CTL Corner Type to enter text Center for Teaching & Learning November 2017

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 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 1-2…page 9 Grades 3- 4…page 11 Grades 5-8 Williams…page 13 Grades 5-8 Bailey…page 15 Music and PE…page 17-18 Drama and Art…page 19-20 Special Events…page 21-22

From the President… It is hard to believe Trimester 1 is coming to a close already. We have been blessed with a fabulous beginning to the school year and wish to thank each of you for your support. As we leave October behind, we want to thank all of you for making our Halloween Carnival a huge success for the children. As we enter November, we are reminded of the many things we have to be thankful for. Morning Meeting is always a highlight of each day as we begin with celebrations. October we traveled vicariously to Germany with Nadine Bong-Schmidt for the Day of German Unity and to India with Sheila Reddy and CTL students to visit the Diwali Festival of Lights. It was in morning meeting that we celebrated Red Ribbon Week, and we are currently enjoying Trimester 1 Club Showcases. The highlight of each day, of course, is celebrating with the students their celebrations. We are also thankful for our beautiful Dr. Joyce Armstrong Carroll Library that continues to serve as a hub of learning for the entire community. During the last month teachers and school leaders from around the state have gathered there for workshops with Dr. Carroll and for debriefing sessions after visiting our reading-writing workshop classrooms. Parents gathered there for the monthly Parent Council Meeting and ReadingWriting Workshop for Parents. And each Friday afternoon when the children go home, the entire CTL Team joins together there for debriefing, camaraderie, and professional growth. The library has also been the home of the Scholastic Book Fair this month. On Monday of next week we invite each of you to join us in the library beginning with 3

Morning Meeting to celebrate Dr. Carroll's 80th Birthday. Happy Birthday, Dr. Carroll! This month our attention is shifted to others to demonstrate the many things we have to be thankful for. We are thankful for our veterans who we celebrate at Veterans Day on November 11. On November 7, Ms. Engle and her music students treated us with a memorable Veterans Day performance as they sang the hymns of each branch of the Armed Forces and other patriotic songs in honor of our veterans. Our attention is 5 also shifted to others as we have55 donated to those in need through the Octoberfest Sock Drive and the CAMO Animal Rescue. As we wind down Trimester 1, we enter a favorite time of year as CTL students reflect on their learning and set goals for future learning through their self evaluations, preparation of their portfolios, and during their Student-Led Conferences with parents beginning the afternoon of November 16. It is always amazing how this learning process invigorates and energizes and begins each new trimester with even more excitement for learning. We look forward to giving thanks for you, your children, our CTL staff and the many reasons we have to celebrate at our annual Thanksgiving Feast on November 16 from 11:00 to 12:00. Dr. Linda Ellis & Dr. Darryl Morris …and the Principal 4

The Little Learners Mrs. Billings Pre-K Pre-K started October with our annual bear hunt. It was based on one of our favorite books, We’re going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen. It was a beautiful day, and we weren’t scared. The children traveled through the long wavy grass, a deep, cold river, oozy mud, a big deep forest, and we even encountered a snow storm before we found the bear in the gloomy cave. Another author we enjoyed was Lois Ehlert’s Red Leaf Yellow Leaf, Leaf Man and Growing Vegetable Soup. 5

Pre-K loved our bat and spider unit in science. We talked about echolocation and how a spider can navigate on their sticky webs without getting stuck. However, their favorite part was eating the bat and spider snack they constructed. October would not be complete without a pumpkin investigation. Pre-K measured, counted, and explored the inside of the pumpkin. This month we are looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving and spending time with our families. 6

Kindergarten Mrs. Manning Is it already November? Time is flying in kindergarten! We have been learning so much and developing lifelong friendships. What an amazing, nurturing community we are part of here at CTL. We are truly expanding our horizons in kindergarten. Dr. Morris has started teaching us to speak Spanish on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The students are counting to ten, naming colors, greeting one another and naming classroom objects in Spanish. They are catching on quickly, and enjoying their time with their maestro. What accomplished writers we are becoming. As we have continued to dive deeper into personal narratives, the students have been bursting with new topics to share each day. It makes my heart sing when children enter the classroom in the morning and announce, “I already know EXACTLY what I will write about today!" We are focusing on small moments in our lives and telling about them in great detail. Next, we will begin to try our hands at expository, informational writing. Reading workshop is in full swing. The students are building reading stamina and increasing their time reading independently. Each Monday the students select new books for the week. Those books go home for practice every weekend. I am astounded with the progress every child is making and thrilled with the joy it brings to them. Our focus in science has been on weather conditions and hazards. We have spent time studying the four seasons and the corresponding weather. We don’t get the full range of weather here in Texas, but many students with families from other countries have enjoyed sharing their accounts of changing leaves and snowy days. Our next topic will be the environment and reducing human impact. 7

