Alta Sierra Elementary

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Last Week Reminders

This morning we began a writing activity that involved all we've studied, learned, and enjoyed this year - we ran out of room/time with hands still raised!
Some reminders and requests for this final week of third grade:
  • Tomorrow (Tuesday) Mrs. Taylor will lead PE activities from 1-2pm. Be sure to send a water bottle with your child, and have them dressed in PE clothes (especially shoes).
  • Wednesday - we'll have a busy day with Eagle Fun Day and a pizza lunch for all students who have met* their 3rd trimester AR goal. We can still use help from parents both running a station, and especially a pizza delivery person (prepaid at Little Caesar's). Please sign up if you are available. This is another day that PE clothing is important. In addition, be sure kids come to school wearing sunscreen, hats, water, and clothing that can get pretty wet - maybe even a backup shirt, etc.
  • Thursday - on our last day of third grade, we will have an awards assembly at 10:20, followed by our readers' theater The Incredible Westward Movement. Please join us for these special culminating activities. Be sure to sign in in the office before coming up to Room 8.
  • Thursday - report cards come home. We'll plan to send most other work home before this. Kids will bring artwork, science journals, owl pellet stick sheets, etc. home. In particular, be sure to set aside the stapled "On Demand Writing." You'll want to see their progress in writing this year and hold onto this in that box or file where important things are stored for your children!
*students who have not yet met their goal have by the end of the day on Tuesday to do so - we'd love to include as many students as possible in our special lunch.

End of Year Activities & Sign-Up

If you are able to join us or send in a donation for any of the upcoming end-of-year activities, please sign up.
Thank you for your continued commitment to the students in Room 8 - we look forward to our final two weeks of learning and fun.
Egg Drop
As part of our STEAM day on Friday, June 1, students will create an egg drop capsule. Feel free to brainstorm, gather supplies, or even construct this at home before then. Alternatively, please simply set aside materials (packing materials, small boxes, old Nerf balls, tape, etc. - the more options, the better), and send them in to your child's classroom by Friday, when construction will happen between recess and lunch. This is the second shift of the sign-up for STEAM day, and the more adult helpers, the better. If you're able to join us at this time, you might consider bringing a lunch to eat with your child and sticking around for the Egg Drop after lunch.
AR Goal Deadline
Keep encouraging your child to read and meet his/her AR goal for the trimester by Friday, 6/1 (remember, you can check this on AR home connect). We'd be happy have a full classroom for lunch on Wed. 6/6 to celebrate students meeting their goals!

Scholastic Book Order

Our final order for 3rd grade will be due online by 2pm on this Thursday, May 24. This should give plenty of time for a box of summer reading to arrive! Remember, there are many more options at all reading levels available online. Our class code is HHHNQ (also found in links on sidebar of this site). When asked about maintaining skills over the summer, my immediate response for all students is always...READ! Of course, the conversations that follow, the math facts, everyday math problems, etc. are quick to follow as well. Have a great week.

Open House and a Home for Chicks

I look forward to seeing you all on Thursday at 6:00 for Open House. The kids have worked so hard this year, and have so much to share with you and your family.
You no doubt have heard that we have one chick in the brooding box and two others working hard to hatch. If you are interested in taking our chick(s) home to raise, please contact me and we'll arrange for you to pick them up on Friday.

Help (and fun) in the classroom

I hope you have all had a good week - I was happy to return to the classroom today!
Next week, we'll have a few activities that would run more smoothly with your help. If you are available for any of the following, please let me know.
  • Monday 12:45, clay figurines
  • Tuesday 11:10, report covers in the computer lab
  • Tuesday 1:25, book fair (library)
  • Wednesday 12:35, owl pellet dissection
The highest priority times are Monday and Wednesday afternoons. Be sure to check in in the office before heading up to room 8 or the computer lab. I look forward to seeing you here, and know your child & his/her classmates will, too.
Enjoy finishing up the "something extra" project with your child this weekend (due Wed.), and Happy Mothers' Day to all moms!

