The Conservatory School @NPB
December Newsletter Volume 6, Issue 2
A commitment to all students...for now and into their futures.
Wishing you and yours a peaceful winter break!
Symphony Orchestra performs at the Gardens Mall
Using new technologies to gather our learning; even if you're 5!
The moments before a performance; contemplation and calm
Thank you to David Wieseneck JD, from Raymond James Investments!
We hope you enjoyed the Thanksgiving Break. We wish to give special THANKS to all the volunteers whose support to the school and the PTO is priceless. The annual Snowman Shop ran from 12/7-12/11, we hope your children enjoyed shopping for gifts for the special people in their lives.
On 12/17, the PTO will be hosting a Holiday Luncheon for the staff as a special thanks for all they do for our children. If you wish to donate towards the luncheon, any amount is greatly appreciated and can be sent to the attention of the PTO via your child's homeroom folder. We accept cash or checks payable to TCS PTO.
We are looking forward to so many events in 2016 beginning with a Chickfila Spirit Night on 1/7, Science Night hosted by the school on 1/14, and the Middle School Blizzard Dance on 1/28. We'll be looking for volunteers for all these events, so if you're not already receiving emails from us, please email us at TCSVolunteers@yahoo.com.
We hope you enjoy the winter break and we look forward to seeing you next year!
The COPA Foundation
Please support us through our Honda Classic Birdies for Children, coming in February!
TCS Hydroponic Garden
If you are interested in participating in the garden project, we still need help with the following:
growing seeds to seedling size
helping with planting - contact your child's teacher please
A BIG thank you to Sebastian's mom for the large donation of seedlings!!
We are fully immersing our garden work into the academic curriculum from Kindergarten to Fourth grade. Keep your eyes open for our upcoming TCS Farmer's Market!
In the art lab students have been exploring the big idea of theme. While this has taken us in many directions, we have largely focused on the study of nature and finding artistic inspiration in the natural world. Our beautiful TCS campus provided a great space for nature walks, observational drawing, and even some fun found object sculptures throughout the month of November. Inside the art studio students explored related themes of seasons, growth, cycles, and change.
We always anchor our creative work in the language arts... This unit of study gave us a great opportunity to explore both fiction and non-fiction texts as readers and artists. We also stretched our brains regularly with our "see, think, wonder" thinking and sharing routines. The new year will offer us exciting new challenges and perspectives... Stay tuned for artists as innovators! Mrs. Ratka
Concert season is here at TCS! We have three big Snow Show concerts to present this year, all taking place from December 8th through December 15th! Over 450 students will take the stage to showcase their talent and skill! On December 8th, our first and second grade violinists performed to a packed audience of parents and well-wishers. On December 10th, our kindergarten violin students showing what a snow-show is all about, thrilled us with their growth in music in just a few short months of learning. These two concerts showcased special appearances from our upper grades students.
The December 15th Snow Show concert is one of the largest concerts held at TCS! Featuring third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh grade students, this event will feature almost 300 of our TCS musicians!
We want to thank all of the many hands that go into these large concerts; teachers, staff, parents, teacher-musicians and the like all banding together to bring beautiful music to our campus!
We also want to recognize our supporters; The Teamwork USA Foundation, our School Board representative, Mr. Mike Murgio, and our Instrumental Music parents. Without your recognition of our work and dedication to our mission, none of what we do would be possible!
Mr. Fernandez, Ms. Kukieza, Mrs. Cerge, Mr. Cooper
Physical Education & Wellness
Soccer everyone??!! It's time to stretch those legs and run, run, run up and down the soccer field for lots of fun, fun, fun!!! First, we will practice the fundamentals; dribbling, trapping, kicking and throw-ins. Next, we will learn the difference between offense and defense, goal kicks and corner kicks. Then students will learn the names of all the positions and play many games!!
Our coordination is still being challenged with more jump rope skills. We are learning to "read the rope" so we can jump in and out of a moving rope. Nothing is more fun than to play, "Teddy bear, teddy bear turn around", still!!
Always wishing you good health,
MS Athletics @ TCS
TCS’s first year of competitive Middle School athletics continued in October with middle school girls trying out for volleyball. The Girls Volleyball team is coached by Ms. McCarthy and Ms. Gammell and included 13 girls from 6th and 7th grades. The coaches began in October with a team with no experience playing volleyball to a current team that continues to improve daily. The volleyball has not yet tallied a victory but there are 4 more games left on the schedule: at Jeaga MS 12/11, at Bear Lakes MS 12/14, at Independence MS 12/16, and at H.L. Watkins 12/17. All games are at 4:30pm. See you there!!
Upcoming Athletics: Intramural girls soccer and boys basketball begin on Wednesday January 13th, 2016. Boys and Girls Track and Field will begin in March 2016.
Fin-2-Fin Winner.....Spinner Dolphins!
Our next TCS Fin-2-Fin challenge will involve shopping carts, wheelbarrows and kiddie pools! Stay tuned for January 2016 and Dolphin Challenge #2!
