Monday, February 29, 2016

Updates from the Principal

Dear families and community,

Our Annual One Night, One World event is finally happening this Tuesday! We are super excited to celebrate cultures and traditions around the world right in our own cafeteria with our stakeholders. Please come join us! We look forward to seeing everyone! It's also an Early Release Day this Wednesday so please plan accordingly in advance. 



Celebrations


Austin Regional Science Fair 
Spicewood students did an amazing job at the Austin Regional Science Fair. Congratulations to all the students on their achievement! We are so proud!




Chess Tournament 
The Spicewood chess club students did great at the Casis Elementary chess tournament winning two 1st place and three 2nd place team trophies. 48 Spicewood students participated in the tournament that had a total attendance of over 400 students. Individual awards were given to 11 students who won trophies and 16 students who won medals
for their performances. We had quite a few new students do well who have only been playing chess since September. The students worked really hard the last few months and it paid off. Great job Spicewood students! 




IB PYP 101
This portion of Mrs. Kim's letter is contributed by Mrs. Vance, our PYP Coordinator.

We've talked a lot about inquiry so far this year, outlining how classrooms use the inquiry cycle model to drive the learning in the classrooms. With this model, we put students in the driver's seat (with the teacher as a guide), giving them more ownership in the process that unfolds throughout the year.One way our our teachers do this is by giving student ownership of the current unit of inquiry bulletin board. These bulletin board usually display the transdisciplinary theme, central idea (or unit focus), student questions, and lines of inquiry (different ways that the class will focus their inquiry to break down and make sense of the central idea).
In Ms. Singh's classroom she clearly displays all of these elements, but notice how her lines of inquiry (for their Sharing the Planet unit the fourth grade is focusing on the following lines of inquiry: economic, social, cultural, political and religions differences cause conflict; personal, local, and global conflict resolution; conflict resolution) and questions (on orange sticky notes) are written BY the students. You can see the students have creatively illustrated the three lines of inquiry, choosing specific design and illustrations to fit that focus. Although this may seem like a small detail, giving students ownership over their inquiry board validates the students thoughts and questions. Ms. Singh will use the questions to guide her planning and instruction to best meet the needs of her students, all the while involving the students with each step of the inquiry the process.

Interested in learning more about student-driven learning? Check out this short Ted Talk about the power of student driven learning!

Want to be more involved? How can you support your child at home? Be sure to keep up with our keep up with all things IB related at our PYP Spicewood Blog
This Week's News


One World, One Night
The "One World, One Night" celebration on Tuesday, March 1 (5:30pm-8:00pm), gives our students and their families a passport to different cultures around the world! At the festival you will find tables hosted by fellow Spicewood parents sharing their cultures by exhibiting artifacts, traditional clothing, teaching crafts and providing culinary samples. This year we will also have a special guest, Eve Panzer, the Barefoot Librarian. The Panther and Cub Choir will also be joining us at our event! 

The following countries will be represented at our event: Phillipines, France, India, Mexico, Peru, Italy, China, Ethiopia, Bahamas, Korea, Venezuela, Panama, Servia, and Israel. Each year the number of countries grow and we encourage all cultures at Spicewood Elementary to consider participating in the One World, One Night event.  We also have a link for volunteers who would like to lead or partner with another family to represent a country.  It's not too late, please visit and sign up today! 

Early Release This Wednesday
All students will be dismissed at 12:45PM. Please plan accordingly in advance. 

2nd Grade Concert
Our 2nd grade students will be putting on a performance this Thursday, March 3 at 6PM in the cafeteria. Please come join us and enjoy the music brought to you by Spicewood's 2nd graders! 

Spicewood's Education Go Get It (EGGI) Week is March 7-11, 20160 
EGGI Week is a week to focus on exploring and learning about the wide variety of post-secondary opportunities and career choices available in the future for our students. It's never to early to start thinking about the future! Below is a list of spirit days and campus activities your child can choose to participate in during EGGI Week:

EGGI Week Spirit Days: The Progression of a Career
Monday: Team Shirt Day—We know teamwork will be important throughout our entire career—elementary through adulthood.

Tuesday: Spicewood School Shirt Day—At Spicewood Elementary we work to build a strong educational foundation in preparation for our bright futures!

Wednesday: College/Military/Training Program T-Shirt Day—You have to get the education and skills before you get the job you want! Show your spirit for higher education and training opportunities to build our education and skills!

