Monday, February 9, 2015

Updates from the Principal

Dear families and community members,

We sure had a busy week last week! Thanks to all the parents that came to the 2nd Grade Poet Tea and 1st grade concert! We loved seeing all the parents throughout the week! Kudos to all the students that participated in the UIL Campus Competition for the first time in Spicewood History! 


First Grade Concert
We had a successful 1st Grade Concert last night! Many of our parents and family members joined us in the cafeteria. Our 1st grade students just shined and beamed as they sang several songs about living a healthy life. No one could stop smiling throughout the entire performance. 

Poetry Alive
Poetry Alive visited Spicewood ES last week. Our students learned and explored a fun way to express ourselves under the Transdisciplinary Theme of How We Express Ourselves. Enjoy a little video clip Mrs. Kim created to see how much our students enjoyed it! 

UIL A+ Academics Campus Preliminary Competition
More than 40 of our students competed last Thursday, February 5 in various categories. We are so proud of every student that participated and competed in the preliminary campus competition! Special congratulations to the following students who will be advancing to the District UIL Competition on Saturday, March 7, 2015 at Walsh Middle School. 

2nd Grade: Farah Coffman, Conall Coats, Sibi Raja
3rd Grade: Kate Peckham, Alexander Hosmer, Peter Kim
Alternates: Jonathan Simon & Bela Jere

Number Sense
4th Grade: Arjun Raghavan, Brandi Tai, Kavita Kohli
5th Grade: Andrew Jiang, Aman Tewari, Joshua LeRoy
Alternates: Amber Xiao & Anshul Desai

3rd Grade: Aimee Wang, Aarnave Chitari, William Lei
5th Grade: Anita You, Zoe Catuogno, Sarah Liau
Alternates: Aanchal Save & Ramya Nambala

IB PYP 101

Transdisciplinary Themes vs. Units of Inquiry
Now that we've peaked into all 6 Units of Inquiry that align with the transdisciplinary themes, I want to touch upon a bit of confusion out there. The units that teachers plan and set aside for students to explore are called the Units of Inquiry while the themes that carry throughout our students' PYP career are referred to as Transdisciplinary Themes. They have the same names such as, How We Express Ourselves, How The World Works, Who We Are, How We Expresss Ourselves, Sharing The Planet, and Where We Are In Place And Time. Units of Inquiry is something that has a specific Central Idea with activities that support the Central Idea whereas Transdisciplinary Theme might refer to the continuum and a big picture of the learning occurrence within the theme. Poetry Alive that just occurred this last week is a good example of a Transdisciplinary Theme Assembly. It doesn't have a specific Central Idea or series of activities laid out for a certain period of time but it evolves around the transdisciplinary theme of "How We Epxress Ourselves," which applies to all grade levels and the continuum of IB PYP framework.

This Week's News

Spicewood PTA Membership
We're calling all parents and community members to join the Spicewood Parent Teacher Association (PTA). We have reached 612 members so far for this year, including 100% participation from our wonderful staff. In order for us to be considered to have reached 100% participation for the school, we still need  193 more members. Though we love every PTA member to volunteer, it is certainly not required of members to volunteer upon acquiring the membership. Membership invitation extends to not just one adult per household but to both parents, grandparents and community members for $7.50 per person. Please visit our PTA Website and scroll down to PTA Membership portion to join our PTA online.  You can also download the paper form to fill out and turn it to your child's teacher or the front office with a payment. 

Spirit Night at BBQ512 hosted by PTA
Please join us for dinner at BBQ512 this Tuesday between 5PM and 8PM. 5th grade teachers, Mr. Parks & Mrs. Hougham will be there for part of the night. Money raised from the event will be spent towards educating and enriching our students at Spicewood. 

5th Grade Parents: Canyon Vista Course Selection Sheets due Friday, February 13th 
Course selection forms for Canyon Vista Middle School went home with 5th graders last week along with information about each elective and a course catalog. Please have your fifth grader return the blue course selection form to his or her teacher no later than Friday, February 13 (but the sooner the better!). If you missed the Fine Arts Showcase night, please take a moment to watch a YouTube video of the CVMS electives.

PTA Media Madness  
Come join us for a presentation and discussion by the Texas PTA on Wednesday, February 18 at 6:30 pm in the Spicewood library.  Our topic will be Media Madness. Technology isn't what it used to be.  Our children are exposed to and using technology everyday, both good and potentially bad.  As your children get older and use their own devices, don't get left in the dark with where they are in the online world.  We will learn about and discuss how to keep our kids safe in this technology and social media crazed world.  Join us in the library with our presenter Lariann Curtis from Texas PTA.  Questions?  Contact Kate Hardin, PTA Membership chair ( Please see the attached flyer for detailed information. 

One World, One Night Festival [Save the Date!]
Would you like a chance to travel the world without buying a plane ticket? Spicewood Elementary’s "One World, One Night" Festival will be held from 6:00pm-7:30 pm on Tuesday, February 24, 2015. If you would like to head up or assist with representing a country, please send an email to Shannon Williamson at For more information on this fantastic festival, please visit the One World, One Night 2015 page.

Crossing Guard Needed! [Flyer]
The City of Austin is looking for a person to work as a crossing guard between the Hope Church and Spicewood. If you are interested, please contact Esperanza Schiele, Child Safety Supervisor at (512)565-5623. We desperately need someone in this position for the safety of our students and parents! Please spread the word! 

LIKE us on Facebook and stay connected! 
Visit Mrs. Kim's Blog for previous Updates from the Principal newsletters.


Tuesday, February 10
5:00-8:00PM   Spirit Night @ BBQ512 (hosted by PTA)
5th Grade teachers, Mr. Parks and Mrs. Hougham will be there to greet you. 

Monday, February 16
President's Day- No School for Students

Wednesday, February 18
6:30   Media Madness
Join us in the library.

Tuesday, February 24
6:00-7:00PM   One World, One Night Festival
Join us in the cafeteria

Saturday, February 28
FYI: Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day at UT

Saturday, March 7
Robotics Competition
UIL District Competition
FYI: Explore UT

Monday, March 9
9:00AM-2:00PM   Kindergarten Round-Up