Weekly Newsletter

December 23, 2021

News from Principal Emma Liebowitz

Today we say good-bye to Mrs. Krissy Schreiber and Mrs. Joan Fitzgerald. We wish all the best in your new adventures! On behalf of the entire Sanderson Academy Staff, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a wonderful December break. We will see you in 2022!


Friday, December 24 - Sunday, January 2 - Winter Vacation - No School

Monday, January 3 - School Resumes

Wednesday, January 12 - 1:50 Dismissal

Monday, January 17 - No School

Wednesday, January 19 - 1:50 Dismissal

Wednesday, January 26 - :50 Dismissal

Link to Sanderson Academy calendar.

Health Office News from Nurse Loranna

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season!

I wanted to share with you the GCC covid testing holiday hours for your convenience. If you already have an account with them you do not need to make an appointment (although it’s helpful for them if you can) as long as you’re already registered-they will take walk-ins. This PCR test typically takes about 24-36 hours, you will get an email with the results. https://www.cic-health.com/stopthespread

GCC holiday hours

December 22: 10-7

December 23: 7-11

December 24 & 25 CLOSED

December 26: 9-2

December 27 & 28: 8-5

December 29: 10-7

December 30: 7-11

December 31 & January 1st CLOSED

Extended January hours

January 2: 9-2

January 3: 8-4

January 4: 8-4

January 5: 11-7

January 6: 11-7

January 7: 8-4

January 8: 9-2

January 9: 9-2

Hours beginning January 10 to be determined

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out. Wishing you a happy, healthy and peaceful new year!

Preschool News from Mrs. Freeman

We read a variety of gingerbread stories in class. We talked about how there are different versions of the Gingerbread Man and many stories with gingerbread characters. Preschoolers chimed in to help read the repetitive text and made predictions when a fox entered the story. To help make these stories even more enjoyable, we made gingerbread houses. Thank you for the donations to help make this project possible!

Instead of gingerbread, we used graham crackers to assemble the houses. The photo shows preschoolers building their houses.

Preschool News from Ms. Melanie

The recent freezing rain transformed our outdoor classroom into a winter wonderland with tree boughs, laden with sparkling ice, dipping gracefully toward the earth. The boughs made wonderful “caves” just right for play and our whole space glittered with possibilities. It was magical.

We had a fun time building and decorating gingerbread houses with our third grade buddies. So much teamwork and imagination! Our creations are on display in the lobby for a brief time, then they’ll be going home to become part of our families’ celebrations.

We made solstice lanterns for the shortest day of the year–beautiful lanterns with a small light inside and a handle for carrying it here and there. So lovely and special. On the day of winter solstice, we used our lanterns during rest time–each one standing beside a rest mat–shining a soft light while our preschoolers rested. Our preschoolers were eager to take their lanterns home to “shine the light” on the shortest day of the year.

We wish everyone a joyous holiday season filled with warmth, good cheer, and lots of outdoor play! See you in 2022!

Kindergarten News from Ms. Sarah

For science time this week, we wrapped up our Force & Motion unit with some performance assessment activities. Students sorted pictures of activities into push or pull (or both) categories. They also had a challenge to find a way to knock over an object without touching it with their hands and were provided with balls, ramps, and ropes to use. And they chose a photo from one of our experiments and dictated what they had learned about force and motion from doing that experiment. Hopefully we’ll get some snow soon, as sledding is a great way to explore force and motion!

