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Prescott/Smigel

Dear Families,                                                                                                           Monday, March 17, 2014


This week we are researching Greece, finishing letters to our Montessori pen pals in Athens, Greece, studying the American and French Revolutions, continuing our biology and chemistry studies as well as introducing botany. Our virtue of the week is compassion.


Kidsfest is scheduled for Friday, April 11th. Currently, we are exploring options of how to make up our last "ice" day and a half. One suggestion has been to reschedule Kidsfest to Saturday, the 12th which would count as a school day. As soon as the decision has been made of how that time will be rescheduled, we will let you know. Thank you!


Last Wednesday evening, a WMPCS high school meeting was held updating next year's ninth grade parents as well as prospective parents. The power point presentation included class size, four year curriculum, the ninth grade schedule, staffing requirements and announcements, and a facility update.


It is with mixed emotions that I share with you that I will be teaching in our high school next year. While I will miss the children, I am so excited about teaching English I, American Literature, and Composition (and perhaps an Elective) in next year's ninth grade; also, I will be helping with the Montessori curriculum throughout our school. Mrs. Meela Ransom, who starts training this month for the 9-12 level, will teach with Mrs. Smigel in our classroom next year. Mrs. Ransom is currently teaching in a 6-9 classroom here at WMPCS and brings with her several years of Montessori experience as well as a B.S. in Child Development and Family Relations.


With less than eleven weeks of school left, we are focused in the classroom. Please remember Study Island for EOG practice.


Thank you for all you do!


Darla

darla.prescott@wmpcs.org




Heads Up:

Wed, 3-19:    Chick-fil-A

Wed, 3-26:    End of 3rd quarter

Fri, 3-28:       School day-This was originally scheduled as TWD

Mon, 3-31:    Report cards home via book bags



Thank You:

Pies for Pi Day:  Tess, Colby, Walton, Lauren A., Sarah and Emily, Amaris, Dawson

Drivers/Chaperones to Potash/Corp: Margaret Heifferon (Ragan), Leigh White (Walton), Patrice Alexander (Alex), B.J. Hilliard (Jocelyn), Amy Smigel (Tess), Judy Tant (Colby)



Dear Families,                                                                                                    Monday, March 10, 2104                                                                                                                                                             


This week we are beginning our Greece research for Kidsfest, introducing European Explorers, celebrating "pi" (pie) day, and finishing our week with the field trip! Some of the children are still completing the finishing touches on their Medieval Feast papers and/or their Renaissance papers. If your student has not completed either of these papers, please encourage them to work on them at home. They are unable to move ahead with Kidsfest research until they have practiced the research process with these two papers.


Each year we celebrate "pi" day (3.14 or March 14th) with pies! On a volunteer basis, the children either bring in pies or pie ingredients of their choice in order for us to make them at school. We will have special lessons and read aloud books as our geometry lesson will focus on perimeter, radius, diameter,

and circumference that day. This year, we are celebrating "pi" day on Thursday, March 13th due to our field trip on Friday. Thank you!


As a reminder, our field trip to the PotashCorp ECO Lodge is this Friday. We depart from campus at 8:30 a.m. and plan to return at 2:30 p.m.; lunch will be provided. If you are able to go with us, we need drivers and would love to have you! Just let us know as soon as possible.


Thank you for all that you do,


Amy and Darla


amy.smigel@wmpcs.org

darla.prescott@wmpcs.org



Heads Up:

Wed, 3-12:     High school meeting @ 6:00 in the middle school building

Thurs, 3-13:    Pancake supper (hosted by the middle school) @ 5:00-6:30 p.m. ($7 per person;    

                        $25 per family); Community meeting @ 6:30 p.m.

Fri, 3-14:         Deadline for $5.00 Chick-fil-A; Potash/Corp field trip

Mon, 3-17:     WMPCS soccer –vs- Chocowinity

Thurs, 3-20:   BoT meeting @ 7:00 p.m.

Wed, 3-26:     End of 3rd quarter



Thank You:

Our chaperones for Friday’s field trip:  Patrice Alexander (Alex); Judy Tant (Colby); Margaret

Heifferon (Ragan); Leigh White (Walton)





Dear Families,                                                                                                     Monday, March 3, 2014   

                                                                       

This week we are working on our punctuation, quotation marks, and italics, practicing MLA formatting, introducing the Reformation, and continuing our biology and chemistry lessons.


