WRS Paw Pride Newsletter

January 2019 - Volume 6 - Issue 5

Points of Interest

January 02, 2019: School Resumes

January 03, 2019:

  • Spelling Bee - Grade 3 (students only) 8:45am - 9:40am
  • Spelling Bee - Grade 4 (students only) 9:50am - 10:50am

January 04, 2019: Movie Night - WRS All Purpose Room (7:00pm)

January 08, 2019:

  • 4th Grade Intramurals (3:00pm - 4:00pm)
  • WRSHA Meeting - WRS Library (7:00pm)

January 09, 2019: 4th Grade Intramurals (3:00pm - 4:00pm)

January 11, 2019: SNOW DATE - Movie Night - WRS All Purpose Room (7:00pm)

January 14, 2019: No PreSchool Monday

January 15, 2019: 4th Grade Intramurals (3:00pm - 4:00pm)

January 16, 2019: 4th Grade Intramurals (3:00pm - 4:00pm)

January 18, 2018: Spelling Bee Finals (Parents of Final Participants Only)

January 21, 2019: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - SCHOOL IN SESSION

January 22, 2019:

  • 4th Grade Intramurals (3:00pm - 4:00pm)
  • 2nd Grade Music Show (7:00pm - 8:00pm)

January 23, 2019: 4th Grade Intramurals (3:00pm - 4:00pm)

January 24, 2019: SNOW DATE - 2nd Grade Music Show (7:00pm - 8:00pm)

January 29, 2019:

  • 4th Grade Intramurals (3:00pm - 4:00pm)

January 30, 2019:

  • Marking Period 2 Ends
  • 4th Grade Intramurals (3:00pm - 4:00pm)

January 31, 2019: Marking Period 3 Begins

Letter from Ms. Jodi L. Howe, Principal

Happy New Year! I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season. Here are some parenting tips for the new year. Love your child for who they are: Every child is unique with different temperaments and different interests. Every day they are learning and growing—and the new year is a perfect time to take a new look at what makes your child special. You can support them as they struggle to master more difficult skills and celebrate their unique successes with them. Be a part of playtime: Play is how young children learn about the world and practice new cognitive, emotional, and social skills. A parent can learn a lot about their child’s developing skills and interests by participating in their play. Your questions, ideas, and attention support your child’s curiosity and creativity. Play interactions with you can also help them to develop skills to use when they are playing alone or with peers. Talk about feelings: Understanding and managing feelings is one of the hardest skills children under five have to tackle. So respect what they are feeling by recognizing their emotions listening to their thoughts and helping them to work through their emotions. Be an example: Through your voice, your expressions, your gestures and your actions, your child learns from you how to interact with other people and with the world. You are in a wonderful position to set a positive example for everything from solving problems to showing compassion to buckling seatbelts.

Sincerely, Jodi L. Howe, Principal

Taken from: The Parenting Magazine.com

Mrs. Guastella's Counselor Connection

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope everyone had a restful and enjoyable Winter Break. The start of a new year is always an exciting one as it brings on feelings of new opportunities, growth, and a “fresh start.” This is a great way for families to do a bonding activity to share thoughts, feelings, and their hopes for the coming year. We are able to look back at our successes that were accomplished, areas we’d like to improve on, and new resolutions to push us forward through the year. Creating a “Year in Review” along with New Year’s Resolutions is not only an activity for adults but also a wonderful activity that can be completed with your children!

Last January, I was able to attach a link to a “Year in Review” for 2017 and now I will be attaching one for 2018. This is a great activity that the whole family can join in on. It can be added to a family journal or scrapbook that everyone can create and then reflect on where they felt like they were a year ago. One resolution that can always easily be encouraged is to practice empathy. Currently, your children and I are discussing empathy and recognizing feelings in others in the classroom, and understanding what strong feelings are and how we feel them. We are working together to look for clues to figuring out how someone is feeling and understand that we all feel differently in situations. We continue to work on remembering that there is no “wrong” way to feel and that having empathy helps us expand our emotional intelligence. Throughout this school year, we will broaden our skills on empathy and move into using these skills to help with problem-solving with our peers.

