Friday, December 15, 2017



THE GIFT OF MUSIC
Students in our choir and record club performed for our school Friday.  Our community was impressed with their incredible talent!  We wish them the best of luck at their second performance this evening at 7:00 PM.  We thank Mrs. Petty for her incredible work facilitating both clubs.






ART PROMOTES HABITS OF MIND
Students are learning about the following Studio Habits of Mind in art: develop craft, engage and persist, envision, express, observe, reflect, stretch and explore and learn artistic words.  These habits of mind are intended to help students apply "artful thought" to real-world problems that occur in art and regular classrooms.  As you can see from a description of the habits below, they are transferable and adaptable to multiple content areas and variety of settings.


Below are examples of students' work that reflect their study on expression.  Students used art to express ideas, a personal meaning or feeling.  Students learned that they could use art to convey a feeling or mood, tell a story, give an opinion or comment on an issue.  We are excited to see how they are using creativity to express their point of view.






ELEMENTARY PROGRESS REPORTS (EPR's) RELEASED DECEMBER 23
Teachers are celebrating students’ growth as they complete fall Elementary School Progress Reports (EPRs).  EPRs will be released to parents on Saturday,  December 23rd, through Parent Portal.  You will be able to access your child's EPR on December 23 by following the directions below.


·  Go to the Gold Rush Website gre.dcsdk12.org

·  Select the Parent Resources Tab

·  Select Elementary Progress Report (EPR).  Use your Parent Portal credentials to log in.

·  Then click "view Elementary Progress report" under your child's picture


As you recall, students are assessed on the following elements of the District's guaranteed and viable curriculum.

·   Content Standards (reading, writing, math, science and social studies, specials)

·   4 Cs (communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity)

·   Select 21st Century Skills (problem-solving, resiliency, systems thinking, financial literacy, health)

You are able to view the report card in two ways - a highlight view and a comprehensive view. Grades for specials, social studies and science can be found in the comprehensive view.


SCIENTIFIC EXPLORATION THROUGH STEAM
Fifth graders were exploring several science concepts, including extreme habitats, space exploration, moving materials and hazard alarms, in the engineering lab this week.  Students were given the choice to answer one or several of the real-world science problems shown below:


Exploring Planets' Surfaces
Create and program a space rover to achieve a specific task, such as move in and out of a crater, collect a rock sample, drill a hole in the ground etc.

Forewarnings Reduce the Impact of Strong Storms
Create and program a device that could warn people to take action because dangerous weather is coming.

Moving Materials
Create and program a device that will help you carry and/or assemble differently sized objects, considering safety, efficiency and storage.

Students created and coded robots to solve their specific task.  They then improved their robot over the course of the week.  Students demonstrated their collaborative problem-solving skills as they dug into these real-world challenges.




KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION 
It was great to meet several future Gold Rush students and families this week at Kindergarten registration!  It was also a great opportunity to share our school values of challengings critical thinkers to take risks, honor differences and care for others.  We were able to share how these values are seen in classrooms and throughout the school.  If you were unable to attend please feel free to contact our main office for paperwork and additional information.  You can also click here for the 2017-2018 Registration forms and process.



UPCOMING EVENTS
* December 21: Winter Parties - See Classroom Communication for Specific Times
* December 22: No School - Winter Break
* January 8: School Resumes                        


Friday, December 8, 2017

MEETING STUDENTS' INDIVIDUAL NEEDS IN LITERACY
Gold Rush uses a workshop model in reading and writing to meet a wide range of students' academic needs. In a workshop, all students engage in a 20-minute mini-lesson that focuses on one of the 6 thinking strategies in reading or a lesson in the area of writing that emphasizes a "craft move" real authors' use. We explicitly teach the reading strategies shown below to promote critical thinking. In writing, teachers model the structure and craft of persuasive, informational and narrative writing during this time.


Monitoring Comprehension
Activating Prior Knowledge & Connecting
Asking Questions
Inferring
Determining Importance
Summarizing & Synthesizing

The independent portion of the workshop is the heart of reading and writing blocks.  During this time students apply strategies modeled during the mini-lesson using texts that are at their individual reading levels or their students' own writing.  This is also an opportunity for students to work on their personal goals.  Teachers use formal and informal assessment data to identify 1-3 goals unique to each student.  Teachers confer with students around these goals and provide targeted feedback either individually or in small groups.

