Archive | June, 2013

Director’s Note: June 2013

Dear Families,
It is hard to believe that the end of the school year is just a bit more than one week away, but it will be a busy time here at Honey Creek.  The eighth grade graduation celebration will take place on Tuesday, June 11 at 5:00. It is open to all, and if you have not yet had the opportunity to attend a graduation, I encourage you to do so. It is a unique and personal experience.
If you are looking for summer opportunities for your child, consider the Honey Creek Summer Camp. This year we will offer our traditional programming as well as specialty programs for third through eighth grade students.  Please visit http://honeycreekschool.org/summer-program/infoand-details for more information.
I’d also like to ask that you stop by the lost and found the next time that you are in the building. While I firmly believe in supporting local charities, it troubles me that we deliver several pickup truck loads of unclaimed articles to various charities each year.
Have safe and wonderful summer!

PTO News: June 2013

PTO News
Over the past couple of months, the PTO has been working to fill the Executive Committee for 2013-2014. During the May meeting, Eva Wreford was voted in as the 2013-2014 co-Chair. During the June meeting, we will vote for next year’s Secretary position, for which Sue Kirkup has volunteered. Huge thank yous to Eva and Sue for volunteering!
Rewards & SCRIP: If you are a Kroger Rewards member, please re-enroll. (See the PTO website for details.) Honey Creek will not continue to receive a percentage of your purchases until you re-enroll. Also, check out Great Lakes SCRIP’s website (http://www.glscrip.com/), where you can reload some cards electronically throughout the summer.
Summer Playdates: The PTO will invite current and incoming families to meet at County Farm Park, off of Platt Road in Ann Arbor, for summer playdates. The first playdate will be on Friday, June 14th, from 9:30-11:30 A.M. Come as you can, and always feel welcome to bring friends or interested families. An email with more information will be coming out soon.
PTO Event Planning & Maintenance: The PTO will still need help over the summer. At least two big events require summer planning: the Welcome Back Picnic and the Fall Festival. Watch for emails about helping with the picnic. To help with the Fall Festival, please contact Ann Kovacs (anntomkovacs@yahoo.com).  Also, in July the PTO will need two volunteers to conduct a basic internal financial audit. This is a simple review, taking up only an hour or two of your time. Please look for the emails and let us know if these are things with which you can help.
Finally, to really get into planning, consider signing up to work on the 2014 Fundraising Ball (with Teacher Awards) or to help recognize Honey Creek’s 20th Anniversary, which will be in 2015.
Thanks: We’d like to offer an advance thanks to everyone helping with Earth Day and with Graduation and the Middle School Dance. It’s sure to be a huge list of volunteers– just know that we appreciate all of you. Thanks also to the many volunteer ambassadors for Curriculum Celebration, to Matt for his HUGE reorganization and de-cluttering of the PTO closet and for running the HCCS-HP Teacher Appreciation Lunch, to Jody for organizing the many teacher potlucks, and to Karen and all of the room parents for their teacher appreciation efforts both in early May and as we approach the end of the school year.

Mark your calendars:
• Bagel Fridays: The last Bagel Friday of the year will be on Friday, June 7th. Come to the Cafetorium to enjoy bagels and friends, make one last contribution to the bagel fund, and purchase SCRIP.
• June PTO Meeting: Friday, June 7th, 8:30-10:30 AM
• Summer Playdates: every Friday, June 14th – August 30th, 9:30-11:30 AM
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.

Team Convolution Wins 1st Prize in NASA Competition

Pictured above: the seven team-members who traveled to San Diego to present the project. Back row left to right: Cheryl Quinn, mentor; Alex Quinn; Chris Ferguson, astronaut and commander of the last US space shuttle; Evan Fortson; Matthew Koziol; and Laria Reynolds. Front row, left to right: Kaya Kurdak; Patrick Quinn; and Zoe Jackson. Not pictured: Will Brighton

A team of students, including Honey Creek students and alumni won first prize in an international competition run by NASA. Participants in this contest designed a permanent orbital space settlement that can house 10,000 persons. Students developed space settlement designs and related materials including environmental, governmental, financial and educational systems. Teams are encouraged to create multi-discipline projects that incorporate both the sciences and humanities.Team Convolution was one of only two US teams to take first prize. They traveled to the National Space Society’s 32nd Annual International Space Development Conference in San Diego, California over Memorial Day weekend to present their project. While there, team members also attended conference sessions, some even went to a luncheon with Buzz Aldrin. They met students from other award-winning teams from around the world who were also there to present their projects. The team also explored the beach and the aquarium. They had a great time and learned a lot during the process of this competition.

Wellness Committee News: June 2013

Wellness Committee News
We are seeking family volunteers to help care-take our school gardens during the summer. If you are interested in signing up for a week please do so on the sign-up genius list:
Sara Britnall will lead an orientation meeting for first-time garden volunteers on Wednesday, June 5th.  The meeting will be in the greenhouse at 3:30 p.m.  If you cannot make it to this meeting but would like to meet for a hands-on tutorial, please let Sara know. She can be reached at sarabrintnall@hotmail.com.
Cool weather veggies (kale, snap peas, spinach & parsley) have been planted thanks to Marta England & Karen Hockley, parents of middle and lower elementary children.  The remainder of the plants will be planted by our students in the next two weeks.  We hope to have some peas before the last day of school.
Thank you in advance for your support and participation in our Edible Gardens!

