Dear TMSA Families, November 30, 2018
It will be a very busy two months and it is hard to believe that we are now moving into December! We had several things going on and I would like to share some highlights.
We had great parent teacher conferences for our families. We are always striving to make the best experience for our TMSA Tigers and their families. Parent and school relationships are key to student success. If at any time you would like to conference, please reach out to your teacher to schedule a convenient time to discuss progress and best ways to support from home.
We enjoyed our fellowship and time with families during the TMSA Family Picnic and I look forward to seeing families at our next picnic. We usually do it during the Spring time and as always is a great opportunity to have some family time together with our hard working team. Skateland Family Nights are also a lot of fun! We have had two so far and hope to see more of our families come out!
Our Saturday Academy sessions has had great attendance for our third, fourth and fifth grade students and we hope that you will continue to take advantage of the additional time we vest into your child’s success. If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, please email your child’s teacher!
Our monthly safety drills continue for our Tigers to ensure the students understand and practice safety related drills. We are working closely with our central office team and school to continue to improve and maintain safety. Please keep that in mind as we ask certain things of you as you enter our campus and building. All visitors must sign in at the front and place their tag so that is easy to see. Following traffic patterns, and parking on the student entrance side, all are important procedures to ensure everyone is safe!
In addition to the students learning process, we have also had MAP Diagnostic Test Data training for our teachers as well as a Guided Reading series of professional development for our team. Both are crucial to the
progress of the students.
I have also attended some professional development sessions and attended the National School of Character Conference as we strive to become a National School of Character. Our monthly character traits are only a small part of what we are doing and growing to help develop the best Tigers of Character. This month I have
implemented Character Reads. My staff and I will be visiting classes, reading and talking about ways to grow our character. We have developed a School of Character Committee and have started meeting to increase the ways in which we emphasize and include character education. It will be the driving force behind everything we
do. Also, as a part of TMSA’s Learning Community, we have been offering Parent Academy Sessions with child care and light snacks for our parents and other family members to learn ways to help and support students in their learning experience.
Parent volunteers are needed to help with listening to students read, drill sight words and math facts. Please reach out to your child’s teacher to set a time and day to come in. If your child’s teacher does not have a need, we will forward you on to another teacher or grade level. Here is the link to go to for parent volunteering at
TMSA. The December STEM Fair is coming soon! The TMSA STEM Fair is December 12 th from 3:15 – 5:00 for students and the judges. The parents and public viewing will be from 5:00 – 5:30 p.m. The students and their teachers are working together to ensure the steps are being followed. We also are offering help during the December 8 Saturday Academy Session to ensure our students are prepared. More info will be forth coming. Thank you so much for your commitment to our school and the success of your students! December also marks the time for you to turn in your TMSA Intent letters letting us know you would like to return and maintain your spot in our school. Information will be coming out soon! Have a great weekend!
Mrs. Burke, Elementary Principal
October / November 18
TMSA Elementary Tiger News
October / November 2018
Growing Kindness –
Tips for Parents
Here are seven evidence-based tips for growing kindness in kids:
Tip #1: Help your kids develop a caring identity. e.g., “I saw you help your brother, you are such a kind person.” Helping your child develop and embody an identity that includes “I am a person who is kind” goes a long way in ‘solidifying’ kindness in your child so that it becomes a lasting trait.
Tip #2: See the good in your kids. Research shows that kids are intrinsically altruistic, even at a very young age. (i.e., we are born kind.) Society is still playing catch-up with this scientific knowledge; many of us still catch ourselves sometimes assuming the worst in others. Kids respond to our expectations. As parents, recognizing kids’ capacity for kindness – seeing the good in them – will help the kindness to flourish.
Tip #3: Foster opportunities to be kind, and talk about the good feelings that come from being kind. Encourage your kids to engage in opportunities to practice kindness, and to reflect on how being kind made them feel.
Tip #4: Maximize support & minimize punishment. Your kids may not be kind every moment of every day. When “stuff happens”, try adopting a compassionate, supportive approach rather than a punitive one. e.g., “Wow, for you to do this, there must really be something going on. What’s up?” (supportive approach), vs. “To your room!” (punitive).
