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Stepping Into Fall

As we get ready to officially welcome fall, we hope you are enjoying some of the season favorites… apples, changing leaves, and pumpkin spice with everything. As many of the students pointed out on their Welcome to Illinois posters last month, we are fortunate to live in a region that experiences the excitement of all four seasons. This week we hope to keep our excitement and energy level high!
As Mrs. Psimaras and Miss King mentioned, we will be taking the NWEA math test on Tuesday and the NWEA reading test on Thursday. We have practiced logging in for these tests and it seems like most students have been successful with the log in procedure. Any support you can offer at home to ensure your child is logged in and ready for the test would be very much appreciated. Both tests will begin at 9:00 am.
In ELA, we have been working on the body paragraphs of our explanatory essays and we will move into our introduction and conclusion paragraphs next. The students were asked to write about a problem facing our community or state and some possible solutions to that problem. The ideas of the students – from the global pandemic to the growing number of homeless pets – have been interesting and inspiring to read about. We definitely have some future problem solvers and policy makers in our midst! Students, please share with your parents the topic you are writing about. We also took the pretest for spelling this week. Mrs. Zimmerman and I will be putting the students into spelling groups soon and we will introduce both classes to the use of the online program, Spelling City, for practice and assessment.
In social studies, we started our week with an experience of the rise and fall of the Stock Market. Students chose five companies to invest in and then they watched the value of these companies either rise or fall. Whether we saw gains or losses, everyone had fun experiencing the ever changing market! The markets have been closed for now, but we will have an opportunity to invest again soon! We have also begun our unit on the Thirteen Colonies, and we will spend time this week taking notes on the characteristics that defined each colony. Next week, each student will be assigned to one of the three colonial regions and work with others to learn more about the unique features and lifestyles of each area. We will be using small Breakout Rooms to practice a skit and make a poster about our region.
Now that we’ve all gotten comfortable with the digital platforms we are using, we’ve noticed an increase in student activity on game sites or YouTube during the school day. PCCS uses a program called Go Guardian that monitors the activities of our students when logged into their gmail account. When off task behavior  occurs during classtime, the IA’s spend time communicating with students and using Go Guardian to close tabs that should not be open. This, unfortunately, takes time away from the opportunities Mrs.Zimmerman and Miss King have to spend working with students in small Breakout Rooms and helping with classwork. Students, please be responsible and respectful when it comes to using your computer in the way it should be for remote learning. Thank you!
We will have another materials drop-off and pick-up this Friday. An email will be sent home soon with a list of materials to send back to school.
Future Dates:
Friday, September 25: Materials Pick-up
3:00-4:00 1st through 8th

Sunday, September 27: PSO Second Annual Golf Outing, 11:30 am 
Bittersweet Golf Course
Tuesday, September 29: PCCS Board Meeting, 6:30 pm