Archive | October, 2012

Cross Country News: October 2012

The Phoenix Cross Country Team 2 has kicked off their season on fire. In their debut meet, the boys took 1st of 3 teams at
Greenhills on September 20th. The Honey Creek runners created history hosting their first ever meet on our campus as they
welcomed schools, Emerson and St. Thomas. The meet was highlighted with Honey Creek claiming 4 out of the top 5 places. The
Phoenix harriers are back in action next week as we take the short drive down Scio Church to run at Emerson School on October
2nd. Race time is slated for 4:15 PM.
***Mark your calendars for the 1st Phoenix Cross Country Invitational, October 16th, as Honey Creek hosts 5 Ann Arbor/Metro
Detroit schools. Race time is 4:15***
2012 Middle School XC Team 2 members consist of:
Tom Oates, Talin Khanna, Ellery Hatopp, Abby Knox, Dylan Reynolds, Wilson Noll, Ben Simon, Jackie Walter, Justin Alexander,
Sam Jyawook, and Xavier Mahler
What makes our team unique from most others in the area is we allow our dynamic 5th graders to take part. Not only do they
participate but they contribute greatly in practices and help produce our strong performances in the meets.
5th Grade Runners- Spencer Jyawook, Robbie Oates, & Julian Ascani
There is still space available to join the team. Come & Run with us!

After School Programs News: October 2012

SCHOOL DAYS:” October 19th, 26th & 29th; November 5th & 6th; February 8th; March 1st & 8th; April 26th; and May 3rd.
Please register ONE WEEK BEFORE in order to receive the Early Bird Discount. Also, please remember that you MUST give us
48-hour WRITTEN notice to cancel any pre-registered care without being held financially responsible.
& 23rd; December 24th-January 4th; January 21st; February 18th-22nd; April 1st-5th; May 27th; and June 12th.
SPECIAL CLUBS. There are still openings for the following after school special clubs:
MONDAY                                TUESDAY                               WEDNESDAY                                 THURSDAY                                                FRIDAY
Music Lessons                     Music Lessons                       Music Lessons                              Music Lessons                                     Music Lessons
MS Field Hockey &            MS Field Hockey &                Black Belt                                      MS Field Hockey &
Cross Country                     Cross Country                                                                                   Cross Country
LEGO=FULL                         LEGO=FULL                            Art 4-8                                            LEGO=FULL
Italian                                                                                                  3/4 Field Hockey
Art K-3
Please pick up a registration form from the after school programs bulletin board down the hall from the parent mailboxes. Please
stay tuned for information on these and other activities:
4H, Ballet, Baseball, Basketball, Brownies, Campfire, Chinese, Cooking, Crafts, Dance, Drums, Eco-Maniacs, Electronic Music,
Fitness, Football, French, Garden, German, Gymnastics, Harp, Hip Hop, History Club, Korean, Knitting, Open Swim, Orchestra,
Photography, Pilates, Rocks & Robots, Rockets, Sewing, Skateboarding, Spanish, Spiral Scouts, Soccer, Study Skills, Tap Dance,
Tech, Tennis, Theater, Tutoring, Violin, Writing, Yoga, Youth In Government, Zumba,!
PLEASE CARE WHAT YOU WEAR. Recess will be outside everyday. Except for hazardous weather conditions (lightning,
severe storms, wind chill below -10° F), we will always go outside for recess. There is limited indoor space that allows the
children opportunities to move around energetically. Children should always dress for the weather. Students must wear snow
pants, boots, coat, hat, and mittens or gloves in order to play in the snow and sled.

Music News: October 2012

We are off to a great start in music classes this year. 4-5 classes have been studying great composers and have learned much about Bach, Handel, and Vivaldi. In the coming weeks they will be studying Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin. 2-3 classes have been reviewing instruments of the orchestra. Last week we created Wanted posters for the different instruments. Look for these to be hung up outside the cafeteria soon. K-1 classes have been learning about the music of John Denver, including his songs, Take Me Home Country Roads, Sunshine on My Shoulders, and Grandma’s Feather Bed. Through these songs we have studied beat, movement, vocal development, writing skills, and listening. Band 1 students have just begun learning their instruments in small groups. Most of them know how to put together their instruments and can play the first three notes. They’ve also learned whole notes, whole rests, treble/bass clef, and time signature. In about two weeks we will begin playing together as a large band. Band 2 students have been reviewing what they learned last year. We will continue to develop those skills throughout the year using our band book and band  music. Choir students have been working on developing good vocal technique. We’ve been working from our sight singing books to develop skills in music reading and  soon will get our first sheet of choir music. We are looking forward to a great year in music!

