Archive | November, 2012

Middle Elementary News: November 2012

With colder weather, please  make sure that your child has gloves, hats, boots and appropriate coats. With the addition of lice to our classrooms, we are not sharing any of these items, but we want children to be warm as we go outside twice a day. Thank you for the support of putting children’s soft items in a bag and then the bag in their locker. This was an idea passed on to us by a “lice specialist”.
November 9 and 27 will both be field trip days for 2-3 children. Children will need to be dressed for the weather for the November 9 trip, and on both days, will need a lunch from home. Our bus will leave promptly at 8:30am!
2nd and 3rd graders are still working on the many, many types of measurement. Time and money are measurement skills and we’ll continue to work on linear, mass and volume measurements. At the same time, math facts and operations are always on our math menus. Many of our students are excited by our new access to reflexmath.com which helps children master the basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts.
All students will soon begin to read and write “how to” books as an example of informational text. The end project will be a How to Play (a Math Game) with different groups of students writing about all the different games we play. This will help reinforce these games and we’ll be able post these on our website so students can play these games at home. Embedded in this project and in other places will be work on parts of speech for 2nd graders and different types of sentences for 3rd graders.
We will continue our study of early Michigan history through our work with The Birchbark House, hearing legends, Annishnabe stories and Native American poetry and some some hands-on projects. After the Birchbark House, we will continue learning about the fur  trade in Michigan through hearing Traders in Time.
All the 2-3s will be out and about on our school groups mapping, observing and recording what we see. We hope to turn this into some curriculum-based service projects as the children will also be asked how we can use our space in different ways and potential places for improvements. As always, please check http://honeycreekschool.org/2-3/ for the most current information.

Early Elementary News: November 2012

Early Elementary classes continue with our theme, “My Journey”. After learning about ourselves and each other, we learned about different families and each child made a family tree that is currently on display. As we learned about family histories, many children brought artifacts from home to share their family histories, helping them understand the differences between how we live today and how people lived in the past, and allowing them to experience how historians use artifacts to learn about history. We then moved on to an author study of Patricia Polacco who writes many books about her family’s history. The children will be working in groups to represent one of the stories in a diorama, retell the story, and answer a series of questions demonstrating their understandings of how discovering and understanding patterns in family histories can help people make good choices. These will be displayed at the winter Curriculum Celebration.
In the science portion of “My Journey”, the children have been learning about the life cycles of living things. They have been making observations of the life cycles of Painted Lady butterflies in the classroom, and have planted garlic in the school garden to observe its life  cycle throughout the school year. The children will work in groups to construct a visual model of a life cycle for the Curriculum Celebration.

PTO News: November 2012

The PTO is pleased to announce the induction of a new treasurer, Mary Edlund. Mary will take over from Angie Tracey. Thank you, Mary!
Fundraising update: The Summer Read-a-Thon raised $570, all of which will go towards the non-fiction leveled reading library. The Walk-and- Run-A-Thon raised over $6000. After costs, the PTO Treasurers expect half of the revenue (just under $3000) to go towards the leveled reading library. The library will cost $6,600. Look for more information in your inbox, about a fundraiser with Learning Express. Honey Creek friends, family, and supporters will be able to shop at Learning Express on three “Honey Creek Days.” Learning Express will donate 20% of Honey Creek purchases back to our school, to be used for the leveled reading library. While it is impossible to acknowledge everyone who has supported the PTO, we’d like to thank Jody Klein, who has spearheaded food support for teachers and staff on those long conference and professional development days. Thank you, also, to Ann Kovacs, who took on running the Fall Festival (with fantastic results!). Marolyn Valenzuela, Nic Sims, and Tom Kovacs were also heavily involved. Thank you to Kathryn Bodary, for your work on the Haunted House. Finally, thank you to all of the committees and volunteers who donated their  time and expertise to create the Fall Festival, which is the PTO’s biggest annual event. We couldn’t do it without you.
Mark your calendars!
• Bagel Fridays: Relax with breakfast at the school on Friday mornings (or the last school day of the week). Bagels, cream cheese and  juice, OH MY! There are also toasters available for use.
• November PTO Meeting: Friday, November 9, 8:30-10:30 AM
• “Honey Creek Days” with Learning Express: a Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, to-bedetermined.
If you would like to add an item to the PTO meeting agenda or have a concern with which the PTO may be able to help, please contact the PTO Chair, Mike Birdsall, m.g.birdsall@mbirdsall.com, or co- Chair Catie Wells, cgbwells@gmail.com.

