Rivendell Younger Kids

Monday, September 16, 2019

Younger Kids News

Dear Parents,

We hope you were able to enjoy the beautiful weekend with your family!

Last week we enjoyed completing multiple desert map projects with your children.  We kept one here at school and sent another home on Friday. We hope the Egyptian desert page made it home safely!  This week we are shifting the focus of our theme to reptiles. We will be learning about the characteristics of reptiles through a whole class activity and an individual one as well.

We hope that you are enjoying going through your child’s Friday Folder!  The work inside is completed during our worksessions throughout the week.  Be sure to also be on the lookout for various notes in the Friday Folder as well.

We are excited to be here with your kiddos and we look forward to all this week has to offer.  Have a terrific week!
Seth, Annie and Dylan


Younger Kids News

Monday, September 9, 2019

Dear Younger Kid Families,

Our first week of reading and math worksessions, Topic Unit Projects, and writing sessions have gone wonderfully! The students are engaged and excited to be diving into their academic challenges after so much practice and training that past few weeks. Whether it was using math manipulatives to solve equations, or writing on their journal pages, the students are ready to learn. 

This upcoming week, we will be working on identifying and defining deserts. Starting with the deserts of the world, and then zooming into the Sahara Desert, we will be looking into how the traits of the desert affected the culture and habitat of ancient Egypt. The students will then be working with a world map and an Egypt map to understand how the two maps are related and when one map may be beneficial over the other. 

With so many exciting things happening in the classroom, you want to hear as much as you can about it! So, it can be frustrating on the car ride home when you ask about your student’s day and the only answer is “it was fine,” or “I played.” These school days are so jam-packed with learning, working, and playing that the kids are most likely coming home exhausted and maybe a little overwhelmed. To get more information out of your student, try to ask specific questions. At Back to School Night, you received a full schedule of their day.  Instead of asking about the whole day, ask more targeted questions like if: they played a new game in PE, they worked with shapes in math, or what they wrote about in their journals. 

The students are working hard learning new routines, making new friends, following instructions, and having fun. 

As always, thank you for sharing your children with us!

Dylan, Annie & Seth


Younger Kids News

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Dear Parents,

These past two weeks have given our Younger Kids a chance to get to know one another and acclimate to classroom routines and schedules. We are now ready to dive into math and reading worksessions. This week, the kids will begin to work independently at individual seatwork and activities that we prepare for them, as we work one-on-one with each child.  We will also begin journals and theme writing this week.

Every month in Younger Kids, we feature an Author of the Month. September’s author is Julia Cook.  Her fun and engaging books teach valuable social and emotional skills. Visit the YK blog at https://www.rivendell-school.org/youngerkids/ to see the rest of this year’s authors.

You may have already heard your child talk about Egypt, as we began our Topic Unit studies on Thursday. We decided to combine our topic unit on Egypt with our next unit on Deserts and Reptiles, since much of Egypt is desert and many Egyptian myths stem from desert animals. We introduced Egypt last week, discussing the word ‘ancient’ and the coming together of Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt in 3000 BC. This week, we will learn about Egyptian pyramids, mummies and pharaohs. We’ll have fun exploring the engineering of the pyramids with sugar cube models. At the end of the week, we will complete our first theme writing to reflect on what we have learned.

You will learn more about Younger Kids’ worksessions, journals and theme writings at Back to School Night, as well as our literacy and math curriculums. We will address our classroom schedules and routines as well. Please be sure to join us! Back to School Night for Younger Kids will be this Thursday, September 5th from 6:35 to 7:05. We will meet in the Music Room. This is an adult-only informational event. Please do not bring your child, as there will be no child-care provided. We are looking forward to seeing you there!

Last Friday we sent Friday Folders home for the first time this school year.  These folders will come home every Friday and will contain your child’s work from the week and important communications from school.  Please go through the pages inside with your child, keep all of it at home and return the empty folder back to school so that we can get it stuffed and sent home again at the end of the week.  Thanks for your help with this!

Here’s to another great week of school! Thank you for sharing your children with us!

