Weekly Newsletter

September 23, 2021

News from Principal Emma Liebowitz

Thank you for those that were able to complete the Caregiver Involvement Survey. If you did not get a chance, here is the link. We appreciate the willingness to get involved that many of you expressed. I will be reaching out to individuals next week that indicated an interest in the PTO and/or LEC.


As you can see below, we moved Mountain Day to Monday with the hope that the weather will be better. Guests are invited to attend this outdoor event. Please let your child(ren)'s teacher know if you plan to attend.

Local Goods Catalog

Have you checked out the 2021 Sanderson Academy Local Goods Catalog? So many great, local products! Follow this link for the catalog and order form.

From the School Office

Picture day is Tuesday September 28th.

Events/Calendar:


Monday, September 27 - Mountain Day (Moved September 24 due to weather)

Tuesday, September 28 - Picture Day

Wednesday, September 29 - 1:50 Dismissal


Link to Sanderson Academy calendar.

Health Office News from Nurse Loranna

Please be sure to look over the question and answer document regarding frequently asked questions about Covid-19 policies. The link for this is here: https://www.smore.com/z9wtd

If you would like this in paper form, let me know and I can print it out for you. Please know some of the guidance may shift as we move forward. I will always strive to get you the information you need as quickly as possible. Thank you!!

Preschool News from Mrs. Freeman

This week we were greeted with 2 chrysalises in our science center. Preschoolers were curious and eager to find them. Many used the photo cards or the chrysalis model to match what they were seeing in the container. We are also reading books about butterflies and creating artwork to help us learn about their life cycle. We finished painting butterfly shapes using watercolors to add to our classroom display. We hope you had the opportunity to see it at Open House.

Preschool News from Ms. Melanie

We have been architects and builders in the outdoor classroom. Children have been working together to construct durable, natural fairy houses. Our third grade buddies have also helped out with the designs and construction. We have learned to keep trying when things don’t work as we planned and to ask a friend for help. Fairy Village is bursting at the seams with beautiful homes. They will have their debut on Wednesday evening for Open House. We cannot wait to share our work with families!

Kindergarten News from Ms. Sarah

We have been starting to extend our morning meeting to include whole group sharing and the calendar routine. We have also been learning about some of the literacy centers—such as the writing station and the listening station (for listening to books on CD), as well as the computer station as another option to hear books read aloud. We have continued to add to the art center, which now features hole punchers, rubbing plates, glitter crayons, colored pencils, and yarn. Students have been enjoying making multi-media creations! We added the puppet center to choice time, which has been popular. Outside play continues to be a favorite at choice time as well!

First Grade News from Mrs. Wyckoff

Day 15 and first graders are rocking the year! Routines, rules and expectations are followed quickly and quietly, friendships continue to blossom and our classroom is a place full of patient, kind and hardworking kids! First grade is a year of so much growth and first graders are more than ready to try new things, learn new information and to meet challenges with perseverance. In math we continue to represent numbers through tally marks, popsicles sticks and ten frames. In language arts we have started to incorporate some rotations into our morning. Students are working on lower case letters in Fundations, writing about favorite school activities and retelling and responding to questions related to our mentor text, Schools First Day of School. First graders have started classroom jobs so that we all help to take care of the classroom space we spend our day in. We continue to practice our daily routines and procedures so that all children feel safe, respected and happy while at school. First grade is a lovely place to be! Ask your first grader what they are enjoying most about their days in first grade!

Second Grade News from Ms. Robertson

As part of building our classroom community, we have been working on developing a list of rules for our classroom framed around the headings of Being Respectful, Being Kind, and Being Safe. We continue to review, model, and practice classroom expectations for behaviors that will help each of us do our best learning, such as raising our hands before speaking out and waiting our turns. We are also using a strategy from the Second Steps social-emotional curriculum to help ourselves focus our attention. When we hear chimes ring, we concentrate and listen to the chimes using our eyes and ears. We tell ourselves to ignore any distractions that pull our attention away from the chimes. When we can no longer hear the chimes, we put up one thumb. Focusing our attention helps us to calm our minds and bodies so we are ready for learning.

After reading aloud more stories about dragons and discussing ideas concerning our own pet dragons, we have been busy drawing pictures of our pet dragons and writing about them. The focus of our writing has been on where our pet dragons live, what they like to eat, and what they like to do. We will continue to read about dragons as we begin the first theme called “Silly Stories” in our reading anthologies. We are also reading aloud stories about the changes we observe as summer turns into autumn, most notably the changing colors of the leaves. This week we enjoyed a big book called When the Leaf Blew In by Steve Metzger and began thinking about describing words for leaves, such as big and colorful, and actions that leaves do, such as float and dance.

