Bancroft Elementary
Bancroft Elementary
Bobcat Tracks - October
Letter from our PFC President
Hello Bancroft Bobcats~ 
I am so excited that school is off to a great start and that most of our PFC programs are off and running.  I would like to say "Thank You" to all of our PFC Committee Chairpersons for getting our events off the ground!  I also want to thank all the volunteers who support and help these chairpersons run their programs successfully. Here's to a great school year!

Art Appreciation ~ Dan DiCarlo and Kaori Hornbaker
After School Enrichment - Beth McKnight 
Auction - Cherisse Riney
Birthday Books - Diane Thurman
Bobcat Tracks Coordinator - Hillary Osness 
Book Fairs - Melissa Horgan/ Katy Shultz
Box Tops - Janine Hollenbeck 
Dine-To-Donate Coordinator - Elizabeth Real/Julie Mitkov
Disaster Preparedness - Stephanie Hall 
Dollar-A-Day - Jill Collins
eScrip - Sarah Hansell
Fall Festival - Eileen Saldana
Feeder Pattern Rep - Sandi Rosenblatt 
Harvest of the Month - Chris Wong/Sarah Hansell
Hospitality - Cherisse Riney/Ashley Noe 
Library Aide Coordinator - Katy Schultz
New Family Liaison - Hillary Osness
Partners For Ed Achievement (PEAK) - Amy Anderson
Parent Educator Program (PEP)  - Alphina Zapantis
Room Parent Coordinator - Jennifer Boswell 
Science Lab Chair - Kaori Hornbaker/Melissa Horgan
Spell-A-Thon - Diane Thurman  
Spirit Wear Coordinator - Emerald Bristol
Volunteer List Coordinator - Oksana Melnyk
Walk-A-Thon - Stefanie Lee/Jennifer McCullock
Website - Jill Collins
Warm Regards, 
Lisa Guarnaccia 
Fall Book Fair - Save The Date!
Save the Dates for our Fall Book Fair! 
The Week of December 8 - 12, 2014. 
Bancroft Elementary School - Multi-Use Room. Volunteers Needed! 
For more information or to volunteer, please contact Melissa Horgan or Katy Schultz.
Harvest of the Month

Bancroft students had their first Harvest of the Month lesson this month. We learned about the benefits of kiwifruit - a very nutrient dense fruit full of Vitamin C. They also got the opportunity to taste the fruit. Students were encouraged to think about how many fruits and vegetables they eat at each meal and to determine if they get the recommended 2 ˝ to 5 cups a day.


This program depends solely on parent volunteers. If you would like to help present a Harvest of the Month lesson to your child's class, please email Sarah Hansell.

Auction Meeting
Our first auction committee meeting is coming up! Please join us onThursday October 23, at 7:00 p.m. in the Library. We are looking for some great volunteers to help with every aspect of the Auction, Hoedown for Education. Hope to see you on October 23!
Dine 2 Donate
Thank you for attending our first Dine2Donate (D2D) Fundraiser.  With the help of Rocco's Pizzeria, Yogurt Station, and you, Bancroft raised almost $300 at that event. Stay tuned for November's D2D Fundraiser!
PEAK's 2014 Turkey Trot
2014 Turkey Trot - Thursday Nov. 27th
Register early online!  Select Bancroft school and part of the proceeds will benefit our schoolRegister online.

For more information on PEAK and what it does, please see the article in September's Tracks or the PEAK website.
Walnut Creek Community Service Day
We had a great many volunteers from the community, the school, and alumni! The work included refreshing classroom paw prints for the classrooms and playground, planting at the front of the school, and sanding and repainting the benches near the MUR.
Jennifer Hill did an outstanding job getting all the projects organized and was a big help! Thanks to Alyson Ogden who took on the planting projects!  

The day was a great success thanks to the many hands and hearts who helped out!
Bancroft School Site Council (SSC)

Please print out, review and fill out the current Bancroft School Site Council Ballot for Bancroft parent membership. SSC bylaws require that there be at least 10 members of the School Site Council made of up 5 teacher/staff members and 5 parents. Mr. Miguel Espana has been nominated for one of the open parent memberships on the School Site Council. This leaves us with one parent vacancy still to be filled. Please consider either nominating yourself or encouraging a fellow parent to do so. Please send in your ballot by October 20, 2014. Thank you.
MDUSD Transfer Application Window
Beginning October 15 2014- January 15, 2015 Mt. Diablo Unified School District is accepting applications for Intra District Transfers. If you are interested in applying for a new transfer, please visit the district web site or come into the school office to access the correct forms. If your child is currently attending a MDUSD school on an Intra District Transfer and will be continuing in the school (K-5, middle or high school) then there is no need to reapply. Enrollment for the 2015-2016 Kindergarten year will be February 3, 2016. Applications for Intra District Transfers for the 2015-2016 Kindergarten enrollments will be accepted during the Kindergarten application window following February 3.
Noon Time Campus Safety and Student Supervision

Do you love to serve and be with our children? Are you looking to make some extra money? You might be just what Bancroft School needs to fill an open, paid position for Noon Time Campus Safety and Supervision. The hours are 11:15-11:50 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday and from 9:15-10:00 on Wednesdays. If you are interested in all or some of these hours or getting training to be a sub for our full time supervisors, please contact the school office. 