Media Center News: October 2012

We’re happy to be back at it here in the Media Center. The beginning of school always comes in like a tidal wave of projects, great ideas, and hopes for the new year. Joining Marion in the Media Center this fall semester are Middle School student workers Evan, Nyah, Alix and Noah. They’re helping to keep the Media Center running smoothly and looking good, while working on some job skills like punctuality and following directions. We also welcome adult volunteer Liz Meurer, who comes in on some Friday mornings to help  shelve books and work with the classes that come in. Glad to have them here! A marvelous- and NEW!- addition to the Media Center’s  capabilities is a set of four computers, which Bill has been working to get fully set up and ready for student projects and research. We appreciate all the work he’s put into both keeping our four elderly machines working last year, and in getting the four new ones up and running. These computers will be a wonderful extension of our ability to help our students succeed. The Media Center is playing a role in the Middle School’s independent project, which started in mid- September. They’re researching local places, concentrating on the areas in which they live. Marion presented some information and strategies for researching local history, and the students heard presentations on the land on which Honey Creek School now stands, and on doing research in their individual towns from representatives of local history groups. They will likely be approaching family members for memories of what the town in which they live looked like back in the day. Please mark your calendars- and your winter holiday shopping lists for the Fall Festival Book Fair coming on Friday, October 26. Our wonderful local bookseller, Nicola’s, will be hosting the sale in the Media Center, and will give 20% of all sales to the Media Center to build its collection. With the coming of fall also comes a slew of new books, which our students are already asking for. The Book Fair is a great chance to do some winter holiday shopping for the kids on your list, an opportunity to support a local business, and a way to help Honey Creek’s Media Center grow! Recess in the Media Center will begin again on October 2.  Each day, a portion of our students is welcomed into the Media Center during recess for that quiet reading time or homework-catchup time that some crave during a busy day. Grades 2/3 can come in on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4/5s come on Wednesdays and Fridays, and Middle School students may come in any day with a pre-arranged pass from their base class teachers to do their work or reading. While it suits some students best to be active on the playground, we try to preserve a space of calm during the day for others  to relax and take a break with a good book. If you are among the generous Honey Creek community who enjoys contributing to the  library, please take a look at our wish list that is kept on Amazon.com From the school home page, click on “Current Families” and then on “Media Center.” You’ll see a link called “Help Build our Collection.” The link will drop down when you click, and you can see the items we’re looking to add to the library. There is no need to buy the items from Amazon if you want to buy locally; just use it as an idea source for the things we need the most. Thanks in advance to all who contribute material to the Media Center’s collection! Here’s to a great, productive, and fun fall!

Physical Education/Swimming News: October 2012

So far this school year in physical education, we have been working on team building and cooperative activities. Recently we just started a soccer unit. The first few weeks of swimming have been used to see what levels all of the kids are at and what they need the most work on. In the next few weeks, we will begin work on developing different strokes and becoming more confident in the water. The field hockey season has gotten off to a slow start with some tough losses against some good opponents. We have been utilizing great teamwork and communication to stay competitive, despite having a small team and often no subs. Our next game is Tuesday, Oct. 9th against Maumee Valley.

Art News: October 2012

I hope everyone has had a beautiful summer and is ready for some more great art projects produced by our Honey Creek students! I am thrilled to be back as your children’s art teacher and am looking forward to working with each one of our students throughout this school year. The K/1 classes will begin by exploring the art element of lines and primary colors. 2/3 classes will be starting a clay project which goes along with the 2/3 reading unit about Mitt the Michigan Mouse. The 4/5 students will be studying the art of camouflage by use of pastels in a Liu Bolin-inspired project. Middle School classes are doing a unit project on the celebration of Dia de los Muertos and the associated symbolism and cultural traditions. Middle School Elective has been creating canvas-covered “art journals” and will be beginning their first drawing project shortly. I would also like to inform everyone once again about our school’s  online art gallery, Artsonia. This website page was created by myself with the purpose of joining the thousands of other participating schools across the country in showing off our artists’ wonderful talents and skills. Each student has their own online portfolio which displays each of their art projects and goes with them from grade to grade, year to year. If your student is already registered on the website, you do not need to fill out another permission slip. If your student is not currently on the site, or if your student is new to  Honey Creek this year, you can pick up a permission slip and send it back in my staff mailbox or to your student’s teacher so that I can register them online. This process is a safety precaution and also protects your child’s privacy, allowing the parents or guardians that fill out the permission slip to have control over who can view their child’s work. You can visit our page at www.artsonia.com/HoneyCreekCommunity1. Half of the proceeds from sales through the gift shop go back to our school to buy more art supplies, and your support is, as always, very much appreciated.

