Harmony Elementary May 2012 Monthly Parent Newsletter
“Children First at Harmony” HARMONY HIGHLIGHTS Vol. 4 - Issue 8 May For Wildcat Families 2011-2012 From the Principal, Anne Marie Keskonis Dear Harmony Families, As a principal, I have the unique opportunity that goes beyond the support of instruction in our classrooms. I get a chance to see how strong communities are cre- 3946 South Bogan Road, Buford, GA 30519 ated, by watching the families we serve come to school. At Harmony, we are very fortunate to have a large number of parents, grandparents, older siblings, evenHarmony Elementary School aunts and uncles contribute to our success. Recently during the CRCT testing, we needed help monitoring lunch. SPECIAL THANKS to our Parent Volunteers that so graciously helped monitor the cafeteria during our testing week. This sacrifice of their time was greatly appreciated by the entire staff at Harmony. Thanks to Tama- Front Office ra Miller for her leadership in organizing these volunteers: Dana Jones, Elizabeth Ihm, Mike Means, Shaye Bryson, Helen Kim- mons, Kerri Reuter, Beri Adams, Brandy Sawyer, Jennifer Scott, Deborah DiPaulo, Christine McCullock, Lisa Kulig, Marla Pirkle, Buffy Parker, Michelle Lee, Lisa Stevens, Maureen Brown, and Stacy Jones. 770.945.7272 Lunch duty is just one way our parents contribute to the suc- cess of our school. Our parents are role models for the student population. Being a volunteer means you are teaching our children to be active citizens and demonstrat- ing how to get involved in the school community. Throughout the year, many of you have volunteered in classrooms, at PTA sponsored local events, School Council, PTA committees, taught Junior Achievement, and participated in Parent Nights. Your positive presence makes us incredibly strong. One powerful way to strengthen our community is by continuously improving the relationship between parents and schools. As we come to the end of yet another year, I want to personally thank you for your time and encourage you to continue to be an integral part of Harmony next year. So much good can be accomplished when everyone works together to create a stronger community. Warmly, Anne Marie Keskonis
See Website for More Details May 2012TEACHER APPRECIATION WEEK 4/30 - 5/4May 1 Chess Club Breakfast (8:30)May 2 PTA - Harmony Staff Luncheon 11:00May 3 Kindergarten Registration 2012-2013 May 11 Sybil Deacon Visit (K,1st,2nd) (Media Center 12:00 - 5:00) 5th FOCUS Shakespeare Play (2:15) Expectation Night/PTA Mtg. 6:15 pm Earning For Learning Contest Ends (Rising 1st - 5th grade parents/students) May 17 5th gr. Visit Jones M.S. (9:30 am) Stevi B’s Pizza Spirit Night Chick-Fil-A Spirit NightMay 4 5th gr. Kickball and Picnic (9:00-12:30) May 18 4th gr. Family Life Present. (2:15) 4th gr. Laura Days (1:30) 5th gr. Sock Hop (12:30-3:00) Special Olympics/Redner’s Class (9:30) May 21 5th gr. Yearbook Signing (12:20)May 7 FIELD DAY for Kind/1st grades May 22 4th gr. Ice Cream Party (2:15)May 8 FIELD DAY for 2nd/3rd grades May 23 5th gr. Awards Celebration (9:00)May 9 FIELD DAY for 4th/5th gradesMay 10 Kindergarten Round-Up (9:30– 11:30) LAST DAY OF SCHOOL Summer Dates: - New Students - On-Line Registration Begins June 1st - Returning Students - Check Harmony’s website after June 1st for details concerning the upcoming 2012-13 school year. From the Assistant Principal - Emily Keag Celebrate Independence Day Dear Parents and Students, As we conclude the end of another successful school year, we look forward to another birthday celebration for our country. Inde- pendence Day allows us to reflect and pay tribute to the ideals that founded our great nation. This summer take time to read about the 4th of July at the local library. Dis- cuss with your child the importance of this day and what it means to be a patriot. There are many websites that are fun and educational for your child to access, which will en- hance their learning. Above all, take time to observe the words that signify our freedom or independence as Americans: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." May you have a wonderful summer, Emily Keag, AP
From Harmony’s Literacy Team Arm Yourself in This Digital AgeRaising children in a digital age, where instant gratification and having everything like your peers is ex-pected by children, is difficult! Parents can feel like it would be easier to give in, than to stick to what theyknow is best for their child. It is not easy being a parent today.Television is one area parents can feel the most stress. As teachers, we would love you to visit and adhere to“How to get your child away from the TV” (http://www.wikihow.com/Get-Your-Children-Away-from-TV)-pay close attention to #6! However, there are some shows which are entertaining AND educational withoutbeing violent or inappropriately graphic.According to Randee Dawn, a TODAY Show contributor, you may want to arm yourself (and your handy,dandy DVR) with these specials and series, so you can keep control over your kids’ veg-out time. (P.S.Theres a good chance you moms and dads might even want to tune in yourself!)For ages 5 to 8“Reading Rainbow” (various, PBS)“Maryoku Yummy” (weekdays, The Hub)What young kid wouldn’t want to visit a land where wishes are made real? Let your childstep into Nozumu, where that exact thing happens! Bonus for parents: It’s on at 10:30 a.m., somaybe your own wishes can come true when you get a little more shut-eye.