Faculty Spotlight - Mrs. Grunert
EDUCATION Cal State Hayward (now Cal State East Bay), B.A. and M.Ed 
POSITION AND YEARS AT BANCROFT I am a First Grade Teacher, and I have been at Bancroft since 2000.
HOW DID YOU COME TO BANCROFT? I had been a teacher for years at another school and had taken time out to raise my children. I was a one-on-one aide for a student at Bancroft when my husband became disabled. A full time 3rd opened, and I interviewed and got the job. My husband and I switched roles as he raised the kids and I went to work.  

WHAT DO YOU MOST ENJOY ABOUT TEACHING AT BANCROFT? I love watching the kids grow, develop, and blossom over the course of the year. It's so rewarding to help them build confidence and belief in themselves. I cry to see them reading at the end of the year - especially the ones that couldn't at the beginning. First grade is definitely my favorite year to teach because of all the growth that happens during this year.   

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT BANCROFT? The camaraderie, collaboration, and caring of the staff. These are the sisters I never had, and this is the best school I've ever worked at. A lot of that is due to Mrs. Schuler's leadership.  

WHY ARE YOU IN EDUCATION? I always wanted to be a teacher. I can close my eyes and see my first grade teacher, Mrs. Eveleth; she was such a great teacher.  

WHAT MAKES YOUR JOB CHALLENGING? Trying to meet the needs of 31 kids given the diversity of needs, both emotionally and academically, and trying to do it well.  

WHAT PROFESSION, OTHER THAN BEING A TEACHER, COULD YOU ALSO SEE YOURSELF DOING? Definitely something with people - maybe with older people. They are so wise.  

WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES AND INTERESTS? Reading all kinds of books; going to the movies; spending time with my husband and family; and cooking and baking.  

WHAT WAS THE LAST GOOD BOOK YOU READ? I re-read the classics over the summer; they were all good!  

WHO HAS BEEN THE LARGEST INFLUENCE ON YOUR LIFE? My first grade teacher. I also student taught for a 4th did so many dittos, and she was so strict. That was a good contrast for the teacher I wanted to be - interactive, engaging, and fun.  

WHAT HAVE BEEN THE GREATEST INFLUENCES IN YOUR LIFE? My parents who stressed the importance of education and a love of learning. My mom was a registered nurse. And when I was 5yo, my dad came home from Hawaii where he had been earning 50 cents an hour in the sugar cane fields; he became an engineer.  

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE QUOTE? "Believe in yourself and you can accomplish anything." 
In This Issue
Upcoming Dates
10/16: Halloween Costume Resale
            from 2:30-4 p.m. in the
            School Courtyard 
10/17: Teacher in Service Day - 
10/18: Walnut Creek Centennial
            Birthday Festival,
            Shadelands Ranch Museum

10/21: Soul Shoppe Parent Ed 
            Night, 6:15-7:30, MUR

10/22: Makeup Picture Day

10/23: Auction Committee
            Meeting, 7 p.m., Library

10/24: Cake Decorating Contest

10/25: Fall Fest, 2-5 p.m.

10/31: Kindergarten Parade and

11/7: Life Skills Assembly

11/11: Veterans Day - NO SCHOOL

11/18: PFC Meeting 7-9 p.m.,

11/18-21: 5th Grade Outdoor Ed

11/24-28: Thanksgiving Break
Visit the Bancroft online calendar for future dates.
Thank you!
*Thank you to the Back to School Ice Cream Social Team headed by Cherisse Riney and Ashley Noe. Thank you to our Ice Cream Social Sponsors: Mac's Old House Restaurant, Safeway, Target, Nob Hill, Sprouts, and Costco. Thank you to all of the volunteers that helped on the day of the event. Thank you to all of the families that came out to join us for ice cream. And thank you to Mrs. Schuler who stayed until the end of the night and talked with families. A good time was had by all. See you next year!

* Thank you to the Walk-a-thon team led by Stefanie Lee and Jennifer McCullock for a Space-tacular event. Thank you to all the parents who supported our kids by pinning on numbers, tallying laps, filling water cups, walking with students, and cheering on participants.
* Thank you to Lisa Guarnaccia
for organizing International Walk to School Day. Thank you to all the parents and children who participated in the event.

* Thank you to Eileen Saldana,
Kriss Bridgham, and Meena Dempsey for stepping up to organize Fall Fest.

