Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

March 31, 2017 - Volume 38, Issue 15

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Elizabeth Yankle, Assistant Principal

From Mr. Cosentino and Mrs. Yankle

We started this week with our second annual JA in A Day. We would like to extend a big thank you to our parent and community volunteers for spending Monday, March 27 with us. Like all JA programs, volunteers involved in this program helped to educate and inspire our students about work readiness, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship.
In addition to all of the volunteers who taught in each classroom, we would also like to thank our PTA volunteer and parent coordinator, Mary Ngo. Her help behind the scenes made the day successful. A unique aspect of this day was the fact that our business partner, First National Bank, provided volunteers for the day as well. It was nice to have those volunteers share their work experiences with our students. Finally, we want to thank our Junior Achievement business partner, Hina Naseem, for providing the training and resources for the day. It costs $4,000 to provide all of the supplies and resources for JA in a Day. This was completely free thanks to the incredible partnership with Junior Achievement of Central Maryland. Together we are helping to prepare our students for a bright future.

HCPSS to Hold Community Forums

According to the most recent Feasibility Study in June 2016, Clemens Crossing Elementary School may be part of redistricting plans that will go into effect for the 2018-19 school year. The Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) will hold community forums on school attendance area adjustments (redistricting) and school boundary alternatives. The forums have been scheduled to allow time to incorporate suggestions for improvement of the upcoming elementary school attendance area adjustment process.

In August 2018, HCPSS will open Elementary School #42 in Hanover. Attendance area adjustments are necessary to open this school. Additionally, school boundary adjustments at the elementary school level may be considered in other areas of Howard County.

Two community forums are scheduled:

  • Tuesday, April 25, 7–9 p.m., at Wilde Lake High School, 5460 Trumpeter Road, Columbia
  • Thursday, April 27, 7–9 p.m., at Howard High School, 8700 Old Annapolis Road, Ellicott City

At both forums, HCPSS staff will present the revised Policy 6010: School Attendance Areas, describe the attendance area adjustment process and schedule, and receive comments from community members about the attendance area adjustment process and alternatives for addressing crowding and capacity.

Reservations are recommended. Please RSVP to or call 410-313-1554. Individuals who would like to request a sign language interpreter for any community forum may contact Colleen Rice, interpreter scheduler, at 410-313-7046. A two-week advanced notice is preferred.

PARCC Testing Dates

Again this year, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students will participate in PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) testing. After PARCC concludes, students will participate in field testing, so students will take a fourth day of PARCC tests as noted below.

The specific dates for Clemens Crossing are listed below:

Third Grade:

English Language Arts: May 3rd, 4th, 5th Field Test: May 30th

Math: May 18th, 22nd, 23rd, 24th

Fourth Grade:

English Language Arts: April 28th, May 1st and 2nd Field Test: May 26th

Math: May 12th, 15th, 16th, 17th

Fifth Grade:

English Language Arts: April 25th, 26th, 27th Field Test: May 25th

Math: May 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th


You will find a new section called, "Curricular Corner" which shares information about the academic focus in each grade level in the upcoming quarter. Much of this will be posted on grade-level and classroom Canvas pages in the near future if it is not already there. We are in the process of building team and classroom Canvas pages. Canvas is our school system's learning management system. In the April 21 edition of the Cougar Comments, please look for the Highlights for related arts classes by grade level for the fourth quarter.

Kindergarten - Curricular Corner

English Language Arts

Writing: Informative writing

We will use our worm experiments and science discussions to read and write about nonfiction, informative topics.

Reading: Comprehension and fluency

Now that many students have mastered their 26 typical letter sounds, can identify and write all 52 upper case and lower case letters, and know many of our 25 sight words or more, we are applying these skills to improve reading skills. Students are instructed on their appropriate reading level to "read like he/she speaks" (with fluency) by combing their sound knowledge, sight words, and increasingly difficult letter patterns and relationships like blends, short/long vowels, and CVC patterns. These skills are taught discretely in small group and also transferred to full class lessons.

