C11 Super Citizen Schedule for 2012-2013
|Lexia Reading||Children Progress|
|AR Home Connect|
Welcome to Fifth Grade, G-31! My name is Nancy Ta and I am very excited to be your child’s teacher. As your child’s teacher, I will promote a positive, motivating, and productive learning environment. My goal is to help your child build his/her creative thinking, problem solving, and collaboration skills.
I was a former student teacher and long-term substitute teacher at Graystone so I am very happy to be back! I was born and raised in San Jose. Before I became a teacher, I worked in afterschool programs for the Boys and Girls Club of Silicon Valley and Girls Scouts of Santa Clara. In addition, I was a behavior therapist for children with autism. After receiving my teaching credential from SJSU, I taught at schools in the San Jose Unified and Los Altos District.
Back to School Night will be on Tuesday, August 27th. This event will offer more information about the classroom.
I look forward to working with you and your child during this exciting school year!
Welcome Room E-19 Families!
I would like to start off by saying how excited I am to be teaching here at Graystone Elementary! I am looking forward to working with each and every one of your children this coming school year and couldn’t be happier about it.
I thought that a good way for you to get to know me a bit better is to begin by telling you more about myself. I grew up here in San Jose and attended elementary school in the Oak Grove School District and high school at Santa Teresa. After falling in love with teaching through a community service Scholarship Foundation program, I attended San Jose State University. There, I earned my Bachelors degree in Child and Adolescent Development as well as my Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction and my California Teaching Credential. Go Spartans!
In the past I have worked with students ranging in age from three years to sixteen years in both academic (teaching/ tutoring) and nonacademic (coaching cheerleading and gymnastics) settings. I also taught Kindergarten at a local private school.
After working with students for so many years I am more convinced than ever that teaching is my passion. I absolutely love what I do and put forth my best each and every day. I believe that when we become teachers we assume the role of “professional learner” and I look forward to learning with your son or daughter throughout this school year. While making learning in the classroom accessible and enjoyable for each individual student, I hope to help students reach his or her potential on a daily basis.
At the beginning of each month I will send home a parent letter. In it I will cover our current units of study, upcoming events, and other important information regarding the classroom and school. Notes and schoolwork papers will be sent home on Fridays in a white envelope. A purple, plastic folder will be brought back and forth to school each day beginning Friday, August 16th. Please check this folder daily for notes and homework. I ask that each child have a backpack (no rolling ones, please, too bulky to store in the classroom) to carry items to and from school daily. Please label all removable clothing, backpacks, lunch boxes, books, etc.
The school day begins at 8:40 a.m. Please have your child in line on the black top, next to the playground equipment areas, by 8:35 a.m. Instruction begins immediately and being tardy can be disruptive to the class and upsetting to your child. The children are dismissed from the classroom at 2:45 p.m. (early dismissal on Tuesday, 1:03 p.m.) Please wait outside the classroom door for your child if you are picking him/her up at the room. Or make sure he/she understands the area in which you are going to meet (i.e. carpool area).
The morning recess is at 10:00 a.m. If your child would like to bring a snack they will be eating it at this time on the silver picnic tables. (Please make sure that a healthy snack is sent to school)! With the warm summer days still here I encourage the children to bring a water bottle to school that can be kept in their backpack at their desk and sipped on throughout the day.
Thank you and I look forward to working with you and your children this year!
Miss Rebecca Tucker
Dear Graystone Community Members,
Given the limited amount of time at Back to School Night, I felt that it was important to communicate with you additional information regarding the Common Core State Standards. I know that your child’s teacher may have addressed the topics below in their presentations, however I wanted to provide a complete and succinct update to support what was shared.
What are the Common Core Standards?
The new Common Core Standards have been adopted by a majority of states across the nation. The English Language Arts standards encompass reading, writing, speaking and listening, as well as language. The shift for ELA is an emphasis on non-fiction reading, text complexity, and using text evidence to support reasoning. Writing will include many different genres - opinion, narrative, research, and other explanatory options.