I’m looking forward to another wonderful

Technology News: October 2012

Welcome to another exciting year for the technology program at Honey Creek! I am really looking forward to working with your students this year. In 2/3 technology, students have started out their exploration and use of technology with our iPad cart. The first few weeks, we worked on basic usage, including procedures for how to get out the iPads and use them, our appropriate use policy, and exploring with several different apps. Since then, we’ve started to investigate why and when we use different tools (for example, making a drawing on paper vs drawing with an app on the iPads) and when each tool is appropriate. Last week, we had a discussion about systems, and students identified systems and their components by annotating on a digital photo they took with their iPad. In the 4/5 technology classes, we started out the year by getting students geared up to use the technology they will need to be familiar with during the school year, including their new Google Apps accounts for document creation and sharing, as well as introducing our typing program Type to Learn. The last 2 weeks, we have begun our first project, which is guided by the essential question, “How can we use technological tools to allow us to learn and discover more than we could without them?” This connects to the observation work  students in 4/5s have been pursuing in science class; in this technology project, students are learning how slow-motion video can allow them to observe more than they could with the naked eye. Students have been writing up their proposals for what they’d like to see, and are getting ready to start recording their own slow-motion videos using our tools. The Middle School technology classes have also started out by getting familiar with the technology they’ll need during the school year. For middle school, this includes Google  Apps, Moodle, and the various computing devices like laptops and iPads. We did a series of quick activities the first 3 weeks to make sure students were familiar with these tools, and have now begun our first inquiry unit. During this unit, entitled “Better Understanding our World Through Technology”, students will be learning how to use sophisticated instruments like temperature probes, pH sensors, and others to collect data about the natural world, and help them analyze and understand this data through graphing and research. Finally, the first-semester technology elective this year is called Appropriate Technology. We started our semester by bringing in special guest John Barrie, who runs the Appropriate Technology Collaborative in Ann Arbor. Appropriate Technology, sometimes called “Design for the Other 90%”, deals with the use of varying technologies to improve the lives of people all over the world, helping to bring about clean water, renewable energy sources, and so on. The first projects students are working on are solar ovens, which allow one to cook without consuming fossil fuels. I look forward to a great year in technology this year!

Middle School Language Arts: October 2012

We have launched this year’s reading and writing workshop by starting with narrative writing. Students have been digging deep in to their personal experiences to come up with the moments that they have learned from and grown with. Narrative writing is probably the easiest place to start, because students are writing on a topic in which they are experts- themselves! In the coming weeks, we will be shifting our focus from short narrative to short fiction. We will be studying both classic and contemporary works of short fiction, as well as trying out writing our own.

Middle School Math News: October 2012

What a great way to begin the year with a week at camp… it really gives all of us a chance to get to know one another. After camp the kids were given their class rotations and we have been busy reviewing and learning math since. For those who were not able to make it to Curriculum Night I wanted to direct you to some very helpful websites… to check on homework that is assigned or it’s due date you can go to the middle school math website: honeycreekschool.org/ms/mathematics. There, you will also find Math Expectations, reviewing how the kids will be evaluated. If you look farther into your student’s specific course level you can see what we intend to cover throughout the year. To check out the online textbook, or watch a tutorial of a particular math skill go to: my.hrw.com – your student will have the username and password written in their planner, front page. Speaking of your student’s planner, remember this is our first line of communication. We, the teachers, will stamp the planner if an assignment is completed and turned in on time, and we will circle it if it is not. Feel free to ask your student why they have a circle if they do, and ask to see the completed assignment 🙂 The Algebra class will be having their first test on Tuesday, October 2 over the Foundations of Algebra. The kids have done a great job working independently and budgeting their time, to review this material. We have taken this opportunity to learn how to read a math textbook and how to extract knowledge from it… something they have not done before. In Course 3, these first few weeks have found us in heavy review. Understanding the rational number system, pulling all the knowledge we have learned about integers, fractions, decimals, terminating decimals and repeating decimals, etc. These are skills that have been taught over the middle school and elementary years but we are combining them like never before. Our first test is scheduled for Monday, October 8. Course 2 gets to have a little fun with two-dimensional geometry. Relearning all of the vocabulary and classifications that go along with geometry can be a little confusing at times… but we have worked hard to make it crystal clear. Ask your student to see their notes from class and you will see the work they have put into it. The test is coming soon. In Course 1 we have been working with number sense and patterns. Sorting out the differences between prime and composite numbers, factors and multiples, GCF and LCM, preparing us to move into Number Systems like integers and rational numbers. We will be taking our first test on Monday, October 8. FYI: our students will be  participating in taking the MEAP exam beginning October 9. Please be sure they are getting enough sleep and a good breakfast during  testing times.

Thanks for partnering with your student and me in having a year filled with growth,


Middle School Science News: October 2012

Earth Rocks is the first unit that the middle school scientists will be investigating this semester as we “journey” in, over, and around the Earth. We start off with investigating watersheds, especially the one that Honey Creek School is involved with… the Huron River watershed. We are partnering with HRWC to do a field stream study as an outdoor school trip and will need parent volunteers to help chaperone students groups. We are projecting Thursday, October 25th as the date, rain or shine. If you are interested in helping out please feel free to contact me or signup when the informational email comes out this week. In addition we are partnering with Sarah Fick, graduate student at University of Michigan, to assist and participate in her graduate work in science education. Our own classroom will be a laboratory area where we will help her investigate how students learn science topics most effectively. With parent permission she will document and use this data for her dissertation.

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