On Friday, March 14th, the 9-12 level will be traveling PotashCorp ECO Lodge in Blounts Creek. We have attached the permission slip with the details on departure and return times, cost, and lunch specifics. Because of its proximity, we will drive cars as opposed to taking buses. If you are able to drive and chaperone, please indicate on the permission slip by filling out your car insurance information as well as how many you can transport. To show our appreciation for driving, we are pleased to offer free admission to those drivers who transport 3 or more students. The adult cost is offset by the 9-12 hot lunch funds as is the discounted student price.  The ECO Lodge is providing lunch for us; the adult lunch price is $ 5.00 where the child’s lunch price is included in the $ 15.00 fee. Thank you for your help!


Kidsfest is scheduled for Friday, April 11th. With our study of Greece, the children will wear toga-like costumes. Over the next few weeks, you may want to send in a bed sheet or white fabric for your child's toga. For our 6th years, they may use their costumes (if they are white) from the dinner theatre earlier this year. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.


The weeks are slipping away. Again, we encourage your student to use Study Island for "EOG-like" questions. The end of the year will be here before we know it!


Thank you for all that you do!


Amy and Darla

amy.smigel@wmpcs.org

darla.prescott@wmpcs.org




Heads Up:

Wed, 3-5:    Chick-fil-A lunch; Statewide Tornado Drill Day

Sun, 3-10:   Daylight Savings Time

Fri, 3-14:     9-12 field trip: PotashCorp ECO Lodge

Mon, 3-17:  WMPCS soccer vs Chocowinity @ 4:00

Wed, 3-26:  End of 3rd quarter

Fri, 3-28:     Noon dismissal (formerly a TWD rescheduled to make up 3 hours of snow day)

Mon, 3-31:  Report cards sent home; WMPCS soccer vs Chocowinity @ 4:00



Dear Families,                                                                            Monday, January 13, 2014


This week we are studying the medieval feudal system, continuing our biology and chemistry lessons, and reading an abridged version of Beowulf. In writing, the students are retelling a narrative story, focusing on “responsibility” which is our virtue of the week.


This Friday, the 17th, ends the 2nd quarter….the half way mark of the academic year! Although parent conferences are not scheduled by the office for this quarter, please feel free to contact us for an appointment. If you would like to meet with us, we will gladly schedule a time over the next few weeks. Thank you!


For our 6th years, we will begin “homework” over the next week or two. Homework allows our 6th years to become accustomed to having at home assignments as they will next year in middle school. Usually math, the assignments sometimes practice concepts tested on the EOG while sometimes they reinforce the students’ regular math lessons. Homework will be sent home daily, Monday through Thursday with the expectation that it is returned completed the next morning. Thank you.


Despite the school delay last Tuesday, the children transitioned smoothly from the holidays back to their routine. Many of them are diligent, making appropriate choices, resulting in excellent work. Please match up your child’s daily journal with the weekly progress report (sent home every Monday) for insight into your child’s daily choices. We are available if you have questions or concerns.


Thank you for all that you do,


Amy and Darla

amy.smigel@wmpcs.org

darla.prescott@wmpcs.org




Heads Up:

Wed, 1-15:     Chick-fil-A hot lunch

Fri, 1-17:        End of 2nd quarter

Mon, 1-20:     No school; MLK holiday

Tues, 1-21:     No school for students; Teacher Work Day

Wed, 1-22:     Report cards sent home via students



If you have old newspaper, please send it in as we use it for pet bedding as well as projects. Thank you!


Dear Families,                                                           Monday, January 6, 2014


Happy New Year! It is wonderful to be back with the children after a time of rest and relaxation! Please allow us to express our appreciation for all the Christmas remembrances and gifts you shared with us before the holidays. Truly, you made us feel special! Thank you!


As we jump right back to work this week, we will resume our literature circles, write about New Year’s resolutions/goals as well as thank you letters to Tideland EMC for our new kitchen equipment. “The Vikings Are Coming!” in our history and writing studies and we will continue our lessons in Biology and Chemistry.


We are in the process of planning several level-wide field trips for the spring. We will provide more information as soon as we have dates and details confirmed. Probably, one “going out” experience will be local while the other one will be a bus trip.


We are looking forward to a fresh start in the new year!


