Words from Walsh January, 2018

Staying connected with Walsh School

Greetings from Principal Martin

Dear Parents/Guardians: As we begin the New Year, let us take the opportunity to reflect on the past year with all of its blessings, as well as all of the challenges that faced us. I am always overwhelmed and touched by the generosity that our families extend to others during the holiday season. This past year was no exception. The PFA “Giving Tree” helped make the holidays a little brighter for some of our families, and we thank everyone who made a donation. The PFA also held their Polar Express Interactive Movie Experience, which is always a favorite. A special thank you to Mrs. Shanle for conducting the train along the tracks, so to speak. I also want to recognize and thank all of our staff, teachers, and volunteers who continually give their all in their commitment and dedication to our students and to this district.

The new year brings a new format to our newsletter! We will still post the important dates and news to have at your fingertips, but don't forget to visit your teacher's website for some personalized news and notes for your student's classroom.

This month we will be getting back to business, working hard to move our students forward in their educational journeys. Please keep the lines of communication open with your teacher, and discuss any concerns you may have. Report cards were originally scheduled to go home on the 19th, however, your child will now bring his/her report card home on Friday, January 26, 2018. This change allows us to include the most up to date teting results from the second quarter. If you have any concerns or if I can help explain our grading system, please do not hesitate to contact me. I wish all our families a healthy, happy and prosperous new year! ~ Mrs. Teresa Martin

Important Dates in January

Dates to Remember in January

8 – School Resumes

12 – School Improvement - 11:55 Dismissal - No EC Classes

12 – End of 2nd Quarter

15 – NO SCHOOL - Martin Luther King’s Birthday

16 – BOE Mtg./District (7:00 pm)

16 – Start 3rd Quarter

19 – Report Cards Issued for grades 2nd-8th

19 – Spirit Day/Pirates "rrr you ready to show your spirit?"

26 - Report Cards Issued - grades K and 1st

26 - Spirit Day - Yahoo! It's Western Day!

31 – Family Fitness Night (new date!)

Remember to dress your child appropriately with a coat, hat, scarf, mittens and boots. Students will be outside on days where the wind chill is at or above 10 degrees. All students will be going out unless they have a doctor’s note to keep them inside for medical reasons.

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From the nurse...

Remember snow? As January typically is cold and snowy, we remind you that students will be going outside for recess whenever the wind chill is 10 degrees or above. Please dress your child appropriately for the weather, including a hat, coat and gloves. If your child is ill with any fever, secretions, or vomiting, they will be sent home and should not return for 24 hours. Please refer to the parent handbook for guidelines. If you have any health concerns or questions, please contact Nurse Jeri at Walsh School.

P.E. News by Mr. Wallace

Hopefully, everyone had a chance to relax over the holiday break, which means that we have to kick some rust off everyone during PE time. We plan on getting as much fitness work in as we can. This month, we will be having a fitness night, so if you're up for more activity, come on out! Thanks for sending your child with gym shoes on days that they wear boots to school.

Kindergarten News

Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe that it is 2018! January will be a busy month for kindergarten. The skills we will be working on in the FUNdations series are: identifying, printing, and the sound of the capital letters Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, and Z. We will continue to practice printing letters, numbers, words, and our names on a printing line. We will continue to practice our Super Reader skills. We will practice reading and writing sight words. In Schoolwide, we will begin our Non-Fiction Unit. We will be learning about the structure of non-fiction books, as well as learning about different types of non-fiction books. In math, we will continue Unit 4 in the Bridges curriculum. Unit 4 focuses on paths to adding, subtracting and measuring. As you can see, it is back to business after our holiday break!

First Grade News

Happy new year and welcome back! The new year brings us a fresh start with many academic topics. We will begin the year with a new writing unit on penguins. We will spend the month of January researching and exploring how writers work. The end result will be that the children will be publishing their own books on penguins. They will be introduced to many nonfiction reference books and literary nonfiction books. The children will then make a decision on whether they want to write a reference or literary nonfiction book. You might want to take a look at the books you have in your home and determine with your child if they are nonfiction reference books or literary nonfiction books. Determine which kind of book they like the best! We are really looking forward to the finished product!

We will continue to work on reading with accuracy and fluency. The children will be taking the FastBridges test in January. Please continue to have your child read and review comprehension of text with you during baggie book time at home. The only way to increase fluency is through practice.

