December Newsletter

From the Principal

Greetings from Newton School,

December is a fast paced month filled with weather watching and plans for holiday celebrations. On Saturday, December 7th we have our first Newton School Robotic Teams competing at Western New England University. The team has been practicing after school with Coach Cummings and are looking forward to the challenge of competition. Go Newton!

Our PTO is working hard to support our Newton field trips and activities. On Wednesday, December 4th join us at Ninety Nine Restaurant between 5-9 p.m. and 15% of your bill will go to the Newton PTO. We are grateful to the Newton PTO for their hard work to make it possible for all children to participate in all activities including special field trips. If parents are uncomfortable with fundraising donations to the Newton PTO are always appreciated.

On Wednesday, December 11th the PTO is hosting a Family Craft Night from 5:30-6:30. I heard Mrs. Charboneau is going to help children decorate cupcakes! We hope you join us.

It wouldn’t be December without a visit from the Greenfield High School Chorus. They perform for every school in the district and fill everyone with holiday cheer. They will visit Newton on Thursday, December 19th at 1:00.

We have our December All School on December 20th at 8:30 a.m. Second Grade is hosting our holiday All School. Join us for performances and a community sing-a-long. December 20th is an early release day before the holiday break. We return to school on January 2, 2020.

Warm wishes for a happy holiday!

Melodie Goodwin

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Dear Kindergarten Families,

November and December offer many opportunities for us to think about how important our families are to us. Kindergartners are eager to share stories about family members, holiday celebrations and daily routines. A book entitled Families are Different helped us to understand that each family is unique and that every family is held together by a “special kind of glue” called love!

During the month of December the kindergartners will begin to explore the many ways in which we use The Five Senses. The holidays provide lots of opportunities for us to creatively explore our sense of sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste.

As the colder months approach we are also learning how to dress ourselves for the weather outside. Encourage your child to learn how to zip his/her own jacket and to put mittens on LAST. Please be sure to label all of your child's outerwear and boots with his/her name. These practices will help us greatly! Thank you!

Ms. Swist, Ms. Neeley, Mrs. Hurteau, Mrs. Encarnacao

First Grade

Dear First Grade Families,

We hope you enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday with your family and friends. Our winter weather is fast approaching! Please make sure your child comes to school with appropriate outdoor gear for Playworks and morning arrival/recess. First Grade is busy working both indoors and outside! We want to be prepared for our daily adventures.

In math, we are steadily working to develop your child’s math skill development. They are learning strategies for math, how to add and subtract utilizing fact families, ten frames, part:part whole mats, or illustrating a picture to find the answer.

In language arts our daily writing (together and independently), reading (in small and large groups), continues to grow and improve. We are focusing on writing a sentence that starts with a capital and ends with an end mark. Reading has included building reading fluency (pacing) and developing good comprehension skills (what happened in the story?).

In science and social studies, we have celebrated Veterans Day, Kindness Themes, and Thanksgiving through stories, songs, crafts, and poetry. We have also had fun exploring pumpkins, apples, and their life cycles.

Please continue to enjoy your quiet reading nights at home with your child. Also, remind your child of the importance of being safe, kind, and respectful within our communities.


Ms. Hayes, Ms. Warren, and Mrs. Eve

Second Grade

Dear Second Grade Families,

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but school is so delightful! Thank you for all of the boxes of tissues and disinfecting wipes. We really appreciate it during this time of year!

In reading, we are wrapping up our module on change. Students are using evidence from the text to convey their understanding of change and the impact it has on plants and animals. Our next module focuses on the American West. Students will closely read stories and informational texts to build their knowledge of the American West: its history, its land, and its people. Students will develop an understanding of how the lives of people and nature are interconnected.

In math, we are working on place value, counting, and comparing numbers to 1,000. Students are learning to change 10 ones for 1 ten and 10 tens for 1 hundred. This will lead students to the use of counting strategies to solve word problems and help them once the standard algorithm is introduced.

We are also switching back over to a unit in social studies, to study the 7 continents. Students are learning the names, location, geography and a little about the culture of each continent. In writing we are learning to write paragraphs using a topic sentence, 3 details, and a conclusion.