Outreach Committee News: November 2012

“Assessment” was the topic during the first Coffee with the Director on October 26. Sitting at a table in a corner of the cafeteria during the PTO bagel sale, Honey Creek Director, Al Waters met with about five parents – most of whom had children in early or middle elementary – and answered questions about the various ways that students’ learning progress is measured. Al explained that teachers gather information about students beginning in kindergarten. These early assessments identify how many letters and sounds an individual kindergartner can distinguish, whether they can recognize numbers and how high they can count. Al explained the difference between summative assessment, which tells where a student is at, and formative assessment, which helps identify where a student is going. Sometimes assessment can surface a need for early intervention to help a student to learn. The help might be as simple as proper eyeglasses for a student with farsightedness. In second grade students are first exposed to testing using the “Terra Nova.” Al also explained how the recent changes to the MEAP scoring had required an adjustment to five years of past scores. As Al put it, a challenge posed by standardized testing is for education to retain a focus on skill-building rather than “regurgitation” of information. Coffee with the Director is a new, monthly event during which parents can meet with the school’s head administrator to ask questions about various aspects of education at Honey Creek Community School. The sessions are planned for the fourth Friday of each month, however, because of the Thanksgiving holiday, the next Coffee with the Director will occur at bagel day on Friday, November 30. The topic for the November 30 session is “technology.”

Cross Country News: November 2012

The Middle School Cross Country teams finished their seasons the same as they started, on fire! In our last meet of the year, the harriers traveled to Farmington Hills to run against Hillel Day Academy. Ellery and Abby represented the girls’ team finishing 2nd and 4th respectively. The boys capped off an undefeated season by taking 5 of the top 6 places. Each student-athlete on the team represented Honey Creek with utmost pride and sportsmanship throughout their season. Special congratulations and a warm send-off to Ellery Hatopp, the lone departing 8th grader.

Curriculum Based Service-Learning: November 2012

Fall greetings!
You may have noted that Academic Service-Learning has undergone a name change to Curriculum Based Service Learning. This change was decided on as it more accurately reflects what we do at Honey Creek and indicates the inherent ties to our curriculum. This is the only change though. We will still be using Curriculum Based Service Learning to meet our original purpose. The following is from  our website in case you are unfamiliar with this concept: Service Learning is a method by which young people learn and develop  through active participation in a thoughtfully organized service experience. Such service experiences meet actual community needs, are coordinated in collaboration with the school and community, are integrated into each young person’s academic curriculum, help foster the development of sense of caring for others and enhance what is taught in the school by extending student learning beyond the classroom. Though this statement reflects the purpose of Curriculum Based Service Learning, we do encourage all forms of service as  well. Both curriculum based and regular service hours are collected throughout the school year by filling out service logs (available near the after care office). These should be turned in to your child’s base teacher monthly. Students who participate in 50 or more  hours of service learning are then eligible for the President’s Volunteer Service Award. Regardless of whether or not this is  motivational for your child, we like to track our community service hours so please turn in those logs!
Maybe you noticed the barrels located at the front of the school and by the cafeteria door on Friday. We have started our annual Food Gatherers food drive! If you are unfamiliar with this organization, please take a few moments to view their website: www.foodgatherers.org. We will be collecting food (see list below for most needed items) from now until November 26 and ask for you to help however you can. For those looking to make this a richer service experience for your children think about these three options: 1. Have your child take responsibility for cleaning and organizing the pantry. Food Gatherers accepts canned food up to six months past their “use by” date. This is a great opportunity to get rid of some under used items in your home in a way that makes a significant difference for others. Depending on their age, students can also make shopping lists for items to make meals that go with items you already have. It’s a great opportunity to talk about utilizing what we have, rather than getting new products while others go to waste.  2. Allow your children the opportunity to earn food credits by doing extra chores or tasks in your home or the neighborhood. Then, take them to the store and allow them to pick out food to donate with these credits.
3. Take your child to Food Gatherers to volunteer and learn more about what happens behind the scenes. It is important to note that  they currently do not accommodate walk in volunteers–you must fill out a volunteer form and select a time before you wish to  volunteer. Regardless of how you help, don’t forget to log your service hours. Time spent going through cupboards or shopping all counts toward this time. We look forward to another successful year!
Be in touch with any questions you may have:
Thank you for all you do!


