MHS/WES Newsletter

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Happy Holidays from all of us at MHS and WES. May you find the time to catch your breath, rest, and truly cherish the moments of the holidays with your children. As we all know, time flies by way too fast when you’re watching your children grow. Enjoy!


  • December 14: PTO Yoga Night at Young At Heart 6:30-7:30PM
  • December 16: Lion's Club Pancake Breakfast to support Westminster Food Pantry 8:00AM-11:00AM at the VFW. Photos with Santa at 10:30 and music provided by WES School Band (See Community Flyers)
  • December 17: WES Holiday Concert for Students only 9:00AM & Holiday Concert at Monty Tech Auditorium 6:30PM
  • December 19: 5th Grade Holiday Chorus Concert at the Wellington 10:00AM
  • December 20: Kindergarten Sing-A-Long 1:15PM @ MHS
  • December 24-January 1: No School~December Vacation
  • January 2: Classes Resume
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Have you seen any "kindness rocks" around town? These colorfully painted rocks are a fun way to brighten someone's day and to "pay it forward". They were created by the Rasmussen family of Westminster, along with the help of Mrs. Alario's 5th grade classroom. The kids spent a day painting rocks, and distributing them throughout town. If you see one pass it on! It's a great way to spread joy during this holiday season, and remember....KINDNESS ROCKS!!!

2nd Grade News!!

Our second graders have been practicing their writing skills through many Christmas writing activities. The hallways are decorated with such topics as “My Pet Reindeer,” “Santa’s Stuck,” and “The Adventures of the Gingerbread Man.”

We have kicked off our Geometry unit with identifying two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes. The children have practiced drawing the shapes and finding them in real-world places! They will learn the many attributes of these shapes, including lines, faces and vertices. Be sure and ask your child what they know!

Additionally, the children are looking forward to our annual Polar Express Day on December 20. This is a special day in which we enjoy “The Polar Express” book and movie, dress in jammies and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies!

News from 5th Grade.....

Fifth grade is full of merry minds this time of year! We are really getting into the spirit in our classrooms, truly discussing and feeling the joy of giving! Our Elusive Elf days are some of the most fun! We are able to be elusive and make smiles appear on our classmates’ faces! It is so fun to watch the children’s excitement on these days!

The fifth grade has also decided to organize a sock drive through the Sox for Socks campaign. We are collecting any kind or size of new socks until December 21st. These socks will go to the Boston Health Care for the Homeless program that services over 10,000 homeless men, women and children in and around Boston. Students can simply bring them into their classrooms. We can make a huge difference together! Thank you so much for helping us with this worthy cause!

Lastly, all fifth grade classes will celebrate this time of year with a holiday buffet luncheon on Wednesday December 19th. This is a chance for each class to share a meal and reflect on our gratitude for everything we have. Parents are welcome to join us, and notices and sign-ups should have gone home with your child.

THANK YOU! We know how busy this time of year is for everybody and the fifth grade teachers would like to sincerely thank families for their support and efforts. May you all have a wonderful, healthy holiday break with family and friends!

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Technology News!!!

While the weather has been dropping outside, inside the technology room is hot, hot, hot!!!

Each grade level is doing amazing activities with their technology learning, which I am so pleased to share with you.

5th GRADE..........

In 5th grade, we have been making instrument inventions using recyclable materials, conductive tape, a device called a Makey Makey, and then coding our instruments to play musical notes on the website

The students have been amazed with each step of this unit. In actuality, this lesson began when the students were in 4th grade, where they learned about circuitry. Back only a year ago, they learned about how electricity worked by using small holiday lights and a battery to make series and parallel circuits on cardboard panels. Now fast forward to the present day, where they are using that knowledge to make a conductive instrument and using their coding skills to make it run.

The students will be bringing home their creations sometime this week, so make sure to ask them what they learned.

See the pictures for some examples.

4TH GRADE..........

In 4th grade, the students have been learning about parts of a website. This lesson falls under our Rock & Minerals unit that we have just begun. In this unit, the students will research about rocks and minerals found in Massachusetts and developing a one page flyer. After the completion of their infographic, they will learn about the how-to’s on creating a digital magazine and also the creation of a website, where the student will proudly display their creations.

