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May, 2010

WESTFIELD NEWSLETTER Mr. Ed Rogers, Principal DATES to REMEMBER Tues., May 4 ---------------------Beginner Orchestra Parent Meeting, 4:00 or 8:00 p.m. Thurs., May 6 --------------------1st Grade Muffins for Mom, 8:00 a.m. 5th Grade Music Program, 6:30 p.m., Gym Fri., May 7------------------------PTO Staff Appreciation Luncheon Mon., May 10 -------------------No School – Staff Development Beginning Band Parent Meeting, 6:00 p.m., HS Tues., May 11 --------------------Volunteer Workshop, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m., Multipurpose Room PTO Meeting, 7:00 p.m., Staff Lounge 5th/ 6th Orchestra Concert, 7:00 p.m., OR Gym 4th Grade Careers on Wheels Order scrip Wed., May 12 --------------------Beginning Band Parent Meeting, 6:00 p.m., HS Rain Date – 4th Grade Careers on Wheels Westfield Night at the Kernel’s Fri., May 14 ----------------------Volunteer Recognition, 2:45 p.m., MC Mon., May 17 --------------------5th Grade Band Concert, 6:15 p.m., HS May 19 – 26 ----------------------Beginning Band Interviews Thurs., May 20-------------------4th Grade State Day 5th Grade Track Day Fri., May 21 ---------------------- Rain Date – 5th Grade Track Day K – 5 Pride Day. Wear your red, black or Westfield clothing! Mon., May 24 --------------------3rd Grade Celebration Day Tues., May 25 --------------------Order Scrip Wed., May 26 --------------------2nd Grade Author’s Tea, 2:45 p.m. Fri., May 28 ---------------------Regular dismissal at 3:30 p.m. Mon., May 31 -------------------No School – Holiday Tues., June 1 --------------------School is in session; regular dismissal. This is a snow day make-up. Wed., June 2 --------------------Last day of school; early dismissal at 1:30 p.m. This is a snow day make-up. 901 East Main St. Robins, Iowa 52328 Office: 447-3350 Attendance: 447-3356 School website: www.

Principal’s Corner Another exciting school year is about to wind down. It has been a year filled with many wonderful activities and lots of academic growth. I want to thank all of you for your continued support of the faculty, staff, and especially our students. Your support truly makes a difference. This month we will be putting some final touches together for the 2010-11 school year. One of the areas we are working on is creating class lists for next year. We realize it is important to remember that our students are unique individuals. Classroom placement is an important task that requires much thought and effort. Prior to making any room assignments we try to gather as much information about students as possible. We begin by asking current teachers to group their students for the next school year. When teachers place children in groups, they look at a number of things including learning styles, gender and academic ability. We also take into account students who work well together and which students need to be separated. Another goal is to keep the class sizes at each grade as close to the same number of students as possible. After initial room assignments are made our Counselor, Amy Blesie. and I once again receive input from current teachers and specials teachers to make sure that we haven’t overlooked anything. I know that many parents want their child to have a certain teacher; however, specific teacher requests are discouraged. Official lists are not finalized until after the August registration to accommodate those students moving into and out of the Westfield attendance area. You will receive a sheet at registration with your child’s class assignment for the 2010-2011 school year. Class lists will be posted at our Open House on Monday, August 16th, (5:30 – 7:00 p.m.) inside the building. I believe that we have a quality staff at Westfield. All teachers follow a consistent Linn-Mar curriculum guide at each grade level. Each child is exposed to the same curriculum materials and taught the same skills. Consistent grade level expectations are also in place and are followed at each grade level. Our goal is to match your child both with the teacher and peers that will provide them with the best environment to meet their needs and promote the kind of learning that will foster success. Have a wonderful summer! Sincerely,

Ed Rogers Principal

New Baby! Congratulations to our P.E. teacher, Mrs. Mooney, and her husband, Lance! Their baby girl was born at 4:30 a.m. on April 2nd. Alexis Marie Mooney was 10 lbs. 3 oz. and 21 inches long.

