Volume XIV • Issue 5 • December 2016 Happy Holidays! I am very thankful to be part of an amazing school community. I very much appreciate the dedication of our staff, supportive parents and our hard working and caring students. During December, Sycamore has many exciting activities which highlight our students, community and staff. These events also reinforce our positive school culture. Some of our events include: Winter Band, Choir and Strings Concert: Thursday, December 1 at 7 pm 14th Annual PTA Pancake Breakfast and Craft Fair: Saturday, December 3 from 7:30 am-11 am Book Fair: November 28-December 6th 1st Grade Holiday Performance: Thursday, December 8 at 7 pm Kindergarten Holiday Performance: Tuesday, December 13 at 6:00 pm Staff Talent Show: Tuesday, December 20 at 8:30 am Pajama & Polar Express Day: Wednesday, December 21 (School Dismisses at 11:45) An easy way to support your child’s school is to loan money through the State of Arizona’s Credit for Caring to support extracurricular clubs and activities. The State of Arizona allows you to help expand educational opportunities for our children under law AS 43-1098.01 which grants tax payers a tax credit of up to $400 married, filing jointly or $200, filing single, per household for donations that benefit schools. Smaller donations up to those amounts may also be made. Visit  vailtaxcredits.org to learn more how you can support student clubs and activities at Sycamore and in the Vail School District. Tax Credit donations are win-win. Our student activities include: Band, Choir, Strings, Wright Flight, Peace Patrol, Student Council, Honor Society, Engineering Club, Drama Club, Spanish Club, Tutoring, and many, many more. Every dollar you donate will be refunded back when you file your taxes as either a reduction of what you may owe in taxes or an increase in your refund. Any Arizona resident may make a Tax Credit donation. A receipt for your donation will be mailed to you by the Vail School District Business Office. Contributions from employees of Raytheon will be matched dollar for dollar (some other organizations do this as well. Check with your employer for more information). I encourage you to call me directly at 879-2504 if you have any questions on how you can donate to our schools. Thank you again for your continued support, and I hope everyone has a peaceful holiday season. Respectfully, Ken Graff Principal 16701 S. Houghton Road • Corona, AZ • 85641 • Phone 520.879.2500 • Fax 520.879.2501

A Note from the Sycamore PTA We want to thank our business members: *Argenziano’s *Roadrunner Market *Security Screen Masters *Down The Rabbit Hole *Simply Sonoran Photography *Canyon View Automotive *Corona Ace Hardware for sponsoring our Spooky Run! It was a wonderful event, and
 we couldn’t have asked for better community and school support. Race times are posted on our Facebook page if you are interested. https://www.facebook.com/ sycamoreelementarypta/ We want to thank everyone who participated in the Read-A-Thon this year. We raised a total of $9,731.00! Sycamore’s overall top earner was Reilea Howell, who brought in $1,020.00! Our other top earners, for K-2 were Robert Ferdette in 1st place, Cara Woodard in 2nd place, and Sophie Johnson in 3rd place. For 3-5, the following students took the top honors: in 1st place, Bryce Colby, in 2nd place Michael Fredette, and in 3rd place, Mike Harrington. Sycamore’s Holiday Craft Fair & Pancake Breakfast will be held on Saturday December 3, 2016 from 7:30 am — 11:00 am. Come and sell your craft! The cost for one indoor space (a 4x8 table) is $20.00 (there are 4 indoor spots available.) If you’d like to set up outdoors, we ask that you bring your own table and chair. A $4 breakfast plate includes pancakes, sausage, fruit, & your choice of milk, juice or coffee. Additional milk, juice, coffee, bottled water, and/or hot chocolate will cost $1. There will be many local vendors, the Scholastic Book Fair, as well as performances by clubs and local businesses: Sycamore Choir, Sycamore Sign Language Club, AKKA Karate, Danzone, and Dance Force-1. Santa photos will be available for $2. Attention Amazon Shoppers! Did you know you that when you shop smile.Amazon.com that Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to Sycamore Elementary PTA? You simply go to smile.Amazon.com and select Sycamore Elementary PTSA as your charitable organization, and every time you shop, a percentage will go back to Sycamore! You can link your Fry’s card to Sycamore Elementary School though Fry’s Community Rewards Program. Go to frysfood.com to sign up. Rita Car Wash Fundraiser - We have a great fundraising opportunity through Rita Car Wash! When you pull into the wash, put in the specific code (85641) and choose between the 'Comb Ultimate Wash' and the 'Ultimate Wash'. The Sycamore PTA receives $2 for each Comb Wash, and $1 for each Ultimate Wash. This code is only good on weekdays. Keep turning in those Box Tops! More information can be found at http://www.boxtops4education.com The deadline for the second quarter is December 8th. Our next PTA meeting will be held on Wednesday January 11, 2017 at 3 pm in the Community Room.

