The Eagle Express
University Park Elementary
October 7, 2009
Principal’s Corner: It is hard to believe that it’s October already! September flew by! Everyone has gotten into a comfortable groove, and I have enjoyed all of the outstanding lessons I’ve been seeing!
Our ESOL teachers would like to start a Books-on-Tape program for our ESOL students! They have books that have been tape recorded which they would like to lend out to their groups, in the hope that this would help them learn English faster! The only thing they are missing are small tape recorders that can be plugged in. If you have any tape recorders you are not using (or you would like to donate one), please send them in to Ms. Slaninka. Thank you!!
Breakfast begins at 7:30 and ends at 8:00 a.m. Our goal is to get our students into instruction as quickly as possible. If your child would like to eat breakfast, please have them come to the cafeteria between those two times.
Congratulations to Phebe Simpson for being the winner of the t-shirt design contest, featuring our new slogan! Mr. Fominaya is in the process of ordering our new t-shirts, and Phebe gets one for free! Congrats also to Maria K. and Vivian Z. – their designs placed them in the top three! I appreciate all of the students who turned in an entry!
Way to go! Caroline A., Harper M., Maria C., and Sharada W. made it into the Middle School Honors Chorus! Nelson L., and Olivia M. made it into the Elementary Honors Chorus! We are very proud of you!
Flu season is right around the corner. The best prevention is washing hands frequently, either with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub. If your child has a fever, please have them stay at home until the fever has been gone for 24 hours. We are working on flu-prevention (especially the H1N1 Virus) right here at school. All bathrooms are supplied with soap and paper towels. Door knobs, panic bars, sinks and water fountains will be disinfected daily. Mats, toys, and inanimate objects will be disinfected daily and/or between usage. An isolation area will be identified for students with flu-like symptoms. Identified staff members will monitor the students until they can be picked up from school. Children will wash their hands or use an alcohol based rub during the day and right before lunch. The Center for Disease Control is no longer suggesting that schools close down if someone contracts the H1N1 virus. With these precautions in place, we are working towards a healthy Fall and Winter! I will let you know if we are able to provide the FluMist vaccine to our students as soon as I hear definite information.
Absences and Tardies: Please remember to call and let us know if your child will not be in school. We would also appreciate you sending in a note when your child comes back. Otherwise, the absence will be unexcused. Excessive tardies and absences affect your child’s grades. Please let us know if there is an issue. Our Pupil Personnel Worker (PPW), Donna Nelms, will contact you if frequent tardies and/or absences continue.
Interim Progress Reports will be sent home on October 6th. The progress reports are a wonderful tool to determine how your child is doing, with time still left to improve any low grades before the report cards come out. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher.
There are many exciting activities coming up! On Wednesday, October 7th, the entire school will be attending our Hispanic Heritage Assembly! This has been planned by our parent liaison, Hilma Chavez, and Libia Martinez, whose dance troupe will be performing! We will all sing a Spanish song with Mr. Fominaya, and students will be sharing facts about Latin countries. Mr. Springer has been working on Hispanic Cultural art to display. It will be a great show!
One of our parents, Ellen O'Neill, is organizing a Walk for the Homeless as part of our Halloween parade. She will be presenting an assembly on Friday, October 9th, where she'll explain what homelessness means. She's planning to bring some people who have been homeless in their past to talk to the kids. They'll explain what it was like in an age-appropriate way. Ellen will also share how even kids can do something to help. You’ll be receiving a letter asking for a donation for the homeless. If you choose to give, your child will receive a t-shirt, which he/she can choose to wear for the parade/walk on Oct. 29th at noon. I think this will be a very meaningful event which will teach our children that everyone can make a difference, even in a small way.
October 12th is “Men Make a Difference Day!” We are hoping that all of the important men in our students’ lives will have the chance to stop by, enjoy a snack, and visit their child’s classroom to see them in action! The PTA will be starting their Scholastic Book Fair, and we will have an assembly that day as well, by the Interactive Performing Arts Grant.
A huge thank you to Herman Brown (Keyla and Leyla’s dad) for donating gorgeous, blue, comfortable office chairs to our school from his business!! Many thanks also to Becky and Andrew Widman for weeding our front garden! A former parent also stopped by to help them with a weed wacker, saying that he loved the school a great deal and was glad to help out! Staff members also caught one of our previous mayors, John Brunner, painting a picnic table and spraying for weeds! What a great community!!
Instrumental Music News: Four of our University Park students made it into the PGCPS instrumental honors groups. There were over two hundred students that auditioned and only sixty made it into the groups. They will be performing in a concert at Northwestern High School on Monday November 2 at 7 PM. Please congratulate the following students:
Chitra Pratap - Flute
Michaela Bamfo - Viola
Clio Jansen - Violin
Madeline Wonneberger - Cello
Also, if anyone has a band or string instrument just laying around the house that's not being used, UPES could sure use it! We always have students who are not able to rent instruments for one reason or another, and having extras here at school really helps everyone out. As long as it is in working order, we will gladly accept instrument donations. You can even write it off on your taxes!