From the Office Fall Registration for All Parents to Attend On August 5th, we will be in the Multipurpose Room (times to be determined) for parents to come and formally register your child(ren) for the 2010-11 school year. At that time we’ll have you recheck Emergency Card information for any changes; students will receive their class assignments; and we will collect materials fees and lunch money. If you purchased school supply Class Packs you can pick them up at registration. You will also have the opportunity to order Westfield clothing. If you are unable to attend registration, please notify the office before June 25th or after August 3rd. If you will be moving in the future and know that your child(ren) will NOT be attending school here next year, please notify the office. If You Missed the Online Emergency Card Window For those of you who missed the window to complete the Online Emergency Card, the registration process is still being determined. We’ll let you know as soon as we know if we’ll have paper copies for you to complete ahead of time or if the changes will be made via the computer at, or before, registration. Stay tuned! Parent Questionnaire If you have NOT already done so, please complete a Parent Questionnaire for each child who will be in 1st – 5th grade next year. This form is used by our Counselor, Amy Blesie. It’s now a form that you can complete on the computer, print, sign, and send in. You can download this form from the Resources link of our at our Westfield homepage at: Free/Reduced Lunches If you are currently receiving free or reduced lunches, a new application form will need to be completed for next year. Forms will be available at Registration on August 5th. School Dining Prices for 2010-2011 There are no changes in the cost of breakfasts and lunches for the 2010 – 2011 school year. First Day of School The 2010 - 2011 school year begins on August 18, 2010. Kindergarten parents: some kindergarten students will begin on the 18th and others will begin on the 19th. You will receive a letter or email early this summer telling you which day will be your child’s first day. Lost and Found: Important! Please be sure to check the lost and found before school ends. Items that have not been claimed by June 25th will be donated to a charity.

Westfield Night at the Kernels

May 12th is Westfield Night at the Kernels! Ticket order forms were due April 30th. If you missed the order deadline, you can still attend but tickets will be full-price. Pre-ordered tickets will be available at a table near the Will Call window. The game begins at 6:35 and gates open at 5:30 p.m. This night features fun performances and activities by Westfield students and staff.

From the District Transportation eligibility is based on a student’s residence (home address). As required by state law, the District provides transportation for elementary and middle school students whose residence is more than two miles from their designated attendance center and high school students whose residence is more than three miles away. The District has traditionally also provided transportation for students in neighborhoods without a safe walkway route to their resident attendance center. Safe walkways are determined by District administration. The opening of the new Novak Elementary building for the 2010-11 school year and the scheduled public improvements by the City of Marion (sidewalks, crosswalks, traffic control) and various contractors will provide acceptable walkways in a number of areas. As a result, beginning in the fall of 2010, some students who have previously been bused to school will not be bused. Marion neighborhoods bordered by 29th Ave to the North, Boyson Road to the South, Alburnett Road to the West, and 10th St to the East are affected by these improvements. Beginning in August of 2010, students in this neighborhood will no longer be offered District provided transportation to and from Novak Elementary, Excelsior Middle School, and Linn Mar High School. Very soon, the District will post suggested walk paths available on the District’s Transportation web page. In the mean time, feel free to contact Transportation at (319) 447-3030 with any questions about busing being discontinued in your neighborhood to Novak Elementary, Excelsior Middle School, and Linn-Mar High School.

LEO News

Give your drawings to Miss Donlon by 8:00 a.m. on May 14th or send your drawings to the address above.

May PTO  Top  Stories:   • • • • • •

New Officers  and  Committee  Chairs     Gracias  to  our  Teachers  May  7th   Mother’s  Day  Family  Fun  at  Westfield   Beautification  Committee  Openings!   Scrip  is  a  w in-­‐win   Last  PTO  meeting  of  school  year:  May  11th    

New PTO Officers and Committee Chairs for the 2010-2011 School Year OFFICERS:

Christa Burgess, President Beth Malicki Papendick, Vice-President Erin Pazour, Treasurer Melissa Muszynski, Secretary

COMMITTEE CHAIRS: • Beautification: Christy Rafson • Box Tops: Rebecca Sanor, Jill Pistulka, Christy Martensen • Campbell's Soup Labels: Tiffany Beevers • Carnival: April Cowdin • Class Packs: Buffy Cerveny, Sam Shock • Conference Meals: Chris Helberg • Enjoy The City Books: Leah Greif • Ice Cream Social: Stacey Brooks • Open House: Lori Rott, Debbie Bowers • Read-A-Thon: Dana Johnson • School Directory: Tina Noble • Scrip Coordinator: Carrie Walker • Sock Hop: Sam Shock • Staff Appreciation Luncheon: Beth Malicki Papendick (Winter), Nikki Krieger (Spring) • Stride For Pride: Erin Pazour • Swiss Valley Milk Caps: Carla Kinch • Tyson Labels: Tonya Kaliban • Westdale Bowling: Tammy Wagner • Westfield Nights: Open- please let us know if you’re willing to chair this committee! • Yearbook: Angela Moore All committee chairs need assistants! If you would like a low-commitment experience with any of the above categories, please contact and we’ll get take care of you! Staff Appreciation May 7th The theme is Mexican Fiesta! We’re feeding about 70 staff members and volunteers at Westfield and we really appreciate any donations you can bring. If you can help with an ingredient or can help set up or clean up on May 7th, contact Dana Johnson: or 393-5130.