“WordGirl’s Ludicrously Literate Library Week” (July 11-15, PBS Kids)This summer, PBS is putting its focus on kids and reading by tying many current series in withbooks and literacy. Subversive? You bet, but whatever works! This July, “WordGirl” will be expanding hervocabulary by tussling with the Association of Villains and many others. Here’s your vocabulary phrase ofthe week: must-read TV!“Dinosaur Train: Dinosaur Big City” (Aug. 22, PBS Kids)Has anyone ever gone wrong pairing dinosaurs and trains? OK, nobody’s really done it before The Jim Hen-son Co. took over “Dinosaur Train,” but you know this is catnip for children. This special one-hour eventkicks off the series’ new season, and if your kids miss it, they may be stomping around like a T. rex untilschool starts again.For ages 9 to 12“I Can Be President: A Kid’s-Eye View” (starts June 22, HBO Family)Maybe not every kid grows up wanting to be the President of the United States, but it is the dream for mil-lions of ambitious youngsters, who share that hope in this HBO Family Film. Maybe it will inspire your childin just the right way. Watch it together!“Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension” (Aug. 5, Disney Channel)Look out! Dr. Doofenshmirtz is after our heroes, Phineas and Ferb, who’ve been transported to a paralleldimension. Naturally, the Doc is up to no good and it’s up to the boys (and possibly sis Candace) to save theday. Gitchee gitchee go-go-go!“A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner!” (July, Nickelodeon)Those expecting more “Fairly OddParents” should beware: This is not the animated series you’re used to.Instead, the live-action adaptation — timed for the series’ 10th anniversary — focuses on a physically adultTimmy Turner (Drake Bell) who’s still stuck in the fifth grade because he refuses to give up his fairy godpar-ents (Jason Alexander, Cheryl Hines). But life has a way of forcing everyone to grow up, and Timmy’s re-solve is tested with a grown-up romance and a super-grown-up villain in Hugh J. Magnate Jr. (Steven We-ber).“Family Game Night” (August, The Hub)At home, family game night can turn into tears and thrown Monopoly pieces. So why not watch other fami-lies compete against each other in “life-sized twists on familiar games” (says the Hasbro-affiliate TV net-work)? It’s all about teamwork and strategy. Plus, you could get your family to appear on the show ... ifyou’re brave. The second season is casting now.Adapted from http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/43270630/ns/today-entertainment/t/schools-out-summer-shows-fit-kids-all-ages/
Gwinnett Public Library Summer Reading The Gwinnett County Public Librarys summer reading program is Dream Big, Read! The program runs from May 20 through August 11. You may register online at www.gwinnettpl.org beginning May 1. Readers set a goal for their read- ing and collect prizes once this goal has been met. Reading during the summer maintains and even improves reading skills. A flyer will be coming home soon with more information about the program. Please help your student to read this summer! Marie Kennedy & Dolores Craven Planning For A Summer Break Counselor’s Filled with Fun & Learning Corner The school year is winding down and parents are usually busy planning vaca- tions and figuring out how to keep their children busy and safe for the sum-mer. It is not a good idea to over-schedule your children, but it is very important to make sure youhave some ideas planned that will keep their minds thinking and learning – using that fabulous brain!Children’s minds are like sponges, there are opportunities everywhere for them to learn somethingnew. Here are a few ideas that will help develop confidence, talents, academic andsocial ability: *Definitely join the summer reading program at the public library! They plan lots of fun activities and reward kids for reading books. Make sure you set aside time to read each day. Pick out a couple longer books to read aloud this summer – let your child help make the choices! *If you attend a family reunion this summer, plan to look through old photos before attend- ing. Talk with your children about your memories with siblings, cousins, and other rela- tives. Make them a part of your family conversations when everyone gets together. *Visit museums or zoos with your children. Spend more time at their favorite exhibit or near their favorite animal and really learn some facts about it. *Encourage your child to start a collection – maybe