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Recess Games = Team Building

During the second week of school, we continued to focus on climate (BE NICE) in the classroom, hallways, lunchroom and playground.  To help students learn games for the playground, we paired upper el students with lower el students focused on fun, trouble free games.

Mrs. Jurewicz and a team of teachers led outside recess game training on September 18th.  You can view photos from this day on Mrs. Quigley’s blog. We will hold another day of training for grades 3,4 and 5 — and this training will culminate in a PULL (tug-o-war) to determine which local college is tops (Hope or Calvin).  This will be held on September 25 which is also our first popcorn day.  Details coming about how to pick your team in a post later this week.

We also created a video tutorial for inside recess games during rainy or very cold Michigan days.  Actors featured are from Mrs. Boersma, Mr. Gort, Mrs. Jurewicz, and Mrs. Bouwen’s classes.   These are games that can be played at home, too.

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Moms In Touch

momsintouchMoms In Touch International is a worldwide group that gathers at the local level to pray for children and their schools.  Georgetown has two parents who serve as leaders of this group.

Meetings are held on the 3rd Thursday each month, with October 22 being the next meeting.

If you have questions or interest, contact:   Jamie Vanderkok 669-4617 or Lisa Bouma 662-7200

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Reading Counts is BACK!

In addition to our classroom instructional reading programs, we offer a motivational reading program through our library and PTC.  This program has the goal of motivating our readers to read more and earn prizes for reaching their reading goals.

During the past three years we have monitored the involvement and noticed that interest in the program declines as students grow older.  This trend matches the national trend with these types of reward based, motivational programs.  To find out why older students are less interested, we surveyed teachers and readers in grades 3, 4, 5.ReadingCounts

Angie Roon, our current Reading Counts Chairperson, found that students wanted the following:

  • Fewer parties and more interesting incentives as prizes.
  • Request to read many books rather than just RC books.

Interestingly, we found that teachers know their students.  Teachers also stated that upper elementary students desired fewer parties–and some stated that their readers would enjoy getting gift cards to buy books of their own choosing rather than go to a party.  Knowing that our lower elementary students enjoy parties, we came up with a new incentive that we believe combines the BEST OF THE BEST and still maintains a fun, motivational reading program.  Also, due to our MPR being in use all day long every day, we no longer have the option of using this for parties three times each year.

The focus of this year’s Reading Counts will Be THROUGH THE DECADES.  Angie Roon and her team will feature books written about the periods of 1920, 1950 and 1980.  In addition, they will share fun facts about these decades.  At the end of the year, there will be one Reading Counts Through the Decades Party for all those who participated in the program this year.  We will also offer the following as mini and big prize periods:

Four Mini-Goal Point Periods and Two Big Drawings

Readers receive a small prize for making their goal.  Each time they make their goal, they will enter the drawing for bigger prizes.

  • RC Goal #1:  10/23
  • RC Goal #2: 12/11

Drawing for Bigger RC Prizes:  December 15.

  • RC Goal #3:  2/26
  • RC Goal #4:  5/7

Drawing for Bigger RC Prizes:  May 11.

We also recognize (through student input) that many of our readers want to read NON-RC’s books and have these count toward their reading goal.  To honor this type of reading, a student simply needs to complete a BOOK BLOG form. This is a simple form that can be done at home or school, and it is done online.

When it is completed, Mrs. VandenBerg will receive an email alert.  The reader will receive a ticket to enter in the drawing for each BOOK BLOG form completed.  The BOOK BLOGS will then be posted on the class blogs to promote books for other readers.  Links to this form can be found on the right of this blog, under LINKS and also on the teacher’s blog.

Finally, a new an exciting goal:  A t-shirt will be given to each reader who reads 1,000,000 words this year.  This is our Million Word Club, and we are excited to kick this off!

ONE END of THE YEAR CELEBRATION :   June 4, 2010 This is for ALL students who have participated in RC’s this year!

We look forward to an exciting year of reading at Georgetown.  Many thanks to Angie Roon and Julie VandenBerg for helping to work out this new program to benefit readers at our school.

T0 find out more about the program, you can read this parent letter: Reading Counts Parent

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My Summer Vacation Highlight

The summer weather was cooler than expected, but that didn’t impact our summer vacation plans.  As a family, we traveled to our all time favorite city — Chicago.  This city has much to offer to each member of my family:  Chicago Cubs for my baseball crazed son and husband, shopping for my daughter, and great food and people watching for me.

One of the highlights of our trip this summer was to Millennium Park, located in the heartof downtown Chicago.  We Vacation Beansaw the incredible ampitheatre, walked through the gardens, played in the waterfall scultpures, and walked under and around the Cloud Gate Sculpture. Because it is in the shape of a huge silver lima bean, we call it the BEAN.  Here is a picture of it, with our family in the reflection.  You can see us only if you magnify it 1,000 times!  I love this picture because it shows the beauty of the sculpture against the skyline of Chicago.

I hope you had a great summer vacation too!  If you want to find out about other teacher’s vacations, visit their blogs and type the word vacation into the blog search area.

Happy Hunting!

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Binoculars needed for our 1st Scavenger Hunt!

It’s Time For our first:

BLOG SCAVENGER HUNT!

