CTL Corner Center for Teaching & Learning March 2018

Center for Teaching and Learning Linda Ellis, Ph.D. Head of School & Director of Student Services Darryl Morris, Ed.D. Principal & Director of Administrative Services Amelia Maia Administrative Assistant Beckey Billings, B.A. Grade PreK Teacher Anne-Marie (Annie) Manning, B.S. Grade Kindergarten Teacher Lisa Lipar, M.Ed. Grades 1-2 Teacher Melanie Smith, M.Ed. Grades 3-4 Teacher Angela Bailey, B.S. Grades 5-8 Language Arts & 7-8 Social Studies Teacher Lori Williams, B.S. Grades 5-8 Math/Science & 5-6 Social Studies Teacher Treva McKissic, M.Ed. Grades PreK-8 Art Teacher Diane Engle, M.Ed. Grades PreK-8 Music Teacher Monica Lopez, B.S. Grades PreK-8 Physical Education Teacher James Milner, B.A. Grades PreK-8 Drama Teacher Jennifer Chamberlain, M.Ed. Administrative Consultant Paige Lewis, M.Ed. Administrative Consultant Sharon Lewis, Ed.D. Early Literacy Coach Joyce Armstrong Carroll, Ed.D., D.H.L. Consultant Emerita Our Vision We are dedicated to igniting and growing a LOVE of learning in every child.

In this issue… From the President and Principal…page 3 Pre-K…page 5 Kindergarten…page 7 Grades 1 and 2…page 9 Grades 3 and 4…page 11 Grades 5 through 8 Williams…page 13 Grades 5 through 8 Bailey…page 15 PE and Music…page 17 Drama and Art…page 19 Special Events…page 21

From the President… Dr. Linda Ellis CTL students were great sports through the rainy days with indoor PE, lunch and recess. Now that the sun has come out, the trees are sprouting, and the birds are singing, they are enjoying the great outdoors. It makes us all appreciate our fun playground space even more Thank you Ms. McKissic for the beautiful bulletin board that ties springtime to learning and creativity at CTL. CTL...the place where ideas bloom. And thanks to our fabulous team of teachers who create the environment where those ideas can bloom. I am sure each of you has experienced rich demonstrations of this in your student-led conferences. The portfolio process is such an important time for students to self assess and set goals, to gather artifacts that represent their learning, and to present their learning to their parents--a favorite time of each trimester. February and March have been busy months with the celebration of the 100th Day of School, Valentine's Day, Chinese New Year, President's Day, Go Texan Day!, Black History Month, the Scholastic Book Fair, and Trimester 2 Club Showcases. Thank you to our moms who sponsored clubs during the second trimester and shared your talents with CTL students--Ms. Aldaba with braiding, Ms. Bong-Schmidt with dance, Ms. Peebles with Yearbook, and Ms. Bozeman with the Yummy Club and to Ms. Gaulding who is sponsoring a Vision Board Club this trimester. We also had many high school meetings to plan CTL High that will open in the fall of 2019. We have a fabulous team of creative, innovative, imaginative minds putting this high school 3

together. It is sure to be the best in the nation! We are already looking forward to a fun packed third trimester. It already started with a bang with our second annual gala--Turning a Page for CTL: An Evening in Hogwarts. Thanks to the fabulous team of parents who worked so hard to put this gala together and to the Butlers for hosting the event this year. It was a huge success! Thank you for your ideas, suggestions, and the many ways you support CTL! …and the Principal Dr. Darryl Morris 4

The Little Learners Mrs. Billings Pre-K Burr!!! January was cold. Pre-K was excited to welcome February and warmer temperatures. However, is was perfect weather to explore polar animals. Our science unit began with the study of penguins. We learned penguins were birds that cannot fly and that most penguins live at the South Pole. Pre-K had a couple of challenges to conclude our unit. The first challenge was iceberg hopping like penguin followed by carrying a penguin egg on top of our feet just like the emperor penguins. To conclude, we discussed that during the holidays, when we saw the penguins and polar bears displayed together, that one of the animals must be lost as these two animals live in different hemisphere 5

In social studies, we read My Daddy, Martin Luther King, Jr. and discussed how it was important to be nice and kind to everyone. 6