Pre-K is the place to be! Recently we have been focusing on shared reading. This is when the teacher and students read an enlarged text together. The teacher reads the text to the children, encouraging them to read along. The teacher points under the words while reading and at the same time demonstrates how to read with expression and phrasing. Shared reading helps children experience the reading process before they can read or write. The goal is to support the expansion of children's awareness of language, sounds, and print. A few examples of language that supports early reading behaviors are: *Where do we begin reading? *Which page will we read first? *Which way do we go?" (left to right, top to bottom) We have used shared reading with "This is Turkey Happy." We will use it again with "Four Gingerbread Men" and "This is Snowman Happy." After a few group readings do not be surprised when your child asks, "Can I read that myself?' And he will!
Kinder & First
K/1B has been hard at work living out our school mission of "play, passion, & purpose" these days... We are moving in so many new and exciting directions, exploring big ideas and concepts with all of our senses and every part of our brains. Most recently our classrooms have become more beautiful and inviting with the introduction of "loose parts:" authentic manipulatives that invite children to touch, play, collaborate, solve, imagine, and construct their own understandings of big concepts being taught in all subject areas. Walking into a classroom during this time you might stumble upon students mathematically demonstrating their number sense by matching colorful pebbles to number cards in a creative design, or using sticks and acorns to reenact the action of a favorite storybook. These exploration sessions often begin with an open ended provocation that connects the materials offered to prior knowledge; but invites each student to demonstrate understanding, or make new connections in their own unique way. Discovering more loose parts in nature, and getting our hands dirty in our gardens has provided a wonderful segue into our next Inquiry study "The Natural World." Our work as readers and writers is deepening our passions, teaching us how to ask and answer questions, and inviting us to express our own thoughts and ideas about the world around us... it's a good thing all this hard work mostly feels like play! Be sure to follow our inspired K/1 teachers on twitter to see snapshots of all of this in action, and to access a vast array of resources that more deeply explain the principles of the exciting educational models we build from.
Kinder & First
Fostering a love for Nonfiction!! …lst Grade Readers are deepening their understanding & are becoming experts on their topics. Our first grade authors are researching to write. We are sharing facts and information, collecting & reading several Nonfiction books, picking topics, comparing & contrasting Nonfiction & Fiction books about the same topic. We are writing ideas & having conversations & class discussions about how text features help us understand the structure of Nonfiction…..Our K Readers are reading, thinking & talking about the characters in their books. They are learning about the setting & events to help them understand the story. They are also comparing characters between books & are noticing how characters treat each other. Even in writing these Kindergartners are becoming quite the storytellers sharing stories with detailed drawings to include characters’ feelings & actions.
Second graders are learning how to be the best non-fiction readers and writers possible. We have learned strategies to help our non-fiction understanding and how to apply them to our own writing to help our readers. All of this important work is connecting to our history standards in social studies. This is how our inquiry work gets its life! Our reading and writing becomes much more exciting when it has a direct connection to other things in life. With Thanksgiving just passing and the winter holidays approaching we were able to easily jump into Native Americans, Colonial Americans, Immigration and how all of that came together to create our modern day America. This kind of knowledge helps in understanding the vast cultural diversity that becomes more apparent to us during holiday times. The students have been amazed to see how much they understand about dates in history because of all of the place value work we began our year with in math. Now that they understand the different values of digits and how to compare them they can now figure out how many years between different events in history. This is true integrated learning!
Third Grade has been busy learning so many new things and we are looking forward to what lies ahead! In Math we are learning about the Properties of Multiplication and learning our facts. It is so important for the students to practice their facts daily in order to become fluent. There are many different games that you can play and websites that offer fun and interactive ways to learn their facts. After the Holiday we will be continuing with Fractions and Patterns and Two Step Word problems. We are so proud of our students and all that they are learning!
Third Grade has been enjoying reading a variety of genres thus far and are looking forward to a productive rest of the year. In reading, we have been ‘Reading Detective’s as we navigate our way through our Mystery Unit. Students have learned so many strategies to help them comprehend and think deeply in this unit. In writing, we have been learning to write Persuasive pieces on topics of their choice. After the holidays we will be moving into informational units. We are very proud of all our students growth and enthusiasm!
UPPER SCHOOL @ TCS
In reading students are pushing their thinking in nonfiction text to gather key details on a topic of research. Students will work in partnerships to gather text evidence and find technical vocabulary to explain their topic. Students will also use these strategies in narrative nonfiction to determine the main idea of a text. We are using technology to research and share our learning with our classmates.
In writing students are writing informational essays on personal topics of expertise. Students will draft their ideas by planning out a table of contents and different organizational structures in their writing. Students will move through the writing process as they revise and edit to publish their essay to teach others about their topic.
In math we are working on area, perimeter, conversions with metric and customary lengths, and line plots! We are busy, busy, busy! We are taking a field trip to the park where students will be designing and calculating the layout of their own park to bring our measurement unit into the real world!
