Weekly Newsletter

March 18, 2021

From Principal Emma Liebowitz

As you may be aware, the School Committee voted in favor of the full in-person Return to Learn plan. The implementation date is Monday, April 5. You will soon receive a Question and Answer document from me that will address things like drop-off/pick-up, mask requirements, lunch and recess. Please be on the lookout for this document next week.

Do you have a yoga mat that you can donate? We are on a mission to have a yoga mat for each student. If you have one or would like to donate money to purchase some, please contact Principal Emma Liebowitz at eliebowitz@mtrsd.org, Sue Fuller at sfuller@mtrsd.org or call the school office.

Health Office News from Nurse Loranna

With daylight savings time this past weekend leaving many of us feeling extra sleepy this week I thought I would touch upon the importance of sleep for our children (and ourselves!). Getting enough sleep is so important to both our physical and mental health, and especially for children's healthy development and growth. Sleep deprivation can cause a wide variety of issues such as irritability, difficulty concentrating, obesity, depression, hypertension and headaches. Getting enough sleep improves our children's immune system, school performance/engagement, their behavior and mood, memory, mental health and their general overall well-being. Ways that we can support our children's sleep patterns are by regular physical activity (especially outdoors), limiting screen time- especially the hour before bedtime (refrain from having screens in the bedroom as much as possible), a consistent schedule and routine, and try to prioritize getting enough sleep for your entire household. If you have concerns about your child's sleep reach out to their pediatrician. Check out this link for a breakdown on the recommended amount of sleep for each developmental stage/age. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/sleep/Pages/healthy-sleep-habits-how-many-hours-does-your-child-need.aspx

Happy snoozing!!!

Preschool News from Ms. Melanie

We spent a lovely morning in our outdoor classroom, checking on the fairy houses and seeing what repairs were needed after the long winter, jumping from log to log in our gathering circle, and making "potato soup" from fallen leaves. It is wonderful to see the winter starting to loosen its icy hold on our outdoor classroom. We are looking forward to many happy times there this spring.

In our remote class, we shared a special St. Patrick's day activity with our third grade buddies. Using our coloring and cutting skills, we made paper leprechauns with moveable arms and legs. While we crafted our wee folk, our third grade buddies shared some of the things they have learned about Ireland--very impressive! Thanks to our third grade buddies for helping to make this such a fun learning experience for us all.

Preschool News from Mrs. Freeman

We have been busy thinking about gardening! We have been thinking out shapes and what kind of shape would your garden be? A circle, square or rectangle? Maybe even a triangle shaped garden! What kinds of flowers would you love to grow? Roses, sunflowers and tulips were some of the favorites that we have talked about. What are your favorites? We have been using seed catalogs to practice our cutting and glueing skills! It sure was nice to have a little taste of spring like weather last week, and seems it will be returning this weekend, hope you are able to get outside and enjoy!

Kindergarten News from Ms. Sarah

This week we learned about our fourth and final thinking strategy in our social skills program mini-unit about coping with stress. This strategy is called "Circle of Control." We learned about things in life we can control, such as our words, our actions, our habits, and how we treat others, as well as things we cannot control, such as what other people say and do, the weather, and the past. When we have stress or a problem, we can think about what parts of the situation we can control and direct our energy there. And we can think about what parts we cannot control, and focus on letting those parts go. These thinking strategies are great tools for coping with the stress of life.

First Grade News from Mrs. Pedersen

First grade has enjoyed exploring and investigating a new area near our school grounds. We are investigating the presence of evidence from how the land was used before Sanderson. This will continue when we return to school. We are learning new vowel teams this week and spelling words with 5 sounds. In math we continue to structure numbers to 120 with addition and subtraction. We are continuing to focus on money and time to the hour and half hour in our number corner time.

Big picture

Second grade News from Ms. Robertson

Poetry writing continues this week in our classroom! First, we wrote the group “I Am” poem below about a frog:

I am gooey, green, and brown.

I am leaping and jumping by a pond.

I am swimming and resting on a lily pad.

I am a spotted and croaking frog.

Then we discussed the writing step of revising, learning that revising is the step writers use to make their writing stronger. We then revised the above poem, looking at words we could add to, change, or take out of our writing.

Below are the results of our revisions. The first poem was done by our fully remote students, while the second poem was completed by our hybrid students.

