Author: donleblanc2014

Opened in 1963, serving as a neighborhood elementary school for over 53 years. Named in honor of the Van Allen Family, former residents of Mt. Pleasant, including world renowned physicists James. A Van Allen.

Don’t Try This at Home!

Today, Van Allen parent, Jeremy Yocum,shared his feats of strength and power as he crushed layers of bricks. As we shared the story that Mr. Yocum has practiced for over twenty years to develop these skills, our students need to practice reading and math to become skilled in these area as Mr. Yocum is skilled with strength and power skills from years of practice.

Water and Climate

Third graders are eagerly learning about their new FOSS science kit, “Water and Climate” during the month of January. Students are exploring how water acts on different surfaces such as foil, wax paper, paper towels and writing paper. Ask your third grader to share with you our big ideas about water this month!Lottie

Principal’s Note

Good Morning Van Allen

As many of you already aware, we have a two-hour delay today. If you do not receive a text message informing you about this delay, please contact the Office, so we can explore how you can be set-up with a text message when school is delayed or cancelled.

This is a short week for students, as we have class Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Thursday is the report card preparation day, as we are at the end of the first semester.  Friday is a Professional Development day as the District arranged for Sarah Brown Wessling, an  Iowa Teacher of the Year, to address our faculty about the means and ways to improve and enhance classroom instruction

And yes, during winter students to have outdoor recess but only if the temperature is IMG_0904above 10° and this includes the wind-chill into the calculation.  Kindly take this into consideration as your send your children to school because there is always the possibility, not for today, but for other days, for students to be outside during recess.

Yes,we will offer a second semester of after school activities for students in Grades 2 to 5, and the upcoming program is in the planning stages with the Iowa State Extension office and IWU student. We anticipate the program will re- start in mid to late February.

And do not look for your student report cards in their Take-Home folders, as report cards will be mailed home to all District students. For Van Allen, we plan on having the report cards at the Post Office no later than Monday, January 22.

Stay warm,

Donald P. LeBlanc

Counselor’s Corner

Screen Shot 2018-01-12 at 6.12.34 AM          SELF REGULATION is the building block for healthy self-confidence!

Guidance Classes read and discussed the book; How To Be Comfortable In Your Own Feathers written by Julia Cook.  This book does an excellent job of explaining the many emotions one can feel when he/she is in the green zone.  We looked at how our body reacts when we are in the GREEN ZONE as well as our triggers.  Students then came up with their own strategies for staying in the GREEN ZONE.  Many students listed getting a drink, taking a break or walk, spending time with loved ones or friends, engaging in an activity that is enjoyable, and reading a good book were just a few strategies mentioned to help students stay in the GREEN.

Screen Shot 2018-01-12 at 6.12.44 AM

Here are some excellent sites to help you develop self-regulation with your own child.

If you would like to purchase the Zones of Regulation for your computer, I pad, or phone, the game may be purchased for $10.00 at this site.  This online game has been awarded the Prestigious Mom’s Choice Award.

Sara Le Blanc

Elementary School Counselor


Breaking the Reading Code!

Two More Syllables

Earlier this year I shared about Closed and Vowel-Consonant-E syllables.  I will now highlight Open and Vowel Team syllables.
Open syllables also only have one vowel in them however, there is no consonant IMG_0735following.  These vowels are almost always read with the long vowel sound.  The hand gesture is holding her hand open showing your whole palm. Also, think about the candy JuJuBes.  “Ju” is an open syllable because there is one vowel not followed by anything and it is read with the long u sound.  Other examples are she, no, and robot (ro-bot).
Vowel Team syllables have two or more letters working together to make a vowel sound.  These vowels can be short, long, or a whole other vowel sound.  The hand gesture for this is holding your pointer and middle finger up side by side as if they are a team.  I think about Reese’s Pieces.  The two e’s in Reese’s work together to say the long e sound and the ie in Pieces work together to say the long e sound.  Other examples include book, light, read, & eighteen.
Amanda Reynolds

Fun Friday Kahoot!

One of the fun things the first grade and kindergarten students do with Mrs.Smith on Fridays to review sight words, letters, and numbers is play Kahoot!.

Kahoot! is an interactive quiz played on individual devices with questions appearing on Screen Shot 2018-01-10 at 4.15.59 PMboard and students answering on personal devices. Many of the quizzes are multiple choice with two to four choices available for each questions. The questions can be time to encourage fast thinking to answer the questions. Quizzes can also be assigned as homework or created as surveys!

Students can use laptops, ipads, or in older grades possibly even cellphones to answer the quizzes. There are unlimited possible quizzes available to create or use already created ones from a shared community.

This has been a fun interactive way for the students to review materials!

Mrs. Smith