Archive | November, 2011

Media Center update for November, 2011

The Media Center has been a busy place this fall! We’ve welcomed the Middle School students doing the research for their Integrated Project, and the topics are very interesting. The addition of two more computers to the Media Center has been a great help (thanks, Bill!). Marion also went with the Middle School students to the Ann Arbor District Library on a research field trip. This was a great opportunity for our students to have access to a large collection in support of their project. Many questions were fielded and good information gathered on the trip.

The Fall Book Fair occurred during Fall Festival, and was well received. Many thanks to our local bookseller, Nicola’s Books, for providing such a nice selection of items. The Media Center will benefit by having credits to spend at the store for new materials for our collection. Thanks also to those who helped the sale run smoothly and be cleaned up quickly. We’re planning a spring event for 2012 in conjunction with the Curriculum Celebration on May 18.

The Media Center’s web page has been improved with the addition of some links to appropriate databases for student research. A selection of the databases aimed at students in K-8 have been linked to our page from the state-wide resource, the Michigan eLibrary (MeL). These resources offer full-text of magazine articles, newspaper stories, audio and video clips, broadcast transcripts, and other things that support research projects and reports. Having the databases linked to our page makes the research process more of a onestop- shop for our students; they can access the materials catalog, the databases, and a good group of appropriate web sites all from the Media Center home page.

Work continues on the long process of getting the Fiction and Easy Books collections more userfriendly with labels indicating both interest/reading level and genre. Having these labels on our material enables students and their teachers to select books more easily and find that just-right book more quickly.

The Media Center encourages our students to bring in pieces of their art, to be displayed as the “Student Artist of the Week.” We show student’s work in the Media Center for the Honey Creek community to admire. If your student would like to display a piece of their work, please let Marion know, and it will be put up for its week in the spotlight.

As you plan your holiday shopping, please remember that the Media Center is grateful for donations of books. We keep a wishlist on Amazon.com for those items we could especially use. To make finding this list easy, we’ve included a link on the Media Center’s home page to it, found near the bottom of the page. Thanks to everyone who supports the Honey Creek Media Center! We appreciate you!

Art update for November, 2011

October has brought about some wonderful art projects for the students at Honey Creek. Everyone has been working hard since the beginning of school and we are finally seeing projects on our Artsonia website! Thank you again to all of the parents, family and friends who have left comments for our artists and have purchased gifts that raise money for new art books and posters! You can visit our school’s page at www.artsonia.com/ HoneyCreekCommunity1. New art projects will continue to appear throughout the school year as they are completed. If your student does not have an Artsonia account yet, you can e-mail me at lparrish@hc.wash.k12.mi.us and I will be sure to send home a permission slip for your student.

K/1 students are currently working on collages inspired by Henri Matisse’s “Beasts of the Sea.” 2/3 students are finishing up a project in which they are learning about tints and silhouettes and creating their own city skyline scenes. 4/5 students are learning about the work of Keith Haring, and learning about drawing figures and showing movement using positive and negative space. Middle School students are beginning a unit about Japanese art and design, in which they will complete projects exploring printmaking, mask-making, and calligraphy/brush painting. Middle School elective is currently working on surrealist drawings, after completing their unit on abstract art and painting.

I also want to extend a thank you to the PTO for their help with supplies and donations, and to the parents who have donated things like trays, lids, and cups for painting — it is a big help for both myself and the students. Having the right tools and supplies allows them to create even more beautiful artwork. Thank you for all of your help and support!

Physical Education/Swimming update for November, 2011

We have had another great month in PE and Swimming! We practiced our basketball skills at all levels, focusing on correct form for dribbling, passing and shooting and adding in layups, defense, and games in the 4.5’s and MS. All students showed tremendous improvement throughout the course of this unit.

In swimming we have continued to work on front crawl and back crawl and added in the elementary back stroke for the 2.3’s and 4.5’s. The students are working very hard with 77% of 2.3’s as deep end swimmers and 92% of 4.5’s. We really strive to help students pass this test because we feel confident that if they ever found themselves in a sticky situation the knowledge and skills required to pass this test could help them save their lives. The K/1’s are working hard as well as we have 4 deep end swimmers and 5 middle area swimmers! We have been focusing on breathing and kicking with this age group.

