06 April 2015

Parent Survey

At Village, we are always looking for ways to serve your child better. We believe that a strong relationship between school and home sets children up for success. In that spirit, we have created a brief survey to serve as a snapshot of what parent involvement looks like in our school. The survey, which is being organized by a staff member at Village, will be used to develop action steps that aim to enhance parent involvement at our school. Thank you in advance for clicking on the link below and making time to complete the survey. 

Elementary Parent Placement Card

At Village Elementary School, we value your input as one piece of information in our overall effort to create well balanced classrooms for all students.  Your comments will be useful as we work to place students into classrooms for next year.  On April 20th, the Elementary Parent Placement Card will be sent home with your child/children.  Please contact the office if you have any questions regarding this form.  Cards must be returned to your child’s homeroom teacher by Friday, May 15, 2015.  You may also write a separate confidential letter to me that must be received by Friday, May 22, 2015.  The letter can be used for special requests and considerations following the guidelines described below.

You may write a separate letter requesting that your child not be placed in one specific classroom.  These non-requests are for classroom (homeroom) teachers only.  Due to the complexities of scheduling and placement, we cannot accept non-request letters for specialists, team teachers or special area teachers.  Your non-request for classroom teacher will be considered when the content of the letter describes specific information regarding a personal experience or a unique set of circumstances that would justify granting such a request.  Please submit these letters to my office by Friday, May 22, 2015, as well.

Note:  The guidelines do not permit us to accept letters that request a specific teacher by name.  In the instance where the letter includes a request for a specific teacher by name, the letter is not used in the process.

Notification of your child’s assigned teacher will be mailed to you in August. 

Thank you for your cooperation and continued support.

05 April 2015

01 April 2015

Poem in Your Pocket

Encourage your child to carry a poem in their pocket on April 30th, National Poetry Month.  

Encourage your child to share the poem, to read the poem to every person they meet, to love, critique and value poems!  Encourage your child to hand out copies of the poems!  

How do other communities share poems on Poem in Your Pocket Day? 

I encourage you to take part in one or two National Poetry Month activities with your kiddos this month.  Here are two that are quick and easy.  The act of incorporating poetry into our children's lives further ensures that they will grow to be readers who analyze, critique and create in many different areas of their lives.  

Participate in National Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 30, 2015.

Sign up for Poem-a-Day.

For additional ideas and experiences, head to: national poetry month

Click here for ticket order form

Hello 4th Grade Parents,

As we move forward with our personalized learning initiative, your child is scheduled to receive an iPad at the start of the 2015-16 school year. In order to maximize the functionality of the device, each student under 13 years of age is required to have an Apple ID for Students. We will be sending a letter to your homes with instructions as to how you can set up these accounts for your children on or around April 15. Please keep an eye out for this letter and follow the instructions to set up the account. In order for our communication to work properly, we need to have up-to-date residence and email addresses in Infinite Campus. Please ensure that your information is updated.

Also, we’ll be holding iPad informational sessions for 4th grade parents at each elementary school in the month of May. Please do your best to have your Apple ID for Students set up before attending the informational session at your school. If you can’t make the session at your child’s school please attend one of the other sessions. Again, please note that these informational sessions are for 4th grade parents only.  All sessions start at 6pm on the dates below. 

Quest: May 14
Northwood: May 20
Village: May 27

Thank you for your continued support of HCSD initiatives. 


Michael Zaffuts

Director of Technology

31 March 2015

3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th graders will be taking the NYS Assessments in the coming weeks.  It is important to have your child in school on the specified dates. Please note and familiarize yourself with the testing dates.

ELA Testing Dates
Grades 3-6:   April 14, 15 & 16, 2015

Math Testing Dates
Grades 3-6:   April 22, 23 & 24, 2015

Science Test
Grade 4:        Performance – May 20-May 29, 2015
                       Written - Monday, June 1, 2015       

These assessments will provide us with information about the performance of our students in the area of reading, writing, listening, problem solving and scientific reasoning. While it is important to encourage your child to concentrate on what they are doing, it is just as important to assure him/her that promotion to the next grade level does not depend on the results of this test.