Curriculum Connection by Ms. Harris • [email protected]

Important Dates to Keep in Mind: * Benchmark 2 Testing (Grades K-5): Dec. 5 - 15 Benchmark 3 Testing (Grades K-5): Feb. 20 - Mar. 3 Science AIMS (Grade 4 only): April 7 AzMERIT testing (Grades 3 - 5): March 27 - May 5 * Benchmark 4 Testing (Grade 2 Only): May 8 - 12 In kindergarten, the students are describing and comparing objects in different ways. Give your child different types of buttons. Have them group them in different ways and then tell you how they grouped them, and how many are in each group. In reading, the students are learning to make new words by taking away, adding, or changing a sound. Using magnetic letters, have your child spell out a three letter word, such as “dog”. Then have them take away the first sound /d/, and replace it with the sound /l/. What is the new word? Continue changing letter sounds and challenge your child to make as many new words as they can. In first grade, the students are learning to measure different objects using nonstandard units of measurement (ex. paper clips). Give your child different utensils (forks, spoons, knives) to measure while you are preparing dinner. Discuss how long each utensil is and which one is the smallest and which one is the longest. In reading, the children are reading words with inflectional endings (-s, -ed, -ing). As you are reading your nightly book, have your child point out words in the book that have those endings and have them read them to you. In second grade, the students are telling time to the nearest minute using a.m. and p.m. Have your child create a daily schedule and draw the starting times on a blank clock face. In reading they are distinguishing whether the vowel sounds of a word are long or short. As you and your child are reading at home, pick a few words from the story and have your child tell you if it has a long or short vowel sound. In third grade, the students are learning how to multiply and divide within 100 using a variety of strategies. Have your child create multiplication and division fact family cards to play games and practice at home. In reading, the students are learning different reading strategies such as cause and effect, compare and contrast, and sequencing to help them understand expository text. Read an article from a magazine together and have your child put the events in order. In fourth grade, the students are solving multistep word problems with all four operations, including estimation. While looking through the advertisements, ask your child how much it would cost to buy several items. Or if they had with a certain dollar amount, how much would they have left if they bought something? In reading, your child is analyzing the narrative point of view in different stories. While you are driving in the car, have your child make up a short story in first person. Then, challenge them to restate the story in third person. In fifth grade, the students are finding the volume of a rectangular prism using a model and algorithm. While you are making dinner, have your child measure the height, width, and length of various boxes in your pantry to solve for the volume. In reading, they are learning to cite evidence to support an inference made from the text. As your child is reading their Reading Counts book, have them note an inference on a sticky, citing the evidence that supports it.

Curriculum Connection Continued... Websites of the Month Math: Primary (grades K-2): http://www.knowledgeadventure.com/ Intermediate (grades 3-5): http://www.learninggamesforkids.com/ Reading: Primary (grades K-2): http://www.turtlediary.com/kids-stories.html Intermediate (grades 3-5): http://www.highlightskids.com As always, you are the greatest educator your child can have. Take the time each night to discuss what your child is learning in school and find a way to practice it at home!

Title I News

by Mrs. Brack • [email protected] and Ms. Dorgan • [email protected]

Simple Yet Powerful Things to Do While Reading Aloud To get the most out of shared reading, encourage your child to appreciate the pictures, and also guide their attention to the printed words. Doing so may help your child’s reading, spelling, and comprehension skills down the road. To help direct your drill’s attention to the print on a book, parents can focus on specific parts of it, including: The meaning of the print. This includes pointing out specific words within a book. For example, “Here are he penguin’s words. He says, thanks.” The organization of the book and print, which includes understanding the way pages are read, the role of the author, and print direction. The letters, which includes helping your child know that letters come in uppercase and lowercase, and helping your child learn the names of e at letter. The words, which includes helping your child recognize some written words, and match be tween spoken words and written words. For example, “Let’s point to each word as a I read it. Ready?” Parents play such an important role in growing a reader. Keeping up with information like this is a great way to make sure you are doing as much as you can to nurture all the right skills in your child. www.readingrockets.org

Physical Education

by Mr. Kreamer • [email protected] Success in school starts with a belly full of nutritious food which allow our children’s brains to focus on the curriculum being taught. This starts with a healthy breakfast containing protein and whole grains. This can be followed by a snack of fruit, vegetable (no dressing), or nuts at mid-morning. A goal for lunch and dinner should be at least three different food groups every time. These healthy habits, taught now, could lead to a lifetime of healthy eating choices. The links below provide information and suggestions for healthy snacks. http://thrivingschools.kaiserpermanente.org/wellness-resources/healthy-eating/ Here you’ll find information on healthy eating (and the importance of it). Also, how to promote healthy eating at school and how to celebrate in a healthy way. http://cspinet.org/nutritionpolicy/healthy_school_snacks.html Here’s a very comprehensive list of healthy snack suggestions for your child. Please enjoy the 2 links and talk with your child about which snacks he or she would be willing to try. Allowing choice is a great way to get buy in from your child. Thank you and happy snacking.


