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Meteor Shower, Anyone?

Perseid Meteor 2007After midnight tonight, the annual Perseid meteor shower will put on a show…right in your backyard!
You will need to get as far away from city lights as possible.  Experts also recommend that you bring a comfy chair with you outdoors–the show is in slow motion.

Astronomers say up “to 100 meteors per hour are expected to streak across the sky during the shower’s peak. The Perseid shower occurs every summer when the Earth’s orbit crosses the path of debris thrown off by Comet Swift-Tuttle.”   Meteor showers are dust grains left over from a comet that strike the upper atmosphere.  (Associated Press)

If you do stay up and would like to describe your experience or share photos, send me a comment on the blog and I will post your experience for all our readers!

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All School Open House

Make sure to mark your calendars for our kick off to the 2009-10 school year.  The all school open house will be held on September 2 from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm.

This is an opportunity for parents and children to meet tour the building, meet teachers and collect important information about the new year.

Come at anytime between 6:30 and 7:30 pm.  There is no set agenda.  It is an informal time to meet, greet and get acclimated before school begins on September 8 at 8:50 am (first bell rings at 8:45 am).

*NOTE:  PK AND K Open Houses will be held on September 1.

  • Mrs. Estefan and Mrs. Weiss  and Mrs. Bohl’s MW will hold their open houses from 5:30 to 6:15 pm.
  • Mrs. Bohl’s TTH and Mrs. Nederveld will hold their open houses from 6:30 to 7:15 pm.

First day of school for PK/K:  Check this link.

We are looking forward to meeting our new families and welcoming back familiar faces.    If you would like to get a start on supply shopping, viisit the teacher’s blogs for guidance on specific needs per grade.

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Typhoon Morakot Hits Taiwan

If you have been following the international news, you are aware that a typhoon slammed into Taiwan this past weekend.  Our sister school, Raey Guang Elementary is located in Pingtung Taiwan, and I have been trying to determine if they are near any of the destruction.

PingtungToday, I ran across a CNN International web article referencing a rescue helicopter crash in Pingtung County.   The heavy rains (39 inches) have created dangerous mudslides.

I have emailed the staff to inquire about their safety, however, I am fully aware that schools are likely closed and that everyone is focusing on the health and well-being of family and friends.

Relief Helicopter
Relief Helicopter

Please keep the people in Taiwan in your thoughts as they struggle to overcome this weather disaster — and in many cases deal with the loss of loved ones.

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International Artists

AubreyIn April of 2009, Mrs. DeWeerd invited our school to enter an international art exhibition in China.   Our  sister school  Raey Guang is in Pingtung, Taiwan, and  she felt this would be a natural connection for our students.

Mrs. Brouwer, our art teacher, selected five works of student art and submitted them to the 40th Annual World School Children’s Art Exhibition. This exhibition is held each August at the National Taiwan Arts Education Center in Taipei, Republic of China, and features children’s artwork from all over the world.

SheriTWO of our student pieces were selected for display in the exhibition – Aubrey’s “Happy Robot” and Shari’s “Winter Pine”.

Selection for the Taiwan exhibition is a great honor and our Georgetown artists deserve congratulations for their hard work!  Their pieces were selected from over 30,000 submissions (yes, thirty thousand!) from 53 countries. Aubrey and Shari will be given a “Certificate of Merit” sent to me from the Republic of China for their participation in the Exhibition. Congratulations, Georgetown Artists!

We received a beautiful catalog that contains color images of the World School pieces that were awarded Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals in the competition. It will be on display in the art room….stop in for a look at the award winning artwork created by children living in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Bolivia, Brunei….and 47 other countries!

Both pieces of art will now be added to our permanent collection so that they can be appreciated and honored for years to come.

Many thanks to Mrs. DeWeerd for encouraging us to submit work, to Mrs. Brouwer for taking the time to safety pack and ship this work to China, and to our artists (Shari & Aubrey) for creating the work that showcased our wonderful school and country!

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The Future of Textbooks

world childrenAs we prepare our children (and ourselves) for changes in learning, some classrooms are far ahead of us.  Their textbooks have been replaced by digital versions — or dropped completely and replaced by free course ware, educational games, videos and projects on the Web.

The New York Times recently featured an article on this topic.   While many of us agree that this will be a ways off in Hudsonville, it is also important to realize that we are gradually integrating more and more technology into daily learning experiences, K-12.

