This week the younger students learned how Soda Pop Head (by Julia Cook) and Glassman have a hard time controlling their tempers and as a result other kids really do not want to play with them because they cannot predict their behavior. Students practiced relaxation strategies like; Tighten and Release, Slow Deep Breaths, and the Push, Pull, Dangle to help them deal with their excess energy when angry or frustrated. Ask your child to show you these strategies at home. Continue to model effective strategies when you, yourself are frustrated.
Sara Le Blanc, Elementary School Counselor, MPCSD
Last week at preschool, we were visited by several firefighters from the Mount Pleasant Fire Department. Here are some of the fire safety facts that we learned during their visit:
- If your clothes ever catch on fire, remember to Stop, Drop, and Roll!
- It is important to try to find two ways out of every room in your home.
- If you cannot get out of your bedroom, DON’T HIDE! Close your bedroom door and stay right beside the window. The firefighters will be able to get to you faster that way.
- It is important to decide on a safe meeting place outside of the home where you can find your family members in the event of a fire. And when you get out of your house—stay out! Don’t go back in!
- If you have an emergency, please call 911.
- Fire fighters are our friends—they are a great help to our community.
We were also able to see a big fire engine and a firefighter showed us all of the safety gear they wear when they are putting out a fire.
We celebrated the end of fire safety week by creating our own fire truck snacks! We used graham crackers, frosting, pretzel sticks, cookies, cereal, and one piece of candy to create these tasty treats!
What a great fire safety week!
Terry Mertens, Tonya Campbell, Sara Kremer, Robyn Willham
As we begin our 9th week of the 2016-2017 school year 5th grade finds themselves busy as usual. We just finished our first novel study, The Sign of the Beaver. One of the really neat
things we do in 5th grade is teach the CORE using literature books, hitting the major genres. This particular books falls under the genre realistic fiction. One fun and exciting way we celebrate the success of completing a novel is to watch the movie if possible. This allows the students to compare and contrast and come to the conclusion that the book is almost ALWAYS better than the movie. Our hope is to develop a love of literacy.
Before we begin our second novel we are taking a quick break to cover the writing standards that fall under narrative writing. This will be a quick unit where we will use our Mac books to practice word processing, while guiding students through the writing process. One of the traits we will strongly focus on is word choice. This writing trait calls for students to expand their vocabulary and get away from those boring overused every day words. The students will tell a personal story that they would like to share with their peers.
After we are done with narrative writing the next genre we will move onto is science fiction. During this genre study we have four different novels going at the same time, all students will be covering the same standards. One reason for multiple novels is so we can make sure each and every child is being challenged, but also still reading at a level at which they can understand, make connections, and increase fluency. The reading standard is:Range of Reading and Level of Text ComplexityRL.5.10
By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, at the high end of the grades 4–5 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
It is always exciting when you get to that point in the book when the students don’t want to stop reading and ask, “Can we take the book home and finish it?” Then as we near the end and are finishing up one novel and they are asking what are we reading next, you hope you have in some way lit that fire and literature appreciation is developing.
This week, 4th grade students at Van Allen were introduced to a very important math skill: MULTIPLICATION! Understanding the meaning of multiplication and strategies for figuring multiplication is incredibly important to 4th grade students. In 4th grade we learn to multiply very large numbers, as well as very small numbers (fractions!) We also learn about using multiplication in our everyday life!
To enforce this skill, we teach the students 4 methods for figuring their basic facts: create an array, skip counting, creating equal groups, and repeated addition! Today, students were given the opportunity to practice these strategies with hands on manipulatives. (and a fun snack, CHEERIOS!)
This week the “Older Students” had guidance class as they met Glassman. Glassman makes individuals have huge upset reactions over small problems. Superflex helped students identify if the problem was a small, medium, or a large problem. Superflex helped students with their “Self-Talk” when they get angry. For example, students practiced; “I am starting to get mad. I need to move away and take a break or tighten all of the muscles in my body and then relax them.” Students also practiced taking slow deep breaths as they learned that if they control their breathing they will be much more successful in controlling their anger. Students also shared strategies they use to help control their anger, such as playing sports, dancing, going to their room, listening to music, drawing, and writing to name a few. Students then worked with a partner or in small group to create their own Superflex Saga with their own Unthinkables. Please model appropriate strategies to handle anger for your child, as you are your child’s primary teacher. Also help your child to process their anger at home by remaining calm and providing an area for them to calm down. Once your child is calm then brainstorm solutions to the problem together. Here is an excellent article to help parents teach their child how to handle his/her anger in a productive manner. http://www.effectiveparenting.org/tips1.asp
Sara Le Blanc, Elementary School Counselor, MPCSD
2016 Summer School Reading Program
The students met at Iowa Wesleyan University and were instructed by MPCSD teachers. Each day students participated in lessons that provided them with explicit, direct phonics instruction, comprehension strategies and writing in responses to literature.