Fun Day Contract

Good afternoon parents,
Today the kids brought home a contract for participation in the Grades 3-5 End-of-Year Fun Day on June 6. Please review it with your child, discuss any areas you feel a plan for success is needed, and send in the bottom portion by Friday. It mentions "Refocus" forms for grades 4 and 5. This will give us a good opportunity to introduce this tool before 4th grade begins. In our classroom, will will consider a 3rd "check-in" to be comparable to a refocus, and may introduce the actual form if a child reaches this level. Any major disruption or problem would also be counted as a "refocus." Please contact me if you have any questions - I look forward to a fun Fun Day!
Other Notes
  • tomorrow is our second day of CAASPP testing (ELA Performance Task). We've reminded kids about getting a good night's sleep, eating a healthy breakfast, and bringing a filling, nutritious snack
  • I've added the "South County Safety Meeting" to our calendar of events - this is in response to situations and conversations across our country regarding school safety - please contact the district office at 268-2800 for more information
  • PTC President - this position has not been filled for next school year. If you are interested, please talk with Mrs. Alonso the next time you're on campus. If you know someone who would be great in this role, please encourage them to pursue it. 

State Testing Reminders

State testing has begun at Alta Sierra, and from the sounds of it and time spent in the computer lab, our students are working tremendously hard.
Reminders - for the scheduled dates (on the calendar and listed below), please be sure your child gets a good night's sleep, has a healthy breakfast, brings a nutritious snack, and gets an extra word of encouragement on the way out the door. If you'd like to send in a nutrient-rich snack (individual, easy to distribute - probably pre-packaged) for the whole class on one of these dates, please let me know.
Please also give the usual test-taking reminders (they'll continue to hear it from us at school!): take your time, read the passages and questions at least twice, and be sure to go back and check your work...
Friday, 4/27 - ELA
Thursday, 5/7 - ELA Performance Task
Thursday, 5/10 - Math Performance Task
Monday, 5/14 - Math 

"Earth Day" Reminders

The kids sure look great in their nice school clothes today (multiple comments from other staff members!). The same attire will be just right tomorrow evening.
Additional Reminders:
  • 5:45 arrival - kids line up on ramp below playground, parents get good seats, purchase dvds, and drop off donations
  • DVD orders can be placed at the performance - Rattler Pit Productions will have a table at the entrance.
  • Donations - kids from Alta Sierra gave us a great start today at our school performance. Be sure to bring a package of toilet paper or energy bars as your "admission." Donations will be delivered to Hospitality House on Thursday.
A Big Thanks - Emil Baldoni from Weiss Brothers Nursery was quick to support our class and school. You'll see the two trees he provided as part of our set, and we'll get them in the ground Thursday afternoon (feel free to join us in the garden at 1:20 or so). He also provided a few other items that we'll use in class during our life cycles unit. Please be sure to support Weiss Bros.

Animal Reports, Rocket Math, and Earth Day

Reminder - students should make a choice of a local, researchable, wild animal for their research reports tomorrow - enjoy the dinnertime conversations! If you're able to stop by the public library, they have great children's librarians who can be a great help. Use this coupon code for half-priced Rocket Math flashcards. These are specific to the facts program we are using, and designed to help kids learn the facts that align with the set they are trying to pass at school. Our goal is for all kids to complete all multiplication levels by the end of the school year - better yet, get well into division!
Use this coupon code (Sp18-2221-2226) for half-priced Rocket Math flashcards. These are specific to the facts program we are using, and designed to help kids learn the facts that align with the set they are trying to pass at school.
Finally, be sure you've put the third grade performance of Earth Day on your calendar for Wednesday, April 18. Kids should arrive at 5:45, and you can get your seats, order DVDs, drop off donations of a package of toilet paper and/or granola bars (benefits the clients of Hospitality House - specific needs). The kids are learning their lines and the songs are sounding great - the backdrop goes up tomorrow afternoon!

