Goodbye October… Parent Conferences are here!

Thank you PTA and Lagunitas!

What an amazing event we had at Lagunitas on October 15th.  Thank you to the small committee (Alice, Colleen, Erin and Molly) for putting the fundraiser together.  What started as a glorified Dine Out turned into a full-fledged annual evening of fun.  We seeded the funds for on-going track maintenance, listened to some great music by The Grain, enjoyed pizza by Rosso and enjoyed the warm social vibe that is Grant School.  And a final, HUGE thank you to Lagunitas for offering their space to such community gatherings/fundraisers.  What a generous, local business!

Playground News

We use BEST as the guide for all things behavior related.  Be safe, be responsible, and be respectful covers almost all decision-making that students must undertake.  Morning yard duties and lunch time supervisors focus on moving around the areas of supervision, acknowledging positive behaviors and efficiently dealing with negative ones.  Coach Hilbert is supporting positive playground behavior by teaching games like four square and volleyball.  She is also on the yard during two of our lunch periods to facilitate games for our primary and intermediate groups.  We are always focused on learning–What are the rules for the game?  What do I do when I am out?  How do I join a game?  How can I encourage my friends?

Two Recent Author Visits–Sharon Creech & James Dashner by Alina & Aurora

In October, two authors came to our lucky school.  The first was Sharon Creech.  We learned about her new book The Great Unexpected.  Our favorite book of hers is Love That Dog.  Then James Dashner showed us his new book that’s in the new series The Infinity Ring.  He told us it comes with a video game that we thought was cool.  We really appreciated the time they spent at our school.  We hope that authors come to our school again.  Thank you Mrs. Crysdale and Copperfields!

Music Update by Anna & Sean

In December, we are having a winter concert.  I’m in advanced band.  Some songs we play to get ready for the concert are Felice Navidad, Jingle Bells and Let’s Go Band.  We are having lot of fun in band.  

Kindergarten Went to the Pumpkin Patch–an Interview by Ava & Bella

Q: Which pumpkin patch did you visit?

A: Peter Pumpkin Patch

Q: What did you do there?

A: dug up potatoes, went through a maze

Q: What did it look like?

A: There were a lot of pumpkins

Q: Was it fun?

A: Yes!  It was lots of fun.

Q: What did you see?

A: A lot of kids tripping over pumpkin vines

Q: What did you learn?

A: How to milk a cow

PEF Community Update by Mrs. Haugen

PEF – through individuals and local businesses – supports all 36 Petaluma area schools through Grants and Scholarships.  This year our goal is to raise $225,000 for the 2012-13 Grant Program.  We are almost at our goal!  We are working hard to raise $50,000 in the next 50 days to hit the target amount.  Help us help your school.  Every dollar counts and truly makes a difference in the lives of all our students.

Join us on November 10 for a Meet & Greet with SF Giants Comcast Sports Reporter Amy G. – fresh from the 2012 World Series Championship Win!  Lucchesi’s Deli has named a new sandwich – Amer the Gamer – after this local celebrity (as well as Casa Grande high alumna and current Petaluma elementary school Mom).  Proceeds from the sales of the new menu item will go to support our schools through PEF.  Joining the team is Cold Stone Creamery – they are donating 15% off all sales on November 10 to PEF as part of this community event!  Just added… a visit from Clo the Cow during this GIANT celebration!

Nick’s Cove has announced the inaugural Crab Catch (November 11th)at their unique venue located along Tomales Bay with proceeds from the day long event going to support local Petaluma schools through PEF.  Be sure to check out the event line up:  Crab-Catching Competition, Cooking Demonstrations, and Dungeness Crab Tasting Menus! Hosted by CBS TV’s Liam Mayclem of “Eye on the Bay”.

1st & 2nd Grade Visited the Tolay Fall Festival by Andrew & Sarah

We interveiwed Mrs. Kowta’s class on their trip to the Tolay pumkin patch. We asked Cooper and Keira some questions. Here are the answers:

Q: What was your favorite thing in the barn?

Cooper: Dimond back rattlesnake

Keira: Owl

Q: What kind of activites were there?

Cooper: Made a candle and did a little bit of archery

Keira: Made corn husk dolls

Q: What kind of animals did you see?