First Grade News from Mrs. Wyckoff

We are moving right along in first grade! We are re-visiting digraphs (wh,ch,sh,th,ck) during our Fundations time, learning new trick words (words that don’t follow rules) and building sentences with capitals, periods and proper spacing between words. All this focused literacy work beautifully supports kids as they read passages and write words. In a recent literacy center one student noticed a digraph in a word she was writing and also pointed out trick words that were in the passage we read together as a group! So much comes together for children during this important year of school! It’s both exciting and rewarding to watch the growth that occurs in just a short few months of first grade! This week children are learning about animals that camouflage themselves during the winter months such as weasels, caribou and ptarmigans. As we read a non-fiction text about these animals,first graders are identifying similarities and differences between two different animals. Children used highlighters to pull out important details from the passage and then record this information on a Venn diagram, which gives children a visual of how these animals are the same and different. In math we are wrapping up our December number corner where children have collected 24 hours and identified activities that happen within a 24 hour day. First graders also became proficient with identifying three dimensional shapes and ways to talk about these shapes,such as having flat surfaces or 8 faces. As we get ready for our upcoming break children have enjoyed decorating cards for friends and family, painting and adding special touches to winter themed salt dough ornaments and creating a special gift that incorporates math. At this time first graders would like to wish everyone a restful, enjoyable and healthy winter break. See you all in 2022!

Second Grade News from Ms. Robertson

This week in math we began a new unit on place value, where the folktale Jack and the Beanstalk was used to introduce an estimating and counting project. First, we made estimates of a large quantity of beans and then we counted out ten groups of ten beans to see what one hundred beans would look like. We then had the opportunity to revise our initial estimates. After we put our revised estimates into order from the lowest number to the highest number, each student was given a scoop of beans to count by putting the beans into groups of tens and ones. Next, we put all the groups of tens and ones together and then regrouped the ones into tens and the tens into hundreds. We finished the activity by counting the hundreds, the tens, and the ones to find the total number of beans and then compared the total to our revised estimates.

We also continued to work on our snowman sentences, using our brainstormed list of describing words, action words, places, and times to create sentences such as:

  • The white snowman is thinking in the yard on Friday.

  • The fat snowman moves his hand on the porch on Saturday.

  • The tired snowman looked at the cabin in the woods in the afternoon.

  • The happy snowman had a smile on its face at my house at 6:40 on Sunday.

We also extended this writing activity to gingerbread men, creating sentences such as:

  • The sugary gingerbread man did star pose on a plate in December.

  • The brown gingerbread man cracked in an oven in the afternoon.

During our theme time this week, we worked with a map of the United States, locating its land and water borders, as well as its capital. We also identified the state we live in, the smallest state, and the largest state and created a map key to go along with the map. Our theme time also finds us continuing our lessons from the Second Steps curriculum, where we are learning about using self-talk as a strategy to help us ignore distractions while we are focused on our learning.

As our thoughts turn to the approaching winter vacation and time spent with family and friends, the second-grade class wishes all the Sanderson families a warm and wonderful holiday season. Happy Holidays to everyone!

Third Grade News from Ms. Carole

Third graders are proud to be finishing up the written version of their reports about animals of Massachusetts. The next step in this process is shoring up their lists of the sources they used to learn about their animals. After that, the editing and typing of the sources and reports will be getting underway. The finished products will be examples of many various types of learning, and I’m certain they will be excited to share it with you as well as the coinciding dioramas being created in Art class.

Another exciting project we worked on this week was the gingerbread houses created with our buddies in Preschool. They represent a lot of thought, design, persistence, and cooperation, and they have been on display in the foyer for all to enjoy.

I’d like to send best wishes for a relaxing and fun holiday season with loved ones and a very happy new year!

Fourth Grade News from Ms. Lilly

As my last week comes to an end in fourth grade, I wanted to say thank you to all the families and kids. I felt so welcomed into this school community and look forward to working with you all in the future. The last two weeks we have spent time learning to break apart large two-digit by two-digit multiplication problems. We have used base ten pieces and an online base ten app that the kids have really learned to maneuver well. We have also wrapped up our unit on learning about human and animal eyes. I hope you all have a wonderful winter break!

