Dear Families,


THREE CHEERS FOR THE PULLEY!  Did your child tell you about the Divine timing of the Mobile Mini truck arriving to remove the unneeded Mobile Mini (“shed”) just after the kids finished a wonderful exploration of pulleys, levers, and other simple machines?  The truck driver had never had an audience before, he stated, and surely not with such enthusiasm, ha ha!  We loved seeing machines in action right after we spent time experimenting with them!  Additionally, on the way to the library, we visited “Zip Line Park,” as the kids like to call it, the park by Taylor Ranch Library, so they had a new appreciation for how the zip line works!  You can view pictures of the whole day on Shutterfly.



On Monday, we began our study of simple machines with a creative and cooperative activity where students were given random objects and used them to invent a kitchen tool. They had to work together to design and then present their creation to the class. This was a fun way to start to think about how we use tools to make our lives easier. On Thursday, Explora came to our class and the students got to learn about inclined planes, pulleys, levers, and more. It was a rich, hands-on experience where the students got to discover the purpose for some of the simple machines while having fun and working with a group.



Spirit Time—

On Thursday we watched a few short Olympic clips that were inspiring, athletes that overcame great odds to be there or that worked hard to develop a new way of improving themselves in their sport. The questions we asked the students were: What inspires you? What are your unique talents? This week we will continue this theme and these questions as part of the process for the students to brainstorm and list the service projects they are interested in this year. The students will think about and discuss these questions as we lead them to discover what they have to give to others. We are excited to see what passions and interests the students have and what ideas they will have for giving back to the community.



We are extremely pleased with UNM’s instruction process for swimming.  The kids all easily got into the bath-tub-temperature water, around 90 degrees!  The group was divided in half.  One group of kids was with two instructors, while the other group had free play; then we rotated.  Several kids admitted trying and learning things for the first time, a benefit that being part of group instruction (versus one-on-one) can lend.  We had a blast!


Art and Music—

These classes began this week with ease.  The kids were excited to see Ms. Mallory from NM School of Music again.  She is going to offer music foundations this semester, including exposure to instruments from various cultures.  Similarly, Ms. Melissa is our art instructor, and she is visiting cultures with the kids through art.  This week, they “visited” Italy!  Students will rotate between art and music each week, so if they did art this week, they will do music next week.



Primary class

  • Calendar math with patterns was the focus this week, as well as free play with math manipulatives. We also began Number Literacy which includes today’s number and “dot stories.”   This is a highly meaningful and visual method of teaching math concept and problem solving.  It is done in class on chart paper for about 15 minutes per day.
  • Our literacy block is a combination of reading, writing, speaking and listening. It begins with shared reading, where the kids all experience one class reading such as a “big book” (big enough that all kids can see it), poems, songs, and more.  Then we have a read aloud, and Ms. Judy is the great “read-alouder” ever!   J  Then we have interactive writing.  This is ten to fifteen minutes of a shared writing experience where writing is modeled and taught. After that, we have literacy centers, usually 3-4 centers.  The centers generally remain the same for the whole week, so kids can move about the centers at their own pace.  Generally, these centers are a hands-on experience, not a worksheet that they will bring home.  If a center involves finishing an assignment, students are held accountable for following through.  This week the centers were choosing 2 parts of the classroom to label, reading the word wall with a pointer (which has classmates’ names on it right now, will grow to sight words), reading poetry and song journals, and buddy reading.  Audrey also kicked off her making words lesson on Tuesday with introducing “fancy words” and letting kids make a fancy feather pen.
  • More on writing—At the end of the day around 3:00, students use their writer’s notebooks to free write during writer’s workshop. Writing is personal, and if they are asked to share, they will know before constructing the piece.  This is a reflective, peaceful time to grow as writers, which the kids have come to love already.  So our kids get writing instruction during morning literacy and more time to apply it freely during writer’s workshop at the end of the day.



Intermediate class from Ms. Val


In Math this week we worked on assessments that will help me focus the upcoming lessons to meet students’ needs. We will start individual computation practice and place value lessons this week. The middle school students will be doing pre-algebra and algebra. We also had some time to create some tessalation designs and work with geoboards.


In Literacy we focused on the fiction and non-fiction genres, and how to find them in our classroom Library. We identified specific text features common in nonfiction text and learned the subgenres of each category. By the end of this week the students will need to find a biography or auto-biography for an upcoming written and oral report. Next week we will begin our vocabulary/word work. The 3-5 grade students will begin the Making Bigger Words lessons. These lessons teach students common spelling patterns, root words, pre-fixes and suffixes, and vocabulary. It is a fun, hands-on approach to word study. The middle school students will continue the word study we began last year- Words on the Vine. They learn the Latin and Greek word origins in our language and expand their vocabulary and word meaning strategies.



Coming This Week



-Science with simple machines

-Volunteers: Thank you Jessica Sisneros-Counts and Jessica Perez!

-(Everyday) Please bring backpack, snack, lunch, water bottle with name.  Put sunscreen on your child for the park, or you can send it to school labeled with your child’s name to be applied before recess.



