Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A New Year--August 2015

       Hi parents, and those who care to read this:

     We've been in school now for one week, and I'm getting to know these 29 students-at least a little bit.   I with I could have spent time with each of you parents at Back to School Night, but the evening was rushed.  Hopefully, I can meet you all again and find out where these kids come from.

       MATH:  I need math helpers on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9:30-10:15.  Please let me know if you are able to spend some time with us.  I would love helpers to start next week, if possible.  (Mondays and Wednesdays are spoken for).  

       We spent the first three days reviewing multiplication tables and taking a math assessment, and now we are working out of the Go Math book.   If your student is not able to complete the math assignment in class, s/he needs to take it home and finish it.  Each day's math assignment is due the next morning.

     READING:  Reading Response Journals were due today (every Wednesday).  I counted 26 journals in the tote (which is great, since this is our first week, and two students out of our 29 were absent).  Please remind your child to read every evening.  Thanks!

     READING REVOLUTION BOOK CLUB:  Judicial Award-3 books per term (12 books per year);
Congressional Award-4 books per term (16 books per year);  Presidential Award-5 books per term
(20 books per year); Freedom Award (30 books per year).  

     To qualify for any reading awards, students must read one book of each genre: realistic fiction, historical fiction, science fiction/mystery, fantasy, fairy tale/folklore, award winner, information/poetry, and biography.

     LANGUAGE ARTS:  Our district has adopted a new LA/Reading program- CKLA (Core Knowledge Language Arts).  This is a comprehensive program that includes reading, writing, vocabulary, spelling, and speaking.  I won't send any spelling words home for the first few weeks or so of school.

     SCIENCE:  We are learning about tectonic plates and their role in creating changes on the face of the earth.  How do scientists know what's deep down in the earth?  (Ask your chid to explain).  Today we learned about models and "drilled" to the center of the "earth".

     SOCIAL STUDIES:  Who really discovered America?   Why was this continent named America?
(Again, ask your child :).

     Orchestra begins on September 8, but no instruments are required on that day.

     First Lego League:  An ambitious parent has taken this on, and has agreed to be the coach.  The FLL is a competition organized for 9-14 year olds, focusing on a real-world topic related to the sciences.  (Info at   If your child would like to join South Elementary's team, s/he will need to submit a one-page essay indicating why s/he is interested in joining.  They can only accept 10 team members.  They will meet weekly for practice, then compete against other local teams on January 16, 2016.
      You can email the Kelli Price at:  or call 607-220-6313.

     We sent home a reminder to sign the AUP, Safe Schools, and Media Release forms on our South Elementary website.  If you haven't done this, please do it asap, so your child can use the Internet here at school.  I'm eager for my students to do some research for Social Studies, but I'm waiting until all parents have signed.   Let me know if you have trouble with this.  (I know for me, it's so much easier just to sign a real piece of paper.  I'm sorry I have to ask you do this!)

     Thanks for all the time and effort you invest in your child.  This is a class of hard-working, considerate young people.  It's obvious they have had good training at home.

      Please contact me for any concerns you may have.
                                                   Thanks, Jeanne Payne