Welcome from Principal, Tami Weiser

5/17/2012 Message from Principal, Tami Weiser

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Every week our students experience the joy of new discoveries in our Science lab and the work they do with our amazing Science teacher, Polly Kim. Whether it is creating an electric current or making sure our silkworms are alive and well, Mrs. Kim imparts a love of learning for physical, earth and life science. This week she was excited to share the following information on a solar eclipse that will be occurring this weekend: “There will be a very rare and exciting partial solar eclipse visible from Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon, when the Moon will cover over three-fourths of the Sun. Details are available at griffithobservatory.org. The eclipse begins at 5:24pm, the Sun will be the smallest crescent at 6:38pm, and the eclipse ends and the Sun will be back to normal at 7:42pm, right before the Sun sets. Do not stare at the Sun, even during a partial eclipse! Eclipse viewers and eclipse glasses are available for purchase at the Griffith Observatory gift shop and at some camera and telescope stores. You can also safely project the image of the Sun onto a piece of paper by punching a small hole in a card and positioning it so the sunlight goes through the hole onto the paper. The image of the Sun projected onto the paper will be a crescent during the eclipse.” Enjoy sharing this with your children!

Tami Weiser

5/10/2012 Message from Principal, Tami Weiser

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This week was full of magical moments – Mother’s Day celebrations, Parent dinners, and of course, ERB testing. In the midst of all of this, our sixth grade students presented their graduation gift to the school. The picture above and the following article explain this special legacy that they have left our school. On behalf of all current and future students, we thank them for their creativity!

Each year, the 6th grade graduating class of Stephen S. Wise Temple Elementary School creates an artistic gift to leave to the school. Colorful murals, tile walls, and mosaics from past years adorn our campus and remind us of those who have left their mark on our school. Each year, I try to come up with a unique project for our 6th graders to make that will beautify the school surroundings. This summer, a storage shed was built on the Kindergarten roof yard to store play equipment. Painted white, it called out for decoration and an idea was born: Why not turn it into a Magical Castle? It could serve as a backdrop for Kindergarteners pretending to be princesses, princes, wizards and even fairies! When the Class of 2011-1012 heard about the project, they were thrilled. Having been raised on Harry Potter and Disney, they had wonderful ideas of how it should look, so the first art class of the year was spent coming up with sketches and suggestions. Why not add a giant dragon? It shouldn’t be too scary…kind of cute and mischievous…How about adding colorful flags? The ideas soon became reality, as students sponged paint to create the texture of stone, took turns filling in the details, and designed flags featuring cartoon characters and bright patterns. Each day, the Kindergarteners were more and more excited as they saw the extraordinary gift their 6th grade buddies were preparing for them. When the big day finally came for the dedication, the buddies stood together in awe as they admired their work. The Magical Castle will continue to bring joy to Stephen S. Wise Temple Elementary School students for years to come and the 6th grade Class of 2011-2012 will be able to fondly remember their time at our school whenever they visit. Thank you for sharing your hard work and artistic talents and good luck in the future!

Fondly,
Mrs. Jan Navah
K-6 Art Specialist 

5/3/2012 Message from Principal, Tami Weiser

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This week our 2nd – 6th grade students are busy preparing for the upcoming ERB tests. I am visiting each classroom with the message of my confidence in their preparation and my encouragement to “Do their best on the test!” (Tomorrow ask them about the cool pencils and bookmarks). These tests are important in that they provide a snapshot in time on how our students are mastering the language arts and math skills for their grade level. We receive the student scores during the summer and carefully analyze the data for areas of strength as well as instructional content we need to continue to improve upon. You will also receive your child’s test results, with a comparison to national and independent school norms. All of this information is valuable on an individual student level, a grade level, and for the overall school. At the same time I will remind you that not all of our learning is measured on a standardized assessment. The critical thinking and work on depth and complexity that we are doing with USC is translated into overall learning but will not have a specific scoring component. It is important to remember that testing is one piece of information on the overall growth of your child for the year. As we prepare for the tests I am hopeful that you will do the same at home. Attached to this week’s newsletter and sent home today is an important parent letter on testing information and I encourage you to carefully read this for your child’s success next week. We are all looking forward to a good week of testing, and I thank the teachers and parents in advance for the work you are all doing to make sure we have a positive experience.

