Weekly Newsletter

November 10, 2021

News from Principal Emma Liebowitz

The Orignal Works orders are due Monday, November 15. This quick turn around time will allow for orders to be in before the holiday break.

Events/Calendar:

Saturday, November 13 - Local Goods Distribution Day (9:00 - Noon)

Monday, November 15 - Original Works orders due

Wednesday, November 17 - 1:50 Dismissal

Tuesday, November 23 - Turkey Trot

Wednesday, November 24 - 12:30 Dismissal

Thursday, November 25 and Friday, November 26 - No School



Link to Sanderson Academy calendar.

Health Office News from Nurse Loranna


Greetings from the health office! We are entering into cold and flu season so I wanted to provide the symptom list again for your reference. The only definite way that we can determine if an illness is a typical cold/flu or covid symptoms is with a pcr covid test. If your child is not feeling well, please keep them home and reach out to me for guidance at lalmeida@mtrsd.org or during school hours you can also call 628-4404. If your child has a sore throat, runny nose or cough they may be in the beginning stages of a cold- please reach out to me for guidance-depending on the symptoms and the health history of the child they may need a pcr test to return to school. As we all now know- a cold in these days of covid precautions can be quite difficult on the family and school balance. I do recommend getting the pcr test once symptoms develop- so as not to miss more school than necessary. Those with colds are most contagious at the beginning of their illness, so staying home when unwell is very helpful for our school community as a whole. Cold symptoms also tend to linger- especially in children- so getting the pcr test done early in an illness can also support their return back to school as soon as possible! It is a balancing act here in the health office during this time as my focus is both on keeping our school community healthy and safe while also supporting families and students so their child is thriving and ready to learn.


Symptom List (if your child has any of the symptoms below-please report them to me)


-Fever over 100.0, or chills -New muscle or body aches

-Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing -New loss of taste or smell


(These above symptoms will always require a pcr test to return to school)


- Fatigue (with another symptom) -Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

-Cough (not related to diagnosed/medically documented asthma or allergies)

-Congestion or runny nose (with another symptom) -Headache (with another symptom)

-Sore throat (with another symptom)

Library News from Ms. Wilson

The Scholastic Book Fair was a huge success! Students were so excited to browse and shop for books that they picked out for themselves. I hope the Book Fair gives you and your reader a chance to engage in books and reading together at home. Thank you so much for your support! I would also like to thank the PTO for their help in pulling this off. If you missed the in-person fair, you are welcome to visit the Virtual Book Fair, which will be open until November 14.


With help from the 6th grade, the Library is hosting a Food Drive during the month of November. If you are able, please send one or more non-perishable food items to school with your child. Our school-wide goal is to collect 150 items of food that will be donated to the Hilltown Churches Food Pantry after the Thanksgiving holiday. Thank you!

Preschool News from Mrs. Freeman

This week we are learning how to play new games. Tumblin Monkeys and The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel game. These games are helping us learn about colors and counting, as well as helping us practice sharing and taking turns.

This week we also work together to make fluffy pumpkin spice slime. It’s super sticky at first, but so much fun to play with. I’ve included the recipe which was found at teachingmama.org

Here’s What You Need for Fluffy Pumpkin Spice Slime:

  • 3 heaping cups of shaving cream (regular with no special scent)

  • 2-3 drops of orange food gel coloring

  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice seasoning

  • 1/2 cup Elmer’s glue

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 – 2 tablespoons saline solution + more as needed (make sure the ingredient list includes buffered saline)

  • bowl

  • spatula

  • cutting board or mat

*Note – if you don’t want this to have the pumpkin spice scent, just omit the pumpkin spice seasoning.

To make this awesome fluffy slime, just follow these simple steps:

1. Pour three cups of shaving cream into a bowl.

2. Mix in a few drops of orange gel food coloring. I found that gel gave me the best coloring. I tried liquid food coloring and it turned out pinkish-orange.

3. Sprinkle in 1 teaspoon of pumpkin spice seasoning to add a lovely scent!

4. Pour 1/2 cup of glue into the bowl along with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Mix really well.

5. Stir in 1 tablespoon of saline solution. My kids call this the “magic water” because this ingredient is what makes the ingredients turn to slime!

6. At first the slime will be pretty sticky. Don’t give up! You need to squirt some more saline solution onto it and knead it on a cutting board. I like to squirt the solution onto my hands and the mat before I knead it.

7. After it’s not sticky, you can play with it!

Preschool News from Ms. Melanie

We have been enjoying the lovely warm days that surprised us this week. The mittens and hats stay inside backpacks waiting for the colder days to return. In our outdoor classroom, we are letter detectives, searching for the letters “A” and “T”. When we find one of those letters, we tell a friend and then a teacher. We never know where a letter might be--on the chalkboard, drawn in the sand near the mud kitchen, made with sticks or small stones on a pathway, or tucked inside a fairy house. The places change each day, but the letters don’t hide for long. We are good letter detectives!

