GCIS Weekly News 1/22/2016

Weekly Celebrations, Successes, and Up Coming Events!

GCIS Office News

Mid-terms were mailed out on Tuesday, January 19.

Thanks for your efforts at giving our office a call by 2:30 pm! This allows us time to deliver notes to students to ensure they get delivered in time. 515-738-5721.

Please consider donating snacks for Iowa Assessment Week to help support our GCIS students in doing their best on the tests! A note was sent home this week. If you missed it, click here!

GCIS Key Players of the Week!

Another Great Week at GCIS! Below are our Key Players of the week! Staff nominate students for demonstrating Key Behaviors throughout the week and coming to school every day trying their best, respecting all students everyday no matter what, and modeling leadership behaviors and qualities! Congrats to these students that make our school community great!
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Next PBIS Incentive Day!

Students have signed up and are working towards the trip of their choice! Choices are listed below!

  • Sledding at 7 Oaks in Boone
  • Swimming, Game Room, and Open Gym at Hidden Acres in Dayton Iowa
  • Skating in Jefferson

All trips will be paid for by the hard work of our students with our successful fall fundraiser! Snack bar will be available for students at 7 Oaks, and skating rink if students want to bring some additional money for that, or bring their own snack from home. If students are skating and want to have roller blades instead of skates that will be an additional charge too.

If you have any additional questions please don't hesitate to contact their homeroom teachers or the office and we can try and help! I have included the details of the trip below and also information how students earn a change to attend!

How does my student qualify to attend one of these trips?

  • Students need to complete a reading challenge in addition to positive behaviors in order to attend one of these trips. (These are coming out soon!)

  • Students will be earning key cards in all areas of our day as they demonstrate safe, respectful, and responsible behaviors. Each homeroom sets a goal and works towards earning key cards.

Recess Reminders & Private Dining Tickets

  • You will be notified from homeroom teachers if your student has earned one of these.
  • These are issued at recess and in the lunchroom.

  • Recess: Students are given a verbal warning, then asked to take a 5 min break. If students are still making a choice to not be safe, respectful, or responsible, a recess reminder will be issued.

  • Lunchroom: Students will be given a verbal warning reminding students of the desired behavior in the lunchroom. If students are still deciding to make choices that are not safe, respectful, or responsible, the student will be removed and will eat in a different location, along with getting a private dinning ticket.

  • Any student receiving more than 3 of the Recess Reminders and/or Private Dinning tickets, will stay back at school during the PBIS incentive trips.

If you have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to call the office or your students homeroom teacher. All students attending one of these trips will have to return a parent permission slip. These will go out when it gets closer to the trip date.

-Mrs. Van Cleave

GCIS Principal

Reading Incentive Challenge

GCIS students will be receiving a BINGO Reading Challenge. Teachers will be going over this with students on Friday January 22nd in homerooms. Students will get their BINGO challenge on that day. Our Winter Reading BINGO challenge Starts Friday January 22nd and runs through February 12th. Students will be responsible to return signed BINGO card by February 12th!

How can parents support and be involved?

  • Encourage your readers to read each night.
  • Read with your student!
  • Take on the challenge with them!
  • Monitor and sign the BINGO card once completed!
  • Help remind your student that they need to have the card handed in by Friday February 12th
  • Make plans to stop by in the AM on February 25th and join us for a morning of reading from 9:00-10:30. (If you would like to participate please call the office!)

Click HERE for GCIS BINGO card Challenge

Students must be responsible to return these on the due date signed by parents in order to attend the trip! Looking forward to seeing how our students do with RESPONSIBILITY!

BINGO Sheet Details:

    • Starting Monday January 25th
    • Ending Friday Feb 12th
    • BINGO Sheets turned in by Wednesday Feb 17th
    • Students must complete 2 Bingos to attend PBIS incentive trip, along with their safe, respectful, responsible behaviors.
    • Each additional Bingo earned students name will be submitted for a chance to win a 5lb bag of Gummy Bears

Iowa Assessment Info


We are gearing up for Iowa Assessment testing week. GCIS students will be taking the Iowa Assessments the week of February 8th-12th. We have been working this week to set our schedules for what this will look like for the week. Our goal is to get the testing done in the morning. Please consider this for the week of February 8th-12th when calling and scheduling and pulling students for appointments! February 15th-19th is the week we will be doing any make ups due to illness or absences.