As with all tests, it is important that your child be at his/her best.  A good night’s sleep and a good breakfast will help.  
Please be sure your child has 2 sharpened #2 pencils and an eraser on test days.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your child’s teacher or counselor.

Approaches to Learning

As an International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) authorized school, Village Elementary explicitly teaches the IB Approaches to Learning (ATL) in all fifth and sixth grade classes (HCSD MYP Years 0 and 1).  Every MYP unity identifies approaches to learning skills that students will develop through their inquiry and demonstrate in each unit's final assessment.  

As a school, we embrace many practices of IB in all classrooms, UPK-6.  Example: IB Learner Profile is a common language for all students and adults in all classrooms.  We are moving to expand approaches to learning to be more explicit in all classrooms, not just the MYP years.  

Approaches to Learning are a prerequisite set of skills to support all students in demonstrating success.  The ATLs are a set of useful, transferable skills for all students to support them not only in their MYP years, but in all areas of study, career and life.  

From www.ibo.org: 
                   Approaches to learning
A unifying thread throughout all MYP subject groups, approaches to learning (ATL) provide the foundation for independent learning and encourage the application of their knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Developing and applying these social, thinking, research, communication and self management skills helps students learn how to learn. 

17 March 2015

We have many substitute opportunities in our District – visit our website for more info.

16 March 2015

All County Musicians

Congratulations to the Village Elementary students who participated in the 2015 Monroe County All County Festival!  It was an exciting weekend filled with friendship, fun and of course, MUSIC!  

Village Elementary All County Chorus 

Village Elementary All County Band 

13 March 2015

Thinking Games

Between school, errands, and activities, families spend a lot of time on the go.  While on the go, try out some “thinking games."

I taught my kids a game my parents use to play with me, called “Would You Rather?”. I offer two options and ask which they prefer and why. For example, I might say, “Would you rather lie near the beach or the mountains?” My son came up with a game he named “Three Favorites”. Someone picks a category (outfits, movies), and we all tell our top three choices. My daughter thought of “What Doesn't Belong?” We take turns naming items and asking the others to explain which is the odd one out, and why. The kids especially like this game because there can be more than one “right” answer. For example when I named “owl”, “ostrich”, and “eagle”, my daughter said “Ostrich, because it can’t fly.” My son’s answer was “Owl, because it hunts at night”.

Now they want to play all the time. I’m glad because we’re having fun – and they've gotten better at thinking through their ideas.

From: A parent in Parent Power Newsletter 

10 March 2015

Paper Bag City

Looking for a fun activity to help your child/children explore their creativity while also learning about measurement, construction, resources and perseverance? 

Let your child create her own 3-D community. She’ll practice map skills and learn about urban planning as she decides where to put the buildings in her town.
Materials: paper lunch bags, newspapers, crayons or markers, black construction paper, scissors, tape.

Have your youngster think of buildings to include, such as a bank, a grocery store, a school, a library, and houses. She can make them by drawing doors, windows and signs on flat bags (on the side without the flap). For every bag she decorates, have her stuff a second one with newspaper. Then, she should open each decorated bag and slide it over a stuffed bag so her “buildings” will stand up. For the roads, she can cut black construction paper into strips and tape them together.

Finally, have your child lay out her roads and arrange her buildings alongside her roads and arrange her buildings alongside them to make her very own town.

06 March 2015

All Kinds of words

A large vocabulary can turn your child into a better reader and writer. Try these everyday ways to help her learn new words.

Keep your ears open. When you and your youngster go places, point out words that people use. Maybe a waiter describes an entrĂ©e or the dentist talks about molars. Encourage your child to figure out what they mean by the way they’re used.

