Pleasant Street School News

building a community of learners that strive for excellence

Increasing the "Depth of Knowledge" Learning in Mathematics

In order for children to achieve at higher levels we need to increase the rigor and depth of knowledge required of students in mathematics. At Pleasant Street School and throughout our district elementary programs, we have adopted the Eureka math program which is aligned to the state common core standards in mathematics. We had previously been using a math series program that has not proven to be as effective in getting results. This is unfortunately reflective in our student test scores as many of our students did not achieve their potential on the spring MCAS assessments.

Working with families, we can and will do better for our children, by having them learn a strong foundation in mathematical thinking, relationships, and problem solving. At school, we have increased our core mathematics instructional block. We have also increased the rigor, pace, and depth of knowledge thinking that we are expecting of students. Simple recall is low level thinking. In order for our children to compete in a global economy and be prepared for jobs of the future- in education, industry, medicine, technology, and more -we need to have children engage in deeper level learning beginning at the elementary school level.

Good news... children are more capable of learning to think and to problem solve than they are given credit! Unfortunately, children easily become habituated into being "rescued" when something is challenging or if they don't like to do something. Let's face it... sometimes as parents it is easier to give in to your child than to work through something hard. We have all been there. Perseverance, grit, and curiosity are life skills that will serve our children far beyond learning mathematics. Research supports increased brain development when we work through our mistakes. Please review the linked articles and resources below for more information and guided support on how you can help your child at home experience greater comfort and success in strengthening their math skills.

Listed below are some resources we want to share with families as you partner with teachers in supporting your children to achieve at a higher level:

Celebrating Reading!

Be a Part of Our Reading Museum!

We sent home an informational sheet last week and have linked it below if children would like to take part in our "reading museum." Pictured are snapshots from Principal Ellis' fall harvest and seed museum project. We hope to celebrate creative projects that you enjoy doing with your children. Submitted projects will be photographed and shared in upcoming newsletters.

Reading Each Day:

We ask that children read for at least 15 minutes each day! Older children are certainly capable of reading more. Attached below are two reading logs that you are welcome to use with your children to track reading at home. Your classroom teacher may have also sent out a log form which you could use instead. One log has questions to stimulate thinking while reading while the other is a simple recording form. Students turning in a complete reading log form to his or her teacher will be recognized by the Principal.

Third Grade Dictionary Project

Members from the Athol/Orange Elks Lodge #1837 paid a visit to Mrs. Heidi Heuer and to Mrs. Eileen St. Jean's third grade classes this week to distribute new dictionaries to each of the students as part of their participation in the national Dictionary Project. The Dictionary Project was founded in 1995 by Mary French of Charleston, SC. It's primary focus is to promote literacy to children in third-grade as they transition from learning how to read to identifying and using resource information. Elks' lodges began participating in this project in 2004 and have since donated over 1 million dictionaries to third grade students nationally through participating Elks Club lodges.

Pictured from left to right : Elk's Club members, George Day, Heather Edwards, Alice Schevran, Ian Reed, Roland Woodbury, Rick Marsh, and Bob Day. Students pictured are Aiden Saviski, Elizabeth Mailloux, Lyla-Rae Williams, and Emmery Dubrule from Mrs. St. Jean's class.

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Former and Future Principal!?

Mr. Vaidulas, former retired Principal of Pleasant Street School, has been filling in for Principal Ellis on days that she is out of the building at district professional development programs. Mrs. Nancy Berthiuame, one of our school support staff, couldn't resist snapping this picture out at recess, of Mr. V and fourth grader, Jacob K., who was so nicely dressed up!!

Introducing the Volunteer Box and Supply Wish List

We have started a Volunteer Box in our school office with items that need to be cut, copied, laminated, or otherwise prepped for use in classroom instructional programs. As the expression goes, "many hands make light work." We have had families approach us and ask if there is something they can do to help out at our school. Besides preparation tasks in the volunteer box, we are also looking for someone with some typing ability who is able to help us complete a digitial inventory of our new book room books.

Our supply wish list includes the following items:

  • boxes of tissue
  • cleaning wipes
  • zip lock style bags in snack, sandwich, and gallon sizes- we need the type with the "ziplock" for little fingers to open and close. These bags are used in our math program for cut-outs and manipulatives.

Thank you!

Family Friendly Community Events

The Big Read- Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014, 10:00-12:00 noon, Elks Club, 93 New Athol Rd., Athol- Family friendly event with live entertainment and new and gently used books for the whole family. See the attached link for more information.

Can't make a morning event? How about this one at the Mount:

The Childrens' Book Festival, Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014, 9:00-4:00, Mt. Wachusett Community College, 444 Green St., Gardner.

For other local events, happenings, and resources in this area... you can also check the North Quabbin Community Coalition website below:

Upcoming Events...Mark your Calendars!

Upcoming Events and Dates

  • Oct. 24- Family movie night- PTO sponsored event- see separate notice linked here
  • Oct. 29- district half day, noon dismissal, lunch is served- Please note corrected date!
  • Nov. 3- 1st quarter grades close (report cards handed out at conferences!)
  • Nov. 5-PTO walkathon, 9-11:30 am
  • Nov. 11- Veterans' Day observed- no school
  • Nov. 12- Community Reading day
  • Nov. 17- Parent/teacher conferences 3:30-5:00 pm- by appointment
  • Nov. 18- Parent/teacher conference 6:00-7:30 pm- by appointment
  • Nov. 26-district half day, noon dismissal, lunch will not be served
  • Nov. 27-28- Thanksgiving break
  • Dec. 3- district half day, noon dismissal, lunch is served

News from Principal Ellis

Building a community of learners that strive for excellence

Check back soon for more news!