May 4th, 2020 Morning Announcements & Update from Admin, Special Areas, Counselor, Librarian, & Reading Specialist

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Zoom with the Specials + Team, Join Us!

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Moving forward the Special Areas Plus Team would like to continue to host grade level Zoom check-ins every other week with each grade level. Coming up this week (5/4-5/8) we’ll have the primary classes K, 1, 2 and next week (5/11-5/15) we’ll see the intermediate grade 3rd, 4th, & 5th. Our plan is to continue this pattern into the future so you can set these times on your calendar.

The links to log-in to these zooms can be found on the Grade Level BLEND pages at Please do not share them on social media as we are trying to protect these meetings from outside intervention.

Message from Ms. Jacobson, Maplewood Principal

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Hello, Maplewood Families!

The week of May 4-8 is “Teacher Appreciation Week!” If we were in our building, we would be taking time every day to say thank you to the amazing educators who teach your children every day. Since we can’t be together, I hope you will find a way to send a special message, thought, or song to your teachers this week. We have offered some suggestions in this week’s SMORE and on the Maplewood web page. AISD has had an amazing donation from Amazon, and is sending classroom teachers an online gift card to say thank-you. I am so very proud of the work that all of our teachers and staff have been doing over the past weeks. They have learned so much about on-line, distance learning. Each week, they collaborate with their teams to create fun, engaging learning activities, and connect with their students on Zoom and phone calls. I’m blowing kisses and sending air hugs to all of them. Please help me to say a special “THANK YOU” in your own way. Have a wonderful week! We miss you and can’t wait to see you all!

Ms. Jacobson

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Physical Education Update

This week we will start focusing on a new unit of Foot Dribbling in our Physical Education at home. That’s right we’re going to be practicing the skills you need to play Soccer. Eye-foot coordination is similar to eye-hand coordination and in this unit you’ll need to be able to communicate well between your foot and what you see.

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This week we will continue to practice the challenges we started last week for “Track & Field Thursday.” These lessons will be training us up for some special at home Track & Field challenges to celebrate with a district wide At Home Track & Field day the last week of School. Start gathering the supplies you need and practice these challenges. In the last week of school we will share creative ways for you to challenge yourself, your family, your friends, and even some Maplewood teachers!!!! Please keep sharing what your family is doing to be active at home and foot dribbling challenges. To add what you’re family is doing to be active to our PE padlet use this link to access it & I have removed the password to hopefully help all those who were having trouble accessing it. #AISDmovesAtHome You can add pictures or videos of your activities! Check out the PE Page on Blend to see what everyone is up to! 

Ms. Cervantes-Maplewood Art Teacher

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Art- Creative online ideas:

Share your talent Maplewood artists! – PADLET post Challenge:

This week’s challenge is to create a PLAY DOH or any kind of CLAY SCULPTURE! You can make your sculpture functional or decorative! You can use these handbuilding techniques like PINCH, COIL and SLAB. Kate Schroeder (Sh-rae-der) is a contemporary ceramicist who creates functional pottery with decorative plant designs. I hope you enjoy her ceramic artwork, check it out here. Please remember you can choose any of the activities on the choice board on the art BLEND page. Don’t forget to add your work on our “Share your Talent” art padlet! Click here to see how to make your own air dry clay.

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Mr. Hutson, Maplewood Music Teacher

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Music News: Music has been one of the things I get to enjoy everyday at my own house, I hope you are too! This week I took a look on our classroom Blend Music Page at the music choice board activity 1: Dynamics. The blend page contains a really funny and informative video about Dynamics or loud and soft sounds in music. There is also a cool scavenger hunt activity for you to identify all of the different Dynamics in your own home. Try your best, if you haven’t already, to take some time to enjoy some music for yourself this week.

-If you’d like to share ways you and your new learning community are sharing music at home I encourage you to go to the Music Padlet to upload and share a video or write about ideas you might have tried in your new learning space.

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Ms. Braziel, Maplewood Librarian

For me, during this social distancing time, some days are awesome, and some days are rough, and some days are an up and down roller coaster of feelings. I’ve found that I always feel better after reading or listening to audiobooks, though, and I adore seeing students on our Zooms! This week, I’ve shared recordings of books about all kinds of different feelings. Check them out in the “Stay at Home Storytime” section of the library page in your grade level BLEND course. While you’re there, take a look at the “Library Lessons” section, where you’ll find a few choice-boards of literacy and technology-related activities. There’s even a “Readers Advisory” section where you can ask me for book recommendations. I miss y’all, and I love you! ❤️

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Ms. Kirk, Maplewood School Counselor☮️

For Kids: Has anyone had any rough days lately? I know I have. This week’s counseling lessons on your BLEND page are about finding our Inner Peace, creating calm down kits, Peace areas, calm down menus, and plans to give us choices for self-care and problem solving when days are rough. We will also continue to focus on gratitude and spreading kindness in our communities, especially showing appreciation for all of those going to work each day to keep us safe, healthy, and fed. Keep increasing your Inner and Outer Peace and share on the Peacemaker Padlet! Stay safe! I love and REALLY miss you all.❤️

Make Your Own Stress BallMake Your Own Calm Down Glitter BottleMindful Coloring

For Parents:

Here is another great resource, Greater Good Berkeley-the May Happiness Calendar with interactive links. You can reach me @ Mon-Fri.MAY INTERACTIVE HAPPINESS CALENDAR

May Happiness calendar from Greater Good that has interactive links to many supportive resources for families

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Don’t forget to post pictures of all the ways you are Increasing the Peace!


Ms. Baker, Maplewood Reading Specialist

Hi Maplewood Families-

Let’s talk about nonfiction! A nonfiction book tells you facts and information about the world around you. It can cover almost any topic from animals to outer space. Some nonfiction books have illustrations/pictures as well as words. You may also find nonfiction writing in newspapers and magazines. The goal of nonfiction writing is to help you learn about interesting subjects.

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Non-fiction books often include text features. Examples of text features:

  • table of contents
  • pictures
  • captions
  • bold print
  • headings
  • glossary
  • index

I hope you enjoy the game attached called, Let’s Talk Nonfiction. All you need is a nonfiction book and a dice. Don’t forget to grab a family member to play with you!

Have a wonderful week!


Ms. Baker ❤️

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Important Resources

AISD Learning at Home

Meals Support

Food Bank Delivery


City of Austin Neighborhood Centers (some are providing meal delivery)


*email Ms. Kirk ( if you need additional information re: food, rent, or utility support.

Austin Diaper Bank

Spectrum Internet Free for K-12 students



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