Please consider making a small donation to our classroom for our upcoming science exploration to understand the different domains of our brains! If you can contribute, please visit www.SignUpGenius.com/go/5080949ABA82AAB9-brain and let me know what you can bring. Thanks!
Don't forget to check out our latest classroom newsletter under the Classroom Tidbits tab. It shares details about our upcoming math, science, and writing units as well as highlights key upcoming dates. Enjoy!
A Word About Placement and Parent Information from the Principal…
After reading a few parent placement letters I think it important to share a little about the IS (Integrated Services) program housed at Westgate. The IS program offers a rich and diverse learning environment for all children. It is truly a unique program that is not found in many public school districts. Independent of the IS program, a typical public school environment offers children and families the opportunity to interact with a variety of people, abilities, and values. More importantly, the IS/ Buddy Class relationship offers students an opportunity to strengthen empathy, resilience, and perseverance. The IS program is an integral part of the Westgate community.
Westgate houses the district’s self-contained special education program for grades one through five, and uses an integrated model. Identified special education students are placed in the IS classroom at each grade-level. Students in the IS classroom have IEP (Individual Education Plans) and receive special education services. The IS classroom integrates with a Buddy classroom (a general education classroom) to form a unique community of learners. The IS and Buddy classroom relationship offers inclusive services for students with special needs and the opportunity to provide a diverse learning environment for all students. This classroom configuration also increases the number of teaching professionals within a classroom setting which benefits all students.
The IS program has been a part of the Westgate community for over 10 years. We are fortunate to “house” this unique program that contributes to our diverse learning environment. Students in both the IS and Buddy classrooms learn through activities, situations, and each other. The social components and differentiated instruction benefits students in both the IS Classroom and Buddy Classroom. Parents may not “opt” out of a Buddy Class. However, individual consideration is given to students who previously participated in a Buddy classroom. As a school community, our goal is to support diversity, celebrate the gifts of all children, and nurture diverse learning environments that prepare children for their future.
Please remember that parent information will play a part in the placement process. Similarly, teacher and staff recommendations will play a significant role within the placement process. As in the past, using a variety of information about a child, we will create diverse learning cohorts.
We thank you in advance for your support,
This past week, our class has capitalized on the knowledge all around us. We shared our knowledge of rocks with Mrs. A's kindergarten classes. Doing so helped us organize our understanding and communication skills while giving the kindergarteners a unique understanding of their rocks unit. We also invited several fifth graders to join our classroom as we study Mandarin numbers. We learned how to count to ten verbally, using hand signals, and writing calligraphy. Check out the photos page to see more!
Your participation in the Illinois 5Essentials Survey will help us understand the conditions at your child’s school and guide improvement. Your identity and survey responses will be kept completely confidential and will never be connected to you or your child.
Please visit https://survey.5-essentials.org/illinois/ to participate in the Illinois 5Essentials Parent Survey. The survey must be completed by March 31, 2013, but we encourage you to complete the survey as soon as possible.
Stop by the school library the next time you visit Westgate. Our Inspired Cereal Boxes are on display. To share a little more about the inspiring stories behind the cereal, students self-recorded their presentation and created a QR code. So, bring a smartphone or borrow an iPad during your visit to scan our cereals and learn more!
Our Rocks Unit is quickly coming to an end. Today, we finished our study of fossils by using the mold fossils we created last week to make cast fossils. We also had a wonderful time working with a scientist from High Touch High Tech for our field trip. We each dug up our own rocks and performed several tests to learn more about our samples. Check out the photos
I would like to extend a gigantic thank you to everyone who joined us at Open House last night. I know the whether wasn't ideal, but your students are so proud of themselves and enjoyed the experience of sharing their learning with you. I am also very touched by the families who donated books from the book fair to our classroom. These books were passed from hand to hand all day as students eagerly devoured them. Thanks again for supporting us!