Students will also be supported in small and whole group instruction to build deeper comprehension skills now that many can decode more challenging text. Students will be asked to analyze character motives, make connections to real life events and informative topics, etc. They will also continue to be asked to retell and summarize stories and other more explicit comprehension skills.

Math: Geometry, Addition & Subtraction, Place Value/Base Ten (Decomposing number), review Counting and Cardinality - For geometry, we will use simple shapes to form large shapes, identify flat and solid shapes, analyze and compare flat and solid shapes, as well as draw and make models of shapes.

For addition and subtraction, we will represent addition and subtraction to 10, decompose to 10 in more than one way, make ten with any given number 1-9 and show thinking through verbal and written explanations, solve word problems to 10 using objects, drawings, or equations, as well as fluently add and subtract to 5.

For place value/base ten, we will decompose and compose numbers 11-19 using objects, drawing, and equations.

Science: Relationships on Ecosystems - Kindergarten will be exploring wants and needs for survival of plants and animals. The students will perform experiments determining what plants need for survival and discuss animal habitats in interactive lessons. We will visit Sharp's Farm on 4/25/17 to see these topics in real life application and hopefully get some sun, too.

We will conclude with the unit discussing the human impact on the environment including ways we can cut pollution and decrease our human impact on our environment by reducing, reusing, and recycling.

Social studies: Maps and Me - Students will recognize and use maps and globes to find their place in the world. They will also explore the concepts of physical and human-made features of the environment. Additionally, students will study ways humans adapt to or modify their environment, examine communication of ideas, and the transportation of people and goods. As a cornerstone project, students will produce a model of a community using the skills and knowledge gained during this unit.

Health: Nutrition and Fitness - Students will discuss how we can use nutrition and fitness knowledge, skills, and strategies to promote a healthy lifestyle.

*This will be integrated into reading and writing at the end of May to align with Field Day on May 31st.

Visit the kindergarten team Canvas page.

First Grade - Curricular Corner

Language Arts - First graders will continue to work on decoding and comprehension skills using a variety of genre in guided reading groups. We will also identify and learn the purpose of text features.

Students will continue to apply word family spelling patterns and correct spelling of sight words when writing.

Our fourth quarter writing focus will be Realistic Fiction and How To writing.

Math - First graders will continue to work on addition and subtraction fact fluency (up to 20), solving story problems, as well as adding and subtracting ten.

We are excited to measure length and time to the hour and half hour, and we will organize and interpret data.

Social Studies - Our focus in Social Studies will be Communities at Work and Our Changing World.
We will learn about Safety and Nutrition.

Science - We will be exploring how sound is created and used to communicate.

Second Grade - Curricular Corner

Reading - During Quarter 4, the students will be continuing to work through the writing process to compose letters of opinion and research papers. In addition, students will continue to work on responding to text by writing complete sentences using proper conventions. During reading, we will work on our stamina during Daily 5 rotations. This means students are expected to complete each rotation (read to self, word work, work on writing, etc.) in 20 minutes. We will continue to read fiction and non-fiction text. The students will continue work on proper decoding, fluency, and comprehension on their appropriate Guided Reading Level.

Numbers: Students will be able to identify and place whole numbers on a number line. Students will be able to explain why addition and subtraction strategies work. Students will be able to use the addition and subtraction strategies to solve 2-digit and 3-digit addition and subtraction problems. Students will be able to fluently solve all addition and subtraction facts 0-20. Students will continue to solve one-step and two-step word problems using addition and subtraction.

Time: Students will be able to tell and write time to the nearest five minutes with a.m. and p.m.

Money: Students will solve word problems with money.

Measurement: Students will generate measurement data and show data on line plots. Students will draw picture graphs and bar graphs. Students will recognize and draw polygons and other figures.

Geometry: Students will partition circles and rectangles into halves, thirds, and fourths.

Mathematics (Above Grade Level)
Measurement: Students will be able to solve word problems involving addition and subtraction of time in minutes, solve problems with volume and mass. Students will be able to read, understand, analyze, and create pictographs and bar graphs. Students will measure to the nearest quarter inch and record data on line plots. Students will relate area to multiplication and addition and use strategies to find the perimeter of plane figures.

