Harmony Elementary April 2012 Monthly Parent Newsletter
“Children First at Harmony” HARMONY HIGHLIGHTS Vol. 4 - Issue 7 April For Wildcat Families 2011-2012 From the Principal, Anne Marie Keskonis Dear Harmony Parents, In the next few months we begin planning for the next school year. Each year we offer our families the opportunity to 3946 South Bogan Road, Buford, GA 30519 provide input on class placements for the following year. Many factors are taken into consideration when determining class lists.Harmony Elementary School The teachers and the administrative team work together in an ef- fort to plan for the groupings of children for the next school year. We look to balance the number of boys and girls in each class Front Office while considering ability levels and compatibility, learning styles and teacher expertise. Research shows convincingly that parent involvement has a critical effect on children’s learning, attitudes about school and aspirations. Parents have a deep understanding of their child’s 770.945.7272 strengths and types of opportunities they feel are appropriate for their child’s education. Harmony takes great pride in making ap- propriate connections for students and teachers. Please provide information about your child’s learning needs that might be helpful as we prepare class lists for the fall. Turn it in to your child’s teacher or the front office no later than April 30, 2012. As always, we request that you do not list specific teachers. Please include your child’s name and current grade lev- el. Our intent is to provide the best learning environment for every student and your input is appreciated. Together we will make an unbeatable team and we look forward to a great 2012- 2013 school year! Sincerely, Anne Marie Keskonis
From the Assistant Principal - Emily Keag Dear Parents of Rising Kindergarten Students, Many of you have a child currently enrolled at Harmony, and you are getting ready to enroll their sibling at our school. This is an exciting time for us all. In preparation of your childs first day of school on August 6, 2012, please attend our Kindergarten Registration. Below you will find specific directions for this process. Your involve- ment now and throughout your childs academic career is essential. Please sign up for the Parent Portal so you are informed about our school, class happenings, and your child. We look forward to seeing you on May 3rd from 12:00-5:00 PM at our Kin- dergarten Registration. My best, Emily Keag Harmony Elementary Kindergarten Online Registration Starts April 9th We are offering our Kindergarten parents early registration prior to May 3rd How To Complete ... 1. Go to the Harmony Website at www.harmonywildcats.org. Click on Kindergarten Registration. 2. Follow the directions listed to complete the form. Once you have completed the form, you will click submit. 3. When you arrive on May 3rd, all you will need to do is bring us the required docu- ments to complete your child’s registration. We do ask that you also bring your child for a quick kindergarten screening. 4. You will also get more information on May 3rd regarding Kindergarten Round-Up and our summer Wildcat Week. We Look Forward to Seeing You and Your Rising K Student On May 3rd from 12:00 - 5:00 pm. April 2012Apr 2 - 6 SPRING BREAK Apr 20 CRCT Prep Ralley (2:00)Apr 9 Special Olympics/Redner (9:30) CRCT Testing 3rd, 4th, 5thApr 10 Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast (8:50) Monday, Apr 23 - Friday, Apr 27 Bus Safety Puppetry Program (K - 1st) District Area Board Mtg. (7:00 pm) Apr 26 Papa John’s Spirit Night @ Collins Hill H.S. 5th gr. Gifted Parent Orientation (7:00)Apr 12 High Touch High Tech (1st) @Jones M.S. (Rising 6th grade FOCUS) Dairy Queen Spirit Night (4-9) Apr 30 CRCT Make-UpsApr 13 Sybil Deacon Visit (K,1st,2nd) TEACHER APPRECIATION WEEKApr 16 Earning For Learning Contest Begins Apr 30 - May 4Apr 17 5th gr. Parent Orientation (7:00pm) May Dates To Post: @Jones M.S. (for rising 6th graders) Kindergarten Registration - May 3rd 12:00 - 5:00 Skate Country Spirit Night (6:30) Field Days [7th– K/1st] [8th– 2nd/3rd] [9th-4th/5th]Apr 19 Tanner’s Grille Spirit Night (4-10) Kindergarten Round-Up - May 10th 9:30 - 11:30 Last Day of School - Wednesday, May 23rd