Thank you for all that you do,


Amy and Darla

amy.smigel@wmpcs.org

darla.prescott@wmpcs.org


Heads Up:

Tues, 1-7:  Open House for prospective families

Fri, 1-10:    Deadline for $5 Chick-fil-A

Wed, 1-15: Chick-fil-A hot lunch

Fri, 1-17:    End of 2nd quarter

Mon, 1-20: MLK Holiday-no school

Tues, 1-21: TWD-no school for students

Wed, 1-22:  Report cards sent home


Thank You:

Books on the 3 World Religions: Charlotte’s family

Inner Banks Tea for 9-12 lunch (celebrating Kidsfest countries)




Dear Families,                                                    Monday, December 3, 2013


This week we are concluding our study of the Roman Empire and its demise, writing about Roman baths, and continuing our lessons on the specific kingdoms of living things.

At this time, we are participating in two service projects. Hopefully, the children are doing chores at home to meet their goals. To date, the children have donated $232.25 (which does not include a generous parent donation) of our $ 400.00 class goal which is due on Friday, December 13th. Secondly, the children will be sewing baby blankets for Vidant Beaufort Hospital. We welcome any fleece-like material you would like to donate or monetary donations (approximately $8 per blanket) that you would like to contribute. Thank you!


We have 3 full weeks of school prior to Christmas holidays (with the exception of noon dismissal on Friday, December 20th). Although the season is busy and distractions abound, we will continue with lessons, extensions, research, and our regular progress reports!


Thank you for all you do for the children. We absolutely could not do this without you!


Amy and Darla

amy.smigel@wmpcs.org

darla.prescott@wmpcs.org


Heads Up:

Wed, 12-4: Chick-fil-A hot lunch

Fri, 12-6:     Christmas concert @ 6:30 at Washington High School

Fri, 12-20:   noon dismissal; no BASC available; Christmas holiday begins

Fri, 1-3:       TWD

Mon, 1-6:    First day back for students

Thank You:

Our families who donated Thanksgiving pies: Lauren A., Dawson, Charlotte, Christian, Javian, Ethan, Colby. (We are so sorry if we forgot anyone!). Thanks to Bailey’s family for copy paper!



Dear Families,                                                                                          Monday, November 25, 2013


During this short Thanksgiving week, we are presenting Dr. Montessori’s fourth great lesson “The History of Writing and Communication,” delving in to the Roman Empire, and continuing our studies of the Kingdoms of Monera and Protista.


Over the last few weeks, we have been sharing stories about the difference we can make with our contributions to Heifer International. As of this morning, our children have contributed

$ 78.40 towards our $ 400.00 goal. If you are interested, we have several honor cards that can be sent directly to your friends or family members to notify them of a gift you or your child makes in their honor. Thank you!


Between now and Christmas, our violin tour group has several field trips planned as they share the gift of music; please know that we support these outings and value the learning opportunities and character refinement these “going outs” offer. The children frequently make “deals” with us about their work, become creative in organizing their time, and sometimes simply have extensions excused. We are committed to developing the whole child!


When we return from Thanksgiving, we will begin sewing our baby blankets. If you have fleece or soft “baby-like” fabric, please send it in with your child. Generally, we cut them a yard long. Each blanket usually costs approximately $ 8.00. Thank you!


As we are focused on giving thanks, we want to take this opportunity to wish you all a warm and restful Thanksgiving.  


Amy and Darla

amy.smigel@wmpcs.org

darla.prescott@wmpcs.org


Heads Up:

Wed, 11-27:  ½ day; noon dismissal; no BASC available

                       $5.00 due for Chick-fil-A

Thurs, 11-28: Thanksgiving-no school

Fri, 11-29:       no school

Wed, 12-4:     Chick-fil-A hot lunch

Fri, 12-6:         Christmas concert at 6:30 p.m., Washington High School

Fri, 12-13:      Deadline for Heifer International collections

Fri, 12-20:      ½ day; noon dismissal; no BASC available


Thank You:

Dawson’s family for thumb drives for each student, shark teeth, rulers, botany information




Dear Families,                                                                                         Tuesday, November 12, 2013


This week we are introducing “The Golden Age of Greece,” writing our own advertisements using Greek mythology, and continuing our lessons on Kingdom Monera and chemistry tools.