Thursday: Dress for Success Day—It’s interview time—dress to impress in the career world (dress in “interview” attire - you have to look the part to get the job!)

Friday: My Future Career Day—You’ve finally landed your dream job—dress up in your future career gear!

Campus Activities
“What I Want to Be (Including IB!)” Paper Dolls:  Paper dolls will go home in Friday folders—students are invited to design and turn in the paper doll decorated as themselves in their future career to display around the school (this is optional). Students are also challenged to decide which IB Learner Profile they may exhibit in their future career.

Careers A to Z: Students will have the chance to add new careers to the Career Word Wall and learn new and unique careers they may have never before heard of! At the elementary level we’re all about career exploration and learning the amazing options out there; brainstorm as a family: can you research and find some interesting new careers?

Graduation Role Models: Charts and graphs about staff college choices will be displayed for students to see...you may even sneak a peek photos of some of our staff members from their graduation days! Our Westwood PROS who attended Spicewood will also share their college plans and how Spicewood helped them get there.


College/Career Guidance Lessons: Mrs. Hougham will teach guidance lessons to help students think about higher education options and careers...it’s never too early to start thinking (and of course it’s okay to change our minds!)

Doggy Dash
Doggy Dash is coming up this Saturday, February 27th from 9 am to noon! This event is hosted by RRISD High Schools at Purple Sage Elementary! The event includes live entertainment from all the RRISD high schools, a relaxing walk on a nature trail, and a doggy fashion show! There will be a $2 admission fee for each person (dogs are free!), and donations will be greatly appreciated. Linked below is a document which has a list of all of the items we need. All proceeds go to the United Sates War Dogs Association! Please register here

Westwood High School Taste of Asia Fundraiser March 4th
Taste of Asia is a fundraising event showcasing the Asian diversity of the Westwood high school (WHS) community.  The event will be on Friday, March 4th, from 6:30 to 9:30 pm at the Westwood HS cafeteria. There will be dance and musical performances; Asian Fashion show, food from 30+ restaurants, henna tattoos, calligraphy, photo booth, face painting, silent auction, cultural and vendor booths.  All proceeds from Taste of Asia will benefit Westwood HS Project Graduation 2016. We will be selling entrance tickets for Taste of Asia from February 29th to March 3rd (and possibly March 4th) at Grisham MS, Canyon Vista MS and Westwood HS during lunch hours.  Entrance tickets are $5 advance purchase, or $7 at the door.  We accept cash or checks written payable to WHS Project Graduation (with driver’s license number and phone number).Tickets for food and crafts can be purchased on the night of event at WHS. Please contact Jayanthy Kapistalam (jayanthy.kapistalam@gmail.com) or Anu Ramanathan (anuramvv@gmail.com ) with regards to ticket sales. Please visit our event page (https://www.facebook.com/events/1687767644833358/ ) and invite your friends.  We look forward to seeing you on Friday, March 4th.

RRISD Kindergarten Round-Up 
Do you have a child who will be 5 years old on or before September 1, 2016? If so, it’s time to start getting ready for Kindergarten! Spicewood will be hosting a Kinder Round-Up registration day for incoming kindergartners on Monday, March 7, from 9AM to 2PM. Parents/guardians must bring the following documents: 1) Child's official birth certificate; 2) Child's immunization record; 3) Child's social security card (preferred but not required); 4) Proof of residence within the school attendance zone (contract on house, lease agreement, actual title to house, current RRISD tax statement, or current utility bill indicating the address and the adult's name.) You should still come to registration even if you do not have all of the above information. Parents will be given notice of when these items are due. For more information, regarding RRISD registration policies, please visit the RRISD Kinder Round-Up page.

Spicewood Kinder Round-Up Events
Sending your little one off to Kindergarten is an exciting and somewhat overwhelming time. Spicewood is committed to help make this transition into elementary school as smooth as possible. Spicewood Kinder Round-Up Events are designed to provide opportunities for parents/guardians and children to become acquainted with Spicewood as well as with future classmates. Every month, beginning in March and culminating in August, we will be hosting events for you and your child to attend together. Please visit the Spicewood Kinder Round-Up Events page for a list of events and to RSVP. We look forward to seeing you.

