Maple Glen Elementary

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Week of November 22

Hi lovely parents!

I hope all is well your way and you enjoyed the snow showers yesterday. I actually dodged the snow. The boys and I went to Ohio to visit family after Ethan's basketball photos on Saturday. We had my family Thanksgiving gathering at my parents house. Everyone in my family are Buckeyes and live in Ohio... Ohio State lost and we had some very sad relatives that evening. It was such a great time seeing everyone and visiting.

I have to apologize again for being out so much last week. Kipton's tummy bug really took him down for the count. Thank goodness nobody else in the house has gotten it! I hope everyone in your household are doing well and staying healthy.

On top of being out for Kipton's illness, I was out for math training Wednesday. Our class is piloting the Accelerated Math program for 2nd grade and I told the kiddos to help me out by sharing their pros and cons about it so I can report that back to Dr. Montalone. I think there is a lot of great aspects about it. I am happy to say that we got started right away on Friday and took our first stab at it as a class. I will be sharing reports with you soon. The reports will look similar to the report you received with your child's progress report that said "Accelerated Reader" at the top. It's the same company but instead of Accelerated Reader it is Accelerated Math. =) This program provides instant remediation and acceleration based on how the children perform. It's great!

I know I have mention this before but another wonderful math program is Moby Max. If you visit the website at your child will be able to do the rest. We are going into week 3 of dabbling into the program so the only area we have explored is the math segment. If your child would like to go on and explore, have at it! I asked them to try and log on at least once or even twice a week for about 10 minutes. I feel like once that routine is established, it becomes second nature and the kids really look forward to moving past their assignments that were populated for certain skills.

We are also diving more and more into practicing our written application. Last week and this week we worked on writing a beginning, middle, and an end in a narrative piece of writing. We related a hamburger as being the same as a story; it has a beginning, a middle, and an end. The top bun is the introduction, the middle section is where we find the meat and the fixings which represents the details, the bottom bun represents the conclusion of the story. We need all three parts in order to have a complete hamburger/story. I encourage you to have your child write stories at home. They LOVE the draft books (composition books) and writing stories in them. Have your child write and then when they are done "conference" with him/her and give them pointers about their story being sure to point out good usage of punctuation, spelling, and grammar. Be careful not to be too critical... we want your child to feel empowered of doing things on his/her own but also guided so they learn the corrections. =) Another thing that is so powerful that you can do is write in front of your child. Writing a story with your child (say after a vacation or trip out of town) is not only an excellent bonding experience but also models correct grammar and the thought process of conducting a story.

A few reminders as we entire this short week...

-We will not have PALS (reading groups) this week.
-There is no spelling.
-Attached is an informational piece that explains Trimester 2 Reading Stars. I will also supply a copy for your child's binder.
-Homework packets were sent home on T
-Flat Stanley addresses are due by Tuesday morning at the latest. I would like to give you time to send them or give them away over Thanksgiving Break. We encouraged the kiddos to find 1 reach (a celebrity, famous football player, author, ect. that he/she would like to send it to. We talked about these may not make it back and they are okay with that) as well as 1 relative or friend.

* A HUGE thank you to the parents who volunteered their time to cut out the Flat Stanley's. That was very much appreciated. The kids cannot wait to send their flat buddies off!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with you and your family. I have a lot to be thankful for. This class is a huge blessing and I am extremely thankful for your child. Your kiddo brings me so much joy each and every day! Thank YOU for sharing him/her with me!

Week of September 27

Good after noon parents!

I hope that everyone has had an enjoyable weekend and that the kids were able to share some facts from Friday's fun-filled event. Friday was another incredible experience for our students and I'm so glad it was such a gorgeous day for all involved. During the morning children participated in exorcising activities as well as attended informational booths about healthy eating habits.

The entire school met outside early in the afternoon for a special presentation from Dr. Montalone, a quick warm-up, and an all school walk around our outdoor science area/pond. A good number of our friends were able to dunk Mr. Pribbeno in the dunk tank. Thank you to everyone who was able to donate to help us build our outdoor lab/science classroom. This is a huge endeavor that wouldn't be possible without all of you!!! There will be a ground-breaking ceremony in the fall... stay tuned for more information!!

For our afternoon session, we returned outside for another set of rotations. The children worked with a crew from Lowes to learn about soil compost and visited the Whole Foods tent to learn about fresh fruits and veggies. Whole Foods was kind enough to donate a large array of dried fruits and veggies for the children to taste test. If your child has any food allergies or suspicions of them, Mrs. Langenkamp limited them to apples and water only for safety reasons. The children walked another lap with the class and then stopped to talk with someone from Practical Properties. They spoke to us about the life cycle of an apple which spoke directly to our apple orchard that they donated to our school. They were able to taste test fresh apples that were donated from Stuckey Farms.

In addition to all the fun we are really taking off with our learning stations which allows for differentiated instruction. The kids get so excited about getting challenged and learning as much as they can... I'm LOVING it!

