Showing posts from 2016

Thanks for a wonderful half year!

Dear Parents,

Thanks so much for all your support this year.  I know it was off to a rocky start after some of my challenges at the start of August, but it was the love of the children that helped me heal both physically and emotionally after my little one passed away too quickly.  I am grateful for Ms. Cassie and Ms. Kathy who were able to do a phenomenal job in my absence for the first three weeks of school.  I have learned so much from every child in this class as they have challenged themselves and succeeded, both in academics and important practical life skills. 
Our Christmas shop  and candle-making fundraisers were a big success.  All in all, students raised a net amount of just over $700!  It has been a pleasure to assist these young entrepreneurs as they have created and marketed multiple products and gained valuable insights along the way.  What is not used for the 6th grade trip will go toward our end-of-year activities.  We thank you so much for your support in providing sup…

Holiday Activities

Dear Parents,

We want to thank you for supporting our fundraisers and the spirit week activities planned by our 6th graders.  Our candle-making and Christmas shop activities have been a success and will continue through Thursday, where we will have a clearance sale.  Our white elephant exchange was a lot of fun and we look forward to our Crazy hair day tomorrow and movie day on Thursday. (Don't forget the permission that was sent out last week) Tomorrow, we will be writing cards for a charity called Umom that helps homeless teens.  We will be decorating snack bags and writing letters of encouragement.  We have also enjoyed watching everyone happily learn to use the sewing machine and carefully craft such lovely compliments for each student in the class.  We encourage you to read your child's compliments when they bring their handmade stockings home.
Our candy engineering activity (aka graham cracker structures) will take place this Thursday.  Please use the following link to bri…

Class Trip Meeting

Thanks to all who attended.  Here is the information in case you missed it.

We are so excited about our overnight trips that are planned for this
school year.  We hope that everyone can come to our informational
meeting to learn more about these activities. The dates will be kept
the same as noted in the information passed out at the start of the

Science Camp:  January 25-27, At Tonto Creek Camp, in Northern Arizona

Camp Sky Y:  April 10-12, Near Payson

6th Grade Trip:  May 15-16.  Zion National Park. We would love some
parent input at the meeting as we are considering adding a day.  We have tentatively determined to have it from the 15th to the 17th of May.

The cost for the Science Camp and Camp Sky Y will be $200, which is
covered by a tax credit donation; we will explain how you get this
money back on your taxes at the meeting.  It is possible to break up
payments in increments over 4 months, but still get the money back on
taxes if all donations are made before April 10.  The cost of the…
Please take a look at the flyer going home with your child today. We are having our School Bookfair, tomorrow, December 1st from 4:00PM until 8:00PM at the Barnes and Noble on Val Vista and Baseline in Mesa.  We will have a craft table, cookie decorating and various teachers reading in the kid's area.  Our school can earn up to 20% of the purchases made not only that evening but also online between Thursday, December 1st and Monday, December 5th using the Bookfair ID number included in the attached forms.  
We have also included our teacher wish list.  You can either purchase books for the classroom online beginning December 1st or in person on our Bookfair night.
Ms. Liza will be doing cookie decorating from 4-5,  Ms. Kathy will be there from 4-6 and  Ms. Cassie will be reading stories from 7-8. Mr. Joe and Ms. Ally will be reading on the kids area stage from 5-6 and 6-7.  
Costa Vida, the restaurant nearby, will also be donating 20% of their proceeds to our school, so feel free to …

Thanksgiving Feast and Upcoming Holiday Shop

Dear Parents,

Today, the students met in groups to decide which dishes they will prepare for the in class Thanksgiving meal.  We ask that all perishable items not be brought to school until Wednesday, the day of our feast.  If you have any questions or are not able to bring any of the ingredients needed for the group, please let us know so we can take care of it.
Also, next month, the 6th graders will run a holiday shop to help raise money for our overnight trips.  If you have any gently used items to donate, we would love to sell them in our shoppe.  The shoppe will take place in the last weeks of December and will be open to all students on campus who wish to purchase items for their family members for the holiday season.  Please see below for a copy of the message they printed out and sent with everyone:
Dear room 101 and 102 parents,
We are doing a Holly Jolly Christmas Shop, and we ask that you bring items to sell to raise money for upper elementary activities.We ask that when you…

