Sunday, March 23, 2014

Updates 3/24/14

Wiley Updates

Taking Action the Wiley Way
Guest Post by Mrs. Hoover and Mrs. Ferrando
As part of the Wiley International Studies theme, we focus on providing experiences that build global competence in students: Investigating the World, Recognizing and Weighing Perspectives, Communicating Ideas, and Taking Action. Why might we want our students to be globally competent? In Educating for Global Competence: Preparing Our Youth to Engage the World, Mansilla and Jackson explain: 
“Globally competent individuals are aware, curious, and interested in learning about the world and how it works. They can use the big ideas, tools, methods, and languages that are central to any discipline (mathematics, literature, history, science, and the arts) to engage the pressing issues of our time. They deploy and develop this expertise as they investigate such issues, recognizing multiple perspectives, communicating their views effectively, and taking action to improve conditions.” (xiii)
Once students have investigated a topic or concept beyond the classroom walls, considered their own perspectives and those of others, and presented their ideas and new understandings, students can move on to evaluating ways they can take action. Taking action is all about trying to raise awareness, make an impact, improve conditions, or contribute to making the world a better place.  As a student takes action, it can be local or global, large or small, tangible or abstract.  What’s important is that students  “translate their ideas and knowledge into actions that make a positive difference” (51, Ready for the World: Preparing Elementary Students for the Global Age).  Often students participate in service learning projects.  “Service learning goes beyond volunteering or fundraising. It has explicit learning objectives and involved real-world skills and critical analysis” (What Is Global Service Learning?). This typically occurs during a unit and helps students develop a deeper understanding.  Taking action projects typically occur after a unit of study.  It is important for students to end either type of project by thoughtful reflection and critical analysis.  
Students at Wiley Elementary are taking action and participating in service learning projects in their classrooms, communities, and beyond.  With a sense of “think globally, act locally” we can see many examples of our students getting involved. For example, the fifth graders contacted the Audubon Society and then the Museum of Natural Science to get more informed about their unit on hummingbirds. They received a grant through Donor’s Choose to put up hummingbird feeders in the spring.  They also spearheaded a campaign in which Wiley students donated socks for the homeless. Students in the Yoga in Action elective taught yoga at a local yoga studio to help raise money for Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Triangle and students in the Cradles of Civilization folk dance elective performed at the Broughton High School International Festival to support Stop Hunger Now. In the WGNN elective, students research and write news stories that address issues of concern in our world. One article in the news that highlights the plight of whales in captivity is now being written and will be broadcast to the school. Second grade students sent paper butterflies as a demonstration of support to Mexican citizens whose conservation efforts protect the monarch butterfly as a part of the Journey North Project. Students planted milkweed at home in hopes of supporting the sustainability of the butterflies. Second graders will be make products to sell to Wiley families at International Night as part of a social studies unit on producers and consumers. They plan to donate all proceeds to a charity of their choice. Students in Mrs. O’Brien’s class created 50 fleece scarves for the Raleigh Rescue Mission residents. The learned about and discussed homelessness and ways to help others.

We will have some exciting opportunities at International Night for all families to Take Action.  Be sure to stay tuned for details!

Upcoming Events
March 24th, Spring Pictures
March 28th, Regular School Day (snow make up day)
March 31st-April 4th Spring Break
April 18th, Holiday, No School 
Wiley PTA Updates
Last week to turn in Boosterthon pledges! 
We couldn't be more proud of our Wiley families!  To date, students have turned in 91% of the donations pledged for a Wiley profit to date of over $22,600!  Our last collection date is THIS THURSDAY, 3/27.  All donations will be counted and the books closed on Friday morning, 3/28. 
Please feel free to contact us with any questions regarding pledges and outstanding amounts. We are so proud of the students for following through on collecting and huge thanks to the parents for helping collect, as we know this takes time.  Email:
Wiley Wear Spring Orders Due by Tuesday April 8th
ORDER YOUR SPRING WILEY WEAR NOW!  Short sleeve t-shirts for children and adults (plain and tie-dye) and performance tech shirts are available.  Order form is attached - ORDERS ARE DUE BY APRIL 8th.