Multiplication and Division: Students will be able to multiply one-digit whole numbers by multiples of 10, fluently solve x/÷ facts x4, x8, ÷4, ÷8, determine the unknown whole number in a multiplication or division equation (using facts x4, x8, ÷4, ÷8) and solve word problems with x/÷.

Whole Numbers: Students will solve two-step word problems using the four operations, and identify arithmetic patterns using multiplication and division.

Geometry: Students will be able to identify attributes and categories of shapes and partition shapes, and identify unit fractions.

Social Studies - The major concepts that the students will cover in Quarter 4 are:

  • Being a good citizen

  • Individual contributions to the community

  • Local leaders

  • Reasons for political holidays

  • Cultures in the community

Science - Throughout Quarter 4, students will be observing and investigating the relationships between plants, animals, and their habitats. They will be working collaboratively to plan an investigation to provide evidence that plants need water and light to survive. In addition, students will work together to design a model pollinator.

Safety, First Aid, and Injury Prevention: The students will learn how to respond to emergency situations, learn the differences between strangers and acquaintances, and the difference between good and bad secrets.

Nutrition and Fitness: The students will name the six major nutrients and a food source for each, and utilize My Plate as a tool to plan a daily balanced diet. In addition, students will identify an example of a single serving of a variety of foods from each food group and explain the importance of breakfast to a healthy diet.

Third Grade - Curricular Corner

Language Arts - Students will continue to work on vocabulary study with a focus on prefixes. In writing, we will look at text structures of procedural text and write our own “How To” books. Our books will contain text dealing with real-life topics that are written in sequential order, include pictures that support the text, and explain the procedure for accomplishing a task. Some examples might include how to make an origami animal or how to plant a flower. In reading, students will read to learn about unusual and exotic plants. We will use our research to write an informative piece.

Mathematics (Above Grade Level) - Students will continue building on knowledge of multiplication and division as we increase the complexity of the skill level. Our Geometry unit will focus on symmetry. In our measurement unit, we will continue to focus on area and perimeter as well as identify, measure, and decompose angles using a protractor.
We will build on our fraction skills by revisiting addition and subtraction of fractions with unlike denominators and mixed numbers. We will also introduce multiplication and division of fractions. Ongoing concepts of focus are prime numbers, composite numbers, and interpreting remainders. All concepts will include an emphasis on applying each skill in problem-solving scenarios.

Mathematics - Students will continue to build their computational fluency through daily routines and number talks. They will build on their math facts with a focus on 4’s and 8’s. Throughout our unit of measurement, we will work with area and perimeter, volume and mass, and length and calculating elapsed time. Embedded in each of the units is an emphasis on applying knowledge to solve word problems. In our statistics unit, we will analyze and create pictographs and bar graphs. In addition, students will apply our measurement and fraction skills to create line plots. Geometry will focus on shapes and their attributes.

Science - Students will study the Monarch Butterfly. Students will be investigating the real-life scientific concern about Monarch Butterflies to become biologists themselves and study life cycles of plants and animals (by raising Monarchs in the classroom and growing their own plants from seed). They will study physical and behavioral traits, inherited traits, and how traits can be impacted by the environment. Students will look at how traits vary among offspring and how traits influence survival in particular habitats. Using all of their research, investigations, and learning from the unit, students will then study the mystery of Europe's Peppered Moth in the 1800s and look at the Monarch Butterfly today. Students will then use all of this information to determine what is happening to the Monarch butterfly, why Monarchs are struggling, and how we can help.

Social Studies - Focus is on the citizen and their role in the community. Students will continue to develop their financial literacy by learning about goods and services provided in the community and the role taxes play. They will also identify ways they, as citizens, can have a voice in their community and make a difference whether through voting, attending community meetings, or participating in peaceful demonstrations.

Health - Focus is on first aid, safety, and prevention. Throughout the unit, we will identify appropriate behaviors for potentially dangerous situations. We will also learn appropriate responses to emergency situations such as calling 911. Finally, we will identify teasing and bullying as harassment, and examine the effects of teasing and bullying from the perspective of the bully and the victim.

Visit 3rd grade team Canvas page.