A great way to prepare for the CRCT Testing that begins April 23rd! CRCT On-line Practice TestingWeb site is https://georgiaoas.org/servlet/a2l . Your child’s teachersent home the log-in IDs in Friday folders before Christmas 2011 and Jan20, 2012. Everyone’s password is learnit.There are 2 types of tests available. All tests are created from the samedatabase of test items. Student Tests are tests created by the state. There are tests for each subject area. Each test is about 25 questions. Teacher-Assigned Tests are tests created by the county, school, or teacher and as- signed to students. There are multiple 10 question tests for each domain/strand of each subject area for each grade level. HARMONY MATH NEWS Helping Your Child PREPARE for the Math CRCT As a school, we have followed the Gwinnett County AKS which means we have been preparing our students all year for the CRCT test next month. As we get closer to testing, the students begin to get a little nervous. Now is a good time to get involved and run “interventions” on those nerves. Try asking your students questions about their homework, get them to explain their an- swers, and point out their good thinking. A little praise will go a long way. Get them involved in the everyday math you are using at home, such as cooking with a recipe. Doing this helps them apply their school math in the real world. Knowing you are involved will relax some of those pretest nerves.
Book FairThank you to our Harmony parents for helping make the Book Fair a success! Ourstudents and parents always show us their love of reading by buying books at theBook Fair. Thank you also to all our great volunteers. You know we could nothave done it without you!Media FestivalWe had groups of students who created five live action videos andtwo sequential stills for Media Festival. We are proud of all the stu-dents who participated in these creative projects. Marie Kennedy & Dolores CravenFrom Harmony’s Literacy Team Word Study - Better Reader and Speller As a parent, you remember spelling lists which you memorized for a test and then easily forgot. The true goals of Word Study are to understand how words (whole and parts) work together orally and written, integrate reading words and writing words, and generalize from what is known about words to solve unknown words. Today Word Study is about learning skills to be able to use and understand words, not just memorize words. We will answer a FAQ in each Harmony Newsletter to help parents become more familiar and comfortable with Word Study. Check out last month’s for the answer to: How are phonics and spelling related? As a parent, what differences can I expect from the usual spelling assignments and tests? How will I know that my child is becoming a better reader and speller? Ask yourself these questions: Is my child applying knowledge of patterns and roots as he or she encounters unknown words while reading? Is my child recognizing patterns in words outside the school day (at home, at the grocery store, at the mall)? Is my child spelling new words correctly in his or her writing? And, is my child using these words and knowledge of what they mean in conversations? As a parent, what can I do to help my child learn how to read and spell new words? Make a note of the patterns your child is studying (or has studied re- cently). At home and away, listen for words in conversation or watch for them in things you read and share those examples of now familiar word patterns with your child. Read to and with your child. Include your child in all the things you do with a reading or writing component, such as leaving messages for family members, writing emails, and making lists of errands to run or things to buy when you shop. This will help your child understand that reading and writing is part of everything we do in our lives. The more your child practices reading and writing with you, the more he or she will realize the im- portance of literacy.
