The Cat's Connection
December 17, 2014
It doesn't seem possible we are already headed off for winter break. This year has been a whirlwind of activity, and I am so happy to see our kids excited about learning and am truly encouraged by their performance.
I want to take this opportunity to express my thanks to our students and staff for their efforts to make this year such a huge success. There is truly a positive vibe in the building, and that is not just because students are all abuzz as they look forward to an extended break! New staff and programs have been a wonderful addition to our little school. It is nice to see our hopes for new school programs so important to our students' well-rounded development become a reality. I am also very thankful to have such a supportive parent group, both within and outside the classroom, as we know so many of our students are involved in after-school activities.
I look forward to the coming new year. There is still much work to accomplish before the end of the school year, and I am excited about continuing our work together to make our school a great place for learning.
Please enjoy your time with your kids over break. See you next year!
Great Things Happening at LaCreole
We have been having a blast in our PE dance unit! The kids have been working hard and learning the dances quickly. Most of them really look forward to the dance unit, and even the ones who may not look forward to it can still be found with a smile on their face while bustin’ a move! Dancing can be a great workout, and we are having so much fun we forget that we are exercising!
Hour of Code
During the week of December 8–14, several of our LaCreole staff and students participated in the Hour of Code, which is a part of Computer Science Education Week, a worldwide promotion to bring awareness to the art of computer programming and to encourage more interest in engineering and technology careers. Each year many thousands of jobs go unfilled because there are not enough qualified applicants. Our goal at LaCreole is to provide our students opportunities like this so they have a broader vision of the type of careers in which they may be interested.
Hour of Code activities were offered as a part of our STEM, technology, and digital arts classes. Students really enjoyed learning how to create their own programs and games, and feedback was very positive. What we noticed most was that students had to think critically and problem-solve at high levels in order to create. Probably the most important lesson our kids learned is that it is ok to fail because that is part of the learning process. The key outcome was that they did not give up; they evaluated their errors and developed solutions to their own problems. An important observation was that this activity appealed equally to boys and girls, and across all grade levels. Several of our female students began an activity thinking it was not their strength or interest, only to find the exact opposite was true – they realized new strengths and interests in technology. Even better, we now have students motivated to complete their other assignments in order to earn coding time!
If you are interested in learning more about the Hour of Code, we have provided information below from Code.org for you to do your own research. As a long break is upon us, this might offer some ideas for fun learning activities for our kids when they are wondering what to do with all their time off.
What is the Hour of Code?
In celebration of Computer Science Education Week, the Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics.
Is it one specific hour?
No. You can do the Hour of Code anytime.
Why computer science?
Every student should have the opportunity to learn computer science. It helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity. By starting early, students will have a foundation for success in any 21st-century career path. See more stats on Code.org.
Our Robotics Club participated in their first competition of the year on December 6th at West Salem High School. Thank you Mr. Gradek for taking the extra time to ensure our kids have this wonderful opportunity. Great work all!
- Our A team shared the Teamwork Champion Award and placed first in the Skills Challenge!
- Our other teams finished 2nd, 4th, and 5th (out of 9) in the Teamwork Challenge.
Service and Leadership
7th Grade Classroom Champions
Classroom Champions is a club created by LaCreole teacher Juliene Cornman in order to encourage the many positive role models we see in the class of 2020 (our current 7th graders). Classroom Champions meet weekly on Wednesday afternoons from 3:30 - 4:15 p.m. to support their fellow classmates and teachers and model good behavior. More than 25 students participate in the club.
Classroom Champion students have taken ownership of their classrooms and commons. They come early to school to help their teachers, clean the commons, collect student binders and books that have been left out, and generally make the appearance of our “house” neat and tidy. They have proposed ideas to improve positive rewards for good behavior and ways to support students who need reinforcement in that area. They have made inspirational posters to encourage kindness, and they have pledged to be positive leaders in their classrooms. We have watched our students practice respectful behavior, make a real effort to turn their grades around, and overall become the wonderful people we know they are.
Mrs. Garland works with Mrs. Cornman to run this club. If your student is interested in joining, please let them know to see one of these two teachers for an application.
Deck the Halls - Happy Holidays!
OSU 8th Grade College Visit
Friday, Jan. 16th 2015 at 8:30am-3pm
Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
This trip will be duplicated for our second semester science students.
Order your yearbook!
It's not too late to order your yearbook! Turn in your $18 payment to the main office (cash or check payable to LaCreole Middle School). The price increases to $25 this Spring, so order now and save $$!
Winter Break: December 18 - January 4
School is closed for Winter Break December 18th through January 4th. The school office is closed as well. School begins Monday, January 5th.
Wildcat Science Camp
Tuesday, May 12th 2015 at 9pm to Friday, May 15th 2015 at 11pm
22505 Black Rock Rd
Falls City, OR
Mark your calendar for 6th Grade Wildcat Science Camp!
Wildcat Science Camp is designed for 6th grade students at LaCreole who want to experience learning in the outdoor classroom. Activities are aligned with core curriculum goals for 6th grade, and so students experience outdoor fun!
An informational meeting will be held in March, and more information will be coming home in February.
Location: Camp Tapawingo in Falls City
Dates: Session #1 May 12-13 or Session #2 May 14-15
Cost: $60 (payment plan is optional) due by April 15