Go beyond nouns. Help your youngster add verbs and adjectives to her vocabulary. Sports and games offer opportunities to use action words. Let your child hear you comment on the softball that soars or the runner who sprints. When she sends thank-you notes or greeting cards, suggest descriptive words (a polka-dot shirt, a fantastic birthday).

From: Parent Power Newsletter 

22 February 2015

Values.com is hosting a four week campaign about LOVE.  

Week four: February 23rd - March 1st
Why We Love
We’ll bring it all together this week and focus on why it’s important to love!

Post what you love!  Comment here, tweet it, post on your own blog, Facebook statusInstagram, wherever... tag it #IValueLove

20 February 2015

Do ‘Mental Math’

Help your children practice their mental math skills all day, every day using these ideas from The Parent Institute: 

Lots of times, it’s less important to know the exact answer than to know the approximate answer. You don’t need to know exactly how much your burger and fries will be before you order – but you need to know if the $5 you have in your pocket will be enough to cover your bill.

Give yourself plenty of chances to do ‘mental math’. Sometimes, that means using numbers that allow you to do a problem in your head. It’s hard to add 18 & 29 quickly, but it’s easy to add 20 & 30. So your answer should be about 50.

In the fast food restaurant, your $1.89 burger would be about $2 and the $.99 fries would be about $1. That quick estimate would tell you it’s okay to order a soda.

Use estimating to check your answers
On a test, you don’t always have time to go back and check every answer. But you can estimate to see if any of your answers seem way off. If you’ve shown the sum of 17 plus 35 as 205, you’d better go back and do that problem again.

There’s more than one right way to get the answer.

Although there’s only one right answer to a math problem, there are sometimes several different ways to find that answer. Once you’ve solved a problem, ask yourself “How else could I get this answer?” As you think, you’ll actually become better at math.

19 February 2015

Helping Children Tackle Word Problems in Math

Don’t let word problems scare you

Sometimes kids do well in math – until they have to solve word problems. Then they just freeze up. Relax – word problems are still just math problems. Here’s an easy five-step process that can help you solve any word problem.

STEP 1  The first thing you need to know is what the problem asks you to solve

STEP 2  Write down the information you need to solve the problem. A word problem will give you all the information you need to answer the question. (Of course, it may also include some extra information.)

STEP 3  Develop a plan to solve the problem. It may take one step or several. You might be able to use a diagram or a table to solve the problem. Have your plan clearly in mind before you start solving the problem.

STEP 4  Solve the problem. Make sure you check your plan so you don’t leave out any steps.

STEP 5  Check your work. Did you answer the problem completely? Reread the problem to see if your answer makes sense. Check your calculations to make sure you haven’t made a simple error.

From: The Parent Institute 

18 February 2015

Think you’re ‘No good in math’?

Think again! Researchers have learned these three things about math ability:

Girls can do math.
In this country, lots of people believe boys have “natural” math ability. So it’s not surprising that boys often do better than girls in math. But in some countries, people believe girls are naturally better than boys in math. Want to guess who gets better math grades in those countries? The truth is that both boys and girls can do math.

Positive thinking works.
If you think you can do well in math, you usually will. You know that an “I can do it!” attitude helps in sports and in many other areas of your life. It works in the math classroom too.

Practice really does make perfect.

If you want to get better at pitching a curve ball or playing the trumpet, you practice every day. So why do people thin k it takes some sort of magic to do well in math? The “secret” isn't a secret – it’s practice, practice, practice. And how can you practice? Do your math homework – every day.

From: The Parent Institute 

15 February 2015

Values.com is hosting a four week campaign about LOVE.  

Week three: February 16th - 22nd
How We Feel Love
It’s important to both give and receive love. Share with us what makes you feel loved: a handwritten note, a phone call, flowers?

Post what you love!  Comment here, tweet it, post on your own blog, Facebook statusInstagram, wherever... tag it #IValueLove