Fiske Monthly News

March 2017


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 Placement

It hardly seems possible that the time to start thinking about student placement is almost here! The year has definitely flown by.

This spring, on March 31, we will begin the process of student placement by providing parents the opportunity to give input into their child/ren(s) placement for the upcoming year. Placement letters will be due by April 13th at 3:30PM. This is consistent across the elementary schools in Lexington.

I have asked teachers to be sure to focus on student achievement and performance for the spring conference rather than placement. As you are aware, and as I've shared in the letter which will be provided this spring, placement is a complicated and detailed process. We understand the importance of placing students so that they have a great learning experience. As we've done over the past several years, we ask that parents do not give names of friends since our placement is not a friend based placement system AND we ask that you leave learning partners up to the teachers who work with students here at school and see who they work well with.

Teachers take into account many factors that help create balanced classrooms. The information you provide is one of those many factors that we use as we work through the process.

One thing that will look different this year is that rather than send home paper letters, we will send home the letter we traditionally send, along with the form, as part of a link where you will put your placement information into ONLINE. I ask that ALL PLACEMENT INFORMATION/INPUT ONLY BE PROVIDED VIA THIS FORM...NO EMAILS TO TEACHERS OR ADMINISTRATORS.

The portal for placement input will be open on March 31 and will close at 3:30 on April 13th.

Thank you for working with the school as we begin our student placement process!

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:

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

Finding Balance for Busy Families

Spring is just around the corner! Now that the warmer weather is approaching, families are more apt to spend extra time outside enjoying the longer days. Also, with the spring weather comes spring activities. Kids have lots of options for activities these days, but an overscheduled child can possibly go from busy to burned-out in no time. It is important to find that balance between school, extracurricular activities, as well as, time for unstructured play. It was very evident to me during Global School Play Day on February 1st how important unstructured play is and just how much all of the Fiske students enjoyed it! Below is an article I came across from I found it to be interesting and wanted to share it with you.

By: Emily Graham

It starts with the best of intentions. Your daughter excels at music, so you enroll her in piano lessons. The next year, she picks up the violin and joins the soccer team. She asks to join her friends in scouts, and then wins a spot on the academic quiz team.

Family dinners become a thing of the past as you shuttle her from one activity to the next. Homework takes up the rest of the evening, leaving her little time to play or unwind. Mornings are frantic as she rushes to find homework, athletic gear, and sheet music before the school bus arrives.

You tell yourself it’s worth it to help her get into a good college. But no matter how much energy she has now, an overscheduled kid runs the risk of burnout by the time she’s ready for college.

“Sometimes we equate the number of activities with good parenting,” says Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, a University of New Hampshire psychologist who has authored books on parenting and home organization. “Colleges are looking for kids that are well-rounded, not manically over scheduled.”

The hectic pace is hard on parents, too. The pressure parents feel to maximize every opportunity for their children may leave moms and dads feeling inadequate and cause them to derive less satisfaction from parenting, the American Academy of Pediatrics has found.

By contrast, numerous studies have shown that families who eat dinner together report stronger relationships and better grades. According to a 2006 study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, kids and teens that eat dinner with their families at least five times a week have a much lower risk of substance abuse.

Weighing the Options

If your family is overscheduled, you can ease some of the pressure by finding ways to simplify your daily routine, whether it’s cutting back on extracurricular activities or getting more organized at home.

First, think about your attitude toward your child’s involvement in activities. Do you feel pressured by your peers to meet a certain level of participation? Do you push your children because you don’t want them to miss out on opportunities you didn’t have, even if they aren’t interested? The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) urges parents to evaluate which activities are appropriate based on a child’s needs, skills, and temperament and to preserve time for children to play and hang out with family members.

Parents should listen carefully to what their children want to do and let them follow their passions rather than of imposing other expectations, says Mimi Doe, author of Busy but Balanced: Practical and Inspirational Ways To Create a Calmer, Closer Family. “For some kids, this pressure to get involved is coming from their parents rather than their desire to try things out,” she says. “They just said they like the piano, and you’re picturing them at Carnegie Hall.”

Instead of thinking about getting an advantage for your children in the college admissions process, she advises parents to focus on creating a manageable family schedule. When considering each activity, think about the time, cost, and transportation involved as well as how it will affect you and your kids. Consider setting limits on the number of activities each child can participate in before the school year starts. Many families limit each child to three activities—one artistic, one athletic, and one social.

