2020 is off and running here at Whitmore Lake Elementary School! In addition to teaching and learning, so far in 2020 we’ve been busy with PTO and parent meetings, Popcorn Fridays, the Healthy Kids Club afterschool program, Builders Club projects, MAP testing, Literacy Leadership Team meetings, Homework Club, ECC Playgroups, and a safety drill. This was all in just the first 10 days of the new year! With so much going on, it wouldn’t be possible without our families’ and community’s commitment to our school! When you walk through our halls on any given day, you can see these family and community members busy in the hallways, working with children, manning school popcorn Fridays, creating showcases, making t-shirts, leading fundraisers, donating snacks and supplies, perhaps having lunch with their child, and I could go on! We are proud to be a Trojan!
Gingerbread Pack Their Suitcases and Expand Learning
Putting their masterful-creative minds to work, our staff plan a variety of hands-on activities to extend student learning. Last month, first-grade teacher Mrs. Ouillette’s Gingerbread Exchange project connected her students with classrooms around the country! Each student made his or her own paper gingerbread and mailed it to their new pen pals from 24 different states across the USA. Those schools sent their gingerbread all the way to Whitmore Lake to Mrs. Ouillette’s students. At the end of the project, each student got to keep the gingerbread from the same classroom and school where his or her gingerbread was sent! By keeping track of them in the hallway, the students could visually see where the gingerbread people came from and information in their letter about their school/state/classroom! This project incorporated
reading, writing, science, social studies, and math. What a great way for students to learn and grow as they discover the world around them!
Bringing Healthy Back for the Second Year
Year two of our FREE Healthy Kids Club is now up and running! Last year this valuable program was funded through a grant from Wayne State University titled Building Healthy Communities. This year the program is made possible through a grant from the Whitmore Lake Foundation for Educational Excellence, also known as The Foundation. The program is led by two of our incredible paraprofessionals, Sue Corrie and Diane McGee. The program meets every Monday after school and is focused on teaching students about healthy eating and physical activity. Last year approximately 50 students attended weekly on a regular basis. This year we had 70 students signed up for the first day of the club! We are excited to see so many students and parents interested in the club since healthy eating and physical activity are directly related to student learning and academic achievement. To learn more about the program, please contact Mrs. Corrie at email@example.com or Mrs. McGee at firstname.lastname@example.org. Healthy snack donations are welcomed!
Making the Ordinary Extraordinary
Our teachers and students consistently make something extraordinary out of the ordinary. Take a recent group project our 5th and 6th graders did in Ms. Kronk’s art class where they worked together to create 3-dimensional paper murals. Ms. Kronk stated that “Lines are an essential element of art and while drawing lines is a time-honored tradition, making them pop off the page is a unique way to express the students’ creativity.” Each group chose a specific background color to showcase their ideas and worked hard cutting tabs into two-inch-wide strips of paper. Students then folded the cut flaps in opposite directions and glued them down according to their group design. The finished pieces are not only colorful but created a spiraling, curving world of lines for all to enjoy!
What’s Coming Up?
There are always exciting things happening at WLES to engage students and families in learning. A few highlights of what’s coming up are listed below.
- One School One Book: This program starts on January 21! This is a whole-school literacy initiative for all students from preschool-6th grades. Each student will bring home the same book to read together at home with their families. There will be daily trivia questions and prizes as well as other exciting activities to encourage reading and writing. More information will be coming home next Tuesday after our opening assembly including the book reveal. Watch for News and Notes next week focusing on literacy with our Literacy Coach Heidi Roy-Borland.
- Join us for our annual Invention Convention family event, on Friday, February 6 from 6-7:30 PM. The Ann Arbor Hands On Museum will be providing 20 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) activities for you to explore. There will also be LEGO building, student experiments and displays and other activities for an evening filled with family fun and learning.
- Our annual Family Dance sponsored by our PTO will take place on February 13 from 6-7:30 PM. This is a dance for the entire family so join us for this fun-filled event!