The Major News

March, 2019 - Issue #5

Dates to Remember

March 8th

State Released Grade Reporting Say- No School

March 11th - 15th

Spring Break- No School

March 18th

Back to School

Principal's Corner

Benjamin D. Hardwick, Principal

Big picture

News from P.E.

Hello Friends & Families,

We have been focusing on Floor Hockey, Broomball, Skiing and Skating in February and March for students in grades 3rd to 6th. We are playing cardio games with sleds in the yard with students in K-2, and throwing/catching since returning from Winter Break.

Things to keep in mind this month: Students should be prepared to be outside for P.E. We rotate between inside P.E activities, skiing, skating, and outside field games all winter.

Remember, long socks are needed for skiing and skating days to prevent blisters and to keep feet warm and dry.

We cannot always know the skating and skiing days ahead of time because they are weather and conditions dependent. The ice rink has to be plowed and hot mopped and the ski area groomed. Both of these areas are cared for by contractors who do their best, but who are also very busy, and may not make it when requested.

The JBER Ski Jamboree is coming up on Friday, March 8th at 1 pm. We will be meeting in the Ursa Major gym. We will have waves of students by grade level go out on a marked course on the trails as a celebration of ski clubs and their training this winter.

After school activities through Spring Break:

Tuesdays: 3rd to 6th grade Ski Club 3:30 to 5pm

Wednesdays: 2nd grade Ski Club 3:30 to 4:30pm

Thursdays: 3rd to 6th Ski Club 3:30 to 5pm

Friday, March 8th JBER Ski Jamboree @ Ursa Major

*Coach Bydlon and Coach Marine

Music Notes

Greetings from the music room!

The 4th grades have been making real progress with their recorders; working towards their Recorder Karate Belts and learning many ‘play along songs’ in class. We have been reading notes and rhythms with our recorder unit discussing form and patterns and how all these elements tie in together.

On February 12, all the classes in grades 4-6 had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Anchorage Symphony’s Young People’s Concert. It was a great performance and nice experience for everyone.

Music is and can be such a powerful tool to help our students with their reading and fluency skills. Kindergarten and 1st grades are diving into exploration of melody with high and low sounds and how we can manipulate and create melodies using a variety of mediums. We have also been exploring timbre and the sounds of many instruments. The students have been composing music by integrating our language arts skills of vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency within our musical concepts creating rhythm, beat, and form. In third grade, we have been exploring form and connecting music with literature. Fifth grade has started our African drumming unit and have been discussing possible instruments for band and orchestra next year!

The Ursa Major Choir will be performing and hosting at the Sixth Annual JBER Area Choir Festival on February 28th at 6:30 PM. This event will be at the Frontier Theatre building #2 here on the Post side of JBER. Students should arrive at 6:00 PM for warm ups and the concert will be just under an hour long.

March is Music and Arts in Our Schools month. The Ursa Major Marimba Band will be performing at the ASD Ed Center building on March 20, as part of this event. Please keep your eyes and ears open this month with music and art from ASD students being featured around Anchorage and our schools.

Thank you for all your support for the music program here at Ursa Major and in your child’s education. As always feel free to contact me here at school or send an email with any musical questions!

Mr. Drake

Nurse Notes

Hi All,

February Was National Dental Health Month! Lifelong habits begin at home. Make dental health part of your daily routine and share these reminders with your whole family:

 Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, especially after breakfast and before bedtime. Drinking water after eating also helps to clear your teeth of food particles.

 Floss every day. An adult should help children under the age of eight to floss. Older children should be ready to floss on their own.

 Limit the number of times you eat snacks, especially the sticky ones and long lasting ones.

 Visit a dentist regularly for a routine checkup and a cleaning

 Protect your teeth by wearing a mouth guard when playing sports.
 Don’t forget to change your tooth brush regularly, and after an illness.

Sweet snack facts:
Eating a lot of snacks with sugar may cause cavities.

Every time you eat sugar, plaque in your mouth mixes with the sugar to make acid. The acid hurts the teeth and causes decay over time. This can be painful!

Habits for Good Health

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze – throw the tissue away after you use it. If you do not have a tissue, cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water especially after you cough or sneeze. If you are not near water, use an alcohol based hand cleaner.

  • Stay away as much as you can from people who are sick.

  • If you or your child gets the flu, stay home from work or

    school. Do not go near other people so that you don’t make them

    sick too.

  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs often

    spread this way.

  • Dress for the weather. Come to school dressed for the winter.

    Wear layers of loose fitting clothing. Wear mittens and gloves. Wear a hat. Remember, the air that is trapped inside your clothing, warmed by your body heat, is the best protection from the cold.

Please email or call:


Gail Rust LPN Assistant School Nurse,

Toni Boudreau RN Supervisor

Health News

During the month of March in Elementary Health, your child will study human growth and development.

Richelle Lay

K-6 Health/SEL Teach

Big picture

Lost & Found Reminder

Parents and families,

Missing a glove? Warm winter hat? How about glasses, goats, boots and water bottles? We have all that and more here in our Lost & Found!

If your student is missing an item, please remember to stop by and check the lost and found and with the office staff for smaller items as we have quite a few unclaimed items still in the school.

Library News: Check it Out!

Academy Awards of Literature

Thank you to all of our students who volunteered to be an author or judge for the 2019 Academy Awards of Literature! PK-2nd grade students are reading several stories belonging to a specific genre, and voting for the best story in their category. 3rd-6th grade students are writing their own stories and/or judging the stories written by their peers. Winning titles in the PK-2nd grade contest will be featured in the school library collection, and winning stories in the 3rd-6th grade contest will be published and added to the collection. Winners of the 3rd-6th grade contest will also receive AAL awards for their contributions!

Library Citizenship Challenge

Congratulations to the following classes for leading their respective divisions in the Library Citizenship Challenge: Mrs. Graziano (K), Mrs. Bockelman (1st-2nd grade), Mrs. Hare (3rd-4th grade), and Mrs. Drake (5th-6th grade)! The Library Citizenship Challenge rewards classes for demonstrating respect and responsibility in the library.

Barnes & Noble Book Passion Grant

Ursa Major Elementary recently received a $500 Barnes & Noble Book Passion Grant. As part of the grant, students have the opportunity to participate in a reading challenge utilizing the new materials. Students who read any of the new series will earn a prize, a book, and an extra checkout. For more information, please contact the library.

Overdue/Lost Items

Overdue notices will be sent home next week for all library materials that are more than one month overdue. Please return these items to the library as soon as possible. If you need to replace or pay for a lost/damaged library book, please bring the replacement or the cash/check to the library. The fine will be removed from the student’s account and a payment receipt will be printed.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at 907-742-1614 or Happy Reading!