- December 1st Food Drive begins!
- December 5th $1.00 Hat Day
- December 6th Hot Lunch & Info-Mobile
- December 12th Santa’s Secret Shop & $1.00 Hat Day
- December 13th Santa’s Secret Shop
- December 19th Christmas Program – Lincoln Center
- December 20th Hot Lunch & Info-Mobile – Food Drive ends! Christmas to Remember Sectionals
- December 21st-January 2nd: NO SCHOOL! WINTER BREAK!
Cold Weather Reminder
As the weather turns 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 weather gear will be required!
Dear Panther Families,
You all are AMAZING! Through the help of our volunteer bakers, and the outstanding support we received from our community, the 2017 Panther Bake Sale raised $400 dollars for Flakesgiving 2017! That fed almost 15 families during the Thanksgiving Holiday! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Our Panthers will continue to focus on our Generosity value through the month of December. We look forward to coming up with new ways to show generosity throughout this holiday season!
The holidays are upon us and are always an exciting time of year! Although happy, they can also cause stress. We see increased stress at school during this time as well. At school, kids can show stress by crying, acting out, or shutting down completely. We find that many times children lack the words to describe their emotions and that makes it hard for them to know how to handle them. We spend a lot of time talking and helping children learn how to manage feelings. Feelings are a part of who we are and we each experience a wide range of emotions – that’s a good thing! The challenge comes when we aren’t sure how to manage feelings like anger, disappointment, and frustration. Please be sure to talk to your child’s teacher if you have any special concerns regarding your child’s ability to manage feelings. We are here to help!
December is a very busy time of year and we are all excited for our winter break. The school will be closed December 21st – January 2nd. During the break there will be many opportunities for you to create a stronger bond with your child and continue to support their academic growth and success. The holidays are a good time for story telling around the dinner table or routines like bedtime reading that cultivate connections between home and school expectations. Young children do best with regular schedules and I encourage you to prepare for their return to school by instilling in them an understanding about the importance of being rested and ready to learn.
I want to wish all of you a safe and restful holiday season with family and friends. I look forward to seeing each of you in 2018!
—Melissa Schnitzmeier – Principal, Pioneer Elementary
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving break. I enjoyed my time off with my family and friends. Winter is almost here! It is important for all children to be dressed appropriately for the outdoors and dismissal in the cold and wet weather.
MATH –In November we continued working on number sense, number formation, and counting. Children learned how to write the numerals 10-30, counted by 1’s to 100, and count by 10’s to 100. We will continue to work on generating and continuing patterns. Other topics we will continue to explore this month are number words, simple addition, and number stories.
SOCIAL STUDIES AND SCIENCE-During the month of November, our shared reading focused on the season of winter, celebrated holidays, and winter activities.
LITERACY NEWS -All kindergartners are developing fluency in letter naming, initial sounds and phoneme segmentation. Please continue to reinforce your child’s sight word recognition by practicing the sight words daily!
THINGS WE ARE LEARNING – Focus to complete the task, quiet voice, work cooperatively • Fine Motor Skills • Identifying and producing beginning and ending sounds in words • Vowel sounds- identifying, producing, and using vowels (a and i) in our reading & writing • Segmenting and blending sounds in words Example: (dog= /d/ /o/ /g/) • Identifying and producing rhyming words • Recognizing/reading familiar words (cat, mom, dad) • Reading color words • Retelling a story in sequence • Identifying story elements: character, setting, main idea, classifying and categorizing, realism or fantasy • Writing simple sentences using a capital letter at the beginning, finger spaces between words, and punctuation at the end.
How is it December already? The first graders have been very busy finishing up our sight word unit, and we are now back into our reading curriculum. As you have probably seen, our new reading unit now includes spelling words. It would be extremely helpful to your student if you would help them study these throughout the week. The students know the majority of the words right now, but they will start getting harder and harder as we get farther into the school year.
Along with our new reading unit, we have also been busy learning more difficult concepts in math, such as addition and subtraction to and from 12, as well as making 10’s to help us add. These concepts are also gradually getting more and more difficult, but the students are working hard to understand the concepts. With Christmas rapidly approaching we have also started practicing our songs for the Christmas program. All of these things have kept us very busy in our first grade classroom. I’m excited to see what the month of December will bring us.
Second & Third Grade
2nd Grade Math
Second graders are “wrapping” up this year with extended strategies in addition and subtraction. Some students have already began adding and subtracting multiple-digit numbers. By the end of December, all students will be at this level. I am looking forward to watching their progress! Again, please practice any addition and subtraction you can at home to help keep the kiddos on point with their doubles facts.
