Curriculum & Instruction Newsletter

Fair Haven Public Schools

June 2021 - Volume 3, Issue 5

Dear Fair Haven Families,


Wow! What a year it has been. We went through so much as a school community and it has now come to an end.


This year was both different and challenging, but we made it. With the help of our phenomenal teachers, students, and families it was always easy to see a silver lining. Classrooms were in full swing, and while it looked a little different, content from all curricula was covered with minimal gaps to close. We continued on with some wonderful traditions, from Transition Day to Field Day to Graduation. Having the opportunity to see how happy our students were and to see their smiling faces was enough to brighten anyone's day.


I hope you all have a wonderful, relaxing, well deserved summer! I am looking forward to the fall and the hope that a new school year brings.


Sincerely,

Cheryl Romano

Director of Curriculum & Instruction

romanoc@fairhaven.edu

Twitter: @FHCurriculum

“One benefit of summer was that each day we had more light to read by.” Jeannette Walls

Mrs. Cannon's and Mrs. Walls' Class is Hard at Work...

Getting the Info on Owls

In Mrs. Cannon's and Mrs. Walls' third grade class, students are having a blast in science. Through the dissection of owl pellets, students are learning so much about what owls have eaten and about the ecosystem where they live.


When students dissect owl pellets, they can see and identify the tiny bones from an owl’s meal. The can also learn about the owl’s diet and place in the food web. A gross, yet interesting fact about owl pellets is that many people believe it to be the product of an owl going to the bathroom, but it is actually an owl's vomit. Since owl's generally swallow their prey whole, there are many parts of the prey that they can't digest. The owl's body takes things like bones and fur and turns them into a pellet, which they essentially spit back out.


Take a look at some of the photos of Mrs. Cannon's and Mrs. Walls' students as they discover what their owls have eaten!

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Geometry Fun!

Students are learning geometry in new and fun ways! Students work together to play a geometry game, similar to Hedbanz, asking “yes” or “no” questions before time runs out to figure out what shape is on the picture card on their headband.

Connecting Art, Media, and Culture

Whether teaching in person or in a virtual environment, Dr. LaBrocca and Mrs. Sustick work together to support both Art and Media in collaborative projects. Our third grade students are currently working on creating books in Art for the haikus that they wrote with Mrs. Sustick.
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2021 Field Day FUN!

Thanks to our amazing PTA, field day at both Knollwood and Sickles went off without a hitch! Everyone who attended had a blast and it was so great to see all of our students' smiling faces! Also, in true Fair Haven fashion, our Fair Haven Knight made a guest appearance...can you guess who our extremely tall mascot is??
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Sickles

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Knollwood

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Kindergarten Curriculum Night

On May 19th, Mrs. Schwartz hosted our Kindergarten Curriculum Night. During this event, families were able to Zoom in and learn about all the wonderful things that Sickles represents for our students. Mrs. Schwartz talked about special people, the school philosophy, a typical day for our kindergarteners, and tips to have a successful school year. Mrs. Schwartz was joined by Mr. McNeil, who shared information about Sickles as well, and Ms. Romano, who discussed the engaging curriculum and educational opportunities for our youngest learners. If you didn't have a chance to attend the presentation, you can find it at the link below:


Kindergarten Presentation

Bringing Realistic Fiction to Life

In Mrs. Mattison's virtual 5th grade class, students are proficient at using a wide variety of digital tools to do their classwork. One of these tools is an online site called StoryJumper. Through this site students are able to create, narrate, and publish the stories they write. This site also gives the option to share your stories publicly and to purchase hard cover books of the stories you create.


After learning a bit about this site, I was so excited to be invited into Mrs. Mattison's class to see and hear the realistic fiction stories her students were working on. Students shared with me their books about being in quarantine, books about storms and tragedies at sea, as well as a story about being adopted. The students did a wonderful job bringing their stories to life through the graphics they added to each page of their stories, their narration of the text, and the interesting background music they added (which definitely coincided with the mood the students were creating). Through the work of the students, this is a fantastic way to create an online classroom library celebrating what the class has accomplished in this unit of study!