Doe encourages families to create more balanced lives based on their own values. If parents feel it’s important to eat dinner together a few nights a week, arrange the schedule to try to make it happen. It’s important for parents to set predictable times that they’re available to listen to their children, she adds, whether it’s taking a walk together after dinner or talking for a few minutes before the kids go to bed.

“It’s really critical that before a new extracurricular season, families consciously craft the best schedule for them,” Doe says. “You want to be proactive, not reactive to what comes home in the backpack.”

“Give yourself permission to step off the fast track,” Doe says, “trusting you’re giving [your children] the best gift: being present in their lives without being exhausted.”

Kindergarten News

Grade One News

The first grade children will continue with their opinion-writing unit. This unit begins with teaching students that writing can give them a way to make and defend important decisions, such as ”Which is my favorite game to play? The best book I read this week? My best baseball cap?” The children will write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic, state an opinion, supply reasons for the opinion and provide a sense of closure. Letter writing and creating advertisements to persuade readers are also ways in which first graders will explore Opinion Writing during this unit.


We will be focusing on ways to read Non-Fiction texts this month. As we read together in class, the children will once again be using different reading strategies to learn about different topics. Children will learn how to take a sneak peak, study each page, and chat about the words on the page, Children will do this work independently and with a partner. Discussing an answer with a partner serves to maximize participation, focus attention and engage students in comprehending the reading material.

Retelling after reading fiction or non-fiction texts is also important in first grade and the children will be looking at comparing characters, looking at settings, discussing the problem in various stories and talking about the solution to the problems as we read together.


This month the children will use their “Fact Triangles” to strengthen knowledge of fact families and demonstrate fluency with addition and subtraction facts within 10 and we will look at different strategies to add and subtract within 20. The children will need to demonstrate an understanding of and solve addition and subtraction equations in class.


We will be finishing up our Balls and Ramps Unit in science by working in collaboration with their peers to make a ramp system to share with the class. They will be writing about this procedure in their science journals.

Social Studies

The first graders will focus on the topics below this term:

*Identify the current President of the United States and describe what presidents do.

*Identify and explain the meaning of American national symbols (American Flag, bald eagle, White House, Statue of Liberty).

*Discuss the general meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance.

*Locate Washington, D.C. and Boston on a map and explains their significance.

Stay tuned for details about our American Symbols on Parade Performance, date TBD!

Grade Two News

Wednesday, March 8th is a Parent Math Night here at Fiske beginning at 6:30 PM. If you have not attended one in the past, and even if you have, it is a great opportunity to explore the math approaches implemented here at Fiske.

Looking ahead, conferences will be held over the first two weeks of April. Classroom teachers will be contacting you later this month to share their schedules and information on how to schedule a conference. Another April date to set aside is April 6, Poetry Night! This will be a great night for the whole family to enjoy.

Many of our units of studies are continuing from February. In reading we are focused on the latter part of our unit, Amping Up Reading Power! The unit began with a focus on helping students further develop their reading fluency by working to read with more expression and at an appropriate pace. Attention was given to the importance of rereading text to aid in fluency. As we move along in the unit the focus turns to further developing comprehension strategies that support readers as they keep track of the multiple characters, events, and places that are part of longer text. Please continue to have your child read for twenty minutes each evening.

Our writing unit is continuing its focus on Lab Reports. Students work to develop the procedures and observations recorded during their science experiments into more developed writing pieces. Students learn how to write to teach others about what they have learned from their experiences in science. Students work to incorporate non -fiction text features within these writing pieces, as well as content specific vocabulary.

Using strategies for solving addition and subtraction number stories is the next unit in math. Students will use addition and subtraction to represent and solve different types of number stories. Students will be expected to show their work with numbers, diagrams, or objects. These might include pictures, base 10 blocks, or an open number line. Students will also use partial sums to add numbers within 100, and draw on what they know about place value to compose and decompose numbers while solving equations.

Later this month we will begin our unit on India in social studies. Some of our focus will be on the location of India and some of its major geographic features, schooling, language, symbols, and climate. Students will reflect on essential questions such as how does where you live affect how you live? and how are cultures alike and different from each other? This unit will carry through into part of April.

It might be a good idea to pack an extra pair of socks or pants in your child’s backpack. As the weather warms up, the ground is apt to be a bit damp and muddy. The likelihood of students getting their feet wet, or muddying their pants at recess increases in the spring. Packing extra clothes will ensure your child is prepared for this situation.

