April Flower

Pioneer Paw Prints Newsletter April 2018

Newsletter Header Image Kid and Chalk BoardIcon Principal's News in the Newsletter

  • April 2: No School
  • April 4: Hot Lunch
  • April 6: Pizza/Pepperoni
  • April 9: School Board Meeting
  • April 10: Kindergarten to Alberta Bair
  • April 13: Jump Rope for Heart, Pizza/Cheese
  • April 17: Kindergarten Roundup, PTA Meeting
  • April 18: Hot Lunch
  • April 17: Kindergarten Roundup
  • April 20: Pizza/Canadian Bacon
  • April 23-27: Smarter Balanced Testing Week
  • April 27: Pizza/Pepperoni
  • May 11: Pioneer Community Panther Party

Cold Weather Reminder

As the weather  remains  colder, it is important that students dress accordingly! Please ensure your students come well prepared to be outdoors during recess. Pants, coats, and other cold/wet weather gear will be required!

Principal’s News

Dear Panther Families,

I’d like to take a minute to commend all of the students who participated in the 32nd Annual Panther Science Fair! Every single one of you did an amazing job and it was an absolute pleasure to watch all of your hard work come to life. You should all be proud of yourselves!

Spring is here and excitement is in the air! The students are enjoying the warmth of the sunshine and the absence of snow! April will be a busy month for our Panthers. Our teachers continue to introduce and review rigorous academic skills and content across all grade levels. With roughly 3 weeks remaining before our SmarterBalanced Assessment week, it is imperative that students are present each day and eager to actively participate in applying the purposeful teaching and learning that is taking place.

Our Panthers will be testing April 23-April 28th. It is incredibly important for students to be present during this testing window. You can support your children by having them at school, well rested and on time each morning. The teachers are banning together to provide a hearty breakfast to ensure full bellies and ready minds. Parents may contribute by providing healthy snacks such as fresh fruit and
granola bars.

With the end of the school year approaching quickly, we want to thank each of you for your ongoing support of our students, teachers, staff, and our mission here at Pioneer. We could not do it without you!

—Melissa Schnitzmeier – Principal, Pioneer Elementary

Hearts all in a row representing Gratitude

32nd Annual Science Fair Award Winners…

Ribbons for First Second and Third PlaceDivision: K-3
1st – Madyson Schnitzmeier
2nd – Dylan Krieger
3rd – Zachary Wyman

Division: 4-6
1st – Teagon Kelsey
2nd – Laci Johnson
3rd – Kara Johnson

Newsletter Banner School News Pioneer


Dear Parents,

Spring is officially here and we are enjoying this warm weather in kindergarten! March was full of magic and mystery as the children discovered a leprechaun had visited our classroom. We knew because there were green footprints all
around the class. Did you know that leprechaun’s only have 3 toes?

Our themes in March were St. Patrick’s Day, Signs of Spring, and our science included ponds, eating healthy, and weather.

Literacy – Learning Sight Words: Review Kindergarten Sight Word
Comprehension Skills: Text Connections, Story Structure, Comparing & Contrasting, Fantasy & Reality
Phonics & Reading: Word Families; CVC, CCVC Words
Decoding Strategies Phonemic Awareness: Phoneme Isolation, Blending, Deletion, and Segmentation
Writing: Descriptive Sentences: Capital Letters, Spaces, & Punctuation Marks; Illustrating with Setting, Characters, & Event

Math – Measurable Attributes & Direct Comparisons (Measuring Length, Height, Capacity, and Comparing Weight. The children have come such a long way, I am very proud of them!
Happy Spring!

—Mrs. Burns

First Grade

Cartoon ABC BlocksDear Parents,

April is going to be another busy month in first grade. Now that we have done review on previously learned concepts in math, we are going to really start diving deep into new, and sometimes more difficult concepts. Although this can appear really hard on the students at times, it is so exciting to see the joy on their faces when the concept finally “clicks”, and they get it figured out. This next month we will be working on math units dealing with addition and subtraction with regrouping, as well as clocks and time if possible.

Reading groups are continuing to go very well, and I am seeing improvement in all students from week to week. Please continue to encourage your student to read at home. They can never get too much practice. Thank you for all of the support you all have provided throughout the year. These kids are amazing!

—Mrs. Rau

Math cartoon and AppleSecond & Third Math

2nd Grade

Second graders only have 4 lessons left in Topic 9- Subtracting Two-digit numbers. They are doing great! When this topic is finished up, students will be learning all about place-value. Under Topic 10 students learn how to read and write numbers to 1,000, changing numbers by 10,100, and 1000, how to build 1,000, and so much more! I feel like this topic will go fast, and student will move onto the next topic with no problem. I can tell that students have been practicing at home, and it is much appreciated. It truly does take a village to raise a child. Students need to practice, practice, practice. Remind students to keep their numbers lined up and neat, when working with them at home. Again, please practice any addition and subtraction you can at home to help keep the kiddos fluent in their math skills.