Monday, March 17, 2014

3/17/14 Update

Wiley Updates

Discovery Education Takes Us Around the World!
Guest Post by Ms. Ross, Mrs. Price, and Mrs. Stockert
     Discovery Education has opened a whole new batch of engaging resources for teachers to use with their learners this year. Virtual field trips have been great for our 5th graders to visit company headquarters across the United States. Learners have broadened their knowledge of science objectives and have been exposed to engaging experiences through Discovery Education sponsored virtual field trips.
     December 11th, over lunch in our 5th grade classrooms, all three 5th grade homerooms participated in the first of three virtual field trips help by Discovery Education and The Weather Channel. We went LIVE to the Weather Channel headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. Meteorologists from The Weather Channel discussed the science behind hurricanes, tornadoes and other severe weather and provided tips on how to create a plan to keep safe in case of a weather emergency. We went on a behind the scenes tour of The Weather Channel studios and live weather center to explore the technology used to predict, track and report severe weather. This virtual field trip allowed us to participate in an interactive and informative discussion to prepare the learners for any kind of weather! To view the virtual field trip to the Weather Channel headquarters click here:
     Again in January, on Wednesday the 22nd, the 5th grade participated in their second lunchtime virtual field trip. We went LIVE to a 6th grade classroom at LaSalle Springs Middle School in Rockwood, MO to view a lesson on heat energy and transfer. Discovery Education’s super teacher, Patti Duncan, did an amazing job answering questions teachers and their classes around the country were posting live. We sent many questions and truly enjoyed the investigations. To view the heat transfer lesson and investigations click here:
More recently, on March 5th, went took another virtual field trip all the way to California to the Google Headquarters to get a tour and meet the Google Doodlers! It was amazing to learn how the Doodlers brainstorm and create the ever-changing Google Doodle on their search engine page. Wiley 5th graders and 3rd graders have created their own versions of the Google Doodle and have entered them into a contest for their artwork to become the actual Google Doodle for a day! Winners can also receive money for a scholarship and money for educational technology for their school. Click here to view:
     We might have some future Doodlers, meteorologists, teachers, scientists, or computer engineers on our hands! 

Scholastic Pursuit Team Openings
Wiley’s Scholastic Pursuit Academic Team has openings for several new members! All team members will practice together and participate in a Wiley Scholastic Pursuit Competition. The top 8 scorers from this competition will go on to compete at Peace College in the county-wide tournament in May. The two additional students will become alternates. Interested 4th and 5th grade students should come to the technology lab on Thursday, March 20th at 9:00 am to try out for the team. Students will be given a timed trivia quiz, which will take about 15 minutes. 

The goal of the tournament is to test students’ knowledge of the curriculum learned in elementary school, along with current events. Team members must commit to morning practices several times a week. Outside studying will also be required. 
Questions?  Contact Jill Molloy at

Upcoming Events
March 24th, Spring Pictures-- Help Wanted! Earn free pictures by volunteering to help on Picture Day! Call Ms. Coventry at Wiley at 919-856-7723 to volunteer. 
March 28th, Regular School Day (snow make up day)
March 31st-April 4th Spring Break
April 18th, Holiday, No School 

Wiley PTA Updates

Survey on Boosterthon and Invitation to Join Focus Groups
The PTA Board would like your thoughts and input on Wiley’s first Fun Run for Technology. Please fill out a survey on the event by clicking on the link below by 3/28. Paper copies of the survey are also available in the office. 
In addition, if there is interest, the PTA will run focus groups to obtain further input on the event. If you are interested in being part of a focus group, please email by Friday 3/21 with your name, relationship to the school (Parent / Guardian or Teacher) and best time to join a focus group (day in-person, day by phone, evening by phone). We’ll then reach out with options. 
The PTA Board will discuss the event at its next meeting and then will summarize findings in a blog entry in mid-April. Again, thanks to everyone for participating in the event! 
Next Boosterthon Count Day is Tuesday—Bring in Pledges! 
As of last week, we were edging towards 80% of pledges collected, thanks to a number of online payments. Our next count day is tomorrow, Tuesday 3/18. Please send pledges in with your children! 
Wiley Wear Spring Orders Due by Tuesday April 8th
WILEY WEAR SPRING SHORT SLEEVE T-SHIRTS AVAILABLE TO ORDER NOW! The snow is gone and it’s time for t-shirt weather!  Order your new short sleeve cotton t-shirt, tie-dye or performance tech (polyester) shirt now.  Both child and adult sizes available. Orders are due by APRIL 8th.  Shirts will be delivered to your child’s homeroom mid to end of April.  Please see attached flyer for colors and order info.
Science and Curriculum Night a Big Hit 

Thanks so much to Sarah Luginbuhl, the Science and Curriculum night committee, and especially the Wiley teachers and staff for organizing a fun and informative science and curriculum night. The children were fascinated by all of the exhibits and hands-on science experiments they got to see. Thanks for working hard to continue this great Wiley tradition!  