Kindergarten Mrs. Manning Greetings from Kindergarten! We would like to welcome our newest classmate, Seren, to our community of learners. She joined us just in time to learn about some fun holidays in Social Studies. We discovered together that Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow again this year on Groundhog’s Day meaning 6 more weeks of winter. While we know this is just a Pennsylvania Dutch superstition, not science, it sure was fun to watch. There might be something to it, because it has sure been an unusually chilly Texas winter. We learned a little bit about Chinese (or Lunar) New Year during this Year of the Dog. Dr. Morris shared some Chinese artifacts and interesting tidbits about the holiday during Morning Meeting, a valuable part of each school day. As Valentine’s Day approached, we enjoyed reading stories about the special day. Students designed and created their own mailboxes to hold Valentine cards and treats from their classmates during our Valentine party. We created hand-made hearts and cards and enjoyed the extra focus on friendship and love. We can’t forget about the 100th Day of School! What a day filled with fun,100 related activities, and what a CUTE bunch of senior citizens I got to teach that day. In science we have spent a lot of time exploring various animals of interest to the students. From geckos to polar bears and domestic cats to lions, our focus has been on the animals’ habitats. We now know that each animal gets its needs met through its environment. Animals of all kinds need food, water, air and shelter. If an animal is removed from its unique habitat, it may not survive. For example, an iguana would not be able to live in a frozen, snowy environment. We also explored the difference between pets and wild animals. In math we expanded our experience with number sentences. We have demonstrated story problems using a variety of manipulatives to express both addition and subtraction. The students particularly enjoyed using math story mats. Using a familiar tool for number concept, we performed addition using ten frames. The kids were THRILLED to experiment with addition by counting on and were proud to see that they could add up to a very large number using this strategy. We have become experts at writing our numbers from 1 to 100 as well. 7

In language arts the students are reading like absolute rock stars! They can’t wait to begin reading workshop each morning and get books in their hands. As the level of difficulty in texts increases, they get more and more lost in their books. It is a beautiful sight to see. When we come together on the carpet to share great literature, the kids are honing their skills with the identification of story elements such as characters, setting, problem and solution. I challenge you to ask your child to identify those elements in the books you read to them at home, too. In writing workshop I am beyond impressed with the pieces the students are writing. They are experimenting with titles that grab the reader’s attention, dialogue and descriptive language. We have a group of outstanding authors in kindergarten. Thank you for allowing your students to come in each day independently. It builds so much confidence, and that confidence spills over into our school day. The gift of independence is priceless. As this second trimester nears an end, it is incredible to look back and see just how much the students have grown. 8

The Explorers Mrs. Lipar Grades 1 and 2 We are in full swing in 2018 as January and February were busy for our class. In March we continue to strengthen our skills in all areas of learning. In reading-writing workshop the class focused on making connections, expository text, personal narrative and word study. We are working toward the editing process and publishing our work. It is nice to see so many of the kids sharing their writing in our Author’s Chair. We celebrated Mark Teague and Beverly Cleary in our author studies. Next month we will write expository and informational text. Our STEAM challenges were fun and exciting. Students used index cards to create a tower to hold specific weight and built a foil boat to hold 100g. The designs were creative and challenging. Some of the groups gained knowledge on how to redesign to gain better results in their challenges. We studied and experimented with the effects of water and wind on land with respect to weathering, erosion and deposition. In our experiments we studied land changes by simulated weathering, erosion and deposition. We created volcanoes and looked at the ways in which lava forms to make changes in our Earth as it cools and repeats. The class plotted the volcanoes of the world using coordinates on a map. They had to locate and compare them with surrounding volcanoes in that region. Our rock investigation and study of the rock cycle covered the three types of rocks, where they can be found and how they are formed. We will build on this in the upcoming weeks along with the study of maps and geography. In our math workshop we practiced addition and subtraction, comparing numbers, place value, comparing and rounding, fractions, time and money, and data analysis with probability. We played games, used manipulatives and practiced math facts. The areas of focus were: adding and subtracting two and three digit numbers, labeling and expanding numbers to strengthen our understanding of place value, using rulers, yardsticks and measuring tape to measure items to the nearest foot, inch and centimeter, rounding numbers to the nearest ten, hundred and thousand using number 9