May 2nd Clean Up Crews It’s time to spring clean the grounds at Westfield. Join us Sunday, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. to help pull weeds and do other minor gardening up-keep around the school. This would also be a great opportunity for Boy or Girl Scouts to earn a badge. Contact Christy Rafson at 393-1761 or if you can help. Bring gloves, small clippers, a garbage bag or any other gardening things you might need. Mother’s Day Gardening Blitz! Bring your whole family to Westfield on Sunday, May 9th, from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. for a Mother’s Day gardening blitz! There will be a fun job for everyoneplanting flowers, removing weeds, and general garden work to make Westfield even more welcoming. This would also be a great opportunity for Boy or Girl Scouts to earn a badge. Contact Christy Rafson at 393-1761 or if you can help. Bring gloves, small clippers, a garbage bag or anyother gardening things you might need. Beautification Committee Do you have an a extra couple of hours this summer to help keep Westfield beautiful? What about a grandparent or niece who live nearby with a green thumb? The job entails watering the 5 pots out front, the plants by the library window, and the plants by the front sign. You would probably only need to come up once or twice during 1-3 weeks this summer. If you could help with this, please contact Christy Rafson at or 393-1761. I will make the schedule by June with the rotation.

Scrip is  a  win-­‐win  for  you  and   the  school!     It’s  convenient-­‐  buy  gift  cards   from  lots  of  stores  and  get  them   sent  home  in  book  bags!     PTO  earns  a  little  from  each  gift   card.    The  more  you  buy-­‐  the   more  you  give!   Thanks to all the families who ordered scrip in April. We made $237.60 for Westfield. You still have time to order -- scrip will continue in May. Order dates are May 11th and May 25th. This is a great time to stock up for summer. Remember to use scrip to buy gifts for Father's Day, Graduations, and all those summer birthdays. It's a great way to earn money for our school. You can also purchase Westfield Scrip Gift Certificates. They make great gifts for teachers and staff. You purchase the denomination - $5, $10, or $25 -- and then they can choose the gift card they want. A big thank you to Michelle Riherd for filling scrip orders on Thursday afternoons this school year. Also to Amy White for picking up scrip at local businesses. Thank you, Amy and Michelle! Any questions about scrip can be directed to Chris Helberg at or 550-4624.

The last PTO meeting of this school year is Tuesday, May 11th in the Staff Lounge. April meeting minutes are posted on our website: Feel free to e-mail us anytime at

W estfi eld PTO Executive Co mmittee Christa Burgess, President Linda Charlton, Vice-President Erin Pazour, Treasurer Beth Malicki Papendick, Secretary

Volunteer News Hello Volunteers! As the school year winds down I want to thank you for everything you have done throughout the year. From weekly classroom volunteers to occasional event volunteers your help is priceless and wonderful. May volunteer events: • Volunteer workshop on May 11th from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m., Multipurpose Room • Volunteer recognition on May 14th at 2:45 p.m., Media Center Thank you for all you do! Nikki Krieger WF Volunteer Coordinator