Food Gatherers appreciates all types
of non-perishable food donations,
however we have the most requests
from our partner agencies for the
following items:
Food Items:
Tuna Fish or other canned fish or
Beef Stew, Meat Soups, and Hearty
Canned Spaghetti or Pasta
Beans (kidney, pinto, green, yellow,
refried or black beans)
Baby Food or Formula
Ensure or other nutritional
supplement drinks
Dry Beans
Noodles, Macaroni
Powdered Milk
Pancake or Baking Mixes
Granola Bars
Peanut Butter
Jelly (in plastic jars)
We also collect (unopened) Personal
Care Items:
Disposable Razors
**Food Gatherers does not accept
opened containers and asks that you
avoid items in glass as they
sometimes break in transit.
Thank You!
Food Gatherers 734-761-2796

After School Programs News: November 2012

ON-SITE EXTENDED DAY STUDENT CARE WILL BE AVAILABLE ON THE FOLLOWING “EARLY DISMISSAL & NO SCHOOL DAYS:” 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.
REMINDER: NO ON-SITE STUDENT CARE DURING BREAKS OR ON CERTAIN HOLIDAYS. This includes: November 22nd & 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
Korean                                         Italian                                                   Black Belt                                   Soccer (2-3) FULL                                   Chess
Spanish (3-5)                           Art (K-3)                                                Art 4-8                                            LEGO=FULL
LEGO=FULL                        Swim Lessons                                   Daisies/Brownies
LEGO=FULL                                      Dance Team (4-8)
Please pick up a registration form from the after school programs bulletin board down the hall from the parent mailboxes. We are still working on offering the following clubs and activities (please contact us at afterschool@hc.wash.k12.mi.us if you or someone you know is interested in coaching/teaching a special club or activity):
4H, Ballet, Baseball, Basketball, Breakdancing, Campfire, Capoeira, Chinese, Cooking, Crafts, Dance (K-3), Drums, Eco-Maniacs, Electronic Music, Fitness, Football, French, Garden, German, Girls on the Run, Guys on the Go, Gymnastics, Harp, Hip Hop, History Club, Knitting, Open Swim, Orchestra, Photography, Pilates, Rocks & Robots, Rockets, Sewing, Skateboarding, Spanish (K-2 & MS), Spiral Scouts, Soccer (K/1, 4-8), Study Skills, Tap Dance, Tech, Tennis, Theater, Tutoring, 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.

Board Notes: November 2012

The Honey Creek Board of Trustees met on Wednesday October 24, 2012
-The Board extends it appreciation to Shellee for another successful audit which was reviewed with the board by accountant from Yeo & Yeo, our accounting firm.
– The director’s evaluation was reviewed and was overwhelmingly positive. Discussion followed regarding the Board’s goal to create a more concise director evaluation specific to HCCS in accordance with our Strategic Plan.
-Nina Nabors reports that the initial draft of the Honey Creek Story will be sent to the Outreach Committee for review. Once completed,  this will be used to create a power point presentation which can be given at fund raising activities as well as shown to prospective families. The committee will also create a short web video as well as a pamphlet to enhance visibility and public relations.
-The Fund Development Committee continues with the process of obtaining 501c3 status and the 1023 form will be finalized by the end of October 2012.
-Al will continue to investigate the option of a management company and will report his findings to the board
-As a result of HCCS being identified as a Focus School, Al reports that an Intervention Specialist has been hired to assist the students with lower levels of achievement in both language arts and math.
-A language survey of the students was recently completed with a final assessment of needs anticipated by the end of November. Al is  in the process of coordinating English Language Learners services which has proven to be challenging for a number of local schools due to a lack of appropriately qualified personnel.
-To help support and encourage HCCS participation with the board, Karen will email the board meeting agenda to the school  community prior to each meeting. The complete minutes are available on the HCCS website. The Board will meet next on November 28, 2012 at 5:30 pm in the High Point Reception Room (the pit).
Respectfully, Kelly Krawcke, Secretary

Music News: November 2012

The music room has been very active lately. In K-1 we have been learning and singing folk songs. They have been applying movement with these songs and have been working on matching pitch. They are all developing some excellent singing voices. The 2-3 students are studying instruments of the orchestra. We read one of our favorite music books “The Composer is Dead” by Limony Snicket. We are also now creating our own pop-up orchestra. When they are finished they will have their own little orchestra to bring home. The 4-5  students are still studying composers and learning some wonderful things about music history. Band 1 students are very excited to  finally be playing together as a large group. We are still learning how to play together, but when we work together we sound great! Band 2 students are finished reviewing concepts from last year, and this week will be receiving the first sheet music for our December concert. Choir students have been working on sight singing skills and refreshing our memory of reading music. They will also receive their first sheet music this week. We hope to see you all at our upcoming concert on December 13th at 3:30.

Physical Education/Swimming News: November 2012

Students in physical education recently wrapped up a soccer unit and will soon begin a basketball unit. Students’ kindergarten through 8th grade will be working to improve eye-hand coordination, teamwork, and dribbling technique. In the pool, classes have been focusing on the freestyle stroke work and becoming more confident in the water. Students recently were taught several techniques for treading water and the practical application for why treading is important. Field hockey ended their season with some very good matches against,  Saline, Dexter, and Forsythe Middle Schools. While not as successful as we had wished, everyone showed amazing improvement from the start of the season to the end. I couldn’t be more proud to coach such an exceptional group of individuals.

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