Monday, March 10, 2014

3/10/14 Updates

Wiley Updates 

Check out Wiley and Broughton kids perform Suessical this week!
What do you get when you combine  the rhymes, characters and imagination of Dr. Seuss with song? Seussical the musical of course! Students from Wiley have been working hard with Ms. Pawlowski to prepare for their roles as Whos, in the Broughton High School production. Shows will take place on March 13,14,15 at 7:00pm in the Broughton HS Auditorium. Tickets are $10 Adults $5 students. Come out to support our talented students and see a fun, colorful show!

Order Yearbooks Now
Wiley's Yearbook order forms will be sent home this week with your child. Look for it in your child's Monday Folder. The yearbook will cost $16.00. You may order your child's yearbook by two different methods this year. You may either return a check to your child's teacher in the order envelope that was provided, or you may order your yearbook online.  The online information needed is on the order form.  The deadline for ordering the yearbook is April 9th. There will not be extras on sale so please order now. 

It’s March and that means it’s time for the Books Are Magic book drive at Wiley!
Books Are Magic builds home libraries for kids who need them.

Wiley is once again partnering with Books Are Magic to ensure that all children at Wiley have home libraries!  As we have done for the past two years, we will be having a book drive and asking members of our Wiley family to donate gently used books between March 10 and March 28.  

How it Works

Students will bring donated books into their classroom during the book drive. After the collection period has ended, the organizers will transform Katie McMillan’s office into a beautiful “book store” on April 14 and 15.  Homeroom teachers will pick six books for each child in the program.  Next, the children will have the chance to “shop” in Ms. McMillan’s office by picking six more books to bring home.  This is great fun for the children and the adults!  When the shopping is complete, every child at Wiley will have books at home! 


Books Are Magic is a 501(c)(3) and was modeled after a  landmark study that gave disadvantaged students 12 books at the end of the school year for 3 years in a row. The students became owners of home libraries with a total of 36 books each by the end of the three years—books they could read, organize, and take pride in. Reading researchers at the University of Tennessee–Knoxville then tracked the students' performance in school.

The results were incredible. Reading scores improved significantly. The summer reading proficiency slide was arrested.  In fact, just having those 12 books in the first year seemed to have as much positive effect as attending summer school.  In addition, the students with home libraries indicated that they perceived themselves as readers. 

Building home libraries for children is a low-cost effort that gets invaluable results. Books are Magic is determined to duplicate those results for as many kids as possible.

Taking Action

This year, we are incorporating our magnet theme and asking the students to “take action” by helping to clean and organize donated books in their homeroom classrooms.  We are asking for families to “take action” by contacting neighbors, church groups, and other organizations to help with the book drive.  We are also asking parent volunteers to help sort and organize the books that are collected.  Any books left over from this event will be used by Books Are Magic in other book distributions in WCPSS!  

If you have any questions or would like to volunteer with the program, please contact Kathy Foglia ( or Heather Cassidy (  Our parent coordinator is Lea Roark ( 

Guest Blog Post by Wiley Art Teacher, Karen Rose and Wiley Music Teacher, Erika Pawlowski 

