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Harmony Elementary Administrative Newsletter


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Harmony Elementary Administrative Newsletter

  1. 1. “Children First at Harmony” HARMONY HIGHLIGHTS Vol. 4 - Issue 5 February For Wildcat Families 2011-2012 From the Principal, Anne Marie Keskonis Dear Harmony Families, Can you believe it... we are halfway through the school year. Have you taken notice of your childs progress so far? A good rule of thumb is to pay attention to the factors that impact learning and achievement. One of the most important is 3946 South Bogan Road, Buford, GA 30519 your childs attitude toward school. Many families kick off the school year by talking to their child and setting firm schoolwork routines at home. By this timeHarmony Elementary School of year, many of these schedules and routines become a bit more flexible. If your child tends to be self-motivated and is showing great progress, flexibility can be a good thing. If he or she is faltering, it is time to re-establish that sched- ule and stick to the plan for the remainder of the school year. February 27 and Front Office 28 we will have parent conferences. This conversation will be a good opportuni- ty for a verbal check-up with your child and his or her teacher. As parents, it is important to communicate to your child that you take their education very seri- ously. Show them that you are supportive and you believe in his or her abilities to achieve. I am a firm believer that all students can thrive if they take ad- vantage of their educational opportunities. Together, we make a great team that can prepare our students for a very bright future. 770.945.7272 Warmly, Anne Marie Keskonis e BOOK SWAP Th O f s We collected almost 900 books o m e cat for the book swap this year! WAY TO GO! H i ld Thank you to Coach Leatherware W Mall Of Georgia for providing volunteers during this event.
  2. 2. February 2012Feb 2Dairy Queen Spirit Night 4:-9: Feb 14 Happy Valentine’s Day 5th gr. Parent Preview Sexual Feb 16 Papa John’s Spirit Night Abuse Prevention Lesson (5:30-6:30) Feb 17 Student/Staff Holiday 3,4,5 Parent Workshop on Writing (6:-7:pm) (Priority 1 Snow Day)Feb 3 Snow Day Centers (2nd grade) 9:- 12:30 Feb 20 Student/Staff Holiday Family Night BINGO (6:15-7:45) (President’s Day)Feb 10 Capital Field Trip (3rd grade) (7:30am– 1:30 pm) Feb 21 Subway Spirit Night Sybil Deacon Visit (K,1st,2nd) Feb 27 EARLY RELEASE 12:45Feb 11 Laser Tag of Buford Spirit Night Feb 28 EARLY RELEASE 12:45 From the Assistant Principal - Emily Keag Attendance Requirements Regular school attendance is one of the most important factors in school success. A pattern of absences may put students at risk of not achieving the Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) for their grade level, not feeling a part of daily school activities, or unable to enjoy a consistent rela- tionship with peers. Therefore, it is essential that parents are aware of attendance requirements. Certain absences are necessary and considered to be excused according to state guidelines. They include: Personal illness or attendance in school endangering a student’s health or the health of others A serious illness or death in a student’s immediate family requiring absence from school A court order or an order by a governmental agency Observation of religious holidays, necessitating absence from school Conditions making attendance impossible or hazardous to student health or safety as determined by state/county officials A student, whose parent or legal guardian is in the U.S. military or the National Guard, and such parent or legal guardian has been called to duty for (or on leave from) overseas deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting, shall be granted excused absences, up to a maximum of five school days per year, for the day or days missed from school to visit with his or her parent or legal guardian prior to deployment or while on leave. Please remember if your student is absent from school, you need to send a note to the homeroom teacher stating the reason for his/her absence. Should the reason be one noted above, your child’s absence will be marked excused rather than unexcused. A state truancy law (O.C.G.A. Section 20-2-690.2) defines truant as “any child subject to compul- sory school attendance who during the school calendar year has more than 5 days of unexcused absences.” According to the federal No Child Left Behind Act, one factor that determines Ade- quate Yearly Progress (AYP) is attendance. Students who miss 15 or more days in one school year (including excused and unexcused absences) not only put themselves at risk academically, but also put our school at risk for not meeting the attendance requirement of AYP. In addition, prompt school arrival is also one of the factors of school success. When students are consistently tardy to school or check out early on a regular basis, they are at risk for missing in- struction and often spend a significant part of their time trying to catch up. As always, Harmony administrators and teachers appreciate your support in helping us make the most of your child’s education at Harmony Elementary. One important way we can achieve this together is for your child to be present and on time at school every day possible this school year. Thank you for your support! Emily Keag, AP
