Weekly Update

Owl #28

What a week!

This week really was amazing. Our classroom is looking a little 1950s fab but it was so great to have all of my students together again. We’re finding creative ways to ensure that engaging, cooperative learning can still happen and that we can still employ hands-on activities to help students make sense of the content they’re learning.

This week the students built chain reaction machines in science, constructed fraction cards to represent quantities less than, equal to, and greater than one in math, read a really fantastic book, Front Desk, in small reading groups, and cooperated with friends to learn about the Midwest while highlighting main ideas. It really was a fun week together.

It gave us such joy to see friends reunited after a year away from one another. We will work hard over the next two and a half months to ensure that these fourth-graders can make wonderful memories together, appropriately culminating their years together at Clough.

(Also, our students brought a classmate to trial for stepping on the grave of a potato named Billy Bob. There were lawyers and a judge. Then, a funeral was held for above-mentioned potato. You can only imagine the roar of laughter when we were reading “Front Desk” later in the day and met a character named Billy Bob. We LOVE fourth-graders!)

This Week's Schedule & Our Specialist Schedule

This week's schedule reflects a typical five-day week.

The students will have a specialist class every day from this point to the end of the year. Our schedule is as follows:

Monday - Library

Tuesday - Technology

Wednesday - Art

Thursday - Music

Friday - Gym

Changes due to full in-person learning

All students have returned to in-person learning five days a week. We will no longer be having half days on Wednesdays.

The return of all students has forced some changes to our schedule. Please be aware that the fourth-grade lunch has been moved. Our students will be having an early lunch at 11:00. Their lunch will be followed by recess and then their specialists class. Because lunch is early and the afternoon may feel long, we will have an afternoon snack. Until the students get used to this routine, it may be helpful to decide what will be reserved in the student's lunchbox for his or her afternoon snack. If I were a kiddo, I'd likely devour all my goodies at lunch and be miserable at afternoon snack...anything you can do to coach your child will be appreciated by me!

Our room has been reset to accommodate additional desks. We will do our absolute best to social distance. The desks are approximately five feet apart (center to center). We will continue to employ mask-wearing and excellent hand washing practices. We will continue to run our air purifier all day and our classroom windows will remain open. Snack will be staggered so that students who sit within six feet of one another will not be unmasked at the same time. I am hopeful that we will continue our positive track record of zero in school transmissions. Please continue to do your part as a family. It is especially important to our fourth-graders that we culminate the year fully in person. Please know that the Clough staff truly appreciates the sacrifices you are making for the health and wellness of all.

We anticipate that the first couple of weeks may be challenging for the students. They've not been in school for five consecutive days in over a year and our social distancing protocols do not allow for as much movement as they have been used to in the past. Please know that we will take it a bit slow, focus on making learning fun and hands-on, and take body breaks as needed to make this transition easier. You may find that your child is more tired than normal toward the end of the week. This is to be expected. We suspect they will adjust in no time. We'll all be a little more patient until they do!

Packing for Hogwarts

Now that we are returning to full in-person learning some of your students' school supplies should be returned to school. Please feel free to send a little at a time so that the students' backpacks are not too heavy.

To be sent in gradually...

  • the hard-covered Wonders anthology
  • the Wonders workbook
  • their composition notebooks
  • their three-ring Hogwarts binder
  • folders purchased for school
  • the clipboard

To be sent in daily...

  • A fully charged iPad
  • The green Clough folder
  • A spare mask in a ziplock bag
  • Snack for the afternoon and a water bottle

To be kept at home...

  • The whiteboard. We have a set in class. Leave the whiteboard at home "just in case".
  • Any old GoMath! workbooks (chapters 1-5).

The students will be bringing their iPads home each evening. Please continue to support your child in fully charging his or her iPad each evening. This is important as we'll continue to use the iPads in school. It is also great practice for Nipmuc.

A Note From Our Nurse

Please see Mrs. Bellefontaine's note about food allergy awareness.

Click HERE.

Art Class

Hello Everyone!
I'm excited to be able to work with your child on their art in person next week! Your child will need to bring their art kit to school. The art kit had a sketchbook, construction paper, gluestick, watercolor paint set, and a set of markers all inside a pizza box. These are important tools for art class because we can not share materials. Please be sure to send this in with your child. I have extra boxes to put the supplies in if needed.

Thank you for all your support in their creative endeavors!”

From the Clough PTO

Hello 4th-grade parents,

Each year the children in 4th-grade create a self-portrait in art class. These self-portraits get shipped to a company and turned into a tile. As a gift to the school, these tiles are grouped together and put up on the tile wall in a hallway at Clough, which is sponsored by the PTO. These tiles also make awesome keepsakes!

Here is your chance to order your child’s tile! The tiles are 4”x4” and cost $7.46. All you have to do is fill out the form and return it to school with payment by Monday 4/5. There are 2 easy payment options to choose from: 1. Write a check made payable to Clough PTO OR 2. Visit CloughPTO.weebly.com and choose “click here for payments” then choose the drop-down box “4th-grade tile”. The tiles that are ordered from parents will be handed out as part of the 4th-grade celebration!


I truly enjoyed meeting with parents to discuss their student's progress. Once you view your child's report card, please reach out to me if you desire a conference. I can meet in the early evening hours too if that is better for your family. It really would be my pleasure to review your child's progress with you at your convenience.

Fact Fluency

We have finished our unit on division. Students with fact fluency have had a much easier time with this unit. We have just started the first of a couple of units focusing on fractions. I can't emphasize how important multiplication fact fluency is to the mastery of our fourth-grade fraction standards. Please continue to encourage your child to practice and learn his or her multiplication facts. Knowing their facts by heart will make tackling the content in this unit so much easier for the students. Students who know their facts by heart are far more confident and take more risks in math class. Anything you can do at home to build fact fluency will be greatly appreciated by the teachers at Hogwarts.

I think Spring may be here!

The forecast continues to look fairly mild. In order to keep your child as safe as possible, classroom windows and even bus windows need to remain open at all times. Our classroom will continue to feel cool until the first real warm weather. Please continue to send your child into school dressed in layers so that he or she will be comfortable.

Staying Connected

Let's continue to stay connected. Please reach out should you have any questions or concerns. Also, always feel free to share triumphs you're noticing in your child. We love hearing stories of growth and increased independence. We are committed to helping your child overcome obstacles and to set and work toward meaningful goals. As a parent myself, I know how tricky navigating parenting during typical days is let alone during a pandemic. Let's continue to keep the dialogue open as we move through the school year. Don't ever hesitate to contact us.