The Great Book Swap of 2012

This year Field Day will also serve as the kick off for our summer reading push!  During a break in the games, activities, and performances, all students K-5 will be able to attend The Great Book Swap.   This new event will take place on the grassy area outside the main office, and will be run by Mrs. Herrera and some literacy loving volunteers!

The rules are quite simple – for every book a student donates (up to ten) he or she will be able to swap for the same amount of new reading material.  Students can bring in books from Monday through Wednesday, and there will be donation bags set up in each classroom.

Families with overflowing bookshelves or personal libraries may donate excess books (that is – over the 10 book student maximum) at the main office!  If we have enough “extra” donations, we’re anticipating every student will be able to go home with at least one new book to read over summer break, regardless of participation.

Just a reminder that field day is Thursday, June 7th.  All students who chose to participate in The Great Book Swap should have books to their classroom teacher by Wednesday, 6/6/12.

Further Book Swap 2012 Information

Memorial Day 2011

Today our entire student body celebrated Memorial Day in advance of Monday’s holiday. We met K-5 outside around the flagpoles and had a brief ceremony that provided students with background information and culminated with the singing of “You’re a Grand Old Flag.” After that was the community building assembly for students in preschool through grade 5, and then the preschoolers had a separate, shorter, ceremony around the flagpoles.

As I think about Memorial Day I wonder if children realize the importance of our national, non-religious holidays? As an elementary school we walk a fine line between teaching them the facts about history, war, death, and destruction, and not scaring and/or worrying them.  Memorial Day falls on that fine line.  We provide the basics, the background knowledge they accumulate little by little, year after year,  so they can grasp the larger concepts in middle and high school.

So, as you bar-be-que, celebrate, and watch parades this weekend, think about how you can talk to your child/children about our national holidays.  What do they know, and more importantly, what do they have questions about?  Enjoy the long weekend!

Whole School Read Aloud

Next week over two hundred T.E.S. families will kick-off our very first whole-school family read aloud. I am so excited! When I first started planning this I hoped for 20-30 families. I thought buying 50 books was going way over the top. Wow, did I underestimate our community.

Reading aloud is one of my favorite things to do with children. I love finding a good quality book that keeps them hooked until the very end. I won’t give away my favorites – as I’ve left them in the very capable hands of my fifth grade colleagues, but I am always on the search for new titles. Right now, I’m re-reading “classic” children’s literature in the hopes of finding our next family read aloud.

Along the way, I’ve come across numerous website with tips for reading aloud. Some are great, some just okay, but all are worth checking out. Enjoy!

Being Thankful

Last week T.E.S. held assemblies for the entire school population to celebrate our community and focus on thankfulness.  If you come into our cafeteria you’ll find colorful turkeys that display the students’ ideas and thoughts about what they are thankful for.  Mrs. Perry, Mrs. Santos, Mr. Turner, and Mrs. Weed were the mystery guests and spoke to the students about being thankful, not for the material things in life, but for the little things … the people, the friends, and the families that make up their worlds, especially at school!

We are thankful to Mrs. Reichard and Mrs. Manganis who are leading a committee of staff members that put these assemblies together each month, and to Ms. Lotto for making a fabulous slide show of school pictures!

Parent Information Night

Part of my intention in writing this blog is to help foster the home-school connection that is so often spoken about in educational circles. This coming week at T.E.S., parents have an opportunity to attend our annual Parent Information Night, sometimes called “Open House.”

This is a great time to start the year off right. Parents, teachers, and administrators meeting early in the year to begin forming relationships that help ensure student success. It’s so important to put a face with a name and to take those first steps toward an open and friendly connection that can only benefit your child in the coming year!

At the Parent Information Night, classroom teachers will present for a short while about the classroom, curriculum, and student learning. Special Subject Teachers will also be available in their classrooms to speak to their curriculum domain and what that looks like for your child.  A full listing of grades and times can be found on our main website, and a building map will be provided when you arrive. 

Usually there are representatives from the PTO and the Ed Foundation available to let parents know about opportunities in these organizations, and to encourage volunteering and participation in school related events.  Please be on the lookout for these dedicated parents and consider joining!

Lastly, if you are concerned or need to speak with your child’s teacher about something specific to your child, please schedule a separate time to follow up by phone, or in person.  Parent Information Night provides a quick snapshot of the teacher and classroom, but should not be used for individual conferencing. 

I hope to see you on Wednesday!