Lower School Notes – January 23, 2019
Dear Lower School Families,
It was super to have so many parents attend our January Classroom Visits last Friday. The students were very excited to share their learning and some of the projects that they have been working on. I also so enjoyed meeting with those of you who were able to stay, for the informal coffee, after the Classroom Visits! I look forward to seeing you, at our next Classroom Visits, on Friday, February 15.
On behalf of the faculty, I would like to thank Michele Triantos, Tina Matsukas and the entire Parents’ Association Teacher Appreciation Committee for last Wednesday’s breakfast treats! We appreciated all your efforts to make teacher appreciation so special.
Spring Break Camp
Believe it or not, Spring Break is just around the corner, so please save the date for our Spring Break Camp, which will run from Monday, March 18 to Friday, March 22. Students in Grades JK-6 are invited to explore a daily theme through literature, experiments, creative arts, a cooking activity, journaling, and kinesthetic movement and play. A daily field trip off campus will allow students to extend the theme through experiential learning. For all the details including logistics and cost and to sign up, please click here. The deadline to register is February 4. Space is limited, and preference will be given to those who register for the full week of camp. We hope your child/ren can join the fun! Please email Megan Dhar, if you have any questions.
Lower School Division Coffee
— Wednesday, February 6
Come and meet our panel of art, library, music, physical education, and Spanish specialist teachers and Department Chairs at our next Coffee, on Wednesday, February 6, at 8:15 a.m. The teachers will share how they support the academic and social development of our Lower School students and build the foundational skills for their subject areas and the progression of skills from Lower through Upper School. The Coffee will be held in the Multipurpose Room (Room 112) on the Lower and Middle School Campus.
Spotlight on Specialists Open House — Thursday, February 7
This year, our annual Spotlight on Specialists will once again provide parents with an opportunity to visit and participate, with their children, in a typical specialist class and to choose, from a list of classes, to visit for other grades. There is no need to RSVP. Because you will be visiting classes while they are in session, we ask that you do not bring siblings and keep cell phones silent during lessons. It will also be important to arrive on time for the start of the lesson, to avoid disrupting the class. Finally, if you wish to participate in any of the Physical Education specials, sneakers are recommended. We hope you will join us!
Articles and Blogs
How to Help Kids Cope with Disappointment
Updates and Reminders
First Semester Progress Reports Available Online Tuesday, January 29
Progress reports, including both a narrative and skill checklist, are posted online twice a year at the end of the first and second semester. The first progress reports for this school year will be available online on Tuesday, January 29. The progress reports include the classroom teacher’s assessment as well as specialist teachers’ comments and checklists. The reports are designed to indicate academic, social and personal growth, for each semester of the year.
The checklists have three descriptors that are used to determine a child’s skill level in all core subject and specialist areas: Approaching Expectations (A), Meeting Expectations (M) and Exceeding Expectations (E).
Approaching expectations (A) — With support, students are learning to demonstrate and apply their understanding.
Meeting expectations (M) — Students consistently and independently demonstrate and apply their understanding.
Exceeding expectations (E) — Students independently demonstrate and apply their understanding in complex and sophisticated ways.
The narrative allows the teacher to elaborate on a child’s performance thus far, which includes areas of growth and goals for future growth and improvement for the next semester. Teachers write their comments directly to the student. This supports our mission statement, “A Flint Hill education focuses on the learner,” and develops our students as self-directed learners, one of the core competencies of the Portrait of the Flint Hill Student. Please note that starting this year, Fourth Grade students will not receive grades and will have the same progress reports as students in Grades JK-3.
To access the report for your child/ren:
- Log into Husky Hub.
- Hover over “Children,” at the top, left-hand side of the page, and click on your child’s name.
- Under “Performance,” on the left-hand side of the page, click “Report Cards” and “Quarter 2 Report.”
Join us for a day of basketball and an activity-filled, family-friendly dinner before we make Husky History with a special announcement you won’t want to miss!
Bring the whole family and watch the games from the family watch area! Enjoy bite-sized dinner, and have some fun in the photo or GIF booth. Take home a special creation from our paper artist, or let your little ones color with Klondike! See you on Saturday!
When: Saturday, January 26
Where: Flint Hill’s Upper School Campus
Schedule of Events:
10:45 a.m. Freshman Boys vs. SSSA
12:45 p.m. JV Girls vs. Potomac
2:30 p.m. JV Boys vs. Potomac
4:15 p.m. Varsity Girls vs. Potomac
5:30 p.m. Activities kick off and dinner begins
6:00 p.m. WE MAKE HUSKY HISTORY!