CVMS 5th Grade Parent/Student Orientation hosted by PTA
PTA Meeting 5th to 6th Grade Orientation on Tuesday, March 22 at 7 pm at Canyon Vista - 5th grade parents and students are invited to an informative evening regarding becoming a middle school, Mustang family.

Spicewood’s Spring Twilight Carnival
Who wants to enjoy a family evening of fun-filled games & activities, local entertainment, terrific raffle prizes, food and more? Then join us at Spicewood’s Spring Twilight Carnival on Friday, April 15th! Mark your calendars and plan to bring your family and others in our community who may be interested. This is a Spicewood school fundraiser and all profits will directly impact our current programs, and if we are lucky, broaden them as we purchase needed items for the school.  

All Carnival committees have leadership but we are still interested in growing our volunteer base especially in certain areas. If you would like to help with Carnival please attend a volunteer meeting on either Tuesday, March 1, from 8-9pm at Balcones Country Club OR Thursday, March 3, from 8-9am in the Spicewood library. Hope to see you there! 
Sandy Parent (sandyparent@austin.rr.com) and Stephanie Engels (smengels99@att.net)


We are also looking for local businesses that are interested in sponsoring Carnival, either with a cash donation or raffle basket prize. If you would like a unique opportunity to market your business to the local community while supporting Spicewood, please contact Amy Coplen (thecoplens@gmail.com) to discuss ways you can help. Thanks!

Need a Spicewood T-Shirt?
Our PTA still has a few Spicewood T-shirts left - Youth XL and Ladies V-Neck (Large and 2 Medium). If your kids will be attending any field trips or will be participating in the choir performance next Thursday for One World One Night, they may need a school t-shirt. They also have a few Zip Up Hoodies, mainly Youth Sizes. Both the T-shirts and Hoodies will be on display in the hallway near the library. T-shirts are $10 and Hoodies are $28. Please visit the PTA Store or contact spicewoodptafundraising@gmail.com for more info.

Free Summer Camp
 The Austin YMBL Sunshine Camps has opened a world of possibilities to the youth of Central Texas by providing free week long summer camps to low-income families. Note that campers must qualify for the Texas public school free and reduced lunch program to be eligible to attend summer camp.The Zilker Park camp is located inside Zilker Park near Barton Springs Pool; it serves campers 7 – 11 years of age. The camp program, under the supervision of experienced counselors, offers activities such as swimming in Barton Springs or Deep Eddy pool, fishing, canoeing, handicrafts, nature study, hikes, games, and a ropes course with a variety of elements including a team wall, and trust fall. Transportation to camp and three meals a day is included.

2016 CAMP REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR!

Tuesday, March 1
5:30-8:00PM  One World, One Night
Located in the Cafeteria

Wednesday, March 2
Early Release
All students are released at 12:45. Please plan accordingly in advance.

Thursday, March 3
6:00PM   2nd Grade "Yo Leonardo" Music Performance 
In the cafeteria

Friday, March 4
WatchDOGS Friday
Civil War Day -5th Grade

Saturday, March 5
FYI: Explore UT

Monday, March 7- Friday, March 11
Education Go Get It Week (EGGI Week)

Monday, March 7
9:00AM-2:00PM   Kindergarten Round-Up

Friday, March 11
STEAM

Monday, March 14- Friday, March 18
Spring Break

Monday, March 21
8:00AM   K-2 Principals' Pride

Tuesday, March 22
8:00AM   3rd-5th Principals' Pride

Monday, February 22, 2016

Updates from the Principal

Dear families and community,

I am thrilled to be back and get back into the groove of things. It's been so nice to see the students and parents who greeted me with lots of smiles and hugs. My leadership is certainly happy that I'm taking over the newsletter to parents. :) Big thanks to our leadership team for keeping up with communicating to families and community! 



Celebrations


Fuel Up to Play 60 Team
Fuel up to Play 60 is a nation wide program. This year we 'took it up a notch' and PE teachers have selected a 'Fuel up to Play 60' ambassador team. This team was selected based on leadership qualities that best represent the Fuel up to Play mission (healthy lifestyle=eating right & getting active for at least 60 min/day). The purpose of the team is to bring awareness to the Spicewood community. The team understands it is vital for children to play/be active for 60 minutes every day. They also realize their bodies are growing and need the appropriate fuel to allow their bodies to function properly. Our involvement in this program awarded us a $100 gift card to be used on PE equipment! Go Team!


iPads are here! 
Our wonderful PTA has purchased 24 iPads along with a charging cart to support and enhance our student learning here at Spicewood. We're always so grateful that we have amazing parents that go above and beyond to support our students. Thank you! 


