04/29/2013 09:53 AM Posted by: PTO Poster Avatar
Where else can you perform a mash up while riding on a pony? The Gleetastic Shlenker Carnival of course! Sing (and play) your heart out on Sunday, April 28, 2013 from 11:00am-3:00pm. Your three choir directors, along with our super symphony carnival committee, will transport you to William McKinley High School. No matter if you are a singer in the show choir or a Cheerio Cheerleader, everyone will be a Gleek for the day!
The carnival is a yearly tradition of the Shlenker School that builds not only school, but community spirit. Our carnival has a gold record reputation! We want to send a huge shout out to our awesome carnival committee, the PTO Board, our corporate sponsors, family sponsors, maintenance staff, Shlenker administration and teachers, Ms. Toby, Dad's Club, and all of our many parent volunteers. 
When the curtain rises on Sunday, don't forget to have your movie camera ready and wear your carnival t-shirt. Enjoy our rides and attractions such as hamster balls, the mechanical bull, giant bowling, and, of course, SILLY STRING!!!! We also have fun games, arts & crafts projects, face painting, and the famous cup cake walk. There may also be a few surprises! Performers of all ages from preschool to 5th grade will twist and shout with glee!
At 12:15 pm we will have cheerleaders from Emery Weiner come and teach cheer motions, a dance, and a cheer. We will have pom-poms for all that want to participate!
We want to thank all of our parent volunteers in advance. Remember to arrive on time for your volunteer shift and check in at the Volunteer Booth. The Kindergarten/5th grade student activity will be at 11:30am at the train followed by the 5th grade activity at noon. 
Make sure you come inside and check out teacher experiences and raffle items. Bake bagels with Ms. Shapiro, make chocolate bars with Ms. Efron, bowl with Ms. Torian and Ms. Miller, have high tea with Ms. Kinion and Ms. Shawa...and lots more!!!
Looking forward to a grand show starring our own students, parents, friends, and neighbors! 
See ya at the carnival!
Roberta Bernstein, Lisa Cohen, and Pam Diebner

Categorized under:  Elementary EducationPreschool

04/19/2013 09:57 AM Posted by: Poster Avatar
A Message from Math and Technology Coordinator,  Lisa Sachs

Over the last six weeks in technology integration classes, our Kindergarten through fifth graders have spent time learning about internet safety.  When most people hear the topic internet safety, they assume it refers to topics such as cyberbullying and avoiding inappropriate people and topics on the internet.  As I carefully explained and discussed with each class, internet safety does encompass these very important topics, but it is also much more.  Internet safety is also about learning how to explore and use the unlimited resources that the internet offers and doing it safely!
To that end, here is a brief description of the topics that were covered in each grade.  I have also included a link to a Family Tip Sheet for each topic to provide you with more information and hints to help your kids use the internet both productively and safely.
Kindergarten — In Kindergarten, we learned that we don’t have to leave our home or school to go on a field trip.  Together, we took a virtual field trip to the San Diego Zoo.  On the zoo’s website we were able to see live webcams of pandas, elephants, and polar bears.  Through the course of our field trip we learned three key rules about the internet: 1) always ask your parent or teacher first before using the computer, 2) only talk to people you know, and 3) stick to places that are just right for you. 
First Grade — In first grade, we learned how to search for information using the alphabet and an online picture dictionary.  We collected the information we found and turned it into our own picture dictionary about animals. 
Second Grade — In second grade, we took a look at identifying and using key words to search for information on kid-friendly search engines such as Ask Kids, Yahoo! Kids, and Google SafeSearch for Kids.  We learned that the order of the key words matters too!  While searching for the answer to question, what do I feed my pet guinea pig, we learned that using the keywords “guinea pig” and “eat” we were able to find our answer.  If we reversed the words to “eat” then “guinea pig” however, we got tasty recipes for cooking guinea pigs! 
Third Grade — In third grade, we took a look at plagiarism and its consequences.  We discussed the importance of respecting others' works and how to properly give credit to someone else when we do use their work or ideas.  
Fourth Grade — In fourth grade, we took a look at cyberbullying.  We discussed empathizing with targets of cyberbullying, the similarities and differences between in-person bullying and cyberbullying, and identified strategies for dealing with cyberbullying.  
Fifth Grade — In fifth grade, we took a look at writing emails.  We examined the similarities and differences between emails and letters, the parts of an email, appropriate and inappropriate things to do when writing an email, and the importance of proof reading. 
As you can see, we covered a lot of important information about internet safety.  I hope you will take a few minutes to check out the Family Tip Sheets and follow up with your kids about these important topics at home.
I would also like to share one additional resource with you.  The majority of information for our internet safety curriculum comes from a fabulous organization called Common Sense Media.  As a parent, if you don’t already know about this organization, you should!  I personally have it bookmarked on every internet accessible device I own.  Based out of San Francisco, the non-profit organization advocates child and family issues affecting society today and studies the effects of media and technology on children.  The website is full of invaluable resources such as non-biased reviews of the movies and television shows our children are watching.  It also contains helpful advice for talking to your kids about current issues in the media such as the tragedy at the Boston Marathon this week.  It is an organization that is well worth your time to check out!
As parents and teachers, keeping our children safe is always a top priority.  Hopefully organizations such as Common Sense Media and internet safety lessons such as those covered the last few weeks at school move us one step closer to keeping our children safe online!