Please click here to access one example of a “Year in Review” that could be a great activity to complete with your children. I hope that everyone has a wonderful start to the New Year. This is a very special time of year, full of exciting new possibilities and adventures. I sincerely hope everyone is able to fulfill all that they endeavor.

Nurse's Corner

by Kimberly Paulhus and Traci Kinst

Happy New Year!

We would like to start off our new year with everyone being as healthy as possible. We hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday season and spent some time relaxing with their loved ones. We just wanted to put out a few reminders and changes from the health office for 2019!

  • As your child sees their doctors for routine physical exams and/or immunizations, please remember to get paperwork for the school to keep the child’s file up-to-date.

  • If your child has fever, vomiting, diarrhea, or a constant cough, please keep the child home until they are symptom-free with no medication for 24 hours.

  • If a student is going to be absent remember to call them out of school and give a brief description of the child’s symptoms.

  • Please have an emergency plan in place in case your child must be picked up from school early due to illness.

  • All medication to be given at school (including over-the-counter medications) must be brought into school in the original packaging along with an order form from the doctor. No medication can be given without a doctor’s order.

  • Cough drops have become a major concern here at Woods Road School. They are helpful for a sore throat but are also a choking hazard and should only be used when absolutely necessary. For 2019, cough drops are only going to be administered in the health office and given when a parent sends in a few cough drops and a note stating they would like their child to receive cough drops in school. If a child does not have their own cough drops and a note in school we will be giving the child water and/or allowing them to gargle with salt water to relieve some of the discomfort.

  • Please keep us updated on any medical changes for your child. This includes both new diagnosis and also medical conditions that your child may have grown out of.

We are striving to have a very happy, healthy and safe 2019! Thank you in advance for all of your understanding and cooperation. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at any time with any questions or concerns you may have.

Shelf Talk

by Dina Stoff

This month in the Library, Pre-School students are hearing stories and playing games about the topics of Winter and Bears. Ask your child about the mitten activity we di. The activity got lots of giggles. Students in Kindergarten will be hearing stories all about winter and snow.

First Grade students are learning all about the differences between Fiction and Non-Fiction text and hearing stories about the same topic in both genres.

Students in Second Grade will be learning about elements of Fairy Tales and hearing versions of familiar Fairy Tales from around the world. We have learned that the basics of the story are the same but there are many other differences.

Third Grade students will be starting to learn about the research process and will be researching a state using books and online resources. They will learn about plagiarism, and how to give credit to sources.

The Fourth Grade students will be continuing work on their National Park research project and virtually visiting some National Parks with the Expeditions Tablets. Students will also be visiting the Makerspace throughout the month to work on various STEAM projects and challenges.

Follow the library on Instagram @wrslibrary


by Caroline Gelin-Cave

Woods Road Writers & Parents as Partners

At Woods Road School, we will teach your child to craft narrative, opinion/persuasive, informational and poetry writing. Our reading and writing programs go hand and hand. Studies show that one of the most important ways to get better at writing is to read, listen to and study exemplar texts. So in our writing curriculum, there isn’t a single unit where the children are not also reading.

We use the workshop model to teach writing.This approach centers on independent student work in combination with teacher modeling, one­-on-one and small­ group guidance. Woods Road School students have time to write everyday. During this time, students cycle through the stages of the writing process and receive feedback that is essential to their growth. During the writing workshop, students observe, collect ideas, draft, revise, edit, and publish narrative and expository texts.

A typical writing period will begin with students receiving direct instruction in a mini lesson. This occurs when the teacher explicitly names a skill proficient writers use that is within reach for most of the class. The teacher then demonstrates the skill and provides students with a brief guided practice using it. Students then have time to write, applying the skills and strategies they’ve learned, while receiving feedback from the teacher through one-­to-­one conferences and small group instruction designed to move them along developmentally. Since all students are writing at their own level during workshop teaching, the design makes this format perfect for differentiation.

There are many things you can do at home to support your child’s writing development.

● Start a family journal. Let your child choose his/her own notebook for all home writings. Everyone in the family can partake in the creation of a story, poem, or explanatory piece. One person can start the story and each member of the family adds something. Having family members write in a home writer’s notebook serves as a great writing model. It also shows your child that writing is fun.

● Write an email to a relative or friend and send it.

● Encourage your child to take notes on trips or outings and to orally describe what he/she saw. Have your child retell events in sequential order using the transition words first, then, after that, next and finally. As they are talking, you can jot down their ideas in a timeline fashion (see below), or your child can jot down the notes himself.

○ Pulled into the parking lot

○ Hopped out of car

○ Carried gear towards beach

○ Searched for perfect spot to camp

● Talk with your child as much as possible about his/her impressions and encourage him/her to describe people, places and events to you and then write them down. If the descriptions are especially accurate and colorful, say so.

● Have your child interview someone in the family. First, generate a list of questions for the interview and then turn the interview into a biography. If he/she would like, give a final copy to that person.

Parent Prompts to Help Kids Rehearse Their Writing

One of the biggest issues kids have is structuring their writing. To assist your child, you’ll need to help at the beginning of the process, while kids are figuring out how their writing will go. Talking helps kids sort, sequence and correlate. You can use the below prompts to get your child talking about his/her writing!

Basic Prompts

● How will your story/essay/article go?

○ As your child speaks, sometimes it’s helpful to use your hands while repeating the parts, fold down your fingers at each part

○ You can also jot down the important parts as your child is speaking. Then ask whether one part will be more important than the others, and if so star that part. This helps your child figure out where the most important part is. This also helps your child to elaborate.

● Tell me about the parts

○ If it’s a story, they’ll tell you about the beginning, middle and ending.

○ If it’s an opinion piece, they’ll tell you about the claim, the reasons and evidence.

○ If it’s informational, they’ll talk about the topic, the subtopics, and text features.

● How will it start?

● Then what will come next?

● How do you want it to end?

● What will be the most important part/heart of the story in the piece?

● What will be the tricky part ­ where might it get confusing? Let me know when you’re at that part, and we can talk it out.

More Advanced Prompts

● Try out a couple of leads on me. Let’s see which ones really get a reader interested.

● What are you thinking about pacing? How will you control tension? How will you speed up time or slow it down?

● Do you want to tell everything at once, or let out the details bit by bit?

● What are you saving for the ending?

● Who is your audience, and how will you write this piece for them?

● Is there a particular point of view you want to use?

Prompts to Help Kids Elaborate

● There was something you said before that struck me...you have to get that part in there!

● When you were talking about this, I jotted down this one idea/phrase that was very cool...Is this something you want to add?

● Say more about this one part.

● Wait a second, I’m going to jot down what you’re saying...Now take this ­ see if it works anywhere.

● How did that part we starred (or the part you said was most important) turn out?

● You know, thinking about how strong this piece is, it might be worth thinking about the beginning (or ending) a little more.

For more information on how you can help your child with their writing, check out the following websites: http://www.readingrockets.org/article/developing-writing-and-spelling-home, http://www.readingrockets.org/article/how-parents-can-support-common-core-writing-standards, and for early writers- https://www.naeyc.org/our-work/families/support-writing-home

Happy writing!

Caroline Cave


Third Grade

Happy New Year! The third grade students had a very busy month of December practicing for the first music show of the year. They enjoyed having the opportunity to showcase their musical talents through singing and playing instruments. Their diligent practice paid off and we are so proud of them!

In literacy, the third graders have been working on a variety of topics. In writing, they have been developing multiple opinion pieces to persuade their readers. The topics ranged from noteworthy teachers in the school to issues that they felt passionate about. They even had an opportunity to work with their peers on creating new rules for the classroom and attempting to convince their peers and teachers that these rules should be implemented into our classrooms. They worked so hard on these projects. We were able to tie this into our government unit and the students had an opportunity to vote on which rules were the most convincing.

The third graders worked on mystery stories in reading these past few months. The main focus of this unit were analyzing character traits, summarizing and synthesizing the text. They will be able to apply these skills to the informational text unit that we began this month. We have been working to write and read nonfiction text this month and the students are becoming experts in many different topics!

In mathematics, the students continue to develop their strategies for tackling multiplication questions which supports their ability to accurate answer more challenging number models. These strategies have also been assisting students as they work towards calculating area and perimeter, which was introduced during our most recent unit. In the coming weeks, students will receive a brief introduction to fractions where they will look at parts of wholes, recognizing equivalent fractions, and learn how to represent fractions

Many of the third graders diligently studied a huge variety of spelling words in preparation for the first session of the Scripps Spelling Bee! We are so proud of how many of the third graders took on the challenge to participate in the spelling bee this year.

We are looking forward to the second half of the school year!

- Samantha Finnegan, Peter McLaughlin, Jennifer Peterson & Heather Zieziula


by Katie Corke

Preschool students have been working on projects themed around the holidays and the winter season. Their projects have also focused on practicing fine motor skills and introducing the elements of art.

Kindergarten artists are far along in their unit exploration of collage. They just completed a collage using only primary colors. Next, they will be working on combining their collage skills with sculpture. Kindergarten artists will be paper maching pumpkins inspired by the artist Yayoi Kusama and her Infinity Mirrors.

1st Grade artists are also working on their collage skills. We learned about how artists find beauty in their everyday world, including in everyday things like food. First graders identified geometric and freeform shapes in works of art, and then they used their knowledge of shapes to draw their favorite foods. In January, we will be assembling our collages to look like a table at mealtime. In our next unit, we will study the artist Faith Ringgold and her famous story quilts.

2nd Grade Artists are concluding their unit on Fantasy Jungles. We started by studying ecosystems and illustrating realistic scenes of nature. Students used foreground, middleground, and background to add depth to their oil pastel drawings. Then, we looked at the work of artist Henri Rousseau and his jungle paintings. We discussed how Rousseau often drew pictures of places that he had never been in real life and how he could have drawn things that he had never seen. Students used their imaginations, photographs, and how to draw books to create their own fantastical jungle scenes. Most students have finished drawing their Fantasy Jungle, and have begun using watercolor pencils to add color to their illustrations. In January, we will transform the watercolor pencil into paint using water. In our next unit, we will study the work of artist Henri Matisse.

3rd Grade Artists are working on concluding our unit on abstract art. Every student brought in a photograph of an object that represented a special memory to them (such as a trophy, medal, stuffed animal, etc.). We examined the work of Georgia O’Keefe and how she created abstract art by cropping or zooming on an object until it was hard to recognize. Students then used their own special photos and homemade viewfinders to create an abstract composition. We practiced mixing secondary, and tertiary colors using the three primary colors. Students have also learned how to mix tints, tones, and shades to create a value scale. We have just started painting on our large paper and should complete our project in January. Our next unit will be focusing on either Native American Weaving or Clay.

4th Grade Artists are working on a concluding our unit on cubism. Students have studied the art of Pablo Picasso and used it to inspire our own cubist portraits. First, we studied microexpressions of the face and how we can use them as artists to show emotion. Then students chose an emotion (disgust, anger, joy, sadness, fear, surprise) and created and practice portrait using cubist techniques. Next students redrew their portraits on large pieces of cardboard and used smaller pieces to create their facial features. Currently, we are working on painting the small and large pieces of cardboard using acrylic paint. Fourth-grade artists are also taking on more responsibilities as artists in the classroom and setting up their own painting stations. In January, we will finish painting and assemble our final portraits. Next, we will study graphic design, mandalas, and radial symmetry.

3rd Grade Flex Time artists are currently studying the work of surrealist artist, Joan Miro. We looked at several of his paintings and talked about how he used shapes and imagination to create fantastical birds. Students were then given names of several birds (kingfisher, catbird, horned screamer), and prompted to use their imaginations to create their own bird.

4th Grade Flex Time artists are currently studying the work of M.C. Escher. We examined his many different types of tessellations. Students were shown how to create a translation, reflection, and rotation tessellation. They are working on completing their large 17 x 17 slide tessellations which they have customized to look like various animals, creatures, and symbols.