Curriculum & Instruction Newsletter
Fair Haven Public Schools
June 2021 - Volume 3, Issue 5
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.
Director of Curriculum & Instruction
“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!
Connecting Art, Media, and Culture
2021 Field Day FUN!
Kindergarten Curriculum Night
Bringing Realistic Fiction to Life
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!
What a Difference a Year Makes
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!
The Transition Day Tradition Continues!
June 7, 2021
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!
The Knights Postal Service Goes 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!