Blogs

Lower School Blog, Week of February 23rd

IMPORTANT UPCOMING EVENTS & DATES 

Parents, please take a moment to mark your calendars. The following are important dates that you do not want to miss:

CHAPEL VENUES, DATES, & TIMES

The following is a list of upcoming chapel dates and times:

A NOTE FROM MRS. JACKSON

How would you describe God if you could use just one word?  The word would need to be big enough to capture God’s greatness, goodness, kindness, and power.  There is one word that many people would choose:  LOVE.  What does LOVE mean?  Is it a feeling?  An action?  Maybe the best way to describe love is to look at what love is and is not.  Paul gives us a great description of love in 1 Corinthians 13.  In his letter to the Corinthians (and us) he makes sure we understand all the things that God and love is and is not:

  • Love is NOT:  envious, boastful, proud, rude, self-seeking, easily angered, rejoicing in evil.
  • Love IS:  patient, kind, forgets wrongs, rejoices in truth, protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres.

John also used the word love to describe God.  He wrote, “This is how God showed his love among us:  He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” (1 John 4: 9)  Then John said, “God is love.” (1 John 4: 16)  But John didn’t stop there; he said that we respond to God’s love with……love.  How?

 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

1 John 3:18

I truly believed that if we loved one another with our actions and in truth, it would transform Lower School, our home communities, and our families.    It’s easy to love with our words but if there is no action behind those words, it isn’t true love.   Let’s not say we love . . . let’s show we love!

RECOGNITION

Sunshine State Young Readers Award Luncheon

All of the 3rd-6th grade students who read at least 5 of this year’s Sunshine State books were honored last Thursday at a luncheon.    Part of their recognition included a Skype visit with Marcia Well, author of the Eddie Red Undercover series books.   Two 6th grade students, Faith and Niko were recognized for reading all 30 of the Sunshine State books.   We are proud of all our students for their effort!   Lower School wants to thank the library staff and Chick Fil A for such a special event.

Food line for SSYRA Group shot at the SSYRA Lunch Group shot at SSYRA Skype visit with author Students who read all 30 books Group shot of boys at SSYRA Girls celebrating at SSYRA luncheon

 

Mrs. Walton’s Chapel Presentation

Mrs. Walton’s class presented at chapel while continuing with the February character trait of love. They focused on how God first loved us, and with God’s love, we can love others. The students did a great job on presenting Bible verses and their interpretation on how to apply those verses to our lives.
6th Grade band plays at chapels Guest speaker at chapel Mrs. Walton's class group shot for chapel

Jr. Thespian State Competition

On Saturday, Feb. 12, The First Academy entered six events in the Jr. Thespian State competition held at Dr. Phillips High School.  These students previously had to have received a Superior at the district level.   We are proud of them all for their outstanding district scores!  At the state level the following scores were given:

Georgia Cash & Isabella Hawkins (duet musical)- Excellent
Erin Rush & Michaela Vincent (duet musical)-Excellent
Benny Englund (monologue)-Excellent
Erin Rush (solo musical) – Excellent
Benny Englund (solo musical) -Excellent
Sarah Jackson (monologue) -Superior
We are so very proud of all the students who participated in the Jr. Thespian district and state competitions!

KPrep Surprises!

Last week was full of KPrep surprises for Mrs. Williams’ class. They let two healthy butterflies fly away near the flower bed! Dr. Whitaker even stopped by to participate! The class has watched them grow and change from caterpillars to butterflies in their room! Then they had a surprise trip to the new Field House and had a very special tour from Coach Knuth! The students were excited about the first game last week!

KPrep releases butterflies outside KPrep student outside KPrep student visits field house KPrep students outside the field house KPrep students inside the new field house

NEW THIS WEEK

Library Media Center Closure

The library will be closed for WrAP testing from 7:30 AM – 11:00 AM on Thursday, March 2nd and Friday, March 3rd. Lower School students should report the gym for morning care on those two days.  Thank you for your understanding.

March Madness AR Incentive

It’s that time again!  March Madness is descending on TFA!  The TFA library is excited to announce that our annual March Madness Reading Competition began this week.  This Round Robin tournament based on weekly AR points includes students in 1st-8th grade and will last from February 21st-April 7th. Each week’s winning class wins a free Spirit Wear day for the following Thursday. Overall winners from each division will win a pizza party at the end of the competition!  We’re excited to see how many AR points our students can earn over the course of the competition!