IB PYP 101
This portion of Mrs. Kim's letter is contributed by Mrs. Vance, our PYP Coordinator.

Technology plays a crucial role in the 21st century classroom.

In the PYP classroom, the use of technology is embedded within each unit of inquiry, providing students the platform to inquire, collaborate and construct their own meaning of content and technology skills. Take a look at how our teachers and students utilize technology throughout the inquiry cycle.
First grade tuning in with Kahoot! to identify what students know about a topic.
Our third graders finding out how scientists use their scientific notebook and tools to deepen understanding of How the World Works.
Fifth grade students are going further and drawing conclusions with their research and presentations about human and natural phenomena.

 Read more about how you can integrate technology here!
Want to be more involved? How can you support your child at home? Be sure to keep up with our keep up with all things IB related at our PYP Spicewood Blog
This Week's News

Dropping off Items for Students
Parents, when there's an item or two that need to be dropped off- lunch, homework, water bottle, etc- please be sure to leave the item(s) with the front office staff, rather than bringing them down to the classroom(s). This is so that we minimize distraction and interruption to classroom instruction and student learning. The front office staff will be sure to deliver the items in a timely manner. 

Message from PE Teachers
This week we will begin selling strings as a fundraiser for PE.  We are teaching several  fun activities which emphasizes on all children's fine motor skills.  The students seem very excited about this. We will be selling strings before school until 7:45AM.  They may come down to the gym and purchase before school or during PE but not during class time. STRINGS WILL COST $1. Thanks so much for all your support in making this happen. This is a first ever for us but are very excited about this adventure. 

Message from District: Explore UT Mentors Needed
There are 56 mentor/mentee spots still available for the Explore UT field trip. RRISD would love to fill every seat for this wonderful event! We're reaching out to mentors including staff members that are mentoring to see if there is any more interest in going. This trip is free to mentors and mentees and does include transportation, lunch and snacks. There will be a community coffee on Friday February 26th from 9:00 to 10:00 am at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex.  Participants will receive more information about the district mentoring program and recruit new mentors. If you're interested, please contact Dawn Steele at dawn_steele@roundrockisd.org. 

One World, One Night
The "One World, One Night" celebration on Tuesday, March 1 (5:30pm-8:00pm), gives our students and their families a passport to different cultures around the world! At the festival you will find tables hosted by fellow Spicewood parents sharing their cultures by exhibiting artifacts, traditional clothing, teaching crafts and providing culinary samples. This year we will also have a special guest, Eve Panzer, the Barefoot Librarian. The Panther and Cub Choir will also be joining us at our event! 


The following countries will be represented at our event: Phillipines, France, India, Mexico, Peru, Italy, China, Ethiopia, Bahamas, Korea, Venezuela, Panama, Servia, and Israel. Each year the number of countries grow and we encourage all cultures at Spicewood Elementary to consider participating in the One World, One Night event.  We also have a link for volunteers who would like to lead or partner with another family to represent a country.  It's not too late, please visit and sign up today! 

Carnival Planning Time! 

On Thursday, March 3, there will be a Carnival informational meeting to learn more about the Spicewood Spring Carnival and how you can help! Please join us after drop off in the Spicewood Library from 7:45am - 9am. There are a variety of committees to choose from (ticket sales, food, entertainment, games, prizes, volunteer coordination, sponsorship, etc), so select what interests you! We want to make this annual tradition a big success and a wonderful evening for our Spicewood families. Feel free to contact Stephanie Engels (smengels99@att.net) or Sandy Parent (sandyparent@austin.rr.com) if you have any questions.

RRISD Kindergarten Round-Up 
Do you have a child who will be 5 years old on or before September 1, 2016? If so, it’s time to start getting ready for Kindergarten! Spicewood will be hosting a Kinder Round-Up registration day for incoming kindergartners on Monday, March 7, from 9AM to 2PM. Parents/guardians must bring the following documents: 1) Child's official birth certificate; 2) Child's immunization record; 3) Child's social security card (preferred but not required); 4) Proof of residence within the school attendance zone (contract on house, lease agreement, actual title to house, current RRISD tax statement, or current utility bill indicating the address and the adult's name.) You should still come to registration even if you do not have all of the above information. Parents will be given notice of when these items are due. For more information, regarding RRISD registration policies, please visit the RRISD Kinder Round-Up page.