Coming up in PE this month for the K/1’s will be locomotor skills (skipping, galloping, jumping, hopping, leaping, sliding). These skills should be in complete, mature form by the end of 2nd grade. The other levels will begin learning a sport called pickleball. Pickleball is a played on a court similar to a badminton court and uses a racquet made of wood or plastic (we have plastic racquets). It uses a heavier type of whiffle ball and is usually played 2 vs 2. We will have 2 courts and will play 4 vs. 4 to allow everyone ample playing time. Check out this link to learn more about pickleball: http://www.usapa.org/ .

Field hockey has wrapped up the season with an astounding record of 7-3-1! We really pulled together as a team and worked hard to accomplish our goals. If your child in interested in playing field hockey there are plenty of opportunities to continue or start playing before the beginning of the fall season. Check out usafieldhockey.com , pinnaclefieldhockey.com , and the Ann Arbors rec and ed homepage. Thanks for all of your support!

School Board update for November, 2011

The Honey Creek Community School Board of Trustees met Wednesday October 26th, 2011. The Board minutes are available on the HCCS website for your review.

Members of the 2011-2012 Board include:

  • Patrick Conlin, Trustee
  • Brian Hockley, Treasurer
  • Linda Knox , Vice President
  • Kelly Krawcke , Secretary
  • Scott Mahler, President
  • Lisa Wozniak, Trustee

This month’s meeting included reviews of the operating committee reports from:

  • The Fund Development Committee, who are working on establishing 501c3 status separate from the school’s, to help expand the school’s fund-raising capabilities
  • The Governance Committee, who finalized the Directors Assessment which was approved by the Board
  • The Outreach Committee who, amongst other things, are actively working with Bill VanLoo to develop a new website
  • The Strategy Committee who continue their efforts with regards to the schools strategic plan.

The Board would like to extend a heart felt “Thank You” to Libby Sheldon, who, after serving on the Board for the past two years, has decided to step down. Her knowledge, advocacy and passion for the Honey Creek community will be missed on the Board, though she remains an active part of HCCS.

The Governance Committee will select a candidate to complete the remainder of the 2011-2012 term. This candidate will be appointed by the board at the next Board Meeting scheduled for November 16, 2011 at 5:30 in the Pit.


With appreciation,

Kelly Krawcke, Secretary

Middle Elementary News for November, 2011

Tammy, Mary and Salli hope you are enjoying and reading our blogs posts. There is a lot of information in these that can inform you of what we’re doing each week. Please know that our lessons and plans are best used as a forecast for the coming week or month. All three 2/3 teachers look at what we need to do for our curriculum and what our students are experiencing during the current month, week, day or hour. If things don’t seem to be flowing well, we may make the decision to shift our lesson plan.

We are ready to launch our intense study of communities, how they work and how our Honey Creek community functions. Our classes will hear personal narratives about the history of High Point and Honey Creek, with a specific focus on the playground. Students will map the playground, as well, and begin designing their own playgrounds. Designing a playground also asks the students to consider the earth’s features, landforms and bodies of water as well, so science is strongly represented in this unit. On November 7th, we will head to the Ann Arbor District Library to hear their free presentation on how a library fits into a community.

During the playground design, students will be using many measurements and our math focus will be on this strand. Mapping places also asks students to use their geometry skills, so many of these math skills will be practiced as well. The 2/3 classes have begun switching up children each week to conquer grade-level math skills. We are still looking for a way to efficiently and effectively communicate the specific skills taught each week.

All middle elementary students are building stamina each day during Read to Self. All teachers read out loud and daily use this time and text to teach many comprehension skills. After using and exploring comprehension strategies like Visualize, Ask Questions and Make Predictions, these strategies are posted on a class CAFE menu. C is for Comprehension, A for Accuracy, F for Fluency and E for Expand our vocabulary.

Children are writing up a storm and mastering the writing process at the same time. Different classes have explored different genres. We generally ask 2 nd grader to edit for COPS and 3rd graders to use this as well as show some revision. COPS ask students to look for Capital letters at the beginning of sentences, do an Overall check for missing or misused words, make sure they have Punctuation (end marks are the most important and make sure frequently used words are Spelled correctly.

We are so grateful for all of your help recycling. If you are able to pitch in, please sign up outside of A6.

Honey Creek Legomaniacs compete in FLL & JrFLL competitions

Honey Creek’s Lego Robotics teams, the Honey Creek Legomaniacs, competed in two separate tournaments this fall. The three FLL teams (grades 4-8) competed at the Monroe High School tournament, with 21 students participating. The three JrFLL teams (grades 1-3) participated at the White Lake tournament, with 13 students participating. Congratulations to all 6 teams!

