Woodridge in February

Think and Wonder . Wonder and Think

Mrs. Thistle's Thoughts...


In January, students completed their mid-year testing. Based on these tests, teachers can work with parents to plan for specific skills that your child can work to improve upon. At school, we try to encourage students to set goals for themselves, then through repeated practice and asking questions they can grow academically.

We see lots of growth when parents and teachers partner up to support kids. Recently, I received an email from one of my boys’ teachers asking if I could work on a few math skills with my son. Her message to me was, I will work with him one on one at school, but could you practice with him also? She relayed that by both of us working together, he will hopefully understand the math concept much quicker. I was so glad that she cared about him and recognized his struggle, but grateful too that she had some ideas on ways that I could help him. This is just one example of how we can support each other.

After receiving the winter report card, you will get a picture of strengths and some areas for growth. Parent-teacher conferences will be coming up in March. If there are areas where you see your child struggle, you are welcome to talk with me or ask your child’s teacher if there is anything that could be practiced again at home. Through a strong home-school partnership, we see progress occur much quicker.

Thank you for your support.

-Salina Thistle

Mark Your Calendars

5th: No School - Full Day In-service

7th: PTO Meeting @ 4:30

9th: 100th Day of School

12-16th: Bus Driver Appreciation Week

16th: Fun Friday

23rd: School Assembly in the Gym

School Spirit Fridays!

Let's all show our school spirit !
Tie-dye shirts and Woodridge Wonder shirts have all been sent home. Please feel free to dress your child in either of these shirts or other Portage orange and black clothing on Fridays throughout the school year.

Office Notes

Reporting an Absence

Please contact Ashley Gumz in the Woodridge office before 8:15 a.m. if your child will be absent. 608.742.3494

Change in Transportation

Please send a note with your child in their folder, or call before 2:45 p.m. if there is a change in the way they normally go home.

Art Warriors

Our Art Warriors have been up to some colorful things in the art room this month!

Kindergarten has been hard at work creating clay “Handy Warhols,” ceramic handprints using fluorescent paint with black as contrast. These masterpieces will be coming home soon!

First grade has been practicing patterns and printmaking. They have been carving hearts into craft foam and decorating them with single patterns to create monoprints. Keep your eyes peeled to Artsonia for more!


On March 5th, the John Muir Math Committee is hosting STEAM Night. You are all invited to participate. I will be hosting the activity in the fundraiser for a new kiln.

You will have the opportunity to create a fused glass pendant with your family for $10 per pendant.

The other activities at STEAM Night are free. Aswell as a soup meal will be provided.


Our Artsonia portfolios are getting started, please check your child’s Artsonia account for updates to their portfolio. If you haven’t accessed your child’s account yet and need the login information, please send me an email at the address below.

*Volunteers Needed*

The students are creating such wonderful art and I would LOVE for you to be able to see it. I am looking for some volunteers to help me get our students’ art uploaded (no prior experience necessary). Please contact the Woodridge office or your child’s classroom teacher if you would like to be a volunteer for the art room.

Music Notes

Kindergarten will continue to work on songs for our Fine Arts Program. Our theme this year is Disney. I will be choosing 2 students from each class to do scarf motions to our song "Let's go Fly a Kite" so, remind your children to work hard learning the motions in music class as they may be one of the students I pick. They will also be learning to play another song on the melody bells from notation. The students will be singing vocal roller coasters to explore their voice range and find their singing voices.

1st graders will be learning to read the music notation, Quarter note and Quarter rest. We will be clapping these rhythm patterns and playing them on instruments. We are also working on improving our singing voices by playing some solo singing games. Remember, music is the universal language of peace.

Ms. Yerke


In the gym the kids enjoyed two versions of "Do You Want to Build a Snowman".

In one version they worked together to build snowmen out of random equipment like hula hoops, buckets and paddles while trying not to get tagged!

In the other version, they got to throw snowballs (yarn balls) at snowmen (stacks of buckets)! Both were super fun! Next month we will be learning about the Winter Olympics and playing gym versions of some of the events!

Reading Activity Story, Snacks and Snuggles

Story: If I Ran for President

Snack: President’s Day Cookie

Snuggles: Grab a blanket and curl up with your child, enjoy a story and make memories

  1. Use a vanilla wafer for the face.

  2. Use mini marshmallows and mini chocolate chips for the beard and hair.

  3. Take a hershey bar and make a hat.

From the Nurses Station

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, Prevention each and every day.