Thank you and warm wishes,

Ms. Sherry, Mrs. Palermo, Ms. Darmanchev, and Ms. Silk

Third Grade

Greetings Third Grade Families,

As the holidays approach, we are in full swing and there is some very exciting teaching and learning happening in third grade.

In Mr. Stone’s class, students are in the midst of The Sea Module in their English Language Arts Curriculum: Wit and Wisdom. In this module, they have been studying why people explore the sea. Poets and writers explore the sea through words and images. Scientists use technology to discover new species. They have been exploring literature, informational text, and art as they ask: Why do people explore the sea?

In Mrs. Lagoy’s class, students have finished reading Poppy and have begun their new novel: The War with Grandpa. Students will relate to the main character of this realistic fiction story and learn that conflicts should be resolved peacefully. At the conclusion of Poppy, students wrote a letter to Walt Disney Productions trying to persuade them to make the book Poppy into an animated movie. It was impressive to see how far their writing has come since the beginning of the year.

In math, we have all finished Module 1: Properties of Multiplication and Division and Solving Problems with Units of 2-5 and 10 and are beginning Module 2: Place Value and Problem Solving with Units of Measure. In our first lessons, students are focusing on telling time. We are learning that the number line can be used as a tool to help us tell time. We are learning how to plot and label given times on a number line, draw hands on a clock for given times, read and write the time to the nearest minute using analog and digital clocks, and solve word problems involving time.

Remember to send your child in with layers and label all of their winter clothing.

Fourth Grade

Dear Fourth Grade Families,

Happy December! This is a short month of school, only three weeks until Winter Break. During this time we are going to focus on division in math. Please make sure your student is continuing to practice their multiplication facts, the children are discovering that division is much easier when they have automaticity with multiplication. In reading we will continue to focus on comprehension and delving deeper into the literature we are reading.

At the end of November, a paper went home sharing each class’ desire to create a family recipe booklet as a keepsake. Please have the recipes in by December 6th, so there is time to create the books. If you have any questions please contact your child’s teacher.

Happy Holidays,

Mrs. Gutierrez, Ms. Lively, & Ms. Skiff

School Adjustment Counselors

“During the holiday season, it's easy to forget that sometimes the best gift of all is simply the gift of time.” -Kate Klise

The holiday season is a time that can cause many kids and parents to become overwhelmed for different reasons. “Kids become excited about getting out of school, more free time playing with their friends, sleeping late, and the anticipation of receiving gifts. On the other hand parents become anxious about all the preparations for the season – decorating (some people love it, others hate it), the buying of gifts accompanied by the twin worries of what to buy and can we afford it, and decisions about who to spend the holidays with or to just stay home.” In addition, adults and children may feel the pressure to feel happy and joyous, even though the holidays can trigger past memories of loved ones who are no longer with us.

Holiday Stress: Some Suggestions For Coping by Lynn Henton, P.h.D., psychologist, offers the following suggestions to keep in mind during the holiday season:

  • Remember, your own mood as an adult is often reflected in your child’s behavior. If you are tense and uptight and argumentative during this time of the year, you may see these behaviors in your own child.

  • It is okay to be sad or melancholy during these times. Just be aware of these down times and don’t make them worse by drinking to excess.

  • Kids can easily be overwhelmed by all the excitement of the season so it is important, especially in the case of very young children, not to schedule or try to do many things.

  • Since kids don’t have their normal schedule of going to school, and thus know what to expect each day, it is important to talk to your children about what is being planned for the day or week. This helps a child to know what to expect and this is always comforting.

  • Try and keep some of a child’s normal activities or routines during the holiday. Doing normal or routine activities helps to keep the child grounded and not so overwhelmed with new experiences.

  • If you are planning to go to a large family gathering or perhaps a special religious observance that your kids don’t normally participate in, let them know what you expect in the way of their behavior.

The complete article can be found at

Have a safe and relaxing holiday season!

Katie Irizarry, LICSW

Nancy Garlock, LICSW

Turkey Trot 2019

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