Our Global magnet theme element Recognize Perspectives (students recognize their own and others’ perspectives) is learned in art electives by asking students to give their own interpretation to each project. Rather than give the children an example that they are expected to duplicate, they are given an idea which they are asked to interpret in their own way. Individual expression is encouraged! Every piece should look different as each child has their own way of making things and their own perspective. One is not better than another and they learn to respect the great diversity of creations.  I have a great respect for the way children naturally draw, paint, collage, sculpt, etc. and do not want to enforce my own perspective of how I draw or how other people might think children should draw. I find that the students are most engaged and happy in making work using their own creativity, rather than feeling like there is a “right” way of doing things to which they must adhere. It is great to see some children really blossom as they gain confidence in their own instincts and ideas. Also, it is a great life lesson to learn to creatively problem solve in this manner. 
Students also recognize perspectives when they participate in music electives at Wiley.  When in music class, the students are given opportunities to express themselves through singing, moving, composing and playing instruments.  Students are asked questions and they respond with a musical answer.  Your K/1 students can probably remember a time in music class when I sang their name and the students each responded by creating a short musical reply to share their favorite color, animal, sport, food, etc.  The 2/3 students probably can recall a “getting to know you” echo rhythm chant where they say their name and something about themselves and the class responds by repeating that information back to them.  The 4/5 students have taken that activity to the next level in their drumming elective this quarter—the drum question is “What’s for Dinner” and the students have 2 beats to reply.  These warm up activities are a great way for students to get to know each other and to learn about other students.  I often hear the students quietly comment, “What’s that?” or, “I like that too!” when they hear the foods that their classmates like.
            One of the rewarding aspects of our music class is how much student choice is involved, and how they get to express themselves through music.  Sometimes the students are given a song and they create a way to move to the music. Students might use their body to add percussion sounds to a song.  One music elective focused on using everyday objects (pots, pans, cups, clipboards) and listening to each other’s musical idea to find a way to make their rhythmic idea blend in.  Sometimes students (even the youngest Wiley students) compose/create their own music and perform it so that others can hear their composition.  I love how the students, who are given the same set of instructions, come up with unique and musical ideas all their own.  Students learn that music class is a place where they can try new things, experience different cultures, and learn more about themselves. 

Upcoming Events
March 13th, 6pm-8pm Curriculum Night
March 24th, Spring Pictures
March 28th, Regular School Day (snow make up day)
March 31st-April 4th Spring Break

Wiley PTA Updates
Continue Bringing in Fun Run Pledge Money! 
Students and parents, thank you for doing such a great job collecting your Boosterthon pledges.  We have collected about 70% of the money but need your help collecting 100%!  Please continue to bring in your envelopes (you can get another from the office).  The next submission deadline is Tuesday, March 18th.  The sooner we collect, the sooner we can purchase new technology for classrooms.
Science and Curriculum Night this Thursday from 6-8 p.m. 

Don’t forget that this coming Thursday, March 13th from 6-8 p.m. is our annual Science and Curriculum night! There will be lots of hands-on activities to interest students, including engineering, chess games, live creatures and more! There will be a short PTA meeting to kick off the evening, followed by lots of time to explore all of the exhibits! Please meet in the media center at 6pm.

Monday, March 3, 2014


Wiley Updates

Wiley Students Dancing at Broughton This Week
Come see the Wiley Folk Dancers perform at the Broughton High School International Festival on Thursday, March 6 at 5:30 PM.  This event will be held in the cafeteria and all proceeds go to support STOP HUNGER NOW.

March 7th is NOT an Early Release Day
Please note that March 7th was originally scheduled to be an early release. We will use that day as part of our snow make up. 

Wiley PTA Updates

Fun Run for Technology Update
Initial Results and Next Steps: 
Our Wiley students had a FANTASTIC time and did a WONDERFUL job running in the Fun Run for Technology last Thursday.  Boosterthon has estimated Wiley’s profit from the event to be around $20,000 - but ONLY if all of the pledges get turned in.  We need your help encouraging your student to remind family and friends to send in their pledges. 
Pledge envelopes have been sent home with students - some Friday and some will go home today.  If at all possible, please have students return pledges by this Thursday, March 6th in the sealed envelope that was provided..  Any pledges paid by check should be made out to Wiley PTA. Donors can also go online to pay and, if they entered an email to do so, should be able to do so via   
If your student cannot collect all money this week, no worries, as we will have 2 more collections dates (3/18 and 3/21).  
Thanks to All Participants and Volunteers: 
In addition, the PTA would like to thank all of those who volunteered to make Boosterthon run so smoothly this year. Special thanks go out to the teachers and administration of Wiley, parents and all of the great supporters for our students during the fundraiser and the day of the event.  We were thrilled with the turnout and the enthusiasm!  
A super big thanks to the students of Wiley for venturing out into the world and securing donations.  We  watched lots of children find out that they could run much further than they thought possible… and saw their pride as the finished their target number of laps. 
Planned Solicitation of Feedback on the Event: 

In the coming weeks, we'll be reaching out to the Wiley Family for comprehensive feedback on the event so that we can use it to assess fundraising planning for the 2014-2015 school year. Parents, students and teachers have shared both positive feedback and areas for improvement on the event, and we want to make sure we have heard from all parents in a consistent way before we make any decisions for 2014-2015. Look for more information next week!