November Newsletter

Learners Today.  Leaders Tomorrow.

The mission of Pigeon Forge Primary School is to promote student achievement and provide a positive educational environment which encourages life-long learning based on cooperation, respect, and integrity.


Principal News

November is a time intended for giving thanks. Pigeon Forge Primary is thankful for our community, parents, staff and children. Be sure and talk about being thankful with your children and ask them what they are thankful for, and how are they showing thankfulness and appreciation? I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for taking the time to read with your children, checking homework, communicating with your child’s teacher and countless other things you do as a parent to encourage and support the education of your son or daughter. We are also practicing “Character Counts” during this month and next by taking up Turkey Dressing until the 13th of Nov.   We will also be placing “Toys for Tots” boxes in the front hall for anyone that wants to send an unwrapped new toy. 

Parent Teacher Conferences are planned for November 16th. It is vitally important for you to attend at conference time in order for you to discuss your child’s progress with his/her teacher. All faculty and staff members are in the building during conferences for your convenience so that you can feel free to communicate with all of the teachers that instruct your child.

 Thank you to all our parents that are dropping off students at our Paws Line. This procedure helps PFP to maintain safety and teaches our children independence and responsibility.  Remember that breakfast for parents ends at 7:45.  If you do decide to eat you need to be at school by about 7:30 for enough time.  Parents not eating need to give that last hug at our Paws Line.  If you are in the building for any reason you must stop at the office to sign in and get a visitor badge.  You will also be ask to provide an ID.  Thank you also for remembering the rule of no checkouts after 2:30.  After that time students are to be picked up in the car rider line. 

 Pigeon Forge Primary is a school-wide Title I program. Its primary goal is to ensure that all students, particularly those who are low-achieving, demonstrate proficient and advanced levels of achievement on state academic achievement standards.  The establishment of a home and school partnership is essential in order to meet the needs of all students. 

 Wow, is November ever a busy month! Be sure to view the school calendar in this newsletter so you don’t miss anything!

 @pfptigers.  There is also a link from our webpage.  We encourage you to join to get school wide information including late buses and closings.  


--Dr. Cottongim—


November Events

4th           2nd six weeks ends

5th           Grub with Great Friends

                (4th Grade)

11th        No School for Students

                Teacher In-Service Day

12th        Make-up Picture Day

13th        Grade Cards

16TH       Conferences

24th        Science Avengers

25th        ½ day of school

26th -27th No School


 Pre-School News

Preschool had a marvelous field trip to Kyker Farms. Thank you to the many families that were able to join us there. It was exciting to see pumpkins actually in the field where they had grown. I was able to bring a vine with a baby green pumpkin and two pumpkin flowers back to the classroom for the children to explore the next day.  We are about to finish up our tree theme. The children have learned parts of trees, the difference between deciduous and evergreen,

foods that come from trees, and will conclude with things that are made from tree parts. The children have really enjoyed taking mini field trips around the building with binoculars. They even discovered that when you look through binoculars backwards things look far away!  We have had four birthdays this Fall. Happy Birthday to Weston, Mason, Cristofer, and Wesley!   Our next theme will be about clothing. After Christmas, we will explore balls.

 Pre-K News

I hope everyone is enjoying the cooler fall weather and all of the beautiful scenery in our area. I know the kids are having a blast with lots of fun activities. In November, we will be learning more about animals and our environment with some experiments, outdoor activities and lots of exploration in the classroom. Be sure to send in a jacket every day for your child to wear during recess because we will be going outside every day that is not rainy. Also remember to check your child’s folder every night so you are aware of and can reinforce what we are doing in the classroom to help your child be successful. Please remember that it is very important that your child be in the classroom by 9:05 and stay until 3:00 every day that he or she is not ill. Also, please reinforce self-help skills at home by encouraging your child to dress and undress themselves, handle all eating independently and clean up after themselves. I have such a wonderful class this year and am so thankful to get to share my days with your precious boys and girls.