Band News

4th Grade Band News – THE BAND IS COMING! All 4th Grade students will be introduced to the Linn-Mar Band program very soon. During the last week of April and the first week of May all 4th graders will see a demonstration in their own building of all Band instruments and receive information about the Band Program. They will also travel to Excelsior on May 6th to hear the 8th Grade Band and Orchestra. PARENTS of students interested in joining Band for 5th grade should then attend one of two planned Beginning Band Parent meetings. They are scheduled for Mon., May 10th OR Wed., May 12th. Meetings will be held in the High School Little Theatre and start at 6:00 p.m. each night. There, parents will get additional information about the Band program and also sign their student up for a “Band Interview”. Band interviews are basically a 15-minute “tryout” for the student and parents to look at and try any of the band instruments. Students can then choose an instrument to play, and also sign up for the summer band program. If parents are unable to attend either meeting, they can call Mr. Makinster’s voice mail at 447-3310 beginning May 13th to schedule an interview. Interviews will be held during the school day and in the evenings between May 19th and May 26th. 5th Grade Band Concert The 5th Grade Band will give its Spring Band Concert on Monday, May 17th. The concert will be held in the High School Auditorium and begin at 6:15 p.m. Band students should arrive at the High School at 5:45 p.m., and be in the Little Theatre, ready to play no later than 6:00 p.m. The program will last about 20 minutes and admission is $1.00. Please have your student wear nice dress clothes (no jeans or tennis shoes please) for this major performance. In preparation for the concert we will be practicing together THAT morning BEFORE school (7:30 – 8:30 a.m.) in the High School Auditorium. Please drop your student off at the High School circle drive main entrance between 7:00 and 7:20 a.m. All students will be transported from the High School to

their building after our rehearsal. Because this is our only chance to rehearse with all 130 students together, it is VERY important that every Band student attend this rehearsal! Please contact me at 447-3310 if your child will be absent. The concert on the 17th will be the final Band activity for this year. Thank you for allowing your young musician to participate in the Linn-Mar Band program. I have enjoyed them greatly! 5th Grade Summer Band The Linn-Mar Summer Band Program will be held from June 7th through July 16th. The program will be held in the Colton Center at the High School. All students currently in the 5th grade Band are eligible to sign up for Summer Band Program #2 – Private Lessons. Students will receive one 20 minute private lesson each week for 6 weeks. Cost is $80. Registration forms will be sent home with students in early May, and be due by May 21st. Parents can request specific times and days for lessons. CURRENT 5th Grade students who would like to JOIN Band for 6th Grade should have their parents attend the beginner meetings listed above for 4th grade band students.

Orchestra News Summer Orchestra Program The Linn-Mar Orchestra Department will be offering a Summer Orchestra Program this summer. All current 4th graders interested in joining orchestra are strongly encouraged to begin over the summer. The program holds small group lessons two to four times a week for 50 minutes. The program will also offer a summer orchestra for the current 5th grade-7th grade orchestra students. There will be a 4th Grade Orchestra Parent Meeting on Tuesday, May 4th at 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. in the High School Orchestra Room giving an overview of the orchestra program, discussing a student’s commitment to the program, explaining the summer program and how to get your student started on a string instrument, instrument rentals, and any other questions you may have. Students will be able to sign up for summer classes at the meeting, and parents will have the chance to talk to area music stores about rental fees and equipment. Orchestra Finale Concert The 5th Grade Orchestra will be having their final concert of the year on Tuesday, May 11th at 7:00 p.m. in the Oak Ridge Gym. The concert will include performances by the combined 5th grade orchestras from Bowman Woods, Echo Hill, and Westfield, and the Oak Ridge 6th Grade Orchestra, Band, and Chorus. Admission will be $1. Information about the dress rehearsal will be coming soon!

Greetings from Pack 300! Calling all Kindergarten boys! It is Tiger season! In fact all boys can join Scouting. Come check out Cub Scouts! We have wonderful things happening all the time. We will be having a crossover ceremony as the boys advance in rank. Contact Greg Helberg at 550 – 4624 for more information. In addition our pack meeting is on May 20, 2010 in the Westfield Multipurpose room at 6:30 p.m. Also, summer is not too far away. Come learn about the great summer camp opportunities and register for Scouting! We have camp opportunities for all ranks starting off with Day Camp as we celebrate 100 years in Scouting. For Tigers and Wolves in particular we offer three Cub Overnight opportunities in June and July. Activities include archery, BB guns, and a climbing (bouldering) wall. For Bears there is a resident camp in July that includes archery, BB guns, and a climbing (bouldering) wall. Additionally, there will be rank