Fourth Grade - Curricular Corner

Mathematics - In the 4th Quarter, students will be working on solving multi-step word problems with interpreting remainders. In addition, students will learn to determine the area and perimeter of shapes. Students will learn to identify, measure, and decompose angles. We will continue to review and reinforce skills taught in Quarters 1-3.

GT Mathematics - During the 4th Quarter, students will solve real-life and mathematical problems involving angle measure, area, surface area, and volume. They will also solve real-world and mathematical problems involving surface area of two-dimensional and three-dimensional objects composed of triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons, cubes, and right prisms.

English/Language Arts - In the 4th Quarter, students will continue writing an animal research paper and create a presentation. They will also be writing a debate speech.
In reading, we will continue to work on reading and responding to IDR books. Students will also be working in reading strategy groups.

Science - In this 4th Quarter unit, students will work cooperatively to simulate the systems of animal sensory receptors and external structures that function to support survival.

Social Studies - The major concepts taught in 4th quarter social studies are all a part of the financial literacy unit: the barter system, government and the economy, investments and managing your money.

Health - Students will work on describing basic structure and function of the body systems. In addition, they will learn about the prevention and treatment to reduce susceptibility to disease.

Visit the 4th grade team Canvas page.

Fifth Grade - Curricular Corner

English/Language Arts Fifth graders will continue to focus on reading across genres and developing consistency in writing fully developed responses to text-dependent questions about what they’ve read. For writing, fifth graders will practice their skills in writing arguments and informational essays. They will put those skills to good use as they prepare testimony for the Simulated Congressional Hearings that happen at the end of the quarter.

Mathematics During the 4th Quarter, the major skill for fifth-grade math is the introduction to dividing fractions. In addition, students will review all operations with fractions and decimals. They will conclude the year with work on writing math expressions given a real life situation.

Mathematics (Above Grade Level) During the 4th Quarter, the major skill for sixth-grade math is revisiting expressions, equations, and adding inequalities to their skill base. Students will conclude the year with a study of statistics and probability.

Mathematics GT – During the 4th Quarter, students in fifth grade GT Math will solve real-life and mathematical problems involving angle measure, area, surface area, and volume of two-dimensional and three-dimensional objects composed of triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons, cubes, and right prisms.

Science Fifth graders will conclude the year in science with a study of how matter and energy interact in an ecosystem. We will take our first stab (pun intended!) at dissection when we learn to break apart owl pellets and determine what the ecosystem is like where the owl who cast the pellet lives.

Social Studies – Fifth graders will participate in Simulated Congressional Hearings as the culminating activity for their year-long study in social studies of how the government of our nation was formed and is designed to function. They will prepare testimony about a question their group of 5 or 6 students was assigned, deliver the testimony in front of judges, and then field questions from those judges that they will answer without notes. Prepare to join us on
June 7th for this all-day adventure!

Health – Fifth graders conclude their study of health and wellness with research into the dangers of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs. They will use their argument writing skills and creativity to design ads that encourage students to have healthy lifestyles that do not include the use of these harmful substances.

Visit the 5th grade team canvas page.

Science Fair 2017

Your child is invited to participate in this year’s Science Fair on Wednesday, May 17th during the Clemens Crossing Elementary School Showcase from 6:30-8:00 pm.
The Showcase will highlight the remarkable things our extraordinary students have done this year at Clemens Crossing Elementary School. If your child is interested in doing a Science Investigation, Collection, or Invention at home, please visit the Clemens Crossing Elementary School website at to download documents with further information and instructions. Once your child has identified a project, please complete the online form titled, Intent to Participate, below. Students who elect to participate will have their name read on the morning announcements, their name printed, and hung on a hallway wall display. Directions on where and when to bring in the projects will be shared in future Cougar Comments. We are excited to highlight the commitment shown and the hard work done by the CCES students this year.

Science Fair Projects

· Students in any grade may conduct an Investigation to answer a question/problem. Students will use The Scientific Method to learn the systematic approach to solving a problem.

· Students in kindergarten, first grade, or second grade may submit a Collection.

Students will collect and organize something of interest, answering questions related to observations made while exploring their world.