Have a wonderful March!

Grade Three News


The third grade is in the midst of our unit on Measurement and Data. The children have been introduced to both the US and metric systems of measurement. They are able to measure objects and line segments to the nearest 1/2 inch and 1/4 inch. They have also learned to show and interpret data using picture graphs, bar graphs, and line plots. Lastly, every child should be able to accurately find and label the area and perimeter of polygons.


Our third grade scientists have been comparing, contrasting and testing the chemical and physical properties of five “mystery powders.” The children make predictions, careful observations, record their results, and modify their predictions based on their evidence. The culminating test will be to identify these mystery powders through the data collected in our experimentation. Ask your little scientist to tell you more! Goggles not required!


During Readers’ Workshop, third graders are studying “Characters Across a Series.” The children are learning that series always include commonalities such as characters, subject matter, and setting. They are comparing characters’ internal and external character traits. They have learned that external traits are often explicitly stated, and readers use evidence from the text to make inferences about a character's internal traits (personality, feelings, problems). They are also thinking about how characters change and grow across a story.

On April 25, 26 and 28, third graders will be taking the English Language Arts portion of the MCAS ELA (and Math MCAS on May 9 & 10). We are aiming to familiarize the students with the format of the test and reassure them that it is not as tricky as they think it will be. We hope that the children will develop comfort with test taking while learning some important reading strategies and skills.

Writer’s Workshop

Opinion/Persuasive Writing

If your child seems to be particularly persuasive lately, it is probably because he/she is practicing these skills in school. Perhaps we should apologize!

Specifically, the children are learning that persuasive writing can be used to convince other people of their opinion or view. They are seeing “problems” and imagining solutions. Their intention is to make the world a better place, whether in their school, home or neighborhood.

Our persuasive writers have learned that they need to consider their audience in order to be most convincing. For example, if we want to convince Mr. Martellone of something (such as more recess time), it is more likely that he will be swayed if we focus on how it will increase our learning. The children are also learning to organize their persuasive writing by listing reasons, elaborating upon them, and separating them into paragraphs. Additionally, the third graders will learn specific techniques to make their speeches powerful to hear.

The children have wonderful ideas and are doing a great job on their “quick writes.” They will eventually choose one of their ideas to focus on and develop.

Grade Four News

We hope that our Fiske families had a restful, enjoyable February vacation. It’s been wonderful to see the snow melting as we eagerly await the arrival of spring.

Our fourth graders are very grateful to Mr. Martellone for all of his efforts to acquire technology devices for each of our students. It has been exciting to see them crafting their literary essays on Google Docs and reinforcing math skills and concepts via IXL. Of course, the arrival of spring means that talk of MCAS is in the air. This year our fourth graders will be taking the ELA MCAS 2.0 on their computer devices. These tests will be administered on April 7th, 10th, and 13th. During these sessions, the children will read a variety of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. In addition to answering multiple choice questions, they will be crafting open response answers. Revisiting the text and providing specific details and examples will be key to our students’ success!

To help your child improve their typing skills at home try out these free online keyboarding options for K-5, recommended by the Lexington Technology Department:

Dance Mat Typing (BBC)
Gives visuals for hand position on keys, gradually reduces positional hand support as students progress. Upbeat, colorful rock-and-roll-themed characters, uses sparse British nomenclature.
Lessons progress in a logical and easy to follow order.

e-Learning for Kids Keyboarding Skill ‘Courses’
Beginner Level - Alien Theme; progresses from introductory mouse skills to keys
Possible to skip intro (which may be frightening for younger children)
Advanced Level –Travel through time with Monte the monkey
25 stories broken into 5 modules
2 review modules, 3 building modules (skill, accuracy, speed)
Theme is secondary to keyboarding work.

Glencoe’s Online Keyboarding (McGraw Hill)
Movies followed by lessons; Ability to repeat exercises
Easily builds on physical order of keys.

In math we’ll be launching our Context in Learning unit on fractions. During these real-life investigations, students are discovering some big ideas such using landmark fractions, comparing fractions, and considering what is reasonable in the context of the situation.

In social studies we are currently touring the regions of the United States and are comparing various types of maps to make inferences and connections. A central idea for our students is to understand that where a person lives affects how they live. During this unit, students will be comparing the various regions of the US and learning all about the physical landscape, natural resources, cultural influences, and history of each region.

