Season’s Greetings to You and Your Family, and Best Wishes for the New Year!
I wish the entire Walnut Acres community a peaceful, restful, and joyous holiday season. May you enjoy spending time with your loved ones, and along the way, be able to do something special for yourself. Most importantly, remember to take care of yourself as the holidays can be a stressful time. Take a break and read with your children, cook with them, take a walk, or play board games and card games. These precious moments build memories and fun for all.
Thank you families and friends for your generosity and enthusiasm for reading. We raised about $34,000 and this money goes toward funding school programs and hiring personnel. Congratulations to Ms. Beuchotte’s first grade class and Ms. Buckingham’s fourth grade class for raising the most money, and, consequently, earning an ice cream party. A special thank you goes out to M’Lissa Fleming and Carolyn Bargagliotti for leading this successful fundraiser and making it fun with a western theme. Teachers and students displayed great school spirit by dressing in western gear on the last day of the Read-A-Thon. Yippee-Ay-Oh!
How appropriate that our character trait of focus for December is “Caring.” Two student activities that demonstrated caring for others are the Toy and Clothing Drive and the donation of our Lost and Found clothes. The Girl Scouts created the posters for our annual Toy and Clothing Drive that were displayed around the school. All donated goods and toys went to the families and students of Shore Acres Elementary School in Bay Point. Stephanie Balistreri, mom of Ella, spent many hours sorting and driving these donations to personally deliver them to Shore Acres. Thank you to all who donated. Thank you all for your care!
The Student Council sorted and donated the school’s Lost and Found clothing to the fire victims. We appreciate the Student Council’s effort, care, and leadership in taking care of others, and also for cleaning up our Lost and Found bin. Thanks to Faye Mettler, who is also one of our science teachers, for working with the Student Council.
Spotlights on Our Learning
One of the most exciting parts of my job is being in the classrooms to experience firsthand when teaching and learning are happening. I love talking to students about what they are learning and doing. These moments are important because they remind me why I’m doing the work I do. I would like to share some instruction and learning highlights that have been happening at Walnut Acres these past couple of weeks:
TK-K- One important component to reading is learning about letter names, sounds and putting them together to make a word. That is what our TK and K students are learning. Teachers call this segmenting and blending sounds. Some students do this out loud because they need to hear it, while others can do this silently.
1stgrade- The first graders are doing a great job using the base 10, subitizing numbers, and explaining their mathematical thinking. It is wonderful to hear students discuss about what they are doing and how they are solving the math with each other.
2ndgrade – Teachers coordinated a day of fun and learning about various holidays when students from all 4 second grade classrooms were assigned to be with students from other classrooms. They rotated through all four classrooms playing games, reading, engaging in arts and crafts activities.
3rdgrade- Can you drop and egg and not break it? Ask the third graders and they will show you how. Students designed and built an apparatus that could prevent an egg from breaking when dropped from a height of over six feet. You should have heard all the excitement during the egg drops.
4thgrade- Students sang beautifully at last Thursday’s grade level performance of “December in Our Town.” It was wonderful to see families, grandparents, and everyone there. Our MUR was full. Thank you to the fourth grade teachers and Judy Ryken. Good job everyone!
5thgrade- I wish I had teachers who could scaffold instruction and show me how to do things as well as the teachers we have. As a part of the writer’s workshop, students learned to do research about their topic, take notes, sort their ideas into categories, write a flash draft, and that is just half way through the writing process. Students are working on writing an opinion paper. In pre-algebra, students could concretely see how one side of the equation equals to the other side by using manipulatives. Maneuvering the manipulatives around and balancing the equation helped students solve for the unknown variable.
Hour of Code- Students, TK- 5 grades, were motivated and engaged in exploring ways to create and design with coding. I’m impressed by their ability to design a scenery with graphics that could move, change background, blink, and make sounds. The best part is they did not need my help. I was actually learning from them.
Science Fair Kick-Off Assembly: Wow, what an amazing presentation by Michael Meneghetti, a retired science teacher and the husband of our science teacher, Julia Meneghetti. The performance was like a magic show, only we know there is no magic. It is purely science?
Early Dismissal for Dec. 16- 20
Please note for Friday, 12/20, TK and K dismissal time is 11:17AM, while 1st,2nd, and 3rdgraders are dismissed at 12:59, and 4thand 5thgraders are dismissed at 1:10.
12/16- 20 Early Dismissal (See schedule above)
12/18 Sing Out, “Caring,” Wednesday, 8:00- 8:30 (3-5 grades), 8:30- 9:00 (TK- 2 grades)
12/19 TK-Kindergarten Sing-Along, 10:00, MUR
12/23- 1/06 Winter Vacation
1/07 Return to School on a Tuesday
1/09 School Site Council, 3:00- 4:00, Library