Early Elementary News: June 2013

Early Elementary News
To complete our final theme unit of the year, My Journey Through the World, students worked together in groups to create weather reports about different severe weather events.  To reinforce the content from this unit, K-1went to the Peter F. Hurst Planetarium in Jackson, MI for the final field trip of the year. The focus for this field trip was weather in general, and the children saw a program produced by the Michigan Science Center. The program utilizes the WDIV TV Weather Team to explain atmospheric phenomena from lightning strikes to tornadoes and includes information about the water cycle, lightning safety, and how the sun influences the realm between the ground and the stars.
In the language arts curriculum, we are focusing on poetry in writing workshop and retelling nonfiction text elements in reading workshop. In math, we’re wrapping up our final unit of the year: Problem Solving and Fluency. Students are reviewing and reinforcing various addition and subtraction strategies to improve their fluency in solving problems.

Middle Elementary News: June 2013

Middle Elementary News
It was great to see so many of you at our Curriculum Celebrations. Our 57 2nd and 3rd grade poets were very excited to show you all of their poetry.
Summer is almost here. While we all enjoy a slower pace and more relaxed days, please help us fight “Summer Slide”.(http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/dec11/vol69/num04/Slowing-the-Summer-Slide.aspx) This is what happens when children don’t exercise their reading, writing and math muscles over the summer. Students can lose weeks or months worth of progress. Fighting summer slide can be as easy as doing basically as much reading, writing and/or math each week that your child was required for weekly homework. Reading every day, even if it’s the comics or rereading old favorites, is especially important if your child is not reading at grade level. RAZ kids will be available for reading practice all summer. There are so many great things to write about in the summer. Write letters, keep a journal or travel-log. Your child will also have access to his or her Google Drive account all summer. Reflex math is a great way to get your 2nd grader to memorize or keep in mind addition and subtraction facts and for your 3rd grader to work on multiplication facts. In addition, card, board and dice games like Monopoly, Farkle and Yahtzee are fun ways to work on computation and mathematical problem solving.

Later Elementary News: June 2013

Later Elementary News
Later elementary had a great time at curriculum celebration–thanks to all who made it out to check out our work!
Academic work is coming to a close, but this time of year is important for wrapping up all of the pieces, both academic and social.  We are going to be going to downtown Ann Arbor for our final field trip.  This will be Wednesday, June 5.  We will depart Honey Creek at 9:30 a.m. and then begin our photo scavenger hunt!  This will wrap up around 11:30, when we will meet on the Diag for an outdoor sack lunch.  After that, we will take a walk to Ben & Jerry’s for an ice cream cone!  If you haven’t already, please send your student with $3 by Monday, June 3 and don’t forget to send a packed lunch on the day of the field trip!  This trip is a great way to celebrate all of our hard work and continue to encourage teamwork in all we do.

Middle School Social Studies News: June 2013

Middle School Social Studies
We’re making a final push in social studies with a video project called Democracy and the NRA.  It’s a hefty task for the end of the year but I’m optimistic we can pull it off.  The idea is for each student to contribute to one part of the film, using facts, images and his/her voice.  The point is not to make a statement about guns or gun owners, rather the corruption and hypocrisy of our democratic system when shaped by special interest groups like the NRA.  Look for a link to the film sometime before (or even after) school gets out.

Middle School Language Arts News: June 2013

Middle School Language Arts
As we wrap up the year in middle school Language Arts, we will be experimenting with poetry in different forms.  The first week of June brings a middle school-wide poetry slam, and then, while the 8th graders are away at camp, the 6th and 7th graders will be experimenting with poetry and visual arts.  Truly exciting stuff.
As you know, summer lag can be a major issue for readers of all abilities.  Don’t let your child lose the progress they made in reading during the school year over the summer.  It takes the average reader 4-6 weeks to regain the skills they lost through “the summer slide.”  The good news is that ANY reading counts toward keeping those reading skills fresh.  Encourage your child to share books with friends, or enroll in your local library’s summer reading programs.  Let them choose books, even if they seem like “beach reads.”  Even adults need those now and then.  Are you looking for ways to get your kid to write over the summer?  Check out the summer program that Johnny and I are running, “Creative Explosion.”  It is open to grades 5-9, and kids from other schools are welcome, too!  Ask Johnny or me for details.

Middle School Math News: June 2013

Middle School Math
Wow, the end of the year is here and everyone is preparing for a BIG math test!  All math classes have been preparing to take a cumulative final scheduled for this week, except for Algebra. They began their final on Friday of last week (5/31).  We have discussed the best way to prepare for the final during class and the students will have this week’s class time to review and ask questions.  As we have discussed, the best way to study for the final is to take out all of their old tests from this year (about 8 per class), and redo all of the problems, working toward understanding, and check notecards, be sure they are thorough and accurate.  We’ve discussed options in case they don’t have all of their old tests as well.
It’s always exciting to review the extensive material we have been able to cover this year.  I look forward to the students “showing me what they know” on the final!
Have a great summer… keep those numbers in mind.

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