Just a friendly reminder that there is no school for students tomorrow for teacher professional development. When they return on Tuesday I will be sending home conference confirmations. Please look for those in your child's book bag and let me know if the times/day does not work for you. I will also upload the conference schedule on our classroom blog.
The blog is located on our school website and can be found under staff directory and by clicking on my name. You can always click subscribe that is located on the right-hand side of the page. There is an automatic email that it sent to you that lets you know whenever something is updated. Be sure to check it out if you haven't already! There are some great websites located on the "links" page that I have uploaded and will continue to upload. As I learn great sites, I will be sure to upload them on the page for you! And I finally was able to find a way to upload photos. Those will be uploaded tonight hopefully so be sure to check it out!

It is hard to believe that the end of the trimester is already here! Tuesday you will be receiving your child's midterm. There will be two copies; one for you to keep and one for you to sign and return. Please never hesitate to email me or call if you have any questions! I want this to be the best 2nd grade year you and your child can possibly have.

Take care,

Week of September 21

Good morning! I hope you have been enjoying this beautiful weekend with you and your family. Soccer was a bit chilly yesterday morning but ended up warming up to a gorgeous day! As we enter another wonderful week of learning I wanted to highlight some upcoming events for you.

This coming week is spirit week and will conclude with our Walkathon- Healthy Living Day/Garden Bash.

Monday - Westfield day...everyone help kick off our Homecoming week
Tuesday - Support your favorite or other
Wednesday -School Picture Day...look nice and smile pretty for the camera :)
Thursday - Maple Glen day...wear your Maple Glen shirt or colors...then hope to see you in it at the parade to show your Maple Glen support!
Friday - Walk-a-thon ....everyone will be wearing your Walk-a-thon shirts

I will be out of the classroom Friday with helping to get the outdoor walkathon event underway therefore we will be having a guest teacher. We would love to have you join us for the morning and/or after noon events if you are available. An outline of the day is detailed below;

Healthy Living Day Rotations: 9:30 in the multi-purpose room and will conclude by 10:45.
Whole School: 1:10-1:30 outside
Garden Bash Rotations: 1:30-2:10

The week of October 9th is conference week. I will be sending home the attached letter which outlines the available dates and times. I hope you find that the additional offered times allows for more convenience for you. If you would like to go ahead and lock in a date/time, please do so online using the sign up genius link below. If you would rather sign up using the paper format, that is fine too. I am asking that you sign up between now and this coming Friday, September 25th. I will then send confirmations out next week. I am really looking forward to seeing you again soon and chatting about the works of your child.

Next week's specials schedule:

Monday- Music
Tuesday- P.E.
Wednesday- Media
Thursday- Art
Friday- Walkathon

** P.E. will be on the following Tuesday, September 29th (no school on Monday, September 28th due to the Professional Development for teachers)

PALS (reading groups) will begin this week and the kids and I are extremely excited to get started. During this time the children will be split into 3 groups, one group will be going to Mrs. Koroneos, one group will be going with Mrs. Sample, and one group will be coming with me. Every 3 weeks we will rotate teachers and in between those times we remain in constant communication about skills and needs of each child.

I hope you have been able to enjoy the blog and noticed the "subscribe" option. I am still trying to figure how to upload the photos to the site. I get a little overzealous with taking photos of the kids working and can't wait to share them. As soon as I figure that out, I will be uploading lots and lots of photos!

Have an awesome rest of your weekend! Let me know if you ever need anything.


Wednesday, September 16

Hi lovely parents!

This week has really flown by, I can't believe tomorrow is Thursday already. As we traveled down this week, we have continued having our Mystery Readers join us and had a few guests visit our classroom. The kids were so excited to see Mrs. Sloan, Mrs. Cason, and Mayor Cook come join us. Thank you for coming and spending time with us!

We also began our word works stations and math workshop. During these times of the day the children are broken up into small groups where they perform stations/tasks during the alloted time frame. This allows for me to meet with a small group of children daily and gives me the chance to hone in on specifically what the group needs. With that, we have been practicing what workshop "looks like" and "sounds like" to set the expectations. Over all, the class is doing really well. We still have unnecessary chatting that could be eliminated but I am confident that with more practice, we will get it under control. Any extra chats at home about being responsible with their assigned station and how important it is to their learning and those of others would be greatly appreciated.

The walkathon is next Friday, September 25th. Pledges are due on Monday. Thank you for continuing to bring those in. If your child raises 50 dollars or more, he/she gets to try and dunk Mr. P in the dunk tank. If your child raises 150 dollars or more, he/she gets to dunk Dr. Montalone.

Next week we have some fun things planned as we gear up for our Walkathon: Healthy Living Day/Garden Bash. Let the fun begin....

Monday - Westfield day...everyone help kick off our Homecoming week
Tuesday - Support your favorite or other
Wednesday -School Picture Day...look nice and smile pretty for the camera :)
Thursday - Maple Glen day...wear your Maple Glen shirt or colors...then hope to see you in it at the parade to show your Maple Glen support!
Friday - Walk-a-thon ....everyone will be wearing your Walk-a-thon shirts

A HUGE thank you to Mrs. Cason, Mrs. Miller, Mrs. Provines, Mrs. Sloan and Mrs. Willis for braving the rain with us on last Friday's field trip. Despite the weather, we still had a great time!