Annie, Seth & Dylan


Younger Kids News

Monday, August 26, 2019

Dear Parents,

Welcome to what we think will be another excellent school year!  We had a terrific first three days last week and we are excited to be back with our classes today.  

The beginning weeks of the school year always contain so many new things for the kids to get used to.  We are spending a lot of time building friendships and learning new routines, schedules and expectations.  

For students new to Younger Kids (YK), this week we will be completing our beginning of the year assessment.  This brief, informal assessment gives us a jumping off point for your child in each of our curriculum areas. We consider this a jumping off point because we are aware that one-shot assessments provide you with just that, one picture of a child on a given day.  For our students returning for another year in YK, we are checking to see what skills they may have strengthened over the summer and which ones might need a bit of review. As we begin our reading, writing and math worksessions in the coming weeks we will be constantly assessing our students as they are introduced to new skills.  This will give us even more information to make sure that each of our students is challenged appropriately in each and every area of our curriculum.

While we are excited to meet with you all at back to school night next Thursday, we wanted to address a few items prior to this meeting.  Please make sure to arrive prior to 8:30 every morning. We understand that things can come up that make us all late from time to time, but regularly arriving before 8:30 provides many benefits for your child.  From 8:00 – 8:30 students get to choose an activity to start their day at school rather than starting up with the scheduled items for the day. Additionally, our morning meetings typically start at 8:30 sharp. We complete many activities during this time including reviewing the day’s schedule, learning about math during our calendar activities and sometimes reading a story or having a morning check-in together as a group.  Thanks for ensuring your child gets to start her/his day by participating in all of these enriching activities!

We also wanted to mention a couple things about birthdays.  Please do not bring birthday invitations to distribute at school.  We have a Rivendell Directory that you can get with relevant contact info.  We do, however, love to celebrate your child’s birthday at school! If you choose to bring treats for your child’s birthday please give us a heads up if you can so that we can plan accordingly.  You can bring the treats in the morning, leave them with us on our counter and we will take it from there. Please remember that treats need to be store bought, free of nuts (and nut products), and in their original packaging.  Thanks for your help with this!

Lastly, we know that you have many choices in where you send your child for elementary school.  We appreciate greatly the trust you have placed in us to help educate your child. We will do everything we can to validate this trust and ensure it will be a fabulous year!

Have a great week…

Seth, Annie and Dylan


Monday, May 20, 2019

Younger Kids News

Dear Parents,

Here it is: the last week of school! Change is in the air as summer vacation approaches! We will be busy this week finishing up academics, cleaning our classrooms, performing at the Spring Program, enjoying field day and getting ready to say goodbye to the school year and hello to summer adventures!

This evening is our Spring Program. The Spring Program is a very special tradition with the whole school coming together to perform songs and listen to the graduating 5th graders give short speeches about their time at Rivendell.  We finish up the program with a slideshow of photos from our whole year. This year’s program will be held at the University Center for Arts (the old Fort Collins High School). Students will need to arrive at 5:15 p.m. and the program will begin promptly at 5:30 p.m.  Due to the Spring Program, we will NOT have aftercare on Monday, May 20th.  If you attend the Spring Program, we kindly ask that you stay for the entire event.  Rivendell students have spent a lot of time and effort practicing for their performances, and the 5th graders have worked many hours creating their speeches.  Please be respectful and stay for the entire event. We look forward to seeing you there!

Tomorrow morning is Author’s Share from 8:00 a.m.  to 9:00 a.m. We invite you to enjoy coffee and pastries while sharing with your children their 2018-2019 journey, as displayed in their portfolios and end-of-the-year books. We hope you enjoy, as much as we have, seeing the growth in their work from the beginning of the year to now. It is truly amazing to see the changes in their writing, the development of their illustrations and a visual reflection of all they have learned. It can be a bit emotional seeing how much they have grown, so don’t be surprised if you get a little teary…it’s easy to do! Your children have worked hard and are very excited to showcase their work so we hope you can make it!

Wednesday is field day so please be sure to put sunscreen on your child in the morning and send them to school with a water bottle, comfortable clothes and athletic shoes. It is sure to be a fun afternoon, hopefully with good weather!

