Fiske Monthly News

November 2016


Welcome to the home of the Fiske monthly news! We feature great news and updates by grade level and specialist teachers to help keep you informed about what our students are learning. Enjoy your reading!
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News from The Principal

Student Voice, Social Media, and Positivity

Last week at our all school meeting we showed our students how a “Tweet” is generated via Twitter and how it is shared with the world. We also talked about social media and what it is used for. We’ve had a Student Twitter Center for over a year now, however, the center has not gotten as much attention as we’d like. We’ve encouraged students to write short notes and put them into the “Twitter box” and we would then tweet them out, using only initials to maintain student privacy. In an effort to boost participation, we told students last week that we’d read one tweet per day as part of our morning announcements and then we would draw out one tweet per month and that student would get to have lunch with me.

As a result of this presentation, your child may have come home and told you that he/she thought he/she needed to be on Twitter. I want to make sure that I had the opportunity to communicate with you and let you know that we did not tell students that they needed to be on Twitter. That being said, like any other social media, if used appropriately, it can be a powerful tool for learning, networking and communicating.

Our hope, by using the Student Twitter Center, is that we can give students a voice in the school and have them share out their experience each day. Additionally, we are hoping that by modeling the use of social media in a positive way, we can influence student use later in their lives and also address the digital citizenship skills that schools are being asked to teach as a means to promote the appropriate use of technology. Lastly, we feel that it is our responsibility to positively promote the work of the Fiske School and its staff and students. There are so many great things going on, that we want to take every opportunity to showcase our work via social media and other avenues as well.

Fiske Focus: A Monthly Parent Forum

Over the past several years, I have tried several forums for providing information for the greater school community on a variety of topics. My goal has been to be proactive in sharing information about our work at Fiske so that the school community is informed and also so that there is not potentially misinformation that is shared either. It is also a great way to share information to larger groups as opposed to one on one meetings, which I am never opposed to, but may not always be the most efficient in regards to time.

This year, I will be holding "Fiske Focus" meetings once per month from 8:45am to 9:45am. In the past, day meetings were better attended than night, and therefore, I've only scheduled meetings for days during the current school year.

Dates and Topics for Parent Fiske Focus Sessions:

November 18, 2016 8:45-9:45 WIN (What I Need) time - Intervention

December 16, 2016 8:45-9:45 MCAS

January 20, 2017 8:45-9:45 Handwriting

February 17, 2017 8:45-9:45 Modular Classrooms/Space at Fiske

March 17, 2017 8:45-9:45 Student Placement

April 14, 2017 8:45-9:45 TBD

May 19, 2017 8:45-9:45 TBD

June 9, 2017 8:45-9:45 TBD

Each meeting will have a topic or focus that will be shared ahead of time, and time will be devoted to share information about that topic and then a time will be available for questions, comments, or other items that attendees may have questions about.

News from the Assistant Principal

Hello Fiske Families:

The month of November is a time to reflect on what we are thankful for. I would like to take a moment to give my thanks. I am grateful to be the Assistant Principal of Fiske Elementary School and to have an opportunity to work alongside some of the very best students, families and educators!

First of all, I am thankful for the Fiske students. They come to school every day showing respect, responsibility and they all work diligently to give their best effort in becoming more skilled and productive members of our society. The Fiske Students are open to new ideas, new concepts, and new experiences. They are not afraid to make mistakes and learn from them every day. After all, mistakes are where the new learning goes! The Fiske students come from many different backgrounds and they learn, work and grow together. As you can imagine, that process is not always easy, but they persevere through the difficult moments, and they celebrate their successes, together. I am proud of the accomplishments the Fiske students have made thus far this school year!

The parents at Fiske School are very engaged and enthusiastic and I am also thankful for all of your time and commitment. Fiske would not be what it is without your support and the special partnerships we and our teachers have built with you to ensure our students’ success. Thank you!

What we do at Fiske could never be achieved without the dedication of the staff behind the scenes and in front of the students. From our maintenance staff, to our office and also the cafeteria staff, the persistence and motivation they demonstrate is wonderful and I appreciate their dedication and professionalism.

During this month of thanks I want to extend a very special thank you to our teachers. The teaching staff at Fiske work tirelessly. They constantly challenge their students and themselves to reach higher and accomplish more. Every day that I come to work I am renewed by their energy, their enthusiasm, and their willingness to try new things while remaining grounded in foundational teaching practices. Our teachers are continually adjusting their instruction to help each child reach his or her potential.