Thank you for the wonderful turnout at Open House. It was great to see and visit with the second-grade families. Thank you, too, for signing up for Parent-Teacher conferences in November. As conference time approaches, a reminder with your date and time will be sent home.

Third Grade News from Ms. Carole

(Please remember that students need refillable water bottles at school every day since the water fountains are off limits. Thank you!)

This week third graders began to think about talk about solving subtraction problems. Beginning with the less-than-twenty facts, we are using strategies such as take away ten, back to ten, and take away half to make sense of these math moves. We will soon be getting away from the habits of drawing and crossing off items and using fingers as we head into larger and more complex numbers. This Friday we are excited to be spending Mountain Day with our little buddies in Ms. Melanie’s preschool class, and next Friday we are excited to head up to Mt. Greylock for our first field trip. Our rainy summer was great for apple trees, so last week we used some of our garden apples to make apple bread, and this week we were happy to make applesauce. In language arts we partner-read a story about a rock climber and learned how to answer questions by using words from the question in the answer. Please remember to send in those Local Goods orders as next week is the last week for ordering!

Fourth Grade News from Mrs. Lagoy

This week, fourth graders were able to share their hopes and dreams with their classmates. Following this discussion, we were able to set some expectations in our classroom that will allow us all to achieve our goals. We understand that our workspace needs to feel physically and emotionally safe in order for us to be successful so we named the following rules: be safe and appropriate, be kind and caring, and be respectful and responsible. We also spent some time talking about the reality that, even with the best intentions, we all make mistakes sometimes and that we have practices in our classroom that will help us get back on track. We have a “Take a Break” spot in our classroom and a “Buddy Class” spot in the fifth and sixth grade classrooms. “Take a Break” is intended to be a positive, respectful, and supportive teaching strategy used to help a child who is just beginning to lose self-control to regain it so they can do their best learning. We spent some time helping children understand that “Take a Break” is not a punishment, it is merely a chance for them to step away from the group, identify what is getting in the way of them being available for learning and make a plan to return to learning with mental focus and emotional control. This week we will focus on teaching students additional calming down and refocusing strategies to make their time in “Take a Break” effective. Be sure to ask your kiddo what calming strategy they think will work best for them if they “Take a Break.”

News from Mrs. Lilly

This week in fourth grade math we have continued our discussion on what it looks like and sounds like in our classroom during math. We brainstormed and recorded our ideas and now have been practicing our ideas. We have practiced working in pairs, whole class lessons, and independent work. We noticed that during our partner work there is quiet talking and students moving around. But during our whole class or independent work time it’s mostly just me talking to the group or quietly to an individual. We started a conversation about how important it is to stay curious in math and continue to look for clues to make sense of our math work. We also read a book called “Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine” to prove the importance of staying curious and persistent even when math or life seems hard! In science we are finishing up our introduction to partner work with an activity called “Saving Fred”. Fred is an adventurous worm who has had a few misadventures, and the fourth graders have worked hard to successfully save Fred with parachutes, life preservers, and bridges. If you would like to know more, ask a fourth grader who would be happy to explain! This activity has not only been fun but has allowed us to really work on communication, flexibility, and compromise.

Fifth Grade News from Ms. Johnson

Fifth grade students have been learning about the original thirteen colonies. They have colored and labeled a map so far as well as looked at pictures of the time period and made observations. They have selected colonies that they would like to study further and have been put into pairs (if they wanted a partner) to study a specific colony to research. This week in reading, students are thinking about the structure of nonfiction writing and techniques authors use to organize the information they are writing about.

Sixth Grade News from Mrs. Schreiber

Sixth grade has been working on empathy this week. We have been talking about what it means and how we can step into the “shoes” of other people. We have discussed the importance of perspective taking and we will continue this discussion with our book groups as we read the book “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio. In math we have begun our conversation of factors and multiples as well as reviewing our multiplication facts as well as our divisibility rules and practicing long division.

News from Ms. Prew

Wondering what your children are learning in math class? Interested in viewing the models and strategies being taught? Check out the Bridges Math at Home website. Just click on a grade level and enjoy exploring the site! aprew@mtrsd.org