Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Update 11/12/13

Wiley Updates

Can you spell B-E-E?
Wiley wants to send a student to the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C.! To prepare for this, the First Annual Wiley Spelling Bee will be held on January 16, 2014.  3rd-5th graders who are interested in participating in the schoolwide bee need to turn in a permission form to participate in a preliminary spelling test now.  Notes went home in November 4th's Monday Folders and the permission slip must be returned to Dr. Cecconi-Roberts by Wednesday, November 13.  The preliminary spelling test will take place on December 4.  The top 6 students from the 3rd, 4th and 5th grades will be invited to participate in the schoolwide Spelling Bee on January 16.  The Wiley champion will represent our school in the county spelling bee on March 15 and the winner of that bee will be invited to attend the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. over Memorial Day.
Official rules, spelling/vocabulary lists and supplemental information are available from Dr. Cecconi-Roberts' website (follow her teacher link on the Wiley website).  Check out the documentary "Spellbound" or the feature film, "Akeelah and the Bee" for a better idea about how official spelling bees operate.  If you would like more information, please feel free to contact Dr. Cecconi-Roberts at lcecconi-roberts@wcpss.net.
Remember, permission slips must be returned to Dr. Cecconi-Roberts by Wednesday, November 13.

Let the s-p-e-l-l-i-n-g begin!!!

National School Psychology Awareness Week: 
Helping Students, Staff and Families Make the Connection!

My name is Mary Whitehouse, and I am Wiley Elementary’s school psychologist. Helping our students and schools focus on recognizing and developing team players is at the heart of national School Psychology Awareness Week, November 11–15, 2013. School psychologists work on teams and collaborate with teachers, counselors, aides, administrators, and parents.  We provide services such as serving on school problem solving and leadership teams, analyzing and explaining educational data, developing classroom accommodations and modifications, and meeting with parent teams and community groups. School psychologists are in a unique role to help students’ identify their team-building skills at school and at home. We work directly with students providing educational assessments, leading individual and group social skills sessions, guiding learning strategies and problem solving skills, and helping students develop positive self-concepts by linking effort to achievement. 

The theme of School Psychology Awareness Week, “We’re all in!  Teams work” is directed to students, but also carries an important message to all adults. Teaching our children the importance of building relationships through positive teaming helps them to develop interpersonal skills and a commitment to the group. Teamwork can build resiliency in children as well as the ability to meet challenges successfully. Parents, you can help us build and celebrate your children’s participation on teams and building effective teamwork!

  • Discover effective team building skills your children already have (explore your child’s team building skills and how they differ from those of others).
  • Come together for a good cause.  Show the strength of working together as a family, a group, or a team to help the community.
  • Join a team!  Model effective team work by joining a team or group such as the PTA, coaching a recreational team, or even joining a book club.  Help your children understand the qualities needed to be an effective team player by watching you participate in a variety of teams.
  • Use your team work skills to make a difference.  Give students the opportunity volunteer with a local cause such as Special Olympics, local fundraising campaigns, or Habitat for Humanity.  They may be surprised how much of a difference they can make using effective team work skills.
  • Link up and connect with me, Mary Whitehouse. I am your school psychologist and I would love to talk with you about your child and all the ways Wiley helps to encourage all of our children to participate in and work effectively on teams.  We can celebrate these collaborative characteristics across our school community.