Your child’s report card will be emailed to you on Thursday, so be sure to check your email!

Please check lost-and-found before Friday, as anything left there at close of day will be donated to ARC or Goodwill. We will also be cleaning out personal cubbies, hallway hooks and shelves so it’s a great week to make sure your child brings a backpack.

Remember, Friday is a half day. School will be dismissed at 11:30 a.m.!

This has been a wonderful school year and we thank each of you for sharing your child’s journey with us!

We wish you all a happy summer break!

Annie, Seth and Rachael


Monday, May 13, 2019

Younger Kids News

Dear Parents,

We hope you had a terrific Mother’s Day weekend!  

It is hard to believe that we have begun our penultimate week of school for this year.  We are excited for the summer that is now not far away, but are also feeling bittersweet about the ending of the year with our amazing students and families.

This is our final week learning about Colorado History.  We are examining the Colorado state symbols of the greenback cutthroat trout and the Colorado hairstreak butterfly.  We are assembling writings about these symbols into our final theme writing books for this year. These will be one of the many books that are presented to you next Tuesday at our Author’s Share celebration.  

There are many upcoming events to keep in mind…

Monday, May 20 – Spring Program at 5:30. Students must arrive at 5:15 to the University Center of the Arts. Please note there will be no aftercare on this day.

Tuesday, May 21 – Author’s Share from 8:00 – 9:00a.m.

Wednesday, May 22 – Field Day from 1:00-3:00.

Friday. May 24 – Last Half-day of School ending at 11:30.

One last reminder, our Library has closed for the remainder of the school year.  Please dig those books out of their hiding spaces and bring them back ASAP! Thanks so much.

Have a wonderful week!

Seth, Rachael and Annie


Younger Kids News

Monday, May 6, 2019

Hello parents,

We are another week closer to the end of this school year! Although this week is not quite as busy as the last, we still have quite a bit happening in Younger Kids.

We are working hard to help your students reach those goals that we set mid-year. It is truly amazing to think back to the beginning of the year and remember where they all started. We are so proud of each and every one of them for their growth and progress. We are slowly wrapping up our usual math, reading, and writing work sessions as we complete some end of the year projects for their portfolios. We invite you to mark your calendars for Tuesday, May 21st to attend our annual author share event from 8:00-9:00. Join us for coffee, sweet breakfast treats, and reflection of the year. We look forward to sharing the products of your child’s imagination, creativity, and hard work.

Continuing on with our Colorado History unit, we will be introducing more state symbols this week: the state mineral (rodochrosite), the state gemstone (aquamarine) and the state fossil (the stegosaurus).

The library will soon be closing for the summer. It might be a good idea to start gathering up any books that you may have hiding around your house or in your cars!

More important events to look forward to:

Spring Program- Monday, May 20th at 5:30. Students must arrive at 5:15 to the University Center of the Arts. Please note there will be no aftercare on this day.

Field Day- Wednesday, May 22nd from 1:00-3:00.

Last Day of School- Friday, May 24 (half day- ending at 11:30.)

If your child will not be here for the last week of school, please let us know ahead of time.

Have a good week,

Annie, Rachael, and Seth


Monday, April 22, 2019

Younger Kids News

Dear Parents,

We hope your child came home with lots of interesting info to share last Friday after our awesome Earth Day festivities.  Kids had a chance to create art while reusing waste, learn about where the recycling and trash goes in Fort Collins, examine the refuse from our various waste bins to assess our success with recycling in the classroom and make a reusable tote bag to bring home.  It was a super fun day to spend with your children!

This week we are starting our final thematic unit of the school year.  We will be learning about the history of the great state of Colorado and will be focusing on the different symbols that have been chosen as representations of our state.  This week we will be completing a flag project that will go in the portfolio of student work that we have been accumulating throughout the year.

There are a huge amount of events coming up throughout the remainder of the year.  Be sure to keep a close eye on the e-news that the office sends out every Sunday as well as these notes here for relevant info.  This Friday we will be having our Egg Drop and will also embrace Crazy Hat and Hair day. More info on this day can be found in yesterday’s e-news.  Below are some important events that will be happening for our Younger Kids next week.