In mathematics we will be focusing on the eight mathematical practices that are the same for all grades K-12, however what we ask of students within these practices goes deeper as they progress through the years. We will be requiring students to “explain their thinking” using strong academic vocabulary. Instructionally, the shifts are Focus, Coherence, and Rigor. By having critical areas of focus for each grade level, students are able to master fewer concepts and skills on a deeper level, thus laying the conceptual foundation for long-term math understanding & application.
• K-2nd is addition and subtraction with fluency and conceptual understanding of whole numbers and measurement.
• 3rd-5th focus is multiplication and division of whole numbers and factions.
Coherence requires students and teachers to link major math topics across grades, as well as to see math as a set of related ideas within each grade level. Rigor is expected - not harder work, but the depth of what is expected. There is a balance between deep conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, as well as the application of skills in problem solving situations.
Graystone is excited to embark on this journey that includes collaboration, preparation for college and career as well as making sure students are acquiring relevant, real world skills.
Common Core Curriculum / Resources
Teachers from every school in the district, along with the members of the district’s Curriculum & Instruction Department, have developed a scope and sequence for each grade level in Language Arts and Math. The scope and sequence can be seen as a “road map” of units for teachers to use through the year, aligning the standards with foundational skills, essential questions, and current classroom resources that can be used when teaching the units. This is the “curriculum” that is used in the classroom for teaching standards. Knowing that our collective goal is to always reflect on and improve instruction, teachers, administrators, instructional coaches and curriculum managers will meet throughout the year to discuss, revise and continually improve the scope and sequence. Curriculum that is developed in our district, tailored to meet the needs of our students, is the best resource we can provide for our schools.
As you can imagine, school curriculum resources (textbooks, workbooks, reading material, worksheets, etc.) are big business. When the Common Core standards were rolled out, many publishers added “Common Core” to their titles, made minimum changes to content, and put it on the market. As education professionals, our Curriculum & Instruction Department needs to be critical consumers of curricular resources, especially when purchasing them for 32,000 students. Therefore, SJUSD is taking time to review, compare and select the best possible resources to provide for its’ students. Time is also needed to ensure these resources are aligned to measures of assessment, which at this time are still being determined at the state and district level. Current classroom resources can and will continue to be used to deliver Common Core instruction, and additional resources will be added to every classroom by the district as they are identified as the best possible additions for our students.
With changing standards comes a change in the means of measurement for student performance. This is a piece of the Common Core “puzzle” that is still being put into place. Assessments aligned to the new standards are currently being piloted within the district, and further details will be shared as decisions are made. At this time, we know that students will take the CST test during the 2013-2014 school year. Teachers will be using formative classroom assessment (tests, observation) and information from adaptive technologies (Lexia, Dreambox, CPAA), as they always have, to assess student progress throughout the year.
The 2013-2014 report cards for SJUSD reflect the Common Core State Standards. Grades during each trimester will only reflect standards that have been taught. Representatives from the Elementary Curriculum and Instruction department will be hosting a parent meeting on Wednesday, September 18th from 4:30-6:30 to explain the new report card. I invite and encourage you to attend this meeting to gain a complete understanding on the new report card.
Professional Development for Teachers
The Graystone staff dedicated time last school year to explore the standards and the associated instructional shifts in preparation for the transition to full Common Core implementation, which will take place over the next two school years. Two of our teachers, Gretchen Jung and Michelle Gates, participated in a pilot program to plan and implement the Common Core. This year, all of our staff participated in a two-day training, on which the SJUSD scope and sequence was explored in depth.
Throughout the year, we will collaborate as a staff in planning, preparing and implementing the Common Core standards. Weekly meetings will be used to discuss, reflect, revise, and adjust instruction in the classroom. Multiple teachers from our staff will represent Graystone in monthly Common Core professional development sessions led by the Curriculum & Instruction Department, not only providing our site’s feedback and insight, but also to bring strategies and best practices back to our site to share.
The implementation of Common Core Standards will be a gradual transition, taking into consideration best practices and what is best for our students. This will be a year of thorough and thoughtful learning, planning and implementation for the staff of Graystone. For additional parent resources, please visit the following web pages:
Have a GREAT Graystone week!