Spicewood Kinder Round-Up Events
Sending your little one off to Kindergarten is an exciting and somewhat overwhelming time. Spicewood is committed to help make this transition into elementary school as smooth as possible. Spicewood Kinder Round-Up Events are designed to provide opportunities for parents/guardians and children to become acquainted with Spicewood as well as with future classmates. Every month, beginning in March and culminating in August, we will be hosting events for you and your child to attend together. Please visit the Spicewood Kinder Round-Up Events page for a list of events and to RSVP. We look forward to seeing you.

CVMS 5th Grade Parent/Student Orientation hosted by PTA
PTA Meeting 5th to 6th Grade Orientation on Tuesday, March 22 at 7 pm at Canyon Vista - 5th grade parents and students are invited to an informative evening regarding becoming a middle school, Mustang family.

Free Summer Camp
 The Austin YMBL Sunshine Camps has opened a world of possibilities to the youth of Central Texas by providing free week long summer camps to low-income families. Note that campers must qualify for the Texas public school free and reduced lunch program to be eligible to attend summer camp.The Zilker Park camp is located inside Zilker Park near Barton Springs Pool; it serves campers 7 – 11 years of age. The camp program, under the supervision of experienced counselors, offers activities such as swimming in Barton Springs or Deep Eddy pool, fishing, canoeing, handicrafts, nature study, hikes, games, and a ropes course with a variety of elements including a team wall, and trust fall. Transportation to camp and three meals a day is included.

2016 CAMP REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR!


Thursday, February 25
PTA General Meeting

Friday, February 27
FYI: UT Girl Day STEM Fesitval

Tuesday, March 1
5:30-8:00PM  One World, One Night
Located in the Cafeteria

Wednesday, March 2
Early Release
All students are released at 12:45. Please plan accordingly in advance.

Thursday, March 3
6:00PM   2nd Grade "Yo Leonardo" Music Performance 
In the cafeteria

Friday, March 5
FYI: Explore UT

Monday, March 7
9:00AM-2:00PM   Kindergarten Round-Up





Monday, February 15, 2016

Updates from Leadership Team

Dear families and community,

I hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend! Meanwhile, Spicewood teachers will be spending the day together to participate in a full day of professional development. We love learning just like our students!

Celebrations
2015-2016 Teacher of the Year
Congratulations goes to Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Jenni Redick, who was voted as Spicewood's Teacher of the Year. She brings a wealth of knowledge to our campus and her upbeat and positive attitude is contagious. We so feel fortunate that she is member of our Spicewood Family!

Friendship Day
Headed by Ms. Hougham, our very own No Place and Hate coalition, planned some very special activities for Friendship Day last Thursday, including some friendship stories and a "mix it up" lunch that encouraged students to be risk- takers and sit with new friends at lunch time. We love how our No Place for Hate coalition reminds our students to be open-minded and caring of everyone on our campus!

Student Council
Our students are making a difference on our campus and in our community. Led by their student body president, council members met on Tuesday morning to discuss projects they would like to begin this spring, and ways to included primary class representatives in council meetings.Student council sponsors Mr. Ortiz and Mrs. Robinson have done a great job organizing this group of amazing students!

IB PYP 101
This portion of Mrs. Kim's letter is contributed by Mrs. Vance, our PYP Coordinator.

When each new unit of inquiry is launched, teachers tune in and provoke students thinking with a carefully planned learning experience meant to get students thinking about the concepts and ideas that are about to be explored over the next six weeks. A provocation may be a journal prompt, debate, music selection (just to name a few)  or in the case of our first grade, a short video clip. The purpose of a provocation is to  get the students questioning and spark curiosity about the concepts and topics in the unit of inquiry. Ultimately, the teacher wants the students engaged and sitting at the edge of their seats as they await for the inquiry to unfold!
Our first grade is currently in their Sharing the Planet unit. Within the unit, the students learn about the different bodies of water on our planet, explore the idea of water as a limited resource as well as its accessibility around the world. The students were shown a group of photos, each depicting a different perspective of water. Together, the teacher and students evaluated the first photo, jotting down the different things/people/etc. they noticed in the picture. The students were then prompted to share their wonderings about what they were seeing in the photo. In small groups, the students visited the other photos around the classroom, adding to the Notice/Wonder t-chart.  



