Special Area Happenings at Hawley

Highlight on the Specials

Welcome to the Hawley School Specials Department

Dear Hawley Parents and Guardians,

Your students have been exploring and experiencing many exciting specialties in their Specials classes this past fall! Special area classes have a unique opportunity to provide students meaningful, interactive lessons that challenge them, support them, and let them shine in their own unique ways. We believe every student has a unique intelligence, whether it be bodily- kinesethetic, visual-spatial, musical, linguistic, or a multitude of all. Read on to find out more of what has been happening in specials!


Library Happenings

The Hawley Library Media Center has been busy bringing in new books for students, hosting the 4th Grade Global Cardboard Challenge, celebrating students in the Birthday Book Club, and recognizing Connecticut Governor’s Reading Challenge participants!

In Library class, students have been exploring the concept of organization and how it applies to the physical space. They are now able to understand and rationalize that resources in the library are organized into specific categories. All students in grades K-4 can easily find the Everyone, Fiction, Dewey, and Spanish sections of the library. K-2 students have finished up locating and reading Everyone call numbers and making the connection that those books “live” in a specific place on the shelves based on their “address” or call numbers. They have an enduring understanding of the parts of a book, and what kind of information is found on the Title Page and Copyright Page.

Third and fourth grade students are learning to navigate both print and online reference resources, as well as understand the importance of giving credit to the original authors and photographers by citing their work. They have joined Google Classroom for the library, located online articles and copyright-free images in Encyclopedia Britannica, found citation information, used Google Docs, look up unique facts in online almanacs, as well as explored political and geographic maps in online atlases.

Read aloud books have been a plenty and included:

  • The Mermaid Queen, by Shana Corey

  • The Quest for Z: the true story of explorer Percy

Fawcett and a lost city in the Amazon, by Greg Pizzoli

  • Winnie: the true story of the bear who inspired

Winnie-the-Pooh, by Sally Walker

  • A Visitor for Bear, by Bonny Becker

  • Clifford’s First Snow Day, by Norman Bridwell

  • AlphaOops: H is for Halloween, by Alethea Kontis

  • Thank You Mr. Falker, by Patricia Polacco


Art Happenings

Students in art classes have been very busy learning and creating. Each of the projects we are working on has one or more specific criteria or technique implemented in order to meet our art standards and goals.

The lower elementary students in grades k-2 have been working with line, shape, pattern, color and color mixing. Students are also working with different media and materials such as watercolor and oil pastels, along with practice with cutting and gluing.

The third and fourth graders have had a review of the above and continue to build on the Elements of Art. Other media and materials are being introduced such as gouache paints and scratch board. They are extending their art vocabulary, using terminology such as contour line, monochromatic, ellipse, patterning, radial point, etc. Students are becoming familiar with some of the Principles of Design in finding ways to assemble and put together an art composition.


Music News

We have been finishing some projects-and starting new ones!

In December, the 4th grade Chorus performed for the school during the day and then performed for parents and honored guests the following Monday evening. We performed with the chorus and also had a few instrumental groups play. We were accompanied by our own Josephine Borne and Ivy Masotta.

After we finished performing our songs, the audience and the students performed in a sing-a-long of favorite winter, Christmas and Hanukkah songs.

On the day before winter break, the students all performed in the Kindness Assembly. Each grade performed a song and the entire student body performed Nothing More by Alternate Routes.

With the new year comes new activities! We are starting a unit of Bucket Band with grades 2-4. We are learning about holding the sticks correctly, how the buckets sound different when hit in different places, and most importantly, rest position with the sticks! We are also using practice pads with the buckets and learning the rhythms.

The 4th grade students are starting the recorder unit! They are very excited about learning the recorder--some have even learned Hot Cross Buns on their own! We are all looking forward to learning more songs to play at the Spring Concert!

Physical Education

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Physical Education News

Physical Education

Doug Michlovitz


Tony Sortino


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Fall and early Winter is always a busy time of year at Hawley! Mr. Sortino and I spent the first four months of the school year establishing routines, learning names, and creating a positive/safe learning environment for every student.

A few things to remember in order for your child to get the most out of their physical education experience:

  • All students need to wear sneakers to class.

  • If a child is sick or injured and they can’t participate, please send in a note to the school nurse

Our focus for the students in kindergarten, grade 1, and grade 2 consisted mostly of teaching them how to move in personal space while respecting boundaries. The students were introduced to a variety of equipment including: bean bags, parachute, scarves, hoola hoops, net games and scooters!

The primary focus of our third and fourth grade curriculum involved skill development, cooperative activities and preparing for the Connecticut Physical Fitness Assessment.

The CPFA test consists of four components:

  • The PACER (aerobic capacity)

  • Curl-Ups (abdominal strength and endurance)

  • Push-Ups (upper body strength and endurance

  • SAit & Reach (hamstring and lower back flexibility)

To learn more about this important assessment, feel free to visit the following link:

Physical Education - Test Administrator's Manual

If you have a child in third or fourth grade, please anticipate receiving their fitness scores sometime in January.

If you have questions about the program, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one or both of us!

Please enjoy a few photos of your children in action!