rocks, shells, pinecones, or other natural objects. You can help them to do research on the internet or in books and learn interest- ing facts about the items they are collecting. *Play games that require children to count. Board games, card games, wiffleball on the beach, or counting somersaults in the pool – whatever it is, they’ll be using their math skills! *Make sure to limit “screen time”. Too much time spent on video games and com- puters will have a negative effect on their learning, physical health and social skills. *Learn some new recipes together. There are many kid-friendly recipes that don’t even in- volve using the stove. *Go camping! There is so much to learn from nature. Tell stories around the campfire and sing songs. Take hikes in the woods. Stroll along the beach. Enjoy your Summer! 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
Physical EducationHopefully this finds you and your family doing well. In P.E, we have beenworking on our bowling unit with all grades throughout the end of April andwill continue to do so on into May. We will also practice for Field Day and bereviewing sports we have learned about this year.2012 Harmony Field Day Schedule:Kindergarten May 7 (AM) /makeup May 10 (AM) 2nd grade May 8 (AM) /makeup May 11 (AM)1st grade May 7 (PM) /makeup May 10 (PM) 3rd grade May 8 (PM) /makeup May 11 (PM) 4th grade May 9 (AM) /makeup May 14 (AM) 5th grade May 9 (PM) /makeup May 14 (PM)Volunteers are still needed!!!! We still need parent volunteers for all grade levels, but especial-ly for 3rd grade and 5th grade. If you can help out, please return the form below to Mr. Corley assoon as possible. We will accept any and all parent volunteers all the way up until Field Day, butplease let us know as soon as you can!http://www.harmonywildcats.org/Teacher%20Web%20Pages/Other%20Instructors/Cam_Corley/ pdf/HES_Field_Day_2012_Volunteer_Form.pdf We have completed all of our FITNESSGRAM Fitness testing for the year and will be sending home a detailed printout with all 4th and 5th graders report cards on the last day of school. Thank you for your continued support. Cam Corley In music, we have been continuing our journey exploring the elements of music , instruments, and composers. In Kindergarten we experienced songs with a change of tempo. Students learned that the words used to describe the speed of music are in Italian. The word for fast is “Allegro” and the word for slow is “Largo.” Last week we read a short story called “If things grew down,” and each student played an instrument creating sounds to describe the characters in the story. In First grade, students have just completed a unit on rhythm. We have experienced one sound, two sounds, and four sounds to a beat. Students were excited to learn that four sounds to a beat are called “Du-ta-de-ta.” Second grade has been experiencing songs with the solfege syllables “So-Mi” and “So-La-So-Mi.” Last week we sang the song “Lemonade” where the students pantomimed their trade, or special skill. In Third grade, we are working on a folk song called “Tideo” that includes Orff instrument parts and a folk dance. We also talked about composers and we read a book called “Beethoven’s Wig.” The book is set to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony with some really funny lyrics. Fourth grade has been very busy preparing the songs for the “Laura Ingalls Wilder Day” which will take place on May 4th. Ask your students to share the folk songs they are working on. Fiifth grade has been exploring form, specifically Theme and Variation Form. We listened to a piece of music called “American Salute,” written by Morton Gould, where the composer used the song “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” as the main theme. As the year draws to a close, we will be exploring improvisation with move- ment, singing, and instruments. I have been enjoying my time here at Harmony and working with your child. I look forward to working with each grade level until the end of the year. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me by e-mail at email@example.com. Mihaela Gherghel, Music Substitute
Creepy crawlers are the subject of paintings for many of our Kindergarten - Third graders this month. We studied "insect facts" to discover what exactly “is” and what exactly “aint” an insect. Then we drew many insects and selected one to turn into a painting. And heres a "heads up" for all parents of Fourth and Fifth graders . We are painting ceramic heads they made in class so you should have a new visitor in your home very soon. Zane Brock HARMONY MATH NEWS 4 Everyday Ways to Learn Math While Having Fun by Lindsay HuttonRead more on FamilyEducation: http://school.familyeducation.com/summer-learning/math/70200.html#ixzz1qKPAt1FwMath is everywhere, not just in the classroom, and summer is a great time to learn how math relates to thereal world. Its more than just addition and subtraction worksheets— its everywhere you look. Keep