Spotlight

Four Seasons A+ Elementary School Newsletter - December 2021

CALENDAR

  • Monday, December 13, 5:00-6:00pm - Community Gathering
  • Winter Break, December 20 - 31
  • School Resumes Monday, January 3
  • Wednesday, January 19, Picture Retake Day

Principal Mickelson

As I walked the hallways of our building this week, I noticed something. Our students are smiling (behind masks of course), laughing, and generally behaving like children. It is refreshing to see our students picking up on the rituals & routines of school. Our staff has been working tirelessly to establish positive relationships and safe learning environments for our students to thrive. It has taken longer than usual to get back to this place after being inconsistent for so long. However, we’ve adapted our thinking, reimagined what school needs to be right now, and worked collaboratively to meet the current needs of our students. Do we still have work to do? Always. We aspire to make progress, not achieve perfection in everything we do.


The pandemic and everything that goes along with it, has been difficult to say the least. However, we will prevail. We are currently seeing more positive cases in our building. This means students and staff might have to quarantine. This is hard. It impacts our families and our staffing. Let’s work together to stay home and get tested when we have symptoms. Please communicate directly with our office staff and nurse if you have a positive case of Covid in your home. We have the best Nurse and Health Assistant in SPPS working in our building. We can be confident they will handle each case individually, confidentially, and with great care.


In our learning community we talk about “High Notes”. This is a figure of speech we use when something is going well or makes our day. Although I experience many high notes here daily, I am going to only share one. One of my many high notes this week was helping a student do their work in my office. When I told him my boss was coming to meet me and he would have to return to class, he looked at me and said, “You have a boss?” I said, “I do.” He said, “Can I stay and meet her? I want to tell her you are a good Principal!” Our students are good, they want to learn, they want to help, and they want to be successful. It is our honor to support them as they make progress not only as learners but as human beings too.


As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions, concerns, and feedback. We are always striving to improve to meet the needs of our families and students.


Take care.

Sincerely,

Ms. Mickelson

Kindness Otters

Counselor's Corner & Seasonal Resources ($20 gift card & raffle prize chance)

All K-5 students will begin lessons on bullying prevention this month. Students will learn how to recognize, report and refuse bullying along with bystander power. Be on the lookout for Home Links to come home with your students to reinforce what they are learning!


As we move into the month of December, many people may find this time of year filled with joy and gratitude. Unfortunately, not everyone finds this time of year to be delightful as others. Aside from the holiday season, winter is the hardest time of year for our mental health. To help provide some relief this winter season, please see the resources below:


Opportunities to give and get help around Minnesota this holiday season

Helping Kids Cope With Holiday Blues

Tips for Helping Your Child Cope with Holiday Stress

Self Care: Help yourself cope with Holiday stress


Additionally, Ramsey County is putting on a virtual resource fair December 7th, starting at 4pm. Families can choose to meet with individual agencies and/or resource navigators. After the fair, parents/caregivers will get a $20 gift card stipend, a list of resources, and a chance to win lots of great Raffle Prizes! Registration required https://www.rccmhc.org/resource-events


Take care,


Brooke Hardman - School Counselor

Brooke.hardman@spps.org

651-744-2018

Big picture

Community Gathering

Monday, Dec. 13th, 5-6pm

This is an online event.

Zoom Meeting:


Four Seasons has GOALS for student success (School Continuous Improvement Plan or SCIP).


How we are meeting those goals? Your feedback is important!


  • talk with other parents and teachers
  • enjoy a game - experience what happens in the classroom
  • know our goals
  • ask questions, make comments, give suggestions

We are BETTER TOGETHER.

What's Happening in Our Classrooms

Pre-K

We just finished our area of study, “Changes in Our World.” We learned a lot about how our world is changing during the season of fall. In Minnesota, we are dressing warmer as the weather is getting colder, and noticing how the animals are starting to hibernate, gathering food to survive the winter, or growing thicker fur coats. We had a lot of fun observing and discussing the changes around us.


Currently, we are learning about, “Being Healthy in Our World.” We will discuss how exercise, eating healthy, drinking water, washing hands, and getting good sleep all help our bodies stay healthy. We also have a student teacher working in our classroom. Her name is Ms. Hughes and she goes to Concordia University-St. Paul. She will be working in our class until winter break.

Kindergarten

Kindergarten has started our new DOW (Discovering Our World) unit: Being Healthy in our World. We have begun focusing on ways to keep our bodies and minds healthy and are learning about our feelings and the five senses as we explore our world. We will be spending time talking about how to make great choices and about fun activities and foods that keep us healthy.


For Literacy, we have been focusing on letter names and sounds and learning new Sound and Say (letter sound) and See and Say (sight) words. Number recognition, patterning, sorting, and measurement continue to be explored during Math.


With the changing season and temperatures, please help your child be dressed appropriately for the weather since we love going outside to play each and every day! Just like the change in the weather, each Kindergarten student is growing and changing!

1-2 Split Classrooms

In our first-second grades we continue to strengthen and build skills while we become a solid first-second grade family in our classrooms.