Recently, we have been noticing more activity from the chipmunks who call our outdoor classroom home. They have become accustomed to us being there, it seems, and bravely cross our paths going from one hole to the next. Another forest friend that visits us each day is a big crow. The crow arrives most mornings just as we start our morning circle--sitting in a tree high above and sometimes adding a new voice to our Good Morning song! We greet the crow with, “Good morning Friend Crow!” each day. Another comfortable tradition in our outdoor classroom has begun.

Kindergarten News from Ms. Sarah

In our social skills program this week, we practiced looking at photos and drawings of people’s facial expressions to figure out what emotion they might be experiencing and what energy zone they may be in (low energy, just right, or high energy). Sometimes it is helpful to have low energy or high energy, but sometimes our energy level doesn’t match what we need in the moment. And we experience a range of positive to uncomfortable emotions at each energy level (ex. low energy emotions could be feeling peaceful or feeling shy). Being alert to other people’s facial expressions is a helpful life skill and helps the kids to be more attuned to each other’s feelings.

First Grade News from Mrs. Wyckoff

This week first graders are thinking about Veterans. A survey was sent home asking families to name family members who served in our American military. Many children were surprised to learn that their uncle, grandfather, great great grandfather and other relatives had served in the military. Children brought in family photos to share, which made our conversation about Veterans day much more meaningful. Thank you to the families who sent in these wonderful photos! After reading our scholastic news titled “Sky High Veteran” along with a short video we learned some of the jobs people can have in the military. As children shared each family member, we identified which branch of the military they had served in. We created a graph to gather this information. We learned that 17 family members were in the Army, 7 in the Marines, 6 in the Air Force, 1 in the Coast Guard, 6 in the Navy and one who served with the National Guard. After reading a story titled Veterans- Heroes in Our Neighborhood by Valerie Pfundstein, First graders learned that veterans are all around us, and the best way to celebrate them is to say “thank you for your service.” We wrapped up our activity with a patriotic wreath craft. As you move through your day, take a moment to honor the Veterans in your life and in your community. This is a great opportunity to learn more about your family and what it means to serve one's country.

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Second Grade News from Ms. Robertson

This week finds us beginning the lessons from the Second Steps social skills program. The first lesson is entitled “Being Respectful” and the main objective focuses on identifying respectful behavior in others and in ourselves. As part of our Fundations lessons this week, we are reviewing that the sound of /k/ can be spelled three different ways (c, k, and ck) and we are learning the spelling rules of when to use c, k, or ck. For example, ck is used when the /k/ sound comes immediately after a short vowel at the end of a word or syllable, as in clock, stick, and pocket. But when there is another sound present between the short vowel and the /k/ sound, k is used at the end of the word or syllable, as in milk, tusk, and basket. During our math block, we are starting to work with number lines to show how many jumps of 10s and 1s it takes to get to the number of days we have been in school. For example, if we have been in school for 49 days, it will take us 4 jumps of 10 and 9 jumps of 1 to reach 49. We have also been working with the fact strategies of doubles and doubles+1. We used our number racks to practice doubling numbers and then did an activity called “Doubles Up”. With this activity, two dice were rolled in hopes of a doubles equation (ex. 5+5, 9+9) or a doubles+1 equation (ex. 5+6, 9+10), for the team that filled up the doubles or double+1 column would win the game.

We also thank our second-grade families for attending Parent-Teacher conferences during the past week. If you have questions or concerns as the school year continues in regards to your second grader’s progress, the curriculum, or such, please contact me at the school. (jrobertson@mtrsd.org)

Third Grade News from Ms. Carole

In math we are wrapping up our Unit One this week as we consider all of the many ways to find answers to multi-digit addition and subtraction problems. Students enjoyed reading and solving each other’s original word problems and figuring out how to show their thinking. The class has come a long way this fall in showing a variety of ways of thinking about and solving problems.

Third grade has been scrambling the past few days to finish off the gardens and put them to rest for the winter before the ground freezes. We harvested some of the largest beets and carrots we’ve ever seen, and we have pulled up a bunch or weeds as well. We have turned over the soil. We also planted the garlic for next year and tucked it in with a mulching layer of hay. It has been a wonderful harvest this year, and we are thankful to those who worked over the summer to help keep it alive and productive.

Third grade also worked tirelessly in the past week to produce 40 sheets of wrapping paper. From measuring out ten-foot lengths to printing stars and trees to carrying long sheets of wet paper to the gym for drying and then doing it all over again to add decorations, this was a huge project for the class. Everyone worked together as a team and got the job done joyfully. We hope all of the Local Goods customers are pleased with their wrapping paper!

