Mustang Tales

April 21, 2023 Vol. 3 Issue 68

Message from the Principal

Dear Families:

Thank you for supporting the School of Excellence Night; it was a huge success! The evening showcased your talented children, a great dinner and a wonderful Spanish performance along with many cool exhibits throughout the building.

Our intermediate students have been working incredibly hard on CMAS, and I have no doubt that they have given it their all during these assessments. As we await the results, which often do not come until July/August, it is important to remember that these tests are just one small piece of the puzzle when it comes to evaluating our students' academic progress.

We use a variety of methods to ensure we have a complete understanding of each child's unique strengths and areas for growth. In the next two weeks, all grades will complete iReady testing for both reading and math. We administer this assessment at the beginning of the year, middle of the year and end of the year. The data we collect helps us identify progress and determine areas of growth for students and our school.

We will also administer DIBELS, Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills, to students in grades K-3. This short reading assessment is given three times a year evaluating the components of reading to include: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, comprehension and fluency. The DIBELS assessment is unique to each grade level.

As we look forward, I want to assure you that we remain fully committed to providing your children with a top-notch education that meets their individual needs. We are constantly evaluating our curriculum and instructional practices to ensure that we are offering the best possible learning experiences for our amazing students. As many of you know, we began a new math curriculum this year after piloting Eureka Squared last year and we will begin an ELA pilot in the fall, Benchmark Advance.

We know that we can't do this work alone. That's why I am so incredibly grateful for your ongoing support and partnership. Whether it's volunteering in the classroom, attending parent-teacher conferences, or simply staying engaged with your child's learning, your involvement is truly invaluable.

As we move ahead, I encourage you to keep in close touch with us and to reach out if you have any questions or concerns. We are here to support you and your children in every way!



School of Excellence NIght

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Important Dates

  • Apr 26: Late Start Wednesday (2 Hour Delay)
  • Apr 28: Fitness Friday 7:30am-8:00am
  • 5/3/23 Late-Start Wednesday

  • 5/10/23 Late-Start Wednesday

  • 5/15 Field Day at MSHS 8:30-2:30, grades 3, 4, 5

  • 5/17/23 Late-Start Wednesday

  • 5/25 Last Day for Students: dismiss at 12:00

PAC Trivia Night

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Ask Your Experts!

First Grade

First grade mathematicians have been working hard at measuring. We know how to line up our centimeter cubes from one end point to another both vertically and horizontally. We have all been learning about what is tallest to shortest and longest to shortest. First graders have also been using their subtraction and addition skills to find out how much longer or shorter a second item is. Be on the lookout for their Inch Towns!

In Listening and Learning we have all been learning about the founding of our nation. Ask your expert what country we live in? State? Who lived in America before the English settlers came? (The Native Americans) What kind of party did the Sons of Liberty have over taxes? (The Boston Tea Party) What does one if by land, two if by sea mean? (It was a signal for Paul Revere. If one lamp was lit the British soldiers would be coming by land. If two lamps were lit the British soldiers would be coming by sea.) Who wrote the Declaration of Independence? (Thomas Jefferson) Who sewed the first American flag? (Betsy Ross) Who was our first Commander in Chief? (George Washongton)

Second Grade

Lissana Follari and students from UCCS, along with parent volunteers created opportunities for students to learn about body systems through a hands on lab.

Students were able to explore body organ specimens and identify related functions, to compare/contrast different organs by system and function, examine organ tissues and compare/contrast structure. Students explored pig/sheep organ systems; opened organ tissue to compare outside and inside- look for connection between function and structure.

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Third Grade

Third graders are wrapping up the Native Americans: Regions and Cultures unit. Ask your expert: What was one of the biggest challenges faced by the tribes of the Southwest region? There was not always enough rain. When the Ancestral Pueblo abandoned their homes, where did they live? Cliff Dwellings!!! Can they tell you about the “Hopi Way”? The “Hopi Way” means that you should be kind to each other and thoughtful towards the environment. Students should be able to describe the different regions, the dwellings they lived in and the foods these Native Americans ate. One more question, why was the Southeast region the most densely populated? There was plenty of rain, fertile soil, and a mild climate for growing lots of food!
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Fifth Grade

5th grade has had a busy couple weeks of Science Fair and state testing. Two of our school's category winners competed in the Pikes Peak Regional Science Fair last week-end: Jasper and Stella! We're so proud of all the students! We have been working on United States geography as a part of social studies. Each student either had a state or a region of our country to research. Ask your expert: What did you research for your project? What made your state/region stand out from the other states/regions? What made your state/region similar to the other states/regions? We are just starting our new CKLA unit, reading Don Quixote (the 5th grade version). Ask your expert: When does this story take place? (It was written in 1605, but the story takes place in a time AFTER battling knights). Who is Don Quixote? (A man who believes he is a knight). What is the main problem of the story so far? (He isn't really a knight!).
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During our 2-week testing window, young musicians wore headphones to compose original works using garage band and chrome music lab. We also practiced songs on our keyboards, developed fine motor skills drawing the grand staff on boogie boards, and celebrated Prokofiev's birthday! Students met the challenge of "quiet creativity" beautifully, and are eager to make music ring through the air once again!

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As weather continues to warm up (hopefully) we will be working outdoors in TEAMS class to prep and plant our gardens/Earth room.

We are looking for some donations for projects such as:

1. Tin cans (with label peeled off)

2. Small rocks, NOT FROM OUR PLAYPARK, (no bigger than a fist) to paint for the chicken coop/Earth room (about 5 per student)

3. Bright colored exterior house paint - to paint a tire for chickens to play

4. Paint brushes 1in/2in

Tech Corner: Digital Footprint

Help Kids Post, Comment, and Upload Responsibly

As soon as you share the first photo of your kid, you're establishing their digital footprint. As kids get older and start creating their own content or engaging with others online, it's important for them to understand the tracks they're leaving behind and what those tracks might reveal. Parents can help guide kids toward creating the kind of footprint they can be proud of.

Be a role model.

Before you post a photo of your kid on social media, ask if it's OK to share. Not only will you give them control over their own digital footprint, you'll also be showing them what you expect them to do with others' photos.

Use privacy settings.

Together, go through all the settings on new apps to make sure you both know what information your kids are sharing. Especially in the beginning, it's better to share very little.

Question everything.

Before you sign school forms or register for a new online service for your kid, check the privacy policy to see what kind of information you're giving the school or company and who they're sharing it with. Sharing some data might be required, but you may be able to opt out of others. Talk with your kid about why it's important to protect your personal data.

Use a celebrity as an example.

With older kids, choose a celebrity or another famous person and look through their Twitter or Instagram posts with your kid. Discuss your impressions of them based on what they post. Ask your kid what kind of image they'd like to project online.

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In Our Community:

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Box Top Digital Earnings:............... $217.40

We have officially surpassed 20% of our goal ($1000) so far this school year!! Thank you, Families, for your committment to our schools!

Box Top funds are used to support your students by purchasing supplies for classroom celebrations, games and outdoor activities, extra books for classroom libraries, and more. Download the Box Tops app today and start scanning your grocery receipts to help us keep learning fun at MSES!

Manitou Springs Elementary School

Maria Masone, Principal

Jennifer Sueppel, Assistant Principal