Mary Whitehouse, PhD
School Psychologist


Guest Blog Post, by Mrs. Fleener and Ms. Oliver
Great books and carefully planned literacy experiences takes us places…
As a instructional resource teacher and kindergarten teacher we’ve worked together to make reading exciting and engaging at Wiley. At the beginning of the school year we talked about how to engage students in reading. This led us on a journey into finding rich texts for students to read. We read research that resonated with us about how young children acquire literacy skills. 
“Literacy skills improve when multicultural literature is used in the classroom because students develop a sense of identity, welcome and embrace diversity, begin to challenge stereotypes, and make connections between the text, themselves, and the world around them. Authentic multicultural literature can provide an inside perspective into a different culture than one’s own.” (Brinson, 2012)
After reading this we knew we needed to fill classrooms with multicultural literature and plan great lessons with the new resources.
Definition of Multicultural Literature:
Texts written about diverse groups of people (Stotsky, 1999; Au & Raphael, 2000; Yokota, 1993; Lowery & Sabis-Burns, 2007) in which diverse groups means a culture different than one’s own. Multicultural literature includes different ethnicities, family structures.
We used this definition to find appropriate materials and plan literacy time in classrooms. Ms. Oliver’s students are learning critical thinking skills as they connect texts to their lives and the world. Ms. Oliver says that using rich texts to plan lessons has created a more diverse and respectful classroom community. Her students receive affirmation of their uniquenesses through the connections they make with texts. These affirmations help them change their existing thinking about the world and connect with their classroom and school community each day. We are excited to help other teachers in our school learn more about using multicultural literature to teach literacy skills. Creating these kinds of classrooms helps students recognize perspectives which is part of our mission at Wiley.
Au, K.H., & Raphael, T.E. (2000). Equity and literacy in the next millennium. Reading Research Quarterly, 35(1), 170-188.
Brinson, S.A.  (2012). Knowledge of multicultural literature among early childhood educators. Multicultural Education, 19 (2), 30-32.
Lowery, R.M., & Sabis-Burns, D. (2007). From borders to bridges: Making cross-cultural connections through multicultural literature. Multicultural Education, 14(4), 50-54.

Stotsky, S (1999). It is really multicultural illiteracy. The Education Digest 65(4), 17-21.

Backpack Buddies
Backpack Buddies needs help delivering weekend food to Wiley children every Thursday afternoon. The task entails delivering bags of food to classrooms after school on Thursdays. The food will be packed and stored in a bin with the class list attached. It generally takes 20 minutes, and it's a great activity to do with your children. Specific instructions and the sign up schedule are here: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0D44A9AD2DA75-delivery Contact Ilina Ewen if you have any questions: theewens@gmail.com or 919.632.2915 Thank you for helping our Wiley community.

Wiley PTA Updates

11/21 7 p.m. General PTA Meeting—Leveraging Technology to Help Students Learn, Free Babysitting Available
Save the date for the second general PTA meeting of the year—Thursday, November 21st at 7 p.m. in the Media Center.  We’ll kick off the meeting with a quick update on PTA events and an introduction to the topic for the evening—how to use technology to help your child learn effectively. After the brief meeting, you’ll be able to select two out of three breakout sessions to attend. Topics (presented by experts in the field (including Wiley Staff!). We can’t thank the presenters enough for taking an evening to help us out. Topics will be: 

  • Effective Apps for Elementary School Students
  • Internet and Social Media Safety
  • The Role of Digital Learning at Wiley

The YMCA will be offering babysitting free of charge  for Wiley students. To register for this option, fill out a quick survey at the following link so that we know how many children to expect. 

Drop your child / children off any time after 6:45 p.m. in the cafeteria. You’ll need to leave a cell phone number for the YMCA staff and remain on campus during the time your child is at the cafeteria with the YMCA. 

Let’s Share a Meal And Get Our Holiday Shopping Started!!!
On Tuesday, November 19th Piccola Italia and Ten Thousand Villages are once again donating percentages of their sales to the Wiley PTA!
Ten Thousand Villages will donate 15% of sales from 2 pm-7pm. 
Piccola Italia will donate 20% of ALL DAY including take out orders.
***Don’t forget to mention Wiley when you pay for your order***

New Wiley Wear!
It's time to order your fall Wiley Wear!  Check out our new Wiley Logo, cool tie dye shirts, great quality hoodies and long sleeve t-shirts brought to you by BaySix in the attachment to this email.   We have lots of color choices and are even offering the Wiley name in silver sparkles (yes, I said SPARKLES)!!!  There is something for everyone on your holiday list.  A portion of the sales goes to the Wiley PTA.  

The Wiley Wear store will be open next Friday, November 15th, outside the media center from 8:45 - 9:30 am.  Come visit to place your order or to check out sizes. You can also print a copy of the attached order form and return it with a check or cash to your child’s teacher. 
Target Donation to Wiley
THANK YOU…  Wiley just received a $265 check from Target Corporation just by choosing “like” ---Wiley--- on Target’s “Give With Target” campaign. I would like to thank families, teachers and other big fans of Wiley who voted for Wiley. This nationwide campaign allowed anyone in the U.S. to vote for their favorite K-12 school on Facebook. Each vote was worth $1. -Stef Reed