Lastly, we are looking for families to help out with snack donations. Below is the letter that was sent home.

Dear GCIS Parent:

Greene County Schools will be doing the Iowa Assessments the week of

February 8-12, 2016.

As these tests are extremely important, we would like to offer nutritious snacks to

our students each morning before testing begins, and we are asking for donations

of snacks such as granola bars, whole grain fruit bars and other healthy snacks.

Please send your donations with your child to school by Friday, February 5th

so we may organize the snacks for our homeroom groups.

Thank you in advance for your donations!

Greene County Intermediate School Staff

4th Grade Happenings!

Literature/Social Studies: Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. day and this worked right into our studies about civil rights. We enjoyed learning a bit more about him and his contributions to the civil rights movement. We are continuing to recognize and identify some different types of text features (diagrams, charts, timelines, etc.) in our reading. We have identified quite a few timelines in our MLK Jr. texts.

This week we also started a unit on nonfiction narratives. The librarians from our local libraries (Scranton, Jefferson, Grand Junction and Rippey) wrote our students letters asking them to review non-fiction narratives and write a book review to post in the library about that book. How cool is that? We are just getting started, so it might be awhile before our book reviews are finished and ready to go to the library; but it will be so exciting to see our work in the library to help library patrons pick out a good book!

Science: This week we discussed thermal energy and are currently learning about magnetic energy. One concept that we learned is that opposite poles attract each other and like poles repel. We used our magnets to prove this to be true! Next week we are looking forward to discussing electric energy.

5th Grade Happenings!

The 5th graders took the STAR tests in reading and math this week. We are very proud of how hard they worked to do their best on the tests! Way to go!

Math: We just finished up our unit 3 test which dealt with fractions. Our next unit will have us working on decimals and coordinate graphing.

Lit/SS: In reading, we are continuing to work on understanding the overall structure of fictional text. In Writing, we are working on finishing up our research reports. Upcoming in social studies, we will be starting our explorers unit.

Science: We continue to work on our ecosystem unit and were able to also read an article from National Geographic for Kids about a kelp forest ecosystem. We made a foldable to help us study for the next quiz which will be taking early next week.

6th Grade Happenings!

In science, students have been reading and responding to articles about current science news. They have read about a possible 9th planet, new elements, comets, and other topics.

In reading, we are finishing up finding the authors claim and their evidence. We have been continuing to look at conflicts that are happening around the world. Next week we will be starting a new informative writing piece.

In math, students are continuing to explore algebraic expressions. Some have started factoring expressions.

GCIS Special Education News!

Many of our students have made some nice gains this past week when they took the reading and math STAR tests.

Their growth on these tests show how hard they have been working so far this year. Great example of hard work, determination, and persistence.

Music Mania

4th General Music

Benefits to learning the Recorder

  • Playing the recorder is the ultimate first musical experience.

  • Playing the recorder is the first extension of the human body to produce music which evolved from singing, hence, it is the most natural, simple and challenging musical instrument for children of all ages.

  • Playing the recorder stimulates the brain in unique ways which builds cognitive skills, and like other aspects in music education, promotes good mental health.

  • Playing the recorder helps to regulate good, healthy breathing.

  • Playing the recorder supports fine motor and coordination skills development.

  • Playing the recorder develops good communication skills and will enable the child to engage fully with a stimulating, creative and expressive world.

  • Playing the recorder is enjoyable, and as listed above, is incredibly enriching. Hence, it plays an important role in building the foundations of a child’s musical future.

5th General Music

Students will be completing formulating their Google Slides mini-presentations next week. Research, curiosity and creativity is a big portion of developing an understanding of musical text. Students’ connections to the music creates a deeper more meaningful interpretation of the overall work.

6th General Music

Students are completing and sharing final rhythmic compositions in class.