Fundations will progressively become more difficult as students learn:

~Closed syllable concept with short vowels

~Closed syllable vs. open syllable

~Vowel team sounds for: ai, ay, ee, ea, ey, oi, oy

~Narrative fiction vs. informational books

~Reading with accuracy and prosody

We will continue Unit 4 in our Bridges in Mathematics (which revolves around the number line, an essential mathematical model) for the month of January. Phew! Thank goodness January is a long month, because we have a lot of learning going on!

Early Childhood News

The early childhood classes are off to a great 2018. We will work on a winter unit, and our “Read It Once Again” selections will be “The Mitten,” and “The Napping House." Our letters for this month will be M, N, and O. We are counting to 15, and working on naming number and letter symbols presented in random order. In addition, we will learn about staying healthy during these cold winter months. Stay warm and read lots of books!
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The Reading Corner by Mrs. Squires, Kindergarten Reading Specialist

With the cold weather upon us, it’s the perfect opportunity to cuddle up with your child

and read a good book! Creating a literacy-rich environment in your home is easy and so

important in fostering a love for reading. Below are some ideas from the Reading is

Fundamental website (www.rif.org) on helping to provide a literacy-rich home


  • Establish a regular time and place for reading together, such as after dinner or before bed.
  • Read daily to your child. Share your love for books. Read stories you enjoyed as a child and share why they were your favorite. Talk with your child before, during, and after reading together. Make predictions, ask questions, or have your child try to retell the story in his/her own words.
  • Store books and writing materials in places where your child can easily reach them. Model reading and writing for specific tasks, such as making out a grocery list or cooking a recipe.
  • Visit the library often and have your child get his/her own library card! Children love the task of choosing their own books and checking them out. This can also provide opportunities for lessons on responsibility, too!
Happy Reading!

Music News by Mrs. Rutkiewicz

Happy New Year! I can’t believe it is 2018! I hope you all had a nice winter break with your families.

Kindergarten and first grade students had great fun in December with our hand bells. Kindergarten accompanied some fun holiday poems with bells, and first graders played a song called "Chime In.” We also watched an exciting movie version of “The Nutcracker.”

Kindergarten students learned how music can help tell a story as we watched the adventures of Jingle the dog, in the movie “Jingle All the Way” and “Jingle and Bell’s Christmas Star.”

First grade will begin the new year reviewing and learning more music notes and symbols. I will soon be teaching the musical hand signs for the musical scale. Listen for a song called “Whacky Do Re Mi.”

Kindergarten students will continue to explore new musical concepts such as tone color and high and low sounds. Listen for the tune “Doggie Doggie. Where’s Your Bone?” We use this song to explore the unique sounds of our voices.

Advance notice: The kindergarten musical will be on Friday, April 27, 2018. Mark your calendars now – you won’t want to miss it! More details will be coming soon.

Keep on singing! Mrs. Rutkiewicz

News from the Media Center

The students have been working on coding, using the “code.org” website. Coding is a great way to practice problem-solving and providing details. There is a link on the Media Center homepage where students can find their account and continue to practice coding skills.

Once the students return from our holiday break, they will be completing the “Fastbridge” assessments in the Media Center.

Art News by Mrs. Deckinga

In January, the kindergarten students will be reading the book, Snowballs, by Lois Ehlert. Inspired by the whimsical collage illustrations in the book, the students will be creating their own winter collage. We'll be using a variety of painting techniques with both watercolor and tempera paint, as well as our cutting skills to make bare winter trees and birds. We'll finish by splatter painting a snowy sky.

The first grade students will be studying the art of Russian artist, Wassily Kandinsky, the "father of abstract painting". We'll be learning learn how to create an abstract painting with black glue and watercolor, using just lines, shapes, and colors. Be sure to make a trip to Pop's in Lockport to preview some of the art we'll be studying. The entire restaurant is filled with the work of Kandinsky!

Making Math Count by Mrs. Romeo

Students at Walsh School are continuing to work hard. Our 100 Wall is almost filled! All of the students are also working hard on DreamBox at school, but we would love to see them working on it more at home. We will be setting up incentives and rewards for students who put in time at home. It is a great way to reinforce skills and expose them to some new ones.

I have recently found a website I feel will assist many parents in helping their child with homework. Webmath is a math-help web site that generates answers to specific math questions and problems, as entered by a user, at any particular moment. The math answers are generated and displayed real-time, at the moment a web user types in their math problem and clicks "solve." In addition to the answers, Webmath also shows the student how to arrive at the answer. Give it a try!