Thomas Jefferson School

151 Helen St. Binghamton, NY 13905

www.binghamtonschools.org T: 607-763-8430

Welcome to the Winter edition of our TJ Happenings Newsletter! It is hard to believe that we have officially started the second semester of the school year already. As always, there are many events going on that keep us all busy and learning new and exciting things. Please read on to see for yourself what makes TJ such a great school!

Binghamton's Mayor David has many important appointments and meetings during the course of a day. But on Friday, January 8th, his important morning meeting was not at City Hall or with officials from Albany. Mayor David came to Jefferson School to let the students know that he is their mayor too!He met with the fifth grade students for a question and answer hour to find out from these young citizens of Binghamtontheir questions and concerns.Prior to their meeting, the students spent time in their classrooms, discussing their thoughts. They wrote their questions on index cards andbrought them to the meeting. Mayor David listened intently as the boys and girls asked him what was on their minds.
Some questions were about the amount of time that the job of mayor entails and how much time he is away from his family. There were some questions about the time and expense of his campaign. When the students asked if he had any regrets about running for the position of mayor, his answer was a resounding, "No!" Thanks Mayor David for coming to visit the students at Jefferson School and for all that you do for Binghamton!


TJ Students Share Their Knowledge and Talents

Students in Mrs. Chilson’s Kindergarten class were happy to be an attentive audience when students from Lori Fisher’s Class paid a visit to teach them about their diorama project. Nice work, Boys! Thanks for sharing!

February TJ Library Lines 2016

Mrs. Pierce has issued the Caldecott/Newbery Challenge! Students in grades 3-5 are encouraged to read at least 10 Caldecott Award picture books and 2 Newbery Honor chapter books before they graduate 5th grade. We would like our students to be well read, and therefore, well-educated. This challenge will go a long way towards reaching those goals.

The 2016 Award Winners are, Newbery: Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Pena, and Caldecott: Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear by Lindsay Mattick. For a complete list of Caldecott Medal Award Winners from 1938 to the present, go to: http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/caldecottmedal/caldecotthonors/caldecottmedal For a complete list of Newbery Medal Award Winners from 1922 to the present, go to: http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/newberymedal/newberyhonors/newberymedal Perhaps you will see some of your old favorites!

Ask your K-3 children to recite “I Love You,” a delightful Valentine’s Day poem! Or, the “Martin Luther King Rap.” Older students are memorizing “Underneath We’re All the Same,” by Amy Maddox. Jefferson Library students have committed a wealth of poetry to memory that will stay with them throughout their school days and beyond.

…. and speaking of Library…. Congratulations Mrs. Pierce!!!

BCSD Librarian Lonna Pierce Named as American Graduate Champion
As a librarian with the Binghamton City School District Lonna Pierce is dedicated to literary education. Not only does she instill a love of reading to students in MacArthur and Thomas Jefferson Elementary Schools, she is also the founder of the Eleanor Henricks County Wide Poetry Recitation for Children. Pierce has also been a long-time volunteer with WSKG’s PBS KIDS Writer’s Contest and was just nominated to receive the distinction of American Graduate Champion. Watch the story on WBNG and WICZ.

100 Days of School…Already??? As amazing as it seems, the 2015-2016 school year is just over 100 days old! On February 18th, students in kindergarten and first grade celebrated the occasion with fun activities such as making t-shirts and crowns to wear, writing 100 words, counting out 100 trail mix snacks and reading the book, “100 Day Worries”. That makes 100 days down and 80 to go!

Congratulations Band, Chorus & Orchestra Students!!

If you happened to be fortunate enough to attend the Jefferson Winter Concert on January 28th at West Middle School auditorium, you were treated to such beginner’s classics as Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, Hot Cross Buns & Lightly Row. Some of the performers have only been playing their instruments since late September. For many students, this was their first time (with hopefully many more to come) on the stage. Students in band played duets and trios as well as full ensemble pieces. Last to perform were the Primary and Intermediate Choruses who sang a musical about Pirates. Those “mateys” sure aaaaarrre great singers! (Pun intended!) Please plan on joining us for the Jefferson Spring Concert on May 11th at 6 PM . This concert will take place (if Mother Nature cooperates) as our 3rd annual outdoor concert on the TJ playground “stage” just outside of the cafeteria. Mark your calendars now so you don’t miss this rockin’ event!

Grade 3 Champion Spellers for February

One of the many fun activities that take place in third grade, are the spelling bees. Students participate in themed contests. This most recent event had a Valentine theme. Congratulations going out to Caja McKnight and Colin McGovern for their hard work and preparation!