specific activities. The Webelos have two opportunities for resident camp in July. Activities include swimming, climbing wall, BB Gun shooting, Archery and rank specific activities. Come help us to continue putting the “outing” in Scouting, and see that Scouting is more than camping. For more information please contact Mark Ammons at 294 – 0099. Tigers 1st grade Den 2 For information regarding the Tiger den please contact Greg Helberg at 550 – 4624 or Jason Silcox at 393 – 9573. Wolves 2nd grade Den 1 For additional information regarding the Wolf den please contact Dan Disenhouse at 550 – 4326. Bears 3rd grade Den 5 For additional information regarding the Bear den please contact Jim Wolff at 294 – 5154. Webelos 1 4th grade Den 4 Our next den meetings are May 11th from 6 – 7:30 pm in the Westfield multipurpose room, and again on May 25th. For additional information regarding the Webelos 1 den contact Steve Brooks at 550 – 2071. Webelos 2 5th grade Den 3 Although the Webelos 2 Scouts have transitioned to Boy Scouts, boys in 5th grade can still join. For information regarding the exciting things happening with the Webelos 2 den please contact Jason Silcox at 393 – 9573. We look forward to seeing you. The families and Scouts of Pack 300

Students in the Spotlight Spyin’ Lion Westfield students have been “caught” by a Spyin’ Lion doing exceptional kind acts!

For the week of 3/29 – 4/2/10: • Jake Nickel (KC) gave a “put-up” to a friend. • Trinity Baker (4C) always says thank you and excuse me in the lunchroom. • Michael Ammons (4A) helped a younger student make good choices. • Darby Russell (1A) did a favor for a friend at lunch. • Sophia Lange (3B) helped pick up books during math. • Jill Bennett (3A) shared supplies with a friend. • DaShawn Williams (3B) cleaned up someone’s mess in the classroom. • Matt Helberg (3A) helped a friend with homework. • Katie Greiner (3A) shared with a friend. • Kevin Drahos (3A) helped a friend with schoolwork. • Jaydan Nissen (1D) helped a classmate clean a mess. • Jordyn Bowers (1D) let a classmate borrow materials. • Grant Beach (1D) gave a “put up.” • Dolan Pazour (2D) picked up centers everyday this week. • Ashton Hedeman, Cole Doty, Drew Willer, Logan Eubanks, and Shiv Patel (1B) made the classroom extra clean. • Tram Hoang (1B) cleaned up other people’s offices. • Ty Pree (3C) helped a friend up when he fell down. • Zach Galvin (3B) for being a good friend.

For the week of 4/2 – 4/9/10: • Skylar Aldrich (5C) defended a friend. • Noah Sennett (1A) put up everyone’s chairs after school. • Evan Gaby (1A) helped a sad friend feel better. • Mia Frese (1A) looked after a sad friend. • Logan Lukes (KD) gave someone a “put up” about skating. For the week of 4/12 – 4/16/10: • Chase Forsyth (3C) helped pick up crayons and markers that fell on the floor. • Blake Daubenmier (KD) helped his teacher pick up materials from the floor. • Karley Urell (KD) helped a friend pick up his crayons. • Allison Burgess (KD) picked up someone else’s scraps for them. • Will Ihringer (KD) gave a friend a “put up.” • Matthew Flugstad (KD) for being a great helper with the lights and a wonderful dance partner.

For the week of 4/19 – 4/23/10: • Ezekiel Agyemang (KD) gave a friend a put-up. • Ashton Lacey (2D) was nice to a friend. • Wyatt Willey (1D) did a favor for a friend at lunch. • Emma Applegate (1D) made a hurt friend feel better. • Logan Lukes (KD) opened the door for grownups. • Bradyn Krueger (1A) is a friendly classmate and helpful to all.

For the week of 4/26 – 4/30: • Emma Casebolt (1C) shared crayons with others who lost theirs. • Nick Beevers (1C) for going out of his way to be a friend to a classmate. • Ashley Stribling (1C) helped a friend with his work because he missed a day of school. • Max Studier (1C) passed science materials out to his friends before he did himself. • Luke Nafts (1C) helped another student learn a reading strategy. • Delaney DeMoss (3C) & Madison Drumm (3B) shared a drink with someone. • Logan Martensen (4B) for being polite and a good friend to his KD buddy. • Brandon Burgess (3C) shared a snack with a friend. • Maggie Barnes (KC) stepped out of line to fix a card mix up with other classmates. • Maia Lowe (1B) helped a friend clean out their desk. • Ani Ravi & Drew Willer (1B) always volunteer to clean all of the 1st grade locker area. • Cameron Walker (2A) stopped to help a friend tie his shoes at recess. • Samyukta Karthik (3C) was a good friend to someone. Congratulations! The rest of you, continue to spread kindness! The Spyin’ Lions continue to keep their eyes open for exceptional acts of kindness!