  • Language Arts: We are mastering letter names/sounds and developing our decoding skills. We are listening to many stories and reading books at our reading levels. We are beginning to write sentences as well.
  • Math: We are identifying numbers past 31, counting by 1s, 10s, and 5s, learning more about patterning and problem solving and recognizing and representing numbers. This will lead us into addition.
  • Social Studies: We are learning about a variety of cultural celebrations. Most importantly, we continue to work on and learn about how kindness is integral in our classroom and life. We are working hard to understand and put into practice kind actions all day. With kindness we get respectful and responsible students who are then able to become amazing people who are ready to learn!


With kindness and peace in our hearts,

Ms. Pappas and Mrs. H

2-3 Split Classrooms

In the 2/3 split classrooms we have been working hard on following expectations by using a positive reinforcement system. Students are doing amazing and continue to work hard.


In math class we are just finishing up working on money and have begun shapes. We are working on both 2D and 3D shapes. In language arts we have been working on fiction vs. non fiction, phonics and story elements. In writing we will begin opinion writing. Students are hard working and learning so much.

3rd Grade

In third grade we have been focusing on daily math work and starting to introduce more math materials for students to use when practicing their math. We have continued to practice daily reading. Many of our students are not reading at grade level and we are doing our best to practice reading as much as we can. We encourage students to practice reading at home daily for at least 30 minutes. Students should also practice on ST Math for 20 minutes, daily.


We have completed conferences with nearly all families, if you have yet to complete your conference and/or have any questions/concerns/or need additional support, please reach out to us anytime.


Ms. Long's class earned Pajama Day on Friday, December 3 and are working on their next reward day. Ms. Erlandsen's class is also working toward a Pajama Day and Popcorn Party.

4-5 Split Classrooms

During the month of November students in the fourth and fifth grade learned so much! In math, we focused on multiplying multi-digit numbers and dividing multi-digit numbers. In literacy our students have become experts at utilizing our Guided Reading time to work independently so we can use small groups to support each child with their individual reading needs. We've also spent time learning about fiction and non-fiction genres. As we move into December we will learn about angles and triangles in math, and we will focus on writers and their craft/process in literacy. Finally, this month we are integrating science and writing as we focus on Ecosystems, a unit that will give our 4th and 5th graders the chance to develop understanding about the natural world around them, and to collaborate with their peers on a group project. We've also started going to the library! Please check with your child's teacher about their library day, and make sure to return library books on time.


As always, please keep reminding your child to wear their mask at school. As cases in Minnesota rise it's SO important that we are diligent with mask wearing to keep everyone safe. Additionally, please chat with your child about respecting school materials and property - the 4/5 bathroom will reopen soon and we know our responsible 4th and 5th graders can demonstrate their leadership as the oldest kids on campus by NOT breaking or damaging anything in their bathrooms. Thank you for your support!

5th Grade Families - Visit OWL (click for info)

Next year will be a transition year for our 5th graders. Attend a virtual Family Showcase to explore Open World Learning Community as a 6-12 grade option.

DHH ECSE Pre-K

DHH ECSE preschoolers are continuing to work hard together to learn, cooperate, and experience. Our newest Area of Study focuses on Healthy choices as we work toward understanding our bodies, our senses, and everyday choices. We are developing relationships with our friends with games in and outside of our school building and recognizing that these big motor movements are good for keeping both our muscles and our minds healthy -- We cannot wait for the fun that snow will bring!

DHH - Ms. Skahen

This month we began a new unit about being healthy. Students are going to be answering questions like, what is healthy? What do I need to be healthy? How does it feel to be healthy? And many more! The classroom has been full of eager learners and making many memories while learning how to communicate and advocate for themselves. Stop by anytime and say hello!

DHH + - Ms. Kasey

Hello families! November has come and gone! This past month in the Deaf + classroom we have been learning about maps. Our students have been learning about where and when people might use maps (like during camping or at the fair). We have also discussed the state and city we live in.


Just a reminder to look at Seesaw for our We digital Academic Parent Teacher Teaming (APTT)! Please make sure you watch those videos and let Ms. Corbett know if you have any questions!

MLL (Multilingual Learners)

We have enjoyed working with your children. Students have been building vocabulary in English as well as identifying letters, sounds and words.


Thank you for attending conferences. We appreciate your time and energy.

Dance

In Dance, grades Pre-K through 3 are continuing to explore the elements of dance. Ask your students about Level and the Rocks and Bridges game, the flying balloon and Size, and the Traffic game and Direction! The 4/5th graders are learning about Choreographic Devices like unison, canon and repetition.

TutorMe - Tutoring Help

SPPS has formed a new partnership with TutorMe to give students free access to online tutoring services. TutorMe allows students to connect with a subject-level expert tutor at any time to get support in current classes. TutorMe is an external company we are contracting with as an additional resource for students alongside the SPPS Academic Support Center and other student support opportunities in our schools.


TutorMe FAQ

Tutor Me Login Through Clever

Tutor Me Video

Picture Day

Picture Day was December 1st. It's not too late to purchase a photo package! You can still send a payment with your student to school or order online at mylifetouch.com using code EVTXJCVCJ.


Picture Retake Day is January 19, 2022.