Spring Break

Enjoy your spring break - we look forward to seeing you back at school on Tuesday, April 3.
As you enjoy your week, you might have a conversation with your child about the wild animals in our area...when we return to school, each child will get to choose a local wild animal to learn about for our research report. You might even stop by the library, book store, or local wildlife organization and begin the learning!
Be sure you've marked your calendar (Wednesday, April 18, 5:45pm) for the third grade performance of "Earth Day" - we had our first rehearsal with the kids from Room 15 today, and have started working on our backdrop for the stage.

Field Trip (& weather forecast)

As much as I'd like to think the weather forecast will change, we are planning for a rainy field trip tomorrow. This, of course, means to make sure that your child is well-dressed for a trip that will be partially outdoors, both at the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum in Nevada City (there was an error sent out on the school newsletter - we'll be staying in the foothills tomorrow, as the permission slip indicated) and Empire Mine. Our lunch will be later than usual (12:45), so please be sure your child eats a good breakfast. We've suggested that they each bring two "pocket snacks" to hold them over until lunch.
Though wet, we have a great day planned for tomorrow. At the Railroad Museum, students will be introduced to the Narrow Gauge railroad that once connected Grass Valley to Colfax. As you prepare your child for the day tomorrow, please plant the questions of "Why did this area need a railroad then, but not now? What does narrow gauge mean? and Why would they choose narrow gauge over standard gauge?" They should be well-equipped to report back tomorrow afternoon! At Empire Mine, we will have a guided tour that reinforces and adds to what we learned in the fall about Nevada County's hard rock mining history. Be sure to ask your child about the "secret room" - what it held and why it was kept secret by mine executives.

What a Concert!

Today we had an outstanding performance by the Music in the Mountains Woodwind Quintet. This is an example of the organization's mission of bringing free live music to area schools. Not only did the kids enjoy a performance by these professional musicians, but they learned from each about the instruments (flute, piccolo, clarinet, french horn, bassoon, and oboe) and the pieces they played. The kids will no doubt have a lot to share with you this afternoon. The only request Music in the Mountains makes is that the students write them letters. We came back to the classroom, brainstormed what we could say, and the kids wrote their letters. Part of their homework tonight is to go over the letter with you to revise and edit. Please pay close attention to the five parts of the friendly letter, and have them take a second look at words/sentences that need editing. A signature of first-name only would be great. The kids are welcome to add a picture, and should bring their letters back tomorrow to be sent.
If your child enjoyed today's performance, consider taking a look at the calendar of upcoming events for Music in the Mountains and Auburn Symphony - they have a few concerts each year geared for kids.

Scholastic News and Child Safety Puppeteers

Good afternoon, families,
We've had a busy day in Room 8. Our Scholastic News issue this week included a video (available through the link on our classroom site) and article regarding online safety. It touched on such important aspects that we have included a re-read and discussion with a parent (please indicate with a signature on the front label) as part of today's homework - enjoy this important discussion. If this creates a time constraint, it can serve as reading for the reading journal.
We also had a puppet show (information in today's Thursday envelope) after lunch presented by Child Advocates of Nevada County that taught about safe and unsafe touch, and how to handle uncomfortable or unsafe situations by telling a parent or caregiver right away. 

Updates in the Snow!

I hope you are by now enjoying a warm activity with your kids! 
Field Trip - we are scheduled for our Nevada County field trip on March 13. We'll tour the Railroad Museum in Nevada City, then head down to Empire Mine for a tour. I hope permission slips will be copied and ready to send home tomorrow, Tuesday 2/27. Though we have a little more time for permission slips to come in, lunch orders for the trip must be turned in by Wednesday, 2/28. If you would like to join us as a chaperone, please email me as soon as possible.
Child Safety Puppeteers will present a puppet show for our students on Thursday, March 1. Permission slips went home in last week's Thursday envelope (2/22). Please send them back if you do not want your child to participate (please send me an email as well). You can preview the script on their website: