Wednesday's Word

November 10, 2021

What's Inside...

- Family Letter

- Lunch Menu Change for Friday

- Capital Budget Approval

- COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic for ages 5 and up

- No School Thursday November 11th - Veteran's Day

- Class Happenings

Dear Families,

There has been a lot of discussion recently in the world of education about how to support students with strengthening their math skills to address unfinished learning resulting from the pandemic. Nationwide, math is the area that was most significantly impacted by remote and hybrid learning. As a district, we have put many structures in place to support our students including enhancing our curriculum, allocating additional time to reviewing key skills, increasing math instructional staff and focusing professional development on effective practices for accelerating math learning.

Given that there is a lot of focus on math this school year, I wanted to share with you a very brief overview of the key factors that impact how a student understands math and provide you with some family activities that are helpful in strengthening these skills.

What Does the Research Say? Research has shown that students who “struggle” with mathematics versus students who seem to “succeed” depend on a few key factors:

  • a student’s ability to recognize patterns in mathematics

  • a student’s ability to make connections between various skills (e.g. how multiplication and division relate)

  • a student’s ability to be flexible with numbers (e.g. breaking numbers apart, modeling)

Focusing on Recognizing Patterns:

There are four stages of mastering patterns:

  • Recognizing patterns - see math as interconnecting concepts, building blocks

  • Extending the patterns - recognize sequences by exploring the patterns

  • Creating new patterns - makes math predictable, begin to demonstrate mathematical thinking by asking “what if questions”

  • Applying the patterns - also known as problem solving

Why it’s important - math is all about patterns and interconnecting skills.

What does this look like in practice -

  • In the early grades it means understanding that our number system ranges from 0 to 9. Therefore all of our numbers repeat but in different order. For example, in sequential counting, the number 7 always follows the number 6; 67 comes after 66; 700 comes after 600 etc.

  • In the upper grades students begin to explore our base ten system. This means that our numbers increase and decrease by the power of ten and are based on patterns in place value. (If you are intrigued and want to learn more, here is a quick video that explains this process).

Where the breakdown can occur - for the examples provided above, a student who is able to more easily recognize these types of patterns will have an easier time engaging with various math concepts because this skill places less stress on their working memory. A student who is not able to independently recognize patterns, spends a lot of time memorizing individual skills instead of seeing how the math relates. This leaves less space in their working memory for acquiring new information. Students who struggle with recognizing patterns need to be explicitly shown how the patterns work. They also need frequent opportunities to review and practice these skills (our teachers and math specialists have many great tools to support this development).

Can family games help with this? YES. In preparation for the upcoming holiday season, I wanted to share with you some activities that support the development of these types of math thinking skills.

Engineering Challenges for Boys and Girls - you can make any of these into fun holiday games with teams. Select a challenge and earn points for the most successful engineering structures.

Build a Structure That Can Withstand an Earthquake using Jell-O - Using toothpicks, marshmallows, and more, kids design different structures and then simulate an earthquake to test which stay upright—without any significant change in structural integrity.

Easy STEM challenging for all ages - I played with my extended family the 100 cup tower challenge recently and it was a big hit with all the ages. We added some additional rules for adults and older kids, such as a time component.

Online Games K-5 - free practice with number lines, patterning and place value (SplashLearn).


Victoria Saldana, Director of Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction


Due to delivery issues, there will be a change in Friday's lunch menu.

  • Friday, November 12th - Fish sticks with French Fries and Tartar Sauce.
    The other options will remain the same.
    This will be for both schools.

Thank you for your understanding during these trying times.

Shelly Bernardini

Food Service Director


Pre-k through grade 6

Capital Budget Request Approved

We are pleased to announce that the Norfolk Public Schools capital budget request for $125,000 was approved at last night’s Fall Town Meeting. The capital funding will cover critical needs the district has to replace and upgrade surveillance cameras at both school buildings that are at the end of their life expectancy. Additionally, funding will cover the cost of replacing the aging phone system at both schools that is no longer supported and cannot be expanded to add additional phones to meet the growing enrollment needs of the district.

COVID 19 Regional Clinic for Norfolk, Plainville, Wrentham and King Philip Schools for ages 5-11 and up

We are pleased to offer a local, regional clinic in partnership with the state and Cataldo ProEMS. This clinic is for students, ages 5 and up, their families and the staff from any of the four districts.

Monday, November 22, 2021

3:00-7:00 pm

King Philip Regional High School Gym

Pre-registration is required. Link includes registration and consent

Pre-registration Link for Nov. 22nd clinic

To get more information please read the attached COVID-19 Vaccination

No School Thursday, November 11th - Veteran's Day

Honoring all who served.

Thank you!

KP DECA Fundraiser!

Make your own bracelet night and take a yoga class with the Sunshine Shop!

All profit goes to the Samaritans for Suicide Prevention!

Reserve your spot by November 10th!

Click on the poster for more information

Our Third Graders Creating Thank You Cards for Veterans at the VA Hospital in Providence, RI.