lines and charts, recognizing and counting money and telling time to the minute. We also analyzed data using a bar graph, line plot and tally chart. When working with fractions, the class plotted them on a number line and compared them using fraction tiles. We are focusing on building automaticity with math facts to strengthen our mental math skills. This is necessary for adding and subtracting larger numbers. I have encouraged the class to practice math facts at home to help with this. Next month our focus will be to build on the math skills taught and continue with our practice of measurement and time. In social studies we learned about the native American people and their lifestyles during their settlement in America. We studied homes around the world, the materials used to build homes and how people live. Students researched the Winter Olympics and the sports involved in the games. They reported the various sports studied to the class. They also learned about the significance of the colors of the Olympic rings. We read about the historical presidents of the United States, their contributions to our country and the role of the US president. We will move on to the topic of economics next month. The Explorers have shown great improvement in problem solving with their peers as well as cooperative learning in the classroom. I will continue to support them as they work together to improve social situations. We will continue to explore our passions and express our creativity. 10

The Smithosians Mrs. Smith Grades 3 and 4 What a busy last few months it has been for the Smithsonians. From cold days to a Valentine’s party that warmed our hearts, Grades 3 and 4 are “Marching” into the last trimester full steam ahead! In reading workshop we finished reading Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper. Students became attached to the main character, Melody, and rooted for her to win the quiz team championship competition in Washington, D.C. The author took us on an unexpected ride at the end that shook us to our cores--missed flights, devastated feelings, near tragic car accidents, all combined with a heroic speech threw us for a loop but left us feeling hopeful and satisfied for our friend, Melody. We all realized the importance of never judging a book by its cover and never giving up, even when the odds are stacked against us. We are now reading a fantastic fantasy, Emmy and The Incredible Shrinking Rat, by Lynn Jonell. We are about half way through, and with each new chapter we find ourselves sinking deeper into a mystery of magical rodents, mean nannies, and wondering what new twist could possibly happen next. During independent reading students are enjoying sharing the Barry Loser series called I am NOT a Loser by Jeff Smith--a funny and quirky book that is half graphic novel, half chapter book, about a young boy named Barry Loser. He endures life in school with the last name Loser which he is anything but! And because of the newly-released movie A Wrinkle in Time, many students are reading the novel and discovering it is the first book in a popular trilogy. In writing workshop, students continue to draft and publish several books. Besides the many chapter books ranging from fiction to expository to reader’s theaters, students have been writing poetry as well. Together, we read Love That Dog, by Sharon Creech to look deeper at how poetry can tell entire stories, not just explain one moment in time. Students enjoyed reading from Jack’s point of view while writing to his teacher about the poetry they read in his class. Students felt Jack’s frustration of not understanding how to interpret poems by famous authors such as William Carlos Williams or Robert Frost when he encountered them for the first time, but in the end CTL students, along with the fictional character Jack, come to appreciate the power of poetry. Students wrote their own poems experimenting with lines, stanzas, alliteration, and rhyme. Many students also submitted pieces to the Dana Kay Barber Writing Awards Contest sponsored by Abydos Literacy. Winners will be chosen in April. If students win in either poetry or prose, they are invited to attend the Abydos Conference in Dallas in April to receive their awards during a special ceremony for all of the winners. Both third and fourth grade math students have been studying fractions. We all started our fractions unit together with a fun introduction of Lucky Charms math. Students were given a serving of the cereal and separated the cereal pieces from the marshmallows. They then sorted and graphed 11

their marshmallows. Looking at their total number of marshmallows, students were able to figure out the fraction of each type of marshmallow they had in their cereal bag. Both groups of students will continue exploring fractions in the next month. Third grade will add fractions with like denominators, compare fractions, and find equivalent fractions. Fourth grade students are beginning to see the importance of knowing their multiples as they are using them to find greatest common factors when adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators. After fractions and decimals, both groups will finish out this last trimester with measurement and geometry. In science, students completed their study of inherited and acquired traits in both plants and animals. The lessons about traits came from Mrs. Smith’s studies with Rice University and the REMSL program, Rice Elementary Model of Science Learning. Students went through the five E cycle: engage, explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate. Students not only learned about the different types of traits in plants and animals, they also created an awesome class book called Trait Tales, a collection of fictional stories in which the reader learns about inherited and acquired traits of real animals. Based on the five E model, students will learn next about physical science objectives such as convection and how this relates to hot air balloons. Keep your eyes toward the skies because students are making their own hot air balloons out of tissue paper. We are looking forward to launching them outside. Finally, in social studies students finished their studies of American history by researching and presenting Google slide shows about the major events that led up to the creation of the United States. Both grades used a large timeline made of event cards ranging from the early explorers to the American Revolution. Students divided up the timeline in major periods of change and researched the events in depth. We will finish our American history studies at the beginning of the last trimester by reviewing the importance of The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and The Bill of Rights. We will end the year by studying Texas history. 12