3rd Grade Math
Dashing through the third grade curriculum has been quite the brain workout! It seems that this grade piles on the strategies in math. However with all of the workload, 3rd graders are still powering through. This month they will be reminded of the strategies of adding and subtracting 3-digit by 3-digit numbers. They will start to learn about grouping and repeated addition, to prepare for the upcoming intro to multiplication. How exciting! Keep up the hard work 3rd grade!
2nd & 3rd Grade ELA/Science/Social Studies
Well, we are making progress!! Both the students and I are back from our break and we are ready in both grades to make some great strides until our winter break. Last month in Paws Academy we worked on “Acceptance” and in November “Generosity”. We will have a new focus for December. Make sure you ask your student what it is. This month in second grade students will continue to do whole group instruction and centers for practice and engagement. They are really applying themselves and foregoing distraction. I will continue to challenge the students so they can keep challenging me!
This month in third grade the students have and will continue to “crank” along in their phonics. I am seeing comprehension staying status quo so we will step back and dive deeper with comprehension with reading. This month’s main focus for writing will be writing short plays with their peers. It should be a fun and engaging and allow for them to use their imagination. This month we have the student’s holiday party. The students will begin practicing their songs and will sing two for the holiday program. This will be a great time! Looking forward to seeing you all there!
Fourth, Fifth, & Sixth Grade
4th Grade Math
Again 4th graders have exceeded my expectations in their math curriculum. In just a short month they have learned to not only multiply 2-digit by 1-digit numbers, but also 4-digit by 3-digit numbers, and every combination in between. Great job 4th grade! Moving on they will be learning the strategies for division. They will get to know how division is related to multiplication, and the explanations behind the processes. December will prove to be a busy month full of holiday activities, but these students should have no problem keeping up.
Reading & English Language Art
As we make our way into the holiday season we continue to see amazing progress being made day after day! Our boo clubs are in full swing. We are enjoying venturing into nonfiction and learning all about the different types of text structure. Now that students are in the habit of reading 20 minutes a night, reading logs will no longer be sent home. However, they are still required to have 30 AR points at the end of Trimester 2 so that 20 minutes of reading every night needs to continue! Students are practicing pulling relevant and important information from passages and placing it into different types of graphic organizers. We’ve begun to use Popplet as a means of organizing their thoughts and creating concept maps that encourage reflection upon what they have learned which in turn, leads to more questions and learning!
Seesaw is now in use and the students are loving it! They are able to post their best work and respond to their peers work. One of our favorite tools is the recording tool. After posting or creating a piece of work, they are able to use our “recording studio” to tell about their work. Logins will be sent home this month so that you may start viewing what your kiddo has been up to.
I hope that you have a wonderful December and as always, if you have any questions please pop in!
4th, 5th, & 6th Grade Math/Science/Social Studies
I hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving filled with food and family. I enjoyed spending time with my family and going to Red Lodge to cut down our Christmas tree. I am looking forward to a busy December filled with lots of learning and holiday fun.
In Math 5th and 6th grade are making steady progress. 5th grade has been working on multiplication and division. They have completed units on multiplication and division of whole numbers and have almost finished the unit on multiplying decimals. Next they will work on dividing decimals. 6th grade has moved on from equations and have started working with fractions. They will continue to work with fractions through the month of December.
In science we are going to be learning about earth and space science. We will be learning about galaxies, constellations, the solar system, and astronomy. We will also be learning about weather and natural disasters. We have just started the unit and the students have been excited to share what they already know. In social studies we are now into the revolutionary war and we will continue learning about revolutionary America through December. We will also be learning about the United States Government. The students will learn about the three branches of government. 4th grade has finished the units on the regions of the united states.
In art we have started to work with paper to create different forms of art. Each student has made a collage that reflects their unique interests and pasts. We will continue to experiment with making different colleges and combining the different techniques we have already learned. We will also start to learn about some of the famous artists of the past and their work.
November was so much FUN! We have been seeing our new library books come in, a box at a time, as we get them processed and we have been watching them go out nearly as fast as they are put in circulation! Our students LOVE our new books! November was also our STONE SOUP celebration and this year the 2nd and 3rd grade class put on this event! They did a fabulous job with the book, discussing the theme or ‘life lesson’ to be learned from the story and then incorporating that learned lesson into the shared writing project. We framed their thoughts they wanted to share with friends, family, and loved ones and presented them to their parents at the STONE SOUP luncheon. The students helped me decorate, prepare, cook, and then serve the soup and bread to their families! It was so awesome to be a part of this celebration! Great Job class! December is going to go like lightning as we head into our Christmas holiday season! I can’t wait to share the magic and joy of the season with my students. May we all enjoy the anticipation and joy of the approaching holidays!