Categorized under:  Elementary Education

04/12/2013 03:44 PM Posted by: Nancy Pryzant Picus Poster Avatar
A Message from Nancy Picus

For me, these are the weeks of memory, weeks of sweet joy and sometimes, sad whispers.  Fifteen years ago, my husband conducted our first family seder because my father, ill from the effects of chemotherapy, was not strong enough to lead us through the ritual.  Today, as I write this, I am observing my father’s yahrtzheit, the anniversary of his death.  Our oldest students and I recited Kaddish, as we regularly do during our Thursday morning Torah service; as we did so, I was visited by a fleeting image of my father reciting the same prayer for his beloved mother–a cherished reminiscence, sweetly sad. 

The interplay of joy and sorrow, ecstasy and despair, are played out in these weeks of the Jewish year.  On the second night of Pesach, in the first rush of freedom, we begin to count the Omer.  We count forty-nine days, seven full weeks.  On the fiftieth day, we celebrate Shavuot and the gift of Torah.  Yet these joyous festivals are the bookends for a period of prolonged semi-mourning.  Our tradition tells us that during the first thirty-two days of the Omer, Jewish soldiers who fought against Roman tyranny were sickened by a plague in their camps.  The plague lifted on the thirty-third day, now known as Lag Ba’omer.  Today, many Jews still observe this period of semi-mourning, but end it with picnics and bonfires on Lag Ba’omer.

Even more striking is the juxtaposition of Yom Hashoah, observed earlier this week, Yom Hazikaron, and Yom Ha’atzma’ut, which will fall next Monday and Tuesday.  Yom Hashoah commemorates the lives of the Jews who died during the Holocaust, and is a time of deep grief and heartache.  Yet, eight short days later, we dance and sing with abandon as we celebrate the birth of the State of Israel–but only after Yom Hazikaron, Memorial Day, to honor those who gave their life for her creation and protection.

Judaism demands that we remember.  Four times a year, as part of our most joyous festivals and most solemn days, we recite Yizkor prayers.  We light candles and recite Kaddish to honor the memories of those who have died; we make donations to commemorate their lives.  Yes, remembrance does bring tears and sighs, but it is softened by silly family stories, proud moments, and shared celebration.  The rhythm of the Jewish year echoes the same mixture of joy, interwoven with whispers of sadness.  But Shabbat is never directly followed by Yom Hashoah or Yom Hazikaron.  Our holy days are arranged so that we always go miyagon l’simchah, from sorrow to joy, rather than from joy to sorrow.  May it always be so.

Categorized under:  Elementary EducationPreschool

04/08/2013 09:21 AM Posted by: Poster Avatar
A Message from Igniting The Spark Chairs
Hello Shlenker Families!

We are thrilled to be chairing what will be an amazingly fun evening for The Shlenker School.  Our goals for this entertaining evening are for people to relax, see old faces and new and support our school’s unique and enriching programs.  Igniting the Spark will be held on April 20, 2013 at The Firehouse Saloon and will begin at 7:30.  

We are two working moms who decided to take the time out of our crazy lives and give something back to all of our children.  We have both seen the positive impact that Shlenker has had on our children’s development both academically and emotionally.  We believe in the mission of Shlenker and find pleasure in the opportunity to support our school.     

This evening is also honoring Deborah Sondock and we will present her with the first ever Spark Award.  She has been a role model for many of us at Shlenker. Over the past 10+ years she has been a hardworking volunteer always there to ensure that our children’s needs and our teachers’ needs are met.  Our school has benefited greatly from her countless hours of dedication to our vital programs and simply her presence and spirit.

We have put together an evening of great food by Berryhill and Rustika Cafe, a fantastic band — Rapture, a fun master of ceremonies — Rabbi Mark Miller and an amazing auction chaired by Jennifer Zach and Katie Dillon. The auction will also feature a Student Art Gallery.  Each grade has created a unique piece of art to be auctioned that evening. 

We hope you have received your invitation and can join us for the event. You can drop off your RSVP card in the lobby on Tuesday or Wednesday (April 9 or 10), or simply mail it in. For more information, please call Laura Loebl, Director of Advancement at 713-270-6127.

We look forward to seeing you for one HOT night of fun!

Jody and Emily

Categorized under:  Elementary EducationPreschool

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