Friday, December 9th, 2016
Williamsburg Elementary School
From the Desk of Mr. Dunn...
W.E.S. Families,

I'm excited to inform you that our leadership team will be sharing with our school community newsletters as part of our efforts to keep everyone informed and aware of the many great things taking place in our school district. We hope you find the format to be user-friendly and enjoy staying up-to-date with what our students are accomplishing with the help of our dedicated staff. We encourage you to forward our newsletter to family and friends so that they too can read about some of the things taking place in our district. 

In addition to this newsletter, you can also follow WES on Twitter (@Wildcats_WES). A direct link to Twitter, our district website, district calendar and daily announcements are linked at the end of this newsletter. You will find these tools to be user-friendly and smartphone accessible, which we hope will help you remained informed! 

It's truly a blessing to serve the students of WES. Each day I get to see first-hand our students' growth and accomplishments. I hope this newsletter provides a glimpse at the learning experiences taking place at our school. 

Thank you for your continued support! I'm always available to answer your questions and/or help! 

Best Wishes,

Kevin Dunn
Williamsburg Elementary School
WES News by Grade-Level

Our kindergarten students have settled into their school routine and are well on their way to mastering their letters and star words.  Students are learning letters and sounds through a variety of songs, art activities, phonics and other hands-on, fun-filled activities. In Math, kindergarten students are learning addition and two dimensional shapes. They're progressing in these concepts and are using the newly-learned skills to solve story problems. In Science, students are learning about how animals prepare for the winter. They're discussing migration, hibernation and animals that remain active in the winter.  

1st Grade:

Our first grade students recently presented a fall collection of songs, poems, plays and jokes for their families and friends on Nov. 22. The shows were a culmination of many great learning experiences and proved to be memorable! First grade students recently took a walking field trip to the Williamsburg branch of the Clermont County Public Library to check out books using their “3 for Me” library cards. Students also took a tour of the library and listened to a read-aloud from the librarian.    

2nd Grade: 

Coming soon to a hallway near you....Flat 2nd Graders! Second grade students read Stanley’s Christmas Adventures and will be mailing their Flat 2nd graders in Christmas cards to family members or friends. Mrs. Dean will extend students' learning by integrating technology into the activity through attaching links to a Google map that will show pictures and track the locations!

3rd Grade: 

Third-grade students will be traveling to Taft Theater for a second time this year to see the production of Elf Jr. Our third-grade students previously traveled to the Taft Theater to experience a scientific journey into the sounds of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Students learned how instruments create sound, how the shape and size of an instrument affect the sound it creates, and that the elements of a song or composition can change to create a different sound or feeling. 

In Science, students recently completed their Life Science unit by observing the life cycle of the mealworm.  Students are learning that all organisms are similar to their parent, but still show some variation.  Students are now able to understand that the immature stages of living organisms may not look like its parent until it reaches adulthood. Students have been keeping weekly data on the life cycle changes they observe.  This data will be later used to make graphs and conclusions about the time it takes for mealworms to complete a life cycle. 

In Math, students continue to deepen their understanding of multiplication and division through hands-on activities and real-world problems. Students are identifying the factors, product, dividend, divisor and quotient when writing multiplication and division equations. While writing the multiplication and division equations, the students are finding the relationship between the two operations. 

In Language Arts, students have been learning about the interdependence of animals and trees in nature and the cycles of growth and decay. Students have also been learning about the importance of preserving balance in nature and what happens when we upset that balance. While exploring literary and nonfiction texts, students have learned about the effect word choice and illustrations have on writing and have applied this learning to their own writing practices while they build upon their individual vocabularies. For the culminating writing activity of the unit, students will consider the effect of trees on the survival of animals as depicted in A Log’s Life and The Lorax. Students will pretend they are the Lorax and will write a speech that convinces the Once-ler to allow trees to live, grow and die in the forest without interference or removal. Students will present their speeches to the class and will include visual displays to enhance their opinion.

4th Grade: 

Fourth grade students will be traveling to the University of Cincinnati's Clermont College to the Calico Theater to see their adaptation of A Christmas Carol on Friday, December 9th. 

Students in Math classes practiced using formulas for finding the area and perimeter by creating “Name Posters.” Each student sketched their name in block letters on graph paper so that they could implement the strategies learned in class with tile blocks. Leading into the upcoming break, students will be working on “Factor Rainbow” posters and learning strategies for solving division problems.