Honey Creek Students Participate in First Annual Walk and Run-a-Thon

On Saturday, October 1, 2011, over X number of Honey Creek students participated in the first annual Walk and Run-a-Thon! Students raised almost $6000, which was used to partially fund the school’s new iPad cart. Great job, Honey Creek!

Later Elementary News for November, 2011

Happy November 4/5 families! It’s hard to believe we’re starting our third month of school – and that the Holiday season is quickly approaching! We hope everyone has had an enjoyable fall season. We’ve been working hard over these first two months, and we’ve got a lot to look forward to as we head into November. Here’s a quick look at what we’ve done and what’s ahead.

In social studies students have been studying geography. They’ve been using the Five Themes of Geography (movement, regions, human/environment interaction, location, and place – MR. HeLP) as a way to better understand the human and physical geography of the United States. Students chose a specific place in the U.S. to research using these five themes of geography. Currently, students are working on posters defining their specific places through these themes. Questions students need to answer include: How do people, goods, and ideas move in my place? What is the absolute and relative location of my place? How would I define the physical and cultural region of my place? These are just some of the questions students are pondering as they come to a better understanding of what it means to think like a geographer. Please feel free to catch up on weekly social studies updates by visiting our 4/5 class website and clicking on the social studies class page.

In Language arts students continue to read the book Hoot. Currently students are working on a compare/contrast essay that will analyze the similarities and differences between a character from Hoot and either a character from Flush, or an actual person. These essays will be taken through the writing process and displayed, in published form, at our first curriculum celebration. Students will also be starting their final, Hoot, group projects shortly. Our next unit will be fantasy. Look for details regarding independent book choices and projects coming home soon!

In Science students have been studying plants and ecosystems. Currently students are learning about photosynthesis. Students made chlorophyll factories to demonstrate how photosynthesis works and they’ve started to define specific vocabulary words related to ecosystem (balance, carnivore, community, consumers, decomposers, etc.). It was great seeing everyone at conferences! Please feel free to contact your child’s math teacher if you have any math related questions. Also, remember to check our 4/5 class website occasionally as we’re working to keep it updated with pertinent information (www.http://honeycreekschool.org/4-5/).

As always, thank you for all you do for your kids!

Academic Service-Learning Update for November, 2011

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our collection for the Education Project! All materials are being delivered to our WISD contact this week so that they can be distributed to area youth. There are also six wonderfully decorated Boxtops collection boxes ready to start collecting points for area locations that work with homeless youth. Thank you to the fourth and fifth graders who took the time to do this!

Another thank you to Kelly Krawcke who is currently working with Food Gatherers to get collection bins into our school. As soon as our bins are delivered we will be welcoming all non-perishable food items. This collection will run through the rest of this month and into the beginning of December.

Students will participate in the first assembly of this school year later this month. At that time we will recognize students who completed 50 or more service hours during the 2010/2011 school year, including a middle schooler who will be sharing some of her personal AS-L experiences. We will also recognize those who participated in this year’s walk/run-a-thon. This event raised a significant amount of money for our school and gave students an opportunity to enjoy some fresh air and exercise. Finally, this assembly mark the beginning of students’ goal setting for personal service hours. Look for a total school goal and tracking graph on the AS-L board in early December!

Thank you to all who have been recording and turning in AS-L logs. Remember, blanks are located on the wall outside the after care office and completed forms can be turned in to a base teacher or directly into Johnny Thompson’s mailbox.

Music Update for November, 2011

We are starting to wind down our big units in music class so that soon we can begin working on our winter concert songs. Concert preparation time is my favorite time of the year. I get to teach the students some wonderful new music, as well as, watch their excitement and enthusiasm as they perform the songs for the community.

The choir has already begun learning a few concert songs. They are also expanding their minds by learning how to sing a lullaby in Slovakian. Band 1 was able to come together as a large group for the first time this year. They are learning how to play together as a group and how each member of the band is supposed to play at just the right time to create a song. The music they are beginning to create is beautiful. They are excited to show the community what we have been working on.

Band 2 has also been learning to play together as a group. The 6th grade students have the biggest challenge since this is their first time playing with the middle school band. They are beginning to work together and are developing a very mature sound. I will be passing out Band 2’s first concert song next week. It is a very challenging song, but one that I hope will bring a rewarding experience. I look forward to creating wonderful musical experiences with each student and hope the community will come see our hard work at our concert on December 15th at 3:30.

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