The workshop concludes with a brief sharing time.  This is an opportunity to highlight students' smart thinking and new learning.


Kindergarten Workshop



Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Marchese, models different reading goals for students during the mini-lesson.  Students monitor their progress on their individual goals during the independent portion of the workshop.

Fifth Grade Workshop

Fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Rayens, meets with individual students to review their writing and specific goals.

FOCUSING ON DETERMINING IMPORTANCE
One of the strategies teachers instruct students on in the area of reading is determining importance.  As was stated previously, determining importance builds critical thinking.  It is also a research-based reading strategy that we use as adult readers.  Now more than ever students can access a tremendous amount of information.  This has increased with the surplus of digital texts.  Before students are able to synthesize, or pull together key concepts from multiple sources, they must be able to determine the most important information.

Students in all grade levels are taught how to distinguish information that is interesting from information that is important.  When teaching this strategy teachers often emphasize the difference between students' personal reactions to exciting new facts from the authors' larger purpose and message.  Teachers point out how a variety of nonfiction text features (headings, bold words, the index) to help them identify the most important concepts.  See evidence of this work below.



Second-grade students work together to determine the most important information from weather texts.


STUDENTS USE TECHNOLOGY TO COLLABORATE & COMMUNICATE
Gold Rush is fortunate to be 1:1 with technology, meaning each student has his/her own device. As a school, we believe that technology should be used to support direct instruction and enhance teaching and learning.

Technology is frequently used to promote collaboration and communication among students. In the primary grades, students often use See-Saw on their ipads to provide peers with feedback. Teachers explicitly teach students how to collaborate and communicate in positive, constructive ways. Students will also reflect on others' thinking and revise their work using ideas they learned from others. The first-grade example below shows how students comment on others' work and the rubric they then use to self-evaluate how well they worked together. Second grade students worked together to share their learning about different types of clouds.












DCSD EMERGENCY TEXT NOTIFICATION
A number of parents/guardians at our schools have signed up to receive text alerts, but have not completed the registration process by opting into the system.  Until they do so, they will not receive text alerts. Please make sure you have completed all steps of the registration process. It only takes minutes to complete the two steps shown below.
STEP 1
Confirm that you have selected to receive text messages in your Infinite Campus account
STEP 2
(the critical step that many people do not complete!)
Send a text to 68453 with the message “YES”
If you do not opt-in to the system as outlined above in step 2, you will NOT receive emergency text messages. Need detailed information? Go to http://tinyurl.com/dcsdtext.


KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION
We are excited to meet incoming Gold Rush families at Kindergarten Registration on Thursday, December 14, from 5:00-7:00 PM.  We will be providing tours and the principal will present an overview at 5:00 PM and 6:00 PM.  Please share this information with any families that you know are enrolling a kindergarten student for the 2018-2019 school year.  This event is also open to families who are interested in open enrolling at other grade levels.



2018-2019 ENROLLMENT CONFIRMATION SURVEY
We are currently in the planning process for next year. If you have not done so already, please complete the Enrollment Survey to let us know if your child will be returning to Gold Rush. This information will ensure your child's class placement for the upcoming school year.

ELEMENTARY PROGRESS REPORTS (EPR) RELEASED DECEMBER 23
Teachers are celebrating students’ growth as they complete fall Elementary School Progress Reports (EPRs).  EPRs will be released to parents on Saturday,  December 23rd,  through Parent Portal.  

Your child's report card includes grades for content and learner characteristics.  The following rating system is used to determine your child's level of performance:

Exceeds
Indicates a high level of achievement.  It indicates a student has a strong understanding of the content/concepts/skills taught and it implies a student can demonstrate understanding independently and with very few errors.

Meets
Indicates that a student demonstrates an understanding of content/concepts/skills most of the time and with limited support.  Students who are meeting standards make few major errors or omissions when demonstrating a concepts or skill.

Approaching
Indicates that a students requires moderate support to demonstrate an understanding of concepts/skills.  Students' ability to demonstrate their understanding of a concept or skill is inconsistent or infrequent, which indicates a partial understanding of the content, concept or skill.  Students demonstrate more frequent errors or omissions.

Does Not Meet
Students who do not meet standards seldom demonstrate an understanding of concepts and skills taught.  The student requires considerable support to demonstrate learning and makes frequent major errors when demonstrating his/her understanding.