Please find the following SJUSD report card descriptor pages, which provide detailed information on the Common Core standards in English Language Arts:
This is my 15th year as an elementary school teacher. I graduated from San Diego State with a B.A. in Education (Liberal Studies), and a specialization in Child & Family Development. I completed my teaching credential immediately after graduation. Over the years, I have taught 1st-4th grade and worked with a wide range of teachers. I’ve been fortunate enough to pick up many great examples and teaching strategies over the last fifteen+ years. I am very familiar with the standards/expectations at each grade level, and will make sure your child gets everything they need to have a successful year! I am very familiar with the 3rd & 4th grade curriculum. We will be sure your child is challenged throughout the year and prepped with the skills to excel in the following grade.
Mrs. Huerta and I look forward to our year together with your child. Our main goal is to teach your child to be an independent, lifelong learner. To reach this goal, we will take your child from where he/she is at and guide him/her as far as possible, planning very carefully so that your child can feel challenged without unnecessary frustration.
Again, we are absolutely thrilled to have your child in our class and hope that together we can make this a positive and worthwhile experience! Our sole purpose is to be here for your child and meet their individual needs as best we can! We look forward to meeting all of you soon!
Happy Back to School!
Erika Huerta & Amy Schwender
Welcome to fourth grade in A3! My aim this year will be to provide a safe learning environment that enables development of academic skills, social skills, and helps build self-efficacy in students. This year, as we learn new concepts, we will also focus on building self-regulation skills to be independent lifelong learners. We will cover a vast curriculum using a variety of instructional strategies and several learning experiences to make learning fun.
Last year, I taught fourth grade at Graystone in room E18. Previously, I worked as a substitute teacher and as a parent volunteer in the Almaden Valley schools. I have a Masters degree in Education (Curriculum and Instruction) and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential (San Jose State University).
I am looking forward to collaborating with you to facilitate your child’s journey through fourth grade.
408 535 6317
Welcome to 5th grade in A4! This will be a fantastic year for your student and you. 5th grade builds upon the essential standards and skills taught over previous years. Expectations are high for all students, with the intent that students come to school each day striving for their personal best.
I am excited to continue working with the Graystone community in my ninth year with San Jose Unified, and eleventh year in teaching. My appreciation and passion for teaching is long running. Both my parents are educators, as are numerous family members. I am a Bay Area native, growing up and attending schools in Los Gatos, receiving my BA from UC Santa Cruz, multiple subject teaching credential from Santa Clara University, and MA from National University.
Through exploration, collaboration, and creative thinking, together we will create an amazing learning environment. I thoroughly look forward to working with you this year!
I am a native Californian, born in Fresno and moved to San Jose in the 80’s for my teaching credential and my Masters degree at San Jose State. I fell in love with the city and never left.
One day I ventured into the small enclave called Almaden Valley. I adored the area so much that I began searching the neighborhood until I found the perfect little cottage I could call my own. That was over 13 years ago. It is a great place to raise a family.
When I was little, I loved books. I’m older now, but I still love books. My Kindle’s archive contains over 1000 books so far and still rising. One of the awesome things about being a teacher is that I get to share books with children. I also get to help them love to learn too. I love teaching all parts of the curriculum. However, I do have a soft spot for science, social studies, and history. Most of my 19 years with San Jose Unified were spent in the lower grades, especially Kindergarten and 3rd grade.
Away from school, I love spending time with my husband and tween son, taking care of our pets, reading, shopping, chit-chatting at Starbuck’s and going to the spa. As a family, we like traveling, camping, outdoor activities, the beach, the mountains, dining out and movies.