· Students in any grade may submit an Invention. Students will use the engineering design process to create an invention that will solve a problem or answer a question.

Order Field Day Tee-Shirts

If you are interested in purchasing the 2017 CCES Field Day tee-shirt, please download the order form and return it to school along with payment. Information and order forms are on our website.

Are You Moving and Not Returning to CCES for the 2017-18 School Year?

If you know that you will be relocating over the summer, please notify CCES Front Office as soon as possible at 410-313-6866 or email Mrs. Barnhouse at You will need to sign a release of records form to ensure that your child’s new school receives the records before the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year. During the school year, transfer packets take a minimum of 24 hours to prepare. As we do not have a full registration staff during the summer, transfer packets and records may take longer to get to you and new school(s).


Please be sure to check out the lost and found in the front hallway. Unclaimed items in the lost and found will be donated to charity on Friday, April 7th in time for Spring Break/ Spring cleaning.

PTA Restaurant Night at MOD Pizza

Tuesday, April 4th, 12am

10000 Town Center Avenue

Columbia, MD

Mod Pizza will donate 20% of the proceeds to CCES. The fundraiser runs ALL DAY -- dine-in or carry out. Please show the attached flier when you order. Hope to see you there on
April 4!

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PTA 6th Annual CCES 5K T-Shirt Art Contest

Calling all artists! The CCES PTA needs a new design for the 5K Fun Run t-shirts. Please enter the 6th Annual CCES 5K T-Shirt Art Contest. The winning artist’s work will be featured on the 2017 race shirts worn by all participants at the 5K on June 4, 2017.

The contest is open to all students.

Entries must be turned in to Mr. Schmitt by Wednesday, April 5, 2017.

  • Use an 8 ½ x 11-inch piece of paper.
  • Include a cougar or paw print in the design.
  • You may use up to 4 colors. Crayons work best!
  • Include your name, grade, and teacher on the back.

COMMUNITY NEWS: Atholton Summer Sports Camps

Atholton Summer Sports Camps

Get ready for Fall Try Outs or just have fun at one of our many sports camps being offered at various Howard County Schools this summer. Tuition for each camp will be $135.
Tuition includes a Raider t-shirt, individual skills testing, specialized instruction from qualified staff members, guest speakers, and daily awards. For more information, please contact:
Mona Weinberg 410-446-7784 or

Camp Schedule, Information, and Online Registration

COMMUNITY NEWS: Reservoir High School for Sports Camp July 17-21

The camp is designed for rising 2nd-9th graders and features different sports everyday. Last year we played flag football, soccer, capture the football, basketball, volleyball, floor hockey, tennis, modified softball, team handball, scooter games, and many many others. The camp is designed so that each sport/activity lasts roughly 1 hour, so campers will have the opportunity to play many different sports each day. Phil Ranker runs the camp and teaches Physical Education at Lime Kiln Middle School. He has coached multiple sports at the high school level (currently girls soccer at Reservoir HS; previously lacrosse and basketball). Please visit or email for any questions.

COMMUNITY NEWS: FIRN International 5K & Fun Run - April 2

WHAT: FIRN International 5K and Fun Run

WHEN: April 2, 2017, 8:45 a.m.

WHERE: Howard Community College

Events Coming Up

For a complete list of dates and events visit


  • 31 - World Autism Awareness Day - Wear Blue to school


  • 4 - PTA Restaurant Night at MOD Pizza, ALL DAY fundraiser
  • 5 - PTA Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
  • 7 - End of Third Quarter - Early Dismissal, 12:45 p.m.
  • 10-17 SPRING BREAK
  • 21 - Science Fair Sign-Up Closes
  • 21 - Battle of the Books
  • 21 - Earth Day

Due to the snow day on March 14, a few end of year dates were adjusted on the CCES school calendar for June. Please find those dates below:


  • 8 - End of Year Kindergarten Program, 10:00 a.m.
  • 12 - 5th Grade Farewell Ceremony, 9:45 a.m.
  • 13 - Early Dismissal, 12:45 p.m.
  • 14 - Last Day of School, Early Dismissal, 12:45 p.m.