We are now closing in on another great school year at Westfield Elementary! We have had many Westfield students being “caught” by Spyin’ Lions doing kind acts for others. Over the summer, keep encouraging your child to do random acts of kindness. It is also important to remind them that the reason for doing this is not to gain recognition, but to feel good knowing that you made others feel good. Volunteering is a great activity to do with your children to teach them good citizenship and how to be individuals with good character. Some volunteering ideas include: go for a walk and pick up the trash you find on the ground, weed a flowerbed or do yard work for an elderly neighbor, or donate time at a local food bank or a church. 4th graders will be focusing on the world of work during guidance and gearing up for our Careers on Wheels day May 11th. This is an opportunity for them to see different jobs where a vehicle is involved in the work. They will be able to talk to the people who work in these jobs and get information about the job family that job falls into, pay, what the job involves, what subjects they learn in school that relate to that job, and what kind of an education is required for that particular job. Let’s hope for good weather! 5th graders will be continuing our KODA program. KODA stands for Kids Off/Opposed to Drugs and Alcohol-making positive decisions. We will be doing activities that focus on learning facts about drugs and alcohol, identifying why some people choose to use drugs and alcohol as well as identifying what other healthy choices people can do instead of choosing drugs and alcohol. Some Internet safety information will also be covered. The last component of KODA is volunteering. Those students who have completed 20 hours or more of volunteer service will be recognized at the end of the school year. We hope this effort will encourage kids to make healthy choices for themselves and be positive role models as they move to middle school. 5th graders will also visit Oak Ridge Elementary this month during the school day. A note will go home when the date is set. This will hopefully ease some anxiety that comes with the transition to middle school. If your child is planning to go to Excelsior Middle School, please contact me and I will set up a time for them to get a tour. A note was sent home and must be signed and returned by 5/6 in order for students to attend. 3rd graders will be focusing on teaming skills and working with others. K-2nd grade guidance will talk about teamwork and neighborhood safety. Don’t forget to talk to your child about Stranger Danger and Neighborhood Safety Tips. Some rules for kids to keep in mind are: always let your parents know where you are, it is always safer to walk with others than by yourself when outdoors, talk to your parents about some safe places in your neighborhood and some safe people for you to tell if something doesn’t feel right. Also remember 4 words if a stranger tries to get you to go with him/her: YELL NO GO (away from the stranger to a safe place) and TELL (a safe adult what happened). It is important for kids to practice these rules so they can be the safest they can be and enjoy their time outdoors! Have a fabulous and relaxing summer with your children. We’ll see you in the fall! Sincerely,

Amy Blesie, Westfield Elementary School Counselor

Home&School Working Together for School Success May 2010



Mrs. Amy Blesie, Counselor 319 447-3350

I’m a swimmer! Learning to swim will give your child a fun way to stay fit throughout life. Contact your local parks and recreation department or a community pool about free or low-cost classes. Try to go swimming together between lessons—the more time she spends in water, the more comfortable she will become. Pick a pronoun Help your youngster use pronouns correctly. For example, it can be tough to choose between “I” and “me” (“Kevin and I are playing baseball,” but “Dad played baseball with Kevin and me”). Your child can double-check by leaving the other person’s name out: “I am play­ing baseball,” or “Dad played with me.” Bucket of goodies Suggest a creative way for your young­ster to thank her teacher for a great year. Help her fill a plastic beach pail with treats (a crossword puzzle book, nail polish, tea bags). Then, have her write a thank-you note and use a ribbon to tie it to the handle. Worth quoting “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” Les Brown

just for fun Q: When is your birthday? A: July 15. Q: What year? A: Every year!

© 2010 Resources for Educators, a division of Aspen Publishers, Inc.

At-home adventures Summertime is learning time! Suggest fun activities while school’s out, and send your child back in the fall ready to learn. Try these ideas. Lemonade, anyone?

