Sunday, March 13, 2011

Roaring News

Hello Baldwin Community!

It has been two weeks since my last blog and I have so much to brag about! 

I'll begin by congratulating our fifth graders that made up the Baldwin Volleyball Team and competed on March 5th at the University of Texas against UT volleyball players. Our very own, Ms. Irma Webber, former UT volleyball player, coached the students through the three games. Our Baldwin Bobcats roared on the court! They won 2 out of 3 games! We are so proud of team!

In and around our school, through the Kindergarten wing all the way up to the fifth grade wing you will find lots of creative writing on display. One example of this great writing is in the blue and yellow wings. The kindergarteners and first graders studied and wrote about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. The students' summaries of each of these Presidents are unique and interesting. During the last part of February and into the first week of March, our third graders studied and wrote about African Americans that have made contributions to our world. This writing included some interesting facts about each of the people they studied. All of the children's work that is displayed shows great writing skills that the students have been learning and are now utilizing in their writing. 

Another example of great work that I observed the last two weeks was in a Kindergarten class. Mrs. Dorsey's Kindergarten class wrote their own "I Spy" book that focused on 2-Dimensional and 3-Dimensional shapes they have learned throughout the year. One morning I observed Mrs. Dorsey's class and Ms. Seitz's class working together using the I Spy book on the innovation station. The students were using high level math vocabulary to describe the shapes and the positions of the shapes they were locating in the book. Way to go Kindergarten! Keep up the great work!

I want to recognize Ms. LeBlanc's first grade class for singing such a beautiful song at morning assembly on March 3rd. They sang a song about George Washington that described his life and contributions. Thank you to our first graders in this class for gracing us with their beautiful voices and for teaching us all about George Washington. 

On Friday, March 4th, Baldwin hosted its' first "March Mathness" and it was a great success! Each class had parents, friends, and family members teach a 40 minute math lesson that pertained to real-world math. We had the different classes at each grade level rotate through the different grade level sessions so most grade levels were able to participate in 4-6 different hands-on math lessons. The lessons ranged from making pizzas and learning the fractional pieces of sliced pizzas, math penthatlon games, understanding different measurements for sewing, using math websites, learning how to keep your own checking account, and using measurement to know the weight of a turtle. Yes a turtle! I held a 56 pound turtle that one of our parents brought as part of his math/science lesson. I was only able to hold it for less than a minute while the teacher took a picture. What an incredible experience! The entire morning on March 4th was dedicated to these kinds "March Mathness" activities which were so much fun. I heard children, parents and teachers commenting on what a great time they had at each session and how much they had learned. They can't wait for next year's March event and neither can I! Thank you to the many volunteers that came out on that day to help us make this a great success!

This past Friday, we had another "first" at Baldwin. The second graders held their first "Market Day" and what a day it turned out to be! Each of the second grade students had to create their own product to sell at the market. This project was part of the economic unit our second graders studied. The students prepared a product and then sold their goods at the market to other Baldwin students. Some of the products I saw on that day were lava lamps, airplanes, bracelets, bookmarks, pencil toppers, hair ribbons, face painting, and key chains. Parents and volunteers came in on that day to assist the children with the selling of the product and the exchange of money. This event was such a great success that our second graders made a little over $1,700.00. I am so proud of our students because they showed so much professionalism and pride! 

When we return from spring break, we will only have nine weeks left before this school year is over. Can you believe that? I can't! This year has gone by very fast for me. 

The last nine weeks are always very busy for everyone. We will be getting ready for the TAKS tests that will be administered in April and May and for all of the memorable spring time events such as rodeo days, family fitness night, field days, and 5th grade completion ceremony. We will continue to need volunteers to help us with these events so please keep an eye out for these invitations. 

I hope you have a restful and fun spring break. I look forward to seeing everyone on March 21st. 

Roaring with Pride, 
Dr. Peña