AR Book finder
Link to Edmodo
Using his/her Computer Username and Password, students have access to the math and science textbooks online.(Important note: Students must add an “s” in front of their normal student password for Pearson.)
|Kindergarten||1st Grade||2nd Grade|
|Gates, Michelle||Jeong, Lori/Barnett, Elizabeth||Fenn, Tammy|
|Jung, Gretchen||Marino, Liz||Huerta, Erika/Schwender, Amy|
|Leonard, Meredith||Tucker, Rebecca||Tate, Nancy|
|3rd Grade||4th Grade||5th Grade|
|Cho, Sue||Bal, Harveen||Knoblaugh, Chris|
|Fleischer, Pat||McCullough, Leslie||McCullough, Leslie|
|Holloway, Katie||Medlin, Allison||Pongratz, Andrea|
|Pabilona, Kathy||Pabilona, Kathy||Subramaniam, Malini|
|Polizzotto, Jennifer||Olver, Suzanne||Ta, Nancy|
Please refer to the San Jose Unified School District First Grade Level Academic Standards to know what is expected of your child by the end of first grade. The grading rubric, as shown on the District Report Card is:
1—Below Grade Level Standard
2—Approaching Grade Level Standard
3—At Grade Level Standard
Daily work and Homework is graded on the following grading scale:
Student followed directions, work is neat, and has no mistakes.
Student has one or two mistakes; most of the work is neat.
Student did not do his/her best work, has many mistakes, and work is messy.
Purple Take Home Folders
Please have your child bring this to school DAILY. There are times when notices need to go home throughout the week, so it’s important that folders are at school. Homework will be sent home on Mondays and need to be returned in your child’s purple folder on Fridays.
We had a great field trip to Mission Santa Clara on Wednesday. The weather cooperated and we missed all the rain. The students were well-behaved and I think we learned a lot about the settling of this area by the Franciscan fathers and the original settlements and culture of the Ohlone Indians. Today, your student brought home a permission slip for a surprise field trip! We were invited to attend a symphony/taiko performance on March 22—including free busses! We applied, were accepted, and will travel on Thursday, March 22 to downtown San Jose for the morning concert. One critical piece of information: We must leave school at 8:15 a.m., so students should arrive at school around 8 a.m. that day. Our quota for chaperones is very limited, and I think I have the parents I need, so no worries about that. We will return to school in time for lunch.
Have your student return the terrarium made in science lab on Friday or Monday so we can install a new plant for Trial 2. This truly is becoming a science experiment!
Friday, March 2 we will be attending the rehearsal of “Cinderella” in the SuperDome and so library times will be cancelled for this week. If our library moms could come in and check our books back in, that would be helpful. Our new AR period started this week. We’ll be doing a new STAR reading test and getting new goals in the next few days. In all, 25 students earned 100 percent of their goals, so we will be enjoying pizza next Tuesday for lunch!
Science lab on Monday, March 5—one you won’t want to miss: Earth worms! One of my favorite labs!
Have you noticed the beautiful new landscaping in the front of the school? We are preparing for the upcoming visit from the committee determining our status as a California Distinguished School. Parents are helping us put our best foot forward! We’re excited to share all that makes Graystone great with these visitors.
I will be posting homework assignments on this website from now on, in case your student forgets to write information in the planner. I’m still learning the ins and outs of this site, but will keep you posted on what’s available via email as it unfolds.
See you at school!
Over the course of the year, I will update this page with helpful websites.
Using his/her AR user id and password, students have access to the math and science textbooks:
AR Book finder
No long term projects at this time
5th Grade Teacher
Phone: (408) 535-6317
Best way to contact me is email.
Best way to contact is via email. I check email occasionally during the day, and will get back to you within 24 hours.
Mrs. Huerta teaches every Mon & Tues, and every other Wed,
Mrs. Schwender teacher every Thurs & Fri, and every other Wed
4th Grade Teacher, A-3
Fifth Grade Teacher
Read 30 mins.
Read 30 mins.
Read 30 mins.
©2013 Graystone Elementary|6982 Shearwater Drive|San Jose, CA 95120|408-535-6317
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The San Jose Unified School District does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, ethnic group identification, race,ancestry, national origin, religion, color, or mental or physical disability in its educational programs and activities or employment practices as required byAmericans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Section 504 or the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Vocational Education Act of 1976. The lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in the District’s programs. Students, parents, employees, or others who wish further information about these regulations, or whom wish to file a complaint, should contact the following persons: Director of Student Services, Dane Caldwell-Holden (408) 535-6080 ext. 13212 The District’s 504 Coordinator, Delphia Edwards (408) 535-6195 ext. 13229