Please accept our thanks to all of you who supported our annual dinner theatre. Thank you to those who cooked, served, set up, cleaned up, transported students, and the list continues! A special thank you to Lisa Barmer, who organized our food and managed the kitchen as well as to her husband, Greg, who helped her in the kitchen and assisted us with the staging and sound system. We could not have done it without them! The children learned so much throughout the whole experience—from learning lines to serving to performing for an audience.


This week the children will set their own personal goals for our school-wide Christmas project, Heifer International. During the week of Thanksgiving, we will be participating in the pie-making for The Village (a retirement community situated behind our former campus on Avon Avenue).  Due to the late dinner theatre date, the 9-12 level has postponed making baby blankets for our traditional Thanksgiving project, making it a Christmas project instead.


We look forward to the next few weeks of school as we have school all five days of this week and next! Although the holidays are upon us, our expectation is for the children to work diligently.


Thank you for all that you do!


Amy and Darla

amy.smigel@wmpcs.org

darla.prescott@wmpcs.org


Heads Up:

Tues-Wed, 11-12 and 11-13: parent/teacher conferences

Thurs, 11-14: dinner served by middle school (5-6:30) @ $7 per person; $25 per family

                       community meeting @ 6:30 p.m.

Fri, 11-15:      Barnes & Noble night (5:00-8:00 p.m.)

Wed, 11-27:  ½ day; noon dismissal; no BASC available

Thurs-Fri, 11-28-29: Thanksgiving Holidays

Fri, 12-6:        Christmas concert (6:30 p.m.) @ Washington High School



Thank you:

Dinner Theatre volunteers

5th Grade Environmental Days drivers: Judy Tant (Colby), Lisa Lawless (Ethan), Leigh White (Walton), and BJ Hilliard (Jocelyn)




Dear Families,                                                                                              Monday, November 4, 2013


This week we are introducing the Greek city-states of Athens and Sparta, writing our own Greek myths, continuing our Kingdom Monera lessons while some students will be introduced to chemistry tools. We will read excerpts from The Iliad and continue reading Greek mythology.


The dinner theatre is here! Thank you all for volunteering food, your time, and all the other things you have done to help make tomorrow night a success! We still need a few soups; please volunteer on sign up genius (or contact us) if you are able to contribute. The 6th years will begin serving at 6:00 p.m. with the plays to follow at approximately 7:00 p.m. Our class is scheduled to go first! Please ask your child what side of the stage they are predominantly on and arrive early for preferred seating. If you have prepaid, there is an “express” lane; although there were no tickets issued, there will be a list of prepaid attendees.


We are looking forward to seeing many of you this week during parent/teacher conferences. If you are unable to come at your allotted time, please contact us. Knowing in advance gives us flexibility in rescheduling conferences at a more convenient time for other families. Thank you!


On Friday, we are looking forward to taking our 5th years to Goose Creek State Park for Environmental Days. We will leave the school at 9:00 a.m. with an estimated return at approximately 12:15 p.m. Thank you to our drivers!


Our virtue of the week is flexibility. Congratulations to the children who have been so flexible with the rehearsals of our 6th years, serving as a critiquing audience, and to our 6th years who have been juggling preparation for the dinner theatre with their academics!


Thank you for all that you do!


Amy and Darla

amy.smigel@wmpcs.org

darla.prescott@wmpcs.org


Heads Up:

Monday, 11-4:   ½ day; noon dismissal; parent/teacher conference

Tuesday, 11-5:   dinner theatre at 6:00 p.m.

Wed, 11-6:          Chick-fil-A lunch; parent/teacher conference

Thurs, 11-7:         parent/teacher conference

Friday, 11-8:        5th years at Goose Creek (9:00-12:15)

Monday, 11-11:  Veterans’ Day holiday; no school

Tuesday, 11-12:  parent/teacher conferences

Wed, 11-13:         parent/teacher conferences

Thurs, 11-14:       community meeting; middle school to serve dinner

Friday, 11-15:      Barnes & Noble night (5:00-8:00)


Thank You:

Dinner Theatre: Volunteers

5th Grade Environmental Days: Judy Tant (Colby), Lisa Lawless (Ethan), Leigh White (Walton)




Dear Families,                                                                                            Monday, October 28, 2013


This week we are introducing the early Greek civilizations, creating webs and researching the Myceneans, reading our Weekly Reader and Jr. Scholastic, and beginning our study of Kingdom Monera.