Family Meetings Counselor’s Corner Build Family Connections and Improve BehaviorOccasionally, I run class meetings in order to allow students to express their thoughts about friend-ship problems, to give compliments or to solve a class problem. Like class meetings, family meetings area good way to start giving kids more of a voice in household operations. You can use it to discuss notonly discipline, but also issues like laundry, allowances, bedtimes, renting movies, vacations, food,fights, etc. A good time to start is when the kids are in elementary school. Dont try this when thechildren are three or four years old, because it will probably just aggravate you and confuse them.KIDS WILL COOPERATE BETTERAs kids get older— and hopefully more rational—it is more appropriate that they have a bigger voice inthe issues that affect them. Kids also will cooperate better when they have a say in whats going on.HOW TO RUN A FAMILY MEETINGThe format of the meeting is very simple. Mom or Dad (not both at the same time) is the chairpersonand has responsibility for keeping order and staying on task. Older children can take a shot at runningthe meeting themselves from time to time. The chairperson sees to it that the agenda is followed andthat each person gets a chance to speak without being interrupted.EVERYONE CAN BRING A PROBLEM THEY WANT TO RESOLVEEach person in the family can bring to the meeting a problem that he or shewants resolved. Then the chairperson guides the group through the follow-ing steps:1. One person describes the problem to be discussed. 2. Every other per-son gives their thoughts and feelings about that problem. 3. Next, thefloor is opened for proposals for solutions; anyone can speak, but one at atime. To help with this you could use a talking stick and allow only the personwith the stick to speak. 4. A solution is agreed upon to be tried out. It maycombine different aspects of the suggestions from different people. If there are disagreements, Momand Dad have the final say. 5. The agreed‐upon solution is written down on a piece of paper that isposted on the refrigerator, or it can be written in a Family Meeting journal, notebook or computer.6. The next person brings up his or her problem, and steps 2‐5 are repeated. All solutions are consid-ered experimental. If they dont work too well, they can always be reviewed at the next meeting andnew solution can be discussed. Solutions should be concrete, specific and practical, but dont be afraidto make them flexible and imaginative!WARNING! It’s Not Always EasyIts a good idea to keep meetings under an hour so you dont go crazy. Family meetings may be one ofthe most aggravating AND effective things you can do with your kids. It sounds contradictory, but ifyou can get through the process, kids will have a greater tendency to follow through with the agreedupon solutions. Its also nice that everyone has a chance to be heard and to learn some negotiationskills—an excellent skill for life. firstname.lastname@example.org 770-271-4891 I am available to meet with you upon request Check out my website at http://www.harmonywildcats.org/ Click on Counselor Info Tina Byrne, M.Ed. School Counselor
It is a pleasure to teach music here at Harmony while Mrs. Hower is on maternity leave. It has been a joy getting to know As spring has sprung our all the students, and I am very projects in art are alsoimpressed with the amount of talented children blossoming. Kindergarten justthat attend Harmony Elementary. We have beenvery busy expanding our knowledge of musical finished up a mosaic and areelements in each grade level. Kindergarten has studying thebeen working on singing games that encourage symmetry ofkeeping a steady beat. We have insects in order toalso explored songs with high make a painting ofand low pitches. In first grade, a real or imaginarywe are currently learning about one. First grade and secondfast and slow sounds andnotating various rhythmic grades will be doing this also.patterns. Second grade has Third grade has studied thebeen exploring instruments that kuna culture of the San Blasbelong to the woods, metals, and skins percussion islands near Panama and theirfamilies. Last week we read a book called "The folk art such as molas. WeVery Stormy Night" and we used the percussioninstruments to imitate the sounds in the book. The have created our own molalast two weeks, third grade has been experiencing here on drysongs in minor. We have also learned about land. Fourth andsinging songs in rounds and performing simple fifth grades areostinato patterns. This week, we worked on a song studying the"Engine, engine no.9" that combined all these measurementselements together. Fourth grade has been working and characteris-on folk songs. This week we are learning the song"Cedar Swamp" and we will be adding Orff tic of theaccompaniment and a folk dance. In fifth grade human face by creating one we began working on the song out of clay. Soon