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What a Difference a Year Makes

Mrs. Gennusa's 1st grade class, students were hard at work, detailing all the important events that took place this year. Most impressively, they authored a book called, "Zooming In and Looking Back at First Grade." Besides getting a little chuckle from the title (we all know Zoom far too well this year), students detailed aspects of the year, starting with their Blue and Silver Knight hybrid schedule and ending with their study of plants. Mixed in were some great and some not so great moments, including fun times during Read Across America, the 100th Day of School, and performing Reader's Theater in the library, but also detailing Mrs. Gennusa's "Big Fall" that took place on October 26th. One student shared, "Everything was going fine until BANG! Mrs. Gennusa fell." We are so glad that Mrs. Gennusa has since recovered!


I had the distinct privilege of meeting with Mrs. Gennusa's class while they shared their writing with me. Students drew detailed, colorful pictures to accompany their amazing writing pieces, making this book a page turner! I was also very pleasantly surprised that Mrs. Gennusa's class gave me my own copy of their book to keep. Of course, I had to share their stories with my family first, but their class book has a special place in my office and in my heart!

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The Transition Day Tradition Continues!

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June 7, 2021

We were very excited that our 3rd graders rode their bikes down Third Street, accompanied by their teachers, Mrs. Schwartz, and Mr. McNeil! The day was hot and humid, but that didn't put a damper on the excitement that this Fair Haven tradition brings.


Once at Knollwood, students had the opportunity to meet the 4th grade teachers, Mrs. Romano, and Mr. Croken. They also had the opportunity to attend four different sessions at Knollwood to learn more about the school. They met their art, music, gym, and health teachers, took a tour of Knollwood, learned a little bit about curriculum, including voting on the postal service, and they met the school nurse.


What a fun (and information) filled day!

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The Knights Postal Service Goes Virtual

This year, our Knights Postal Service had a slight change in its delivery plan. To continue this fun way to create connections between Sickles and Knollwood, the Knights Postal Service went virtual!


Just like last year, classes and students were partnered for this letter exchange. The one main difference is that students wrote to their pen pals using shared Google Docs. In their letters, students talked about a ton of different things; their likes and dislikes, their families and pets, the schedule at Knollwood, and classes they liked were just a few of the more common topics. What was nice this year, was that the Google Docs allowed for all students to be connected, whether they were learning in school or in the virtual classrooms. Students also have become experts at using online tools, so in many cases, students would drop in pictures of their families and pets, so their pen pal could see what they were writing about. It allowed students to add more of a personal touch to their letters.


During the last week of school, all of our students were able to connect via Zoom to meet their pen pals. Some classes got to meet each student and ask them a question, while other classes used breakout rooms so that the pen pals could talk to each other. Being part of both formats, I can say that students had a great time "meeting" and learning something new about their pen pals that they didn't get to ask in their most recent letters.


What is the fate of the Knights Postal Service next year?? I was very torn on how the postal service should run next year, as I appreciate a handwritten letter, but I also saw how students customized their digital letters for the pen pals. Since I couldn't make a decision, I put the vote in the hands of our 3rd grade students. During Transition Day, they voted on whether to keep the Knights Postal Service digital or go back to the traditional handwritten letters. Students overwhelmingly chose to use Google Docs to write letters in the new school year. Out of curiosity, I asked students why they went that route. Some talked about the neatness of their handwriting and Google Docs offers fun fonts and colors, while others liked the idea of being able to share pictures with their pen pals and liked the quick turnaround time.


No matter what the students chose as a delivery method, I am very excited to continue the Knights Postal Service next year!

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Our Graduates

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On June 16, 2021, we celebrated our Knollwood 8th graders as they get ready to embark on their high school journey. No matter what path they take, we are so proud of what they have accomplished. Congratulations to the Class of 2021!
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Preschool

Our graduates come in all shapes and sizes! On Friday, June 11, 2021, our youngest learners had their moving up ceremony, led by their teacher, Mrs. Slevin. The day was a little windy, but that didn't stop our preschoolers from having a blast! Students sang songs about all of the studies they did this year, including pets, gardening, sand, roads, and balls! They also showed their families their awesome dance moves as they watched a slideshow of each study that was accompanied by some fantastic music.
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See You in September!