-Art and music instruction

-Volunteers: Thank you Marth, Audrey, Melissa and Diana!



-Bring booster, swimsuit, towel, flip-flops, and anything you child needs for swimming (goggles optional, floaties not needed).  We will leave the school around 1:15 pm, and we will return by 3:45.  We will follow the same pick-up schedule as last week, unless we are otherwise notified.

-Volunteers: Ernesto or Tatyana, thank you!  April, Marc A. and Jessica P., thank you!



-Bring show and tell

-Tinkertown and Sandia Mountains:

-Bring booster, (cold) picnic lunch and snacks, 2 water bottles, wear school t-shirt, light jacket, covered walking shoes, pants that cover knees are recommended, sunscreen/hat if desired, and quarters for Tinkertown machines.

-Volunteers: Audrey, Jovon, Nissa, Fernande, and Jessica Sisneros-Counts, thank you!


Here are a few upcoming announcements and reminders for your convenience:



  1. We would like to update our CSCA family contact list. Please let me know if you do not wish your email and phone number to be shared.


  1. On the parent board and table as you enter the classroom, we would like to invite you to leave your personal business information. Let’s support each other!


  1. Please note 2 additions/changes to the field trip schedule below. Popejoy released their schedule, and none of the shows are on Thursdays.  However, there is a science show that we want to attend during science time on Mon, Nov 14: Dr. Kaboom, Live Wire.  We have room for 3 chaperones, first-come, first-serve; just let me know if you would like to come along.  J  Also, Kimo Theater is showing Pocahontas on Thur, November 17th, so we purchased tickets for our class and the Nov 17 volunteers/siblings to attend that show as well.


  1. Big thanks to all of you for your efforts in making this first full week of school a great one for the kids! Thanks also to our volunteers, whether your name is listed on the Mon-Thur upcoming list or whether your role is behind the scenes.  We appreciate you!


  1. We are collecting cleaned, recycled items for our simple machine (state fair-building) project. Please send all shapes of objects.


  1. You can view photos of our class in action on Please feel free to post photos you take here.  We are not particular about how albums are organized or where photos are placed on this website.  Thank you for not posting them on social media.  Enjoy!


  1. Before/After/Friday: Thanks for keeping us in mind if you know of someone that may do a good job for our kids.  We are beginning to receive applications, and we welcome them in Divine timing.



Field Trips at a Glance–


PE Wed                  Swimming at UNM Therapy Pool on Wednesdays: Aug 17, 24, 31, and Sept 7

(Chaperones: Marc A., Tatyana, April and Jessica P.)

PE Wed                  Little Gym PE dates TBA


Aug 25                   Tinkertown in the Sandia Mountains, students bring quarters for


(Chaperones: Audrey, Jovon, Nissa, Fernande)

Sept 1                     Service Project and Problem Solving at school: Parks/Rec Walk This Way safety presentation,

followed by bike safety with 3rd+ and stranger danger role playing with all students; library tentative

Sept 8                     NM School of Music; library

(Chaperones: Audrey, Fernande; Marc A. is back up)

Sept 15                   State Fair (We decided chaperones will not be taking kids on rides, as there are so

many other things we plan to do at the fair, but parents may take their own children on rides.)

(Chaperones: Audrey, Marc A, Mari, Mark S, Marianne, Jessica/David, Jessica P.)

Sept 22                   Explora

(Chaperones: Audrey, Fernande)

Sept 29                   Santa Fe Children’s Museum for engineering

(Chaperones: Audrey, Nissa, April, Jessica P., Fernande, Jessica Sisneros-Counts)

Oct 6-13                 No field trips due to Fall Break

Oct 20                     Service Project/Problem Solving, library

(Audrey, Mari, Jessica P.)

Oct 27                     Pumpkin Patch

(Audrey, Jovon, Linda, Fernande, Marc A., Marianne, Jessica and David, Jessica P.)

Nov 3                     National Museum of Nuclear Science and History

(Chaperones: Audrey, Fernande, Back-up: Marc)

Nov 10                   We are visiting a farm!  Library

(Chaperones: Audrey, Nissa, Fernande, Jessica P.)

Nov 14                   12:15 Popejoy show-Dr. Kaboom: Live Wire (Chaperones: we have space for first 3 that  tell me they                                    would like to attend.)

Nov 17                   Problem Solving and/or service project in-class; 12:30 Pocahontas show at Kimo Theater
(Chaperones: Audrey, Mari, Marianne, Jessica P.)

Nov 24                   Thanksgiving break

Dec 1                      Fall Out or Kid’s Gym (class will vote), library

(Chaperones: Marc A., Marianne, Jessica Sisneros-Counts)

Dec 8                      Problem Solving, library

(Chaperones: Audrey, Mari, Marc, Jessica P., Marianne)

Dec 15                    Service Project w/(Cuidando Los Ninos wrapping), library, Winter

break ahead

(Chaperones: Audrey, Linda, Jessica P.)





(505) 850-7916 school cell