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OCTOBER 2016

 

Director's Note



Greetings all,

 

It has been a very busy start to the school year, and we are anticipating a very busy October and November.  Major upcoming events include student/parent/teacher conferences, which will be held on October 14th, and 21st and the Harvest Dinner and Fall Festival on October 21st. If you have not had a chance to dine with us at the Harvest Dinner, please join us. I believe that you will find the food and company quite pleasing.

I’m sure that you are aware that our driveway can become quite congested during pickup and drop off periods. Please keep in mind that there are a few simple rules to follow to keep all children safe.
 

  • The drive is a no parking zone. If you need to leave your car, please park in the lot.
  • The speed limit on campus is fifteen miles per hour.
  • Pick-up and drop-off should only take place in the lane along the curb.
  • Use your turn signal when changing lanes.
  • Watch for children entering the drive from between parked cars.
  • The back drive is not designed for pick-up and drop-off. You may find that it is faster and safer to have your student walk to the front of the school.


Upcoming Events


October

5
Count Day

7
Picture Day

14
Conferences - 1/2 day for students

21
Conferences - 1/2 day for students
Fall Festival

26
Board Meeting (5:30)
PD: 1/2 day for students

 

November 

8
Election
PD: 1/2 day for students

24-25
Thanksgiving Break

30
Board Meeting (5:30)
 
If we all follow these rules it will make for much safer and more orderly pick-up and drop-off periods.

Last spring our students participated in the state mandated M-STEP assessment for the second year. The first year the assessment was given in a paper and pencil format. Last year, our students took the online commuter adaptive assessment. Because the assessments are so different, there is little correlation from one year to the next. While these assessments can only give us a snapshot of how our students perform, trend data indicates that our students generally earn proficiency rates greater than those earned by students from across the state and county.  

Later this fall, in the federally mandated Annual Education Report, I will provide trend data for the MEAP, M-STEP, and TerraNova assessment given over the past few years.

The table below summarizes the percent of students who scored proficient or better on the spring 2016 M-STEP assessment. The Honey Creek percentages in green indicate that our proficiency rate exceeded those of the state, county, and Ann Arbor Public Schools. The Honey Creek percentages in blue indicate that our proficiency rate exceeded those of the state and county, and the Honey Creek percentages in yellow indicate that our proficiency rate exceeded those of the state.

Have a safe and wonderful fall!

Al

2105-16 M-STEP proficiency rate comparisons

PTO News


We are excited for another great year at Honey Creek and look forward to all the wonderful activities the PTO and its committees will do for the kids and the additional supplies the PTO can provide the teachers classrooms. The purpose of the PTO is to build a stronger Honey Creek community and we do that every day through the programs we offer and the assistance we provide. Please take the time to visit our website for any up to date information on the PTO. 
https://honeycreekpto.wordpress.com/

Also, the PTO has new emails, remember to add these to your contacts:


Sharon - PTO Chair          hccs.pto.chair@gmail.com

Alison - PTO Co Chair      hccs.pto.cochair@gmail.com

Ann - PTO Secretary        hccs.pto.secretary@gmail.com

Janet - PTO Treasurer      hccs.pto.treasurer@gmail.com


As always, we welcome participation and attendance at all PTO meetings, the second Friday of every month in the Pitt. We also offer virtual participation through Go to Meeting, look for the login in the email announcing the meeting and agenda.


Have a wonderful October,

Sharon (Teo 1st Barbara) and Alison (Julien 2nd Jeannie and Sebastian K Barbara)​

 

What's Happening in the Classrooms

Early Elementary

Journeys is our year long theme in K-1. We have four thematic units over the course of the school year which we refer to as “My Journey,” “My Journey Through School,” “My Journey Through the Community,” and “My Journey Through the World.” Throughout each thematic unit is the overarching concept of patterns in journeys. The children are working toward understanding that learning what we teach them helps them to see patterns, they can make their own observations to discover patterns, and when they discover patterns, they can make informed choices.

We introduced the children to this year’s theme by discussing the definition of a journey, different types of journeys, how life is like a journey, and how learning helps you on your many journeys. We read the Dr. Seuss book, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” and the children got a blank map to draw some of the places they might want to go to or journey to some day.

“My Journey” is the name of our first thematic unit this school year. In addition to learning about family patterns in this unit, the children are learning about patterns in the sun, moon, and stars. On October 28th, we will go on our first field trip to visit the planetarium at the UM Museum of Natural History to attend a program called “Patterns in the Sky”. We will be gone from 8:30-12:00 that day.

http://honeycreekschool.org/k-1/

 

Middle Elementary

The 2-3 students have been working on routines and independence for the month of September. We focused on filling out our planners and completing any seat work. In Language Arts we worked on reading for stamina and learning about our CAFE strategies. In Math, we have introduced brief concepts before we dive deeper into the following areas, measurement, fractions, geometry and basic math facts. We have explored these concepts through hands on and game activities. In Social Studies we are focusing on Michigan geography and landforms and for Science we have learning about Earth’s processes.
http://honeycreekschool.org/2-3

 

Later Elementary

Later elementary is going really strong!  Our math classes have gotten settled and we’re seeing a lot of growth as students have gotten comfortable with their different teachers using different teaching styles to meet the varied needs.  In science, students have been excited to work on experiments involving dry ice and gummi bears!  The gummi bear theme carried over into social studies as students studied the different types of government, using their edible friends to create visual representations.  Poetry has been ruling in literature.  Who knows?  Maybe we’ll write poems about gummi bears before the month is through!
http://honeycreekschool.org/4-5

 

Middle School


Science

Welcome to a new year of middle school science!

We start off every year focusing on the nature of science and what kinds of attitudes, skills, and knowledge we need to be effective scientists. This year’s theme is “How Things Work” and our first unit deals with the study of movement, forces, and energy. Six simple machines lead us to understand how force can create movement and help humans to do work. We will learn each of them in detail and a final project will test how students can combine them together in a machine.

Social Studies

We are off and running with American history! The first unit is on the American Revolution and we have been analyzing the psychology behind colonists’ decision to break from England, namely the factors that infuriated them, as well as the confidence to function independently. Students will be writing historical fiction, a project called “Creating a Character,” which will require them to elaborate on the acts and proclamations before the war, thoughts about humans’ natural rights, examples of self-government within the colonies, and eventually a battle within the war itself. This narrative will take several weeks to complete and students will be writing in one of two formats: letters to each other or as journal/diary entries.
Interspersed throughout the unit, we will also be covering other topics like the Boston Massacre, Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, and the Declaration of Independence. We just began the Boston Massacre and are establishing roles for a mock trial. Each student will be either a witness to the event or a lawyer prosecuting or defending Thomas Preston, the British captain put on trial for ordering the shots fired. Parents are welcome to volunteer in early October to help determine which side created the most convincing arguments.
After the Revolution, we will dive into the creation of the Constitution.
 

Language Arts

 

Math

In middle school math we have four different class with different curriculums (Course 1, Course 2, Course 3, and Algebra).  To see an overview of the material covered in each class please visit the website:  honeycreekschool.org/ms/mathematics then click on the class your child is in.  This is where you will find postings of the current homework as well.

One aspect of our class I would like to mention here is tests… we will have a written test at the end of each unit.  For those students in Course 1, Course 2, and Course 3 I expect the student to share the results with their parents and ask them to sign it.  For all classes, unless the students earns 98% or better they are expected to make test corrections (see attachment on the website).  There are many reasons I expect test corrects… being able to analyze and correct errors are good math practices and re-learning material that was misunderstood, just to name a couple.  The students receive extra credit to improve their score when they make proper test corrections and they learn the material more thoroughly.

I look forward to partnering up with you and your child for a productive, educational year.

Cindy

http://honeycreekschool.org/ms

 

Don't Forget Our Specials!

Physical Education

It has been an exciting start to the year for Honey Creek in both the pool and the gym.

K1: The K1 classes have been doing a great job this past month focusing on developing locomotor skills, spacial awareness, following directions, and practicing sportsmanship.  The locomotor skills that they have begun to learn include: skipping, galloping, running, and shuffling.  They have had both individual practice with these skills and practice in a dynamic, game environment.  Over the next couple of weeks, students will be introduced to the overhand throw as well as various fitness concepts.

The K1 classes continue to make improvements in the pool as they work on floating, flutter kick, sculling, and gliding.

2/3: Students in the 2/3 classes have done great work so far this year.  We are finishing up our soccer unit in which students got to practice dribbling, passing, and shooting.  They were introduced various positions and put into a game setting as well.  2/3 will begin to complete more fitness circuits over the next couple of weeks and will take part in the FitnessGram beginning the week of October 24th.

In the pool, we have had many days dedicated to flutter kicking and developing more endurance with our legs.  The students have begun freestyle progression drills and have taken the deep end test one time.  We will continue to practice freestyle swimming as we add in more backstroke drills and treading practice over the next couple of weeks.

4/5: I have been very impressed with the focus of all the 4/5 students this year.  They have shown great teamwork and dedication to making improvements in both the pool and the gym.  Students in the 4/5 grade levels have finished up their soccer unit and will be working on exercise technique.  Again, beginning the week of October 24 the 4/5 students will take part in FitnessGram testing.  This year, they will complete 5 components of this including: PACER test, trunk lift, sit-and reach, sit-ups, and push-ups.

The 4/5 graders have done a fabulous job in the pool.  We have been able to complete drill progressions for freestyle and have begun to build in some endurance work by swimming multiple lengths in a row.  Next week, students in these classes have earned a game day and will be playing water basketball.

Middle School: The middle school classes are always a lot of fun to teach.  In the elective class we are focusing on team sports this semester.  They seemed to have had a lot of fun during our time playing eclipse ball and are always eager to get to the next game.  In the middle school PE classes we have just finished up our soccer unit.  This week, students are working on technical aspects of 3 exercises: the squat, burpee, and push-up.  Students will complete a squat clinic in which they work in groups of 3 to practice form.  Next week, they will learn about and complete a Tabata circuit during class and will begin FitnessGram testing on October 24th.

The students have continued to make so much progress in the gym over the past couple of weeks. In the K1 classes we have been practicing a lot of overhand throwing by playing various games. Students have also been doing a lot of relays and locomotor skill practice as a daily routine. Our focus over the next couple of weeks will be teamwork as well as skill development. In the pool, the K1 classes continue to build on their freestyle and flutter kick technique. This week, students are being introduced to gliding and will focus on streamlines under the water.

The 2/3 students began working on striking in the gym last week. Over the next month they will work on improving their side-arm strike technique. Students will begin to build more running endurance when they come to class through various warm-up activities and games. In the pool, the 2/3 classes have been working on various details of swimming including: open starts, streamlines, and open turns. The 4/5 students are also working on open turns and will be beginning flip turns next week. They are starting to build up more endurance in the pool and swim multiple lengths in a row for warm-up every day. In the gym, the 4/5 classes will be doing a striking review as well as a mini team handball unit this month.

The middle school classes have just started a team handball unit that we will finish up right before break. While students will learn the rules and set up of the game, their main focus will be on passing and working as a team during this unit. They continue to work on fitness levels during play as well as their daily dynamic warm-ups. In the elective class we will be introducing some water challenges including diving bricks, kicking, and circuits. When in the gym, students will be completing various partner circuits (focused on skill technique and increasing fitness levels) and mini games.