* Thank you to sign artist Tommy Stallings for stepping up to write  Bobcat news and events on our new sandwich boards.
2014-15 Money Raised
Budgeted Expenses

Ongoing Fundraisers

10% off everything every day and 5% back to Bancroft.  Just mention Bancroft when you check out.
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Bancroft Elementary
Grade Level Curriculum Spotlight - 5th Grade

These spotlights are not meant to be an all-inclusive detail of the year's curriculum. Rather they are meant to highlight many of the engaging projects and new work and learning that happen at each grade - the things that both make kids look forward to that grade and that students will remember when they think back.


As with the rest of the school, 5th grade students use thinking maps to help visually represent the critical thinking embedded in the grade-level standards. Thinking maps span across all subject areas. Students are also taught how to close read: how to identify the main points of a text; how to find evidence to support an opinion or fact; and, how to get clarity on unknown words in a text.


Reciprocal teaching is also embedded throughout the curriculum. Reciprocal Teaching is a strategy that asks students and teachers to share the role of teacher by allowing both to lead the discussion about a given reading. Reciprocal Teaching involves four strategies that guide the discussion: predicting, question generating, summarizing, and clarifying.


Exploring New Horizonsa primarily parent-funded field trip, is the Outdoor School program for 5th graders.  Without parents' financial support, the students would not be able to attend this incredible trip.  Students go for 4 days and 3 nights, usually in November. Within a wide variety of eco-systems, highly trained naturalists introduce students to the wonders and mysteries of the redwoods, rich coastal oak groves and marshes, complex coastal tide pools, organic gardening, and the lush Pescadero creek. Skipping stones, dancing at the Barnyard Boogie, hiking under the night sky, singing campfire songs and making music together brings the magic of childhood alive, while instilling a life-long love of nature.


Also in Science, the 5th graders go on an excursion on the research vessel the R/V Robert G. Brownlee. It cruises out of the Antioch Harbor and into the Delta where the students study water conservation, ichthyology, plankton, and mud, while learning about boat safety, terminology, and teamwork.


The 5th grade also puts on a Science Festival for the school. Over the course of six weeks, groups of students, supported by parent volunteers, work together with the scientific method to put together a project, complete with a presentation. Hypotheses are answered and teamwork strengthened as students gain an excellent grasp of what it means to be a scientist.  


Social Studies for 5th grade presents the story of the development of the United States, emphasizing the period up to 1850. This includes many exciting projects including the Court House field trip that is part of their unit on the judicial system. Students are given a tour of the courthouse in Martinez, participate in a mock trial, and observe an actual trial in process.


Each student is assigned a state for in-depth research. Students use an online tool called Prezi to create a presentation of their research. The Prezi State Report project concludes with a persuasive essay titled "Come to [name of their state]."


Students also use their creative juices to put together a tribute to their state "on wheels" in Bancroft's traditional State Float Parade. Bikes, scooters, skateboards and feet are adorned with décor showing off their state as they parade around the blacktop while the rest of the school looks on.


5th grade culminates their study of US geography by making salt dough maps of the United States regions including major rivers, landforms, mountain ranges, and location of the states.


In PE, one of the activities is a colonial crusade where they "jog through the colonies," logging how far they have traveled as they move from one colony to another.  


George Washington Dayis another great US History event for 5th grade. Students are put into stations and live a day in the life of our leader and General, George Washington. They eat hoecakes, create silhouettes, play marbles, write secret messages, and study vocabulary on his life through Bingo. This is another opportunity to enhance their understanding of life in the 1700's. This day is the culmination of many weeks of studying the events that lead up to the American Revolution. 


A fabulous at-school field trip is the Walk Through the American Revolution. Students step back in time to 1763 when the British were defeating the French in the American Colonies. Students are then transported through the events before, during, and post war. They dress in costume, memorize lines, and carry props. Battle scenes are acted out and students end the day with a deeper understanding of how we became the USA!


In Math students are focused on the Engaged NY common core curriculum. In addition to focusing on the standard areas of study, they work on explaining their thinking. Teachers are not interested in the answer as much as they are interested in the thinking that the student used to get their answer.  


In language arts, the students read In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson, Bridge to Terabithia, and Whipping Boy. While reading these books they use the reciprocal reading strategies, focus on comprehension, making inferences, and using evidence to support. They increase vocabulary and general English convention skills as well.


Another project in language arts is the 5th grade magazine. Students choose a theme they want to carry through the project and then work to complete five major articles under that theme: persuasive, expository, how to, narrative, and autobiography. Students also include letters to the editor, advertisements, and other fun games or activities. The complete project is bound together with a laminated cover and put on display at open house.


Instrumental Music is back for 5th graders this year. This is an elective, and this year more than half the 5th grade has chosen to play an instrument. There will be three performances - one in December, one in the spring, and one area-wide music festival usually held at one of the high schools. 4th and 5th graders also can elect to participate in the spring musical.   


To help the transition to 6th grade, where they will have a different teacher for every subject, students switch between one teacher for math and science and another for social studies and language arts.


5th graders have homework on Mondays, Tuesday, and Thursdays, typically about an hour each night. They also do monthly book reports and a public speaking assignment every other week.

September Bobcat Tracks | Bancroft PFC website