Grade Five News

Recently in science we have been learning about electricity and how it works. For example, we attempted to light lightbulbs with just a wire and a battery. Then we added things such as chalk, paper clips, aluminum etc. Now we are working with magnets and what sticks and what doesn't stick to the magnet. We had different stations so we could experiment with magnets, like making a nail magnetic. Our next Science unit will be learning about ecosystems, and it will start in one to two weeks. (Kate, Ms. Gavrin’s class)

At library these past few weeks, we’ve learned about “C.A.R.T.” website evaluation, read classic fairy tales, and enjoyed some fun read alouds from Mrs. Kishpaugh. We’ve analyzed different Hansel and Gretel stories and Little Red Riding Hood stories. Also, the Fifth graders have been enjoying this year’s MCBA books. Some popular MCBA books this year are: El Deafo, The Fourteenth Goldfish, and No Ordinary Day, which is not only an MCBA, but also the book that the Fifth grade Multicultural Book Club read and blogged about. (Abigail, Ms. Gavrin’s class)

Recently in Buddies we made Valentines for veterans. Earlier in the year in Buddies we made Veterans Day cards for them and they appreciated it so much we made Valentine’s Day cards for them. We cut out hearts and wrote nice letters. We also decorated them, and they were to be given to the Veterans on Valentine’s Day. These cards were delivered to a Veteran facility in Bedford. A few days later Ms. Gavrin got an email about how much the veterans really liked and appreciated our cards! We enjoyed making the veterans happy on Valentine’s Day!!!! (Enya, Ms. Gavrin’s class)

A few weeks ago, the 5th grade students started their poetry writing. This year, instead of writing an anthology of poems about one topic that go in one folder, they will create a “living anthology.” Each student will pick a place in the school building and will write a poem about that place, and it will be put up at that place. For example, one student is writing a poem about band and orchestra, and it will be hung up in the room where band and orchestra practices. All the students will have their poems done soon, and they will be posted around the school, to complete the 5th grade living poetry anthology. (Austin, Ms. Gavrin’s class)

The students in 5th grade at Fiske elementary school have just finished one of the biggest assignments of the year: the nonfiction book ad. In this assignment, students needed to choose a leader, such as Harriet Tubman, or Dwight D. Eisenhower, and research a lot about them, taking notes and citing sources. Then, they needed to write a speech about their leader, which they practiced a lot before incorporating it onto note cards. After, they practiced their speech only relying on their memory and note cards as a last resort. And finally, they performed their speech in front of the class and personally invited guests. Even though all this is over, the students still have their fiction book ad to look forward to! (Ethan, Ms. Gavrin’s class)

Students in 5th grade have been busy exploring fractions in math. They have mastered adding and subtracting fractions and are now thinking about fractional parts of the whole. We have just begun our Parks and Playground context unit where students will explore real world fraction scenarios about fractions. They continue to fine tune their computational skills and work on lots challenging problems.

Specialist News

Counseling News

School Counselor

Mrs. Pirone

7 Tips for Helping Your Child Manage Stress

By Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.

Like adults, kids also struggle with stress. Too many commitments, conflict in their families and problems with peers are all stressors that overwhelm children. Of course, “a certain amount of stress is normal,” said Lynn Lyons, LICSW, a psychotherapist who specializes in treating anxious families and co-author of the book Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents: 7 Ways to Stop the Worry Cycle and Raise Courageous and Independent Children with anxiety expert Reid Wilson, Ph.D. It’s normal to feel stressed about starting middle school or taking a big test, she said.The key to helping kids manage stress is teaching them to problem-solve, plan and know when to say yes and no to activities and commitments, she said. It isn’t to “make everything smooth and comfortable.”

“If you don’t teach [your kids] how to manage stress, they will self-medicate with food, drugs and alcohol.” In other words, kids will reach for something to make them feel better right away, and usually it won’t be something healthy, she said

Here’s how you can help your kids manage stress successfully.

1. Stop overscheduling.

One of the biggest stressors for kids is being overscheduled, Lyons said. And yet, today, kids are expected to pay attention and perform in school for seven hours, excel at extracurricular activities, come home, finish homework, and go to bed just to do it all over again the next day. As Lyons said, “Where’s the downtime?” Kids need downtime to rejuvenate. Their brains and bodies need to rest. And they might not realize this by themselves. So knowing when your child is overscheduled is important. Lyons suggested looking at your kids’ schedules over the course of a week and making sure that there’s enough downtime — “when you’re not watching the clock.” Are there several hours on the weekend or a few nights during the week when your child can simply kick back and relax?

