AmeriSchools Academy

Making a Difference Every Day

September 2015 Newsletter

AmeriSchools Scholars are off to the races!

Our new and returning scholars are working hard in the classrooms, learning new skills and practicing with new thinking tools. You may notice your scholar talking about details and patterns. Details and Patterns were two thinking tools all the teachers introduced recently.

We are impressed with everyone's commitment to reading at home! Keep logging your daily reading times. Our district and school goal is to read for 20 minutes a day for 20 days, the 20/20 Challenge at HOME! We are reading with your scholar at school every day too! If every student reaches their word count this year, the research states that every child should see extensive growth in reading scores. If your child is a strong reader, they will also perform well on math tests.

Check out what each class is doing below!

Upcoming Events:

September 2nd - September 17th: Coupon Book Sales. We will pass out books to all students. If you do not sell the coupon book for $20.00, make sure you return it to school by the 17th, or we will have to charge for it. Coupon Book fundraising will go towards our Bulldogs and Books Reading Program. Students can earn a trip to a book store if they meet their reading word count goal for the month. We purchase a book for them during the trip. The class is given the stuffed Bulldog to keep in class.

September 7th, Labor Day No SCHOOL.

September 10th, Reading Night at 5:30 pm. Teachers will have learning stations to help parents use books, on line resources and community resources to provide a literature and literacy rich experience that can be duplicated at home. Ms. Braren will be joining from Tucson to work with families in bridging literacy and mathematics.

September 16 - 18, Parent/Teacher Conferences (1/2 days Wednesday - Friday). We will send out the online sign-up link shortly. You can call the front office and we will schedule it for you, if your access to internet is limited. We will be giving families of multiple students priority first, so they can schedule their conferences back-to-back.

September 22nd: Science Center Field-trip for K - 3

September 24th: Picture Day for the whole school!

September 26th - 27th, Back-to-School Camping Trip. We are planning a fun exploration for families. Space is limited. There will be a small fee for the camp site. Sign-up in the office if interested. We are planning on going to Beaver Creek near Sedona.

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Scholarly Traits for the Month of September

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How you can support the targeted behavior at home

Children are naturally curious and we want to encourage their curiosity at school. We teach the students to ask different types of questions. At home, you can practice asking questions about something puzzling or interesting. Maybe as a family you see an interesting animal. The parent can model by thinking out-loud, "Wow, that animal is so interesting. I am curious about where it lives? Is it native to Arizona? What does it like to eat? Who is his prey? What impact does this animal have on the environment? What questions do you have?"
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How you can support the targeted behavior at home

When you are looking something up on the internet, try to show your child how to use ANOTHER resource. Maybe while looking up information on a storm coming to Arizona, you can read an article in the newspaper, you can listen to a T.V. broadcast, and maybe google the storm on the internet. After you participate in this experience, talk with your child about it. "Did you notice how we used many and different resources? Which resource gave us the best information about when the storm would hit? Which resource did you enjoy the most? Why is it beneficial to use more than one resource?"

Readiness, Mrs. Stebor

In Readiness, we have been getting to know each other and our awesome school! We have been practicing the rules that we follow in school, and learning how to treat each other with kindness. Our class also adopted a baby bulldog that we named Bumble Bee. Each day, we choose a new student to take care of him and keep him happy!

Recently, each student has started a Writer's Workshop portfolio where they have space to make their own stories and show how they write. As a class, we have been reading one of our favorite stories, "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom"! After becoming familiar with the story, we have practiced predicting what will happen next, retelling the story, making connections between the story and our own lives. We have also begun diving into the alphabet! This week we learned the sounds that Tt, Ff, Bb and Hh make. As AmeriSchool's Scholars, we have also learned what it means to come to school prepared to learn and how we can begin to set short and long term goals for ourselves and our entire class. We are sure we have a very exciting year ahead of us!

Foundations 1, Ms. Lockwood

In 1st level, we have been working hard and setting goals for ourselves. We are learning to group by ten and find the sum of two numbers in math. We are using tally marks to organize class data. In phonics, we are diving into learning short vowel sounds, as well as reviewing alphabet letter names and sounds daily. The students have been working together in teams to compete in phonics competitions within our class. This week each student participated in our school’s writing contest by creating an auto-biography list about themselves. The past two Fridays we have had lots of fun doing buddy reading with 2nd level! I am excited for 1st level and all that they will learn this year!

Foundations 2, Ms. Saffron

In 2nd level, the students have been working hard in all academic areas and have been eager to learn since the first day of school. Recently, each student completed their auto-biography writing assignment for the upcoming writing contest. In class, students are busy discussing how to solve math problems related to the place value concept. Students are reading either "Jenny Archer" or Dragon Gets By" in relation to our current reading theme: silly stories. We have worked on friendship activities to encourage and build teamwork within the classroom. The students are truly enjoying the classroom mail center where they can write friendly letters to each other.

