Students who had turned in a $5.00 deposit were refunded. Practice Books will now be treated the same as library books. If a book is lost or completely ruined you will be responsible for replacing the book. Several of the loaned books have torn covers and are worn from use. This has been noted. The students have signed an agreement form to return their practice books when band ends at the end of the year.

All fifth grade band students need to bring a folder for class notes, their practice book, and their instrument. Students need to be working on pages 2-5 in their Standard of Excellence book. Students should be practicing at least a half hour a day and getting together with each other to practice as well. Practice should start with a warmup on the mouthpiece to achieve a nice tone.

Band Parents/Guardians, Mr. Ryan needs your child to practice with a tuner and a metronome. Check the app store for free apps that you can get on your phone or your student’s device.


Good afternoon parents and family members!

Here is what your lovely artists have been creating in class this week:

K-We are moving our way through the alphabet, already on the letter "E." We read Elmer By: David McKee and talked about what it meant to be a good friend. Then we talked about how Elmer was a quilted/patchwork elephant and imitated his pattern with a tissue paper and glue collage. These projects will be finished next week.

1st- Reviewed different types of lines and where we find them in the world. We started to create owls, breaking up parts of their bodies into different lines. More to come!

2nd- Had a discussion about Edvard Munch's "The Scream," and why art is subjective. They started to make the background of their own version of this painting with oil pastels. Stay tuned!

3rd- Finished their fall pumpkins! They are in the 3rd & 4th grade hallway if you'd like to take a look!

4th- Finally finished their Sewing Van Gogh's Stars project with yarn and burlap. The kids worked SO hard on these this past month! Please take a moment to look at them if you are outside of Mrs. Holcomb's room!

5th- The kids are deep in their study of 1-point perspective, creating their own planets this week for their areal planets. Next week we will add a space background to these.

If you would like to come and volunteer during art class please email me: rebekah.mathiesen@matsuk12.us

Have a great weekend!

Ms. Bekah

Coach's Corner with Mr. Jamie

Hello wonderful Talkeetna families! Winter is in the air. Even though winter is approaching, we are still getting outside and enjoying the crisp sunny weather. We are balancing energetic outdoor activities with fun challenges in the gym.

Some fun games we are playing this week include Froglandia for younger grades (K-2). Froglandia is tag game that focuses on different types of locomotor movements, hopping, skipping, and jumping. The younger grades are also playing Star Wars and Battle Ship which are activities focused around throwing. Grades 3-5 are also focused on throwing motions which were embedded in fun activities such as Monster Ball and Pin Knock Down.

I hope everyone has a great week and if you have any questions or concerns please do no hesitate to ask. My door is always open. LET'S GET OUT THERE AND PLAY!!!

Go Timberwolves!

STEM class

Last week we continued our explorations with magnetism. K-3rd chose what they felt was the strongest magnet (some chose ring, some chose bar) and tested to see how many paperclips they could magnetize. We recorded our data. We concluded that steady hands were a factor in our results. :) The 4th and 5th graders extended their knowledge of Earth's magnetic poles, geographic North, and magnetic North. We magnetized a nail and made a compass. Most groups were successful with tables that were able to keep their water steady, reaching truer results.


This week's highlights:

  • Fire safety presentation with the morning class

  • The art of live looping presentation with the afternoon class

  • Working on counting

  • Practicing coloring in the lines

  • Celebrating fall and friends

Upcoming Preschool events:

  • Library Field trip: October 20th


We have had a fantastic week in kindergarten. The students are doing a great job at being KIND, SAFE and RESPONSIBLE.

We are working hard on learning High Frequency words, becoming letter experts on the letters S, M, A, T, C, and P. We are finishing up Unit 9 in Math and are mastering 2-D shapes including hexagons and comparing shapes based on unique characteristics. This last week we learned the $100 word "Vertex" and "Verticies".

We had two exciting additions to our normal schedule and both were enjoyed by all our kindergarten friends. The Talkeetna Volunteer Fire Department presented on what firefighters may look like if they were to come to our homes to help us. Their objective was to help our students not fear them in all their gear. We also got to go outside and help spray the powerful water. Our second special was a visit by Arthur Lee Land of Great American Taxi. The students were totally engaged with his presentation of Live Looping where Ember along with other Talkeetna students were invited to play a non- musical instrument to create a background for his "on the spot" musical composition.