3RD GRADE..........

In 3rd grade, we have been learning about computer keyboarding. The students are learning that with better typing skills they can use the computer like a pro.

We have also just begun our next unit too, which is My Healthy Plate. In this unit the students will learn about graphic design. We will be creating a multiple layered graphic that will display what a healthy plate should look like and the portions that they should consume. They will be learning about shape insertion, theme selection, image selection, resizing, word art, and visual placement. When they are completed, then the students can print them and bring them home.

2ND GRADE.........

In 2nd grade, we are learning about frog’s life cycle, what type of environments frogs live in, and the anatomy and physiology of how frogs live. With this knowledge the students have created wordart that shows the different stages of frogs, using only words. We will then be moving onto creating a Microsoft Powerpoint slide/graphic displaying where frogs live, the different stages and life cycle of frogs, and inserting text boxes define them.

All of these creation will be added to the student’s 2nd grade magazines that will go home early spring.

1ST GRADE.........

In 1st grade, we just finished our leaf unit. Within this unit, the students have learned about how to define a tree and the many species of trees we have around our campus. They learned about the benefits trees have on our environment, the seasons, and photography, using the iPads. I have to say that this was the first time that I allowed students to bring iPads out of the building, but they did a fantastic job!

We also collected leaves and created a one paragraph descriptive written piece about the leaves that we selected. The students then used an app called Chatterkid to take a picture of their leaves and recited their descriptive writing, making their leaf talk. The students had a great time and learned so much.

Here are some examples:


In Kindergarten, we have been learning about our ABCs, phonics, rhyming words, and spelling. This unit also entailed on how to be responsible using our technology equipment within the technology room, like handling, carrying, using, and understanding how to use the iPads with its many buttons.

The students will begin learning about different shapes using apps like Moma Lab for the next two weeks. However, when we come back from vacation, we will begin our next unit, which will be about story sequencing. We will be reading a few stories and the students will need to learn about the beginning, the middle, and the end. With that knowledge, they will need to draw a picture of what happened in the book and recite the happenings of that particular section.


Every 1st through 5th grade class loves it when they get to have technology on their rotational Friday. Our main focus for STEM/STEAM Fridays is to do extension learning about either science, technology, engineering, the arts, or math. The students are faced with solving a problem based off the materials (constraints) that are provided.

Our last challenge was building a chair that wouldn’t break under Goldilocks weight. The student were given 1 piece of cardstock paper, 4 craft sticks, 4 straws, 4 pipe cleaners, and tape. Goldilocks was a toilet paper tube filled with marbles. The students were divided up into 6 groups. They needed to first plan out their mission before using the materials, because they only could receive one set. We had many variations and concepts, but the best thing that the students learned was the engineering process and how to work together. Including, that failure is an option, however we ran out of time to rebuild.

See an example in the pictures below.

THANK YOU.........

Also, a huge thank you to Charlie Aubuchon from Aubuchon Hardware for donating a carriage full of various tape to use in the technology/engineering classroom. Without your help and support we would be lacking this year.

PTO News~

Young at Heart is having a Yoga & Local Vendor night this Friday, December 14th and 80% of the proceeds will be generously donated to the PTO. Yoga for All is from 5:00-6:00 and a Social & Shopping Hour from 7:00-8:00. Preregistration is requested at, 978-467-6173 or

We are looking for local businesses to help sponsor t-shirts for our upcoming Glow Run/Fun Run. Forms went home with each student this week and we've been talking about it on facebook. If you know someone interested please have them contact us at or

A big THANK YOU to everyone who helped us out in the month of December with all of our PTO activities! Thank You to the following people for running these events - Trina Brasili and Shannon Divoll (mini Scholastic Book Fair), Marissa Chapman (Holiday Craft Workshop), Kristina Picariello (Card Making Table), Jenna Lavery-Quigley (Hat & Mitten Drive) and Alyssa King (Scrip Gift Card). We couldn't do it without you!!!

Don't forget that the Westminster PTO has a Facebook page! Search for Westminster PTO and ask to Join our group. We post updates and information several times per week.

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