To all our students, families and staff, I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving!

With much appreciation,

Mr. Baker

Kindergarten News

Kindergarten students began writing on the very first day of school. We are now reaching the end of our Launching the Writer’s Workshop unit. We have written about topics we know a lot about, informational writing, and we have written about things that have happened to us, personal narrative writing. On the Kindergarten level, these first writing pieces are pictures with labels and words with approximated spelling.

The children have developed a writing routine that involves using writing tools, such as writing folders, letter charts, date stamps, fancy pens and the word wall. The routines build independence and self-motivation. Our Writer’s Workshop begins with a lesson, children engage with the topic, and then they go off to their own writing tables to try out the techniques that are taught. During the Writer’s Workshop, teachers conference with students about their writing or offer smaller group lessons on building individual writing skills. The end of the Writing Workshop allows children to share what they have worked on and/or teachers to reinforce the day’s lesson.

Kindergarteners have been adding details to their writing, drawing speech bubbles to show dialogue, telling stories with a beginning, a middle and an end, and making sure they have told who was in the story, what happened and how the characters are feeling. The use of classroom charts allow children to self-monitor their learning and act as a rubric to which students can compare their work and determine if they need to add or remove anything from their writing.

As we move into the last week of the first unit, children are comparing their growth from the beginning of the unit to now. One thing is for certain, the Kindergarten students have all made amazing progress since the first day of school!

Grade One News

Language Arts Happenings:

Congratulations to our first graders who have been actively engaged during the month of October in our daily writing lessons! All of that hard work paid off as each writer published and celebrated the publishing of a Small Moment story. We are so proud of our first grade writers for telling “all they know” about an event and making characters move by making them think, feel and talk. Writing continues as we begin the next unit on Informational Writing.

During reading, the children have been learning about and practicing the good habits of readers, like taking a sneak peak, making predictions, asking questions, doing something at the end, reading more and more, scooping words and reading smoothly. At the same time, readers use lots of different strategies to read words they don’t know, like stretching out the sounds, using chunks, using pictures, rereading and always thinking about what they are reading. Practicing these good habits during read alouds and independent reading and buddy reading (with Just Right Books) has been the main focus during reading so far.

Marvelous Math:

The first graders have been looking at clocks and learning about the hour hand, minute hand and beginning to tell time by the hour. We are working on addition and subtraction within 20 to solve word problems. A large part of our lessons are involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing.

Super Science and “BIG” Backyard at Fiske News:

The first graders have learned so much about the animals, insects and plants living around Fiske School and how they are getting ready for the colder days ahead. Thank you to the parents who guided our walks.

The students are wrapping up their “Light and Color “ Science Unit and will have a hands-on field trip to the Acton Discovery Museum in November.

We have had a great start in September and October and we want to thank you for all your support. We enjoyed meeting many of you at conferences where we had the opportunity to share the assessments we have done with your children and the progress they have made so far.

Grade Two News

We are counting the days……. practicing counting!

Math is all around us if we just take time to notice. We encourage our families to look around and point out the fabulous places math occurs. From the calendar on your fridge, to a recipe for grandma’s famous cookies, to keeping track of time for your “always late” family member, making numbers a discussion point will allow unlimited review for students.

Addition and subtraction facts and strategies will continue to be the focus in math. We will also begin a unit on Place Value, Money, and Time. Throughout this unit, students will use place value to help them add and subtract numbers and solve one and two-step problems within 100. This will include solving word problems about dollars and coins.

The use of number lines is encouraged as a method for adding and subtracting.

We are excited to begin our nonfiction unit in Reading. Students will grow as nonfiction readers by learning strategies to approach “just right” nonfiction texts. We will practice closely reading for details, thinking about each part of the text, asking questions about a text, and talking about our thinking. We will also learn about the many features of nonfiction texts including headings, diagrams, captions, and glossaries. At home, encourage your child to read the “nonfiction texts” that are all around us such as labels on cereal boxes, calendars, and maps.

Second grade has been very busy writing! We recently published our personal narratives and shared them with the class. Each student worked diligently to revise and edit his or her writing. Now, we are excited to begin a unit on Informational writing. Students will write as experts as they create “All About” books and practice developing an informational piece of writing.

Digging our way through soil is how we have been learning about living

Vs. non-living materials. We will continue our investigation of this unit through this month before transitioning to learning about Ghana.