Your youngster can practice math skills and learn about running a business by opening a lemonade stand. Help him get supplies and figure the cost for a cup (the cost per batch divided by the number of servings). Then, he can set his price. Making the lemonade will teach him about measurement, and he’ll practice addition and subtraction as he charges customers and gives change. Idea: To boost sales, have him make blue lemonade (add frozen blueberries to his recipe or mix). My reading space

A cozy spot can make reading special for your child—and motivate him to read more. Put pillows, a blanket, and a basket of books in a corner of his room or in a tent in the family room. You might have him add a sign: “Mark’s Reading Corner.” Visit the library weekly so he can restock

his basket. Tip: Suggest that he choose a variety, including stories, nonfiction, magazines, and poetry. Creative board games

Encourage creative thinking by having your youngster invent new board games. He might start by designing a game that combines two existing games. For example, he could draw a game board that uses Clue characters (Colonel Mustard, Mrs. Peacock) and Candy Land cards (gumdrop, lollipop). Players try to figure out who ate which candy. Have him write out instructions, and then play as a family. Challenge: See if he can come up with a new game each week.♥

Playing safely When your youngster plays outside, help her keep safety in mind with these tips: ●●She should wear a helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads when skating or using a scooter. She always needs a helmet for bike riding, too. Don’t allow her to wear headphones, since music will drown out traffic noises. ●●Remind your child to go down slides feet first and to avoid walking close to moving swings. Also, she shouldn’t wear necklaces or drawstrings on the playground — they can get caught on equipment. ●●Fill bottles with ice water before going out, and have your youngster drink frequently. She needs about 5 ounces every 20 minutes when playing in hot weather.♥

Home & School Connection 

May 2010 • Page 2


Sibling harmony

2. Boredom busters

Children who stay occupied have less time for arguments. Help your youngsters brainstorm things to do if they get bored (organize trading cards, build a block city). Post a list on the refrigerator, and remind them to look at it when they’re restless.

Your children will be spending more time together once school lets out. Here are three ways to help them keep the peace on summer days. 1. A daily routine

Knowing what to expect can help your youngsters get along better. Set a schedule for sleeping and eating, and plan for both active and quiet time. For example, your children might play outdoors after breakfast and relax with paper and crayons after lunch.

3. Problem-solving skills

Teach your youngsters to compromise when arguments crop up. Sit down together, and ask each child to tell you her side and suggest a solution. Then, help them combine their ideas so they’re both satisfied. Once you’ve done this a few times, try to let them solve problems on their own (unless someone is getting hurt).♥

Waiting-room bingo Make waiting more fun with this bingo game. You’ll build your child’s thinking and observation skills. Materials: poster board, pencils, crayons Before you leave for the doctor’s office or a sibling’s karate class, have your youngster create a bingo card for each person. Help him cut a small poster board into gameboard-size squares. On each one, he can draw a grid with four rows and four columns. Then, have him color in some of the boxes (blue, green, red) and draw shapes in the others (square, oval, rectangle).

To play, look for items in the waiting room that match the colors and shapes on your board. Examples: a blue raincoat, a rectangular window. Cross out each box as you spot an object that matches. The first one to get four in a row wins. If you have more time, try to find every item on your board.♥ O u r

P u r po s e

To provide busy parents with practical ideas that promote school success, parent involvement, and more effective parenting. Resources for Educators, a division of Aspen Publishers, Inc. 128 N. Royal Avenue • Front Royal, VA 22630 540-636-4280 • ISSN 1540-5621 © 2010 Resources for Educators, a division of Aspen Publishers, Inc.

Family volunteering Q: I’d like to teach my son to help others.

How can our family volunteer together?

A: Most communities have plenty of volunteer opportunities for families. Choose a cause that your child is interested in or that he can understand. He will learn a valuable lesson about helping others. For example, if he loves animals, your family might help the Humane Society at a pet adoption event. A nature lover may enjoy planting flowers at an arboretum or a school. If your family has an ill relative or friend, you might sign up for a fund-raising walk (visit .html to look for events). As you volunteer, talk to your youngster about what you are doing and how it makes a difference. For example, you might say, “We are showing our support for people with cancer and raising money so researchers can find a cure.”♥

My child, the teacher I was playing school with my kindergartner recently while my fourthgrader, Ava, was studying for a math test. She kept mixing up the steps for long division, and she was getting frustrated. I remembered how she loved playing school when she was little, so I asked her to be the teacher and show me how to divide. Ava put a problem on her little sister’s chalkboard. She went through each step slowly, and I

followed along — while her little sister pretended to. Explaining the process in her own words really seemed to clear it up for Ava. She did well on her math test, so I suggested that we play school for other tests, too. So far, Ava has “taught” me the major exports of our state, how plants create food, and how to make subjects and verbs agree in a sentence. She loves playing teacher, and her little sister and I are learning a lot!♥

WestfeldNews, Issue 10, May 2010  

Westfield Elementary School News

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