News from East Chester Elementary School

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By: Carrie Sells

We had a great week back at school last week from our Christmas break! It sure was wonderful to see all of our students again! They seemed rested and ready to begin the second half of the school year.
Our guidance counselor, Mrs. Missy, reminds us that with all the social, emotional and academic demands of school, getting a young mind ready for learning can be challenging. We are using Mind Yeti to learn how to practice mindfulness in the hope that it will help us throughout the school year to calm down, stay focused and create a kinder, friendlier classroom environment. Visit MindYeti.com for more information.
Our librarian, Melinda Carroll, had some exciting news to share. Mrs. Becky Welch’s second graders have read over four million words, and Mrs. Jill Egros’ third graders have read over three million! Way to go, kids! Keep reading! Library classes for grades one, two and three are learning about black Americans who have made major contributions to our country. We are focusing on Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Ruby Bridges and Jackie Robinson. Pre-K and kindergarten classes are reading books about animals in the winter.
Last week, kindergarten students wrapped up their snow/weather unit and are learning about the States of Matter (solids, liquids, and gases) this week. They are doing several experiments to learn how matter changes into different forms. They also are learning about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the importance that he had on our country. Friday is the 100th Day of School, and kindergarten will be dressing up like they are 100 years old. I wish everyone could see how cute these kids look! I look forward each year to seeing these little sweeties dress up like old people! 
First graders are learning to tell time on analogue and digital clocks to the hour and half hour. They also are learning a great deal about history, government and political processes, such as the electoral process. They are studying citizenship and how to make positive changes in their communities. The third nine week grading period has begun, and the teachers have a special request. Please listen to your first grader read every day. Please read to and with your first grader. This will help him/her flourish in reading!  That can be said for all of our students, no matter what grade they are in. Reading is the foundation for all other subjects.
Second graders are learning about the Westward Expansion. The teachers have a special culminating activity for this unit that they are working on. It is going to be lots of fun, so stay tuned! They also are learning about life cycles as well as the water cycle. In math, they began their unit on money. Second graders are most excited about starting cursive writing this week!
Third grade finished up Case Assessment last week. Yay! The kiddos worked very hard all last week. We are so proud of them! In reading, they started a new unit on the human body. This week, they are focusing on the skeletal system. The overall goal is to be able to explain how all of our different systems work together to make our bodies function. In math, they are working on different types of graphs. They are using pictographs, bar graphs, line graphs, etc.
Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed that all people would be treated equally. We will not have school Monday, Jan. 20, in honor of MLK. Share a dream with your family that you have to make the world a better place.