  3. 3. Bedtime StoriesBedtime Stories and the Book Swap were a lot of fun! We had a good turnout andeveryone enjoyed the stories and books. If you werent able tocome, please plan to join us next year in January.Book FairOur next Book Fair will be March 8 - 16. Please be aware thatScholastic is now requiring us to charge taxes on the books thatwe sell. As always, you are invited to come with your child whenhe or she comes to the Book Fair. If you would like to help us dur-ing Book Fair, please call 770-831-4857. Marie Kennedy & Dolores CravenFrom Harmony’s Literacy Team Word Study - Different Spelling AssignmentsAs 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 orallyand written, integrate reading words and writing words, and generalize from what is knownabout words to solve unknown words. Today Word Study is about learning skills to be able to useand understand words, not just memorize words. We will answer a FAQ in each Harmony News-letter to help parents become more familiar and comfortable with Word Study. Check out lastmonth’s for the answer to: How are phonics and spelling related? I thought vocabulary wasabout learning definitions. Has this changed?As a parent, what differences can I expect from the usual spelling assignmentsand tests?As we study patterns and roots of words this year, you will see examples of theseas part of your child’s word lists. The expectation is for students to be able to readand spell new words containing these patterns or roots. For example, the teachermay send home a word list with two new patterns or roots. The class will partici-pate in a variety of activities in which they read, write, and study some of thesewords. The teacher may assess for mastery in many dif-ferent ways, all of which are designed to ensure stu-dents know how to read, spell, and understand wordswith these patterns or roots. On a regular basis, newpatterns or roots will be introduced while those previ-ously taught may be included as part of ongoingassessment. Teachers will also monitor writingprogress for evidence that your child is applying thisnew skill as he or she writes.
  4. 4. Teaching Children about Good Behavior Counselor’s Parents and Teachers Working Together Corner As Harmony’s School Counselor, I regularly speak to students about the reasons there are rules at school: (1) to ensure thesafety of staff and students, (2) to create an environment where children can learnand (3) to ensure school is a place where we treat each other with respect. It is im-portant that students know the expectations of them and that at Harmony, we wantour school to be the best possible place for students to learn.The most important teacher of your child though is you, the parent. Yourchild loves you and you are your child’s first teacher. It’s important that chil-dren learn first from parents about appropriate behavior. Here is a tip aboutteaching children to follow rules at home and at school: Teach children to followthe rules by creating a process where children learn that their behavior is associatedwith consequences, good or bad. Clearly tell children what you expect (your rules) and if they dont respond or re- member, allow a reasonable consequence to follow. When they complain, simply say, "Not to worry, Im sure your listening will get better." Parents who run their home this way will get many rewards in the future, as will their children. Parents who use warnings and threats when their child misbehaves soon may have children that ignore them and others such as their teachers. Kids who ig- nore the advice of teachers soon fall behind in school. But why should they lis- ten to others? They dont have to listen to their parents. Its easy and convenient to threaten in the hopes that it will work. And occasion- ally it actually does. With an occasional payoff, we are tempted to continue to play the game. Unfortunately, kids usually learn to ignore hollow threats. To add to the problem, kids dont win in the long run. They become conditioned to either require more and larger threats, or they learn to simply ignore us. What a shock it must be for kids who grow up like this to discover that their bosses dont give a lot of reminders and warnings. Remember, the important reason weuse consequences in life is because we love our children and want them to be able tohandle the real world and be successful and happy as grown-ups. WARNING! It’sNot Always Easy! But the payoff is enormous!As always, if you have personal, social, academic concerns or any other concern thatyou need to discuss, please contact me at school. School Counselors work to supportchildren, teachers and parents so that students reach their highest potential. 770-271-4891 I am available to meet with you upon request Check out my website at Click on Counselor Info Tina Byrne, M.Ed. School CounselorGwinnett Online Campus – “Goes on the Road” March Dates toGwinnett Online Campus is a charter school within the GCPS Post on Calendar:system. Families who are interested in learning more about thefull-time online school for grades 6-12 should look on the web- Mar 8 - 16 Spring Book Fairsite ... Mar 16 School DanceThe registration window for all full-time students in grades 6 -12 Mar 22 Science Nightis open from February 1 through February 29, 2012.
