Waiting for the Groundhog

With the frigid winter temperatures we’re having, I’m setting my sights on the groundhog and hoping for an early spring! We will continue to monitor weather conditions to ensure your students’ safety at school, but please be sure to send them with warm winter clothing each day. Even a short walk between buildings will require coats, hats, and gloves this week.
Inside the classroom, we will continue to stay busy in ELA. During the week, we will continue a short Civil Rights unit with a focus on Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Ruby Bridges, and Jackie Robinson. We will also focus on using text evidence to write responses to informational text. On Monday, Connect Five Reading logs are due for Mrs. Neil’s class and on Wednesday for Mr. Hurwitz’s class. This Tuesday we are giving a spelling inventory to all students to measure achievement and possibly move some students into different spelling groups, according to their individual needs. Tests of previously assigned spelling sorts will continue next Tuesday.
In social studies, all students should turn in their National Park five paragraph report to Google Classroom by Monday (tomorrow). I will also collect all notecards used for this report, including a bibliography card for each source used. We will work on our PowerPoint presentations (either in groups or independently) this week, and we will begin to present this Thursday. Rubrics for both the written report and the PowerPoint presentation have been posted in Google Classroom.
Lately, I have been talking to the students about the second half of our school year. This is a time when the work can become more difficult and more expectations are placed on the students. Although this can be a challenging time, it will also be an opportunity for tremendous growth when students accept this challenge. As teachers and parents, we should encourage them from the sidelines as they do the hard work asked of them. A well know educational author, Michael Linsin summarizes,  “Let them struggle and overcome. Let them fail and succeed. Let them wrestle with the challenges you place before them with only reluctant additional support. Allow them to develop grit, tenacity, and perseverance.” We are building life-long learners who think for themselves and take risks along the way, and setting students up for future success. We are so excited to see where the second half of this year takes us. We have confidence in your students, because we know they are capable of amazing things. Now, we want them to believe that, too.
And finally, we are excited to announce the renewal of the Prairie Crossing Charter for another five years! Thank you to all who spoke or sent emails to the Commission on our behalf. The parent community at PCCS  is integral to the success of our school, and I feel privileged to work in partnership with all of you.