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At Viola Gibson Elementary School, we have a positive, engaging and safe environment where learners thrive.

Kindergarten – 5th grade learning expectations

Iowa Common Core state standards
View the Iowa Common Core state standards website here, where you can find math and reading standards according to the Common Core State Standards. Choose different grade levels on these pages and view options for activity ideas to use on Learn Zillion, Brain Pop, NearPod, and IXL. Watch Mrs. Faust’s tutorial about how to navigate the Iowa Core website.


Summer reading list

Phonological awareness

Phonemic awareness occurs when a student transitions from noticing larger parts of language (words in a sentence) to smaller and smaller units of sound. Noticing individual sounds in a word is the most difficult. In order to be proficient readers, students need to not only notice and analyze the individual sounds in words, but be able to manipulate those sounds easily. These skills do not use graphemes or letters; we focus on sounds. This ability is foundational for future reading success.

  • Recommendation is 10-15 minutes of practice daily
  • Verbal and auditory (not visual) unless you choose to use a manipulative to represent a sound. You would not show any letters or letter cards.
  • This is not about spelling.


Heart Word Magic is a complimentary teaching tool designed to help students learn to read and spell high-frequency words, particularly those that aren’t very decodable. At Really Great Reading, we call high-frequency words heart words because they are the first words students should learn “by heart.”

As readers, we want all words to become “sight words,” which are words that we can recognize automatically because we have them memorized and stored in our brain’s letterbox. Some words we cannot sound out, so we need to memorize those words—we call them heart words. For example, “come” is a heart word because the o sounds like /u/ and the e should make the o a long vowel. These are words your students can practice reading for fluency.

Language and writing

View the Common Core state standards for English language arts here. On the right hand side choose language and then your child’s grade level if you would like more specific ideas for grammar and language.

  • Parts of Speech
  • Verb Tense
  • Collective Nouns
  • Adjectives
  • Nouns
  • Verbs
  • Adverbs
  • Sentence structure
  • Simple versus complex sentences
  • Prepositions
  • Articles
  • Interjections

LearnZillion– Click the title to go to the homepage. You do not need an account to watch the great videos, however, if you would like the lesson plans and more activities you can create a free account. View Mrs. Faust’s YouTube tutorial.


LearnZillion– Click the title to go to the homepage. You do not need an account to watch the great videos, however, if you would like the lesson plans and more activities you can create a free account. View Mrs. Faust’s YouTube tutorial
Khan Academy– Click the title to go to the homepage. Your child may already have an account, but if not that is okay! You can access all the great videos without an account! View Mrs. Faust’s YouTube tutorial!

Social-emotional learning

Alternative kindergarten through fifth Caring School Community. Caring School Community is built around the following principles:

  1. A focus on the whole school community: Community must include everyone: students, parents, school leaders, teachers, custodians, cafeteria staff, yard supervisors, and support staff.
  2. Relationships matter: Relationships underpin teaching, learning, and prosocial development. Building relationships and fostering a sense of community are hallmarks of the program.
  3. Comprehensive leadership guidance: The program includes everything a leader needs for a successful implementation, including step-by-step guidance and resources to help plan for, launch, and support implementation.
  4. A unique stance on discipline: No more gold stars. A focus on community, not compliance. Caring School Community builds on the powerful insight that when students have strong relationships within their community, they are more likely to acquire self-discipline and feel a sense of responsibility to themselves and to others.
  5. A year’s worth of teacher-friendly, easy-to-implement, grade-specific instruction: A full 30 weeks of daily, grade-specific lessons across K–8 that only require 30 minutes a day, with a comprehensive scope and sequence to build relationships, social skills, and competencies intentionally over time.
  6. Creating calm, orderly learning environments: Through consistent use of effective classroom management practices and structures that build relationships, the program helps teachers create calm, safe classrooms that are more conducive to learning.
  7. Robust content for middle school: Grades 6–8 are not an afterthought. The program provides comprehensive Advisory Period lessons as well as guidance for integrating SEL across all subject areas. Lessons address developmentally appropriate and urgent topics for middle school.

The Center for the Collaborative Classroom recognizes that educators will need options that are flexible to support their students’ learning in a variety of circumstances and formats. The Remote Guidance is designed to support teachers in transitioning from an “in person” format to either a blended or fully remote design. To support instructional planning, the guidance is organized by beginning-, middle- and end-of-year and provides instructional guidance, essential learning, and at-home activities.

Social-emotional behavior supports


When used consistently, school-wide expectations:

  • Provide students and staff with common language to promote positive behaviors.
  • Are known by students, which gives them confidence in understanding the expectations.
  • Are used by students to monitor themselves and take more responsibility for their behavior — and their learning.
  • Are more easily recognized by adults and used to motivate positive student behaviors.
  • Promote an overall more positive classroom and school culture.

We have developed common area expectations for playground, hallway, bathroom, lunchroom, library, and assembly. Posters with these expectations are posted around the building. Voice levels: 0: no talking; 1: whisper voice; 2: inside voice; 3: outside voice

Acknowledging expected behaviors

gator ticketStudents earn Gator tickets to reward positive student behaviors. These tickets are counted in our classroom and school total. Classes may earn rewards based on the number of tickets earned. The school may host special events such as “Pajama Day” when certain ticket goals are met. This is to reward our students for working hard to meet classroom and school-wide expectations.