The Gazette newspaper is holding a "My Favorite Teacher Contest". The contest is open to students currently enrolled in grades k-12. The teacher nominated can be their current or former teacher, but they must still be employed as a teacher. (ie. A third grader could nominate Ms. Duffy but not Ms. Cromes because she is retired.) Wouldn't it be great if one of our teachers was recognized through this contest? Please read the complete details at the Gazette Newspaper site and consider encouraging your child to enter his/her favorite teacher at UPES. http://www.gazette.net/teacher/teacher_entry.shtml?county=PG
You can make a difference…
Prince George's County Public Schools is seeking highly motivated individuals who have a Bachelor’s Degree to enter our teacher training program. Are you a high-achieving, caring professional with a bachelor’s degree interested in pursuing a career where you will impact the future? If so, consider becoming a certified teacher through the Resident Teacher Program of the Prince George’s County Public Schools. This Alternative Teacher Preparation Program is approved by the Maryland State Department of Education. There is no cost to you! Our students would benefit from individuals who have a degree in Spanish or speak Spanish.
Please visit our website to learn more about this dynamic program: residentteacherprogram.org.
We will have Information Sessions on the following dates:
Thursday, October 22, 2009 6:00 PM Langley Park-McCormick Elementary School
8201 15th Ave. Hyattsville, Md. 20783
Tuesday, October 27, 2008 6:00 PM Kenmoor Middle School
2500 Kenmoor Dr. Landover, Md. 20785
Thursday, October 29, 2008 6:00 PM
James Madison Middle School
7300 Woodyard Rd. Upper Marlboro, Md. 20772
Upcoming Events: (A few have changed)
Oct. 7th – PTA After School Classes Begin
School Boundaries Meeting, Northwestern HS, 6 p.m.
Oct. 12th – Men Make a Difference Day
PTA Scholastic Book Fair Begins
Oct. 16th – No School – MSTA Convention
Oct. 20th – Fall Fest for PreK – 1st Grade (During the School Day)
Oct. 22nd – Science Fair Information Night, 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 24th – PTA Silent Auction
Oct. 27th – Individual Pictures Taken
Oct. 29th – End of 1st Quarter
Halloween Parade and Walk for the Homeless, 12 noon
Oct. 30th – No Students – Grading and Teacher Planning
Types of Articulation Errors – A Simple Guide
from our Speech/Language Pathologist, Jan Creamer
Speech sound production is a complex process that involves precise motor planning, coordination, and movement of different articulators (such as the jaw, lips, teeth, tongue, palate, cheeks, and vocal cords). Correct articulation produces clear speech. Another name for clear speech is intelligibility.
Errors in speech sound production are known as articulation errors. Articulation errors are common in children when they first learn to speak. An example of this is a toddler who says “wabbit” for “rabbit.” Most children eventually outgrow such speech errors, which are a normal part of learning to produce new sounds. (Note: Regional dialects, such as a “Boston /r/”, are not articulation errors.)
Developing speech and language skills is a difficult task. It is natural for young children to make mistakes in the process of learning to speak. Most children eventually drop errors in their speech and develop normal speech patterns. Some children continue to make errors beyond the age when other children have mastered those sounds.
It may be time to show concern if you observe one or more of the following:
1. Family members or friends have a hard time understanding your child.
2. A child demonstrates frustration because you don’t understand his/her speech.
3. Your child shows no signs of frustration when trying to communicate, but you do not understand his/her speech.
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it is the time to seek a professional’s opinion. You can direct questions about your child’s speech development to your friendly local speech-language pathologist (SLP), Janice Creamer, CCC-SLP and your child’s classroom teacher. A certified SLP administers standardized tests comparing your child’s skills to other children his/her age. These test results, in addition to other information, determine whether your child requires speech therapy.
The chart below gives general guidelines of sound mastery. The guidelines allow for the different developmental speech milestones that children experience.
90% of Children Have Mastered These Sounds...By Age
p, d, m, w, h, n 2 years old
t, b, k, g 3 years old
f, v, y 4 to 5 years old
s, z, j, l, r, sh, ch, th, blends 5 to 7 years old
When a child demonstrates articulation errors beyond those of typical development, he/she may need to see a SLP for therapy. The SLP evaluates the type of error(s) the child is making and may develop an intervention or therapy plan. In speech/language sessions, the SLP teaches the child how to make the sound. He/she shows the child how to move the articulators, what type of sound it is (a “whistly” sound versus a “stop” sound, for example), and whether to turn voice on or off.
A child can make the following articulation errors when producing speech sounds: Substitutions, Omissions, Distortions, and/or Additions. An easy way to remember these is to use the acronym SODA!
S – Substitutions. Definition: Replace one sound with another sound. Examples: “wed” for “red,” “thoap” for “soap,” “dut,” for “duck”
O – Omissions (also known as deletions.) Definition: Omit a sound in a word. Note: This error affects intelligibility the most, making speech more difficult for the listener(s) to understand. Examples: “pay the piano” for “play the piano”, “g een nake” for “green snake”
D – Distortions. Definition: Produce a sound in an unfamiliar manner. Examples: “pencil” (nasalized—sounds more like an “m”) for “pencil,” “sun” (lisped—sounds “slushy”) for “sun”
A – Additions. Definition: Insert an extra sound within a word. Examples: “buhlack horse” for “black horse,” “doguh,” for “dog”
Please feel free to contact me with questions. A little help when a child is young can go a long way to building the communication skills they need in the future.