The Monthly Mustang
The Official Newsletter for Wedgwood School Families
Important Reminder For Parents/Guardians
Wedgwood's 2016-2017 Teacher Of The Year: Mr. Domenick Renzi
Literacy At Home
The holiday season is upon us! Here are some great ways to link your child’s reading and writing practice into your holiday activities from our BSI Reading Teacher, Mrs. Brown:
- Read Aloud: Take time to read aloud traditional holiday books or books with holiday themes to your child.
- Creative Writing: Have your child put his or her own twist on a holiday story by writing a new ending for the story or retelling the story from a different character’s point of view.
- Keep a Holiday Family Journal: Throughout the holiday season, each member of the family can write at least one entry about their favorite holiday tradition, celebration or activity in the holiday journal. When the journal is completed, have each family member read their entries aloud.
- Reading Recipes: When cooking or baking holiday foods, have your child assist you in reading the recipes and the step-by-step instructions.
- Elf on the Shelf /Hanukkah Helper Notes: Leave notes from the Elf on the Shelf or the Hanukkah Helper for your child to read each day. By placing them in different spots each day, your child will look forward to finding the notes.
- Scrapbooking/Photo Albums: Work on a holiday scrapbook or photo album with your child. Allow him/her to write labels and picture captions.
- Write a Letter to Santa: For a younger child who wishes to write to Santa, encourage him or her to write an authentic letter to Santa with pencil and paper. This letter can include heartfelt sentiments to Santa, details about themselves and the good deeds they did all year. Of course, the all-important list of what they want for Christmas can be included. Show your child how to address the envelope to the North Pole, place the stamp and mail the letter. In our ever-changing world of technology, this is the time where old-fashioned letter writing is irreplaceable.
- Read Song Lyrics: Print out the lyrics to your favorite holiday songs for your child to read along while listening and/or singing. Seeing the words to a song in print is a great way to build reading vocabulary and strengthen comprehension.
- Play Board/Vocabulary Games: Board games and vocabulary games not only provide excellent opportunities for family bonding time, they also allow kids to practice reading, build vocabulary and use higher order thinking skills.
- New Year’s Resolutions: Encourage your child to write out his or her resolutions for the New Year. Have your child take it a step further by also writing out the steps they will take to keep those resolutions. (That’s the hard part after all!)
It’s a wonderful time of the year to enjoy literacy at home!
Counselor's Corner: Helping Your Child With Test Preparation
As a parent, there are many ways you can help your child with test preparation.
Get them fed. The more nutritiously your children eat, the better they will feel in school. Properly fueled, their concentration is enhanced. Most children ask for a snack when they arrive home. Before they settle down to study, provide a healthy, non-junk food snack to carry them through dinner.
Get them moving. Physical activity that gets students away from academics can actually help academic performance.
Get them breathing. Teach your child a simple breathing exercise that you do with them: Take a deep breath, hold to the count of three, and then exhale slowly through the nose to the count of 10.
Get them to bed on time. Try to keep a routine bed time. Elementary children need up to 10 hours of sleep each night to do their best in school. The use of video games and texting can charge the nervous system. It is best to end these activities up to 30 minutes prior to bedtime.
Cramming for assignments and tests does not work. Prep for tests in small bursts each day.
It is important that your child knows that your love and respect for them is not dependent on a test score. Review results together. Discuss what worked and what should be different next time. Allow your child to do the talking.
Notes From The Nurse
It is hard to believe the holidays are fast approaching! This is both an exciting and busy time of the year for everyone. Here in the health office, we are in the process of completing our annual health screenings. You will be notified of any problems should they arise. Please remember to return any forms that are sent home, as well as information requested, i.e. updated immunizations, allergy information, and referrals. I do enjoy this time of year because it gives me the opportunity to get to know the new students and reconnect with the returning students.
I would like to remind parents that all medications (prescription and over-the-counter) that are to be administered during school hours may be done so only in compliance of our Board of Education Policy and New Jersey State Law. All of the following must be on file in the health office:
1) Specific written instructions from the physician (medication permission forms can be obtained in the health office. I am in the process of updating the information so that you can print out the form or just notify me and I will send it home with your child).
2) Written permission from the parent or guardian, and
3) The medication brought in by a parent/guardian in its original container and labeled by the pharmacy.
This festive time of the year brings the cold weather, as well as cold and flu season. Just a friendly reminder that, if your child exhibits any symptoms prior to coming to school--i.e. fever, with accompanying symptoms of a sore throat, and malaise (general not feeling well--please do not send them to school. This and good hand washing are the best defense in controlling the spread of illness. Our students have been doing well in that area and it has helped our school stay thus far through this season. I would also like to add that if your child should have any changes regarding any information medically that may affect their progress in school, be sure to notify me and we can discuss their individual health plan. Also, please notify your child’s teacher or the school nurse of any changes on the emergency card handed in at the beginning of the school year, i.e. address, phone number, emergency contact.
Our district has been working to create a healthier atmosphere in our schools, having updated our wellness policy and created a wellness committee to guide our work in our buildings. This policy has been guided by the initiative of the CDC to control childhood obesity, which in turn results in adult diseases, long term health issues and high costs. You will be hearing more about it throughout the year. Please join us in helping to keep our children healthy. Visit my webpage to view recipes, and please try to encourage your child to pick healthier choices at home. Please feel free to offer any suggestion as to how we can promote our wellness initiative here at school.