I am setting the 6th grade percussion audition for the week of February 15-19th during lesson times. If you have students that are interested, make sure they are practicing the required packet. There are several advanced concepts in the audition, and the students have been repeatedly encouraged to ask for help.

Physical Education

We had a good time working hard at our basketball skills since we came back from our holiday break.

Our bowling unit is starting Monday, January 25. Each class will bowl two PE periods. Here is the schedule for the next two weeks of PE. Hopefully everybody read the letter that was either on last week newsletter or your child brought one home. The bowling alley is not charging us for the bowling, but the renting of the shoes is $2.00 each time we go. If your child may bring extra money for snacks if they please. If you have any questions, let me know via email or contact the office.

Week of January 25-29th

January 25- Hoyle, Sawhill, Murphy

January 26- Manken, Gannon, Haley

January 27- Regular Class- Hoyle, Brown, Sawhill, Braun, Haley, Hupp

January 28- Bardole, Berglund, Fish

January 29- Brown, Braun, Murphy

Week of February 1-5

February 1- Manken, Gannon, Hupp

February 2- Hoyle, Sawhill, Haley

February 3 Reg day- Manken, Bardole, Gannon, Berglund, Murphy,Fish

February 4- Brown, Braun, Fish

February 5- Bardole, Berglund, Hupp


In art class we have been transitioning to FCS. Mrs. Kennedy and I have been collaborating and combined our classes so that her former FCS students can coach/teach the new students who were in art how to work on sewing.

The 5th graders learned how to hand sew fabric and buttons! The 6th graders learned about the parts of a sewing machine and how to sew on it in a straight line.

The 4th graders are learning about shades and tints of a color. One definition is when you add black to make it darker and the other is when you add white to make it lighter. Do you know which is which? In doing this, they are painting a winter background in which we are going to paint a beautiful cardinal in a tree. Can’t wait to see them done!


Calling all coaches and players-

The fifth and sixth graders have been working on a sewing unit and are teaching and learning from videos and each other. Chaos and communication seem to be the theme. I am amazed at the great coaching that is going on and quick learners when motivated by classmates.


In 4th grade TAG, most students were STAR testing, but some came down and learned why bubbles are round and tried to make a square bubble.

In 5th grade TAG, the students learned about polymers and tried their hand at making slime, putty and a bouncy ball! Nothing like hands-on learning!

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Tech Lit & Media

6th grade students worked on Word Cloud projects. Students enjoyed this! Ask them to share their word clouds with you!

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Counselor's Corner

Standardized testing:

How can you help your child prepare?

Teachers tell us that successful test-takers tend to be students with good attendance, homework, and study habits; therefore, your daily assistance with homework and attitude toward school have the biggest impact on your child's performance. However, there are key ways you can develop his test-taking ability.

Optimize brain power.

Teachers say the students who struggle the most on testing days are the ones who didn't have enough sleep or a good breakfast the day of the test. Also, students who are physically or mentally unprepared often encounter problems.

Make sure she has every tool she needs — pencils, an eraser, paper, a calculator, etc. laid out the night before, as well as any preliminary paperwork filled out, if possible. If she isn't feeling well on the test day, it's better to keep her home and let her make up the test later rather than risk poor performance.

Encourage good study habits and challenge critical-thinking skills.

Reviewing test-taking strategies is important, but monitoring overall academic progress and staying in good communication with the teacher will help you ward off potential problems. Good reading skills factor heavily in a timed test, so encourage reading (consider magazines, newspapers, or even comic books if he shies away from books) as much as possible. Testing also measures critical-thinking ability, so ask him to discuss ideas or voice his opinion often to stimulate these thought processes.

Read the rest of this article at


Test Prep Review:


This is a handy website to find all kinds of FREE practice tests. Practice is a great way to feel more relaxed before the actual testing.

Nurse News

Greene County Public Health has radon test kits. They are free for anyone who has not tested their house in the last two years. You may call 515-386-3228. Radon test kits are also available at the courthouse through the Greene County Environmental and Zoning Administrator.

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