In math, we just finished up our work with adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing decimals by whole numbers (and other decimals). Next up is fractions, starting with addition and subtraction! When we come back from the holiday break we will start multiplying with fractions :-) (sounds amazing I know).
In science, we just covered forces! The students learned how an object in motion will stay in motion until another force acts on it. We had a tug of war to show how balanced and unbalanced forces affect motion! We are moving into our Solar System and Universe unit, where we will learn about the planets and outer space!
5th grade readers are revisiting the nonfiction genre, this time diving deeper into different types of nonfiction texts... Students will be exposed to narratives, expository and hybrids. At this time readers are learning how to use text structure to preview, monitor & summarize the main ideas and key details in expository text.
Our writers are learning how to develop information essays to share what they've learned from multiple nonfiction articles read. We are learning how to organize our thoughts and use text evidence to support our ideas.
Sixth & Seventh Grades
If you are a parent of a sixth grader in Science, I am sure you were aware of the project the students just had on creating a presentation of a Florida land form that was shaped from weathering and erosion. We had some pretty impressive models and presentations that went above and beyond the expected project goals! Great job to the 6th graders! Stay tuned for more science updates!
In 6th grade ELA, we are exploring the world of short stories, paying attention to different literary features and using them to notice comparisons in the form of an informative literary essay. In World History, we are embarking on a journey into Ancient Greece, which will allow us to work closely with myths in Language Arts, while exploring the many features of this important civilization. Stay tuned for some explorative work that will drive our learning through January!
In 7th grade ELA and Civics, we are merging our work in both content areas. We are analyzing and writing about historical texts, such as Longfellow's poem, "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere" and excerpts from Thomas Payne's "Common Sense." This reading/writing work is helping us in Civics by supporting the growth of our knowledge of the events leading to and from the Declaration of Independence.
In 7th grade science, we are just finishing up a unit on The Dynamic Earth. Students have been learning about how the theory of continental drift led to the modern day theory of Plate Tectonics and how surface processes and subsurface processes help to shape our EARTH! Students used graham crackers and marshmallow fluff to model the lithosphere and asthenosphere and how different landforms are formed when the earth's crust collides, diverges, or slide past one another! Stay tuned for more science updates!
"It's a December to remember in the middle grades at TCS! 6th grade is getting into the basics of algebra as we are working on expressions; both writing and evaluating. It is offering us a good connection to art with our factor tree models! 7th grade is finalizing their algebra units of expressions, equations, and inequalities. We are been working hard with inverse operations to undo and get our variables all alone!"
Gifted Education & Exploration Lab
1st Grade: We are reaching the end of the study of flight and are currently building a plane! Keeping in mind the important elements needed for flight, our plane will be completed soon. We’ve also been studying poetry and its connection to the songwriting process. We are excitedly writing our own songs!
2nd Grade: First, a special thank you to our TCS family. At the close of our empathy shoe drive, we collected 365 pairs of shoes! These shoes were donated to Souls4Soles and will surely be put to good use. And now, at the close of the year, we are finishing up our zoo enclosures to share what we have learned about what zookeepers do in their job.
Middle Grades – iSpace: We ended our Makey Makey unit with a bang! On Boo Bash day, our primary school friends were able to play with our spooky artwork and hear scary sounds coming out of them. Currently,we are designing ways to help our community through 3D printing! Using the design thinking process, we’ve brainstormed issues that we want to develop a solution for and will develop a prototype using our 3D printer.
Creativity takes courage!
Hi parents! Our school year is in full swing now, and we can't stress enough the importance of making sure that your child does his / her daily reading. Each grade level has a different amount of time that they require the students to read each day. Reading daily is CRITICAL to the academic success of your child. It is only through constant practice that they will learn and grow as readers, and this will translate into the other academic areas as well. All subjects revolve around reading, so it is very important that reading homework be completed every single day.
Read to your child. Have him/her read to you. Ask questions about the text. Ask about characters, and the setting of the story. Ask what your child thinks will happen next?
We are always here to support you in any way that we can.
Your ESE Team
In class I have introduced Mindfulness. The idea behind mindfulness is to provide a sort of mental reset button, freeing yourself from anger, fear and worry. Here is a link to some helpful hints for using mindfulness at home:
As we get ready for the holidays let's take time out each day to practice getting quiet. Please remind your child to be a STAR. Stop, Take a deep breath and Relax. Also, remind them to say what you mean, mean what you say, just don't be mean when you say it. Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday.
If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me at 561-494-1840.
Spelling was once taught through the memorization of a weekly word list. While many students successfully memorized the list of words each week, there was little or no transfer from the memorized words to the students’ daily writing. Research shows that memorizing words and rules, without a sense of why they should be learned, is not effective.
Now there is an alternative to traditional spelling instruction called "Word Study." Word study is taught using an inquiry approach where students are guided through explorations of words. These explorations will help students discover spelling patterns, as well as generalizations that apply to many words. Students benefit from differentiated instruction in phonics, spelling, and vocabulary.
To read more about Word Study, please click the link below: