25% of the School Year

Can you believe we are at the end of the first quarter of the school year?  We had an active nine weeks of school of unleashing each student’s potential with relationship, community and team-building activities, engaging learning opportunities and enriching field trips.  We are teaching for the future – all means all/equity and access through collective efficacy.  A picture is worth a thousand words….note below photos of Crozet ES teaching for the future!

 

First Six Weeks of School

I love the first weeks of school!  Students sporting their new gear, confident smiles, readiness to learn and make new friends or establish ties with friends they haven’t seen over the summer.  On the other hand, families and students are anxious about their new class level, new journey with academics/learning, new teachers and classmates.

The beginning weeks of school is the optimal time for our students and teachers to build relationships and to get back into the groove of learning.  The first six weeks of school is a distinct period of time of many introductions to set students up for a year of engaged and productive learning by using positive teacher language to establish high academic and behavioral expectations, getting students excited to learn by offering engaging academics and teaching the classroom and academic routines that enable a collaborative learning community to thrive.  Also during this time of getting to know our students, teachers are administering assessments in the content areas to see where they are and what they know.

August and September –  Building collaborative, trusting relationships – Responsive Classroom  – Hopes & Dreams  September begins our community fun of events: First Grade Popsicle Social, Grandparents Lunch Day, International Dot Day (Make Your Mark) Celebrating Creativity, United Way Day of Caring and PTO Kindergarten Potluck….Whew!  It’s only been 4 weeks of school!  We are on a ROLL of New Opportunities & New Horizons!

Welcome Back to School

I hope everyone had a safe, active and fun summer.  The countdown begins to the first day of school – Wednesday, August 23rd – New Opportunities, New Horizons!  Take a peek inside of Crozet Elementary School to discover how we are preparing for a new school year of student learning on Monday, August 21st from 5:00 to 6:30 pm.  I echo our superintendent’s welcome back to school words – “Our opportunities to build upon our national reputation for excellence and creative thoughtfulness will increase this year. Many of the most important nationwide challenges facing public education will be addressed here—closing opportunity gaps, aligning curricula with authentic learning experiences, applying design thinking to schools, expanding contemporary learning resources to all students and the implementation of strategies that break down learning barriers that for too long have restricted the upward limits of student potential. ”  With this spirit and belief, I as well as our faculty and staff look forward to another exciting school year of getting to know our students, working with you to support their development, maximize their potential and reach their dreams. Crozet Elementary will continue to unleash each student’s potential with our learner-centered goals, a growth mindset and sustaining our green initiatives on a national level!

 

Summer Learning….Summer Planning

Our Summer Learning Camp with all four western elementary schools’ students at Brownsville Elementary was a success.  The STEM curriculum continued to be a big hit with the students and teachers – students learned to take risks and problem-solve.  They participated in Henley’s Summer Fun Fair!

From July 17-20, our kindergarten camp filled with smiling faces ready for new adventures and excitement!  As this month ends, our custodial staff has worked tremendously to prepare our building for the upcoming school year!  From our summer construction projects, we gained improved staff restrooms, new stage floor, new flooring in the after-school program office and painted our front entrance areas and media center rooms.

Last Day of School

What an awesome 4th quarter of the school year filled with field trips, musical performances, PTO’s largest fundraiser – the Glow Run, Field Day and enriching project-based learning until last day of school – check it out as you read our last school newsletter.

Crozet Connection – June Edition 2017

I am so grateful to have a supportive and caring school community for our students, teachers, staff and PTO. Thank you for another amazing school year! On the last day of school, we surprised our students with a YouTube staff music video – “Don’t Stop Believin” – Jimmy Fallon style.  Enjoy and have a safe and fun summer break!

April/May/June-Last Months of School

Approaching the end of a school year can be similar to running a race. We know that if we can keep running forward we will eventually get to the finish line but we also want to finish strong. I love using this analogy because it best represents how students need everyone’s support and encouragement this time of year in order to reach their year-end goals (hopes & dreams)!

It is also one of the busiest times of the school year for students, parents and teachers. Keeping children focused on their responsibilities at home and at school can become challenging due to various outdoor activities and busy family schedules not to mention the beauty all around us. Take notice of how well your child is keeping up with his/her school responsibilities. Keep communicating with your teacher(s), check backpacks daily, read over notebooks and peruse the Tuesday folders for important classroom and school information. Read our e-news (PTO Eagle News or weekly classroom newsletters) as we approach the final weeks of the school year.

As we move into the last weeks of school, let’s all celebrate our students’ achievements and reflect on this past school year with them. Let’s continue to inspire them to do their best!

Marvelous March Mania

As the saying goes – March comes in like a lion and leaves out like a lamb.  Well, this year March came in like a lion and left out like a lion….smile!  We have had a marvelous March Mania.

On March 2, our students began the month with Read Across America Day school-wide celebration of Dr. Seuss’s

birthday to support and encourage literacy. READ EVERY DAY!

On March 3, our 2nd and 3rd graders performed a patriotic musical performance.  Leading up to the music program, our second graders researched and created Patriotic symbols through Art.  Students used natural resources from our Rain Garden Habitat to create the American Flag.  Our third graders researched famous Americans, wrote biographies and created flip books.  The student-created patriotic symbols and flip book biographies were displayed as a Gallery at the musical performance.

On March 10, our PTO had its Club Nite formerly known as the Sock Hop.  Our dads created a night of dancing fun for our students with DJ Ty.

On March 16, we had our annual Community Night to exhibit our students design projects, STEM activities and folk-dancing around the focus of Building Community with Curiosity and Wonder.  We had a huge turnout for the event!

On the first day of Spring, March 20, we had a PE Buddy Day.  Buddy classes of primary and upper grades had PE together.  Our students love PE buddy day!

On March 23, 8 talented fifth graders that make up our Crozet Honors Chorus participated in the county’s Elementary Honors Chorus Performance at Monticello High School.

On March 24, PTO Got Talent show was a huge success with 33 talented performances.  Every performer received a Got Talent medal created by a third grade student, Suri H.

We also had 2 amazing authors to visit our school and share their books and love for writing.

Two Crozet students were awarded this month –  the Writer’s Eye Contest – 1st Place Honorable Mention in Prose was Bronson P, a 4th grader and the Bus Lines Poetry Contest – Autumn W

March was packed with amazing learning experiences and making-memories events!

RAKing it up in February

February was filled with friendship grams, Valentine’s Day cards/class parties, Jump Rope for Heart and the grand finale of Random Acts of Kindness week activities. Random Acts of Kindness Week started with our celebration of themed days to get everyone in the spirit!

Monday: Hats of to kindness: Wear a hat!

Tuesday: Telephone Tuesday: Call someone and let him or her know you were thinking about them!

Wednesday: You can’t beat kindness: Wear your favorite sports attire!

Thursday: Thank you Thursday: Write a thank you note to let someone know you appreciate them!

Friday- Crazy kind Crozet kids: Crazy hair day!

We also hosted a collection for the Global Medical Training program at UVA. GMT is a student-run group that provides medical and dental care, along with donations, to the residents of Central American countries. We collected items to help support their spring trip to Peru. Items collected will be given to children and patients currently living in orphanages that the team will be visiting.

If students brought in the following items throughout the week:

  • School supplies: Pencils, pens, erasers, small notepads, crayons, colored pencils, markers, easy picture books, stickers,
  • Gently used small toys such as small stuffed animals, toy cars, etc…
  • Toiletries such as soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, band-aids, and floss

Breakout EDU in 2017!

It is time for something different – the tagline from Break out EDU.  Have you ever heard of classroom escape games?  I am sure our students would love to break out of the classrooms and learn in a different way.  Well, our staff decided to experience this platform for immersive learning games at our First Thursdays professional development time.

Breakout EDU games teach critical thinking, teamwork, complex problem solving, and can be used in all content areas.  Here is a video to learn more about this learning format.

Our teachers enjoyed Breaking Out of the typical professional development session to learn more about instructional practices.

Young Entrepreneurs & Musical Producers

What a wonderful way to begin our Winter Break at the end of the 2016 year!  Our third graders prepared for a month for their 3rd Grade Market on Thursday, Dec. 15th.  Third graders took a different learning approach towards their Economy Unit!  Our 3rd grade teachers bringing the “Real World” into their classrooms – students learned about the principles of an economy by creating a classroom economy that entailed class jobs & salaries, payroll, credits/debits, student wallets, pay day, class money & bank and a market place (producers & consumers) for everyone to buy and sell.  What a real-life experience!

Our Music, Art and Library teachers decided to collaborate together to take on a design project challenge of providing 4th and 5th graders an opportunity to create their own Winter Musical Program.  Students chose a piece of art as inspiration.  They wrote a story based on the artwork.  Students then worked in groups to compose a connecting song with supporting harmony on self-selected instruments.  Additionally, students created movement, props and instrumental sound effects to enhance their story.   The musical program was outstanding.  Here are a few parent commendations that sums the production up best:

“The program this evening was just marvelous!  What a creative and engaging way to blend instruction with creativity.  I honestly can not rave enough about it – a lovely job well done by each of you.” -4th grade parent

“This recent concert impressed us with the combination of art, history, culture, and music.  We appreciate how the program’s design encouraged students to invest in the production.  We also like the focus on art history, and the chance for children to expand their awareness of the global world.  As always, we applaud your creativity, energy, and professionalism.  You are true assets to Crozet Elementary.” -4th grade parent

The 4th/5th Grade Music Program was dedicated to Eric Betthauser, Henley & WAHS music teacher, who died in a car accident in November 2016.  Rest in Peace.