3rd Grade

Third grade has finished up their multiplication topic. They are now learning division and are halfway through Topic 7. As you may know, division is the reverse operation of multiplication. With that being said, students need to keep practicing their multiplication facts until they have them all memorized. This skill opens doors that will make division and more advanced skills significantly less difficult. Slips are being sent home that students need to return. Please fill them out, sign them, and send them back. When 5 slips are turned in, the student gets to take one problem off of their assignment. Again, all of the facts need to be memorized, so only allow 5-7 seconds for a response.

—Mrs. Eissinger

Second & Third ELA/Science/Social Studies

Cartoon Lady Bug and PencilWe are entering the Spring time. I am excited for the kids to have a break and then return for a strong push before the school year ends!

For both grades in ELA, we are continuing our week by week focus. Please make sure students are practicing their spelling words. They have been doing a good job and we don’t want to lose momentum. Reminder to keep reading and taking AR tests so the students can continue progressing in reading but also will have the opportunity to purchase fun things with their points at the AR store.

In science both grades will be completing a project to create their own habitat. This will be a fun project. We will start the introduction the beginning of the month. There will be a guide paper that will be sent home for more information. Nearing the end of the month the third grade will be doing Smarter Balance testing. It will be a good idea to bring an
extra snack and water bottle if they don’t already. This will be a week long testing. Second grade does not perform this testing. It starts in the third grade.

Lets have a great finish to the school year!!!

—Mr. McDermott

Fourth, Fifth, & Sixth Grade

4th Grade Math

With only one student in the fourth grade, math lessons are going by rapidly. Not only have we completed Topic 11, but we are also only two lessons away from completing topic 12! Our fourth grade student has been putting in so much hard work into her studies, and I am very proud. Our next topic is Topic 13- Extending Fraction Concepts. With progress like this, there is no doubt in my mind that we will get through the next 4 topics that are left by the time school is out!

—Mrs. Eissinger

Reading & English Language Art

April? Already?!? Where has the time gone? In ELA, the 6th graders are beefing up their skills in cause and effect relationships, learning to draw conclusions as they read and determining an authors purpose for writing. 4th and 5th graders are also working on drawing conclusions but we’re focusing more on learning how to recognize general statements and how to properly identify graphic sources in informational text. The class is still reading and analyzing Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein

—Mrs. Schnitzmeier

Cartoon of Kids and Alphabet

4th, 5th, & 6th Grade Math/Science/Social Studies

Spring is officially here! Spring is a busy time and the 4th-6th graders are bursting with energy.

In Math 5th grade is finishing up learning the four operations with fractions. The students have shown perseverance and worked hard to master the many different steps involved in the different operations with fractions. We are now startingto learn about geometry. In April the students will be learning about solids, volume, and units of measurement. In 6thgrade the students have been learning the four operations with integers and graphing. The 6th graders have found integers to be confusing and frustrating so we will continue to review and practice throughout April. In April thestudents will be learning the basics of geometry including angles, classifying triangles, and about symmetry. The students will also be learning about rates, ratios, and proportions.

I would like to congratulate all the students who participated in the science fair. The majority of of the 4th-6th graders entered the science fair this year and it was great to see all the projects and hard work. I was very pleased with all the students efforts. The students who did not enter the science fair still completed projects. The science fair gave students the chance to learn about and practice the scientific process. In April we will be learning about plants, how they grow, different types of plants, and the parts of plants.

In social studies we have been learning about geography. We have also been learning about some of the famous women in history in honor of women’s history month. The students have shown great interest in Amelia Earhart and her flight around the world. In April we will be continuing to learn more about geography and will be focusing on Latin America.

In art we have been busy trying different painting techniques. The students have been painting landscapes, still lifes, and free painting. Painting has allowed the students to continue learning about color theory and experiment with blending, and mixing of colors. In April we will start working with clay and possibly doing some stop animation videos.

—Miss Schatz

Cartton of Kids around big Letters that say READLibrary

March was certainly an adventurous month, weather-wise…never a dull moment! Now March is at an end and we are in the downhill stretch of the year! April and then May and the students can all see the ‘light’ at the end of the tunnel, however I keep reminding them that they need to be diligent in striving for their best till the very end!

We will have our last big AR Store the end of May with many awesome items and some of them will be marked down for our big blow-out! Read, read, read and bank all your points after you test! It will be uber fantastic!

My students are enjoying exploring Chris Grabenstein’s Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library as we hunt for clues and write down all the details that may show us the way out! I’m really glad to see how much they are enjoying this novel as it shows them the adventures to be found in books.

We are exploring poetry in library classes and are working on creating our own ‘black-out poetry’ pages to share with one another. Creativity and imagination working together to create works of art!

The summer library schedule will be out in the next newsletter! I hope to see many of our students this summer reading and exploring all the adventures in books!

—Mrs. Russell

Physical Education & HealthCartoon of Kids Playing Sports

Yay! There is finally some sunshine on our playground! Now that the snow drifts have melted, and birds are chirping, we will be doing a lot more outside PE! We will be practicing the usual basketball, kickball, and soccer, but will also be learning a variety of new games. I hope students are as excited as I am. In health, students are currently making lungs that inflate and deflate. They learned how the lungs function in the body, and what healthy versus unhealthy lungs look like. Moving forward, students will learn about the brain. They will also be getting a talk about personal hygiene. With this, they will be encouraged to change into gym clothes on PE days, as to keep the stink at a tolerable level. Please remind your students to bring a change of clothes.