we will move "When Johnny Comes Marching on the perspective drawing. Home." This song was written during Zane Brock the civil war by an army band master whose daughter was engaged to a soldier named Johnny, who was fighting in the war. This song became very famous among thesoldiers, and today it is considered to be one of The 2nd Annual Funthe most famous patriotic songs. RunI look forward to working with each grade levelfurther and continuing to explore and expand our Was A Success!knowledge of music. If you have any questionsplease feel free to contact me by e-mail at Girls BoysMihaela_gherghel@Gwinnett.k12.ga.us 1st Melanie Collet 1st Michael Martin 2nd Alexis Figures 2nd Bailey Bass Sincerely, Mihaela Gherghel 3rd Tinsley Newton 3rd Payton Kesselring
Physical EducationGreetings! Throughout March all grades have been working on our soccer unit. We are cur-rently working on a juggling unit with Kindergarten through 3rd grade while 4th -5th grade complete their FITNESSGRAM fitness testing for the year. After these units we will finish out the year with a bowling unit for all grades, reviewing sports we have learned about this year and preparing and practicing for Field Day. Field Day Thank you to all who ordered a t-shirt. The ordering process is complete and shirts will be delivered prior to Field Day. 2012 Harmony Field Day ScheduleKindergarten ---May 7 (AM)/makeup May 10 (AM) 3rd grade—May 8 (PM) /makeup May 11 (PM)1st grade—May 7 (PM) /makeup May 10 (PM) 4th grade—May 9 (AM) /makeup May 14 (AM)2nd grade—May 8 (AM) /makeup May 11 (AM) 5th grade---May 9 (PM) /makeup May 14 (PM)Volunteers are still needed!!!! Field Day would not be a success without parent volunteers. If youcan help out during your students Field Day or any other, please return the form below to Mr. Corley. Wewill accept any and all parent volunteers all the way up until Field Day, but please let us know as soon asyou can!http://www.harmonywildcats.org/Teacher%20Web%20Pages/Other%20Instructors/Cam_Corley/pdf/HES_Field_Day_2012_Volunteer_Form.pdf Cam Corley Harmony Clinic Clinic Is Open IS IT A COLD OR AN ALLERY ? COLD: a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract (nose, sinuses, throat, and upper airway). It is not caused by drafts or being outside in the rain. ALLERY: a congestive condition of the nose caused by exposure to indoor or outdoor airborne allergens, such as animals, dust, mold, and pollen. Symptoms of a Cold: Fatigue, aches and pains, weakened senses of taste and smell, congest- ed or runny nose, weepy eyes and a dry hacking cough with little mucus production, fever, vomiting and loose stools are likely in younger children, but are possible at any age Symptoms of an Allergy: Nasal congestion and sneezing attacks, itching of the nose and eyes, red or watery eyes, clear/watery nasal drainage, repeated throat clearing, cough, noisy mouth breathing, popping of the ears, dark circles under the eyes If your child has a fever, they need to stay home and be fever free (without the use of fever reducing medications) for 24 hours before returning to school. Prima Simmons
FOCUS Brain Strain WebsitesNote: While these websites have been reviewed and recommended by teachers,please note that students’ time on the Internet should be supervised by an adult. Also,please note that links/websites may change without warning.http://Puzzlemaker.school.discovery.com - Crosswords, word finds, mazes,word jumbles, cryptograms, etc.http://school.discoveryeducation.com/brainboosters/ - Activities to sharpenthinking in categorization, logic, reasoning, spatial awareness, word play andlateral thinkinghttp://www.clickmazes.com/newtilt/ixtilt.htm - Tilt puzzles and mazes willchallenge spatial thinkinghttp://www.puzzles.com/PuzzlePlayground/PuzzlesHome.htm - Math, visual,and logic mindbender puzzleshttp://pnahay.home.sprynet.com/games/games.htm - Unique puzzles thatwill puzzle you!http://www.enchantedmind.com/index.html - Creativity, spatial thinking andcritical thinking building activitieshttp://www.iriddler.com/java/bridges/index.htm - Challenging bridge build-ing game http://www.brainbashers.com/today.asp - Crosswords, word finds, mazes, word jumbles, cryptograms, etc. Vicky Arnette Rising 6th Grade - Summer Reading Program This reading program is for rising 6th graders going to Jones Middle School. Students will receive: 1) a letter that requires a parent signature indicating awareness of the summer reading requirement for Jones stu- dents and 2) a form listing the titles with the option of ordering from Barnes and Noble through Jones Middle. Friday, April 13 - Packets will be sent home in Friday Folders. Wednesday, May 2 - Parent letters and order forms due back to 5th grade teachers. Orders must be paid with checks only made out to Barnes and Noble. Friday, May 4 - Order forms and parent letters will be picked up from Har- mony. The pre-paid books will be delivered to Harmony between May 14th and May 21st.