  • Monday, April 29, is our field trip to the Botanic Gardens in Denver!  While we love to conserve, please make sure that your child has a totally disposable lunch, container and all, on this day.  This gives us much less to manage with our large group of kids. Also, have your kiddo wear her/his purple Rivendell shirt on Monday as well.  Being on time will also be essential on Monday so thanks in advance to ensuring your timeliness.
  • Thursday, May 2, is our promotion day at Rivendell.  In Younger Kids this means that our first graders will be spending the morning in one of the two Middle Kids classrooms while we welcome several students from our preschool who will be transitioning to YK next year.  We look forward to the opportunity that this provides all of our students to prepare for their new roles in their classrooms next fall.
  • Friday, May 3, is Colorado Day here at school.  We encourage all of our students to join us in dressing the part as we will be filling our morning with fun activities centered around this theme.  

Since this is the last Friday of the month of April we will also have sharing this week.  We will give every student a chance to share their egg drop entry with their classmates. We hope that they will be able to explain a bit about why they chose to construct their entry in the way they did and also why they think it will be successful.

Have a terrific week!

Seth, Rachael and Annie


Younger Kids News

Monday, April 15, 2019

Hello, parents!

We hope that you enjoyed an extra day with your kiddos this weekend! While they were excited to have an extra day off, teachers were grateful to have an in-service day here at school. We only get two of these valuable days each year, and we use them to complete major items on our to-do list as a staff. For the last few years, we have devoted much of that time to improving our math curriculum. This year, our focus is literacy. We are thrilled to be completely revamping our reading and writing scope and sequence. We can’t wait to offer our families a new, fresh look next year! We believe that this updated curriculum is going to serve our students in a way that is engaging, exciting, and highly effective.

We are on our last week of our plants unit. We will be talking about parts of a flower as well as some neat plants native to Asia. There will also be a special guest visit from Dr. Courtney Jahn and Dr. Adam Heuberger (Saul’s parents) who specialize in Horticulture and Bioagricultural Science at CSU. They will be spending time with each Younger Kids class to do some in-depth and hands-on experiments and activities! Also, your child will get to bring home the small plants that they planted at the beginning of the unit. We encourage you to continue observing their growth at home!

This Friday, April 19th, is Earth Day. Kari and the Environmental Leadership Team have some fun activities planned for us that morning. Wear green or Earth Day shirts if you have them to show some love for mother nature!

As a reminder, the Egg Drop is next friday, the 26th! Refer to that bright green sheet that came home last week for further instructions. We can’t wait to see all those unique designs!

All Younger Kids classes will be stopping by the Book Fair today for a preview of what’s available! The Book Fair will be open for purchases before and after school, and we kindly ask that parents accompany students during that time.

Have a great week! Enjoy the great weather.

Rachael, Seth, and Annie


Monday, April 8, 2019

Younger Kids News

Dear Parents,

We would love to have some parent volunteers to join us on Monday, April 29th for our field trip to the Denver Botanic Gardens. Volunteers will be responsible for a small group of kids (your child could be one of them!) for the day. Because of this responsibility, we are not able to have siblings attend. If you are interested, let your child’s teacher know. This is a first-come, first-served invitation, as there are a limited number of volunteer spots available.

This week, we will learn about the parts of a plant and how each part contributes to the growth of the plant. For our Theme Writing, we will take a look at the variety of plants that grow in Africa. We are continuing to monitor our little marigold plants and draw and write about their progress in our Plant Journals. The kids were really excited to see the sprouts popping up out of the soil last week! We are hoping that our lima beans will sprout as well!

Please remember that we do not have school this coming Friday, as it is a teacher in-service day. If you are looking for something fun for your child, feel free to enroll them in ‘Save it for a Rainy Day’ Enrichment Camp taught by Carol. To register, click here.

That’s it for this week! We have quite a bit coming up at Rivendell (the Scholastic Book Fair, the Egg Drop, Colorado Day) so be sure to read the Rivendell Newsletter and stay tuned!

Have a wonderful week!

Annie, Seth and Rachael