Thanks to all who have signed up to help with the dinner theatre which is next Tuesday night. If you have not yet signed up, please go to sign up genius (follow instructions in last week’s parent letter) or let us know. This is a level-wide effort as not to burden our 6th year families. Thank you for volunteering!


Our 6th years are working diligently as they polish their lines, finish their costumes, and gather their props. The other children are serving as our “audience,” observing and critiquing. We are all having fun and learning about Greek mythology and the art of drama!


As a reminder, this Friday is a teachers’ workday as we end the first quarter and prepare the progress reports. Also, on next Monday, November 4th, school dismisses at noon as we begin parent-teacher conferences. After school care is available Friday afternoon.


Thank you for all that you do. We could not do it without you!


Amy and Darla

amy.smigel@wmpcs.org

darla.prescott@wmpcs.org



Heads Up:

Tuesday, 10-29:     End of 1st quarter

Thursday, 10-31:   Dressed rehearsal of 6th grade play for the Washington Daily

                                Deadline for Chick-fil-A $5.00

Friday, 11-1:           Teachers’ Workday- no school for students

Monday, 11-4:       Noon dismissal; parent-teacher conferences through Wed, 11-13

Tuesday, 11-5:       6th grade dinner theatre-First Baptist Church at 6:00 p.m.

Wed., 11-6:            Chick-fil-A lunch

Friday, 11-8:          5th years to Goose Creek State Park for Environmental Days

Monday, 11-11:    No school-Veterans’ Day

Wed, 11-13:           End of parent-teacher conference

Thursday, 11-14:   Community meeting; middle school to serve dinner



Thank you:

Judy Tant (Colby): Red plate day

Volunteers who have signed up for dinner theatre



Dear Families,                                                                      Monday, October 21, 2013


This week we are writing rough drafts, editing with vivid verbs and quality adjectives, introducing the Phoenician and Minoan civilizations, and continuing with our study of the “5 Kingdoms of Living Things.” Some of the children are still researching and creating projects on the four ancient civilizations that grew along the Nile, Yellow, Tigris and Euphrates, and the Indus Rivers.


As our annual 6th grade dinner theatre approaches, we have prepared a menu of simple Greek cuisine. Each year we ask our 4th, 5th, and 6th year families to help prepare the food in order not to overburden our 6th grade parents. Please see the attached list of items needed for the dinner. You may google “signupgenius”, click the tab for “find a sign up”, at “search”, sign in under amy.smigel@wmpcs.org., solve the advertisement puzzle, and sign up for the item(s) you would like to donate. If this is not convenient, feel free to email us or to send a note in with your child and we will update the sign up e-list with your donation. Thank you for your willingness to help!


Please note that this year we are asking the soup to be delivered in a regular pot (instead of a crock pot) and lid (please label your pot and lid). Because we will be mixing the soups (for example, all the chicken) in a large stock pot, we will provide a recipe (see attached)! If you have any questions about the menu, please feel free to email us or send a note via your student. Thank you so much!


For your convenience, we have attached a Dinner Theatre flyer with details. Also attached is a prepayment form if you wish to pay in advance. Thank you.


On Friday, November 8, our 5th years will be “going out” to Goose Creek State Park for the annual Environmental Days. Please see the attached field trip permission slip for details. Although there is no charge for this event, we do need drivers. If you are able to drive, please indicate on the permission slip that you are available to go with us and how many you can transport. The commitment is for approximately 3 hours. Thank you!


The schedule for parent conferences went home earlier this week for those who receive a paper copy as well as for those who receive correspondence via email. If you have a scheduling conflict, please contact us to schedule another time. We look forward to seeing you then.


As you can see, the days are busy. Thank you for all that you do.


Amy and Darla                                              Heads Up:       

amy.smigel@wmpcs.org                               Tues, 10-29: End of 1st quarter

darla.prescott@wmpcs.org                            Fri, 11-1:      Teacher work day-no school              

                                                                      Mon, 11-4:    noon dismissal-p/t conferences

                                                                      Tues, 11-5:    6th grade dinner theatre

                                                                      thru 11-13:    Parent/teacher conferences

                                                                      Fri, 11-8:       5th years-Goose Creek


Dear 6th Grade Families,                                                           Monday, October 21, 2013


As you know, our annual dinner theatre is scheduled for Tuesday night, November 5th at First Baptist Church at the corner of Harvey and Main Streets in Washington.  The children have been rehearsing and many of them have memorized their lines.