I think we all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it.

-Maya Angelou

For the past several weeks the 2nd grade has been working closely with our school counselors Lysa Pirone and Kerri Donnelly, around the subject of empathy and how it affects us as learners. The children have been trying out different scenarios where they are using empathy to support their own MINDFULNESS. Along with breathing techniques, allowing ourselves time calm our minds and bodies provides the focus we need to move onto the next activity. We are all learning how important it is to check in with ourselves several times a day. Next time you are talking with your child about their school day ask them if they can tell you a time when they were MINDFUL and how it helped their day.

Grade Three News


We are in the midst of our unit on Adding and Subtracting Whole Numbers. Your children are learning to:

• Solve multi-step word problems. Use operations (+, -) to solve the problem accurately and efficiently.

• Write number models to show how they solved the problem.

• Check if their answer makes sense. Round numbers to the nearest 10 or 100.

• Accurately solve addition and subtraction problems within 1000.

Readers’ Workshop

During our reading block, the children have independent reading time. The books the children read independently in class should be "just right." This means that they are not too easy, but comfortable enough to rehearse the reading skills and comprehension strategies we learn throughout the year. We have had whole class lessons and discussions on choosing "just right books". Students have been learning that readers check their understanding by 1) giving themselves comprehension checks, 2) making predictions, and 3) retelling by telling the BIG parts of a story. They are also thinking about themselves as readers and setting goals for themselves. We are currently reading various mysteries and learning about the elements of a mystery. Please encourage your child to continue reading every day at home, and don’t hesitate to read with them, and discuss the text together!

Writers’ Workshop

The children have all chosen their “seed ideas” for their Personal Narratives. Prior to their topic selection, they created maps, diagrams, and lists to help them think about topics “close to their heart.” We have been doing various writing activities to help develop their writing fluency. Storytelling is also very important, as it allows the author to rehearse the story and define what he/she wants to say. Students have been working to use a “storyteller’s voice” in their writing, as opposed to a “news reporter’s voice” simply stating facts. This is a skill we will continue to develop as the year progresses.


We continue our focus on the Water and Weather through hands-on experiments and observations to identify the different parts of the cycle: evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and collection. Soon your children will be able to explain the water cycle to you, how it impacts our weather, and the importance of protecting this precious natural resource! The children engage in very interesting discussions, and record all of their scientific discoveries and understandings in their Science Notebooks.

In mid-November, we will go on our Big Backyard Walk at nearby Chiesa Farm. We will search for plants that colonists used in the 1700s for various needs: food, medicine, dyeing cloth, ink, furniture, tools. The children are very excited for the walk. Thank you to all of our parent volunteers who will be leading our groups of scientists.

**The children should be sure to dress for the weather and wear a jacket, long pants, and sneakers or boots. Also, we strongly advise that you do a “tick check” when your child arrives at home.

Social Studies

We had our first geography lesson of the year with a visit from the “Map Lady,” (aka Mrs. Pietrantoni). She introduced our students to cartography, and guided them as they each created their own map of Massachusetts. The children were excited to learn about many of the important landmarks, bodies of water, cities, and bordering states. The children worked hard on their maps and are quite proud of their final masterpieces. We are looking forward to her visit in March when the children will create maps of Lexington.

Soon we will launch our study of the geography and history of Massachusetts, including the study of the Pilgrims and their arrival to Plymouth. What could be more interesting than learning about our home? .

Please continue to encourage your child to talk about school and what he/she is learning in third grade. Of course, reading every day, and playing games together regularly, will help your child rehearse and enjoy so many of the skills that are learned in school.

Grade Four News

Our fabulous Fiske fourth graders have been busy learning! In math we have been working on the concepts of multiplication and division, as well as number sentences/models, open sentences with variables, and patterns. We’ve begun FASTT Math (Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology). This computer program provides the students with 10 – 15 minute individualized practice sessions and games three times per week. We’ll be checking student progress throughout the year, and the students will be excited to see how their practice makes progress! A major goal for fourth graders is to develop the automaticity of basic multiplication facts 0 to 12 by the end of the year. Any additional support our fourth grade families could provide at home would be extremely beneficial and very much appreciated.

During Reader’s Workshop students continue to make predictions, connections, and inferences while they are reading. The students know that during Reader’s Workshop they are either reading or writing about their reading in their Reader’s Notebooks. It’s been exciting to see the students growing theories and ideas during our interactive read aloud of Tiger Rising.