Fourth Grade News From Mrs. Lagoy

Fourth graders have been working hard during our Growth Mindset Block. This week we are taking a break from our growth mindset learning and are exploring our Second Steps curriculum. Students have been learning about strong brain and body responses to interpersonal conflicts and other stressors. These responses can include strong emotions that arise quickly. You can ask them about the videos we watched of Maia during her geography class. Strong emotions can cause conflicts to escalate. When emotions are intense, it’s hard to think straight and make good decisions. If you talk with your kiddos about this, they should be able to tell you that this is when the amygdala is in control, not the prefrontal cortex. When the amygdala is in control, students may struggle to make good choices when experiencing intense feelings such as anger, sadness, jealousy, anxiety, or even happiness. This lesson helps students demystify what happens inside them when they experience strong emotions and lays the groundwork for learning skills to manage the brain’s and body’s reactions to stress and conflict. We want to use strategies that allow the prefrontal cortex to take charge once again.

Fourth Grade News from Mrs. Lilly

Over the last week in fourth grade we have been observing our November calendar during Number Corner. Our calendar this month has analog clocks on each day. Each day we flip over one card and decide what time the clock is showing and figure out how much time has passed from the day before. We then make predictions for what we believe will happen for the next day. This conversation has been beneficial for remembering when A.M. and P.M. are and, also because of our recent time change. We have also been spending a lot of time mastering our multiplication facts. The fourth graders are getting more fluent with their facts each day! In science we have shifted to discover the basics of how our eyes work, and figure out some of the causes of vision problems.We will eventually build a model eye using a magnifying lens as a model of the cornea to explore how the structure of this lens is related to the function of our eyes.

Sixth Grade News from Mrs. Schreiber

This month sixth grade is talking about gratitude. We have started creating a “Gratitude ABC’s” book/slide that we will share with the school when we are finished. We have also been making connections to gratitude in the book we are reading, “Wonder.” In math we have finished our first math unit and are beginning the second unit where we will be talking about comparing numbers using fractions, ratios, and percents. On Monday we talked about how we could use benchmark numbers to find what percent of the year we have completed. (25%)

News from Ms. Prew

Time for math practices (MP) 3 and 4. MP 3: Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. "The benefits of such discourse include clarifying understandings, constructing convincing arguments, developing the language to express mathematical ideas, and learning to see things from other perspectives." It is incredible to watch our amazing Sanderson students teach each other! MP 4: Model with mathematics. Check out these model examples from our third graders: number line, base ten drawing, algorithm, etc.

Art News from Ms. Hawthorne

The Original works fundraiser is this week! Packets have been sent home. If you would like to order any gifts with your student’s artwork, please return both pages (yellow and white) of the order form, your payment, AND YOUR STUDENTS ORIGINAL ART. Orders are due on NOVEMBER 15th! You can email me at chawthorne@mtrsd.org if you have any questions.

All artwork will be returned to the students when the orders are complete. If you are not ordering anything from Original Works, please keep your student’s artwork and celebrate their creativity. It is important to ask questions about a student’s artwork and focus on the process that they experienced. Here is a good article that has some suggestions.

How to talk to your students about their art.

In art classes, students in grades 2, 3, and 6 are finishing up their paper mache projects. It has been a sticky but fun learning experience. 5th grade is starting their colonial tin punching project and 4th grade students are designing animals of the future, thinking about features and evolutionary adaptations. Kindergarten and 1st grade students are working on fine motor skills, using basic art tools, identifying shapes in objects and following step-by-step drawing directions. Preschool has learned about lines, colors, and today will be playing with texture!

Message from the District Literacy Team

Literacy Strategic Plan

Educators of the Mohawk Trail - Hawlemont Regional School System are excited to embark on a new path towards a comprehensive, research-based literacy program for our districts. Reading specialists, classroom teachers, special educators, and administrators from all buildings and grade-bands are participating in teams to implement our first strategic plan for literacy. The goal is to align literacy teaching and learning in our schools using an assessment and data management system, professional development on the science of reading, and the adoption of a new literacy curriculum in grades kindergarten through 8th grade. Our team will be seeking family input and involvement, and we look forward to partnering with our communities on literacy-related events and workshops. Our shared goal is to better prepare our students for life-long learning and engaged citizenship.


Caregivers of students in grades PreK - 8th: The Literacy Leadership Team Family Engagement Subcommittee has created a quick survey that asks about the information you receive about your student's literacy learning. Please, follow the link below, and take a few minutes to give us your thoughts.

Literacy Communication Survey

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