6:30 p.m. Varsity Boys vs. Potomac
Dressing for Cold Weather and Preparing for Cancellations
Cold Weather Break and Recess Policy
As the temperatures remain low, please be aware that we will generally have students go outside for break and recess, unless the real-feel temperature drops below 20 degrees. Please send your child to school with appropriate clothing (jacket, hat, gloves).
As noted previously, Flint Hill’s Inclement Weather Policy provides details on how we make decisions and notify the community about delays and school closures. With the potential for storms and extended closures, we will assign work to maintain academic momentum and skill development. Our Snow Day Work Policy — which goes into effect on the second snow day of the season — establishes guidelines for teachers to keep the expectations appropriate.
Here is a resource: Ideas for Snowy Days at Home 2018/2019. We hope that parents find the list of activities, which are a combination of language arts, math, science, computer science, art, social studies, music, and Spanish skills helpful.
Notes from my Weekly Walkabout
Before the break, the JK students demonstrated their creative skills and completed a project using the 3D printer in the Lower School Innovation Lab. Using the website called Cookie Caster, the students designed their own cookie cutters and printed them on the 3D printer as a holiday gift for their families.
Kindergarten students have been exploring patterns. They have enjoyed making connections to their learning in books, music, art, science and more! Each class enjoyed working together to create pattern displays, in their classrooms, to share their learning and teach others about patterns. Displays included examples of books they discovered patterns in, during read-alouds and songs from music class. One class played their own patterns using jars of colored water and a mallet. They observed the change in sound based on the amount of water in the jar. Students also wrote their own pattern books during Writing Workshop. Some students observed that patterns appear on animals. They documented their observations by looking through nonfiction texts and making labeled scientific sketches. Another group looked closely at snowflakes and noted patterns in the arrangement and number of shapes. Students shared their learning with their families during Classroom Visits last Friday.
First Grade students have been busy investigating light and its properties. Their first discovery was that light travels in a straight line. After testing different materials to see what would happen when it was placed in the path, of the beam of light, the students found that some materials let light through while other materials completely blocked it. When light is blocked completely, it makes a shadow. Their shadow changed sizes depending on the location of the flashlight! These inquisitive scientists also noticed that when light from a flashlight hits aluminum foil or a mirror, the beam bounces off in a new direction. The students had loads of fun with testing their discoveries.
Second-graders are doing a tumbling unit in P.E.The students are practicing various animal walks, jumps, and crawls as well as the log roll and the egg roll. They are following the cues that are attached to the cones, on the track of mats. The cues tell them which movement they need to do. Leading up to this activity, they played an animal-movement tag game to practice all of the different types of movement. The activity had the feel of an obstacle course, which added a flair of excitement.
3B students were invited to create Winter Break Postcards using the Drawing Pad app. They were challenged to draw or insert emojis and photos to illustrate what they did over winter break. Then they had to write a clue that only their parents would know, so they could figure out which postcard was their child’s. Students are excited for their parents to put on their detective hats to try and solve the Winter Postcard Mystery!
In math, Fourth Grade students have just started a unit on Landmarks and Large Numbers. They are focusing on: the meaning of the operations with whole numbers, the development of operational fluency, the structure of place value, and the base ten number system. This unit provides activities that develop knowledge about important landmarks in that system, which are numbers that are familiar landing places that make for simple calculations and to which other numbers can be related. Our number system is based on powers of 10, the numbers 100 and 1,000, as well as their multiples, so they are especially important landmarks. The classes are participating in fun and engaging activities, such as Close to 1000, Addition Dice, and Changing Places that support this concept development.
Director of the Lower School
Admissions Information Session
Thursday, January 24, 8:30-10:30 a.m., Lower and Middle School Campus
Husky Pride Day for Winterfest
Friday, January 25
Friday, January 25, 8:15-8:45 a.m., Olson Theater, Lower and Middle School
Saturday, January 26
Grades JK-4 Headmaster’s Discussion Series
Webinar information has been sent via email.
Monday, January 28, 8:15 a.m.
Grades JK-12 Two-Hour Delayed Opening
Faculty / Staff In-Service
Tuesday, January 29
Division Coffee: Math Inventory Information, Grades 3 and 4
Wednesday, January 30, 8:15-9:15 a.m., Multipurpose Room, Lower and Middle School Campus
Enrollment Contracts Issued
Financial Aid Notification
Thursday, January 31
Husky Pride Day
Friday, February 1
Grades JK-12 Parent Education Series: Kaleidoscope Book Club
Monday, February 4, 8:15-9:45 a.m., Multipurpose Room, Upper School Campus
Monday, February 4, 8:15-8:45 a.m., Olson Theater, Lower and Middle School
Wednesday, February 6, 1:30-2:30 p.m., Lower and Middle School Campus Gym
Parents are welcome to attend this school-wide assembly to celebrate the founding members of Flint Hill School.