Newsletter 8: Week of October 29

Week Overview

It was SO good to be with your precious kiddos for a full week again! CEA was a great time to recharge, reconnect with other teachers, and learn some new strategies, but I missed your kids! We picked up on Monday right where we left off before our long weekend. In fact, I was amazed with the Spanish output I was hearing and we began a language incentive plan! On Tuesday we began the next phase on add.a.lingua’s target language-only timeline and the kids are now expected to speak to me only in Spanish. If they use English, I rephrase their comment or question in Spanish and they repeat me. We uncovered the letters of our first secret word, otoño, and enjoyed a fall treat together. We’re already well on our way to uncovering the next surprise word! I’m so proud of your kids and their hard work! Please continue to encourage them and pray for them as we continue to raise the Spanish expectations and continue our journey toward Spanish fluency!



Important Dates

November 3: Grandparents Day! Click here for the official invitation. More information to come!

November 8: No PM Bus / No Hot Lunch

November 8-9: Parent/Teacher Conferences  in the evening – K-8 School in session

November 9: No PM Bus / No Hot Lunch

November 10: No School


  • Parent Teacher Conferences- God is doing amazing things through your kids! I am looking forward to meeting with each one of you on November 8 or 9. This is a wonderful time of celebration and I can’t wait to share with you all of the great things your kids are doing! You may sign up for one time slot using the link on the ZCS Parent Page. The sign up will be open until November 1 at 10:00 PM. Thank you, in advance, for taking the time to meet with me! I’m looking forward to it!
    • Questionnaire: If you haven’t already filled out the questionnaire to help guide our time together, please do so by clicking here! It would be very helpful if you would please fill these out by Friday, November 3. Thank you!
  • Gifts of Being Grand- I have already received a few of these- thank you! Please help me connect with grandparents by passing along these precious keepsakes. I sent home a letter detailing this form and what to expect on Grandparents Day. I’ve also included this information under our resources tab on this blog.  I’ll add the Gifts of Being Grand to your children’s spiritual journals, a collection of pieces created throughout their years at ZCS. I would love to have these by Grandparents Day please and will have extra copies that day if anyone needs them. Thank you!
  • Kindergarten Readiness- Has your child mentioned working with Mrs. Pyle, Mrs. Tibbe, or Ms. Stuursma? Every kindergartener at ZCS has been assessed using a kindergarten readiness evaluation. This is something all schools in the Ottawa area will be doing next year. ZCS decided to get familiar with the assessment this year so that we can be even more prepared for next year. I spoke with Mrs. Tibbe about the results they’re seeing and she was very pleased!
  • Picture Retakes- If your child would like his/her picture retaken, please SEND YOUR CHILD’S UNCUT PICTURE PACKET to school on picture retake day- November 9. This serves as the reorder form and is necessary. If your child missed getting his/her pictures taken, there are new picture envelopes in the office for ordering.
  • Helpful Links
    • 2017-2018 ZCS Family Directory: The ZCS Family Directory contains staff, Board members, and family contact information as well as class lists. The directory remains in Google Docs, has been fully updated, and will continue to reflect the most current information. Please email to request changes or updates. (Remember to take notice of the tabs across the bottom of the document for easy access to each section!)
    • 2017-2018 ZCS Family Handbook: The ZCS Family Handbook contains information such as school start times, cancellations and delays, calendar, dress code, hot lunch information, etc. It can be found on the ZCS Parents page. Scroll down to find the link.


Bible: We continue to talk about God’s faithfulness in keeping his covenant with Abraham. Right now we’re learning about Jacob and Esau. This coming week we’ll learn how God took care of Jacob even as he fled from his brother, Esau.

We also continue to practice our Bible verse below:

Genesis 28:15 Yo estoy contigo. Te protegeré por dondequiera que vayas, y te traeré de vuelta a esta tierra. No te abandonaré hasta cumplir con todo lo que te he prometido.

“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you. 

Literacy: We started the next choice in the Daily 5! We are working on building stamina in read to someone. It made me heart smile to see your kids enjoying books together! Some of the pictures up top of this post are of the kids in the first round of read to someone.

Our letter of the week was a consonant for the first time! This meant that we began to combine consonants and vowels to form syllables! We even combined some syllables to form words! We made some exciting and powerful steps toward reading this week!

In grammar this week we learned about a special ending some Spanish words have, -ito or -ita. This ending is used to speak lovingly or to show that something is small. For example, a small dog (perro) or a puppy might be called perrito. A cute kitten (gato) might be called gatito.

  • Reading strategy: Making connections
  • Word wall word: la mamá (mom) y (and)
  • Read aloud: Así Vamos a Escuela
  • Vocabulary Words:
    • disfrutar (to enjoy)
    • techos (roofs)
    • las zancadas (steps)
    • la campiña (countryside) *Some of our Kindergarten friends made connections between this word and where they live!
    • el titubeo (hesitation)
    • apurados (rushed, hurried)
    • los patines (skates)
  • Phrase of the week: Ya terminé. ( I’m finished.)
  • Letter of the week: Mm

Handwriting: Right now we’re taking a break from writing letters and are learning to write numbers 1-5 the school way.

Book of Friends: We “met” Levi and Greta with Maestra Larson on Thursday morning! There are just a few more friends to meet and we will be finished with our Book of Friends!

Math: This week we compared numbers 6-10. We’re learning important words to describe numbers as more, más, and less, menos. We originally learned these words when we compared numbers 1-5 and this week’s lesson was a great review.

Writing Workshop: We continue to practice drawing our stories. This week everyone drew a story about one of our indoor recesses. We blew up balloons and worked together to find the best strategy to keep them off the floor.

Exploring God’s World: We’re nearing the end of our PBL on mapping and can’t wait to share the map we made with our grandparents this week! On Monday I will send a letter detailing all the parts of our PBL and including a map of our school that you may share with grandparents if you’re able. If not, I’ll have extra copies in our classroom on Friday.

Afternoons: We play hard, rest hard, and work hard every afternoon. We’re continuing to work hard in our math centers. In play we opened a sensory bin of corn. I brought a toy kitchen into our classroom and the kids have enjoyed playing restaurant and house.

Up in Lights: Thank you, Nichols family, for sharing so many wonderful things about Levi! It’s clear he is a precious gift from God. One unique thing Levi shared was his tackle box. The kids were very interested in seeing the fly fishing lures! We love you, Levi!

From the Immersion Coordinator

What will Grandparents’ Day in the immersion classroom look like? While we do our very best to always expect only Spanish or Chinese in our immersion classrooms, Grandparents’ Day is one day where we bend the rules a little. While each teacher might do it a little differently, the teacher will always address the students in the target language and the students should talk with the teacher in the target language. However, the students may certainly speak with the Grandparents in English! The teachers will either speak directly with the grandparents in English or some teachers in the older grades may challenge their students to do the translating for their grandparents. We look forward to welcoming all the grandparents/friends on Friday!

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