Pearl S. Buck Elementary

February 3, 2017

Lots of Stuff in this Newsletter! Be sure to read all the way down to our Mind Bender

Progress Reports Now Available

Progress Reports for the 2nd marking period can now be viewed online via the Home Access Center.


Last week's Pizza Bingo was the largest bingo night in Pearl Buck's recent history. With 650 people in attendance, the crowd was nearly 50% larger than anticipated. Thanks for all of your support!! We'd like to thank our PTO and Mrs. Gordon and Mrs. Lohr for spearheading the event, as well as all of the Buck staff members who were able to attend.

Special thanks to Dr. McGee, Principal, and Mr. McMahon, Head Custodian, and Neil DiSpirito, Facilities, for their efforts to ensure the cafeteria at Neshaminy High School was ready for us on short notice.

First Grade Kick Bowl

All first grade homerooms participated in the "Kick Bowl" today. At first, students created an object from paper and then found out how far they could project it along the Kick Bowl field. Later in the day, students created the classic paper-triangle 'football', and again saw how far they could flick it. The winner in Mr. Nesbitt's class flew 86" down the field. In addition to fun, students were offered engineering opportunities in problem solving and measurement. In the pictures below, you can see Mr. Nesbitt with his class.

Buck Insider News

We'd like to congratulate Mrs. Cindy Rutledge, one of our Learning Support teachers, on the arrival of her daughter, Katelyn Grace! Katelyn and her parents are doing well!

We'd like to welcome Mrs. Martha DiCredico to the Buck family. Mrs. DiCredico will be in for Mrs. Rutledge during her leave. If you have a need to contact Mrs. DiCredico, you may leave a message with the front office, or you may contact Mrs. DiCredico at

Pearl Buck Student Performs in Sound of Music

Sophia Toth, a second-grader at Pearl Buck, performed as Gretel in the opening night of Neshaminy High School's production of "The Sound of Music". We caught up with Ms. Toth about her experience:

PB: How did you get involved with the play?

ST: My mom told me about it, and I just wanted to be in a play. So, I auditioned for a part in the fall.

PB: How much did you have to rehearse?

ST: We had some rehearsals in December, but then I had to go to rehearsals every day after school in January.

PB: What is your favorite song from the play?

ST: "The Hills (are Alive)"

PB: What is your favorite part of the play?

ST: When we (the von Trapp family) sing together. I was also surprised at the size of the audience, and by the sound it made when people clapped. I wanted to laugh when I first went on stage, but I knew I couldn't.

Sophia will be performing again on Saturday, February 4th.

Virtual Connections

Mrs. Boyle’s class has the opportunity to be pen pals with a student from Muhlenberg College. However, this student isn’t at Muhlenberg College. She is in AFRICA! Tanzania to be exact. Megan Leahy is Mrs. Boyle’s niece and studying abroad for the semester. The students are eager to get weekly updates from Megan and her experience. Megan sends pictures of her adventure. During her first few days in Africa, she saw a mama elephant and her baby in their natural habitat. Megan's next trip will take her to Manyara National Park. The students are excited to hear from her again on Monday. Stay tuned……


Everyone values intelligence. And we all enjoy being told we’re bright. But is this compliment actually helpful? Well, a number of studies have indicated that it’s much better to praise one’s work ethic than one’s intelligence. More specifically, it was found that after having completed a task, children who were praised for their intelligence set lower goals for themselves and were less likely to work through future challenges than those children who had been lauded for working hard. Apparently, the former group wished to avoid the risk of trying and failing – only to invalidate the claim that they were bright. The second group, however, believed that they were more likely to benefit from hard work – with nothing to lose by trying. So the next time your children perform well, be sure to praise them for the work that went into it – and not just for the smart kids they are.

Dr. Greg A. Kidorf

Psychologist / Pearl Buck ES


Recently, students in Mrs. Bader's class spent some time practicing coding. One task, seen below, required students to recreate a shape by selecting the appropriate order of commands. The blue boxes with the arrows (on the right of the screen) are the commands that students need to select and organize. If the coding is incorrect, then the image (on the far left) is drawn incorrectly. Students then need to decipher which command(s) need to be adjusted. Perseverance and problem solving are key skill sets addressed through coding.
Big image

Hand Pollination

Last week, Mrs. Sulon's 2nd grade class was preparing to design hand pollinators. This activity engages students in examining the properties of different materials so that they can choose which materials will pick up and drop of pollen efficiently. They rated each material on a scale of 1 to 5. In the pictures below, you can see an example of the rating chart students used.

Important Dates

The February PTO meeting will be held on Thursday, February 9th, beginning at 7:00 PM. The next 4th grade parent meeting will also be held on February 9th at 7:00 PM.

Science Fair (3rd and 4th grade) - Thursday, February 23rd, 2017, 6:30-7:30 PM at Buck. We will have nearly 100 projects on display. Come see the many fun experiments conducted by our young scientists.

The PTO Book Fair Family Night will also occur on February 23rd, 6-8 PM. Come join us!

PSSA Testing Dates for 3rd and 4th Grades:

  • Monday, April 3rd, through Thursday, April 6th (ELA)
  • Monday, April 24th, through Wednesday, April 26th (Math)
  • Tuesday/Wednesday, May 2nd & 3rd (Science - 4th grade only)

Testing will occur throughout the morning of each testing date. Please do not schedule appointments or vacations for your child on testing dates.