The bottom line, our children have the opportunity to access information through many different types of technology devices throughout their day.  To help all of us understand the types of access and manners in which teens utilize technology, view this video created by a digital native on TeacherTube.  My own daughter and son could easily be the featured teens in this video.

We are the digital “immigrants” and as a result we must work hard to learn as much as we can so that we can model and guide our digital natives in the best use of learning in a digital world.    Throughout the year, I will use the blog to post interesting and helpful links about this topic.

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The PINK PANTHERS Want YOU!

Pink PantherThe school year has not even started and already, I have had two families contact me about their desire to organize service projects!  Georgetown is truly an incredible community of caring people.

This Sunday, I would like to tell you about one project organized by Ashley Tiesman, a 5th grader this coming school year.  You may recall that Ashley brought the school community together last year for PINK WEEK to raise money for Susan G. Komen Foundation.

The Foundation was so very impressed by her work as a then fourth grade student, that they made an exception to the age limit rule and are allowing her to Chair a Team for this year’s Race for the Cure! Ashley has established the team and it is called the Georgetown PINK PANTHERS.

We, Ashley and myself, would love to have as many Georgetown students, staff, family and friends join us in the race/walk for a cure on September 26, 2009.  There are three ways to participate:

  1. Join our TEAM by visiting PINK PANTHERS.  The cost is $23 per adult and $12 per child.  Each registrant receives a t-shirt.
  2. WALK with us without joining the team.  During these tough times, we know that not everyone can spend this kind of money.  We would feel honored to have you WALK with us and the hundreds of survivors and supporters during this incredible event.
  3. If you are not available to walk or join, please consider making a donation to our team.  We have a goal of $1,000, and believe with even small amounts from many we can make this amount.

Thank you for your support!

Mrs. Reagan

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Tips for Pre-School Computer Use

Connectwithkids

According to a Nielson survey, 16 million kids age two to 11 use computers.  That represents nearly 10 percent of all online users.  Many parents and teachers often wonder if computer use hinders or improves learning skills.  The answer depends on parent involvement and other factors.  To learn more, visit Connect with Kids Preschool Computer Use

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Our Digital Librarians

library books Technology is changing the ways we    communicate, work and learn at a rapid pace.  Our children more excited about these changes — and excited to take risks to learn each new piece of technology placed before them.   As parents and teacher scramble to keep up with the advances, school librarians must, too!   Watch this New York Times video to understand how librarians are on the front line of keeping up with our digital world.  21st Century Librarian

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A Guide to Our Blog

To help you become acquainted with our school blog (and our classroom blogs), I created a guide that serves as a glossary for all the important sections of our blog.   Our blogs serve as a critical communication tool and much more:

  • Communication is frequent and ongoing.
  • All posts are tagged with key words and placed in categories to help you find all types of information easily and quickly.   Many parents will misplace newsletters or notes (myself included) and these blogs hold all the information indefinitely.
  • Because the information is stored throughout the year, the blogs serve as a yearbook or journal of our school events/news.
  • In the past year, we used 100,000 fewer pieces of paper as a result of switching from weekly newsletters to frequent blog updates.  Blogging helps us to BE GREEN and environmentally friendly. Families without internet connection receive a copy of the blog each week.

To view the guide to our blogs, simply click on this form:  Guide to Blog Brochure Guide to Blog

And, do not hesitate to ask us questions about how to find your way through the blogs.  We are happy to help at anytime!

Mrs. Reagan

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Kindergartener’s First Day

If you have a pre-kindergartener or kindergartener starting school this year, please keep in mind that the start dates are as follows:

  • Tuesday/Thursday Alternating Friday:  September 8, 2009  (Grades 1-5 begin on this day also)
  • Monday/Wednesday Alternating Friday:  September 9, 2009

Your child can ride the bus to school on the first day or ride in the car.  I am aware that the Appleseed communication encourages parents to provide car transportation for PreK and K students on the first day of school, but this is your choice as a parent.

Our PreK and K Open Houses will be held on September 1, 2009.  This is geared toward parents attending with their PK/K child.

  • Mrs. Estefan and Mrs. Weiss  and Mrs. Bohl’s MW will hold their open houses from 5:30 to 6:15 pm.
  • Mrs. Bohl’s TTH and Mrs. Nederveld will hold their open houses from 6:30 to 7:15 pm.

The alternating day Friday schedule for this year can be found here:  PK/K FRIDAYs

School Hours and other schedules can be found:  HOURS and   SCHEDULES

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