Willow Creek Elementary School

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This will be my 23rd year of teaching 4th grade in Tomball ISD (26 years in Texas). I started teaching in 1980 in California. After teaching in California for a few years, I got married and moved to Texas. I have specialized training in the Gifted and Talented, holding a Texas State GT Endorsement from the University of St. Thomas (which in layman's language that is like a masters degree in GT) and have been teaching GT for most of my years in Tomball ISD. In the past, I have received distinguished honors from Tomball ISD such as : Best Teacher Practices, and A+ Teacher Award. I have worked as Grade level leader, Math Core Trainer, Language Arts Core Trainer and Curriculum Writer for Language Arts and Math in Tomball ISD. I was nominated for Texas State GT Teacher of the Year for Tomball ISD. Teaching is my passion and I feel very blessed and honored to be contributing to the success of students and families in Tomball ISD.  I want this year to be an amazing year of growth, learning, and fun for your child.  If there is anything I can do to facilitate this please let me know!
 

Contact Information:

Willowcreek Elementary School

Room # 214

phone:     (281)357-3080 ext. 3499

email:       karenkeller@tomballisd.net

Conference Time:    9:00-9:55  (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday)    

 
 

Recent Posts

Help our class print Santa letters!

* It would be greatly appreciated if you would print (in color) one of each of the 5 Santa Letters (in the side category:Language Arts Curriculum).  Teachers are extremely limited obtaining colored ink at school.  This is one way you could help our class complete a fun activity, regarding the English 4th grade skill of "a Friendly Letter".  Please send in the letters as soon as possible, so each child in both of my classes can complete their letter "in color", rather than in black and white.  I truly appreciate your help ! 
                     Happy Holidays,
                         Mrs. Keller

Reminders!

*Moose English #10 homework due Monday 12/10/18.  Many students have turned this in early. It was assigned last Monday.
 
*Native American Research project is due Tuesday. Each student should have their Google Docs Slide presentation ready to begin presenting Tuesday.

Letter from Assistant Principal


Parents,

If you have not had your ID scanned at Willow Creek for the 2018-2019 school year, you may stop by the campus before December 17th and have your ID scanned to save time waiting in line the day of the event.  Your ID must be scanned each school year. 

Reservations can be made by completing the Google form online https://goo.gl/forms/F5HMBu640ZQw3Zs62 .  Badges will be printed and available at a designated table when you arrive.  Visitors who have not made reservations will need to wait in a very long, time consuming line and could miss part of the event.  No exceptions will be made.

All visitors should be prepared to present a Photo ID even if you have made reservations.  Once you arrive for the event please check in at the designated tables outside.



Kathy Jo Standefer
Assistant Principal
Willow Creek Elementary
kathystandefer@tomballisd.net

Research project due next Tuesday, Dec. 11th.

*Native American Indian Research project is due next Tuesday, Dec. 11th.  Please check your child's purple social studies folder to be sure they have enough information. Some do not have enough yet.  The final project is to be typed in Google Docs presentation.  Students will present to the class starting next Tuesday.  If they need to work at home to be ready, they should!  Grading Guidelines direct that 5 points be taken off each day late, with a zero assigned on the third day. 
 
*FYI-  I will be out Wed. with a SUB in class. My husband is having surgery.
 
*STAR Ren Reading testing will be done on Thursday Dec. 6th to see if students are advancing in their reading levels.  This is an online test.  Please encourage your child to do well.
 
 

Homework: Reading/Writing due Monday !

*Students can turn this in early.  Please be sure your child is writing more than 1/2 a page.  Some students on not putting their full effort into this homework and only writing a paragraph. The directions stated to write a 1 page story.   The reason for this particular homework is to improve their writing skills.

Ordering class T-shirts:

* It is time to order class T-shirts.  Please go to this website to put in your order and money.  The school is not taking cash money or checks, it is all online now.  You need to be sure to order the shirt for Keller.  Mrs. Walther and I have different colored shirts!  the kids wear these a lot in fourth grade especially for the following activity days: Field Day, Field Trip days, Texian Day (Field trip that comes to us), Step-Up Party Day (at end of year).
 
*Homework assigned last Monday, and due next Monday:  Kids in my classes have been assigned some homework.  It focuses on two very needed skills: learning new vocabulary, and writing a story using the new vocabulary.  You are welcome to work with your child on this homework.  Especially, the writing of the essay.  This is a much needed skill that they need more time to practice.  They should be writing a 1 page story, using 10 of the new vocabulary words.  I will not give this every week.  Probably, twice per month.
 
*Don't forget to be sure your child is reading 30 minutes per night (even if they have made their AR goal).  They have to do the work to improve their reading level.
 
                                  Happy Holidays!
                                        Mrs. Keller

Vocabulary Parade is tomorrow at 9:00 am !

*Just a reminder that the Vocabulary Parade starts at 9:00 am tomorrow!  Students should have some sort of a costume with a poster with their word on the poster for all to see.  Parents love to come and take pictures! Hope to see you there!

Vocabulary Parade is coming soon!

* Please print the attached form for the vocabulary parade and let me know what word your child is dressing up like. Each student is asked to dress up to represent the word and have a poster with their word listed for the audience to view.  I have had only 4 students return there Vocabulary sheet.  