2nd Quarter Attendance Luncheon Jefferson students who had All-Star attendance for the second quarter of the school year were treated to a special lunch on Feb. 18th Students celebrated with their own private lunch time complete with tablecloths and decorations! They enjoyed chicken McNuggets, French fries and apple slices and a special toy courtesy of McDonalds! Each student also received a certificate to recognize them for their perfect attendance! Way to go TJ All-Stars!

News from Madame Wetsig…. French at Jefferson

This month in third grade we have continued to learn vocabulary for feelings, the alphabet, months, and numbers. Fourth grade has been learning vocabulary for school places, subjects, and classroom objects. We have started to learn how to say we like or don’t like something. Fifth graders are learning weather expressions. Parents often express concern that their students are not speaking the language much. It is important to remember that there is only instruction for thirty minutes once every six days. Here are some suggestions for getting your student to share their French with you;

• Ask him/her a specific question such as “What new words did you learn in French today?”

• Ask him/her to teach you a song that we did in class.

• Teach me how to answer the question “How are you?”

• Teach me to count in French.

Many of our songs and activities are also posted on my website at http://www.binghamtonschools.org/westig1.aspx if you’d like to experience some of our activities. The following information comes from Middlebury Interactive Languages and is research that supports World Language instruction in the elementary school. We are very fortunate in the Binghamton City Schools to offer this program and I ask that you show your support on the Budget Survey found on the district’s web page.

Elementary World Language Instruction Learning a second language at an early age has many benefits, research shows—yet only 25 percent of U.S. elementary schools have world language programs currently. Research shows that learning a second language at a young age has measurable cognitive benefits that correlate with higher achievement in other subjects as well. Here’s a look at some of this research. There is evidence that early language learning improves cognitive abilities.

• Foster, K. M., & Reeves, C. K. (1989). “Foreign Language in the Elementary School (FLES) improves cognitive skills.” FLES News, 2(3), 4. This study looked at the relationship between elementary foreign language instruction and scores on tests designed to measure cognitive and metacognitive processes. The study included 67 sixth-grade students who were divided into four groups that differed by lengths of time in the foreign language program, including a control group who had no French instruction. The analysis found that students who had received foreign language instruction scored higher on tasks involving evaluation, which is the highest cognitive skill according to Bloom’s taxonomy—and the students who had studied French the longest performed the best. Language learning correlates with higher academic achievement on standardized tests.

• Armstrong, P. W., & Rogers, J. D. (1997). “Basic skills revisited: The effects of foreign language instruction on reading, math, and language arts.” Learning Languages, 2(3), 20-31. Third grade students were randomly assigned to receive 30-minute Spanish lessons three times a week for one semester. Students in the Spanish classes scored significantly higher than the group that did not receive Spanish instruction in math and language on the Metropolitan Achievement Test (MAT); there was no significant difference in reading scores.

• Rafferty, E. A. (1986). Second language study and basic skills in Louisiana. U.S.; Louisiana, from ERIC database. A statewide study in Louisiana revealed that third, fourth, and fifth graders who participated in 30-minute elementary school foreign language programs in the public schools showed significantly higher scores on the 1985 Basic Skills Language Arts Test than did a similar group that did not study a foreign language. Further, by fifth grade, the math scores of language students were also higher than those of students not studying a foreign language. Both groups were matched for race, sex, and grade level, and the academic levels of students in both groups were estimated by their previous Basic Skills Test results and statistically equated. (Source: www.actfl.org)

Bonne Année! Madame Wetsig

Brutus Makes a Surprise Visit!

On Friday Feb. 19th Jefferson students had a new local celebrity stop in for a surprise visit during lunch time! Brutus, the new mascot for the Binghamton Senators will be joining Max to help the local hockey fans cheer on the home team! Brutus got right into the fun of Friday lunch time at TJ, singing along with the great tunes that were playing in the cafeteria. He also was a great help to Ms. Basso and the lunch room aides by handing out sporks and napkins to the students as they went through the lunch line. Make sure you look for Brutus at the Senators games and give him a warm Binghamton welcome! Thanks for stopping in Brutus! We enjoyed having you visit TJ. Come back anytime!

…And speaking of lunch… Being a new student in a school can be a bit intimidating, so here at Jefferson school we like to make our new friends feel welcome and at ease. What better way to say “we are glad you are here” than a pizza party! So, on Jan. 14, Thomas Jefferson Elementary School held a New Student Luncheon for exactly 50 students who have joined our TJ All-Stars so far this school year. Students were treated to pizza, while members of the TJ Olweus Committee reviewed our school’s anti-bullying rules. This is just one way that we continue to reinforce our building’s strong sense of school belongingness! Another new student luncheon will be planned for any new students that join our school in the spring. At TJ we like to think of our school community as an extension of the family! Welcome to all of our new friends. We wish you lots of happy times here!

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