You are able to view your child's information two ways - a highlight view and a comprehensive view.  The highlights view includes a snapshot of how your child performed on core content standards (reading, writing and math) and how your child met school expectations of Going for the G.O.L.D.  The highlights view also includes general classroom comments and individual student comments.  

The comprehensive view includes information on all four elements of the District’s guaranteed and viable curriculum in all subject areas, including social studies, science and specials.  The comprehensive view may also include additional content comments aligned to specific content standards.  You are able to access both views by clicking on the links at the top right portion of the screen.  
HEALTHY HABITS
Flu season is here.  It is an important time to remember to take the proper precautions to remain healthy.  Reminders to wash your hands and to stay home when you are ill are important.  Please click on the links below for additional ways to prevent health concerns that occur in schools.

Healthy Habits for Fall & Spring

Headlice


UPCOMING EVENTS
* December 12: PTO Mtg @ 8:45 AM
* December 14: Kindergarten Registration for 2018-2019 -SAC Meeting Canceled 
* December 15: Choir Concert
* December 21: Winter Parties - See Classroom Communication for Specific Times
* December 22: No School - Winter Break
* January 8: School Resumes                        



Thursday, November 30, 2017

HELPING YOUR CHILD WITH MATH HOMEWORK

Math homework can often be a frustrating experience for children and parents.  Parents were often taught traditional algorithms and do not know the strategies students are learning today.  While these strategies promote a deeper conceptual understanding of key math concepts, it is difficult for parents to see the benefits when they are unaware of them themselves.

We have a great resource that will help!  The Math Words and Ideas site from the Investigations Math Series has links to math videos that explain how all concepts are taught at each grade level.

 Click here to access this site.



Simply click on your child's grade level at the left-hand side of the screen.  When you click on a math concept additional subtopics appear.  Each subtopic includes a short video explaining strategies taught at school.  In the example below, third grade was selected on left and arrays was chosen under the concept of multiplication.


Watching these short videos are a great way to review how and why concepts were taught a certain way.  You may even consider watching with your child.  The presentation below provides a few additional tips to promote a love of math at home.


Click here for the presentation.


4TH GRADERS OFFER CREATIVE SOLUTIONS

Fourth-grade students used the design thinking process to generate proposals on how to beautify the school grounds.  Design thinking is a process of problem-solving that includes the following steps: empathizing, defining, ideating, creating a prototype and testing a product.  This process allows students to think like designers, innovate and create.



Fourth graders were given the challenge of making Gold Rush an even more inviting learning environment.  Students began the design thinking process by empathizing, or identifying all of the stakeholders who utilize our building and thinking about what is important to them.  They then defined the problem and ideated, or brainstormed multiple solutions.  Students then worked in small groups to create a presentation that further outlined one idea.  Their ideas were amazing and included a quote wall, an outdoor stage, a student club called the Handy Helpers that would assist Mr. Toby and a greenhouse.  Students' used a wide variety of tech tools to present their data, research and convincing arguments.  We are proud of students' creative thinking and collaboration!

Garden Creators 
Proposal: Add Additional Rocks and Shoe Beds to the Garden


ROCK CONCERT
Third grade students used music to share what they've learned about their science unit on rocks and minerals.  Their "rock concert" demonstrated their understanding of the content and their ability to perform their own rhythmic patterns and songs.  We thank Mrs. Petty for preparing students for the engaging performances.




Kindergarten Registration
We are excited to meet incoming Gold Rush families at Kindergarten Registration on Thursday, December 14, from 5:00-7:00 PM.  We will be providing tours and the principal will present an overview at 5:00 PM and 6:00 PM.  Please share this information with any families that you know are enrolling a kindergarten student for the 2018-2019 school year.  This event is also open to families who are interested in open enrolling at other grade levels.



2018-2019 Enrollment Confirmation Survey
We are currently in the planning process for next year. If you have not done so already, please complete the Enrollment Survey to let us know if your child will be returning to Gold Rush, This will help ensure your child's class placement for the upcoming school year.

Elementary Progress Reports (EPR) Released December 23
Teachers are celebrating students’ growth as they complete fall Elementary School Progress Reports (EPRs).  EPRs will be released to parents on Saturday,  December 23rd,  through Parent Portal.  

Your child's report card includes grades for content and learner characteristics.  The following rating system is used to determine your child's level of performance:

Exceeds
Indicates a high level of achievement.  It indicates a student has a strong understanding of the content/concepts/skills taught and it implies a student can demonstrate understanding independently and with very few errors.

