Thursday, January 28, 2016

What is an Elesquid?

Hereford Elementary School Monthly Blog
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January 2016

Cross-Age Buddies: Part of a Caring School Community

Hereford Elementary creates meaningful, social connections between younger and older students.

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Starting this February 2016, a selected pilot classroom per grade level will begin the monthly implementation of an exciting new program called “Cross-Age Buddies.” This research-based program is one of the four essential components of our new Social-Emotional Language program, the Caring School Community.

The Cross-Age Buddy Program purposefully partners older students with younger students to create a kind, stable relationship that is centered around activities that promote social development. These cross-age buddy partnerships last for the entirety of the school year and are aimed at giving children real opportunities to practice helping and caring for others, and to experience being part of a community built upon these values.

Of the more than 40 activities in the Cross-Age Buddy Program, the eight key social skills woven throughout the activities are: speaking clearly, listening carefully, sharing ideas, making decisions, sharing the work, acting responsibly, asking for and giving help, giving encouragement and expressing appreciation.

When children of different ages have a chance to get to know one another, learn from each other, and have fun together in a safe and supportive environment, they are creating relationships built on friendship and trust.  That climate of trust fosters a school community where students feel welcome and appreciated.  Look for updates on this exciting new program during the 2015-16 school year for pilot classrooms and during the 2016-17 school year for all classrooms.

In Our Classrooms

Regular school attendance is an essential component to ensuring student success now and in the future.

Regular and punctual attendance for school is important for the following reasons:
1. The student who attends school regularly derives the maximum benefit from the instructional program; and
2. Students with good attendance records generally achieve higher grades and enjoy school more.
During the winter months, we typically see a significant increase in absences due, in large part, to illness.  In fact, here are the numbers so far this year:
Total Number of Excused and Unexcused Absences by Month
For January alone, Hereford students missed more than 260,000 minutes of instruction due to absences!  Please click the link below for further information and reminders regarding student absences.

In Our Community

Hereford Elementary keeps busy during the cold winter months.

Orchestra led by Mrs. Lerch
Elementary Winter Concert
Young musicians from both Marlborough Elementary and Hereford Elementary performed their “On Top of the World” winter concert on Tuesday, January 19th in the Upper Perkiomen High School auditorium. This energetic event included students in the 5th grade band, the 5th grade chorus and the 4th & 5th grade orchestra. Children practiced a variety of music, related to the theme, for months – often rehearsing before or after school. With hours of practice behind them, the band, chorus and orchestra delivered an exciting program for an auditorium packed full of family, friends and staff members.  Elementary directors, Ms. Robin Holman and Mrs. Margaret Lerch, expressed their gratitude and thanks for the support of the Upper Perkiomen community in the music education of these young people. Spring concerts will be held during Arts Week in the Upper Perkiomen School District. The elementary and middle school bands will perform on Tuesday, May 10th. The elementary and middle school choruses will present their concert on Wednesday, May 11th.  The elementary and middle school orchestras will make their way to the stage again on Thursday, May 12th. All concerts are free and begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Upper Perkiomen High School auditorium.
Band led by Ms. Holman          Chorus with Mrs. Lerch

Harlem Wizards
The Harlem Wizards are coming to the Upper Perkiomen High School to play the UP All-Stars (group of teachers and staff members) on Friday, February 26th at 7:00 p.m.  On Thursday, January 28th, the Harlem Wizards came to Hereford Elementary to provide us with a sneak preview of the big game!!  See the links below for further information.
PEG Creature Zoo
From September through November, the gifted students studied about creativity.  The four keys of creativity – fluency (brainstorming), flexibility (looking at things from all perspectives), originality (coming up with new and unique ideas), and elaboration (adding details) – can be used every day across the entire curriculum.  To practice using these keys, the students were given an assignment at the end of their study: create an imaginary creature.  Using a two liter soda bottle, the students had to turn it into something entirely different.  Many combined animals to create a new kind of creature, while others came up with their own creations.  Some of the creatures in our zoo included a Pegaphant (part elephant and part pegasus), an Elesquid (part elephant and part squid), a Tonkey (part monkey and part turtle) and the very unique GOATE (which stands for Generated Obsolete Advanced Technology Eater).  As the students shared their projects and how they used each of the creativity keys in the design process, they were amazed at the distinctiveness of each one…and how it all started with a soda bottle!


Hereford Proud

Hereford Elementary School
1043 Gravel Pike
Hereford, PA 18056
Phone: 215-679-4151
Fax: 215-679-1591

Twitter: @HFDLeadLearner

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