In social studies we have been learning about civic ideals and practices like following laws and voting. We have also learned about some of our important American symbols such as The American Flag, The Liberty Bell, The Statue of Liberty, the Bald Eagle, the White House, Veterans Day and Remembrance Day. As we move into the holiday season, we will discover more about Native Americans and holidays around the world. This will naturally lead toward discussions of wants versus needs. Speaking of needs, Kindergarten and Pre K are partnering with CAMO Animal Rescue for our community service project this year. I recently adopted my puppy, Tucker, from this wonderful organization. He was left in a dumpster with his mom and three other newborn siblings. CAMO stepped up to rescue the little family, care for all of their medical needs and find them all loving, “furever” families. Since Hurricane Harvey hit our area, CAMO has doubled the number of animals in their care. They have several immediate needs including over-the counter flea and tick medication, small and medium dog beds, puppy training pads, small collars, and chew toys and treats for small dogs. We will be collecting items until November 15. When the director comes to CTL to pick up our donations, she will bring a rescue dog to thank us at a Morning Meeting! We have a goal of collecting 75 items. Let’s smash that goal! 8

The Explorers Mrs. Lipar Grades 1-2 We jumped into fall with a pile of fun activities! The class has been doing a super job of following our expectations and creating teamwork within the classroom. Congratulations to them for earning all the animals to fill the jungle jar. They really enjoyed our BFG celebration as we watched the movie and had some fun activities and snacks to go with it. All the DRA assessments are complete, and scores will be noted on our progress reports. I am proud of how well the class is reading! Their daily reading has really strengthened their skills. I encourage them to continue selecting books on library day each Monday and replacing their book buddy bags as often as possible. Our students are turning out some wonderful pieces of writing in writing workshop, and they are publishing many of them each week. Our goal is for each student to publish one book this trimester. The class looks forward to reading from our classroom author basket. They are proud when their pieces are read by their peers. We have studied Robert Munsch this month and collaborated to write a letter to him. We are currently awaiting his reply and are excited to see what he has to say! In social studies we have been learning the national symbols and monuments. Each child researched one and reported on it to the class. It was a great learning experience in which they were able to teach each other. We learned about the US flag, its original design, and what the stars and each color represent. Math incorporated many place value activities this month to reinforce the value of ten within a number. The class used manipulatives to figure out ways to make two, three and four digit numbers. We also played a number walk game similar to a cake walk, a fun way to practice rounding numbers to the nearest 10 and 100. We strengthened our understanding of greater than, less than and equal to using 9

symbols to compare numbers. The class participated in a few class Halloween math games that were both fun and challenging. In science we completed experiments to teach understanding of solids, liquids and gases. They experimented with states of matter to elicit changes in them. We also began our exploration of changes in heat and the creating of friction. They learned about insulators and conductors and their differences with relation to heat. Our Halloween Carnival was a hit! I would like to extend a very special thank you to those of you who donated items to our Frankenstein Lab and donated your time to volunteer. A special thank you goes out to our room parent, Sheila Reddy, for getting all of it organized. Our booth was a great experience that added to our school's carnival experience. Next month we will continue extending our personal narratives in writing. We will begin to study Native American settlers in social studies. In math students will increase their understanding of place value and rounding to the nearest 1,000. They will move to two- and three-digit addition and subtraction. Science will include changes from heat, and we will begin to look at land changes and formations. 10