Fourth grade is an important year for writing, and the students have recently begun our unit on realistic fiction during Writer’s Workshop. Students will be focusing on author’s craft moves such as developing strong and effective leads through small actions, dialogue, and setting, as well as endings that reflect the heart of the story. In addition to this, students will be developing internal and external features for their characters, realistic settings, and relatable problems and solutions in real-life situations.

In science, the students continue to learn more and more about animal adaptations. We have focused on crayfish in particular, and it has been interesting to observe them so closely in their classroom habitats. Students are currently engaging in the Engineering Design Process as they work collaboratively to create and test shelters for our crayfish. This is a high-interest project, and we’re all curious to see which shelters will be most successful!

Immigration is our focus in social studies, and we were so proud of our students “Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears” performance. We will continue to discuss immigration in both the past, present, and future, and the reasons why people immigrated and continue to come to America in pursuit of happiness and opportunity!

Stay tuned for future updates on our fabulous fourth graders!

Grade Five News

Thompson Island Camp by Cooper (Mrs. Belletti’s class)

Thompson Island is a very fun place to get to play games and do teamwork activities. When you get to the harbor you take a boat to the island and the counselors are waiting for you. You get paired with a bunch of random kids and that’s your group for the next two days. In your group you do a bunch of teamwork skills and bonding activities. Before you know it you’re back home!

Science by Elias (Mrs. Belletti’s class)

We are on our first science unit and it is really fun! It is about weather. So far we’ve learned about the different types of clouds and their altitudes such as cirrus, cumulus, stratus, cumulonimbus and alto stratus. We’ve also done a lot of fun experiments such as experiments on the water cycle and hot and cold air. We’ve learned about hurricanes and other tropical storms and how they are made. Mrs. Belletti sure knows how to make learning fun.

Math by Allison (Mrs. Belletti’s class)

In math we are learning about decimals. We are multiplying and estimating.. A strategy we have for multiplying decimals is “forget the decimal.” We us a combination of forgetting the decimals, and magnitude estimating to get a product. First we round the decimal to friendlier numbers, then we solve the rounded problems to get our magnitude estimates. We forget teh decimals and solve the problem that way. (e.g. 1.7 *3.8 would become 17 *38) Based on our magnitude estimates we would add the decimal back into our product. We also do something called math workshop. We are assigned partners and we work in 3 different stations. Sometimes we do partner games and sometimes we work independently.


In reading, we have been exploring big ideas and theme through picture book group clubs. We’re keeping tracks of thinking and using evidence to back up our thinking and to write about what we’re reading. Our teachers are reading aloud a powerful book, Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate, which is about a refugee from Sudan.


In writing, we are on the final stretch of our personal narratives. Some of our focus areas are on the heart of the story, the meaning of the story, strategies to elaborate on the most important parts of the story and writing powerful endings.

By Indra (Mrs. Belletti’s class)

Each draft is better than the last. We have been working on leads and conclusions and stretching out the heart of the story. I really liked when we added figurative language. A simile I came up with was, “the sun shone bright like an unforgiving flashlight shining in my face.” I cannot wait to see everyone’s final drafts.

By Eve (Mrs. Belletti’s class)

We’re on our final drafts now and it’s really fun! Our reading also closely relates to our personal narratives.

Specialist News

Counseling News

How To Teach Your Kids About Tolerance

Shared from

In our societies today we simply cannot deny that we are surrounded by differences in ethnicity, religion, culture, gender, disabilities and other differences.

Some people love to be surrounded by a multicultural society while others do not feel at ease. This mostly depends on our own exposure and attitudes towards our interaction with different people.

Why encourage tolerance in our kids? To start with, we want out kids to feel relaxed and open to learning from different cultures. They bring new ideas, experiences and energy to our lives. Our kids can potentially learn bundles from other cultures. If willing, tolerance opens doors in business, education, travel, leisure, lifestyle, art plus other areas of life.

To help our kids have a successful future, they need to be able to work with others. They need to not be afraid, to step outside their comfort zone and to understand, learn, respect and appreciate others.

Tolerance is not about accepting bad behaviour, but accepting “people” for who they are and treating those how “you” wish to be treated. Remind your kids of this consistently.

Being tolerant of differences doesn’t mean sacrificing your own heritage or beliefs. We can be proud and stand by those beliefs 100% while continuing to celebrate the differences of others.

