Monday, December 12, 2016

Updates from the Principal

Dear families and community members,

It is hard to believe that we are into the very final week of school before Winter Break. They say, when you're having fun, time flies! Our students are still rocking and learning in all classrooms so please be sure that our kiddos are here ready to learn every day! :) 


Celebrations

Reflection Competition

Many of our students competed at the district-level Reflections Competition. Some of our students put forth more than one piece of their work. We're very proud to announce that Sahana will move forward and compete in the state-level competition! 


Spelling Bee Campus Competition
Last Thursday Spicewood held a 2nd annual Spelling Bee Campus Competition. Many of our students from grade 1 through 5 participated and competed for a spot to move to the regional level competition. We're proud to announce Kavin in 5th grade as the campus winner who will move forward! 




IB PYP 101


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

"Inquiry" is defined as "a seeking for truth, information, or knowledge -- seeking information by questioning." At Spicewood, teachers to an inquiry based approach to teaching and learning in the classroom. Inquiry is messy, takes time, and is full of student driven questions and wonderings. Students are encouraged to ask questions, constructing their own knowledge through research, classroom learning experiences (for example: whole group discussions and hands on experiments), and making connections between previous and current learning. So what exactly does inquiry look like?

This week we're sharing some classroom examples giving you a quick "snapshot" into the unfolding of inquiry in the classroom.
Second Grade using the Inquiry Cycle during their Sharing the Planet to document student thinking, questions, and application of new knowledge.

Students use LOTS of sticky notes to ask questions!

Graphic organizers help make student thinking visible and provide students with a tool to be used at the end of the unit.

Curious as to how you can foster inquiry at home? Below are some tips for how you can support your child!
  • Support and encourage interest and curiosity by following up with activities at home (be sure to ask your child’s teacher/your child what’s going on in class!)
  • Help your kids develop research skills online and from text
  • Encourage and practice good communication skills such as starting conversations and debates about current events
  • Build projects (or try some coding!) together in the home
This Week's News

Drop Off before 7:20AM on Cold Days
Parents, please drop your child(ren) off and vacate the circle drive prior to 7:20AM. On cold mornings (below 50 degrees), we let our children into the main entrance area to wait. Keeping children in the car and sitting in the circle drive creates a long line of traffic in the morning at the busiest time.

Message from Student Coucil
The Student Council is collecting donations of 1-2 dozen cookies in disposable containers for our Cookies for Courage project (preferably homemade). If your child would like to participate and donate, he or she can bring the cookies to the library on Tuesday, December 13th before school. The Student Council will deliver cookies to show appreciation for the courage of the fire department, police department, custodians, WatchDOGS, crossing guards, and other groups who show courage. Thank you for helping the Student Council and Spicewood show appreciation through this act of kindness! 

Lost and Found
Please check Lost and Found section in the hallway near the Atrium. They're well organized by our wonderful custodians. Any unclaimed items will be donated to a charity after Thursday of this week. 


No Parking at Hope Church This Wednesday & Thursday
Please do not use the church parking lot on Wednesday and Thursday of this week as the church has its own special events for their stakeholders. Thank you. 

Principals' Pride Monday, December 12 & Tuesday, December 13
We will be having Principals' Pride Award Ceremonies today for Kinder-2nd grade students and on Tuesday for 3rd-5th grade students. If your child is receiving an award, you will be notified by your child's teacher. Please come join us in celebrating our students' success beyond academics. 

Adopt the Garden - Volunteers Needed
We are looking for families to "adopt" the garden for a week to help us keep it growing for the students and teachers at Spicewood throughout the year. Responsibilities are easy - light weeding & watering several times during the week, depending on the weather. Specific instructions will be emailed before your week begins. Spots are filling up quickly, so don’t delay, sign up today at http://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080a48aeae29aa8-spicewood2

Follow us at https://www.facebook.com/spicewoodteachinggarden to see how the teachers use the garden, how you can help out and how the garden grows throughout the year.


MARK YOUR CALENDAR!


Monday, December 12
8:00AM   K-2nd Grade Principals' Pride

Tuesday, December 13
8:00AM   3rd-5th Grade Principals' Pride

Wednesday, December 14- Thursday, December 15
No Parking at Hope Church

Thursday, December 15
Last Day of Fall Semester for Students
Winter Parties

Friday, December 16- Monday, January 2
Winter Break- No School

Tuesday, January 3
Class Begins for Spring Semester

Wednesday, January 11
5:00-8:00PM   4th Grade Spirit Night at Noble Pig (Hosted by PTA)

Monday, January 16
MLK Day- No School

Thursday, January 19
6:00PM   PTA General Meeting 
Library

Friday, January 20
5th Grade Mustang Express to CVMS
WatchDOGS Friday



Monday, December 5, 2016

Updates from the Principal

Dear families and community members,

It's finally feeling like winter with this cold weather. This week is our Computer Science Education Week with the Hour of Code. Our students will be participating in various computer science activities throughout the week. Our students LOVE the Hour of Code. Follow us on Twitter @SpicewoodPYP, @Tech4fun and @JKimRRISD! 


