The Patrick Henry Post
December 9th, 2022
December Reading Growth
Congratulations, Patrick Henry Students!
This month, we are assessing our students on their reading and math growth through the STAR Assessment program. We are THRILLED to see so much student growth in just the first semester of the school year! Many of our classrooms had every single student show growth since the beginning of the school year and we want to celebrate their successes! Take a look at some highlights from Ms. Versen's class party celebrating every student's STAR Reading growth and give them a high five when you see them next!
Concrete Project at Patrick Henry
Garden Improvement Updates
This week, we allowed our improvements to our garden area to settle before the concrete pour to make it more accessible to all of our students, staff, volunteers, neighbors, and partners. You can click here for Part 1 of this renovation project to see what the first phase entailed. On Monday, December 12th, we will watch as our partners pour brand new concrete in between each of the garden beds and create an accessible ramp into the garden. Our students will learn so much as the team of apprentices work through our grounds with some pretty awesome equipment.
Resources to Keep Teaching Your Child about The Patrick Henry Garden Project
This project at Patrick Henry's garden is an incredible opportunity to teach our students about many different things. Take a look below for some great resources to keep their learning going at home or in the classroom!
Not So Different: What You Really Want to Ask about Having a Disability
This is an autobiographical text written by Shane Burcaw, who was born with spinal muscular atrophy. It is appropriate for ages 6-9, and could be used as a read aloud or as a whole class group reading with small group discussions. The goal of the book is to show the reader that the author is different but not different – though he has physical limitations and different needs that some people, he also loves pizza and video games and spending time with his friends. A teacher or parent could use this book as a way to introduce disabilities and get the conversation going about ADA accessibility.
All the Way to the Top: How One Girl’s Fight for Americans with Disabilities Changed Everything
This is a beautifully illustrated story that is appropriate for ages 4-8, and could be used in higher grade levels as well as an independent reading book. This story covers one activist’s fight for accessibility for all people with disabilities, including the true story of Jennifer Keelan crawling up the steps of the Capitol building in Washington DC to convince Congress to pass the Americans with Disabilities Act. Teachers or parents can use this story to introduce ADA accessibility and the historical battle that it took to get this law passed
Fighting for YES!: The Story of Disability Rights Activist Judith Heumann
This is a picture book that any grade level could use to start the conversation about the fight for accessibility undertaken by Judith Heumann. The story focuses on the 1977 sit-in Judith participated in to fight for Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Teachers can use this book in order to help students understand how long and arduous the battle for accessibility was, and how many forms it took until it was finally codified into law. This story is a direct parallel to the school garden and why it is essential that we make our garden open to all people.
The Disability Experience: Working toward Belonging
This is a Young Adult book designed for students aged 10+. In my school, I would recommend this book as a read aloud, or to be used in Guided Reading for groups who have a higher reading level if they are going to read it independently. While there are illustrations, the text level is more complex and is more appropriate for older grades. This book highlights different experiences that people with disabilities have in every day life, and opens the conversation for our students to recognize differences in the school day that prevent our students with disabilities from having the same access as students without disabilities.
The Fight for Disability Rights
This is another Young Adult book appropriate for upper elementary grades to be utilized as a non-fiction text in a small group or read aloud setting with guided notes. The book details the long battle to gain rights for people with disabilities, including ADA accessibility. This story can be utilized by the teacher to ask students to conduct their own research and discovery about how ADA was passed and the predecessor laws that were put in place prior to ADA
Concrete: From the Ground Up
This is a perfect story for children of any grade level in elementary school, though for younger grade levels, it should be used as a read aloud. The illustrations are beautiful depictions of every creative use of concrete and where concrete has made a large impact in cities, parks, rural areas, and construction sites. This is an excellent introduction to the world of concrete and what concrete can be utilized for
Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems
This is a completely different type of resource for the teacher who wants to take this concrete project across disciplines and give students a creative outlet to what they are learning about concrete. This book is full of examples of “concrete poetry,” poems that are “constructed” by using the letters and words and typeface to make a poem more meaningful than just the words chosen for the poetry
Extra Resources for Concrete Poetry
For extra resources on concrete poetry, see the website included below that has an introduction to the concept: https://blogs.getty.edu/iris/what-is-concrete-poetry/
This is a paperback book that contains pictures of every type of heavy machinery that can be utilized in concrete projects. While the book is intended for younger grade levels and ages 6-8, upper elementary students could still utilize this text as a part of their research into what is required for concrete preparation
Smithy the Concrete Mixer
This is a simple children’s story intended for use in younger grade levels. The story follows a concrete mixer around to all of his construction sites and teaches readers about the different ways concrete can be used.
Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site
This is a children’s story best suited for younger elementary classrooms. Our preschool teachers could even use this story at nap time! This picture book takes place at a large construction site, and each piece of machinery has to say goodnight to each other before they can rest overnight so they can get up the next day refreshed to work hard all over again. This is best suited for preschool and Kindergarten classrooms
Richard Scarry’s Busy Busy Construction Site
This is a seek-and-find picture book designed for very young children (even babies can participate with this book!), and would be best designed for our students in preschool and Kindergarten. This book can provide a way for our students to access the types of machines they will see during the observation and give them a way to communicate about them when they see them
Thank you, Little Bit Foundation and KPMG!
Book Fair at Patrick Henry
This week, The Little Bit Foundation partnered with KPMG to host a Book Fair at Patrick Henry, but this book fair was quite different from the old school fairs where books cost money - all of these books were completely FREE to our Patrick Henry students! Students were able to "shop" their way through the fair to find books that were most interesting to them, and they went home with a brand new book for the holiday break. Thank you to our community partners for providing an amazing experience for our students and a great new resource for our families!
December Spirit Month Highlights
Upcoming December Spirit Days
Join us for our remaining Spirit Days!
- Monday, December 12th: Dress like a Candy Cane (red and white!)
- Tuesday, December 13th: Celebrate Snow (dress in all your winter whites!)
- Wednesday, December 14th: Any holiday sweater
- Thursday, December 15th: Dress like an Elf
- Friday, December 16th: Holiday Best (dress up for our Family Dance!)
- Monday, December 19th: Wear your favorite winter vacation attire
- Tuesday, December 20th: Any holiday sweater
December 16th: Family Dance at Patrick Henry
On Friday, December 16th, all Patrick Henry students and their families are invited to attend our first ever Patrick Henry Family Dance! We will have our gym set up with decorations, food, and a DJ ready to get the party going! This dance can be as formal or informal as you want it to be - come dressed up in your holiday best, or just come as you are! We just want to have fun and dance the night away!
The dance will open at 6:00pm and the evening will end at 7:30pm. Full dinner will be provided.