Grades 5 through 7 Mrs. Williams Math, Science, Social Studies Grades 5 and 6 Math, Science, and Social Studies The last few months have been busy months in 5th and 6th grade. In math 5th grade students began studying numerical patterns and the coordinate plane. Students applied numerical patterns in a real-world application to determine how quickly different types of flu strains spread. They then created pictures on the coordinate plane and wrote the ordered pair for each point on the picture. Students traded pictures with each other to see if they could recreate the picture by plotting the points. 6th grade students became equation masters. They are now able to solve multi-step equations with variables on both sides of the equal signs. In the next few months, 5th grade will focus on geometry, measurement, and data analysis. Sixth grade will learn about rates, ratios and proportions, as well as geometry and probability. Science has been all about HTML and CSS. Students worked together to design a Rube Goldberg contraption using the engineering design process. The entire process was documented on the student's websites. The websites were written completely by the students using HTML and CSS tags. Next students will be learning about computer hardware and networking. Ancient Greece has been the focus of our study in social studies. Students learned about different types of government and how ancient Greeks created democracy. As the Olympics took over, we focused our study on the Olympics. Students worked together in groups to select a city and write a bid for that city to host the Olympic games. Students will continue studying ancient history in the upcoming months. We are looking forward to learning more about Rome, China, and India. 13

Grade 7 Math and Science Equations were the name of the game in 7th grade. 7th grade took it a step further and learned how to solve equations that included radicals. Square roots and exponents are now just another inverse operation students can use when solving equations. In the coming months, students will be learning about rates and rations, graphing lines, and probability. In January students learned about what earth might have looked like in the past. They examined how the fossil record helps scientists determine which continents were connected in the past. Students then learned about seafloor spreading and how the seafloor creates ridges and trenches that cause continental drift. In February our focus shifted to rocks. Students learned about the rock cycle, as well as the carbon cycle and nitrogen cycle. No students will turn their attention to weather and climate. 14

Grades 5 through 7 Mrs. Bailey English Language Arts and Social Studies Grades 5 through 7 Language Arts The 7th grade class finished the read aloud SYLO by D.J. MacHale. Students enjoyed the fast-paced action and twists the story took at the end. Several students have begun to read the rest of the series. Our new read aloud is The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. This mystery contains several suspects and many meaningful details. Students are putting on their detective hats and taking notes during the reading to determine who committed the crime. We have good discussion about which details are important and which are just red herrings meant to throw everyone off track. Students have learned about point of view and how setting influences plot through our read aloud books. They also notice these elements in the books they are reading independently. In the 5th/6th grade class we completed our read aloud of A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. Students were intrigued by plot and enjoyed discussing the different theories they had based on the events in the book. Several students are interested in reading the next book in the series, and we are all looking forward to seeing the movie. After spring break we discussed the similarities and differences between the book and the movie. We also looked at the influence of setting on the overall plot and how perspective changes a story. Students found several examples of these elements in their own books. Students in both classes presented book projects representing their favorite books of the trimester. The presentations were creative and convinced many students to add titles to their Books I Want to Read lists. These lists continue to grow in length and a variety of genres. 15

The 7th grade class completed their flash fiction pieces after revising to eliminate unnecessary words, rearrange words and chunks, add connectors, and form new verb endings in order to improve their writing. We also focused on paragraphing, punctuating dialogue, and comma usage. The 5th/6th graders completed their short stories after working on revision strategies to improve the flow and description in their stories. When conferring with classmates, students offered feedback regarding the areas that stood out to them as being especially descriptive as well as areas that were confusing to the listener. When editing we focused on end punctuation, punctuating dialogue, and paragraphing. Grade 7 Social Studies Students voted to study Oceania and Antarctica this trimester. This area of the world was voted on by the students to be our unit of study. They found many interesting and surprising facts that they presented to the class in two different presentations. The Maori and Aboriginal lifestyles were of particular interest to students. After watching several Aboriginal dreamtime stories and learning about their purpose, students wrote their own version of a dreamtime story to explain the origin of a topic they researched. We looked at different works of art created by indigenous peoples, and students created their own representations in Aboriginal style. The class will vote to determine the next area of the world we will study. 16

