Principal’s Message

Dear Roy Cloud Families,

Recently, some parents have asked me questions about differentiation in the classroom. What is it? How does it work? 

At the heart of differentiated instruction is the creation of multiple paths to learning so all students have equal and appropriate access to the core curriculum. Carol Ann Tomlinson, a leader in the area of differentiated learning, says teachers can differentiate instruction through four ways: 1) content, 2) process, 3) product, and 4) learning environment.

Differentiating instruction might mean teaching the same material to all students using a variety of instructional strategies, or it might require the teacher to deliver lessons at varying levels of difficulty based on the ability of each student. At Roy Cloud, for example, many teachers provide differentiated content instruction through Daily 5* for Reading. In this example, content is differentiated as students are separated into ability groups for a portion of their day.

In Daily 5, students have the following five choices of activities and work independently toward personal literacy goals: 1) Read to Self 2) Work on Writing 3) Read to Someone 4) Listen to Reading 5) Word Work. It is also during this portion of the day when students are called to meet with the teacher in small groups for reading instruction at their appropriate levels. Students work independently on meaningful work, while the teacher is engaged with a small group to teach reading. In each of these activity choices, leveled activities are structured to best meet the various levels of ability in the classroom.

For a comprehensive look at Differentiated Instruction and descriptions of what it is and what it is not, please read this linked article by Carol Ann Tomlinson.

You might also find interesting her most recent book with coauthor, David Sousa, Differentiation and the Brain: How Neuroscience Supports the Learner-Friendly Classroom, 2nd Edition

Ask your teacher how s/he differentiates to meet the needs of your own child/ren.

In partnership,

Diane Prystas
Roy Cloud Principal
  • Thu, Jan 24 - Outdoor Ed Info Night for 5th Grade Parents, 6pm, MUB
  • Fri, Jan 25 - Middle School Dance, 6-8pm, MIT Gymnasium (Details)

Next Week:
  • Mon, Jan 28 - Site Council Meeting, 3:15pm, Library (Agenda)
  • Thur, Jan 31 - Last Day for Auction Tickets! Click here to buy.
  • Thur, Jan 31 - Bolt Buck Assembly, 8:15am
  • Thur, Jan 31 - Principal's Meetup, 8:30am
  • Thur, Jan 31 - ASB Class Rep Mtg, 1:35-1:50, Room 41

  • Tue, Feb 12 - Dad's Club Social, Location TBD
  • Mon, Feb 18 - No School / President's Day Holiday
  • Tue, Feb 19 - PTO Meeting, 6:30pm, Library
  • Thur, Feb 21 - ASB Class Rep Meeting, 1:35-1:50pm, Room 41
  • Sat, Feb 23 - Roy Cloud Auction, 6-11pm, Domenico Winery
  • Mon, Feb 28, Site Council Meeting, 3:15pm, Library
School News
GATE Program (4th-6th Grade)
RCSD offers a Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) pull out program for 4th, 5th & 6th graders located at Clifford and Hoover Schools. If you would like your child in current grades 3/4/5 tested for GATE this Spring, you can read more information about the GATE program on the parent information website .

Students may be referred to GATE by a teacher or parent. The window for referrals is Jan 15 through Mar 16. Parents must complete a permission form for their student to be tested. Click here for the online permission slip to test . At the end of the survey, please check that you have seen the "Thank you for your survey" results page. If you do not see this page, then please go back and complete the survey again until you see this page. This confirms you have submitted the permission form accurately.
Valentines Day Grams!
It’s that time of the year again! Valentine Grams are being pre-sold through tomorrow ! Don’t worry if you don't get one on time because anything left will be sold from the 4th-8th of February. Turn in order forms to the school office, and make sure to include exact change or a check made out to Roy Cloud School when ordering!
-Your ASB Fundraising Committee

We are selling:
Valentine sequin plushies ($5)
Valentine cactus plushie ($5)
Metallic Yoyo ($1)
5th Grade Girls Math Team
A group of Roy Cloud 5th grade girls will be participating in the upcoming GAIM (Girls Adventures in Math) 2019 competition. These self directed girls meetup after school to work on critical thinking problems in preparation for the competition. The team is coached by 5th grade teacher Mr. Nick Tsvikas along with parent volunteers. We are #roycloudproud of these girls!

Questions: Please contact Mr. Tsvikas or Avis Haines.
Second Grade Parent Information Night
Thank you to everyone who attended the Information Night for 2nd Grade Families!

As referenced at the meeting, click here for a document outlining the many offerings and programs at Roy Cloud now.

Thank you to Principal Prystas for organizing this event, to Lucy Wicks for moderating, and to our panelists Greg Reinke, Hailey Amato, Victoria Melamed, and Madison Truesdale.
PTO News
Tickets! Tickets! 
Get your tickets to the Greatest School Dinner & Auction ! There is still time to buy tickets for you or a teacher / staff member. Remember the auction raises money for PTO-funded programs like art, music, PE and more.   Click here to purchase.   
Calling All Student Stars!
We need student volunteers that want to help The Greatest School ! We will be filming a video highlighting the 2019 Fund-A-Need. If your child would like to participate in our crazy circus act (aka video), please complete this permission form. Filming will take place this Saturday, January 26 th from 1:30-4pm. Please meet Veronica Spencer outside the school library on Saturday.
Grandparents Can Help Fund-A-Need Too!
This year we will be raising funds for social emotional programs such as conflict resolution, anti-bullying, mindfulness, empathy building, positive self-esteem and self-regulation. Please ask grandparents to help. They can donate here . Contact with questions.
Moms and Dads Needed for Science Night
Roy Cloud Science Night is an interactive exploration of science and technology that feeds the curiosity of our students. Mark your calendars for this year's event on Thursday, March 14th

Roy Cloud volunteers produce the exhibits... moms, dads, and community members! Although the Dad's Club sponsors this event, it's not exclusive to dads.

Please sign up here to contribute an exhibit or help with other organizing tasks.

What makes a good Science Night exhibit? Something that stirs-up an interest in the kids, so they want to learn more about it when they go home.

A few more details:
There will be eight exhibits targeted for K-3 students. Each “younger” exhibit will be allowed 15 minutes for each group. Expect about ten students for each period. There will also be four exhibits targeted for 4-8 students. Each “older” exhibit will be allowed 30 minutes, with about seven students per period.

Exhibit ideas:

Questions: Please contact Jon Mayer
Garden Corner
Because of the short week, I only saw the 1st graders out in the garden. We learned about habitats and the things animals need to survive. The students talked about what a bird shelter would look like and spent the class creating beautiful bird nests using materials found in the garden. 

Food, water, shelter, and space. A habitat is a magical place!!

Thank you for all the toilet paper roll donations! I am still collecting them for the next few weeks so send them with your kiddos to class.

-Ms. Becca
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