Meets
Indicates that a student demonstrates an understanding of content/concepts/skills most of the time and with limited support.  Students who are meeting standards make few major errors or omissions when demonstrating a concepts or skill.

Approaching
Indicates that a students requires moderate support to demonstrate an understanding of concepts/skills.  Students' ability to demonstrate their understanding of a concept or skill is inconsistent or infrequent, which indicates a partial understanding of the content, concept or skill.  Students demonstrate more frequent errors or omissions.

Does Not Meet
Students who do not meet standards seldom demonstrate an understanding of concepts and skills taught.  The student requires considerable support to demonstrate learning and makes frequent major errors when demonstrating his/her understanding.


You are able to view your child's information two ways - a highlight view and a comprehensive view.  The highlights view includes a snapshot of how your child performed on core content standards (reading, writing and math) and how your child met school expectations of Going for the G.O.L.D.  The highlights view also includes general classroom comments and individual student comments.  

The comprehensive view includes information on all four elements of the District’s guaranteed and viable curriculum in all subject areas, including social studies, science and specials.  The comprehensive view may also include additional content comments aligned to specific content standards.  You are able to access both views by clicking on the links at the top right portion of the screen.  


FIFTH GRADE SCIENTISTS
Fifth-grade students put their knowledge of human body systems to the test this week when they traveled to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science's lung lab.  They have been studying how the different body systems impact one another.  This week they took a more in-depth view of the subject as they dissected lungs.





UPCOMING EVENTS
* December 12: PTO Mtg @ 8:45 AM
* December 14: Kindergarten Registration for 2018-2019 -SAC Meeting was canceled
* December 22: No School - Winter Break
* January 8: School Resumes                        

Friday, November 17, 2017


THANKSGIVING FEAST
It was so nice to see many families at our Thanksgiving Feast and Celebration of Learning event Wednesday!  It was a wonderful opportunity for us to come together as a school community.  I know students enjoyed sharing their work with you and having a special meal together.  We thank all of our volunteers who helped make the day a success!






STUDENT BLOG HIGHLIGHTS WHAT STUDENTS ARE GRATEFUL FOR
In the student blog this week, students wrote about what they appreciate most at Gold Rush.  Students recognized their friends, teachers, and families.  They also celebrated the ways they help each other and the larger community.  Click here for the student blog.



Click here for the student blog.



THANKFUL FOR THOSE WHO SERVE
Students in grades 1-5 learned about Veterans' Day Monday.  Students watched a video and listened to a story that told of the differences those that serve make.  Students expressed their appreciation by writing cards to soldiers currently serving overseas.  We are excited to send students' heartfelt messages in a larger care package.




Dear U.S. Solider,

Thank you so much for all that hard work you go through to keep our country safe.  You serve us for one reason and that is to protect us from any type of threat.  You risk your life for the millions of people in the United States.  We thank and honor you for all of your courage and struggles.  We are free because of you.  Happy Veterans' Day.  Thank you.

From Your Friend,
Levi


LEGEND FEEDER SAC MEETING
The School Advisory Councils representing the six schools that feed into Legend High School met this week to further define the following four feeder values identified by the councils last year: critical thinking, resiliency, independence, and community.  Building principals used the parent feedback to create the feeder vision statement shown below.


Empower students to think critically, demonstrate resiliency and act independently.  Our students will contribute positively to the broader community.


In addition to further defining what these values mean to parents, SAC representatives from across the schools identified action steps that would help strengthen how these values are addressed in schools K-12.


Click here for the presentation.


THANK YOU PTO
We thank the PTO and our many volunteers for an incredible fall book fair!  Our students and families enjoyed purchasing several new and exciting books from the fair.


OPEN ENROLLMENT FOR 2018-2019
Open Enrollment occurs between November 1 through December 1.  Families that wish to attend, but do not live within the Gold Rush boundaries must apply for Open Enrollment. Click here to apply.  Gold Rush will also host an open house on November 16 at 9:00 AM and November 28 at 9:00 AM and 5:30 PM. Additional information regarding open enrollment can be found on the District School Choice page.