Both the water video clip and photos provoked and sparked student curiosity to ask questions about a seemingly basic topic such as water! The first grade teachers in turn use these questions as the driving force for learning experiences in the classroom, giving value to the student questions, in turn modeling for students the importance of questioning in the learning process. 


Check out this Ted Talk and article to learn more about about the importance of questioning and inquiry and the role that it plays in our classrooms today to best prepare our children for their future.
Want to be more involved? How can you support your child at home? Be sure to keep up with our keep up with all things IB related at our PYP Spicewood Blog
This Week's News

Spicewood's Twilight Carnival Information Meeting- Please Join Us!
On Friday, February 19, there will be a Carnival informational meeting to learn more about the Spring Carnival and how you can help! Please join us after drop off in the Spicewood Library from 7:45am - 9am. There are a variety of committees to choose from (ticket sales, food, entertainment, games, prizes, volunteer coordination, sponsorship, etc), so select what interests you! We want to make this annual tradition a big success and a wonderful evening for our Spicewood families.Stephanie Engels (smengels99@att.net) or Sandy Parent (sandyparent@austin.rr.com), Carnival co-chairs.

RRISD Kindergarten Round-Up 
Do you have a child who will be 5 years old on or before September 1, 2016? If so, it’s time to start getting ready for Kindergarten! Spicewood will be hosting a Kinder Round-Up registration day for incoming kindergartners on Monday, March 7, from 9AM to 2PM. Parents/guardians must bring the following documents: 1) Child's official birth certificate; 2) Child's immunization record; 3) Child's social security card (preferred but not required); 4) Proof of residence within the school attendance zone (contract on house, lease agreement, actual title to house, current RRISD tax statement, or current utility bill indicating the address and the adult's name.) You should still come to registration even if you do not have all of the above information. Parents will be given notice of when these items are due. For more information, regarding RRISD registration policies, please visit the RRISD Kinder Round-Up page.

Spicewood Kinder Round-Up Events
Sending your little one off to Kindergarten is an exciting and somewhat overwhelming time. Spicewood is committed to help make this transition into elementary school as smooth as possible. Spicewood Kinder Round-Up Events are designed to provide opportunities for parents/guardians and children to become acquainted with Spicewood as well as with future classmates. Every month, beginning in March and culminating in August, we will be hosting events for you and your child to attend together. Please visit the Spicewood Kinder Round-Up Events page for a list of events and to RSVP. We look forward to seeing you.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR!


Monday, February 15
President's Day- No School for Students

Friday, February 19
WatchDOGS on campus

Thursday, February 25
PTA General Meeting

Tuesday, March 1
5:30-8:00 One World, One Night
Located in the Cafeteria

Wednesday, March 2
Early Release
All students are released at 12:45. Please plan accordingly in advance.

Thursday, March 3
2nd Grade "Yo Leonardo" Music Performance 
6PM in the Cafeteria








Monday, February 8, 2016

Updates from the Leadership Team

Dear families and community,

This week we say farewell to Mrs. Dusterhoff as she concludes her time at Spicewood. Her continued support to our community, staff and students is appreciated. Ms. Kim will be returning toward the end of this week. We know she is looking forward to seeing you all again!

Celebrations

2016 Austin Regional Science Festival
Our Annual Science Fair was a huge success once again! The following students will advance to the Science Fair Regionals taking place on Feb. 17th - 20th at the Palmer Event Center: 
4th Grade: Ava D., Lorren E., Dana K., Shalin L., Mason M., Elise T.
5th Grade: Bishop B., Nandini D., Sophia D., Claire D., Garrett H., Nikki S., Prayag S., Ethan V., Cooper W., Emilie S.

National School Counselors Week
Our ever supportive and amazing counselor, Ms. Hougham, was showered with gratitude last week as we honored her during National School Counselors Week. Ms. Houghman does an amazing job giving extra support to teachers and students each and every day!


IB PYP 101
This portion of Mrs. Kim's letter is contributed by Mrs. Vance, our PYP Coordinator.

In the spirit of inquiry, we provide students with a multitude of learning experiences that allow them to ask questions and do individual/collaborative) research to construct meaning in the most authentic and meaningful manner. 

