Weekly Newsletter

March 24, 2022

News from Principal Emma Liebowitz and Librarian Robin Wilson


  • What: Let’s work together to clean up our campus this spring! Please see the suggested clean-up jobs list below and indicate the job you’d like your class to do. Feel free to suggest jobs not listed.

  • Who: Sanderson staff and students (families are invited, too!)

  • Where: Sanderson Campus

  • When: Friday, April 15 (Inclement weather date May 6) 2:00 - 3:00pm

  • Why: To celebrate spring and Earth Day by being outside together while we work toward a common goal!


Friday, March 25 - 12:30 Release for Caregiver/Teacher Conferences

Tuesday, March 29 - Fifth Grade MCAS

Wednesday, March 30 - 1:50 Release

Thursday, March 31 - Third Grade MCAS

Friday, April 1 - Sixth Grade MCAS

Tuesday, April 5 - Fifth Grade MCAS
Wednesday, April 6 - 1:50 Release

Thursday, April 7 - Third Grade MCAS

Thursday, April 7 - Pioneer Valley Symphony (Grade 4-6)

Friday, April 8 - Sixth Grade MCAS

Friday, April 8 - Pizza and Bingo starting at 5:30

Tuesday, April 12 - Fourth Grade MCAS

Wednesday, April 13 - 1:50 Release

Thursday, April 14 - BMX Bike Show at 10:30

Friday, April 15 - Kindergarten Registration at 9:30

Friday, April 15 - Preschool Registration at 11:00

Friday, April 15 - All School Grounds Clean-Up at 2:00

Link to Sanderson Academy calendar.

Health Office News from Nurse Loranna

Greetings from the health office!! Well it is finally beginning to feel like spring is here, there is a welcome lightness and hopeful feeling in the air; spring brings mud season, maple syrup, spring bulbs blooming and unfortunately; change of season illnesses and seasonal allergies. If your child has seasonal allergies, please discuss this with their pediatrician so it can be added to their health history and let me know as well.

Please continue to keep your child home when they are not feeling well and reach out to me so I can be sure the absence is excused, as well as give you any info you may need for their return to school. As we know, colds tend to linger, especially in the younger children and rule of thumb is that early on in an illness is when you are most contagious, and/or if coughing frequently or needing to blow your nose frequently- then you should stay home until symptoms improve. If your child has a temp of 100.0 or above, they need to remain home until fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication. With a stomach virus and vomiting/diarrhea, they need to remain home until symptoms resolve and they are able to eat/drink normally, and have been symptom free for at least 12 hours.

Some tips to keep you healthy during this time are; wash your hands frequently, get enough sleep, eat nutritious foods, drink plenty of water and as added perk to this dreadful pandemic- we have found that masks can be a helpful tool when feeling unwell to help prevent respiratory illnesses as well as keep us healthy from illness in the community.

It is a balancing act here in the nurse's office as the goal of keeping children in school and ready to learn is coupled with keeping infectious illnesses at bay and our community healthy :)

Preschool News from Ms. Freeman

This week we are finishing our study of the 5 senses and wrapping up our body tracings. Preschoolers have been enjoying a new activity using their sense of smell. A cotton ball with essential oil was placed into a vented container. Preschoolers tried to identify various scents using their sense of smell. Images of the scents were added and now the preschoolers can match the scents with the corresponding images.

This week we are also talking about spring. We noticed the flowers starting to push their way up through the ground. We used our observations to help us predict what the flowers may look like when they blossom, and turned our thoughts into drawings. We look forward to sharing our drawings during conferences.

The photos show the scent activity, a preschooler studying the flower bed, and a prediction drawing.

Preschool News from Ms. Melanie

Spring is beginning to arrive in our outdoor classroom—with lots of glorious mud where the ice and snow used to be. As the snow melted, it revealed our fairy houses, a bit bedraggled after the winter, and in need of repair. We are sprucing them up with new roofs, sides, and interiors—some look just as they were, others have been completely remodeled. One enthusiastic preschooler took great care and time to build just the right doorway for her fairy house. “See,” she said, “now they can use this door to go outside to dance!”

In our indoor classroom, we have been exploring colors and shapes. Using the three primary colors, we have been blending and mixing paint to make new colors. Starting with two drops of paint—for example, yellow and blue--we used our fingers to spread the paint across the paper until the two colors met and mingled and made a new color! Some of us guessed what the new color would be. For some of us, it was a lovely surprise to see our two colors, yellow and blue, blend together to make green. Then we tried it with other colors: yellow and red, red and blue—all with satisfying results.

We are discovering lots of shapes around us. Recently, we were talking about “circles” and how they looked. Then we paired off into teams and went on a classroom search for circles. We found them in so many places and we found them quickly! Even after the “circle hunt” ended, we were still finding them here and there throughout the day and sharing the discovery. In the coming days, we will be talking about other shapes and our “shape detectives” will be searching the classroom again. Shapes are everywhere--and we know that our preschoolers will find them all!

Kindergarten News from Ms. Sarah

In science this week, we did two experiments mixing solids, liquids, and gasses. For one, we watched a candle melt from a solid to a liquid and saw the smoke (gas). The other mixed baking soda and vinegar to make a gas that filled up a balloon. During each experiment, we reviewed the properties of solids, liquids, and gasses and discussed how we can tell them apart.

Our poem this week also connected to the states of matter: (tune of “I’m a little teapot”) I’m a little snowman, short and fat. Here is my broomstick, here is my hat. When the sun comes out, I melt away. Down, down, down, down; Whoops, I’m a puddle!