UPCOMING EVENTS

* November 20-24: Thanksgiving Break
* November 28: Open Enrollment Presentation @ 9:00 AM & 5:30 PM
* December 12: PTO Mtg @ 8:45 AM
* December 14: Kindergarten Registration for 2018-2019
   The December 14 SAC Meeting was canceled
                          


Friday, November 10, 2017

MANY REASONS & WAYS TO GIVE THANKS!
There are many reasons and ways to give thanks at Gold Rush.  Many students brought in a donation and wore a hat on Friday to raise money for Denver Rescue Mission's Turkey drive.  We will continue our Thanksgiving food drive for the Parker Task Force throughout next week.  This food drive is in addition to the ongoing No Waste initiative we started on September 5th.  I am proud to report that students have donated over 1700 prepackaged food items that would have otherwise been thrown away through our No Waste program!

Gold Rush will also celebrate Veteran's Day on Monday, November 13.  Students will write cards a create a school care package for those currently serving in the military.  If you are interested in donating any of the items shown below to you can send them in throughout the week.


Sunflower Seeds * Chapstick * Gum * Dental Floss * Q-Tips * Crossword Puzzles * Playing Cards * Sour Patch Kids * Toothpaste * Magazines

THANKSGIVING FEAST
Please join us for our Annual Thanksgiving Family Feast and Celebration of Learning on Wednesday, November 15.  Enjoy a Thanksgiving meal with your child and view his/her great work in the classroom during Celebrations of Learning. 

We are also looking for volunteers.  Our flexible volunteer schedule allows you to enjoy lunch with your child and still help out.  View your child's schedule below and click here to volunteer.  Parents and siblings can pre-order tickets here.  Students will use their lunch accounts to order that day.  We hope you are able to join us!


Celebration of Learning & Lunch Schedule


Celebration  Lunch Teacher
10:30-11:00   11:00-11:20   Anderson, Graham & Meier
10:40-11:10   11:10-11:30   Steinher & Woolums
10:55-11:25   11:25-11:45   Zankey & Dean (Rossi)
10:55-11:25                   Brown & Marchese
11:35-11:55   Kindie Enrichment (Art Room)
11:25-11:55   11:55-12:15   Martino & Robart
11:35-12:05   12:05-12:25   Roon & Wilson
11:40-12:10   12:10-12:30   McMillan & Meredith
11:50-12:20   12:20-12:40   Russell & Shepperd
12:00-12:30   12:30-12:50   Dunker & Kramer
12:10-12:40   12:40-1:00    Poli & Westra
12:25-12:55   12:55-1:15    Broecker & Dalcerri
12:30-1:00 1:00-1:20 Hawk, Lautenbach & Rayens
12:45-1:15 Padrnos

STUDENTS REFLECT IN ART
Students created drawings that showcased mirror images.  We were impressed with their creativity!



THINKING DEEPLY IN MATH
Over 60 fourth and fifth graders are currently participating in our before school Math Olympiad program.  Math Olympiad fosters a love for math by engaging students in a national math competition.  This is an opportunity for students to problem solve and think critically.   Students complete challenging math problems both independently and in collaborative groups.  They are excited to share their divergent thinking and strategies.  We are proud of all the children who are currently participating, and we thank Mrs. Barta and Mrs. Anderson for facilitating this extra curricular opportunity.


SHOUT OUT FROM EVEREST
One of our students' parents recognized Gold Rush at the top of Mount Everest!




OPEN ENROLLMENT FOR 2018-2019
Open Enrollment occurs between November 1 through December 1.  Families that wish to attend, but do not live within the Gold Rush boundaries must apply for Open Enrollment. Click here to apply.  Gold Rush will also host an open house on November 16 at 9:00 AM and November 28 at 9:00 AM and 5:30 PM. Additional information regarding open enrollment can be found on the District School Choice page.



2018-2019 ENROLLMENT CONFIRMATION
It's hard to believe, but we are already starting to plan for next school year.  In order to assist us, complete the enrollment confirmation survey for your child(ren) by Friday, November 17th.  Please click here for the enrollment survey.  This will help ensure your child's classroom placement for next year.



UPCOMING EVENTS
* November 14: Open Enrollment Presentation @ 9:00 AM
* November 15: Celebrations of Learning/Thanksgiving Feast
* November 15: Legend Feeder SAC Mtg @ 4:30-6:00PM & GRE SAC Mtg @ 6:00-6:30PM
* November 20-24: Thanksgiving Break
* November 28: Open Enrollment Presentation @ 9:00 AM & 5:30 PM
* December 12: PTO Mtg @ 8:45 AM
* December 14: Kindergarten Registration for 2018-2019