Everyone in the family needs to have a daily plan to prevent tooth decay. Teeth play an important role to:

  1. Chew food we eat

  2. Say sounds and words correctly

  3. Hold a place for adult teeth

  4. Give the face a nice shape

Daily activities for everyone should include:

· Brushing teeth twice a day for two minutes with fluoridated toothpaste

· Flossing between the teeth once a day

· Eating nutritious foods and limiting sweetened foods and beverages

· Drinking water

· Protecting teeth from harm by using a mouthguard during activities

Counselors Corner

This year in all of the Woodridge classrooms, including art, music, library and gym, we have calm corners. Calm corners are a quiet space for students to go to if they are too sad, frustrated or upset to think. Once at the calm corner, students can turn the sand timer over and then sit quietly for a few minutes to settle themselves.

Calm Corners provide a space for children to self regulate through the use of comfortable seating, calming sensory objects, and deep breathing exercises. When the timer is done, the goal is that the child will be able to return to the group ready to focus and learn. In the fall I spent time teaching the students how to use the space, which works hand in hand with my classroom guidance lessons on the zones of regulation!

So far this year the calm corners have been used successfully and the students and their teachers feel they are a positive addition to the classrooms. Some classrooms have named the space, The Beach, Animal Island etc. Ask your child about the calm corners!

A big THANK YOU to the Woodridge parent club for allowing the purchase of the items for the Calm Corners!!

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Mathtastic Activity-

Help celebrate the 100th day at home by completing this sheet together as a family. You could also do the following: count to 100 by 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10s; jump 100 times; clap 100 times, see how far you can read in 100 seconds, do a 100 piece puzzle, how many sight words can you say in 100 seconds, etc.
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Snack Pack Program

The Portage Weekend Snack Pack Program, a Portage Child Hunger Committee project, provides a weekend supply of nutritious food for children when school lunch and breakfast is unavailable on a weekend. Each food bag will contain some food for breakfasts, lunches, and snacks, for each weekend for your child(ren). All food is nonperishable and provided to children free of charge. It is our hope these resources will support the health, behavior, and achievement of every student that participates. All children are eligible for this program. The program is run completely by wonderful volunteers who help pack the food bags, shop, recruit etc. The program is funded through the generous gifts from The Rotary Club of Portage, Society of St. Vincent de Paul Portage, Columbia County UW-Extension and the community at large. Please note, that the program is always looking for more sponsors and volunteers! We look forward to working with staff, teachers, and you for your children!

For more information or questions, please contact Caitlin Richardson, Columbia County UW-Extension FoodWIse Coordinator at 608-742-9693. To sign up for the program, please contact John Muir Elementary front office at 608-742-5531 or Woodridge Elementary front office at 608-742-3494.


The Portage Community School District believes that nutrition and physical activity influence a child’s development, well-being, and readiness to learn. The District will promote healthy schools by supporting wellness, good nutrition and regular physical activity as a part of the total learning environment. The District supports a healthy environment where students and staff members learn and participate in positive dietary and lifestyle practices. By facilitating learning through the support and promotion of good nutrition and physical activity, our schools contribute to the basic health status of students and staff. Improved health optimizes student performance potential and contributes to the success of all students.

Classrooms/School and Celebrations:

  • Snacks served during the school day or in after-school care or enrichment programs will meet the District Nutrition Standards (Healthy Snacks for Children).

  • During occasional celebrations (i.e. birthdays, holidays) items that do not meet the District Nutrition Standards may be acceptable for student consumption within moderation. However, the District will encourage a healthy snack item to be offered in conjunction with other offerings.

  • Strong consideration should be given to nonfood items (see Non-Food Rewards for Children Guide) as part of any Teacher-to-Student Incentive programs. If a teacher feels compelled to utilize food items as an incentive, they are encouraged to adhere to the District Nutritional Standards.

  • The School District is concerned with the dietary and lifestyle practices of its staff, as well as its students. In order to promote wellness among its staff, the district will continue to provide opportunities for staff to become physically active. Staff is also encouraged to model ideal behavior for students by making food and beverage choices that align with the District Nutrition Standards outlined in this policy.
    The Board Policy 537 is the official wellness policy of our school district.


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