Physical Education Coach Lopez Grades Pre-K through 7 The weather conditions in February caused a lot of delay on activities planned for the outdoors; however, we recovered with activities that had the kids excited to perform. During one of the classes, we were introduced to Speed Stacking, an activity that develops motor skills, patterning, focus, and concentration. This in turn helps hand-eye coordination and ambidexterity that can be essential for both sports and daily life functions. Here are links that introduce the sport itself and if interested a link to purchase them: Introduction: Learning to Stack https://tinyurl.com/y8f78ytj Quick Stacking Cups https://tinyurl.com/ycz8wlyr On days when we were outside, we did multiple team building games that involved strategy and execution. Within teams students were able to use their strengths to contribute their skills for the greater good. Capture the Flag was a huge standout for all grade levels. The kids enjoyed getting to strategize and be able to still run free with a game that lets them go at their own pace. Next month we look forward to introducing tons of new team sports for the spring season. We are looking to bring in field hockey, volleyball, and possibly lacrosse during P.E. 17

Music Mrs. Engle Grades Pre-K through 7 Pre-K enjoyed singing winter songs and even “ice skated” around the room. Kindergarten practiced combining three different comparatives of fast/slow, loud/soft, and high/low in a poem. First and second graders learned to write so la mi interval patterns on their staff boards. Third and fourth grade learned a new song incorporating the do pentatonic scale. They also had fun playing a double circle game after they read a new rhythm pattern with sixteen notes. Grades 5 and 6 engaged in cooperative learning while reading music and learning to play the keyboard. 7th grade students learned “Play and Play,” a game song, on the piano keyboard. They then learned to play a game with their classmates played the song on the keyboard. 18

Drama Mr. Milner Grades 5 through 7 The last month has been busy for the students creating and making a range of videos on movies. Our greatest challenge has been navigating the sicknesses and absences, but the students have demonstrated excellent problem solving skills and persistence to complete most but not all tasks. All our work recently has been group work, so when a key player, videographer or editor is away it can throw the whole timeline out and hinder our ability to complete some tasks. The students have made short one act videos from their own imaginations, researched and compiled news pieces, planned, recorded and edited chase scenes attempting to build excitement and the pace as they go. They recently completed an audio reworking of a classic fable or nursery rhyme, and they are currently producing an original short video they have developed in groups. One group is reworking an anime cartoon to the real world while another tells the exciting story of a young girl who dreams of being the world’s greatest cup stacker. Another group has recreated the world of Cinderella while another group has taken on the challenge of making an exhilarating car race. Yet another is the story of a young boy who dreams of Super Bowl glory. Moving forward small groups of four will take on selected scripts. They will cast, produce, film, edit and submit their task. I hope to make these available for you to watch through the school website. Details will follow. Soon work will begin for our next live performance. One of the most important parts of drama for grades 5 to 8 is watching their performances, reflecting on their performance, and most importantly performing in front of an audience. Performing before an audience builds confidence, cooperation, and communication skills. Presenting to people is a vital skill, and the pressure of an audience watching is an important element of what we work toward. I hope all of you can make it and stay to watch these fantastic young people show you their hard work and give them the accolades they deserve. Look for the details about the presentations in future Wednesday Bulletins. 19

Art Mrs. McKissic Grades Pre-K through 7 20

Special Events Valentine’s Day Parties 21

The CTL 2018 Gala: A Night in Hogwart’s 22

Center for Teaching & Learning 26131 Kuykendahl The Woodlands, Tx 77375 832-474-8214

1 Publizr


  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12
  13. 13
  14. 14
  15. 15
  16. 16
  17. 17
  18. 18
  19. 19
  20. 20
  21. 21
  22. 22
  23. 23
  24. 24

You need flash player to view this online publication