 Kindergarten News

Thank you to all parents that have been involved in your child's school activities. This is a special learning/development time for your child and your involvement is meaningful. Reading to your child every night teaches your child new vocabulary words and the time spent together is special.  November brings a study about the First Thanksgiving and being thankful. In reading we will be learning the letters Aa, Nn, and Ff. Please work on these letters with your child at home as well. In math we will be learning about shapes. Ask your child to identify shapes around your home. Thank you for your help in all you do.

 Jr. Primary News

Junior Primary is getting to be a strong sweet group of kiddos. We are getting really good with our phonics and letter sounds as we stretch out our words. This month we are counting by 10's, recognizing/counting our teen numbers 11-20 and adding and subtracting by 0-6. Make sure you are reading with your child every night/color a turkey and practicing the November words in your notebook. Please come Tuesday, November 24 and feast on a Turkey lunch with your Indian and Pilgrim. 

 First Grade News

Our first graders have been working very hard at Pigeon Forge Primary.  We are beginning our 3rd reading book and we will be working on many new skills.  Please continue to check and sign planners each night. Also, check your child’s calendar inside their notebooks for special activities in November.  We are excited about our upcoming field trip to the Pigeon Forge Library. 

 Remember that school attendance and punctuality if extremely important. 

 Thank you for your support in your child’s education.  Working together, our first graders will be successful.

 Remember……..Your children will become who you are: so be who you want them to be!

 Multi-Age News

We had a wonderful time on our learning expedition to see Junie B. Jones.  Our classes are looking forward to our next learning expedition to Cades Cove coming up soon. Thank you to everyone who sent in items for our Autumn Party.  We are very proud of our students’ reading and earning AR points.  Be sure to ask your child what prizes they have earned and remind them to read their library book each night. 

Remember to check your child’s planner and folder nightly.

 Second Grade News

Can you smell the turkey, rolls, and pumpkin pies yet? We sure are getting close to Thanksgiving break but first we have some important business to take care of in Second Grade. Please continue to check your child’s planner each night. Remember if you need to write a note to your child’s teacher this is the place for it. Any changes to how your child gets home needs to be written here or please call the office and let us know.

 Homework That Helps! It is so very important for our students to succeed that they must read every night. This is great practice for them and you can help by asking questions related to the story. Make sure you are reviewing those spelling words too. You may find a Reading Focus Wall in your child’s folder, this focus wall includes vocabulary words, spelling words, and other reading skills for the week. This is a great tool to use to study. Have you checked out our Second Grade A.R. Wall of Fame? We have several students who have earned 15 or more A.R. points. Way to Read Second Graders!

 Don’t Be Tardy For The Learning Party! Every day is an important day at school. You do not want to miss anything during the day so please be on time and avoid early checkouts if possible. If your child is absent please check to make sure they have completed their make-up work.  We have had several situations where students are missing several assignments because of absences. We do not want student’s grades to change just because of missing make-up work.

 Second grade teachers are asking parents to remember to send in jackets with your children. We do try to go outside while we can but sometimes it gets a little chilly.

Helping At Home

Here are a few skills that you could work on with your child at home.

*even and odd numbers

*addition and subtraction facts

*place value


*nouns & verbs

*reading comprehension

*writing complete sentences

  Third Grade News

November is already here!  We are so proud of the third grade performance “We’re Nuts!” this past month.  We are really working hard in third grade.  This month we are looking forward to a fieldtrip to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  You should have already received information about this.  The dates are November 9th, 10th, and 12th.  Remember that Wednesday, November 11th is In-Service for the teachers, so there will be no school that day.  We are very proud of the students who already know their multiplication facts to 12!  Keep working hard!  Continue to read every night and check your child’s planner for homework and sign when they complete it.  Refer to the information in the front of your child’s planner for upcoming events.  There are listings for parent/teacher conferences, grade card distribution, and holidays in November.  We want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

 Fourth Grade News

The next 4-H club meetings will be on Thursday, November 12.  For students who are working toward the Golden Eagle Award and would like some help in completing the Exploring 4-H workbook, there will be a 4-H Records Workshop on Tuesday, November 24 at the 4-H Office in Sevierville adjacent to the Sevier County Fairgrounds from 4:00-4:30.  This a free workshop, but you must register by calling 453-3695 and leaving a message for Glenn Turner, or email at   Students should take their Exploring 4-H workbook to the workshop.