Parent Conferences from 11/14 to 12/2

We hope that next time you pass by the office, you are able to sign up for a parent conference.  We would like you to bring your child so they can show you some of the hard work they have done at school.  Most times are 3:20 (after carline) or 3:40, but we could fit in an occasional morning or 4pm conference if you are able to ask us in advance.  Students and siblings are able to attend aftercare free of charge during conferences. We are so pleased with everyone's hard work and hope to have 100 percent participation this year.  We were so close last year!
Also, our upcoming activities include a Thanksgiving feast the day before the actual holiday.  Students will work in groups to cook a dish in class and enjoy our collective cooking successes.  We will also be studying the actual facts of that thanksgiving meal that would later become so famous and many true stories behind it.  I will be bringing my sewing machine to school for a holiday sewing project next month. I am always ama…

Activities this Week

We had a wonderful time downtown at the Symphony and are excited for next week's trip to Tempe Center for the Arts to see Rock the Presidents, which is a culmination of some of our studies about the presidents.  We will leave around 8:40 and will be taking the lightrail to the venue. After the performance we will hike up A Mountain and eat lunch there. Please make sure your child has a water bottle, lunch, snack, and good walking shoes.  A Mountain is right next to our lightrail stop, near ASU.  We will return to school around 2:45.  If you would like to join us, please let us know. We could use another driver to and from the lightrail station if you cannot stick around.  
We are also having a kids vote on election day next week.  We be continuing some discussions about the upcoming election and our electoral process.  The children will have a ballot that will include some of the statewide races, so feel free to share with your children your rationale for choosing candidates and …

Trip to see the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra

We are so excited for our trip to Symphony Hall to learn about story telling through music with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra. Please make sure your child is here before 8:30.  We plan to leave right at 8:30 in order to make the 8:44 light rail. Those who are late will get to stay with Ms. Peggy in our outdoor environment.
Please make sure your child brings a sack lunch, water bottle, and a book to read on the way to our venue.  We will be having lunch at civic state park and will arrive at the light rail station at 2:45 with plenty of time to drive back to school.  We are grateful for those who are able to drive and spend the day with us.  
See you tomorrow!

Come to our Wax Museum

We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend.  This Mercado was filled with wonderful lessons on teamwork, entrepreneurship, and math.  This week, each student balanced their Mercado work with math and language lessons to support them with their Wax Museum Project as well as a fun statistics project for next week.  We are grateful for those team members who stayed until all cleanup and accounting jobs were done.  
This weekend, the children have a practical life/math task  to count, sort and record data relating to the treats they collect for Halloween.  Your child should have these attachments already in their backpacks unless they left before Lunch.  Students only need to complete the first 2 or  3 columns of their data and we will work on the rest in class, unless they want to work ahead.  Children are also welcome to classify any other items they have in larger amounts, such as rocks, baseball cards, shoes, etc.  We will start using the data on Tuesday. If you have any questi…

Mercado Tomorrow

Dear Parents,
Everyone has been working so hard with their business partners for their Mercado booths tomorrow.  We hope parents bring their friends and family any time from 9-11am to enjoy the various goods and services planned and presented by all our students.  This is one of many experiences designed to be a child-led activity, so we appreciate all you can do to step back and enjoy being served.  We do plan to add some limitations to next Mercado, including a budget so that more financial literacy and problem solving skills are gained from this experience.  We will also be offering shirts for sale for anyone who did not purchase a t-shirt earlier this year.
Students may arrive as early as 8am to help set up their supplies early.  We hope everyone can stop by for at least 10 minutes during the 2 hours that their businesses will be open.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact us as soon as possible! Thanks again for all your support!  We look forward to seeing everyone tomor…

Upcoming Activities

Dear Parents,
Everyone is working so hard on their biography research projects and we have enjoyed reading everyone's information. Most have finished writing their notecards and are working on rough drafts. We are pleased with the progress of those who are new to using cards to record the important facts being researched. Everyone has also grown so much in their writing abilities since the year began.  Our focus this week has been on organizing main ideas and details as well as writing introductory and concluding paragraphs.  After the rough drafts are completed, students will focus on polishing and presenting their work next week.  We know everyone is looking forward to creating their presentation boards next week and presenting their research on Halloween morning to parents and classmates as they visit our "waxmuseum".
We appreciate your continued conversations with your child about the work they are doing in class and their chosen topics.  We encourage you to look at wh…

Biography Research Project

September 29, 2016 Dear Parents,
Over the next few weeks, the upper elementary will be researching important notable men and women in history and will create a living wax museum on Halloween (Monday, 10-31-16).  Students will have time to work on this project in class, and we will research the time period, the lives of each individual, and the historical significance of their life events.  Students will need 3-5 scholarly resources, two of which must be books.   We just returned from the library and the children are so excited to begin their research.  We have emphasized that this is their work and not work for the parents to do for them.  We have broken up this project into manageable steps so that the majority of it will be done in class.
Here is a brief overview of how you can support your student during each step of this research project: ❖Have discussions with your child about their research topic and guide them toward narrowing their focus. ❖Have ongoing discussions about your child’s…

Ms. Liza is Back (September)

I am finally getting caught up on blog posts and I will start with posting previous emails that were sent out.  I want to thank everyone for their support and kind words during the time I was in the hospital and recovering at home. Also, the children wrote cards that lifted my spirits beyond the heartache that I felt. It has been a great comfort to be surrounded by kindness and love during this this difficult transition.