Physical Education & Health
I will be assessing all grades on assigned skills this month. This will include but is not limited to the ability to throw overhand, underhand, running while dribbling, running while kicking, kicking, and cross-body tossing. These assessments are not scored against peers, but on an individual basis. These are not assessments to stress over, but please be sure that your students are prepared for class. Not all cold days will be spent inside, so make sure your student has appropriate gear for the weather! As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns! Have a warm and cheerful December!
Holiday fun is in full swing! Santa’s Secret Shop will be Dec 12th & 13th make sure the kiddos are saving up to do their very own Christmas Shopping! Rada orders are expected to be ready the first week in December keep an eye out for your goodies to arrive! There will be no PTA Meeting in December. We wish everyone Happy Holidays and we will see you in the New Year!
—Pioneer PTA Vice President, Paula Tokarski
Winter Health Reminders from the School Nurse A healthy school environment involves the cooperation and effort of us all working together. During this time of year we tend to see a higher incidence of strep throat, respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses along with other health issues. I would like to remind everyone that they can help to protect themselves and their
families by reminding your student of a few healthy habits.
- Wash hands often with soap and water or if not near water use hand sanitizer cleaner.
- Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze-throw away the tissue and wash hands immediately or hand sanitizer if no water available.
- Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth throughout the day. Germs often spread this way.
- Dress for the weather. Warm layers if needed on days of fluctuating temperatures
Other things to keep in mind for this time of year include winter attire.
Check winter boots each night to make sure dry for the next day. (Tip: newspaper in them at night will help absorb moisture). Also check for dry gloves or send an extra pair if your child tends to bring home wet gloves. School policy reminder: If your child needs an antibiotic for infections such as Step Throat, Pink Eye, or other contagious illness, they need to stay home until they have had the medicine for at least 24 hours and feel well enough to participate in classroom. The child must not attend school for 24 hours after episodes of fever, vomiting or diarrhea. Have a fabulous Christmas!
—Karen Graf – School Nurse
Christmas Program Information!
The annual Pioneer School Christmas Program will be held on Tuesday, December 19th at 7:00 pm at the Lincoln Center which is located at 415 N. 30th St. We would like all students to be at the auditorium by 6:45 pm, where they will sit with their teacher and class.
We ask all families to bring one dozen cookies on a disposable plate to share after the program. The punch and cookies are not allowed in the auditorium, so please remember to keep them in the lobby only. The balcony is off limits; please keep all students out of the balcony.
We are running our annual food drive until Winter Break!
Please donate canned goods and other non-perishable food items to help those less fortunate this holiday season.
In Addition…Hat Days!
We will have two HAT DAYS on December 5 th & 12th to raise money for the Food Bank. For a $1 donation, students will be allowed to wear a hat all day at school.
Food Drive: We will be collecting:
- 100% fruit & vegetable juice (boxed & canned)
- Baby food & formula
- Nuts/Dried fruit (sealed)
- Canned or dried beans & peas
- Powdered milk/Evaporated milk
- Canned fruit
- Canned fish & meats
- Peanut Butter
Value of the Month
All About Generosity
Hello! Here at school, we have been very busy learning about generosity – what it means, and why it’s important! 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 generosity through reading about it, talking about it, and practicing it! We have really enjoyed exploring this topic at school, and I hope your family will enjoy it just as much!
Read About It!
- Here are some books to help you learn more about generosity.
- The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
- Boxes for Katie by Candace Fleming
- Listen to the Wind by Greg Mortenson
- The Giving Book by Ellen Sabin
Work together to think of people in your family or community who you can give a small gift or helping hand to. This can be a handmade craft, baked goods, something from the dollar store, etc. As a family, make/buy the gifts and deliver them to special people in your life.
Talk About It!
- Here are some discussion points to help you talk about generosity with your child:
- What do you think generosity means and why is it important?
- Tell me about a time someone was generous to you. How did it make you feel?
- Is generosity something that is hard for you or easy? Tell me why you chose that answer.
- What are some reasons it can be hard to be generous?
- What would the world be like if everyone were more generous?