Also, “pay attention to how your family is eating their meals. Is everybody eating on the run, in the car, grabbing and going? That’s an indicator that too much is going on.”

2. Make time for play.

Lyons emphasized the importance of “play that isn’t pressured.” There’s no lesson, competition or end goal, she said. Younger kids will do this naturally. But older kids may forget how to simply play. Combine play with physical activity, which is critical for well-being. Some ideas include: riding your bikes, throwing around the baseball, wrestling and hiking, she said.

3. Make sleep a priority.

Sleep is vital for everything from minimizing stress to boosting mood to improving school performance, Lyons said. If your child isn’t getting enough sleep, that’s another red flag that they’re overscheduled, she said. Again, reducing commitments helps. Also helpful is stressing the importance of sleep, and creating an environment that facilitates it. For instance, keep TV – and other electronics – out of your child’s bedroom. (“There’s no research that says TV is good for kids.”)

4. Teach your kids to listen to their bodies.

Teach your kids “to understand their own bodies and the physiology of stress,” Lyons said. For instance, sit in the car with your child, and press the gas and brake, and listen to the engine revving. Explain that “our body just revs and revs, and then it wears out and says ‘enough.’” Encourage them to listen to what their bodies are saying. While it’s normal for a child’s stomach to feel jumpy on the first day of school, leaving class because their stomach hurts or waking up repeatedly with a headache is a sign there’s too much going on, she said.

5. Manage your own stress.

“Stress is really contagious,” Lyons said. “When parents are stressed out, kids are stressed out. If you’re living in an environment with one thing after another, your kid is going to pick up on that.” She underscored the importance of showing your kids how to relax and effectively deal with stress. “They have to see you slowing down.”

6. Make mornings calmer.

A disorganized home is another stressful trigger for kids, and this is especially evident in the mornings. Lyons suggested making mornings smoother, because this “sets the tone for the day.” This piece has specific suggestions.

7. Prepare your kids to deal with mistakes.

For kids a lot of stress comes from the fear of making mistakes, Lyons said. Remind them that they’re not supposed to know “how to do everything or do everything right.” Also, while making good decisions is an important skill to learn, the skill that might be even more important is learning how to recover from a bad decision, Lyons said. ”We can really stress out our kids by not helping them understand that screwing up is part of the process.” Help your child learn to figure out the next steps after a bad decision or mistake. Help them figure out how to fix it, make amends, learn the lesson and move on, she said.

Overall, Lyons suggested parents look at the bigger picture. “You can’t live a stressful life and then teach stress management.”

Art News

Here are just some highlights of the projects we will be working on in March

and what we are doing until the April break:

Grade K – Look for one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish fish – painting of a fish bowl emphasizing texture, pattern snakes and Kufi hats from Africa.

Grade 1 – After we complete some projects with Chinese influence, we will be working on a group project – “Funny things are everywhere” emphasizing line, texture, details, cooperation and imagination.

Grade 2 – African animal books are on display in the case, outside the art room. We will look at elements of the Taj Mahal and will be designing the ultimate dream house.

Grade 3 – To celebrate, Mardi Gras, “Fat Tuesday” we will be looking and designing a Mardi Gras mask from paper and found materials. We will then move on to a 3D self-portrait, inspired by Dr. Seuss.

Grade 4 – Fiesta! Students will soon be creating their favorite Mexican food from clay. Poetry and illustration come together in our Mexican cut outs. We will be also be looking at the work of Paul Klee and create some work with planet symbols and mixed media.

Grade 5 – Students have looked at the work of African American Artist, William Johnson and Faith Ringgold. Both are masters of collage and the use of pattern. Students are designing a story quilt square done in collage the square must have themselves be in the foreground. We will be working on how to draw three dimensionally using shadow. Soon we will look at the work of Artists and interpret their work through our own.

Ask your child what they do in art each week because many times our projects are carried over to the next week or two.

This year’s Art Show will be held @ Central Office, 146 Maple Street. The dates will be available soon. Even if your child does not have a piece in the show, it is a great experience to view all the creative work done by our students, system-wide K-12.

Attention knitters and anyone with leftover yarn: We could use your unwanted yarn for a weaving project. We are also in need of recycled materials: clear egg cartons, yogurt containers, plastic take out containers, magazines, old calendars, gift wrap, paper towel tubes, ribbon, tissues, wipes and hand soap.