Cooper: snakes, owls, ducks, goats, cows, turkeys, and starfish

Keira: starfish, dogs, cats, turtles

Q: What was the weather like? Did it affect the trip?

Cooper: warm no

Keira: cold no

Description of Tolay:

Pumkins of all kinds and a lot offun

6th Grade Ropes Course by Mac

I found the challenge course not that scary and not hard to accomplish. I had a lot of fun though. Some parts I found it kind of hard to get up but for the most part it was really easy. In the morning my group did the trust walk and the teeter totter. The trust walk was really fun learning how to trust someone and no the there not going to make you get hurt. The teeter totter was cool too. It was also cool trying to balance the big teeter totter. My group had a herd time keeping the teeter totter strait but our best time was still 20 seconds.

In the afternoon my group did two high elements, the Giant Swing, and The Lions Leap. I loved both elements. The Giant Swing is you climb up a small ladder then walk across a long log to reach a platform. Then you have to climb up some tack to reach another platform. Finally walk across a tight rope to the last platform. You have to wait a little bit before you jump but then you jump off the platform and fly in the air in till you slow down and get back to the ground. The next high element was the Lions Leap. First you had to climb up a small later to reach a lot of tacks in a tree. You have to climb up the tacks to get to a big net. Then when you get to the top of the net there is a platform. Next you could run and grab a trapeze. From there you had to jump back down to the ground. I had a great time at ropes course and I hope I come again.

Stone Fox & Thinking Maps by Andrew & Lillee

Circle Map

Teachers at Grant are learning about Thinking Maps this year.  Andrew & Lillee have some definitions and photos to share about work they did with Thinking Maps and a book called Stone Fox:

Circle map: a circle map is used for defining in context (helps you to gather information).

Double Bubble

Bubble map: a bubble map is used for describing (is information about something or someone).

Double bubble map: a double bubble map is used to compare and contrast

Common Core Introduction by Mrs. Haugen

There are a lot of great changing coming our way.  The current grade level, subject based standards are being replaced with new standards called Common Core.  Standards guide teachers and provide a continuum of learning for students from kindergarten to graduation from high school.  Common Core Standards have been adopted by 47 states in the US.  These new standards are dependent on 21st Century skills: creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication (also known as the 4 Cs).  Through these kinds of interactions, students will know and understand information, and apply that knowledge and skill to broader situations, across the curriculum and in their world.  You can find out more here:

At Grant School, we are focusing on the transition to Common Core Math Standards.  There are Standards for Mathematical Practice (SMPs) that span kindergarten to 12th grade.  These eight SMPs are how kids think about and process math.  You will hear teachers talk about MARS tasks which get to the thinking and process of math, a far cry from multiple choice math assessment.  Our implementation of Thinking Maps supports our transition as well.  In the classroom there will be more conversation and writing about math, more time spent going in depth on a concept and applying that concept to multiple situations and settings.  All of us at Grant School are very excited about this development.  Here’s another information source from the National PTA:

The Book Fair by Mrs. Crysdale

Another great book fair week!  Thank you to to the two wonderful co-chairs, Mrs. Doherty and Mrs. Margand, for chairing this event. Also, thanks to Mrs. Statz for putting together the Friday Pasta Feed.  Scholastic consistently brings a superb selection of books and items for students and parents to purchase.  The proceeds from our book fair directly support our school library.  Thank you for participating!

Next PTA Association Meeting

Join us on Thursday, November 29th at 6:30-7:30pm in the multi for our 2nd PTA Association Meeting.  Our guest speaker for this meeting is Ms. Catherine Hurd, one of our 6th grade teachers.  Ms. Hurd will share her experiences in The Gambia for two years with the Peace Corps.  Following her talk will be our Association Meeting.  Join us–learn about Peace Corps and hear about all the amazing work our PTA does for the students of Grant School.

Upcoming Dates:

  • Rosso Dine & Donate: Tuesday, November 13, 2012
  • Coffee & Conversation with the Principal: Friday, November 16, 2012 8:00-9:00am in the library
  • PTA Association Meeting: Thursday, November 29, 2012 7:30pm in the multi
  • Annual Holiday Gift Shoppe: Wednesday, December 5th to Friday, December 7th in the library



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