Our fifth grade students are beginning to construct their own meaning as they begin their Sharing the Planet unit. Within this unit, students explore the availability of different resources and later make connections as to how humans have a great impact on their availability. This past week, students have begun learning about different types of energy sources through research. To help support the students inquiry, students utilize peer to peer collaboration, data collection and in Ms. Mitchell's classroom, expert presentations. 


Students were given the opportunity for some hands on learning with a variety of solar panels, experimenting and playing with the different possibilities of that energy source, in turn deepening their understanding of energy sources. Following this learning experience, students returned to the classroom to reflect and sort out their new learning through whole class discussion. Through community support and collaboration, the fifth graders were given a real world experience and the opportunity to apply their knowledge.

Want to be more involved? How can you support your child at home? Be sure to keep up with our keep up with all things IB related at our PYP Spicewood Blog
This Week's News

Spicewood's Twilight Carnival Information Meeting
This event is fun for the whole family and an important PTA fundraiser for the school.  In order to make Carnival a success we need the help of fellow parents!  Please come to an informational brainstorming session on Friday, February 19, after drop off (7:45am-9am). We will gather in the school library to share ideas for the spring event and solicit help for a variety of roles. If you have any questions in the meantime, please let us know. Stephanie Engels (smengels99@att.net) or Sandy Parent (sandyparent@austin.rr.com), Carnival co-chairs.

RRISD Kindergarten Round-Up 
Do you have a child who will be 5 years old on or before September 1, 2016? If so, it’s time to start getting ready for Kindergarten! Spicewood will be hosting a Kinder Round-Up registration day for incoming kindergartners on Monday, March 7, from 9AM to 2PM. Parents/guardians must bring the following documents: 1) Child's official birth certificate; 2) Child's immunization record; 3) Child's social security card (preferred but not required); 4) Proof of residence within the school attendance zone (contract on house, lease agreement, actual title to house, current RRISD tax statement, or current utility bill indicating the address and the adult's name.) You should still come to registration even if you do not have all of the above information. Parents will be given notice of when these items are due. For more information, regarding RRISD registration policies, please visit the RRISD Kinder Round-Up page.

Spicewood Kinder Round-Up Events

Sending your little one off to Kindergarten is an exciting and somewhat overwhelming time. Spicewood is committed to help make this transition into elementary school as smooth as possible. Spicewood Kinder Round-Up Events are designed to provide opportunities for parents/guardians and children to become acquainted with Spicewood as well as with future classmates. Every month, beginning in March and culminating in August, we will be hosting events for you and your child to attend together. Please visit the Spicewood Kinder Round-Up Events page for a list of events and to RSVP. We look forward to seeing you.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR!


Thursday, February 11
5:00 PM -8:00PM 5th Grade Spirit Night @ Bush's Chicken (hosted by PTA)
Coach Robertson, Coach Berry, Mr. Parks and Mrs. Page will also be in attendance


Monday, February 15
President's Day- No School for Students

Friday, February 19
WatchDOGS on campus

Thursday, February 25
PTA General Meeting

Tuesday, March 1
5:30-8:00 One World, One Night
Located in the Cafeteria

Wednesday, March 2
Early Release
All students are released at 12:45. Please plan accordingly in advance.

Thursday, March 3
2nd Grade "Yo Leonardo" Music Performance 
6PM in the Cafeteria









Monday, February 1, 2016

Updates from the Leadership Team

Dear families and community,

Spicewood has a busy week ahead of us - Class pictures on Tuesday and Early Release on Wednesday. Please remember to plan accordingly in advance as all students will dismissed at 12:45PM on Wednesday.
Celebrations

Annual Science Fair
Our Annual Science Fair was a huge success once again! A BIG THANKS to all parent volunteers, Westwood HS student volunteers, and teachers for making this learning event a great success! 
The following students will advance to the Science Fair Regionals taking place on Feb. 17th - 20th at the Palmer Event Center: 

4th Grade: Ava D., Lorren E., Dana K., Shalin L., Mason M., Elise T.
5th Grade: Bishop B., Nandini D., Sophia D., Claire D., Garrett H., Nikki S., Prayag S., Ethan V., Cooper W. 