yourchildren learning this summer with these ways to find math in their everyday life.Lemonade StandA lemonade stand is the quintessential summertime activity for kids, and math is needed tokeep it up and running! Younger kids can work on their measuring and money-counting bymixing the lemonade and making change for customers. Older kids can be in charge of set-ting the price by determining the cost per serving and setting a profit margin. By using thesemath skills, your kids will have a successful business serving thirsty consumers all summerlong!Sports SpectatorSummertime means baseball. The next time you take your child to a game, incorporate a few math gameswhile you cheer on your favorite team. Have your child play umpire and ask him to keep count of each bat-ters balls and strikes. Additionally, he can also keep track of the outs every inning, and how many inningsare left before the game is over. Ask him questions, such as what inning marks the halfway point in thegame, and how many runs the losing team needs to catch up. If a certain player on one of the teams isclose to breaking a record, such as homeruns, have your child figure out how many more he needs tomeet and break the record. Math games like these will not only sharpen your childs mind, it will make himappreciate the sport even more. Score!Go ShoppingMath problems abound at the mall, and many stores have summertime sales. The next time your pre-teens favorite store is having a sale, take her shopping. Ask her how much she will be saving on a certainsale item. For example, if a $25 item is 20 percent off, how much does it cost? You can mix and matchdifferent prices and discounts, add several sale items together, and even have your pre-teen create anoutfit with a pre-set budget. She might be surprised to see how much percentage, fractions, and decimalsplay into one of her favorite pastimes!Errand FunThe next time you take your child with you while you run errands, turn it into alearning activity. Calculating time and mileage is a fun way for your child to passthe time in the car. For example, if the grocery store is three miles away, how long does he think it will takeyou to get there? If you have several errands to run, ask your child how far away he thinks each destina-tion is from the other, and then clock it to see how close his guess is. Another fun car game is to use thenumbers on license plates as an addition and subtraction lesson. Ask your child to add or subtract all the numbers he sees on the license plates you pass. Not only will he be learning math while you get your errands done, keeping him occupied will help keep any car meltdowns at bay, too.
TIMEZ ATTACK I would like to tell you about some very exciting news. The last four weeks of school, in May, we will be piloting a new version of Timez Attack. Many of your children have used and are using the addition, subtraction, multiplication and division regular ver- sion already. I have to say the students love the program. It is very interactive and very fast paced. The new version is built on the same programming, but is turbo, set at a faster and more exciting pace. The program is set for your child to complete mastery at a faster rate. You can download a free one level version of the software for home use at http://www.bigbrainz.com/. Look for your children to be telling you about the new version. Thank you, Hal Sharpe HES CLINIC Clinic Is Open End of School Reminders Can you believe we only have a few weeks of school left? As we approach the end of the year, I wanted to remind you of a few things. If your student has borrowed clothes from the clinic this year, please get them washed and returned to the clinic as soon as possible. If your student has medication in the clinic, it will need to be picked up no later than 3:20 on Wednes- day, May 23, 2012. I cannot send these medications home on the bus with the students, so please arrange a time to come pick them up. We are not allowed to keep these medications over the summer, so anything left after Wednesday afternoon will be disposed of or picked up by our school re- source officer. Thanks for your help in keeping Harmony a safe and healthy school! Have a great summer! Prima Simmons FOCUS Hats Off to Harmony’s Gifted Program! NEWSOur local Gifted Student of the Year, Ryan Kerley, will be honored May3rd at the Gwinnett Alliance Gifted Education Annual Awards Ceremonyat Peachtree Ridge High School. Ryan is a fifth grade student and is inthe FOCUS program here at Harmony. Ryan is involved in Chorus, theRobotics Club, Fitness Club, Chess Club, Radical Readers, and is on StudentCouncil. In his after school time he helps at his dad’s restaurant. Ryan’steachers describe him as a leader and role model. Ryan says, “In my regu-lar classrooms when the teacher gives me a job I stick to it. I would neverslack! I also show leadership with my good grades and conduct. The better I do the more it will reflect on everyone else.” Vicky Arnette