Please remember that the weather is changing and students need an extra pair of shoes for the gym.  Boots will not be allowed on the gym floor.

http://honeycreekschool.org/pe

 

Technology

We have been discussing Cyber Safety and Acceptable use in technology this month. In the 2/3

In the 2/3 classes we are talking about the 3 keeps of internet safety. They are:

  1. I keep safe my personal information, all of it
  2. I keep away from internet strangers
  3. I keep telling my trusted adults anything that makes me feel uncomfortable

We had some guest speakers from the Washtenaw Area Council for Children come in and talk to the 4/5 and Middle School classes. They visited each class and led important discussions with students on concepts including cyberbullying, digital reputation, privacy & security, netiquette, and online predators.

In the Middle School technology elective we are using GameStarMechanic to learn about the elements of game design. Students are learning to create well-balanced games. Later in the semester, they will also be using Scratch to program some games.

http://honeycreekschool.org/technology

Music

Happy Fall Honey Creek Families! I’ve had a wonderful time over the last month getting to know everyone through general music, band, and choir. I look forward to meeting more families in the coming months, so please feel free to come introduce yourself before or after school. You’re always welcome!

K/1

We’ve been working on exploring our voices by pretending we’re exploding firecrackers, using streamers and following vocal lines. Ask your child to demonstrate the ‘roller coaster’ or the ‘down coaster’!

2/3

The middle elementary students have been doing a variety of activities with a piece of music by Peer Gynt, learning the ‘Hand Jive’, following the theme through all 18 repetitions, and learning what a coda is. See if your student remembers the name of the piece (hint, it sounds like something from Lord of the Rings)!

4/5

The 4/5 students are learning a valuable lesson about respecting one of our nation’s most important songs, The Star Spangled Banner. We’ve watched successful and unsuccessful performances, talked about how we should act during the playing of the anthem, and shared where they’ve heard it before. Ask your child why Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the anthem that we know so well today!

Choir

The choir this semester is a strong group of 13 wonderful voices. Our warm-ups are focusing on learning to sing in harmony, perform in rounds, and develop our vowels. After listening to a variety of pieces, they’ve chosen one popular tune and a lullaby in Slovokian. Learning to sing a new language poses many unique challenges, but I’m sure that these students can handle it!

Beginning Band

Amidst the excitement of getting their hands on brand new instruments, we’ve learned tons of new skills! Putting the instrument together, making our first sounds, reading whole notes & quarter notes, and learning our first 3 notes are just the first steps. I’m very proud of how everyone is diving right in, and there are even some students who’ve gone above and beyond, practicing more than their required hour a week!

Middle School Band

The students are taking on the challenge of extending their skills and memorizing most of their warm-ups, which I know is very tough. We’re also working on reading music more accurately, no more writing in note names. In addition, the students have received two pieces to present to you a the concert this December. The first is fiery and dynamic, and the second is peaceful and lilting. You’ll have to wait until the performance to hear it all come together!

http://honeycreekschool.org/music

Art


We are back into the swing of creative thinking here in art class! Our overall theme for this year’s class is Don’t Worry, Be Happy!  You may recognize it by the Bobby McFerrin Song of the same title. This book features art by Alexander Calder and lyrics by McFerrin.  We discussed how sometimes kids and adults get frustrated when their artwork doesn’t turn out perfect but when you worry, things get worse so it’s better to think positive and be happy with your efforts!

In our K-1 classes we started the school year learning about the Art Cart and all of the supplies available to them through the year. The first three weeks of class children had the opportunity to engage in free exploration of art materials on the art cart starting with drawing media and finishing with watercolor paints. Our first ‘official’ project involved the primary colors! Students learned that artists use line, shape and color to create art. We looked at a variety of red-blue-yellow inspired art and then made our own work using yellow paper, red paint, and blue tape.

2-3’s started October by showing off their personalities in a self portrait drawing. We looked at a variety of self portraits by past painters like Van Gogh and Frida Kahlo but also some more contemporary artists like  Yayoi Kusama from Japan. We learned how our faces are proportioned and used mirrors to really get to know what makes us unique.