 Students should continue to study multiplication facts in order to become fluent in those facts.   Knowing these facts will be very beneficial as we dive into more complicated concepts in fractions, such as finding equivalent fractions, simplifying fractions, comparing and ordering fractions, and finding the greatest common factors.

 Thank you, parents, for making sure your child is reading AR every night and for signing his or her planner each night.

 Mrs. Ball’s Class

Happy Thanksgiving to all our PFP families.  Our class is learning all about why we have this special holiday.  We are going to be comparing the past with the present.  Our class will also be talking about our favorite foods and making a menu to have a special feast.  The class will go to the store and shop for all the ingredients we need.  We will measure, following recipes, and set our wonderful Thanksgiving tables.  Best of all we will sit with special friends, give thanks for so many blessings, and enjoy a feast.

Your child is working hard on various skills each day at school.  How can you help your child at home with skills?  Sort and count coins, make number or letter cards and put in order as they name them.  Make a letter book by writing a letter and looking or drawing pictures of things that start with each letter.  Read a story before bed.  Make it fun and let them know you are so proud of their accomplishments.  Only when we work together do we see the best results.  Thanks to all who read and sign the planners nightly.  I try to write each day about something your child has learned that day.  I love to hear back from you too. 

 Mr. Moore’s Class

We had a great October! Learned a lot and had lots of fun. This month we will start off by reviewing our 6 letters and 10 sight words we have learned so far. Then we will focus on letters n, c, and o. We will learn and use the words “to, have, is”. We have been practicing identifying the numbers 1-10 and counting sets. We will also work on directional words, such as front, behind, over, under.  The students are doing so well with identifying coins. We will continue to practice them and their values.

 We plan to visit the Apple Barn and the Apple Valley shopping area later this month. Your child will learn how cider is made. It is always a fun and laid back trip. It will end at Wear Farm Park. We will continue to talk about Fall and what all the season holds. We will of course spend lots of time talking and doing activities related to Thanksgiving. We may even make some cinnamon play dough!

 Art News

Our Art students continue to work very hard on their Art work. Kindergarten has been learning about shapes and using these shapes to connect lessons on the letters and sounds they are learning. We will continue these lessons and venture into learning about Texture—another Element of Design used in our Art work. First Graders have also worked with Texture and have created “Texture Turkeys” to decorate their hallway. We look forward to see their work. Second Grade has been learning about drawing Fall leaves and will be adding the Elements of Design—Warm and Cool Colors. Third Grade has been starting on their Hispanic lesson Paper Molas—inspired by the fabric Molas created by the Cuna Indians of the San Blas Island off the coast of Panama. They are very beautiful! Fourth Grade students have been working on special self-portraits that will be combined with their study of the phases of the moon. These are always very interesting and turn out great!

 Music News

This month in music kindergarten and first grade are having fun with songs and games about pumpkins. Second grade will discuss inferencing with the book and song, "Over the River and Through the Woods." Third grade is learning about ostinatos with some turkey songs and games. Fourth grade gets to use their recorders for the first time this week

PE News




Everyone looks forward to Thanksgiving for the delicious food (and, of course, the leftovers!). But did you know that the average adult eats approximately 2000-3000 calories at the Thanksgiving meal? Try the following strategies so you still can enjoy your meal more while making it more healthful (and less caloric):

1. Don’t come to the Thanksgiving table starving! Make sure to have a healthful breakfast and lunch before arriving at dinner. When you are extremely hungry, you eat very fast and tend to overeat.

2. Make time for exercise, especially on Thanksgiving Day. Try starting a family routine like going for a bike ride, hike, or long walk. Some cities even offer a Turkey Trot the morning of the holiday!