Sixth Grade News from Mrs. Schreiber

Sixth grade has finished reading our book “Wonder” and have been writing a character essay about the main character August. We have started looking at sample essay writing and our rubric. We have also begun looking at writing introductory paragraphs with a hook to engage our readers as well as a thesis statement. In math we have been talking about comparing and sharing items using ratios, percents, and fractions. In unit study we have briefly reviewed layers of the earth and convection currents as we begin to explore the theory of continental drift.

I want to take this opportunity to thank my Sanderson Community. The staff, students, and families have been my family these last nine and a half years. I will hold you all in my heart as I move into a new adventure. Thank you! I will miss you all!

News from Ms. Prew

Time for some more winter-themed math! This week's winter math theme: mittens! Take a look at the first picture. What do you notice about the two pictures? What is the same? What is different? Can you come up with some equations to match your thinking? Take a look at the second set of pictures with mittens. Can you use some multiplicative reasoning to explain what is similar and what is different? Enjoy! :) aprew@mtrsd.org

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News from Ms. Trish Aurigemma

For me the holiday season is a very special time of the year. My heart is filled with happy thoughts and memories when I see the bright lights and colors, smell the beautiful aromas of good baking, and hear the happy exchanges between friends and families. But this is not the case for everyone, especially for children who have difficult learning or emotional challenges. Children can have a hard time understanding the expectations and managing their emotions when they are anticipating what the holiday will be like for them. According to the Kim Swon Lewis, MEd, CCC-SLP, of the ASHA Leader 2016 Article titled Full Inclusion Holidays there are few strategies to help families and caregivers to maximize their child’s happiness and minimize the stress of anticipation for everyone through out the holiday break. They include the following:

  1. Prepare your child in advance and establish routines around annual holidays. Use a calendar at home to show the sequence of holiday events including parties, decorating, concerts, visiting relatives and so forth. As best as possible, continue your family routines and schedule throughout the holiday break, or return to the family routine when you can.

  2. Be proactive and plan ahead. Help older children plan for holiday challenges they may encounter by rehearsing events. Identify likely rough spots and have them choose potential coping strategies such as self-talk or deep breathing with your child.

If your child is too anxious about attending a family gathering, you can develop a plan ahead of time with your child to only do small parts. For example, perhaps greeting grandma and grandpa upon arrival is enough excitement. After, they can go off to a quiet room and play quiet games or read alone for a while. Then they can return for the meal.

  1. Be a positive Role model. Adults can find themselves overwhelmed by holiday-related schedule changes and sensory overload. Parents can talk with their child about how stress effects them and show how they respond with flexibility by using the strategies of deep breathing and self-talk, for example.

  2. Avoid Burnout by picking and choosing events that are most important to you and your family. We are all guilty of feeling the need to be part of everything, but for many of us doing it all is doing too much.

By being flexible, finding alternatives and compromising gives you and your family the best opportunity for happy holiday memories.

It is my deepest wish to everyone in the Sanderson Academy Community that you all have a very happy and healthy holiday season and New Year.

Trish Aurigemma, M.S., CCC-SLP


Swon Lewis (2016). Full Inclusion Holidays. The ASHA Leader,Volume 21 Issue 12, https://doi.org/10.1044/leader.FTR2.21122016.52

Mindful Movement News from Ms.Sue

The first few days of the WINTER season are upon us. We have been working in each grade on creating their own yoga flow sequences using this season we are in to create poses: skiers, sledding, snow covered mountains, snowflakes, gifts, candles, snowmen…along with some kind of story. We will be sharing these with the younger grades in the coming weeks, to see how fun it is when we get to be the creators and see what works and what doesn’t. Wishing everyone a lovely holiday season and Happy New Year!!

Girls on the Run

Please contact Principal Emma Liebowitz at eliebowitz@mtrsd.org for more information.
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February Break Programming at The Academy at Charlemont, February 22-25

We're excited to invite rising 4th-8th graders to The Academy for afternoons of studio arts or Dungeons & Dragons from 12:30 - 3:30pm Tuesday, February 22nd - Friday, February 25th! Those interested can find more information and register here.