The Smithosians Mrs. Smith Grades 3-4 Oh, October, where did you go? What a fun month we had in Grades 3-4 as we enjoyed the many activities that came and went with the month of October. Between baseball, carnivals, cooler weather, and loads of candy, somehow we managed to squeeze in loads of academics as well! In writing workshop, publishing was fast and furious. Students cranked out a plethora of books they have been working on during workshop. Student books ranged from personal narratives about fishing trips, to poetry books filled with tongue twisting rhymes, to fictional stories about crazy characters that take us on adventures in alternate universes. Students were observed in writing workshop by several visiting teachers from local districts. The visiting teachers were amazed at the depth of conversations students engaged in during share time. “Wow! Their discussion of character depth and the creativity of dialogue was incredible.” Speaking of dialogue, students continued to hone their craft of dialogue usage by patterning their characters’ dialogue after the novel we share together through the read aloud. After analyzing conversations from our read aloud, Wonder, students realized their characters’ words and thoughts help to create personalities and give voice to the characters. And because we use our laptops and Google Docs to compose, students have been practicing their editing skills, ensuring they are indenting and punctuating dialogue correctly with quotation marks. In reading workshop, students continued to log their daily reading into their Google Sheets reading log. Students love recording the number of pages they read along with the number of minutes they read. As they log their daily habits, they see bar graphs increase that show how close they are to reaching their trimester reading goals. We finally finished our read aloud, Wonder, by R.J. Palacio. We are excited to see the major motion picture on the opening day. Our class will meet at the local theater in the afternoon of November 17th to watch the Wonder movie. We can’t wait! Many students were so inspired by this wonderful book about kindness, they purchased their own copies in the book fair. Finally, because so many students and parents ordered monthly from Scholastic, we received many new titles to add to our classroom library. Thank you for your orders as they help our library grow! Nothing is more important for our readers to blossom than the opportunity to have loads of choices of just right books, and boy, do they 11

have choices! Soon we will have to purchase a new bookshelf to hold all our new books. In math, students have became masters at mental math. Knowing how to add and subtract quickly using the “plus one, minus one” strategy is actually helping students prepare for algebraic thinking. Students keep calling this strategy a “trick” when actually it is a wonderful form of number sense. Problem solving has not been a problem at all for students because we have practiced using a four step method for tackling those tricky word problems. Hands down, one of students’ favorite homework assignments was to give their parents homework. In class we have completed several of Greg Tang’s math puzzles which require the use of mental math, lots of guess and check, and a bit of luck. These logic puzzles were such a hit in class, students wanted to take the problems home for moms and dad to solve. Many students enjoyed trying to stump their parents and teach them how to arrive at the correct answer. Next month, both grades will move into multiplication and division. Students have been abuzz with excitement in science. We’ve studied closed and open circuits this past month. By experimenting with a Sci-Fi tube (a tube with lights and sounds that work only when encompassed with a closed circuit made with human touch), students were able to see how a closed and open circuit worked. We tested what does and doesn’t conduct electricity by holding different objects in our hands as we stood in a big circle while holding the Sci-Fi tube. Using Christmas lights, a nine volt battery, a shoe box, washers, and paper clips, students demonstrated their understanding of circuits and how electricity moves by making the Christmas lights light up using a switch. Our next unit of study will explore reflection and refraction of light. Social studies was a challenge this past month. Students completed a region research project while working in small groups. The groups were tasked with researching the different regions of the United States. Using the laptops to explore, students collected facts about states within the regions. Each group was encouraged to present their data in a way they felt best represented their region. Some groups made posters or a trifold, while others choose to create a Google Slideshow. Next, we will move into the study of America’s beginnings. 12

Grades 5-8 Mrs. Williams Grades 5-8 Math and Science & 5-6 Social Studies Grade 5-8 Math and Science & 5-6 Social Studies Wow! Grade 5-6 has been working hard in math. Math workshop students have explored many new topics this month. Three groups worked together on a project to apply decimal operations knowledge by paying bills, writing checks, and balancing a check register. The other two groups continued their study of fractions and integers. They also became experts of exponents, square and cube roots and scientific notation. Next month we will be moving into new units of study including fractions, simplifying expressions, and multiplying and dividing numbers in scientific notation form. This month in science, students continued to practice typing, and many students are now using cloths to cover their hands while typing! Our main focus was on how to research properly. This included learning how to evaluate a website to determine if it was a valid source and how to document a source. Students applied their skills on a small research project. They researched multi-tasking to determine if it is a positive or negative skill for teenagers. Next month students will defend their opinion of multi-tasking by creating their own websites to display their research. 13