Several of the students have purchased a god/goddess type toga. We would like for the children to wear a white toga-like “gown” with gold or silver embellishments, like a sash, tiara, or jewelry. If you would like for us to work on your child’s costume at school, please send in 2-3 yards of white fabric, preferably something like a sateen or silky polyester. Please see the list below for shoes and props that we need. Thank you!


Over the next few weeks, we will rehearse daily. It is important for the children’s confidence to know their lines well. To offset some of the academic work they may miss for rehearsals, most of the children will be bringing home work especially reading over the next few weeks. Thank you for understanding.


This year we plan to serve Greek soups, salad, pita, and Greek desserts. We have attached a list to this packet. Please see the instructions in this week’s parent letter on how to sign up via the “sign up genius” or simply send a note in to us to let us know what you would like to bring. We will update the electronic post on your behalf. Just as you have helped the 6th graders in the past, parents of our 4th and 5th years will be helping us as well.  


On the day of the dinner theatre, the 6th years will remain at school with us. We will transport them to the church where they will help us set up, decorate, and prepare for the play. We will order pizza for the 6th years in order for them to eat before the play. Please see the attached permission slip, allowing us to transport them. Also, please note there is a $5.00 charge to cover the pizza and drinks. The performers will be serving dinner prior to the plays; they will wear a white top and dark bottoms while serving. Please see that they bring that change of clothing to school the day before the performance. Thank you!


Typically, our audience fills up quickly; we encourage our actors/actresses’ families to come early for the best seats. We begin serving at 6:00 p.m. while the plays usually begin around 7:00. See the attached flyer for prices and other details. Not only is the dinner theatre a lot of fun, it is a fund-raiser for our end of the year 6th grade trip!


Thank you for all that you do. We could not do this without you!


Amy and Darla


Needs:

Gold or white sandals—flip flops will work (we can spray paint them)

Leather laces/straps for the boys’ ties; gold ribbon for the girls’ shoe/leg ties

Artificial grapes

Fog machine


Dear Families,                                                                           Monday, October 14, 2013


This week we are continuing our study of ancient river valley civilizations built along the Nile and Yellow Rivers while introducing ancient Mesopotamia (the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers) and India (the Indus River). Also, we are writing about these ancient civilizations and continuing our lessons in the 3 Domains and 5 Kingdoms of Living Things.


Over the past few weeks, our virtue of the week has been self-discipline, a major component in making good work choices and developing effective time management skills. If we are currently making seating choices for your child, it is in an effort to help him be successful in the classroom. Overall, we are encouraging the children to self-reflect on their decision-making as they set their academic goals and interact with their peers within the classroom community.


The children continue to amaze us with their creativity! They are making timelines, building pyramids, fashioning mummies, composing poetry and stories, creating booklets, practicing plays, drawing cartoons, and illustrating posters. Not only are they exploring the extensions we offer in the classroom, but they are creating their own!

Our 6th years will be tossing their scripts this week as they memorize their lines; they are working hard in preparation of our annual dinner theatre. We will be sending home a menu shortly as well as a list of items with which we need help. Thank you!


The days are busy as we are challenging ourselves. Thank you for all that you do!


Amy and Darla

amy.smigel@wmpcs.org

darla.prescott@wmpcs.org


Heads Up:

Mon, 10-14:    Pizza Inn Night-MPTO sponsored

Wed, 10-16:   Chick-fil-A lunch; make up pictures (uniform)

Tues, 10-29:   End of 1st quarter

Fri, 11-1:        Teachers’ Work Day—no school for students

Mon, 11-4:      ½ day for students; beginning of parent/teacher conferences

  to 11-13:      Parent/teacher conferences

Tues, 11-5:     Annual 6th grade dinner theatre

Fri, 11-8:         5th grade to Goose Creek State Park Environmental Days

Mon, 11-11:    Veterans’ Day—no school



Thank You:

Antje Herron (Charlotte) for sharing books on Egypt

Judy Tant (Colby) for Red Plate Day




Monday, September 30, 2013


Dear Families,                                                                     


This week we are writing about the wooly mammoth and cave drawings of early humans, introducing Stone Age tools and megaliths, and learning about the Three Domains of living things. Of course, we will have our regular lessons in Language, Math, Fractions, Geometry, and Latin.