Celebrations

First Harvest in the Teaching Garden

We had our first harvest in our Teaching Garden last week. We need families and volunteers to continuously give care to the garden. If you'd like to help out, please sign up here!




IB PYP 101


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

Our fifth grade classes are just wrapping up their How the World Works unit of inquiry in which students explored the concept of phenomena (what does that word actually mean?) and how different perspectives can influence one's interpretation of the word. The concepts in the central idea, Human and natural-made phenomena exist in our world and impact societies, were analyzed and researched by our fifth graders, concluding in a summative assessment. A summative assessment is the final end product that provides students a platform to share what they learned in the unit of inquiry. Summative assessments can take a variety of forms, however, they are all student driven and directed, exemplifying an authentic assessment of their knowledge.

Inspired by all of their inquiries throughout the first part of the unit, students chose a phenomena that interested them and got started with their research. From man-made wonders of the world like Hoover Dam and the Roman Colosseum to more natural phenomena like Mount Everest or The Grand Canyon, students generated questions to guide their inquiries and collaborated with one another as they gathered and interpreted their findings.

Next, students learned how to use a green screen (DoInk app on the ipad) to create a creative presentation to share their research with others. Students took the lead in teaching one another how to best create their videos, add images, and edited them for their final products. Each video was then linked to a QR code giving access to anyone who visited the library to these amazing projects!
A screen shot of student product using DoInk green screen app



The projects will be in the library over the next week, be sure to stop by and check them out!

This Week's News



Computer Science Education Week- The Hour of Code THIS WEEK [Dec. 5-9]
We live in a world surrounded by technology and we know that whatever field our students choose to go into as adults, their ability to succeed will increasingly hinge on understanding how technology works. Our entire school continues to participate in one of the largest learning events in history - The Hour of Code.  During Computer Science Education Week, Dec. 5th-9th, the Hour of Code aims to demystify coding and show that anybody can learn the basics by just coding for one hour during this week. 

Students will have an opportunity to learn or extend their knowledge of programming concepts next week. We encourage you to reach out to your child's teacher and volunteer during this week if you can. In addition to coding activities in the classroom, students will have the opportunity to learn more about computer science on the daily announcements, participate in a photo contest with their class, work with the Ozobots in the Inquiry Lab, and much more! 

Science Fair Parent Information Night Tomorrow
Science Fair Information Night for parents will be held in the library starting at 6pm on Tuesday, December 6. 

Photo Retakes This Wednesday
If your child needs to retake individual school photo, please send them to school ready with a smile on this Wednesday. 

Spelling Bee Campus Competition
Spelling Bee Campus Competition hosted by PTA will take its place this Thursday in the school cafeteria beginning at 6PM. This event is only for students who have already participated in the preliminary round and been selected to move forward in November. 

Principals' Pride Next Monday, December 12 & Tuesday, December 13
We will be having Principals' Pride Award Ceremonies next Monday for Kinder-2nd grade students and on Tuesday for 3rd-5th grade students. If your child is receiving an award, you will be notified by your child's teacher. Please come join us in celebrating our students' success beyond academics. 

Adopt the Garden - Volunteers Needed
We are looking for families to "adopt" the garden for a week to help us keep it growing for the students and teachers at Spicewood throughout the year. Responsibilities are easy - light weeding & watering several times during the week, depending on the weather. Specific instructions will be emailed before your week begins. Spots are filling up quickly, so don’t delay, sign up today at http://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080a48aeae29aa8-spicewood2

Follow us at https://www.facebook.com/spicewoodteachinggarden to see how the teachers use the garden, how you can help out and how the garden grows throughout the year.


MARK YOUR CALENDAR!

Monday, December 5- Friday, December 9
Computer Science Education Week- Hour of Code
Stay tuned for more detailed communication!

Tuesday, December 6
6PM    Science Fair Parent Information Night

Wednesday, December 7
Photo Re-Take Day

Thursday, December 8
6:00PM   Campus Spelling Bee Competition (PTA Hosted)
Cafeteria

Monday, December 12
8:00PM   K-2nd Grade Principals' Pride

Tuesday, December 13
8:00PM   3rd-5th Grade Principals' Pride

Wednesday, December 14- Thursday, December 15
No Parking at Hope Church

Thursday, December 15
Last Day of Fall Semester for Students

Friday, December 16- Monday, January 2
Winter Break- No School

Tuesday, January 3
Class Begins for Spring Semester