Mrs. Stephens and Mrs. Guenther are working on a collaborative unit about the Dust Bowl in the 1930’s. Students will work toward increasing their background knowledge of the history and human activities of this era. This topic will be used as a springboard to expand students' knowledge in Science by participating in labs that examine how humans and natural disasters impact the environment. 

Fourth grade students are also working on a citizenship project to support our high school marching band and drill team trip to the Gator Bowl.  Students are collecting items to put together snack bags for students going on the trip.

5th Grade:  

In Language Arts, students are deepening their understanding of how they can draw inferences, determine the main idea, summarize and explain relationships between ideas to better understand text. Currently, students are learning this through reading selections about Newton’s laws of motion. Students are reading about the three laws, learning how roller coasters and bumper cars demonstrate the laws and discovering how to perform experiments that demonstrate the laws. Students are then connecting how these principles apply to living things such as octopuses and squids, developing a thorough understanding of how they navigate their environments. Our fifth grade students are utilizing Google Classroom, which allows parents to also get an in-depth look at how students are learning and showing their learning! 

In Math class, the first semester has focused on place value and decimals. Students  are currently working with fractions and mixed numbers. Students are applying and extending previous knowledge of fractions by using manipulatives to model work, participate in classroom discussions and small group experiences that require them to solve a wide-variety of problems.  Last month, our fifth grade students participated in the St.Jude’s Math-A-Thon and raised $300 to help fight childhood cancer and other childhood diseases! 

         WES Hosts Annual               Veterans Breakfast

  On Friday, November 11th, WES hosted our annual Veterans Breakfast. The event provided students in all grades with valuable learning experiences. In addition to learning about service and community, students wrote thank you letters to Veterans, student council made a presentation thanking our Veterans, students from the WES Art Club created decorations and other student group members served and worked in various capacities during the event itself. The Williamsburg PTA again sponsored the event by providing the funds to purchase breakfast. 

                                  Girls on the Run 

WES again fielded a Girls on the Run team/program this school year, made possible by WES staff volunteer coaches.  The following girls were a part of our GOTR team:  Caylen Applegate, Hope Arno, Ella Barnhart, Natalie Baudendistel, Allyssa Bertram, Courtney Dickerson, Mioka Forbes, Addison Gibbs, Julia Johnson, Kayley Layton, Elizabeth Martin, Karsen Montgomery, Izzy Negley, Bailey Shoemaker and Lainey Whisman. In addition to completing a 5k at Sawyer Point, the girls learned to be intentional in their decision making, embrace differences and find strength in connectedness, express joy, optimism, and gratitude through words, thoughts, and actions, and to lead with an open heart and assume positive intent.

  BMX Star and Anti-Bullying           Advocate Visits WES

Professional BMX rider Matt Wilhelm recently visited WES. Matt has earned numerous medals in the X-Games and appeared on the hit television show, America’s Got Talent. Matt was also a part of a Cartoon Network special with President Obama on standing up to bullying. In addition to putting on a thrilling BMX show for our students, Matt spoke to our students about perseverance, being a great friend and classmate, how to stand-up to bullying and the importance of maintaining strong character. 

    WES Remains a School of Character 
    Each month, WES focuses on teaching a specific character trait as part of our Character Education program. WES is recognized as a School of Character by the Character Council of Greater Cincinnati. For December, our character trait and focus is developing and displaying compassion. Our character traits are a part of our daily morning message and students are recognized every week for displaying the traits. To the right are our Character Students of the Week from last Friday! 
    Important Dates & Events
    • December 12th-16th: Classroom spelling bees take place for Scripps Spelling Bee competition; winners advance to the school championship!

    • December 13th: Grades 1 & 2 concert, K-5 Art Show & Spaghetti Dinner (see below).

    • December 14th: After-school movie opportunity for grades 3-5.

    • December 21st: Last day of the quarter, classroom Christmas Parties are 2-3:15pm.

    • December 22nd-January 3rd: Winter Break, school reopens 1/4/2017.

    • January 6th: WES Scripps Spelling Bee School Championship.

    • January 9th: Report cards issued for 2nd quarter. Letters with results of Ohio's Fall grade 3 ELA assessment issued to parents. 

    • February 10th: Progress reports issued for the 3rd quarter. 

    • February 16th & 21st: Parent-Teacher conferences. Third-grade reading guarantee information session for parents. 
    Join us on Tuesday, December 13th!

    Grades 1 & 2 Concert, K-5 Art Show, Spaghetti Dinner, WES Choir Performance, Crafts & Pictures with Santa! 

    Quick Links
    839 Spring Street  |  Williamsburg Ohio, 45176