Tip#5: What not to do: Rewards. Research shows that extrinsic rewards actually decrease kids’ altruistic behavior. A ‘thank-you’ and appreciation for kind behavior is great – e.g., “Wow, that was so helpful when you helped me carry the groceries.” However, external rewards such as money, candy or toys have been shown to decrease kids’ natural helping behavior.
Tip #6: Model Kindness and Caring. Children learn more from our actions than our words. Modeling compassion and forgiveness yourself will go a very long way in teaching your children to be kind.
Tip #7: Be Kind to Yourself. We have all experienced how, when we are feeling stressed, at the end of our rope or unhappy – not to mention angry or wronged in some way – it can be difficult to feel open-hearted and kind towards others. Kindness and emotional health are wrapped up together; growing one grows the other.
November Character Trait is KINDNESS
First Grade has been a blast so far! We had our first field trip in November. In ELA, we have been working on identifying the characters, events, and setting in stories, and identifying the main idea of story or text. In math, we just began learning addition strategies from 0-20 and will shortly start the next chapter for subtraction! Please make sure your child is practicing their math facts. Your teacher should have sent home logins for XtraMath and Prodigy. We have been loving seeing your kiddos learn and grow every day!
October and November were great months for Kindergarten and we are excited about all the events in December! This is a reminder that our field trip was rescheduled for Tuesday, November 6 th . This month, students will be be learning 2D shapes and continue to work on number recognition. Small group guided reading instruction has started and we will continue to work with students on reading skills. We are excited to celebrate this Thanksgiving season with a focus on turkeys and pilgrims. There is so much to be thankful for this month and we are very thankful for all of our kindergarten students! They even got to try different holiday pies from different cultures! We look forward to many fun, learning activities in December.
Second grade had a very successful second and third month! We completed our MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) test for Fall 2018. This test is allowing us to better serve the students through instruction that meets their personal needs. You should receive a letter in the next week that explains the MAP Test as well as your child’s fall scores. We will take this same test again in winter and spring so that we can chart your child’s growth together!
Thank you for making our Parent/Teacher Conferences so successful this year! We enjoyed meeting with you and starting this educational journey with you and your child. If you were unable to meet during with your child’s teacher during that time, or if another question arises, please do not hesitate to contact us to set up a time to meet.
As we head into November, we will be using our fall themes to talk about the November Character Trait of Kindness. We are excited to start our food drive on November 5th and finding other ways to show kindness to our friends and neighbors as we begin the holiday season.
The 3 rd graders continue on their path to academic and social excellence. In addition to learning about mass and magnetism, we are still working really hard to use and apply multiplication and division strategies. The goal is for these facts to be fluent and automatic, so PRACTICE PRACTICE, PRACTICE!
Also, we have been studying not only the process but the importance of voting. Each student even had the opportunity to “register” to vote and simulate a real election. We know the importance of our voice and the proper ways to stimulate change in our community and our world.
We also had fun traveling through time to show our commitment to leading a drug free lifestyle. From bellbottoms and afros to bangles and tutus, it has been showing off ways we can stay healthy and have fun.
Students are busy raising money for their DC field trip in April. Families can support their efforts by attending skate nights and purchasing Yankee Candle products. This is a well-known company whose products are very popular, making them great gifts! Catalog orders placed by the Nov 9th deadline will be delivered before the holidays, plus there is an option for out-of-town family and friends to purchase products using online ordering.
Students are also busy working on their STEM projects. Steps 1-3 have been completed and students should now be focusing on Step 4 - Testing the Hypothesis and preparing the list of their materials and procedures (due Nov 13).
NC Check-Ins for Reading and Math will be given on November 7-8.
As a reminder, we go outside daily unless it is raining or below freezing. Please make sure your child has a jacket or coat appropriate for the weather.
For this month, the 4th graders have been preparing for the NC-Check In assessments. They have been working very hard so that they can do well! The students have also been working on their STEM fair projects for science. They already have picked their topics and are now working on their research. This week has been a great week with the Book Fair- the students bought many books to add to their library collection. In ELA, students are working on text structure. This is a difficult concept to grasp, but they are taking on the challenge to understand the skills. In Math, students are working on prime and composite numbers as well as area and perimeter. In social studies, students have been learning how to read a map- so the next time, you're on a road trip, don't use your GPS, ask your child to look at a map and help (however, keep the GPS ready as a back-up)!