ELL News

We hope that you all had a wonderful February vacation and are looking forward to Spring!

Students in ELL classes this month have been working on a mini-unit called “The Courage Project”. We have read “Courage” by Bernard Waber as well as other books involving courageous individuals. Students honed their academic conversation skills to tell of a time they acted bravely and are now writing about that experience. As a culmination to the project, we will create a short film about these experiences. We are very proud of all of our students who show courage every day!

PE News

Greetings from the gym,

I hope everyone enjoyed February break. We all look forward to the change of weather. Grades 3-5 will be starting their FITNESSgram assessments next week. The four assessments are PACER, push-up, curl-up and flexibility. Children are asked to focus on giving individual best effort and identifying their strengths and weaknesses with their overall fitness level. Grades K-2 will continue improving whole body fitness development, skills and playing lead-up games reinforcing physical skills and sportsmanship

Music News

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

Fifth Grade Chorus/Band/Strings:

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: My Aunt Came Back, Thorn Rosa, Circle ‘Round the Zero, and The Skaters’ Song.

First Grade: Acting out Drummer Hoff and reading quarter notes (“ta”) and eighth notes (“ti-ti”).

Second Grade: M-A-R-C-H, learning the unpitched percussion instruments, and Daddy Fishing….

Third Grade: Playing Let Me Be A Light, Fish Pole, and Country Swing on the recorder.

Fourth Grade: We’ve started our performance songs. A contra dance called The Bridge of Athlone, and a four-part ostinato chant about the seaons.

Fifth Grade: Kazoo madness. Fifth graders are listening to classical masterpieces that are in their kazoo chorus

Library News

Did you know the Fiske Library has 8 Chromebooks available for students to use in the library? The following are some activities students may choose while using the Chromebooks:

Flipster: Students have access to online magazines through a district-wide subscription to Flipster. Your student should know the user name and password needed to for home use, but if they don’t, please feel free to email me. Flipster may be accessed through the Fiske Library home page or the Fiske Library Catalog home page

Databases: Lexington Public Schools maintains subscriptions to many wonderful and age appropriate online encyclopedias and article databases that can be accessed through the Fiske Library home page: No password is needed when students access the databases from school, but several require passwords for at home use. Please email me for user names and passwords, or have your child stop by the library to get the password list from me.

Destiny Discover: Fiske Library has a growing collection of eBooks and digital audiobooks available through Destiny Discover. Students may access Destiny Discover via the Fiske Catalog page:

OR the Fiske Library Home Page: .

Students use the same user name and password that they use for FASST Math. Destiny Discover is also available as a free app. Digital material can be downloaded onto a tablet or other device for off-line reading and listening, which makes it a great resource for travel!

I encourage you and your children to check out these marvelous resources and please don’t hesitate to contact me should you need some troubleshooting assistance!

Math News

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

Math Fun with Venn Diagram: What do you notice? What do you wonder?

Have a discussion with your child about your noticings and wonderings. What math could you explore with this image? Or check out more images to prompt discussions at

On Wednesday March 8, parents joined us for a Fiske Parent Math Night – it was great fun engaging is thoughtful discussion and rich math tasks together! Resources can be accessed at :

Game recommendation: Qwixx or Tiny Polk Dot Cards

Online recommendation: KenKen Puzzles

Shamrock Fun: Which One Doesn’t Belong?

Then find a reason why each one does not belong.

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Literacy News

Thursday, March 2nd was Dr. Seuss’ birthday! In honor of the beloved author, people all over the country celebrate Read Across America Day, which is a celebration motivating children to be lifelong readers. Need some new reading material? Check this list of favorite books and authors recommended by teachers and students:

Interested in learning more about fantastic literacy activities for home? We will be having a family literacy event on Thursday, April 6th. More information to follow soon!

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Health Office News


After a long cold winter, we have to deal with allergy season. Trees and flowers are blooming and pollen is wafting through the air. Sneezing, stuffy noses or itching, burning eyes make it difficult to concentrate on learning and there is little a nurse can do to alleviate the symptoms other than cool compresses to eyes and reassurance.

If your child has symptoms of allergic reaction that you treat with any medication, either prescription or over the counter medicine, it might be helpful if the medication is available during school hours. This will require both a doctor’s order and a signed parental permission. This is true for eye drops, nasal sprays and any other allergy medicines.

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

*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:

* 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)

*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

Please contact me with any questions. Thank you. Enjoy the nice weather!

Claire O’Connell RN