3. Fill your plate with salad and veggies first and then leave a small amount of space for higher calorie options like stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and etcetera. Don’t deprive yourself of your favorite dishes—think in terms of moderation!

4. Distance yourself from the hors d’oeuvre table. Munch on fresh fruits and vegetables (preferably organic) instead of high fat appetizers.

5. Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated, many of the foods served on Thanksgiving are high in sodium.

6. Go skinless…most of the fat is in the turkey skin. Have your turkey breast, leg, or thigh without the skin to trim major calories and fat.  (Have you ever thought of trying a vegetarian Thanksgiving?  It’s a radical concept for many, but it’s a fun way to think creatively in the kitchen about the holiday.)

7. Eat slowly…put your fork down every few bites and drink water. Your brain will have time to catch up with your stomach and you will find that you are satisfied with less food!

8. If you are the host, try making healthful alternatives such as steamed green beans with a drizzle of olive oil and almond slivers (instead of green bean casserole) and baked sweet potatoes (instead of baked yams with butter and marshmallows) to decrease calories and fat and increase nutrient density!  The recipe below for curried butternut squash soup is a great starter—filling up on a low calorie, nutrient dense vegetable soup will help decrease your intake of the higher calorie fare that is served later in the meal.

9. Most importantly…enjoy the holiday and what it means to you! And in the spirit of giving thanks, consider visiting a local food bank to help those in need or inviting a friend to your holiday meal who might not have a place to go.


Guidance News

We have started back a Coffee with the Counselor the first Monday of each month.

Topics will vary

Join Mrs. Whaley in the afternoon from 2:30-3:00

Please call and reserve your spot.  If this time is not good for you, call the school, ask for the counselor, and schedule another time for you to meet with the Mrs. Whaley.

 Christmas and Thanksgiving is a time of giving, sharing, and being very thankful for the things we have. The human self is always wanting more and more. We will be working on respect Character Counts value in guidance this six weeks. Being respectful can be described as being aware of others feelings. For this reason, we should be careful with our words, thoughts, and actions. When we learn to be respectful to others we in turn learn to become thankful for the things or people we share. When we acknowledge what we say, see, and do we can make better choices and become better students or adults. 

 Special thanks to Scott Burnette from the Methodist Church in Pigeon Forge for helping the guidance department with “weekend food” for our kids.  Pigeon Forge Primary is very thankful for his dedication and commitment to helping our kids.

 Library News

In the library, we have been studying the parts of a book, genres, differences between fiction and nonfiction books, and different types of reference books. We still have used books to sale in the library so please stop by and buy some for Christmas presents.

 Starting this month in the newsletter, we will be listing the five students in each grade level that have earned the most AR points. Please stop by and the growing of names on our AR wall. The students are doing a GREAT JOB!

 4th Grade

Evangelina Martinez - 144.5 points

Brooke Stein - 44 points

Mackenzie Lynch - 43.8 points

Jordis Lonas - 43.2 points

McKenzi Floyd - 36.9 points

 3rd Grade

Josiah Kelly - 69.7 points

Kaden Thompson - 57.3 points

Candy Solis - 40.8 points

Chloe Brenton - 39.6 points

Breanna Ball - 38.5 points

 2nd Grade

Connor Breeden - 41.6 points

Addison Wear - 36.9 points

Jayden Ingram - 35.8 points

Kenzie Parton - 34.4 points

Brian Ramirez-Medina - 28.8 points

1st Grade

Talen Doane - 39.3 points

Ellery Garrison - 36 points

Cailyn Loveday - 30.1 points

Derrick Yagnich - 19.5 points

Tatum Brackins - 18.5 points


Aubree Thompson - 8.9 points

Jacob Dansby - 7.9 points

Geneen Wentzell - 1.8 points

Suri Elswick - 1.5 points

Brandi Lowrance - 1.5 points

Marshall Stinnett - 1.5 points

Nelson Lorenzo Sanchez - 0.9 points

Addison Willis - 0.5 points