We talked about what caused the change in state of matter and then filled in missing sight words in our own copy of the poem.

First Grade News from Ms. Wyckoff

First graders had a wonderful time getting together with their 6th grade buddies this past week to make potato people. Six graders were so incredibly kind, helpful and welcoming to their buddies! These potatoes are on display in the glass case across from the nurse’s office if you’d like to check them out. First graders have been working on their Australian animal writing. Each first grader selected an Australian animal to learn more about. After reading about their special animal they each selected two interesting facts to write about. These writing projects are on display in our first grade hallway for all to see!

Second Grade News from Ms. Robertson

We have started a new Second Steps unit on emotion management. In the first lesson we learned that when we have strong feelings, such as being angry, frustrated, or embarrassed, it can be hard for our brain to think. The feeling part of our brain can take over from the thinking part of our brain, causing us to lose self-control (See the “How to Make a Hand-Brain” activity below that we did in class to learn about the feeling and thinking parts of our brain.) But when we focus on the signals that our body gives us when we are feeling strong emotions, such as our faces grow hot, our hearts beat quickly, and our stomachs feel funny, the thinking part of our brains can then help us to identify and manage the emotions we are feeling and help us to stay in control and/or regain our control. Other topics we will focus on in this unit include managing embarrassment, handling making mistakes, managing anxious feelings, and managing anger. (see chart below)

This week also finds us continuing our poetry unit, as we read poems in our reading anthology, discussing what the poems are describing and how they make the reader feel. We are also identifying how many stanzas and lines each poem has and any rhyming words within it. We have also started writing our own “I Am” poems about a wild animal of our choosing. Another part of our poetry unit focuses on color poems. We are discussing colors and brainstorming objects that are known for their specific color, such as frogs, avocados, and grass being known for their green color. We then read aloud a poem that focuses on the color we brainstormed, listening for additional ideas we can add to our list. During our math time we continue our work with open number lines. This week we are using these number lines to solve subtraction problems, such as 100 – 41 and 45 – 25, as we make withdrawals from our Number Corner Base 10 Bank. We are also using them to solve word problems in two different ways, where we count on to solve an addition equation such as 39 + ___ = 63, or count back to solve the related subtraction equation of 63 – 39 = ____.

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Third Grade News from Ms. Carole

In Language Arts this week we have been learning about and writing persuasive essays. After looking at a few examples and analyzing their structure, students picked an opinion out of a basket. They then had to support that opinion with up to five detailed reasons, whether or not they personally agreed with the opinion. Each opinion that was chosen out of the basket also has an opposite, so we will eventually turn this activity into a debate.

In math we continue to work with various types of measurement. Most third graders are now comfortable with reading clocks and calculating elapsed time using a timeline. In the pictures below they are using balances and grams to find the mass of various objects around the classroom, which was a lot of fun and sometimes surprising!

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Fourth Grade News from Ms. Laogy

We are beginning a new novel study together. The City of Ember is the first in the Books of Ember series written by Jeanne DuPrau. The City of Ember tells about a future world built to protect the people from disaster. We will be challenged as we read to infer what may have threatened human life on earth and consider the believability of this threat. At the conclusion of the story, students will write an evaluative essay defending the believability of Jeanne DuPrau’s story. Throughout the unit, students will read about the nuclear arms race, the Cold War, and Albert Einstein. In previous years, students have been eager to read the rest of the books in the series for their summer reading.

Fifth Grade News from Ms. Johnson

Fifth grade has been looking to the sky lately. Students have been keeping moon journals, making models of the moon phases, learning about the stories behind some of the constellations, making disks of constellations by poking holes for the stars, shining a light behind it and casting the points of light onto the wall, and watching a Magic School Bus about stars. We have also been measuring shadows over the course of a day and marking a shadow at the same time each day to see what patterns we notice.

Sixth Grade News from Ms. Lilly

We’ve had a busy last few weeks! Last Wednesday we finally met with our first grade buddies. We worked to create potato people!

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Sixth Grade News Continued

We also presented our cell projects and loved seeing everyone’s creativity!

We have been working on geometry in math, reading a new book Hidden Figures in ELA, and learning about ancient civilizations during our unit study block.

Sixth Grade Fundraising News

  • Rent-a-kid: This is a great fundraiser to help your child raise money for Camp Keewaydin.

  • Pizza and Bingo Night: Friday, April 8, 2022 at 5:30. Please have your child work on finding donations for the raffle.

  • Pictures: We need a baby picture of your child for the yearbook and pictures of field trips or events in years past.

News from Ms. Prew

Another super fun math routine that our Sanderson students engage with is called Which One Doesn't Belong? Students are shown four images that have some similarities and some differences. The students' job is to prove how one of the pictures does not belong with the other three. The cool aspect of this routine is that there are no correct or incorrect answers! There are ways to prove that each of the pictures does not belong with the other three! Check out these two samples of Which One Doesn't Belong? Enjoy! :) aprew@mtrsd.org

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Preschool and Kindergarten Registration

preschool and kindergarten registration flyer

Playgroup Opportunity

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April 12 - MTRS Student Arts Panel

How do the arts play a role in the Trailblazer Model? What opportunities do students have to experience arts education at MTRS? How are MTRS students supported in building a creative community?

Please join us for a VIRTUAL student-led panel discussion on Tuesday, April 12 from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Our talented students will be leading this event to share their artistry and educational experiences. Take a virtual tour of our arts spaces! Enjoy a sampling of student work in vocal and instrumental music, studio and digital arts, and theater. We hope you will join us! Caregiver and Community, please RSVP using this form.

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CPR Training Information

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