Visiting Officers

In an effort to become familiar with our buildings and staff, Middletown police officers regularly visit Pearl Buck and the other schools throughout our District. We happened to catch Officer Huff 'in the act' today. He was more than happy to take a moment and pose for our newsletter! Thanks Officer Huff!
Big image

Science Fair Questions

If your child will be participating in the Science Fair, below are some questions you may want to ask of your young scientist. We will be looking for up to 6 projects to be presented at the STEAM Expo on Thursday, April 20th, at Neshaminy High School. Having great answers to the questions below will help us recommend which projects will be presented at the expo. Parents, it's okay to help develop ideas and assist with the experiment, but be sure your young scientist takes ownership of the final product. This should be a fun, learning experience for everyone!

Where did you get the idea for this project?

Listen for how the presenter determined their project idea would make a good science project. Did they have a question about how something worked? Curiosity about how something would react to certain actions? There's no 'right' answer, but clarity is critical.
What would you do differently next time?

Listen for the presenter to recognize that all projects have limitations and they could always have done better if they had more time, more resources, better equipment, etc.
What would you do next?

Listen for the presenter to propose an example of the next logical experiment.
What was the hardest part?

Listen for the presenter to acknowledge which parts they thought were hard and how they solved the problems that arose.
What research did you do?

Describe any reading (or searching) that was completed before the presenter wrote his or her hypothesis. A variation of this question is: Why did you think that would happen? (Referring to the hypothesis).
What was your control?

Listen for the presenter to identify the need for a control, and identify the independent variable.

Why did you do the experiment more than once?

Listen for the presenter to demonstrate an understanding of the concept of variability and that the more an experiment is repeated, the more confidence we have in the accuracy of the results.
Why are your findings important?

Listen for the presenter to link his or her results to the “bigger picture” including who might be interested in the findings. ("Y'know, you may save a lot of money buying off-brand paper towels because my results showed....")

Who helped you?

This sounds like a trick question because you were supposed to do your own project – right? But no scientist works in isolation (and if they did we wouldn’t know about them because they wouldn’t have communicated their results!). Acknowledge your teachers, parents, friends, and anyone else that gave you an idea, advice, equipment, or assistance.

Office Reminders

Please remember to bring I.D. with you when picking up your child. If someone else routinely picks-up your child, please make sure to list them as an emergency contact AND remind them to have proper I.D. when they arrive.

Please be sure to write your child's teacher a note regarding ANY changes to your child's afternoon routines. For last-minute changes, please call the school office at 215-809-6300 and speak with one of our secretaries.

Our lost and found is growing. It is full of coats, fleece jackets, hats, scarves, etc. Please have your child check for lost personal items. Parents may also visit the lost and found. Please check-in at the office first.

Notification Letter for Parents or Guardians

The Neshaminy School District uses an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach for managing insects, rodents and weeds. Our goal is to protect every student from pesticide exposure by using an IPM approach to pest management. Our IPM approach focuses on making the school building and grounds an unfavorable habitat for these pests by removing food and water sources and eliminating their hiding and breeding places. We accomplish this through routine cleaning and maintenance. We routinely monitor the school building and grounds to detect any pests that are present. The pest monitoring team consists of our building, office, and teaching staff and includes our students. Pest sightings are reported to our IPM contractor who evaluates the “pest problem” and determines the appropriate pest management techniques to address the problem. The techniques can include increased sanitation, modifying storage practices, sealing entry points, physically removing the pest, etc.

From time to time, it may be necessary to use pesticides registered by the Environmental Protection Agency to manage a pest problem. A pesticide will only be used when necessary, and will not be routinely applied. When a pesticide is necessary, the school will try to use the least toxic product that is effective. Applications will be made only when unauthorized persons do not have access to the area(s) being treated. The Schedule for all Neshaminy School District monthly IPM services will be posted in all Main Office sites throughout the year.

Staff and parents or guardians of students enrolled in the school may request prior notification of specific pesticide applications made at the school. To receive notification, you must be placed on the school’s notification registry. If you would like to be placed on this registry, please send a letter to the Neshaminy School District Facilities Department, 2001 Old Lincoln Highway, Langhorne, PA 19047

If a pesticide application must be made to control an emergency pest problem, notice will be provided via the Neshaminy School District web site and postings in the site’s Main Office. Exemptions to this notification include disinfectants and antimicrobial products; self-containerized baits placed in areas not accessible to students, and gel type baits placed in cracks, crevices or voids; and swimming pool maintenance chemicals.

If you have any questions, please contact the Facilities Office at 215-809-6250.

Be Food-Allergy Aware!

Due to varied allergy and dietary needs, please contact your child's teacher before sending in food for students other than your child (e.g. for birthday celebrations, class parties). Do not send in any items until the teacher has responded and confirmed the appropriateness of your request. Also, students should not share food at any time during school - even with a close friend. A seemingly harmless food item may unexpectedly contain allergens, or interact with other medical conditions. Depending on the health needs in the classroom, teachers may choose to avoid food-oriented experiences altogether.

Please see our guidelines for more information.

Mind Benders

A father wanted to leave all of his money to one of his three sons, but he didn't know which one he should give it to. He gave each of them a few coins and told them to buy something that would be able to fill their living room. The first son bought straw, but there was not enough to fill the room. The second bought some sticks, but they still did not fill the room. The third son bought two things that filled the room, so he obtained his father's fortune. What were the two things that the man bought?

Give up?