As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns! Have an awesome April!


—Mrs. Eissinger

Cartoon Nurse Notes Header Banner

Nurse Notes

Why drinking water is the way to go!!!

What do you, the trees, and a hamster have in common? Give up? You all need water. All living things must have water to survive, whether they get it from a water fountain, a rain cloud, or a little bottle attached to the side of a hamster cage.

Glass of WaterWithout water, your body would stop working properly. Water makes up more than half of

your body weight and a person can’t survive for more than a few days without it. Why? Your body has lots of important jobs and it needs water to do many of them. For instance, your blood, which contains a lot of water, carries oxygen to all the cells of your body. Without oxygen, those tiny cells would die and your body would stop working.

Water is also in lymph (say: limf), a fluid that is part of your immune system which helps you fight off illness. You

need water to digest your food and get rid of waste, too. Water is needed for digestive juices, urine(pee), and poop. And you can bet that water is the main ingredient in perspiration, also called sweat.

In addition to being an important part of the fluids in your body, each cell depends on water to function normally. Your body doesn’t get water only from drinking water. Any fluid you drink will contain water, but water and milk are the best choices. Lots of foods contain water, too. Fruit contains quite a bit of water, which you could probably tell if you’ve ever bitten into a peach or plum and felt the juices dripping down your chin! Vegetables, too, contain a lot of water — think of slicing into a fat tomato from the garden or crunching into a crisp stalk of celery.

How Much Is Enough?

Since water is so important, you might wonder if you’re drinking enough. There is no magic amount of water that kids need to drink every day. Usually, kids like to drink something with meals and should definitely drink when they are thirsty. But when it’s warm out or you’re exercising, you’ll need more. Be sure to drink some extra water when you’re out in warm weather, especially while playing sports or exercising.

When you drink is also important. If you’re going to sports practice, a game, or just working out or playing hard, drink water before, during, and after playing. Don’t forget your water bottle. You can’t play your best when you’re thinking about how thirsty you are!

When your body doesn’t have enough water, that’s called being dehydrated. Dehydration also can keep you from being as fast and as sharp as you’d like to be. A bad case of dehydration can make you sick. So keep that water bottle handy when the weather warms up! Not only does water fight dehydration, but it’s awfully refreshing and has no calories.

Your body can help you stay properly hydrated by regulating the amount of water in your system. The body can hold on to water when you don’t have enough or get rid of it if you have too much. If your pee has ever been very light yellow, your body might have been getting rid of excess water. When your pee is very dark yellow, it’s holding on to water, so it’s probably time to drink up.

You can help your body by drinking when you’re thirsty and drinking extra water when it’s warm out. Your body will be able to do all of its wonderful jobs and you’ll feel great!


—Karen Graf RN Pioneer School Nurse

Come Join Us At Our First Annual Panther Pride Community Carnival!

Sign Big News!The Panther PTA and Pioneer Elementary are SHAKING up our annual school carnival and throwing one AWESOME outdoor gathering!

Highlights Include:

  • Vendors
  • Out Door Movie
  • Out Door Games
  • Food Truck
  • Raffles

It’s going to be AWESOME!

We are searching for vendors who would like to promote their business while helping our little rural school! The following are already participating:

  • Heights Car Care
  • Kari Jones State Farm
  • Tea City Cupcakes
  • Montana Mini Buckers

DON’T MISS OUT!! Call now and reserve your spot!

Contact Kari Jones at 406-698-9112 or email her at KLHJ7@icloud.com for details on setting up a table.

Announcements and Upcoming EventsJump Rope for Heart at Pioneer School Billings icon

  • April 13: Jump Rope for Heart
  • April 17: Kindergarten Roundup
  • April 23-27: Smarter balanced Testing Week!
  • May 11: First Annual Panther Pride Community Carnival

Kindergarten Roundup Kids Playing

Icon of PAWS Value of the MonthValue of the Month: All About Kindness


Hello! Here at school, we have been very busy learning about kindness – what it means to be kind, and how we can be kind to others! Learning happens best when it is done both at school and at home. Below are many ways that you can help your child continue to learn about the theme of kindness through reading about it, talking about it, and practicing it! We have really enjoyed exploring this topic at school, and we hope your family will enjoy it just as much!

Read About It!

Here are some books to help you learn more about courage.

  • How Kind! By Mary Murphy
  • The Golden Rule By Ilene Cooper
  • The Lion and The Mouse By Jerry Pinkney

Practice It!

Spend time writing encouraging notes to people in your community. This could be neighbors, policeman, teachers, nursing home residents, firefighters, anyone! Have your child go with you to deliver your notes of kindness!

Talk About It!

  • Tell me about a time when someone was kind to you. How did it make you feel?
  • What do you think kindness means & why is it important?
  • Who is someone in your class you can be kind to?
  • What are ways you can be kind to people at home, at school and in the community?