In closing fall conferences are right around the corner. We will be looking into scheduling those sometime soon so be looking for paperwork coming home within the next week.

Take care and have a wonderful evening,

Week of August 31

Hi lovely parents! I hope you had a wonderful week and it was fulfilling. This was another super week with the kiddos. One of the highlights from this week was beginning to work on practicing our stations for Word Works as well as Math Workshop. It's imperative that the children understand the expectations before we truly begin working in small groups. Asking them what these stations "look like and sound like" is a great conversation to have with them. The kids did a really nice job with the introduction this week.

A few things you will notice coming home on Tuesday your child's First Reaching for the Stars quiz. These test questions test the students on the "end in mind" skills that are essential for 3rd grade. We find that giving the children these expectations ahead of time gives them direction on what foundational skills are important for future success. I told the children that even if they missed all the questions for their first test, that it is okay (I have to share that they looked at me like I was growing something odd out of the side of my face; hehehe). I explained that by the end of the year, we are striving towards mastery on all the questions and growth is what we are looking for so we will celebrate the successes along the way. We also graph as a class and try to work toward 85% accuracy for each standard. There will be a parent letter along with the quiz on Tuesday that will help clarify any questions you may have.

We also began taking our math timed test which is called "Pig Math". The sheets were sent home today. There will be a P placed in the corner of the test which signifies that he/she passed that level of the test. The kiddos are given 30 seconds to complete the questions and again, I explained to celebrate the successes of getting so many correct..not necessarily passing each time.

Being the kiddo's teacher is so fulfilling. The class has already developed their own personality. I thought you would enjoy hearing some of the questions and comments I have heard this week. What an awesome job I have!

How tall are you Mrs. Melling? Are you 7 ft. tall?
Do you die your hair?
Did you fix your hair today? It looks like you didn't fix it.
Mrs. Melling,how old are you?

hehhee... I can tell these children are detail oriented. =)

Here is our specials schedule for next week:
Tuesday: Art
Wednesday: Music
Thursday: P.E.
Friday: Media

Upcoming Events:

Field Trip: Voices from the Past- Friday, September 11th
Septemeber Poetry Cafe- Friday, Sept. 18th @ 2:00
Walkathon pledges due Sept. 21, the kiddos said they wanted to try and raise $20 a piece to work towards our class goal. The pink forms were sent home last week if you would like to partake.
Walkathon: Friday, Sept. 25th

You can subscribe to our class blog by clicking on the "+subscribe" box on the right-hand side of the blog. Once you subscribe you will get an automatic email anytime I update the blog. =) I have so many pictures I need to upload and hope to do that over the long weekend.

If you would like to skip the signupgenius part to volunteer, please just let me know. I am always looking for consistent parent/grandparent helpers. We also have 2 more spots left for next week's field trip to Voices from the Past. Thank you so much for your time!

Week of August 24

Hi parents! I am going to try something different this year and send regular updates to the group email as opposed to sending out an official newsletter. Last year I found that many parents use their phones to access email and the pdf attachments were not the easiest to read. I want communication to be easy and efficient so I hope this format works well for you. Our classroom website is currently under construction and will be getting that up in running soon which will be a place where you can find class happenings, photos, and classroom websites. I will share that with you as soon as it gets running.

This week we went through all of the guiding principles through reading "The Best Me I Can Be" series and began working in teams today on developing our classroom posters. The class will decide next week which ones we can add up to the wall for the year as a visual reminder of the principles we stand by. Our guiding principles are; respect, responsibility, hard-working, honesty, and compassion.

Our first week of spelling and focusing on short a and i words was a real hit. We chanted the words, spelled the words with playdough, and also worked on a word sort activity where we found like categories with pictures and grouped them according to similar middle vowel sounds. We also began chatting about reading stamina and what that looks like and sounds like. Reading stamina is a block of time set aside for silent sustained reading. We work towards building up our independent reading time so we can benefit the fruits of our abilities. Be sure to ask your child what our classroom reading stamina goal is and how many minutes we reached today. I was quite impressed!

I had a lot of fun with the kids talking about science and what being a scientist looks like. We said that anyone who "does science" is a scientist. I loved hearing what the kids said a scientists looks like (think Einstein..crazy hair and making things blow up). We paid a visit to our outdoor science lab and explored with our senses (except for the sens of taste). We even got the chance to harvest veggies for the local food pantry!

Our week was really great and I am excited about hitting the ground and running with many more fun learning opportunities. Our class gets so excited about things that at times, we want to chat a little more than necessary. Having the conversation with your kiddo about being a great active lister is always appreciated.

As a conclusions I want to thank you so much for assuring your child is ready for school each and every day. I could tell their poor little minds and bodies were exhausted by this after noon with having to go through 3 days of NWEA testing. I have say, they did such a fantastic job with it. I am very proud of them. I felt that each and every kiddo gave it their best.

Next week specials:
Monday- Media
Tuesday- Art
Wednesday- Music
Thursday- P.E.
Friday- Media

Coming up soon...
Sept. 25th Walkathon
Mystery Readers... if you signed up look for an email coming your way with confirming dates and times. We will begin the week of Labor Day. =)