Friday, October 18


6th graders enjoying Outdoor Education

Highlights From This Week

Red Ribbon Week
Next week, Fairmont will celebrate Red Ribbon Week. This is a week to remind students to live a healthy lifestyle. Depending on the campus, there will be themed dress days through the week. In addition, all students will receive a red wristband to wear throughout the week. While wearing this wristband, students can receive discounts at various businesses around Orange County.

North Tustin JDRF Fundraiser
The North Tustin Campus had a JDRF Fundraiser on Wednesday, October 16th and we reached our school goal of $1,000! Students who participate will have their name written on a JDRF sneaker, which is hung on the car loading bulletin board. All collections go to the JDRF Walk on November 3rd. Thank you so much for your support!

Save the Date: JDRF - Walk to Cure Diabetes
Sunday, November 3rd, 2013
University of California, Irvine
Check in: 8:30 am  
Walk Starts: 10:00 am
Rain or Shine
UCI Parking: $7 per car
Fairmont as a community has registered for the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes and accepted the challenge to form a team and raise money for JDRF, the largest nongovernmental supporter of type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. The JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes raises funds, awareness, and hope for the millions of people living with and affected by T1D, a serious autoimmune disease. This year's walk is Sunday, November 3rd at UCI. Visit our campus team pages to register for the walk and donate: North Tustin - Historic Anaheim Campus - Anaheim Hills - Historic Anaheim Preschool

Historic Anaheim and Anaheim Hills 6th Grade Goes Outdoors for Education 
Each year, sixth grade students spend a week in the San Bernardino Mountains hiking, exploring, and observing nature. While there, they are exposed to hands-on lessons in biology, geology, and ecology that enrich the sixth grade science curriculum. While the experience is highly educational, students also gain the opportunity to meet sixth graders from other school communities and develop rich friendships with their peers. Throughout the week, students had the opportunity to walk alongside expert instructors and classroom teachers, learning about the wilderness that surrounds them. Additionally, they studied many topics covered in their science classes, including plate tectonics and the water cycle. It certainly was a week of learning about and engaging with nature! 

Some students exclaimed their favorite moments included: Skit Night, the astronomy hike, and their science sessions. The camaraderie gained through the five day experience was enough to last a lifetime. While each and every student learned more about the world in which they live, they also developed strong friendships and lasting memories. Outdoor Science School provided an experience unmatched for Fairmont's sixth graders!

Wednesday, October 16

SNACK TIME pumpkin soup

Feel that chill in the air? Warm soup is on the way! It’s October – why not make it pumpkin? That’s right, pumpkin soup is surprisingly yummy, creamy, and velvety-smooth. Made from scratch using real pumpkins is way more fun and tastier than making soup from canned.
Selecting a pumpkin is part of the fun. Kids can watch it transform in the oven and help scoop out the flesh. Remember that children are much more likely to eat food if they are involved in its meal planning and preparation.
Cooking tip: The best pumpkins for baking are sometimes called “pie pumpkins” and are smaller than jack-o-lantern varieties. Try Baby Pam, Autumn Kobachi, Hokkaido and Cinderella varieties for the best flavor.
Nutrition tip: Colorful plants are loaded with phytochemicals, compounds that possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Orange and yellow squash and pumpkin definitely contribute to the “rainbow diet”.
Bonus: Scooping out the pumpkins seeds and roasting them is another kid-friendly activity and also makes a tasty and nutritious snack.
Imagine serving soup in hollowed-out tiny pumpkin as a special treat! Spooktacular!

Pumpkin Soup (from The Pioneer Woman)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 8
§  2 whole Pie Pumpkins
§  1 quart Vegetable Or Chicken Stock
§  1/2 cup Heavy Cream
§  1/3 cup Maple Syrup
§  Dash Of Nutmeg
§  Salt To Taste
§  Extra Cream, For Serving

Preparation Instructions:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place pumpkins on a cookie sheet and roast them until slightly shriveled and soft. Allow to cool slightly, then slice in half and carefully scoop out seeds and pulp. Scoop yummy flesh into a bowl. Set aside.

In a pot, heat up the pumpkin flesh with the stock and maple syrup until simmering. Mash out the big chunks, the transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor (or use an immersion blender) and puree until velvety smooth. Add cream and nutmeg, then blend again. Reheat if you need to, or just go ahead and serve in a hollowed-out pumpkin of whatever size you'd like.

Image credit: The Pioneer Woman 
Submitted by Leslie Kay-Getzinger, MS RD
Regional Dietitian for Nutrition Management Services Company

Monday, October 14

HOW TO make the most of your parent/teacher conference

Few things make a parent beam with pride more than a glowing review from a teacher. We love to hear that our children are bright, hard-working and responsible, and, chances are, that's just what you'll hear at your upcoming parent/teacher conference. Conference time is also a valuable opportunity to dig a little deeper and find out areas where your child may need support.

In order to make the most of this experience, it helps to do your homework. Think ahead about any concerns you may have and be prepared to share them with your child's teacher in an open and non-threatening way. Share important details about your child that the teacher may not know and that could help maximize your child's success in the classroom. Take advantage of the teacher's unique perspective to get a well-rounded picture of how your child is doing socially and emotionally as well as academically.

Let these tips from Scholastic be your guide and you'll be on your way to a super productive (and painless)  parent/teacher conference.