Reading AR goal due Dec. 21 st

Each student has a reading AR (Accelerated Reader) goal on a sticker in their Wednesday folder.  I have set each goal to match your child's reading range, which is listed on the sticker, as well.  Your child should be reading a minimum of 30 minutes each night at home.  My suggestion would be to give them a little break (possibly for snack and/or play) and they have them read alone or to you, for 30 minutes.  This will most definitely help them advance their reading abilities!  An AR Celebration time will take place at school for all of my students that achieve their AR reading goal! They will see a movie and bring a snack for one class period after the goal is due.  This is a motivational program this year and we talk about it a lot at school.  Next year, in 5th grade, students will have an AR reading goal and it will be taken as a grade.  Please encourage your child to read!  (hint: sometimes I would have my kids read aloud to me as I was cooking.  :) two birds with one stone).  If you would like your child's AR goal to be increased send my an email or note, and I will work with them personally to set a higher goal.
   Blessings,
                     Mrs. Keller

Book Report due on Wednesday! Tests next week.

 *    Just wanted to remind all that book reports are due Wednesday.  Students will start presenting their Book Report in a Bag projects that day. I will attempt to have 7 students present each day,but it may be until Monday until we are completely  done. It is a major grade in Reading.
 
*     The following tests will be next week: .
Reading test is scheduled for Monday. 
 
Writing test is scheduled for Tuesday. Test will be on writing skills in the following categories: Grammar, Punctuation, Capitalization, Fragments vs Complete Sentences, Fixing Run-on sentences. All skills have been modeled and practiced each week since the beginning of the year. Students are also in the process of planning and writing a personal narrative essay.
 
Social Studies Test will be Wednesday on reading a Texas map.
 
Spelling Test will be on Thursday this week, due to early release on Friday.
 
*It will be a busy week. Parent conferences are starting Friday and will be continuing through the month of October. We will be adding more dates on Sign Up Genius soon.  If you sign up, be sure to put in the comments section what type of conference will be needed ( in person at school or phone conference).  Enjoy the fall weather! 
                               
 Love and Blessings,
                      Mrs. Keller
 
 
 
 

Book Report in a Bag example video!

Parents, 
Please click on the following link to watch a video example of how your child will present their Book Report in a Bag project to the class. This is just a sample video. I do expect both sides of the bag to be decorated.  Project is due Oct 3rd.
 
I sent home the bag your child will use for the project in today's Wednesday folder.  Also, if you click on the gray box on my web page "Project Information", you can print another set of page directions with the rubric, if you need one.  There is also a picture of a nice project from last year.
 
 
 

FYI- I added some parents to my Edlio website. This is important site for information on what is happening at school.

I hope this is ok. I just want to keep you informed. :) 

We are busy and working hard!

We have been working hard in class! Here are some updates on what the students have been studying:
Writing:
  • Writing in Writer's Notebook practicing writing for longer lengths of time.
  • Writing in the 4th grade is all about the details they have learned from Kinder and up.  Students will be practice writing  conventions in the following basic categories: spelling, capitalization, punctuation, grammar, fragments vs complete sentences, fixing run-on sentences.
  • When students write they should: write in complete sentences using correct conventions.  Avoid writing in run-on sentences or fragments.
  • We have discussed in detail using capital letters, with cross curricular in social studies.
  • We will begin learning how to write a Personal Narrative Essay. A grade will be taken on a personal narrative essay and the end of this unit of study.
Reading:
  • Last week students took a STAR REN reading assessment on the computer and I will use this data to help place them in the correct Literature Circle groups, as well as guide my teaching.
  • I will continue to test students individually using F & P testing, double checking their reading abilities.  All of this information be shared in the October Parent Conferences.  There are a few parents I will be calling this week if I have concerns, so as not to wait for parent conferences.
  • Students have started to read and write using sticky notes for their Reading Response Journals and begin understanding how they will be graded, using the Literature Circle Reading Response Rubric.
  • Book Report assigned: Each student should be reading daily/nightly a fiction book for their Book Report in a Bag Project that is due Oct. 3rd.  I sent the directions/writing page with the rubric home in last Wed. Folder. Students should keep this in their homework folder until needed at home.  This is an at home project, but of course students can read their book at school if they have extra time. I will be sending home the large bags for the project in this week's Wed. Folder. If you would like to print another copy of the assignment:  Go to my website and click on "Current Projects" for a copy of the assignment and rubric.  There is also a picture of one of the bags from last year, as a sample of an excellent bag display.
Social Studies:
  • We have been studying Texas Maps and started Texas Regions.  I have modeled how to read a Texas map and started to discuss Texas Regions.
  • This week we will take a small break from Texas Regions to celebrate Texas Freedom Week.  We will be reading and learning about our United States government,  the Bill of Rights, and US Constitution, as well as Freedom is not Free. 
  • Students have been enjoying reading/learning online in the Texas Studies Weekly program, and answering comprehension questions to earn "coins" do decorate their rat cage.  They also earn cat cash for completion.  If a student is behind students can work on this at home, but they may not go ahead. Directions how how to access the Clever portal from home are on my website.   Ask them to show you how this program works and their decorated rat cage. :)
Hope this has informed you on what we are up to. If you have any questions feel free to send me an email!
                                                    Blessings,
                                                               Mrs. Keller

Book Report due Oct. 3rd

Major grade home project assignment is coming home in Wed. folders today. Students have been told about it and were to have already been reading a fiction book.  Please be sure your child is reading 30 minutes each night.  I do need a parent to help me round up some large paper brown bags for this project. I will need 41 bags minimum. Please email me if you can help me out.