Dear Stony Point Families, The older I get, the more I appreciate untouchable gifts. Gifts like kindness, a good sense of humor, an adventurous spirit, creativity…just to name a few of the “gifts” I see in our Stony Point Family on a daily basis. If you are like me, sometimes the holidays get a little overwhelming with “stuff.” So I’d like to take this opportunity to revisit the importance of recognizing every individual’s unique gifts. After all, aren’t these the gifts that matter most? We use the term “gifted” to mean a variety of things. For some, it means a very few people who have an extraordinary intellect. For others, it encompasses a broader definition. Howard Gardner identifies 8 “multiple intelligences” in which people could be gifted. In the most encompassing lens, every person has a gift. All of these views have an impact on the way we educate children. However you define “gifted,” all of us would agree that every person brings a unique perspective and contribution to the education of our school community. By working and learning collaboratively, we are able to reach higher levels of understanding and performance than we could ever hope to achieve in isolation. The gifts of the group work together to create a “we” that is stronger than “me.” At Stony Point, our teachers are committed to developing a relationship with every child. One reason (and there are many) this is important is because it helps us know each student’s individual strengths. This allows us to use the strength as leverage for instruction in any given area. By knowing and teaching to student interests/strengths/gifts, we are increasing student engagement, which no doubt, results in an increase in student success in school and in life. I hope you’ll take time to pause during the holidays and reflect on the many, varied gifts that are unique to your own friends and family. Again, THANK YOU, for the privilege of learning with your child. This is truly a GIFT to remember! Have a wonderful holiday! Carrie Neeley
First Grade News
Kindergarten is busy preparing for winter! In December we will examine the winter-themed stories of author and illustrator, Jan Brett and learn about holidays such as Hanukah, Christmas, and Kwanza. We have also worked hard with our music teacher, Ms. Owney, to prepare for a winter musical performance on December 19th.
First graders have begun their unit of study of American symbols. Students will be learning the symbolic meaning and historical significance of the following symbols: the American Flag, the Bald Eagle, the Statue of Liberty, the Liberty Bell, and the Washington Monument. As part of our study, we will work with Ms. Lundgren to sketch and label the symbols. When we return from the holiday break, we will begin our study of map skills.
Library News Please read about some of the great books our students have been reading….. Kindergarten students explored good manners and citizenship through the delightful How Do Dinosaurs….books by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague. First grade students read a variety of books by Cynthia Rylant and a beautiful new series of books about insects. Second grade students have been studying fairy tales and especially enjoyed the whimsical books of William Wegman. Third grade students have been reading books about extraordinary thinkers, including The Man Who Made Time Travel and The Librarian Who Measured the Earth. Fourth grade students have been challenged by Eureka! Poems About Inventors. Fifth graders have been learning more about the Dewey Decimal System as they help in the library and continue to be absorbed by Christopher Paul Curtis and The Watsons Go To Birmingham. We hope you and your families have a restful, peaceful holiday and that you have plenty of time to snuggle up together with some good books!
Music News This month in music has been a busy one! We wrapped up our fourth and fifth concert with much success. The students worked so hard and their efforts paid off! Kindergarten and Third grade are also performing small concerts on December 18th and 19th. The Third grade concert will feature selections on the Boom Whackers. The Kindergarten classes will be performing a variety of winter specials on Boom Whackers and percussion instruments.
Thank you to the third graders who created incredible self-portraits.
Lift. Again, thank you all for your generosity. The Toy Drive was coordinated by Stony Point Kids Care Club. The club is open to any 5th grader who is willing to sacrifice one recess a week to meet and plan. We had 6 girls who participated in this effort: Madison Myers, Ashlie Hanson, Abbey Cassell, Alexandra Blaine, Gena Lewis, and Kate Bollinger. These girls did a fantastic job of organizing the drive, collecting and counting the toys, boxing and packing the toys, and making decorations for the Toy Lift site at Fashion Square Mall. We will be recruiting for members again after Winter Break for our spring charity drive – Relay for Life (Cancer Research). Did anyone hear our Kids Care Club members on the radio on Friday, December 5? The VicePresident of Kids Lift Foundation Dave Fafara (owner of Shenandoah Joe’s Coffee) invited the members to come to the Toy Lift Site at the Fashion Square Mall. During the tour, they were invited to speak on the radio stations that were there. I heard one of the interviews. Way to go girls!!! You represented Stony Point and our Kids Care Club very well. We would also like to thank Mr. Fafara for taking the time to give our members the tour. HOLIDAY ASSISTANCE Our Elf Gift program was again extremely successful. Thank you
Second Grade News Second graders have an exciting social studies unit underway. We’re studying the traditions, geography, art, and inventions of ancient China. Students are learning about the Great Wall, Chinese calligraphy, pandas, kites, compasses, fireworks and more! Several art projects related to this unit of study are in progress. To conclude our unit we’re planning a Chinese New Year’s lunch on January 26.
