ACAII Elementary Updates: January 17





1/26- 4-8th grades instrumental music performance 7PM @ John Muir School auditorium

2/20 – 2/24 February Break

2/27 Teacher Workday

3/10; 3/13-3/17: Minimum Days


Elementary News:


Poppy Hall Update:

  • Poppy Hall is still not ready for us to move it. We are working with ServePro to ensure that all of the water damage is properly dried and the room is sanitized before we move students back in.

  • ServePro has informed us that it will be at least one more week.

As you can imagine, the campus is still very, very muddy! We currently have lunch and lunch recess indoors because the picnic table area and the playground is too muddy. We are doing our best to get the kids outside and moving as much as possible. We would appreciate it if you could remind your child to stay out of the mud and the puddles.

The Great Kindness Challenge!: January 24-28

To promote a culture of kindness, we are participating in The Great Kindness Challenge.

We are going to dress up each day with different themes to remind us of kindness.

  • January 24, Monday: “Team Kindness” Sports Day: Dress as your favorite sports team

  • January 25, Tuesday: “Share the Kindness” Twin Day: Coordinate with a friend to dress like twins (or triplets)

  • January 26, Wednesday: “Crazy for Kindness” Crazy Hair and/or Crazy Socks Day

  • January 27, Thursday: “I Dream of Kindness” Pajama Day

  • January 28Friday: “Cheetahs are Kind” School spirit day: dress in your Fantastic Friday shirt and school colors of black and yellow

On Friday when the elementary teachers met as a team, we decided that we were going to focus on math and our writing instruction around teaching students academic vocabulary. Here’s some more information on academic vocabulary and why we believe it is important to teach it.

What is Academic Vocabulary?

Academic Vocabulary is defined as words that are traditionally used in academic dialogue and text. These types of words are used to explain a concept; they are not necessarily common or frequently encountered in informal conversation.

Academic language (e.g., analyze, contract, factor, structure, minor) is used in classroom lessons, books, assignments, and tests, and students must become proficient in it to learn effectively in school and academic programs. It is central to building knowledge and conceptual understanding in specific domains such as science and math. Students need to understand the teacher’s explanations, discuss what they are learning, read academic texts, and write about their learning. Study of academic vocabulary word lists also gives students the knowledge and skills to successfully navigate school policies and expectations.

Why do we need to teach academic language?

While having a definition of academic vocabulary is helpful, it is important to understand why we must teach academic vocabulary.

All students, but especially those that struggle academically, need explicit direct instruction in academic vocabulary. This helps students learn to navigate and succeed in school by providing them with a foundation to build their subject-level understanding.

Breaking down these words and helping students build them into their own vocabulary is crucial for long-term academic success.


Math Updates:


In math we are looking at different sets of math related academic vocabulary including measurement, geometry, base ten operations, fractions and the like.


ELA Updates:

We are focusing on reading everyday and discussing the following concepts::

  • Main Ideas and Supporting Details

  • Character Analysis

  • Understanding Author’s Craft

  • Identifying Author’s Purpose


Through this literature study we are working on the following language skills:

  • Determine the meaning of a word in context

  • Choosing the correct definition of a word with multiple meanings based on the context

  • Prefixes and Suffixes: un-, re-, mis-, -ful, -dis


Writers Workshop this week:

  • The writing process including brainstorming, writing, editing, publishing

  • We are going to be responding to what

  •  we are reading as a class and identifying examples of cause and effect in the story.


Counselors Corner


Hello ACA2 Parents,

As your school counselor I have heard from parents an interest in learning new parenting skills and seeking community and support in the process. If you would be interested in participating in a parent support group please respond to the attached Google Form. The purpose of the group will be for parents to have a safe space to share both their parenting successes and struggles in a safe and supportive environment.

 Google Form Questionnaire

Any further questions:

Why a Parenting Support Group?

1. Parenting Support Groups Remind Parents That They Are Not Alone

Parenting support groups assure parents that they are not alone. They can talk to others who understand the challenges, emotions, and practicalities that they’re dealing with every day. In addition, they can blow off steam in a supportive, nonjudgmental environment

2. Parenting Support Groups Are a Form of Self-Care

Parenting isn’t easy even when your child is well and happy. As a result, parent burnout is common.

3. A Way to Access Resources and Build a Support Network

Another advantage of parenting support groups is the access they provide to information and resources.

4. Parenting Support Groups Help Parents Build Skills

A support group is a great place to get positive parenting tips. That’s because parents talk about the coping skills that work for them.

5. A Place to Find Hope and Humor

Spending time with other parents can be an enormous relief.