Is this science class or Art? 4-5’s learned about the connection between science and art. We looked at observational scientific drawings made by scientist documenting their work before the invention of photography. We also compared that work to more recent work by artist Katie Scott whose work resembles these scientist/artists of the past but also has an element of contemporary design. The best part of this project is hanging out in the greenhouse drawing and painting!

Middle School students are learning about proportion and scale. Our first project of the year started out with gesture drawing. Students posed for each other in action or sports poses as we did quick ‘stick figure’ sketches. The next step was to figure out how to draw the human figure to scale. We discovered that the adult human body, no matter how tall or short is generally around 7 to 8 heads tall. Using a one inch head, we made figure drawings with unique details and backgrounds.

The theme for Middle School Art Elective is ‘All Things Light and Shadow. This is a class that focuses on artwork that has something to do with either shadow or light. Our first project was to ‘capture’ a shadow. Students either traced shadows using flash lights or sunlight or took photographs of shadows. A couple of students even made 3d work using flash lights, cast shadows and boxes!

More art news next month….

http://honeycreekschool.org/art

After School Programs


ON-SITE EXTENDED DAY STUDENT CARE WILL BE AVAILABLE ON THE FOLLOWING “EARLY DISMISSAL DAYS:” October 14th, 21st, 26th; November 8th; January 25th; February 23rd; March 10, 17th 28th; April 27th, and May 5th.  
If you have not already registered online, please register by emailing afterschool@hc.wash.k12.mi.us.  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 24th & 25th, December 23rd-January 6th, January 16th; February 16th & 17th; April 3rd-7th; May 29th; and June 14th.

Please pick up a registration form from the after school programs bulletin board and stay tuned for information on these and other activities:
4H, Art, Ballet, Baseball, Basketball (January), Campfire, Capoeira, Chess, Chinese, Cooking, Crafts, Cross Country Skiing, Dance, Drums, Eco-Maniacs, Electronic Music, Fitness, Football, French, Gaming, Garden, German, Girls on the Run, Golf, Guitar, Guys on the Go, Gymnastics, Harp, Hip Hop, Japanese, Juggling, Knitting, Korean, Music Lessons, Open Swim, Orchestra, Personal Training, Photography, Pilates, R.E.C.E.S.S., Rocks & Robots, Rockets, Scratch Programming (January), Sewing, Soccer (K-8), Spanish, Speed Stackers, Spiral Scouts, Star Fleet Academy, Strings, Study Skills, Stunts, Swim Lessons, Tap Dance, Tech, Tennis, Theatre, Tutoring, Volleyball, WESO, 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.

SERVICE LEARNING
Service-Learning and building a spirit of service in order to positively impact the world are core components of Honey Creek Community School's mission.  Curriculum-Based Service-Learning happens in the classrooms, but many students are motivated to serve others outside of school hours as well.  Each year we recognize students and families who spend 50+ hours/year serving others with the President's Volunteer Service Award.

The deadline to submit hours is June 14th, 2017.  An awards ceremony will be held the following year to honor all recipients.  

In the meantime, thank you for supporting our students as they learn to become philanthropists: giving of their time, talents, and treasures to benefit the common good.  In short, thank you for being heroes!

Foundation News


The Foundation Board kicked off its service to HCCS by speaking at the parents' meeting on the first day of school and attending each classroom's curriculum night to highlight both the great strengths AND needs of the school. We hope you were there to catch at least part of our message! 

Along with these efforts, the Board recently mailed its first appeal of the school year. Included in that appeal was a letter from "grandma Mary" intended for grandparents and special friends of Honeycreek students. Both appeal letters were sent to highlight the wonderful ways that Honey Creek provides for and impacts its students as well as to ask for one-time or monthly donations to support these endeavors.   And last, but certainly not least, at its October meeting, the Foundation Board voted unanimously to gift Honey Creek Community School $50,000.

The Board's next meeting will be held on Monday, November 7 at 6:00 PM at the school. Are all welcome.
Copyright © 2016 Honey Creek Community School, All rights reserved.


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