Guidance News STONY POINT KIDS CARE CLUB The over 200 toys and books we collected in our October Toy Drive were distributed to children in Albemarle County, Charlottesville City, Fluvanna County, Nelson County, Orange County, Buckingham County, and Greene County on Saturday, December 6 and Sunday December 7 as part of the Toy
Special Education News
all for participating in this very important project. I am sure that your efforts will be appreciated more than you will ever know. GUIDANCE TOPICS All of the grades received the CAP (Child Assault Prevention) program during the month of November. The topics that were discussed were safety and control of your body. Thanks again to SARA (Sexual Assault Resource Agency) for planning and presenting this important program to our students.
The Special Education staff at Stony Point wishes everyone a Happy Holiday and a Safe and Healthy New Year!!!
Fourth Grade News The 4th grade had to say goodbye to their two wonderful student teachers on December 9th and they will be missed. Luckily before they left, they joined the class on a couple of fantastic field trips. In November, we traveled to the Paramount Theater to see a performance of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, then to the local weather station. Weatherman Brantley Ussery even got a picture of our class on the evening news! In math, students are working on speed and accuracy with multiplication facts and continue to write their scientist research projects. In social studies, we finished traveling through Virginia geography and are almost ready to leave on a “trip around the world” while studying world geography. Ask your student about their “Semester at Sea” pen-pals and all that they have learned from them! Enjoy your winter break.
Third Grade News The third grade food drive went well! We are learning about and creating all types of graphs based on your donations. The food drive allows us to help others AND provides us with reallife data to use in our problem-solving throughout the day. Students have enjoyed comparing, contrasting, and adding numbers and observing trends. What a great experience! Our second parent luncheon took place this month also. We are excited to show off our musical and artistic accomplishments!
Gateway News The Gateway news focus this month is on first grade. First grade classes have been working on developing mathematical problem solving skills. They have learned a variety of strategies and are beginning to practice applying these strategies to some more complex math problems. First graders
are also being encouraged to develop the ability to represent their thinking with pictures and/or verbal explanations. If you have not had an opportunity to explore my webpage, there is a link to some great problem solving sites for all elementary grade levels. To get to my webpage, go to Stony Point classrooms and click on Gateway. The “happy cat” will lead you to a listing of websites, mostly in math, organized by grade level. Any person who would like to receive e-mail communications about chess or other enrichment opportunities in the community is invited to add their name to Anne Geraty’s e-mail list. Send your e-mail address to [email protected]
Enrichment opportunities are open to all children who have the desire and motivation to do them, although available spots may be filled on a first-come first-serve basis. The deadline for the next nomination cycle for gifted identification is March 1. You can obtain the necessary paperwork from Anne Geraty, the Gateway teacher.
Fifth Grade News The end of the semester is quickly approaching and we have had a glorious time in language arts and social studies classes. In language arts, we have written about gaining the power to fly and have been working on publishing a personal narrative. With our read-aloud book, Matilda, we have examined the most excellent descriptions of the Trunchbull that Roald Dahl pens. Ask your child about the wonderful vocabulary in Matilda. In literature circles, we have been reading different books, and learning how to have a book discussion. The story of Virginia has taken us to the Revolutionary war, when the Colonists made the difficult decision to declare independence from England. Thank you to all the parents for their support during the Toy Lift and Food Drive. The 5th grade has demonstrated great leadership in these efforts. Mr. Wells also wants to thank everyone for such a fantastic start to this year at Stony Point. The staff, parents, and children have been a joy to work with. He looks forward to all the great things that are yet to come. The fifth graders have finished part 1 of their science project on invertebrates and vertebrates. This included the drawing, water color
painting and research. Later in the spring, we will design and construct our 3-D models from sculpey modeling clay which will be on display at Quest Fest. Our basic facts have been put to good use lately. We are brushing up on our multiplication and division skills. Please make sure your child spends time memorizing “the basics” in order to make the computation easier.
The holidays are upon us and so is the flu season. In addition to relatives and friends that visit during the holidays, there are many uninvited germs and microbes! Please emphasize to your children the importance of good hand washing to keep these unwanted guests away! Have them remember to scrub with soap and warm water while humming the happy birthday song. This will encourage them to scrub a little longer. Stay healthy and I will see you all in the New Year! Libby Perdue, BSN, Stony Point School Nurse
Art News “I found I could say things with color and shape that I could not say any other way.” (Georgia O’Keeffe) The halls are full of images that help children learn and put words to paper. When children use art to express their understanding of curriculum, it reinforces their learning and accelerates their engagement in the process. You will find: watercolor pencil drawings of vertebrates and invertebrates, threedimensional self-portraits that will accompany personal narrative writing; and silk paintings done with Chinese sumi brushes. If you are in the building, come by and take a look!
Stony Point is a publication of Albemarle County Public Schools. It is published monthly and distributed to all Stony Point families.
Albemarle County Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, age, sex, disability, national origin, pregnancy, or marital status. Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §§1691 et seq., prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs or activities receiving federal funds, including discrimination in employment and student admissions. All Albemarle County Public Schools students, applicants and employees are covered by this law. Questions or concerns regarding compliance with the School Division’s nondiscrimination policies may be directed to: Director of Human Resources, 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville, VA 22901, 434-296-5827) Our Vision: All learners believe in their power to embrace learning, to excel, and to own their future. Our Mission: The core purpose of Albemarle County Public Schools is to establish a community of learners and learning, through rigor, relevance, and relationships, one student at a time. www.k12albemarle.org Excellence. Young People. Community. Respect.