The tolerance level that parents possess naturally teaches their kids the same message. Children closely watch and imitate us, even before they can speak. Kids will mirror the values and attitudes of those they love and look up to.

Parents who model and display tolerance in their every day actions and words teach their kids to appreciate differences in others too. So we teach by example and provide them with opportunities to play and work with others.

Kids can’t “just” be told, they need to experience first hand how people who are different and similar to themselves can contribute in numerous ways.

Here are some tips for how to teach your kids tolerance.

  • Look at the way you treat and speak to others. Does this reflect tolerance? Demonstrate a respect for others and reflect on your own attitude regularly.

  • Kids listen and learn from you. At school, I have often overheard kids stereotyping and joking about the slang names given to different groups. When asked about those words they mostly tell me that is what they have heard used at home.Even if you’re having a conversation with your partner, be mindful that your kids may be listening. Think carefully about the words you use. By all means talk about differing groups in a factual and informative manner, but avoid joking and any degrading name-calling.Your kids may repeat what they have heard and sometimes in less private situations.

  • Answer your kid’s questions honestly and respectfully. Everyone notices differences in people so it is perfectly okay to discuss them with your kids if done in a respectful way.

  • Choose programs, movies, stories and games that value differences. The media has a powerful ability to shape attitudes. If you do watch or see something that is prejudice, be sure to talk about it with your kids and the hurt it can cause to those groups.

  • Expect your kids to treat others with respect. By modelling tolerance yourself, you should certainly not accept disrespectful behaviour both inside and outside your home.

  • Value the differences within your own family. Accept the qualities each member possesses regardless of differing styles, interests and abilities. Help your kids feel values for who they are too.

  • Foster self-esteem in your family. We all know that people who don’t respect others rarely feel happy and secure within themselves. Kids who do feel good about themselves tend to be more courteous towards others.

  • Involve your kids in situations where diversity is present. This may be at sport, school, day care and camps.

  • Learn together about other cultures and traditions. Explore how different cultures celebrate occasions in their own special way and go about life. Talk about it and appreciate the experience.

  • Teach your own family traditions to your kids and encourage pride. Value and talk about where you belong and be open to teach others what you have to offer.

Think about the behaviors you wish to see in your child. Then model those behaviors, because kids will mostly follow in your footsteps.

Art News

The creative juices have certainly been flowing during Art since the start of school! We have so many exciting projects slated for this coming year! All students have worked on a peace poster. This community project shows what peace looks like to them. Please check out all the amazing work by our talented students throughout the school.

GRADE K - Students are starting to settle into our route. Children, this year will learn about the Elements and Principles of Design and how to use them to create art. We have been working on pieces dealing with shape and texture, using a variety of different materials. A few weeks ago, the K students made piles of leaves using leaf rubbing and leave stamping. Some are on display outside of the library. They are so eager to grasp these concepts and are a joy to teach. Volunteers are always welcome!

GRADE 1 - Children have just completed their unit on texture. During October, we observed the work of Vincent Van Gogh and noticed the texture he used in his paint. We created our own sunflower painting, which involved color mixing. We celebrated Johnny Appleseed’s Birthday, by creating picked apples in basket scenes. Eric Carle's, “Very Busy Spider” will inspire us to create spiders and their webs.

GRADE 2 - Ask a 2nd grade student, “What does asymmetrical mean?” They will first tell you what symmetrical means and that the “A” in front makes this word mean the opposite. Symmetrical is when you cut something in half down the middle and both halves are equally the same. Some examples are the human body, animals and butterflies. Our students have been using shape, line, pattern, texture and color, in their asymmetrical self-portrait, inspired by Pablo Picasso. Picasso came along and started painting people and things that didn’t look like they were supposed to. He shocked people when he would put eyes, the nose etc. in the wrong places. His work became very important in the art world. Faces, pumpkins or other opposite symmetrical work will be done this week. Woven pumpkins will be worked on next week, again dealing with a symmetrical shape and opposites. We will soon create butterflies with organic shapes on the wings. We will also be starting our unit on African Art. The objectives for this unit are to familiarize students with Ghana symbolism and animals of Africa.

GRADE 3 - We have been learning about, architecture and the details involved in constructing a “Victorian” house. Although you may notice some spooky surprises, we are sure you will be able to appreciate the characteristic qualities of this particular period through these detailed drawings. Students will look at the work of Picasso, and created their versions of “The Three Musicians”. We will use geometric shaped pattern blocks and shape templates to create these cubistic compositions. We are also working on a music note project with Mr. Hart.