In addition, we are working on daily typing skills in the computer lab and the students are happily reading books for 20 minutes everyday during SEM-R time as a class.

We have participated in two book buddy times with the Readiness and Level 1 class on Fridays where 2nd level has one to two buddies to read books to.

The students are using scholar terms and details to express their thoughts during class discussions. 2nd level is a very active class filled with learning that comes to life on a daily basis.

Buddy Reading with K and 2nd level!

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Foundations 3, Ms. Todosijevic

So far, we have covered a lot! We are learning our lower case cursive letters and diving into historical fiction, fantasy, and realistic fiction text. We had our first spelling test last week and practiced decoding our long a sounds. Our class is practicing writing complete sentences, transitional words, subjects, predicates, and 4 different types of sentences (commands, statements, questions, and exclamations). Indeed, we are practicing our math facts and place value in math. We are going to continue with SEM’R (leveled, but challenging books) and will begin Walk-to-Read this month. Please encourage your child to read every single night for 20-30 minutes. Students have been tested through a program called Galileo on their math, reading, and science skills. I am looking forward to more learning and working individually with every single child!

Essentials 4, Ms. Rascon

The 4th Level is having a sectacular time. We just finished a writing unit, where we talked about persuasive writing and practiced using language to persuade. At the end of the unit of study, the students wrote proposals to Mrs. Gordievsky to be able to get a turtle as a class pet. Their proposals were approved!

4th Level would also like to thank all the wonderful parents that helped contribute to the bake sales we have had. We also would like to thank Ms.Saffron and her class for joining us this Friday for our bake sale. The money that we are raising is going twarda getting both classes getting turtles, along with the 4th Level field trips.

Essentials 5, Ms. Starkins

Essentials 5 scholars are proving to be outstanding writers. They have been busy writing on a variety of topics.

They predicted an ending to a true life situation where their teacher was trapped in a trash enclosure on a day when the temperature hit 114. One of the more heroic conclusions had Coach D coming to the rescue with a jack hammer. They are also researching and writing about various states as part of their independent study project. Preparing for the district wide writing initiative they are sharing character traits they are proud of. A few of these traits include pride in American/Mexican heritage, ability to make friends and seeing ghosts.

Middle School ELA, Mr. Carlson

Mr. Carlson's middle school classes have been working diligently on improving grammar, spelling, and writing in order to start the year off right! The middle school is also tackling the complex thinking strategies of Depth and Complexity with wonderful success. The middle school is proving that there are some fine, thinking minds at Amerischools Academy. Mr. Carlson plans on using these strategies with his students throughout the school year, especially when the students engage in classroom reading.

Middle School Science, Mrs. Amidan

Students just finished working on their representations of a cell. They are learning about the cell cycle and how it reproduces itself. If students are interested in applying for CIMI, they can see me to get the information and application. In project-based learning time, the students are working on self-propelled objects. The students are becoming creative engineers, making cars and catapults.
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Perfect Attendance begins September 1st!

Our perfect attendance incentive begins in September. We sent home a flyer last week with the details. Please be on time to school every day and your child will be entered into a big raffle at the end of the year for an X-Box and a few new bikes. We are happy to accept donations for even more prizes to encourage the students.

Research tells us that students learn best and the most when they come to school every day. The school gets funding based on how many children we have in attendance each day. Please do your part in bringing your child to school every day, prepared to learn with their minds on! Everyone is still eligible, as we are beginning September 1st! Thank you for your support!

Our Scholars Maked cards for Jacob!

A local Queen Creek, Arizona boy named Jacob Priestley, is battling a terminal disease. Jacob is turning 13 years old on August 28th and is only asking for birthday cards. Last year his mom organized a card drive and they received about 200 birthday cards. K - 5th level students created cards for Jacob. We wish him a happy birthday!
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Pick-up and Drop-Off

Pick-up and Drop-Off is going very well. Thank you for using the cross-walks and not trending on the rocks! Please continue to PULL all the way to the front of the pick-up lane in the mornings, to not cause a back-up on Camelback Road.

At pick-up, please park if you are waiting on 5th - 8th level students.


Mon. - Thurs. K - 4th releases at 2:30

Mon. - Thurs. 5th - 8th releases at 2:45

Wed. K - 4th releases at 1:30

Wed. 5th - 8th releases at 1:45

About AmeriSchools Academy

We are a K-8 charter school located in central Phoenix. We believe in the individualization of our instruction, multi-age and non-graded grouping of students and skill-based instruction.

Go Bulldogs!