Art Volunteers in the Classroom 
We are fortunate to have a community of volunteers that support our students and staff in many different aspects. This week, we'd like to celebrate Art Volunteers in the Classroom. Throughout the year, the students have an opportunity to learn about different artists who have expressed themselves through a variety of mediums. Artists such as Jacob Lawrence, Frido Kahlo and Madhu Bundi were featured at last week's sessions. Students view artwork (prints, actual artwork or online research) and get an opportunity to ask questions about the artist and their art pieces. We appreciate all of our Art in the Classroom Volunteers for their time spent preparing for these valuable sessions for our students. 







IB PYP 101
This portion of Mrs. Kim's letter is contributed by Mrs. Vance, our PYP Coordinator.

As students inquire about their units, their teachers intentionally and carefully select a variety of learning experiences that inspire students to ask questions and do their own research to find the answers.

This week, I thought I would share with you how the essential elements look outside of the walls of a Spicewood classroom. The resources give you an opportunity to explore how other IB campuses interpret these elements on their campuses, read more about popular education trends and in general, giving YOU another way to experience and feel more connected to what is happening on our campus and what is means to be at an IB school.Essential Elements of the PYP curriculum:


Knowledge:  How one teacher gives her students the freedom to explore and question

Attitudes: How the IB Learner Profile shapes students lives

Skills: Thinking Inside and Outside the Box

Action: Small Action, Big Change

Concepts: Constructing meaning through a conceptual approach at a PYP school in India

After you do a little exploring I invite you to take a little time to reflect on your own learning and complete the following statement, “I used to think …. now I think or know…”.  How will you take action based on your new learning?

Want to be more involved? How can you support your child at home? Be sure to keep up with our keep up with all things IB related at our PYP Spicewood Blog
This Week's News

Merchant Rebates
Do you use Bing as a search engine? Did you know Spicewood can benefit from this?  Bing Rewards lets you earn credits for searching on Bing, or trying new features from Bing or other Microsoft products or services. These credits can be donated to a nonprofit organization (Spicewood Elementary)! For more information, become a Bing Rewards member, and check out the FAQ.
 

Reminder: The 2nd Merchant Rebates contest ends Wednesday, 2/17.
1. Class turning in the most POINTS from Bonus Box Tops Certificates (Slightly different from past contests rewarding the highest number of certificates turned in.) wins 15 Carnival tickets for each student in the class.
2. Class IN EACH GRADE turning in the most Labels (Regular Box Tops, Labels for Education, Tyson A+, Community Coffee, and Coke Rewards), excluding, of course, Bonus Box Tops Certificates wins an item from its wish list!

See the PTA's website for a reminder of what Spicewood collects and redeems:
Questions? Contact Lisa Revelett: merchantrebates@revelett.com


Library 
Volunteers Needed
With an average daily circulation of 306 books, the Spicewood Library is in need of volunteers to assist with re-shelving and/or manning the checkout desk. This is a relaxing and easy way to make a meaningful volunteer contribution to Spicewood and you can do it when it best fits your schedule. To sign-up for a 1 hour time slot please visit the Volunteer page and click the online schedule located under the Library heading. You may even want to check with your child’s classroom teacher to find out when your child’s class has their weekly visit to the library, then sign-up to volunteer while your child is there. Kids love to see their parents at school! Grandparents are welcome to volunteer too! 


UT Hosting Spicewood Elementary Spirit Night

Come support Spicewood by attending the Spicewood Appreciation Night at the Longhorns vs. Texas Tech basketball game. All fundraising revenue goes to Spicewood PTA. The game is February 6th at 1:00 pm at the Frank Erwin Center. The class with the most students attending will get a chance to high five the players as they come onto the court. If 150 tickets are sold then those attending can go on the court after the game! Tickets are only $12 and can be purchased through the PTA store.



MARK YOUR CALENDAR!




Tuesday, February 2
Class Picture Day

Wednesday, February 3
Early Release Day
(All students are released at 12:45. Please plan accordingly in advance.)

Saturday, February 6
1:00PM Spicewood Spirit Event (Frank Erwin Center)

Thursday, February 11
5:00 PM -8:00PM 5th Grade Spirit Night @ Bush's Chicken (hosted by PTA)
Coach Robertson, Coach Berry, Mr. Parks and Mrs. Page will also be in attendance

Monday, February 15
President's Day- No School for Students

Friday, February 19
WatchDOGS on campus

Thursday, February 25
PTA General Meeting