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Students in preschool started discussing how to show kindness in our classroom and in our community. Examples that were discussed were inviting someone to join in play, helping someone who is in need, and being a good listener.  

Students also read books that went along with our theme of showing kindness.

Kindness Starts with You – At School by Jacquelyn Stagg

The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld

Students also practiced the letters D and E, wrote their first names, worked in art stations, and practiced counting and writing numbers.


Kindergarten students learned about the White House in social studies. The kids thought it was cool that the president has a bowling alley of his own. Students also learned about the job the president has to do.

Student are using the texts of Dr. Suess to learn challenging topics such as segregation (The Sneeches), fairness (Yurtle the Turtle) and how we can misjudge others (The Butter Battle Book). This is an extension of our My Country Tis of Thee unit that we finished this week celebrating great people in American history including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and Harriot Tubman.

Students also were leveled in reading and everyone had improved. There are even 5 or 6 students who are reading at a first grade level. Two students are leveled beyond the first grade already! The rest of the students are on their way to an E reading level! We are SO proud of them!!!

Students are also working hard on their handwriting skills. A few are still needing additional assistance but we’re getting there! 

Both Kindergarten classes had collected 186 cans of food to donate to the local food pantry. The children counted by 10s and 1s to get to their total.

First Grade

Every first grader leveled up in reading levels this week! In writing they were learning how to make sentences and writing more interesting. Students finished math unit four and started unit five on subtraction. The first graders are so well behaved they earned a behavior reward party.  They celebrated their behavior by eating cotton candy! 

Second Grade

In second grade, we celebrated the start of six more weeks of winter with pudding and teddy grahams that help to represent the groundhog emerging from his burrow to see his shadow. In other news, the second graders continued to work on introduction sentences for their informative writing pieces, practiced their BUILD centers for math centers, and became more familiar with BEABLE World of Work. 

Third Grade

This week in third grade the students have been making timelines of events in Indiana and in their region. They are working through their fraction unit and learning how to model fractions on number lines.  In reading the students are working on reading comprehension as they read the book, Because of Winn-Dixie.  Students are continuing to set reading level goals for the end of the year.

Fourth Grade

In reading and writing the fourth graders researched one topic that they randomly picked. After they summarized facts on their topic, they found a partner in the classroom that randomly picked a topic that related to their topic. Together they compared notes and then combined what they learned about each topic into one paragraph. Students also became masters of Homophones and played Homophone Bingo! Students are working hard on typing opinion essays. Fourth Grade mathematicians are learning how to use the area model for division problems. They also learned a little about Punxsutawney Phil and Groundhog’s Day. 

Fifth Grade

 The fifth graders had a great week in ELA! They were learning about elements of fiction. Mrs. Davis was impressed with how well students are able to identify themes in fiction texts! The students will continue working with elements of fiction next week, but they will be adding in comparing and contrasting elements of fiction between two texts. The students are using their shovels to dig deeply into fiction texts! 

This week in math the fifth graders learned all about multiplying and dividing with decimals. The students are doing so well with it! They will be taking a test over it on 2/6/2023. 

In social studies the students are learning about the Revolutionary War and the Declaration of Independence. The students are enjoying the Liberty Kids videos that go along with the lessons!

Physical Education

This week all the students focused on the American Heart Association fundraiser and the importance of keeping your body healthy and not drinking sodas unless a special occasion arises.  Students also watched videos and did some heart healthy exercises.  


Hello! My name is Sarah Forest and I am in my 9th year working as the School Counselor here at Van Buren. I love my work because it gives me the opportunity to experience life through a child’s eyes again. That can be a super fun feeling or it leaves me feeling terribly powerless! It’s so important to me that kids feel heard and understood- I know I have learned a lot about how to be a better adult in the world because of what my students have taught me. I see anywhere from 8 to 18 kids a day, not including recess duty and monthly whole class lessons. Typically, I hear a lot about how someone is doing something they don’t like. A student will either say- ” I told them to stop and they didn’t and I don’t know what to do” or “I tried to ignore them but I couldn’t so I yelled/hit/ran away and then I got in trouble and it’s not fair.” My biggest take away is 1. that kids are looking for things to have control over and 2. kids don’t feel like their words matter or are respected. More or less all of my lessons circle back to how can I be in control of myself so much that I can influence others and how can I speak in understandable ways so people will know what I want and will actually want to listen to me.  This next week is National School Counseling Week and I’ll be highlighting some of our district wide programs like Second Step as well as my small group lessons like grief, mindfulness, friendship, and self-confidence. I couldn’t be more proud to be your school counselor and have such a strong teaching team around me and I’m so lucky to be a Wildcat!

School Nurse

Just a little reminder… it’s that time of year when germs spread like crazy! Let’s all remember to wash our hands, extra good with soap! We should also remember to sneeze and cough into our elbows, not our hands. These things combined can help us keep the germs from spreading around school! So let all join together and do our part to spread kindness, not germs!