by Mr. Gugliotta • [email protected] As we approach the halfway point in the 2016/2017 school year, our music students are busier than ever! Our 2nd graders had quite a successful performance on November 17th. Be sure to congratulate them!  The Sycamore and Copper Ridge Band, Orchestra, and Choir students are preparing for their first concert of the school year. They are working hard and adding the final touches to their repertoire. The Winter Concert will be on December 1st at 7:00 pm in the Vail Theater of the Arts at Empire High School. Students will need to bring their instruments to school the morning of the performance for our field trip dress rehearsal. Because these students only have two concerts, it is extremely important that they are in attendance. Each student plays an important role in our ensembles! Absences will make a noticeable difference in the quality of the performance. Please do your best to ensure that they are in the theater by 6:30 pm to warm up and tune their instruments. We look forward to seeing you there! On Saturday, December 3rd (two days after the Winter Concert), the Sycamore and Copper Ridge Choir will be caroling at the annual Sycamore Pancake Breakfast! Please do your best to ensure that they are in attendance! The choir will be performing from 9:15 - 9:45 am. Students should be ready to perform by 9:00 am. The week after the Winter Concert and our pancake breakfast, our 1st grade students will be putting on a musical performance as well! “The Littlest Christmas Tree” will be taking place at Sycamore Elementary in the MPR on December 8th at 7:00 pm. These students have been working hard to learn a variety of songs, movements, and speaking parts. We hope to see you there! The following Thursday, December 13th at 6:00 PM will be our Kindergarten musical performance.

Art News!

by Ms. Roby • [email protected]

This year's theme in the art studio is TO INFINITY and BEYOND!  I am so thrilled to be continuing our projects inspired by exciting technology, space and math concepts! For our current/Upcoming projects we could use extra donations of: Hot glue sticks! (mini), Recycled "Robot parts,” Plastic lids, plastic shapes of any kind, canisters, PVC pipe scraps/joints, various hardware (washers, nuts, bolts), springs, paper towel tubes, etc., Shoe boxes and shoebox lids, Masking tape, Black Expos, Spray paint - Metallic silver, gold, gloss colors, matte black/white In the Art Studio: 5th graders are busy building their recycled robot sculptures - they look amazing so far! Students are allowed to bring their robots home to work on, they just have to remember to bring them back before their art class day.  We need parent volunteers for the 7:50-8:30 block to help spray paint and drill, and to help assemble robot parts. 4th graders are selecting shoe boxes/lids for their space city environment, and painting their ‘atmospheres’. 4th graders need a shoe box lid for their quarter 2 project! Please bring in those shoe boxes! We need parent volunteers to help spray a prime coat on our shoe boxes. 3rd graders are finishing their space explorer compositions by adding their photographs in their metallic space helmets, and adding their shaded sphere ‘planets’. 2nd graders are finishing up their space rocket reliefs! We need parent volunteers for the 11:50-12:30 block to help assemble components we created for our lunar landing sculptures. 1st graders are finishing their mixed media space scenes. Classes that are finished will create oil resist winter trees! We need parent volunteers for the 12:40-1:20 block to help assemble space mobiles.


by Mrs. Tankersley • [email protected]

S.U.M.S. Happenings

SUMS December Challenge:

First Grade: Will practice adding and subtracting and working to design a house.

The SUMS challenge will be to build a catapult. I would like to have the students use the Design Engineering Process to make a catapult that will launch a goldfish, or similar cracker two feet. They will need to create a plan and draw it out. I would like to see their plan as well. If you can also take a picture or video of the and send that in, that would be great!

Second Grade: Will be learning about recycling and working to design a house.

This will be due when we return from break on December 16th.

This month in SUMS we are focusing on different grade level activities and projects. Each grade level will be working on something that they have learned, or will be learning about in their classrooms. They will work cooperatively with their group to complete their activity from start to finish.

Have fun and good luck!

Third Grade: Will be practicing scientific notation and designing houses. Fourth Grade: Will be researching and conducting an experiment on candy and it’s chemical reactions. Fifth Grade: Will be researching architecture, and determining what shapes are most effective for designing buildings. Have a wonderful December!!