6th Grade teachers pick teams

East Region

  • Agan-Kansas
  • Fox-Gonzaga
  • Williams-Miami
  • Dowling-Louisville
  • Makar-St. Mary’s College
  • Smith- Cincinnati
  • Wall-Baylor

West Region

  • Lamp-Wichita St.
  • Schuessler-Southern Methodist
  • Combs-Xavier
  • Walton-Maryland
  • Rowling-UCLA

Midwest Region

  • Bell-FSU
  • Brown-Virginia
  • Camblin-UNC
  • Diehl-Villanova
  • Dvorak-Oregon
  • Fitzgerald-Arizona
  • Parmer-Notre Dame
  • Pastis-Duke

Results will be posted in the library and in the hallways each morning. The winner of each match receives an extra spirit wear for the following Thursday. The program will run through the first week of April. The team who wins the most matches in their region will receive a pizza party when the incentive program ends.

Catch a Dragon by the Tale Reading Incentive

The TFA library is excited to announce the beginning our 3rd quarter reading incentive program for K Prep, TK, and Kindergarten students. The Catch a Dragon by the Tale Reading Incentive Program will last from February 21st-April 7th.  Each week, students can fill out a Catch a Dragon by the Tale reading record form.  Extras are available on the library webpage at www.thefirstacademy.org/academics/library.  After you read a story with your child, or your child reads a book independently, fill out the reading record.  After ten books are read, please return the reading record to your child’s teacher. Students will then be able to choose a prize during their class library time. We’re excited to see how many books our youngest readers can read over the next several weeks!

Catch a Dragon by the Tale Reading Record

WrAP Assessment-March 2nd and 3rd

How Well Do We Write?

The Standardized Writing Assessment Program (WrAP)

(Spring 2017)

On Thursday, March 2nd and Friday, March 3rd  TFA students in grades 3-12 will participate in the Standardized Writing Assessment Program (WrAP).  Students ARE permitted to utilize dictionaries and thesauruses during the 2-day writing assessment.

Materials needed for the WrAP:

  1. a) 2 sharpened #2 pencils & 2 ink pens (blue/black)
  2. b) Thesaurus (can be electronic)
  3. c) Dictionary (can be electronic)
  4. d) 4-5 pages of loose leaf notebook paper

*electronic spellers (ie: Franklin) are not permitted

  • Day 1: Thinking Map and Rough Draft (85 minutes for 3rd/4th grade and 75 minutes for 5th/6th grade)
  • Day 2: Final Draft (70 minutes for 3rd/4th grade and 60 minutes for 5th/6th grade)

Please plan to arrive at school on-time both testing days.   Late students may not be permitted to complete the assessment.

Lower School Night at the Solar Bears Hockey Game

Mark your calendars for March 4th.  Lower School will be going to a Solar Bears Hockey game.

Tickets may be purchased HERE.

TFA Summer Preschool Opportunity

TFA’s Preschool is so very excited to welcome children, 8 weeks- 3 years old, back to campus for summer fun! Please see the attached flyer for more information. We love welcoming familiar Preschool families and new families too! Please feel free to pass along to family and friends.  Click HERE for more information or to register.

Extended Library Hours

In an effort to better serve our TFA families, the Boyd-Moline Library will extend their afternoon hours beginning next week.  The library will be open until 4:30pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays for the remainder of the school year.  Students must still be accompanied by parents or guardians in the library after school.  Accelerated Reader testing will be available until 4:15pm and book checkout until 4:20pm.

REMINDERS

Morning Dropoff-7:30AM

This is just a friendly reminder that students may be dropped off beginning at 7:30AM.  If you arrive to school prior to that time, we request that students remain with their parents until 7:30AM.  The library and the gym are open at that time.  Student supervision does not begin until that time.

AR HomeConnect

Over the summer, we had an update to our Renaissance Learning program that we use for Accelerated Reader, Accelerated Math, and STAR Testing.  Many parents like to receive email updates when their children take Accelerated Reader and Accelerated Math tests.  You can set your preferences using Renaissance Learning HomeConnect.  If you had this set up previously, you will need to complete the process again.

Library Hours

The Boyd Moline Library will be open until 4:30pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays for the remainder of the school year.  Students must still be accompanied by parents or guardians in the library after school.  Accelerated Reader testing will be available until 4:15pm and book checkout until 4:20pm.  It will close at 3:30pm on Friday and at 2:40pm on Wednesdays.

Calendar Link

The TFA Calendar is a wonderful way to find the dates of upcoming events. Access our web-based calendar anytime. We recommend that you subscribe to all relevant calendars so you can keep up with all of the events going on around the school.

Parent Volunteer Background Check

If you are a new parent and would like to volunteer in your child(ren)’s classroom(s) or chaperone on field trips please complete our free background check.  Please note that the background check site only works on Internet Explorer or Firefox on a desktop computer. Safari and Chrome are not supported by the site. Approvals take a few weeks so plan ahead! All parents must have a completed background check before volunteering of chaperoning on a field trip.