Tami Weiser

4/26/2012 Message from Principal, Tami Weiser

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“The British are coming! The British are coming!” This was the cry before the battle that our fifth grade students participated in this week. We took a trip to Riley’s Farm for an interactive day of living life as colonists. Students learned about courts and trials of this time period, taxation issues, weaving, farming and industrial life, etiquette, and militia. The culmination of our day of learning was the final Battle of the Tavern where we loaded our “muskets” and faced the enemy! The entire experience was truly exceptional, and one we won’t soon forget. This field trip, along with many other interactive lessons, reinforces the importance of experiential education. While we read our textbooks and the History Alive program, and while we look at a variety of text and internet sources, nothing can replace the learning that happens when you are physically involved in the activity. The integration of multiple modalities, and the follow up discussions and reflection after the activity, prove invaluable in solidifying students’ learning. I am so proud that we offer these experiences throughout the grade levels, and we will continue to work on providing new and unique learning opportunities.

Tami Weiser

4/19/2012 Message from Principal, Tami Weiser

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Stephen S. Wise Elementary students are in the spirit of celebration and reflection as we observe the many Jewish holidays in this Spring season. Today is Yom HaShoah, the remembrance of the Holocaust, and our 5th-6th grade students had a very powerful service yesterday in honor of this holiday. We gathered together in Plotkin to sing, pray and dedicate candles to those who are no longer here. Following this we had the uplifting presentation from a Holocaust survivor, Sophie Zeidman Hamburger, who is a great-grandparent to two of our students, Jack and Dylan Siegel. To see all four generations together sharing their stories was really powerful, and our kids asked thoughtful and meaningful questions to Sophie. She is an amazing women who shared her story with all of us, and we presented her with an Am Echad award for having her story be a part of our community.

We quickly are moving from the somber feeling of Yom HaShoah to a feeling of hope and optimism as we prepare for Yom Ha’Atzmaut. From the ashes of the Holocaust we know that the State of Israel was born, and there is great excitement both at our School and in the Temple to celebrate Israel. Our fourth grade students will present their culmination of learning at an assembly for the whole school on Thursday, April 26 followed by dancing and Israeli snacks. On Sunday, April 29 our entire community comes together for a festival from 11:00 – 3:00 at the Temple. Our students can sign up for the basketball tournament, we will have dancing, an interactive kibbutz, gaga games, face painting, a petting zoo (with camel), and of course, great Israeli food. I hope you will join me at this wonderful day!

Tami Weiser

3/29/2012 Message from Principal, Tami Weiser

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Passover is really in the air at Stephen S. Wise Elementary School as our students and staff prepare for this wonderful holiday! Last week our first graders experienced the Exodus from Egypt, and they followed Moses and Miriam to the promised land. Make sure you ask them about the Red Sea parting (at the swimming pool) and getting water from a rock. Other grade levels had the opportunity to practice their blessings and Hebrew skills at experiential Seders with their classes. The second grade even witnessed a Passover play with a very mean Pharaoh (Dr. Kheel). A new addition to our Seder discussions were the depth and complexity conversations we had as we integrated the work we are doing with USC into our Judaic curriculum. A fourth grade class created concentric circles in Hebrew making connections with the Passover story. Sixth grade students looked at big ideas of change over time, and compared and contrasted new and old holiday symbols such as the traditional Elijah’s cup with the newer Miriam’s cup. It was an exciting week, and I can confidently say that your children are ready to sing the “Ma Nishtana” at your Seder tables with great joy. I hope you feel the sense of pride when you listen to them that I do – they really bring the light and rejuvenation of this season to us. I want to wish all of you a happy and healthy Passover and a wonderful spring break.

Chag Sameach,

Tami Weiser

3/22/2012 Message from Principal, Tami Weiser

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Eureka! Our fourth grade students struck gold last Thursday with a wonderful field trip to Sacramento. We began our adventure in the State Capitol building, where we were announced in the State Assembly room to the entire Senate, and then our Senator, Fran Pavley, came out and spent time with our students explaining the legislative process. From the Capitol we were off to the Railroad Museum for an interactive hour of lessons on the transcontinental railroad and the development of agriculture, communication and transportation in California. Then we headed to Placerville and the gold country, where we panned for gold, went into the Gold Bug Mine, the Priest Mine and saw a Stamp Mill. Following our class lessons on the growth of technology in mining in California it was wonderful for the students to experience first-hand each of the types of mines. Finally, it was back to the airport for our flight home and the end of a long and magnificent day.

The last two days we mined a different type of gold as I had the opportunity to attend many of your parent conferences. It was extremely gratifying to hear how our students are progressing, particularly in the areas of critical thinking and depth and complexity. I hope you found the time as informative and rewarding as I did, and I want to thank all of the teaching staff for their work and preparation for such excellent conferences.B’Shalom,

Tami Weiser