GRADE 4 - We are now finishing up a trinket box with a sculpted sugar skull inspired be “The Day of the Dead”, a Mexican Celebration. We will soon to look at ancient civilizations, basically the Mayan, Aztec and Incas. We will be designing masks, using plaster sheets, paint and found objects. Also in November, we will design fine china and display our favorite foods, using our knowledge of complimentary colors and shading. Students will illustrate art tools again with shadows and the use of complementary colors of the color wheel to color them. This work can be used as the cover for their in-class sketchbook covers.

GRADE 5 - We just created an interesting abstract composition, looking at the work of Frank Stella. We mixed black and white to create at least three different grays. After our gargoyles have been sculpted, fired and painted students will talk about the values and shades of color. We will also be looking at the work of Pablo Picasso. We will observe his “Blue and Rose” Period. We will discuss how certain colors make us feel or how they remind us of certain events and things. We will first do a color study of the color of interest then paint its scale from light to dark. Using a digital black and white photo, these students will mix the shades of their color to create a self-portrait. We will also be discussing what objects give off energy and what energy might look like. They will use their knowledge of color mixing and drawing to create these paintings.

OTHER INFO - The Cap Mural Project will make a comeback this year. We had a great start a few years ago collecting thousands of plastic caps. Please continue to be good recyclers, we also use other recycled materials like: clear egg cartons, 16oz. yogurt containers, plastic coffee containers, foil-type containers with peel off labels, yarn, ribbon, discontinued wallpaper books, empty spray bottles, magazines, paper, plastic bags and paper towel tubes.

Just a friendly reminder, 4th and 5th grade students have an in-class sketchbook this year. Please review your child’s work, if they choose to bring it home to work on. In most cases, they should actually be observing what it is they are drawing.

Thank You, Creatively - Mrs. Tami O’Leary, Mrs. Annie Kane O’Connor and Miss Sarah Walker

ELL News

Our English Language Learners at Fiske are busy building their vocabulary and using their oral language with Ms. Hine and Mrs. Murphy. One new initiative we are taking on this year is to incorporate skills in using academic language in conversations. According to Jeff Zwiers from Stanford University, oral language builds fluency in written language. At Fiske we have many teachers who have taken the course entitled “Teaching with Academic Conversations” in which they learn strategies to teach students to build upon their ideas and learn from others while using academic language in a conversation with peers. In all of our ELL classes this year, we will be teaching our ELL’s language to help them clarify, elaborate, and build on each other’s ideas. Our intention is to help them incorporate this oral language eventually into their written work.

PE News

Greetings from the gym,

Grades K-5 have continued to improve their fitness development by doing animal walks, 1-2-3 blast-off (burpees), shoulder circles (big & small), A-B-C push-ups, regular push-ups, planks, tuck jumps and jumping jacks. The lesson focus for early November is over-hand throwing (stepping with opposition) and they will play lead-up games that incorporate over-hand throwing such as defend your Castle, Pinball and Battleship.

Music News

News from the Music Room:

Performance dates are set for the 2016/2017 school year:

Fifth Grade Chorus/Band/Strings: Wednesday, January 18, at 9 am in the Fiske Gym

Wednesday, June 7, at 9 am and 7 pm in the Fiske Gym

Third Grade Recorder "Informance": Thursday, June 1, at 11:30 am in the Fiske Gym

Fourth Grade "Informance": Thursday, May 18, at 11:30 am in the Fiske Gym.

Here are some of the things you might see and hear if you looked into the music room this month:

Kindergarden: Singing dancing to the Penguin Polka, putting on a bird puppet show, and learning about being Swallowed by a Boa Constrictor.

First Grade: Learning to write quarter notes, eighth notes, and quarter rests, singing Big Black Cats, and putting on a puppet show featuring Fang and Twang.

Second Grade: Singing Draw a Bucket of Water and bouncing tennis balls to the half-note beat with Down In The Valley.

Third Grade: Almost ready for recorder!

Fourth Grade: Playing drums to Get Up Get Up You Lazy Head! and learning about the brass family of instruments (trumpet, trombone, French horn, tuba).

Fifth Grade: Putting Run For Your Life on the drums, practicing the solo parts of Sylvie, and working on our FIVE songs for the chorus concert in January.