Materials Needed The SUMS room is in need of some materials: Classroom Materials: black low-odor Expo markers, gallon ziplock bags, and treasure box prizes Recycled Materials: paper towel tubes, and rinsed out plastic water bottles

Rachel Tankersley SUMS Teacher

4th & 5th Scientific Process/Fair: **Be sure to bring in your journal with all information that is due for each due date. December 6- Journal Check #1 Bring in your journal to show your teacher what progress you have made on your project :) Here are some websites the kids can go to for information: www.sciencebuddies.org www.sarsef.org www.sciencenewsforkids.org http://school.discoveryeducation.com/sciencefaircentral/GettingStarted.html

1BODBLF#SFBLGBTU$SBGU'BJS Join Us! Saturday, Dec 3 7:30-11am Sycamore Elementary 4 DIFEVMFPG&WFOUT



Many local craft vendors Scholastic Book Fair Photos with Santa ($2) Performances by clubs and local businesses: Sycamore Choir Sycamore Sign Language Club Sycamo AKKA Karate Danzone Dance Force-1


$4 a breakfast plate includes: pancakes, sausage, fruit & choice of milk, juice or coffee; Additional milk, juice or coffee co $1. Bottled water or Hot Chocolate: $1

Is there someone special at Sycamore whom you think deserves some extra recognition? Has someone made an impact in your child’s life that you would like to recognize? Know a hard working volunteer whom you always see at school events? Head over to vailprideday.org to nominate one of the many hard workers you come into contact with at Sycamore.  Please take a few minutes to write a couple of sentences about someone who you feel deserves recognition for all they do.


Vail School District Lunch Menu

BRUNCH FOR LUNCH 1. Pancakes & Sausage 2. BBQ Riblet on WW Bun 3. Turkey & Cheese Wrap Sides: Carrot Coins Fresh Fruit

1. Italian Pepperoni Pizza Home-Style Cheese Pizza 2. Grilled Turkey & Cheese 3. Italian Sub on WW Bun Sides: Steamed Broccoli Chilled Fruit

Low-Fat White, Non-Fat Chocolate or Non-Fat White Milk offered Daily

1. Italian Pepperoni Pizza Home-Style Cheese Pizza 2. Chicken Corn Dog 3. Sun Butter & Jelly Sandwich w/Cheese Stick Sides: Potato Wedges Chilled Fruit

1. Spaghetti & Meatballs 2. Chicken Nuggets w/Roll 3. Buffalo Chicken Wrap Sides: Green Beans Fresh Fruit

1. Fiesta Chicken Nachos 2. Chicken Parmesan Sandwich 3. Chicken Caesar Salad w/Roll Sides: Mexican Style Beans Fresh Fruit

1. Chicken & Waffles 2. Grilled Cheeseburger on WW Bun 3. American Sub on WW Bun Sides: Carrots Coins Fresh Fruit

1. Italian Pepperoni Pizza Home-Style Cheese Pizza 2. Chicken Patty Sandwich 3. Turkey & Cheese Wrap Sides: Steamed Broccoli Chilled Fruit


1. Cheese Enchiladas 2. Old Fashion Hot Dog 3. Yogurt, String Cheese & Graham Crackers Sides: Refried Beans Chilled Fruit

1. Italian Pepperoni Pizza Home-Style Cheese Pizza 2. Chicken Patty Sandwich 3. Turkey & Cheese Sub Sides: Potato Wedges Fresh Fruit

1. Fish Sticks w/Mac & Cheese 2. Chicken Corn Dog 3. Chef Salad w/Roll Sides: Green Beans Fresh Fruit

BRUNCH FOR LUNCH 1. Pancakes & Sausage 2. Cheese Quesadilla 3. Italian Sub on WW Bun Sides: Carrot Coins Fresh Fruit


1. WG Chicken Nuggets w/Roll 2. Grilled Cheeseburger 3. Yogurt, String Cheese & Graham Crackers Sides: Mashed Potatoes w/Gravy Chilled Fruit

1. Rotini w/Meat Sauce 2. Chicken Patty Sandwich 3. Crispy Chicken Wrap Sides: Steamed Broccoli Fresh Fruit

1/2 DAY MENU 1. Chicken Corn Dog 2. Sun Butter & Jelly Sandwich w/String Cheese Sides: Carrot Sticks Fresh Fruit


3rd Pancake Breakfast and Craft Fair
 7:30 AM - 11:00 AM 8th
 1st Grade Music Performance
 7:00 PM - MPR
 9th Sycamore Spelling Bee 8:00 AM - MPR 12th - 16th Penguin Patch Holiday Shoppe 13th
 Kindergarten Music Performance
 6:00 PM - MPR 21st
 Half Day
 School will dismiss at 11:45 AM December 22nd - January 3rd
 No School - Winter Break

Menu Subject to Change Without Notice


1. Italian Pepperoni Pizza Home-Style Cheese Pizza 2. Grilled Cheeseburger on WW Bun 3. Buffalo Chicken Salad w/Roll Sides: Broccoli Chilled Fruit

November 28th - December 5th Book Fair!
 Media Center 
 Winter Band Concert 7:00 - VTOTA