We will begin rehearsing our play this week for the 6th grade annual dinner theatre scheduled for Tuesday, October 27th. Over the next few weeks, the 6th years will be learning lines, making a backdrop and costumes while the remainder of the class will be our “critiquing” audience. As soon as we make final decisions about our food for the dinner theatre, we will be asking for your help! Thank you!


On Thursday, October 3rd, the BoT will meet at 7:00 p.m. in the Middle School classroom to make a final decision on offering a Montessori High School. If your family is interested in possibly sending your child(ren) to high school here at our school, please show your support by either attending the meeting or writing a quick note to Jen Hales, Austin Smigel, or the BoT. This decision will be driven by parent support. Thank you!


We invite our dads to visit our class this Friday, October 5th from 8:00-9:30 a.m. for our annual “Donuts for Dads.” Over the years, visitors for “Donuts for Dads” have included dads, grandfathers, uncles, neighbors, moms, or an adult family friend. If you are unavailable on Friday, please feel free to come at your convenience to see your child’s work.


Thank you for all that you do,


Amy and Darla

amy.smigel@wmpcs.org

darla.prescott@wmpcs.org



Heads Up:

Thursday, 10-3:    BoT meeting, 7 pm, Middle School classroom-decision on high school     

                              Expansion

Monday, 10-14:   Pizza Inn Night 5-8 p.m. (MPTO fundraiser)

Tuesday, 10-29:   6th Grade Annual Dinner Theatre

                               End of 1st quarter




Dear Families,                                                               Monday, September 23, 2013


This week we are studying Dr. Montessori’s Timeline of Early Humans I, enjoying humorous poetry from the Mesozoic and Cenozoic Eras, using a thesaurus as we identify “banned” verbs, introducing the Three Domains of Life, and reading aloud The World Beneath, the sequel to Dinotopia.


Today’s attachments include your child’s 5 minute math exercise from last week. On Mondays, we have a 5 minute math practice where the students practice math facts beginning with addition. As the children master each operation, they move on to the next operation, eventually moving to simplification of fractions, integer work, etc.


If your child did not return a signed computer contract that was sent home the first week of school, we have attached another copy for you and your child to read and sign. No student is allowed computer use until the contract has been signed by both parties. Thank you!


This week the 6th years will begin working with Greek mythology in preparation for the 6th grade annual dinner theatre. We plan to choose and adapt the play, audition for and decide on roles, and begin learning lines. Over the next few weeks, we will plan and prepare costumes, food, props, and a backdrop. We welcome suggestions and donations!


We are encouraging the children to challenge themselves academically, use their time wisely, and make appropriate choices. Please let us know if you have any concerns.


Thank you,

Amy and Darla

amy.smigel@wmpcs.org

darla.prescott@wmpcs.org


Heads Up:

Thursday, 9-27:  Deadline for hot lunch $5.00  (see attached)

Friday, 9-28:        TWD---no school for students

Thursday, 10-3:   BoT meeting: Decision on WMPCS High School

Tuesday, 10-29:  Annual Dinner Theatre




Monday, September 16, 2013


Dear Families,                                                                                     

This week we are writing about Paleozoic ammonites, sharing light-hearted poetry about prehistoric animals, and studying the Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras of Dr. Montessori’s Timeline of Life. During the morning work cycle, the children will be invited to their weekly small group lessons in language, math, fractions, and geometry. Our afternoons are filled with reading: SRAs, integrated reading skills (multiple skills), CLOZE connections, periodicals, free reading and finally, read aloud.  


The children are beginning to relax a bit as they become accustomed to the classroom routine and expectations. Still, these are early days as we continue our emphasis on careful and purposeful movement as well as grace and courtesy. In our class, the “virtue of the week” is respect this week as we remind ourselves of the classroom’s (and school’s) rule to respect all living and non-living things.


In order to maximize our brief afternoon reading cycle, please remind your child to have a water bottle available that he has access to during school hours. After recess each day, there are approximately 90 students who use our building’s water fountain. In an effort to avoid a long line and utilize our time wisely, we usually have the children fill their water bottle before recess so they are prepared for work as soon as they return from recess. Thank you!


We are excited about a new school year and all the learning opportunities ahead. Thank you for sharing your child with us!


