Notes from Mrs. Peoples

Thank you to all the parents, grandparents and other care givers who attended parent teacher conferences last week. We appreciate your support at school and at home with your students' education.

Thank you to Mrs. Masloski for working with our students on a wonderful Veteran's Day program. The fifh grade choir sounded great performing their patriotic songs. The entire school sang a song for the veterans to say thank you for their service. Fifth grade student, Alaina Rini-John, did a wonderful job accompanying on the piano. It was a very nice tribute. The veterans presented the flags and students learned about each one. We were happy to have the veterans who took part in the assembly join us for lunch afterward.

As part of the third grade guarantee law, students in third grade must earn a passing score on a reading assessment in order to move on to 4th grade. Students have several chances to pass. The first test will be given Dec. 3-4. Students are encouraged to get a good night's sleep and eat a healthy breakfast before the test. We realize this is a high-stakes test, but we also encourage students to relax and do their best.

Thanksgiving break is right around the corner. Our annual Christmas programs will be Dec. 8 for second and third grade and Dec. 10 for fourth and fifth grade.

On behalf of the West School staff I would like to wish all of our students and their families a wonderful holiday season.

Public library visits the school library

During the week of Nov. 9, Cody Addy and Jen Coventry from the Newcomerstown Public Library visited the East and West School library classes. Mrs. Durben, Mr. Addy, and Miss Coventry discussed with the students similarities and differences between the school libraries and the Newcomerstown Public Library.

Volunteers needed!

One of the largest jobs of the library is shelving, putting books away. °This is a job that does not get done every day due to limited time and other tasks that have to be done. °If you would like to volunteer to shelve books at West Elementary, please contact Mrs. Durben at the school by calling 740-498-4151 or through email at durbensa00@staff.nctschools.org. A volunteer is needed for Wednesdays, Thursdays, or Fridays anywhere between 8 to 11:30 a.m.

Second grade news

The second grade teachers would like to thank all of the parents who were able to take time out of their busy schedules to attend Parent-Teacher conferences. Your support and involvement in your child's education is of the upmost importance. Please continue to stay involved with your child's learning and if you have concerns or questions, feel free to contact your child's teacher for a conference any time throughout the year.

Our Fall parties were a huge success this year as well as our Veteran's Day assembly. We are fast approaching Thanksgiving Break and midterms are right around the corner as well.

In English Language Arts we will be learning the skill of summarizing the main idea, important details, and sequence of events in a story's beginning, middle and end. Also, we will be learning what cause and effect relationships are as well. These are things you can work on with your child at home by reading to them or listening to them as they read and then asking questions about the story focusing on these skills and concepts. Please read with your child every night even if it is not the "assigned" homework.

Vocabulary acquisition is another important skill to focus on. Please review your child's vocabulary words each night during the week we have new words. Ask them to read them to you each night and tell you what they mean. Also, try using them in sentences any time you can and ask your child to use them in sentences as well. Try to come up with other words that have almost the same meaning (synonyms) or opposite meanings (antonyms).

In phonics, we are learning r-controlled vowels or bossy r. Practice or review spelling words with your child each night also. For a challenge, try to find other words with the same spelling patterns. Have your child show you all the ways we practice our words here at school. They love to snap, clap, stomp or sing their words. Children love novelty and movement. Try to be creative and find new ways to study or practice.

In math, we have been learning number concepts such as even and odd, place value (hundreds, tens, and ones), expanded form, counting patterns within 10s and 100s, different ways to write numbers and comparing numbers. Continue to reinforce these skills at home. If your child is still counting basic addition and subtraction facts on his/her fingers, make flash cards for him/her to study. You can review these any time. A great time is while driving in the car in between running errands. Ask your child to name a doubles fact or what is 9-6, etc. You can make learning experiences out of every day tasks and chores. We will be learning two digit addition and two digit subtraction next.

Most importantly, take time each day to just talk to your child without gadgets and devices distracting both of you. Children love to talk and tell you about their day and their ideas if you give them the opportunity.

Third grade news

Third grade has been very busy this past month. We strongly encourage you to read at least 15-20 minutes a day. We have a wonderful local public library for students to go and check out books! It is also recommended that you practice basic math facts with your child every night. °In third grade we will be starting to work on multiplication and division in the coming weeks. Also, as a reminder, please have your child wear a coat to school as the temperatures are starting to drop. If your child would become sick, please keep them at home until they have been healthy for 24 hours without medication.°Finally, the students will be taking the Ohio Third Grade AIR ELA assessment on Dec. 3. °

Fourth grade features

The fourth grade students have been hard at work in all of their classes. In science they have started their new unit on Measurement. Students are working on converting units in the metric and customary systems. For the metric system they are focusing on length {mm, cm, m, km}, weight/mass {g, kg}, and capacity {mL, L}, and for the customary system for length {in, ft, yds}, weight/mass {oz, lbs}, and capacity {c, pt, qt, gal}. We are hoping to have this unit wrapped up by Thanksgiving Break. :)°

The students continue to work on multiplication skills in math. We have learned four different methods to multiply which allows the students to choose the method they are most comfortable with to solve problems. Next week the students will begin a small group project where they will help Turkey plan a Thanksgiving Feast for his woodland friends. This will give them practice in logical thinking along with math skills they have already learned.

In ELA, students recently finished writing a personal narrative where they were asked to write about a time when they were most afraid. Frightening! There were definitely some spooky tales to be told. As we march towards Thanksgiving Break, we recently completed the story, Wild Horses, and learned how cause and effect relationships help to organize events in a story. The week before Thanksgiving, students will be working in the Anti-Virus workbooks. The Anti-Virus program teaches students how to evaluate life's situations and make positive decisions. Newcomerstown High School students will be positive role models and assist the young fourth graders in activities. As December rolls around, we will read the story, Mystic Horse, a Native American legend, and review how knowing the sequence of events in a story can help you summarize its events. Right before the long holiday break, student will craft a biography about someone who inspires them.

In Ohio History, students will be introduced to "data literacy," the ability to "make inferences" from data. Students will look at various data tables and charts to infer how the North, South, and West developed differently in the 1800s. In addition, they will examine how the geography of each area affected how people in each region lived.

Fifth grade news

This month in ELA students have been working on sequencing, vocabulary, verb tense, and comma usage while reading passages on Veterans Day and Symbiotic Life. We continue to use i-Ready every week to help enrich our language, literacy, and writing skills that we are working hard to improve upon.

In science we are working in ecology. Students need to understand ecosystems, food chains, and food webs. We will also be discussing invasive species, endangered species, and symbiotic relationships. Please encourage your children to study for tests and quizzes and their vocabulary words.

Math this month has been devoted to learning about decimals and the 4 operations. We have conquered + and -! We are currently working on mastery of multiplication and then division of decimals. We will be starting projects to show the applications of decimals in real life. Students are encouraged to be creative in using the skills they have acquired and think outside of the box. We have a "Decimal Day" in the works to have volunteers come in from our community businesses and present how they use decimals in their everyday careers.

Social Studies students are busy preparing Google slide shows and Google Documents to use in their presentations of a South American country. They are amazing! Just give a kid a computer with a project and the creativity is endless. After this project the students will be creating different types of maps of South America to help us understand the geography of this continent located below North America. We will then compare the two continents of the Western Hemisphere. Then we are on to studying the ancient civilizations known as the Incas, Aztecs,Mississippians, and the Mayans.