West Rockhill Report

December 2015

Principal's Message

I hope that each and every one of you had an opportunity to enjoy time with family and friends over the Thanksgiving holiday break. As we usher in the holiday season, please consider visiting the Giving Tree in the front lobby to take a tag and purchase a specific gift for a member of a family –in- need in our community. This is a great way to teach children about charity and support families in the WRE community. Thank you very much for your generosity!

During the month of November we took time to enjoy our end of the 1st rating period PRIDE celebration in recognition of those students who consistently displayed positive behaviors. I would like to thank all the faculty and staff members who supported this activity. We all had a great time.

Thank you for coming out to participate in our parent/teacher conferences. We had a record number of parents in attendance to hear about the academic and social achievements of their students. If you did not have an opportunity to do so, please contact your child’s teacher to discuss his/her progress. Your involvement is extremely important in the success of his/her achievements.

As the cold weather approaches, please take a few minutes to help us remind your children about the importance of wearing a coat or jacket when they go outside to play during recess.

In the event of inclement weather and students are dismissed before the end of the regular school day, please discuss your family’s alternate plan for your child. Your plan should include where your child should report, the location of the hidden house key, and/or a call to a parent or guardian to let them know that the child is home safely. Please be aware that you will receive a Blackboard Connect message to notify you of these school closings. You may also access the school district website for timely updates.

As we move into December, I am excited about the achievements of our students as they continue to meet both academic and personal strides in their lives. I look forward to the continued collaboration that provides support for our students at school, at home, and in the WRE community. Some of the upcoming highlights in December include the the WRE Winter Concert on December 7th at 6:30pm. Please plan to come out and join us for this festive event.

Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday to all!

-Mrs. Wiley

From the Office

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Teacher Reports


We have begun our study of non-fiction books in Kindergarten. How are non-fiction books different from story books? What are the components of non-fiction books? In Math, we will be learning a variety of games to help us not only recognize our numbers but also decide which number is worth more or less.

First Grade

First graders are working so hard at West Rockhill Elementary and they are growing every day! In reading we are continuing to explore communities through fiction and expository texts. We will practice reading with smooth and expressive fluency. Thank you for your support in practicing spelling and sight words at home. In writing students will continue to work on informational texts while focusing on organization, content and conventions. We will begin a new unit in math focusing on concepts of measurement. Students will measure with rulers to the nearest inch, read thermometers and explore timelines. Keep practicing counting combinations of coins, which now includes the dime. We look forward to learning new facts about important people and places before we begin our upcoming science unit on lights and shadows. We appreciate your participation at our November conferences. The first grade teachers look forward to communicating with you throughout the rest of the year.

Second Grade

December is such a fun month in second grade! Our students are very excited about the upcoming holidays and are enjoying talking about their family traditions. On Monday, December 21st we will be hosting our annual Grandparents Day. This is such a wonderful event and we are looking forward to spending the morning with our grandparents. We have some special stations set up for the students and grandparents to work on together. Another favorite activity is our grandparent show-and-tell. We love learning about the special artifacts that our grandparents bring in!

In math, we are finishing up Unit 4 which focuses on addition and subtraction strategies. In the next two weeks, we will be teaching how to make ballpark estimates, and the partial sums strategy for adding two digit numbers. We will also begin Unit 5, which focuses on 2-D and 3-D shapes. In social studies, we are starting our country unit. We will focus on the United States’ landmarks, government, symbols, and geography. In reading, we are continuing with Unit 2, Working Together. We will be reading the stories Scarcity and The Bremen Town Musicians. We will be working on words with r- controlled vowels, and plurals with –s, -es, and –ies. Our comprehension skills for these stories are facts and details, and cause and effect.

Third Grade

The third graders dove into their space research projects and are finishing up their presentations. We are so proud of them for all they have accomplished! Their hard work is definitely showing. Throughout the month of December, we will move into our next social studies unit, the Native Americans of the Plains (Cheyenne). The big focus of this unit is how they used the land to live and survive. In math, we will finish exploring multiplication and division and will move onto unit five- place value in whole numbers and decimals. For reading, the students will continue to read stories and work on sharpening their skills from unit two. These skills include author's purpose, suffixes, prefixes, various types of nouns, main idea and details, and more! Please refer to your child's Family Times for more information on the specific skills for each week.

Fourth Grade

It was so nice meeting with all the fourth grade parents and guardians at conferences to discuss your child’s progress and achievements. For the month of December we have some exciting learning opportunities. In reading, we will continue to focus on our theme of teamwork and use our schema to draw conclusions while identifying main ideas with facts/opinions. Also in the month of December, we will begin a new math unit on extending multiplication skills in preparation for various algorithms. At this time it is important for students to practice and review the multiplication math facts. Firstinmath.com is a valuable and fun resource to secure these life-long skills. Shortly before break, students will also begin exploring the regions of the United States. Have a safe and healthy holiday and a happy New Year.

Fifth Grade

Never a dull moment in fifth grade. In reading, we are exploring what makes people choose to do the right thing. Our stories have us exploring concepts like honesty and integrity. Thankfully, our PRIDE values already have us familiar with these concepts. Additionally, we are writing expository essays on historical events. We have begun our Story Face book reports, where a facial expression is worth a thousand words. In math, we have wrapped up our geometry unit and are beginning a detailed review of division algorithms. Science had us exploring the variables which impact the aerodynamics of our planes. Next, we will be launching into catapults. Our social studies lessons have led us to our early settlements in the New World, just in time for Thanksgiving. (Thanks, Plymouth Colony!) We are looking forward to the winter concerts to put our hard work on display!!


Click here to read the reading, math and science connections for December.

These connections are brought to you by our reading specialist, Mrs. Giuliana, and our instructional support teacher, Mrs. Vogt.

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Click here to read the Raising the Bar article from Mrs. Zanine and Mrs. Gable!

Student Spotlight

The Student Spotlight club is comprised of a few fifth grade students. They choose the background, colors, and fonts of this school newsletter. They also come up with ideas and find pictures for their very own section!

Wise Words

December's Wise Words are brought to you by one of our school nurses, Lynda Tennett.

Let’s fight the flu together!

Your decision to get the flu shot or not goes well beyond you. It also affects the many lives you touch…

Influenza is a contagious disease of the respiratory tract (nose, throat, and lungs) that can lead to serious complications, including pneumonia and the worsening of other chronic health conditions. Flu symptoms may include fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and muscle aches. The best way to protect your family from new influenza strains is to get vaccinated each year.

The top five most virus-contaminated areas in the home are:

1. Telephones (have you cleaned your cell phone lately)

2. Appliances such as the refrigerator and microwave

3. Faucets

4. Light switch and door handles

5. TV remotes

Follow good health guidelines: eat right, exercise, and get plenty of rest to help boost your immunity to fight the effects of colds and flu. Wash hands frequently, do the elbow cough, and disinfect hot spots at school, work, and home. Treat the symptoms if you must, but avoid giving aspirin to children because it may cause a rare but serious illness called Reye syndrome.

Enjoy a healthy holiday season!