Amy and Darla

amy.smigel@wmpcs.org

darla.prescott@wmpcs.org



Heads Up:

Mon, 9-16: 2:00 First 2013-14 UN meeting

Wed, 9-18: Chick-fil-A hot lunch

Thurs, 9-19: BoT meeting

Fri, 9-27: Teachers’ workday; no school for students


Thank You:

Parents—For signing out your children in the office; we know it’s tempting to simply come to our room!

Parents—For checking your child’s weekly progress; for signing and returning the progress report and daily journals on Tuesday!

  




Dear Families,                                                                                           Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Last week we practiced our grace and courtesy lessons as well as classroom procedures, assessed the students in math, language, reading, and geometry, introduced our writing curriculum, offered our first small group language lessons, and presented Dr. Montessori’s first Great Lesson, a Fable of Creation. The children enjoyed conducting their own experiments based on the universal “laws” evidenced in creation, reading creation fables from other cultures, and closing with The Creation Story recorded in Genesis. It was a full week!


This week we are introducing the Clock of Eras which is Dr. Montessori’s prelude to the second Great Lesson as well as actually beginning the second lesson, The Timeline of Life. We are continuing our writing, introducing our math, fractions, and geometry small group lessons with correlated extensions while working on SRAs, Latin, and dictation. During the next few weeks, we will provide the children with the scope of our Montessori curriculum which will eventually allow us to “branch off” the Great Lessons to delve in sequential areas of European/World History as well as various aspects of Science. How rich our curriculum is!


The children are doing well, learning a bit each day about class expectations, time management, and appropriate behavior. We are getting to know one another, building trust, and learning to co-exist in a small community. It takes time! Please let us know if you have concerns or questions about your child’s day or progress. You may email us, call, or call for an appointment. Thank you!


Our weekly progress reports look differently this year. Like other years, your student will bring their progress report from the prior week home on Mondays attached to a parent letter and sometimes other work or notices. However, this year, there will be no highlights signifying incomplete work or work not attempted. Rather, the report will indicate the opportunities for lessons and extensions (follow-up) your child had. Accompanying the progress report will be your child’s Daily Journal which is each student’s record of his/her personal work choices from the prior week as well as his own log on how he spent his time, how long he spent on each choice, etc.


The expectation is for your child’s Daily Journal to go home on Monday with the progress report. Then parents have the opportunity to compare the progress report with the actual choices your student made and recorded in his Daily Journal. Please sign (or initial) and date each day’s recording and return to school on Tuesday. If your child leaves his journal at home, he will consequently, be unable to log his work choices/progress for the next day. Also, each student has a Student Assessment of Weekly Goals at the end of each week’s record in order to reflect on his week and set goals for the upcoming week. In addition, we will be meeting with each of the children, guiding them when necessary, to help with goal setting.


Our hope is that this process of student accountability will allow the Montessori curriculum to be more child-directed as Dr. Montessori intended for it to be. She believed, “Montessori is an education for independence, preparing not just for school, but for life.” We are excited to see how the children challenge themselves!


With the administrative offices now in the 9-12 building, it is tempting for our visitors to “peek their head” in the 9-12 classes. Please remember that it is policy for all visitors to sign in at the front office (with Mrs. Holton) before entering any classroom. This helps us all ensure that any person on campus has been signed in and the office is aware of his/her presence. In a few weeks, visitors will have access to the new parking lot where they may park and enter the administrative front. Administration will call your child’s classroom if you are signing out your student, bringing in a forgotten lunch, etc. If you plan to visit in the classrooms, you will at that time be given a visitor’s pass. Thank you for following procedures to help keep our children safe!


Thank you for your patience with our lengthy, first letter. Most of all, thank you for sharing your precious children.


Amy and Darla


amy.smigel@wmpcs.org

darla.prescott@wmpcs.org





Heads Up:


2013-14 Kidsfest country: Greece

6th grade dinner theatre tentative date: Tuesday, October 29—Greek mythology



Thank You:

For submitting summer reading and critiques

For sending in school supplies

Emily’s family (Sarah and the Wards) for tending to Sunny, our leopard gecko, this summer

Cameryn’s family (Jen Hales) for our garden bird bath and wind chimes

Ragan’s mom (Margaret Heifferon) for agreeing to be our room parent…again!

Colby’s mom (Judy Tant) for volunteering for Red Plate throughout the year…again!