Before the Teacher Conference 
Start preparing early. Don't wait until the night before to get organized. Create a folder at the beginning of the year in which you store test scores, big homework assignments, and your notes (about things your child has told you or any other topics you want to address).

Talk to your child. Ask how he or she is doing in class, what's going on during lunchtime, recess, and when he or she goes to special classes like music or gym.

During the Teacher Conference
Arrive early. With only a few precious minutes to spend, you don't want to be late. It will shorten your time with your child's teacher and affect her day's entire schedule.

Enter with the right attitude. The goal of both the teacher and the parent should be the success of the student, but sometimes parents have a hard time discussing tough issues. Rather than put the teacher on the defensive, arrive with a compliment to start the conference off on the right foot. ("My son is really enjoying the unit on space" or "We had a great time on the field trip.") Then address any concerns in a respectful way.

Find out the communication protocol. Don't let this be the only time you talk to your child's teacher. Ask how he or she likes to communicate, whether it's by e-mail, notes passed through a folder, or phone calls.

After the Teacher Conference
Follow up. If the teacher brings something to your attention that needs to be addressed with your child, take steps to put the plan in motion, whether it's helping with organizational skills, getting extra help, or addressing a social issue.

Update your child. Start with the positive things his or her teacher had to say, then fill him or her in on any concerns you and the teacher discussed. Explain how you can all work together to ensure your child has a successful year.

Image credit:
Contributed by Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools

Wednesday, October 9

FAIRMONT FIVE apple picking in oak glen

Romes and Winesaps and Braeburns, oh my! It’s apple season again! You can find these iconic fruits of fall at your local farmer’s market, but it’s so much more fun to harvest them yourself. Consider packing up the family and heading on an apple picking adventure. The little town of Oak Glen, California is just over an hour’s drive from Orange County, but you’ll feel worlds away. Pick your own apples, press a gallon of cider, hike in the San Bernardino wilderness, ride a pony, square dance…and gorge yourself on apple delicacies. Click on the farms below for apple picking and all manner of apple-related fun.

  1. Los Rio Rancho
  2. Mom’s County Orchards
  3. Riley's Apple Farm
  4. Snow-line Orchards
  5. Willowbrook Apple Farm
Image credit:
Contributed by Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools

Monday, October 7

BOOK REPORT dark emperor and other poems of the night

Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night
by Joyce Sidman
Illustrated by Rick Allen
This October we are taking every opportunity to embrace the dark side, and no, we're not referring to The Force, Luke!  This exquisitely illustrated book of poetry celebrates the creatures that go bump in the night from bats and owls to mice and moths.  It's a great read for kids during this spooky month of Halloween and features both beautiful poetry and enlightening natural science facts about the featured animals.  It's an un-scary read for a cozy night around the campfire.  Oh, and did we mention that Dark Emperor is a Newbery Honor Book!
Contributed by: Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools

Wednesday, October 2


From poetry to chemistry to apple picking road trips, we hope our inspiration board helps sets the tone for your "fall" into October.
  1. Apple picking in Oak Glen
  2. Moon poster free printable
  3. Macaroni skeleton craft
  4. Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night
  5. Pumpkin spice playdough
  6. Mad scientist-themed Halloween party
Contributed by Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools

Monday, September 30

HOW TO strengthen math skills at home

Math exists all around us in almost everything we do, and it's important to stop and use everyday math to help children improve their math skills.  When children use math in a real world application, they are far more likely to understand and remember the skill used.  This real world application alongside a consistent math regimen allows children the comfort and precision necessary to build a strong foundation in all areas of math.  

Have fun! Don’t be afraid to make a game out of some of the more mundane math activities such as math fact flash card drills.  For every fact a child gets correct, they get to keep that card and later can try to throw their correct cards into a hat or bowl.  The more cards they get into the hat, the greater rewards they can earn.

Let’s bake!  Rarely will you find more math involved in an everyday activity than in baking. Whether it's counting chocolate chips, doubling recipes, or just learning units of measurement, baking will teach children important math skills...and the end result is delicious!

Let’s shop!  Stores are excellent places to reinforce estimation, percentages through sales or taxes, and money.  Include children in every part of the process from budgeting to cost analysis. Let them decide which size package is a better buy at the market or what the price of an item on sale will be.

Let’s travel!  Using distance, speed, and speed limits, children can find out how long a trip will take. With so much information available online, children can look up the speed of airplanes and find distances from one locale to another.  Make a game of seeing if Google Maps has made a correct estimation of travel time.  Children can also use math to deduce whether their parents have violated a speed limit or two! Travel games can be used on a daily basis on the way to and from school.

Unfortunately, learning math doesn’t always involve yummy treats, shopping, or speeding. Math is one of the few subjects where extra practice and repetition is the key to success.  All subjects require understanding, but math requires hard work and diligence at home in order to attain speed, skill, and mastery.

There is never any substitution for a child carefully attacking his or her math homework each and every night.  Fairmont provides home access to Accelerated Math and Math Facts in a Flash.*  These programs along with excellent math instruction at school have allowed our students to take classes such as Algebra II and Pre-Calculus in 8th grade. *There are other great no-cost or low-cost math apps available such as XtraMath and Operation Math.

A love for math needs to be established both at school and in the home.  Math can be a burden or an adventure.  It is all about the positive attitude we create in the home for our children.  If we help keep math entertaining and meaningful our children will be more excited each and every day when math class begins.

Photo credit:

Contributed by Matt, Fairmont Private Schools