This is a reminder regarding the LOST AND FOUND. With the arrival of cold weather, we already have coats and sweaters piled high in the attendance office. If your child is missing items, please check this area which is located outside the health office. Be sure to label all coats, jackets and lunch boxes with your child’s name to help ensure their return.
I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone in advance for all the cooperation and support I receive throughout the year. It is truly a pleasure to be a part of the Wedgwood Community!
- Debbie Sernicola, MSN, CSN
Wedgwood School Nurse
Computers Update with Mrs. Martucci
Hi! I’m Mrs. Martucci and I am the new Computer Teacher at Wedgwood School. Wedgwood holds a special place in my heart because I attended this elementary school as a child and I am so excited to be back in my hometown! This year is already off to a great start and hopefully you are hearing about all the new and fun ‘technology activities’ we’ve been doing in the lab. Throughout this year, we will be covering four different units: Computer Parts and Terminology, Keyboarding, Word Processing, and Internet Safety.
Computer Parts and Terminology
All grade levels are learning the names and functions of the computer parts, i.e. monitor, keyboard, mouse, CPU. In addition, students are learning the proper functional words such as scroll, maximize, minimize, X-out, etc. First graders have already mastered logging on using their own username and password. We continue to reinforce the terminology in class and hopefully you hear them doing the same at home!
This year each elementary school in the district is using the keyboarding program called typing.com. Students in grades 2-5 have already created their unique username and password which can be accessed from home as well as in school! This keyboarding program formally teaches the students key memorization, finger placement, correct posture, accuracy, and WPM (words per minute). They have a chance to earn a ‘badge’ each time they complete a lesson successfully. Students type for approximately 10 minutes each class period. First graders will be on board in the near future! There are also numerous keyboarding games on my Draggo site, which I will elaborate on later in this newsletter update.
Students in grades 3-5 will begin using Microsoft Word and some have already jumped into PowerPoint. We use the correct terminology with these programs as well i.e. bold, font, center, size, copy, paste. The students' creativity and knowledge of the software has been very impressive! As the year continues, second graders will learn to access the program and type their address in a 3-line format.
Internet safety and acceptable use are topics consistently revisited within each class period. There is a link to the AUP (Acceptable Use Policy) on my teacher webpage and it was reviewed with all students in the beginning of the school year. The goal is to teach the students how to use computer equipment appropriately and navigate the Internet safely.
Coding is just another term for computer programming, and any grade level can try it. Our school participated in the Hour of Code during the first week of December and will continue to practice coding throughout the year. Students use logic, problem solving, and creative thinking to program different games.
What is Draggo? Draggo is an awesome Bookmark Manager that allows you to organize and access all personal links on a single page. My Draggo page is draggo.com/smartucci. This webpage is bookmarked in each student’s account and they know how to access it through Google Chrome. I have many learning activities, games, educational videos, etc., organized by grade level. Please feel free to use this tool at home as well to help your child with their navigation skills and reinforce the lessons they learn in school. Keep checking back because I add new links all the time!
Wedgwood PTO Update
Designer Bag Bingo and Basket Auction
Mark your calendars now! You won't want to miss the Wedgwood PTO's 3rd Annual Designer Bag Bingo and Basket Auction on Saturday, January 28, 2017. The event will take place at St. Charles Borromeo Church, at 176 Stagecoach Road, Sicklerville, NJ 08081. Doors open at 6:00 p.m.; bingo begins at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $30 each in advance, and $35 each at the door. This is a 21 and over event. All proceeds benefit the students of Wedgwood School. Click here for more info and information on how to order tickets
The Wedgwood PTO is always looking for volunteers to help support our school. Parents can get involved by printing and completing the following forms, and returning them to your child's teacher:
PTO Meeting Dates (all meetings take place at Wedgwood School)
- Tuesday, January 17 - 9:30 AM
- Wednesday, February 22 - 7:00 PM
- Wednesday, March 22 - 9:30 AM
- Wednesday, April 26 - 7:00 PM
- Wednesday, May 31- 9:30 AM
Contact The PTO
PTO voicemail: 856-227-8110, ext. 3644 – Please leave a message for any comments, concerns with Lifetouch, Fundraising, Junior Achievement, etc.
PTO email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Get Connected with Wedgwood On Social Media
If you're on Facebook, go to https://www.facebook.com/wedgwoodwtps/ and "Like" the page.
The Mother's Cupboard
The Mother's Cupboard is open to anyone in need who lives in Washington Township. The Cupboard provides essentials including canned goods, meats, snacks, juice, baby food, and toiletries. Patrons should bring some sort of ID, such as bill with name and address, license, etc. The Mother's Cupboard is located at 523 Egg Harbor Road, in Sewell, and is open every Thursday morning from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm, and the evening of every fourth Thursday of the month from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm. Call (856) 589-0540, ext. 254 for more information.
Dates At A Glance: December 2016/January 2017
December 20 - TWP Tuesday (Students can wear their TWP Tuesday or any red shirt)
December 23 - Early Dismissal at 2:05 p.m.
December 26 through January 2 - School Closed - Winter Break
January 10 - TWP Tuesday
January 16 - School Closed - Martin Luther King Jr. Day
January 24 - TWP Tuesday & Early Dismissal - Staff Inservice
January 27 - Marking Period 2 Ends
Wedgwood School Day Times - 2016-2017
2:05 AM - Early Dismissal Time (as published here on the WTPS District Calendar)
3:45 PM - Regular Dismissal Time
Be sure to call (856) 227-8112 between 8:30 AM and 9:00 AM to report your child's absence and request make-up work.