Thanks from Mr. Hart and Mrs. Larson

Library News

Kindergarten: We have been reading books about autumn and discussing what makes something fiction or non-fiction. For example, we compared and contrasted Gail Gibbons’ Apples, which has many interesting facts about apples with the story Apples, Apples, Apples by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace, which has many interesting facts, but it is a story about a rabbit family visiting an apple orchard. Ask your kindergartner what they notice about this season.

First Grade: Author and illustrator Tomie DePaola has been the subject of the past month. We completed our author study of such works as The Art Lesson and Strega Nona with a video visit to Tomie D’s New Hampshire studio. According to his blog, Mr. DePaola has some upcoming book signings, but I’d call the stores to confirm dates and times:

Second Grade: According to author Joseph Bruchac, when he misbehaved as a child his Abenaki grandmother would sit him down and tell him a story. We have been studying folktales retold by Mr. Bruchac, such as How Chipmunk Got his Stripes, and trying to discern their “lessons.”

Third Grade: We are on our way to becoming independent library users! Third graders are practicing looking up a book in the catalog and finding it using the book’s call number.

Fourth Grade: To coordinate with the fourth grade social studies unit on immigration, we are reading such books as Tomas and the Library Lady, by Pat Mora, and Emma’s Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty, by Linda Glaser.

Fifth Grade: The Massachusetts Children’s Book Award program is in full swing! Fifth graders who read at least five (of 25) books on this year’s MCBA list by early March will be eligible to vote for their favorite. Those who read at least 20 of the MCBA titles by June may have lunch in the library with Mrs. Kishpaugh! If you have any questions about the MCBA program, check out this link on the Fiske Library web site:

Math News

Each month I will share a few resources for you to use at home with your child.

Bedtime Math ~ This program emails a daily math problem with 3 levels of questions: wee ones, little ones, and big ones. The questions all refer to the same story and get progressively

more challenging. Also, check out the Bedtime Math App!

Math Fun: Table for 19?

Have a discussion with your child to discuss strategies and to create a visual representation.

Game recommendation: Set and Set Jr. ~ Game Online:

Candy Corn: Which One Doesn’t Belong?

Book Recommendation:

Math-Terpieces by Greg Tang

The Best of Times by Greg Tang

Literacy News

Happy November!

There’s no better way to enjoy the warmth and simplicity of this book about the month of November then to sit in a warm and cozy spot with your child and read it together. In November, by Cynthia Rylant, uses a combination of similies and metaphors to capture the reader/listener and to draw them into the book. All of Cynthia Rylant’s books are beautifully illustrated and engaging, but this particular one stands out.

We hope the long Winter nights come filled with lots of opportunities to read to, and with your child! Enjoy the following article on the benefits of daily reading

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Health Office News

Dear Parents,

Flu is an active concern. We can all do a lot to help reduce the transmission of illness at school by reducing the number of sick children sent to school. I am sending the following guidelines to help parents determine when students should stay home. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me, Claire O’Connell, RN. 781-541-5007.

Please keep your child home if your child has had any of the following:

*Fever of 100F (37.8C) in the past 24 hours

*A fever accompanied by any one of the following: cough, runny nose or sore throat (flu like symptoms)

*Your child has needed Tylenol or Ibuprofen to control fever for the past 24 hours

*Strep throat , if awaiting culture results of less than 24 hours of antibiotic treatment

*Vomiting or diarrhea in the past 24 hours *An undiagnosed rash accompanied by an elevated temperature

Tips for managing a sick child at home:

*If your child has a fever with any one of the following; cough, runny nose or sore throat(flu like symptoms), please keep your child home until no fever (off Tylenol/Ibuprofen) for 24 hours

*Use a thermometer to accurately measure body temperature, (not the back of your hand)

*For people who are awake during the day and asleep at night, the body temperature is lowest upon waking an gradually increases throughout the day (not usually over 100F) a good time to check for fever when ill is 4-5PM

*Children do not usually wake with a headache, if your child wakes with a headache, a fever may be present, please check temperature

*Avoid sending your child to school after administering a dose of Tylenol or Ibuprofen “to get through the day”. Children are poor learners when they are ill.

*Wash hands before eating and after using toilet

*Do not share food, eating utensils or drinks with family members that are sick

*If you are not able to stay at home with your sick child, please have a backup plan ready to avoid sending a sick child to school

If anyone has any gently used shirts or pants they could donate to the health office to have available for any student who needs to change clothing, it would be greatly appreciated.