Our first hunt of the year is designed to introduce you to all the blogs in the school–and to also introduce you to the staff at Georgetown.

The theme of this hunt is:  VACATION.  Each staff member created a blog post about their summer vacation with a photo.

Your job is to hunt through all the blogs and find ONE of each:

  1. A prek or kindergarten teacher’s summer vacation spot.
  2. A 1st  grade teacher’s summer vacation spot.
  3. A 2nd grade teacher’s summer vacation spot.
  4. A 3rd grade teacher’s summer vacation spot.
  5. A 4th grade teacher’s summer vacation spot.
  6. A 5th grade teacher’s summer vacation spot.
  7. A special teacher’s summer vacation spot (art, music, pe, reading, speech, ecse, or principal)

ENTER YOUR ANSWERS ON THE ENTRY FORM.

For those of you who have never participated, the rules are simple:

  • Search all the Georgetown blogs linked to this site.
  • Keep a list of blogs where you found your items.
  • When you have found all the items, submit your answers on the SCAVENGER HUNT ENTRY FORM.
  • Everyone who enters by September 24 will be included in the school wide drawing.  Drawing on September 25 at 1:30 pm.
  • Student winner receives:  Pumpkin Carving Set and a Barnes & Noble Gift Card.  Winning class (those who have the most students participate in the scavenger hunt) receive Mrs. Reagan as the teacher for one hour!
  • All those that enter will be added to the Reading Counts Drawing (held in December)

HAVE FUN HUNTING!  And…Good Luck!

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Introducing our Bus Drivers!

I created a special video to help you learn each of our bus driver’s names.  They are incredible people who transport our students (your children) to and from school each day.  So often they take the time to match students with missing items, bandage boo boo’s, settle disputes over seat selections, and calm down worried children.

I can’t say enough about all that they do for us and the way in which they get our children safely to and from school each and every day.  This video also includes photos of the PK/K bus safety training that Gloria Dekkinga and Mary Wind ran for us this past week.  What a great team they make–and what great safety lessons they provided for our youngest and most precious cargo!

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Our International Artists

Earlier this month, Mrs. Brouwer and I celebrated two our students, Shari Brouwer and Aubrey Buskard, because their works of art were selected for display in the 40th Annual World School Children’s Art Exhibition.

artThis week our artists, along with two artists from Bauer, were honored at our Board of Education Meeting.  Each artist received their certificate from China as well as a beautiful mounted certificate from Mr. Ceglarek, superintendent, and our school board.

We are honored to be represented at this exhibition — and this says so much about the quality of our art instruction and the artistic talents and abilities that our students possess.

Mrs. Brouwer has an excellent post about this event on her ART BLOG.

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Let the HUNT Begin!

We want you to read our blogs and find out about all the incredible things we are doing as learners at Georgetown.  To help you get into the blogs, we host BLOG SCAVENGER HUNTS THROUGH THE YEAR.

The guidelines for each hunt are simple:

  • As soon as Mrs. Reagan opens the hunt with a post on the school blog, you will have one week to complete the hunt.
  • When you are done with the hunt,  enter our information on the entry form with  your name and answers.
  • Your name will go into a drawing for a prize.
  • The drawing for the prize will be done by school announcement. Prizes for each hunt will be posted on the blog when the contest begins.
  • Everyone who enters the Scavenger Hunt contest earns an extra drawing in the Reading Counts drawing.

Keep your eyes on the blog!  The first scavenger hunt will begin September 14, 2009.  The drawing will be held September 25.

The prize for this hunt:  Pumpkin Carving Kit and $10 Gift Card to Barnes and Noble

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Fathers & Sons: Save the Date

Even though school has not yet begun, our Parent Club groups are in full swing!  The Georgetown PTC prides itself in organizing events/activities that bring families together.  This year, there will be a special event for Fathers and Sons, and later in the year an event for Mothers and Daughters.  The father/son event will be held on October 17.  This event is posted on our school calendar.  To register, print this form Father/Son Registration and send it to the school office in envelope titled:  Father/Son PTC

Many thanks to Susie Coxen and team for organizing this.

Father/Son

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A Great First Day!

sunshineWe welcomed nearly 580 children to Georgetown today…from Early Childhood (ages 3-5) and kindergarten to grade 5.  It was a successful first day with on time bus runs (to school), a series of three lunches which served every single child in the school, bus tours for kindergarteners, art/music/pe/computers and much more!

Please let us know if you have any concerns or questions about our routines as we are continually perfecting these to make sure that all children have more than enough time to learn, eat, play and learn some more.  Although our lunch routine went well from the staff perspective (huge thanks to Mrs. Schreer for her work on this–and her incredible team) occasionally we will miss the child who does not eat enough or is anxious in the lunchroom.  PLEASE let us know if we need to keep an extra eye and a tender heart ready for your special one.

I captured some great moments today beginning with bus drop off and ending with bus pick up.  The video ends with our 5th graders walking their K buddies to the buses…and these are precious photos. Hats off to our 5th graders for all they do as models of our school…and two hats off to our TTh K students who did a great job today. Enjoy!  We are looking forward to meeting our MW pre-kindergarteners and kindergarteners tomorrow.