Thank you to those who volunteered to help our class make homemade cider and donuts on Monday, October 24th between 12:45 & 1:30 or Tuesday, October 25th between 1:30 & 2:20. We could use one more parent on each of those days, so if you are available please let me know by e-mail rebecca.schwartz@matsuk12.us or 733-9408. If you are unable to help out in the classroom, please consider donating a small bag of apples this week. Donations need to be sent to school by this Friday, Oct. 21. We would love to share our Cider and Doughnut final project with you on the evening of Wednesday, October 26th at our school's APTT Conferences. We hope to see all of you out that evening to learn more about what your children are learning and participating in throughout their school day, and to team up with us to better help your child reach their learning goals.

Until next week, continue to enjoy this beautiful Fall!

Mrs. Schwartz

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Fun in First!

This week's Star Student is Amelia!

This week we will be working on the following:

Math: We will be working on the addition strategy of finding the missing addend. So we will have to use some really good thinking skills and a little bit of algebra!

Reading: We are working on the following sight words:

  • away
  • call
  • come
  • every
  • hear (as in "I hear you")
  • said


  • does
  • here
  • what
  • they
  • have
  • who
  • with
  • many
  • have

SPELLING: I sent home a list of spelling words for each of the students. These are words that your student will be using in the classroom during Word Work. We will have a spelling tests on Thursday mornings. Please work with your student to learn these words. I will send home a spelling menu next week. My apologies for not getting them out this week.

I will be in Palmer for training on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. Mrs. Hicks will be here as the sub. She is a fantastic teacher and will keep the class rolling right along!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me:



Have a great week!

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Game Day in Math Class

This week each class 3rd - 5th, earned a game day in Math class. The photos show some of the choices they made. While students enjoyed some choice time, Mrs. Holcomb was busy conferencing with students.


Wow, this was a busy week! There was lots of great learning going on and even a fun musician that showed us everyday objects can be instruments.

As a reminder, spelling and vocabulary words will go home on Thursdays and students will be tested on those words the following Friday. Please look for graded tests to come home Thursdays in their homework folders.

3rd Grade--this week we will be working on understanding the sequence of events in stories and what verbs are and how to use them

4th Grade--this week we will be working on understanding the difference between facts and opinions and in grammar we will be working on verb tenses

5th Grade--this week we will be working on understanding the relationship between cause and effect and in grammar we will be working on how to use verbs correctly

3rd - 5th Grade Science & Social Studies

The end of the first quarter found everyone working hard and wrapping up current units of study. 3rd & 4th continue with their Soil Habitat study. We will conclude the unit this week with a create your own edible habitat. Look for pictures next week. In addition, 4th grade has been reading to Preschool every week. We love the time we spend with our Preschool Buddies and sometimes they also tell us a story they are learning!

5th Grade is enjoying the additional presence of Jamie in our room two days a week as he completes his Master's program. The 5th Graders are working with a partner to research and create a Smore Flyer on a former U.S. President. Look for these next week. Thank you to parents who attended the K-Bay Parent meeting last week. If you were unable to attend please look for information coming to you soon.

Health Screenings by the School Nurse

Beginning this October the school nurse, Romy Byrd RN, BSN, will start student health screenings. It is the Matsu Borough School District’s policy to screen all students in Kindergarten, 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th grades and on all students new to the school district.

The Student Health Screening components are:
1. Growth measurements (height and weight)
2. Blood Pressure assessment
3. Vision assessment
4. Hearing assessment
5. Dental assessment

The Scoliosis Screening is completed on all 5th grade girls and all students in 6th and 8th grade.

We wanted to give all parents a reminder and encourage parents to call (907) 733-9415 with any questions. Let’s have a healthy and happy school year!

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Currently the on-going activities are: Middle School Basketball, Teen/Adult Basketball, Ping Pong/Badminton, Roller-Skating (current session is full), Toddler Gym and FREE Friday Night Movies. We're working on adding some classes to the list, more about that in the next newsletter.

To find out what movie is showing, call the Community Schools voicemail, title will be in the outgoing message. 733-9431.


By popular request, we would like to add after school basketball for 2nd and 3rd grades. We have a volunteer coach/coordinator in place, and she could use some help.

If you are interested in this volunteer assistant coach opportunity, please send an email to lisa.shelby@matsuk12.us.