Dear Parents,
I wanted to thank you all so much for your support during this time of healing and recovery. I am so thankful for each kind word and gift I have received from parents and children.  I have found that being with the children has done so much to lift my spirits and help my body heal faster.  I also am also grateful for the tireless work of Ms. Cassie and Ms. Kathy who have done so much for the classroom in my absence. It is wonderful that Ms. Cassie is able to stay with Ms. Kathy and I this entire school year as she completes her Upper Elementary training.…

Yearbooks are published!

Dear Parents,We are pleased to give everyone a color pdf copy of our class yearbook.  We were hoping to be able to print a color version for each child, but due to technical problems, we were not able to meet the deadlines to send it out to a budget printer.  If you have a color printer at home and are able to print double-sided, you can print your own version at home and we can bind it at school.  It is also possible to print a color version at any office depot or staples, (for a cost of approximately $30-$35, depending on the binding)  Every student will have a black and white version that we are able to print at school and bind with colored paper.
Tomorrow, we plan to begin the process of printing,  binding, and decorating our yearbooks to sign.  If anyone is able to come into the classroom at any time to assist in the binding process on Tuesday or Wednesday, we would be very appreciative.  We also thank the parent volunteers who made each classroom activity, including the formattin…

Spirit Week (May 23rd-26)

Spirit Week
MONDAY: Dress up as your favorite movie, book, game    character.    TUESDAY: Dress up as a nerd. 6th grade luncheon     At Pita Jungle.
  WEDNESDAY: Pajama and movie day .   THURSDAY: Game day in the morning. 6th grade          appreciation day and 6th graduation ceremony at 1:30 (4th and 5th graders bring refreshments.)    (: Thanks for this awesome year:)

End of Year Activities

We are so pleased that every student gave it their all during testing week.  The state assessments were a lot more challenging than past years, but everyone certainly rose to the occasion.  We are excited for our many projects inside the classroom and our activities planned outside the classroom.  Please take note of the following dates:
Grand Canyon We are so excited to get on the bus to drive to Grand Canyon on April 21st!  Please drop your child off at the front of the school at 6:30am.  We will return at approximately 10pm and will keep you informed of our exact arrival time.  The cost for each student is $50.  There is no charge for chaperones, however there is limited space on the bus.  Those who have already made a tax credit donation in the amount of $136 or more are already covered for the cost of this trip. We are looking at having pizza for dinner on the way home.  Payment for the trip is due April 18th. (which is also the tax credit deadline) Please see below for more inform…

Upcoming Activities

Please Mark your Calendars
üFebruary  12th:  Visit from Grand Canyon Park Ranger at school (small informal Valentines celebration on February 16)
üFebruary 17:  Deadline to order Pi Day shirts for our Classroom Fundraiser (will also be worn on our field trip)
üFebruary 19th:  Day Hike at Don’s Camp.  We would like a couple drivers for that day.  Please note that we are leaving at 8am and don't be late!
üFebruary 23:  Science Fair 5-6pm
üMarch 11th: Pi Day Celebration

üMarch 28-April 7 Testing Window for AZ Merit State tests

üApril 21 Grand Canyon Day trip

üApril 29th Mercado

üMay:  Day to be determined: 6th and 7th grade trip --More details to follow. May 26:  Graduation Ceremony
Final Instructions for Tonto Creek Camp

Don’t Forget to return your re-enrollment forms to the office tomorrow, as the deadline is January 21! It appears that we will have a long waitlist for the next year and I would hate for anyone to miss that window.
Your child’s homework tonight is to pack and prepare for Camp.  You will find an additional copy of the packing list on the other side of this note.
Packing: Please make sure your child has packed everything on the packing list, (plus some extra socks and pants for the cold weather) and that everything is stored in a compact container that is completely sealed.  Don’t forget a flashlight and also have your child label everything with their name.  Students may bring a disposable camera, but no other electronics.  
Medication If your child needs any medication, please fill out a form in the office and give it to one of the teachers to take with.  We will have basics such as tylenol and other first aid supplies.  We have sent forms home to tho…