June 2012 Newsletter
Paraeducators moving on: We would like to bid Mrs. Blaylock and Mrs. Bui all the very best as they move beyond our classrooms . Mrs. Blaylock has been our first technology paraeducator and has done a fine job in helping us to realize the goals for technology integration. Mrs. Bui has been with us as both a special education and classroom paraeducator. Her assistance to teachers and students has been invaluable over the years and she will be missed. Please join me in extending our very best wishes to these colleagues.
Colleagues Retiring: The Mt. Lebanon School is one recognized for the quality and dedication of the teachers serving within it. We will be losing a large store of expertise and wisdom when we bid farewell to Mrs. Wendy Heidenreich and Mrs. Ethel Weinberger, both highly skilled kindergarten teachers. Personally, I have learned much about the whats and whys of early childhood education from them both, and I will miss our stimulating conversations. Their insight into the developmental milestones of young learners is both broad and deep. We will celebrate their years of dedicated service with song Friday, June 15th with a PM Afternoon Sing assembly to be followed by a reception.
Library End of Year Schedule: Now is the time to check under beds, in closets and bureau drawers for your child’s favorite MLS library books. All library books and magazines are due back to our library by Monday, June 11. Parents may be charged for missing library books. If you pay for lost materials and later find and return them, you will be refunded in full.
June 18th is Step Up Day: This program is designed to help familiarize children with teachers, classrooms, expectations and activities in the next grade level. You will have received letters indicating class/teacher assignment prior to June 18. I wish to thank you as parents for your insights and best wishes for your children in this process, and the faculty and staff for the many thoughtful meetings that were conducted to ensure that all variables were considered in creating balanced heterogeneous class lists.
Summer Activities: Parents, you are your child’s first teachers. Do not underestimate the power of your example. This summer we again suggest you to:
READ Read with your children every day and set aside some quiet reading time in the house everyday. Lebanon has a summer reading program as well. Look for book sales in stores and at yard sales. Students who develop the reading habit are far more likely to be successful in school in the long run. We will be giving away books to students and parents on the last day of school.
WRITE Encourage your child to write stories, poems, and grocery lists. Keep a summer journal with your child in which you jot down the highlights of each day. Set a goal of writing 10 postcards to family members and friends. (We have a virtual family history of our travels just through post cards sent and received over the years.) Crossword puzzles are great for all ages, and the children enjoy filling in the “Madlib” books in the summer.
MATH *Knowledge of U.S. Currency and especially COINS is an area in which we expect students to have a degree of familiarity. Keep a coin jar. Have your child count and sort change. Talk about coin values using phrases like, “A dime is ten cents. It has the same value as two nickels or ten pennies… Show me 5 ways to make 40 cents using only nickels and dimes.” Have your child “make change”. Play board games that use money.
*Fractions: It takes time for children to really grasp the concept of numbers less than one whole. The best way to support learning fractions in the summer is to divvy up pizzas, pies, fruit, and quarts of fruit juice. Talk especially about halves, thirds and quarters. This will reinforce, in a fun and nutritious way, the concept of fractions.
*Time: The digital age has decreased our reliance on the clock with hands. Talk about telling time using a traditional clock and the functions of the second hand, minute hand and hour hand. Talk about 60 seconds, 60 minutes, the hour and 24 hours. For adept math minds, use fractions in your discussion of dollars and time of day, the “o’clock” (of the clock).
*Basic Math Fact Practice: Make your own FLASH CARDS.
Accuracy is more important than speed. Five minutes a day will yield significant results.
It is important to remember that your child will take his or her cues from you. If he/she perceives these activities are drudgery to you, it may become drudgery for him or her as well. These activities should never be used as threats or punitively. Better not to do at all than threaten as punishment. Keep the activities interesting, fun, and challenging. I am absolutely confident that together, we can improve our children’s performance.
Other Important Events in June:
Ø Library will be reading to all students and introducing the library’s schedule of summer activities.
Ø PM Sing honoring Retirees and reception: June 15, Friday 1:30 – 2:55 PM
Ø Step – up Day: June 18, Monday, 1:15 PM
Ø Fourth Grade Promotion Assembly: June 18, Monday 8:20 AM
Ø *Last-day-of School Cookout, June 19, Tuesday 11:50 AM – 1:00 PM Tickets will be presold, $4.00 / adults, $2.25 children. Please pre-pay with Vicky Moran in the front office to receive your ticket. (Tickets are for adults and non MLS students) Please have your lunch balances paid by June 18.
*1:00 PM Dismissal. There will be bus services at that time.
*Report Cards will be given to parents by the teacher at dismissal. No school for AM kindergarten students that day. All may attend the luncheon.
Ø First day of School: August 30, Thursday, students grades 1 – 4 !!!
Kindergarten first day of school is Friday, September 7.
Lost and Found: All lost items of clothing will be donated to a charitable organization if not picked up by June 19. Please check the Lost and Found in the multi-purpose room.
Summer Hours: The office will be open Monday – Thursday, 9:00 – 11:30 AM (Closed week of July 4.)
A Personal Note: It is with sincere appreciation that I extend my thanks to each of you for your ongoing support of your child’s education at Mt. Lebanon School. It has been an exciting and productive year and we have much to look forward to as we incorporate our young learners into a full day kindergarten program. I am fortunate and privileged to serve in such a strong community amidst dedicated and skillful professionals. For those moving upward or onward from Mt. Lebanon I wish you all the very best. For those returning, I wish you a happy, safe, and thoroughly enjoyable summer holiday.
“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” Henry David Thoreau