In social studies, Grades 5-6 students learned about Mesopotamia. They presented a reader's theater describing the laws of Hammurabi in morning meeting. We then discussed why there were different laws for different classes of citizens in Babylon. Students also created maps of the physical geography of Mesopotamia and used their maps to decipher hidden messages in a puzzle. The favorite activity this month was a game enactment of how different city-states traded and bargained to obtain necessary supplies. Next month we will dive into ancient Egypt. Look for pictures of student-made canopic jars and a study of preservation. Grade 7 Math and Science This month students completed their study of the real number system. They learned how to incorporate absolute value and radicals into the order of operations. They used that information to begin simplifying and evaluation of expressions using their new knowledge of exponents, square roots, and cube roots. Next month we will dive deeper into expressions and inequalities. We will also be solving multistep equations. In science we completed our study of the universe and solar system. Students shared their models of earth, moon and sun systems during morning meeting. They did a wonderful job representing movement in the universe. Next, students will learn more about the universe, the Milky Way and our solar system. Next month we will leave space as we learn about earth's layers, ancient lands, and seafloor spreading. 14

Grades 5-8 Mrs. Bailey Grades 5-8 Language Arts and 7-8 Social Studies Grade 5-8 Language Arts Reading and writing have taken off in the classroom! Students are engaged in their books in reading workshop and enjoy discussing them with others. The daily read aloud gives us a chance to discuss story elements and author’s craft. Grades 5-6 are enjoying The Secrets of Hexbridge Castle by Gabrielle Kent. The Grade 7-8 class finished Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick. It’s impressive to listen to the depth of thought contributed during these discussions! Great class discussions have taken place as students have had differing opinions relating to character development and plot. Students have had many great mentor authors to study and learn from as they've read several books since the start of school. In writing workshop, students have written, revised and published poems using tools learned through reading and analyzing poetry as well as through mini-lessons and individual conferences. The final products will be added to student portfolios which will be shared during Student-Led conferences this month. Gabrielle Kent Rodman Philbrick 15

Grade 7-8 Social Studies Students have been researching a conflict in the world that interests them. They located the country or countries involved on a world map and determined whether the conflict is internal or international. After generating a list of inquiry questions, students began studying the conflict’s effect on people, government, economy, and other countries. As they collected facts, they used a graphic organizer to categorize and record source information. Currently, the class is working on individual presentations which will be shared in the next week. 16

Physical Education Coach Lopez Grades Pre-K -8 This month was an exciting month for us. We worked on our skills in baseball, basketball, and soccer! From pitching to dribbling the ball, the kids were hard at work fine tuning the skills they already have. The goal for this month is ensuring the children are efficient with their fine motor skills. With these developing abilities it allows for an increase of independence from opening doors efficiently, brushing teeth, washing hands, and quickly gathering items to carry when in a rush. The hand eye coordination that is developed along with these tasks open new doors in exploration, learning, and creative expression. The actual spotlight activity this time around was object manipulation and control. The students were asked to create items with the object given to them to become proficient in the time that it takes to complete something asked of them. A simple task that was enjoyed by all levels alike. I do have to admit the PreK and Kindergarten gave the older kids a run for their money. Something to look forward for next month is personal fitness! meaning your children should come equipped with their water bottles and proper running shoes every Monday and Wednesday. On that note I would also like to mention if a child is hurt or feeling ill for the days of P.E please send a note with the children to turn in, it would greatly be appreciated. 17

Music Mrs. Engle Grades Pre-K through 7 CTL music class is active for all grade levels. Movement through singing games and dances are an important part of the music curriculum, a highly-structured child developmental sequence where rhythmic and melodic concepts are taught through movement as well as through aural and visual methods. Pre-K music students have been developing an understanding of partner songs. Kindergarten students are continuing to develop an understanding of steady beat as well as practicing the comparatives of fast versus slow and loud versus soft. First and second grades are reading four beat rhythm patterns and using vocal exploration of the high/low comparative to prepare to read music from the staff. Third and fourth grade students are reading and writing music on the staff. They also spent time this month rehearsing for the Veterans Day program. Older music students are playing piano and keyboards and other pitched instruments. These students were able to showcase their talents by playing one of the songs for the Veterans Day program. 18

Drama Mr. Milner Grades 5 through 7 Our drama class has been busy recreating Hansel and Gretel and the story of a mean troll who wanted no one to be happy. The students performed both plays brilliantly! Nearly everyone memorized their parts, and we invited Pre-k through Grades 3-4 to come and watch. This was our first production with props and sets, and it added to the experience and the plays. We are now in full swing rehearsing for our Christmas performance on December 6. We are building sets, looking for costumes and trying to find props. So, if a letter comes home and you can help us with something on the list, we’d appreciate your help. See you December 6! 19

Art Mrs. McKissic Grades Pre-K through 7 20

Special Events BINGO NIGHT Red Happy to be drug free! 21 Ribbon Week

Congratulations, Houston Astros! 22

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

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