  5. 5. Students in Kindergarten - 3rd grade at Harmony have been hav- ing a blast playing instruments, hearing stories, singing, moving, dancing, and ice skating to winter songs! YEP, you read that right! We went "ice skating" in Central Park! Heres a picture!We also learned some really cool songs about Martin Lu-ther King, Jr. We are looking forward to learning aboutthe instruments of the orchestra, and many more fun top-ics in February! Students in 4th and 5th grade are finishing up Recorder Karate! Stu- dents need to practice a lot at home these last few weeks because we will be done with recorders soon! Wonder which class can earn the most black belts in Recorder?!!! Ms. Hower Physical Education Greetings! Hopefully this finds you and your family doing well The new year is a busy one in the art and coming off a very enjoy- classroom. We are finishing up some able winter break. We have "Star Clown" paintings in Kindergar- been working on our floor ten and getting ready to get down and hockey unit with 3rd - 5th dirty with some clay as we make me- grades throughout January and will dallions with the student initials on be finishing up in February with some them. First grade has been studying modified games. We will also begin the art of Piet Mondrian who invented our soccer unit with 3-5 this a style of art know as month. We have been work- "Neoplacticism." Ask ing through a gymnastics unit your child to tell you the with Kindergarten, 1st characteristics and re- and 2nd grades. In Febru- strictions of this type of ary, we will be finishing up gymnastics art. Second grade has and starting a soccer unit as well. learned to draw with Attention: Please be on the lookout black glue and are prac- for Field Day t-shirt forms to go home ticing blending techniques as they in February. Students will have rough- add pastels to their designs. Third, ly 2 weeks to submit their money AND fourth and fifth grades are putting their form to Mr. Corley. PLEASE NOTE: For organizational purposes, some finishing touches on some fiber MEALPAY WILL NOT be accepted for arts where we have been learning how Field Day t-shirts. Thanks in advance to stitch. Zane Brock for your understanding. Cam Corley
  6. 6. CRCT On-line Practice Testing Reminder: CRCT on-line testing is now available. Web site is . Your child’s teacher sent home the log-in IDs in Friday folders before Christmas 2011 and Jan 20, 2012. Everyone’s password is learnit. There are 2 types of tests available. All tests are created from the same database 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. Clinic Harmony Clinic FOCUS NEWS Is Open Kids Need Clean Hands! Encourage CreativityYou can help your children avoid getting sick byinsisting that they wash their hands properlyand frequently. To get kids into the habit, SCAMPER is an excellent classroom activity which encourages students to think creatively. As par-teach by example. Wash your hands with your ents you can also use SCAMPER at home withchildren and supervise their hand washing. your children.Place hand washing reminders at your childs In this activity the student looks at an object and develops original ideas about the object and differ-eye level. Make sure the sink is low enough for ent uses of the object. SCAMPER is an acronymchildren to use, or place a stool which helps direct students in this process.underneath so they can reach it. Substitute some aspect of the objectTell your children to wash their Combine elements of the object with something else Adapt or alter an aspect of the objecthands for as long as it takes them Maximize, modify, or minimize an aspect of the objectto sing their ABCs, “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” Put some part of the object to other uses Eliminate or elaborate an aspect of the objector the “Happy Birthday” song. This works espe- Reverse or rearrange an aspect of the objectcially well with younger children, who may rush Vicky Arnettewhen washing their hands. Prima Simmons
  7. 7. HARMONY MATH NEWS Math in Your Home Your home is full of opportunities to explore math with yourchild and, at the same time, build his or her self-confidence and understanding of mathe-matical ideas. This is a chance for you and your child to "talk math". That is, to communi-cate about math while discovering relationships between numbers. Being able to describemathematical patterns and relationships, such as those between "addition and subtraction"or "odd and even numbers," is important to later success in math. An understanding of mathand a sense that math is enjoyable will help children develop skills that they will need forsuccess their entire lives. Try these activities at home.Tracking TimeSupplies: Clock or watch, newspaper, blank paper, and graph paper (can be hand-drawn)What to do: Together with your child, keep track of the time he or she spends watching television as well as doing homework. Make a table listing the 7 days of 1 week. Keep two col- umns, one for television and one for homework. At the end of the week, see if to- gether you can make a graph comparing the two different activity columns. While watching television, make a chart showing how much time in every hour is used for commercials compared to how much time is used for the actual show. Do this for every half-hour of television you watch. Then make a bar or pie chart showing the two amounts. Time the minutes care- fully.Together with your child, keep track of how he or she spends timein one 24-hour period: time spent sleeping, eating, playing, reading,and going to school. Measure a strip of paper that is 24 incheslong. Let each inch represent 1 hour. Color in the number of hoursfor each activity, using a different color for each activity. Whenfinished, make the strip into a circle and place it on a blank pieceof paper. Trace around the circle. Then make lines from the center of the circle to the endof each color. Your child has just made a circle (pie) chart of how he or she spends 24hours. Compare this with how other people in your family spend their time. Parent Pointer Statistics includes collecting information, analyzing it, and describing or presenting the findings in an organized way. These activities are from Check out this website for more ideas and activities that you can do at home.