Spotted, green, and brown,

Leaping and jumping by a murky pond with lily pads,

Sunbathing and resting on the shore,

I am a bumpy and croaking frog.

Spotted, green, and brown,

Croaking and jumping by a small pond,

Watching a chubby fly and resting on a lily pad,

I am a slimy and sticky frog.

Next, each student will choose their own animal to brainstorm a list of describing words and action words for, which they will then use to create their own “I Am” poem.

Third grade News from Mrs. Wyckoff

This week third graders were introduced to our new mentor text Hoop Genius written by John Coy. This book is all about the invention of basketball. Third graders were very surprised to learn that basketball was invented right in western Massachusetts about an hour away in Springfield! We learned that the first game was played using peach baskets rather than a net, only one basket was made versus the multiple goals made in today’s game and the players were shown wearing dressy pants rather than uniforms and sneakers. In place of our usual spelling practice, third graders are focusing on vocabulary from this book. When children are introduced to the vocabulary prior to listening to a story they will recognize these news words as they listen, which will lead to better comprehension and overall understanding of the text. We are also using this text to help us identify facts and opinions in a story. We will use our understanding to identify facts versus opinions about recess time. If you are interested in listening to this read aloud click on the link below! https://youtu.be/aVFMGtFypTo

Fourth Grade News from Mrs. Lagoy

Fourth graders finished their work from the first module of Unit 4 in our mathematics program on Friday. This week we have started a study of subtraction. Here is a common question that comes up during this unit:

If they need to master the standard algorithms for adding and subtracting larger numbers, why do students use other methods, including the number line?

Here is the answer: The standard algorithms are reliable, efficient, and elegant methods for adding and subtracting multidigit numbers. They work every time, no matter what pair of numbers you’re adding or subtracting, as long as they are performed correctly. However, problems arise when students attempt to use the algorithms without having mastered the basic addition and subtraction facts, when they don’t understand why the algorithms work, when they forget the steps, and when they can carry out the steps yet are unable to use their estimation skills to judge whether their final answer is reasonable. Using models (like the number line) and other methods helps students see why different strategies, including the algorithm, work. This understanding, along with mastery of basic facts and a good sense of place value, ensures that students carry out the algorithms accurately and with understanding.

Throughout Unit 4, students will do a lot of place value work so that they can make good estimates and decide whether their answers are reasonable.

During geography this week, students got to virtually tour some of the landmarks they have been reading about with Mrs. Upright. Students enjoyed seeing the Johnson Space Center (make sure to ask them about the Vomit Comet) and exploring the Carlsbad Caverns. (You can ask them how much bats eat. The answer will amaze you.) They also got to visit the Grand Canyon and Petrified Forest (I wonder if they will remember what the land in each of these areas once was).

Sixth Grade News from Mrs. Schreiber

The sixth grade is working on finishing up our Mesopotamia unit working on Google Slides/PowerPoint presentations. Last week we learned about cuneiform writing, creating our own tablets, and messages in gingerbread. As we were learning about writing systems we also learned how to write our initials in binary code.

Math (Title I) with Mrs. Prew

"I've learned so much from my mistakes, I'm thinking of making a few more". Mistakes are OKAY! In fact, they hold POWER - the power to learn and grow. Math learning, like any other learning, is filled with mistakes. As Jo Boaler, a professor of mathematics education at Stanford University, says, “If kids are not making mistakes—if they are not struggling—we’re limiting their brain growth." Check out this helpful handout for guidance on how to support children in making mistakes as a critical part of learning! A question I often ask of kiddos at the end of a lesson or activity is "What was your favorite mistake from today?" It is incredible to hear students reflect on how much learning happens from mistakes! Can you figure out what mistakes these friends made? What can you learn from them? aprew@mtrsd.org

Reading Room News from Mrs. Morey

The Tournament of Books is getting very exciting! I have heard excellent discussions about preferred stories, the difference the reader makes on influencing their decision and predictions on which book will take the big prize. Best of all, students are finding great joy in listening to stories, something near and dear to a Reading Teacher's heart! Friday will be the final vote. Stay tuned to find out which book wins.
Big picture

Mindful Movement with Ms. Sue

This week we have been gone in-depth with our 3 M's theme of PATIENCE. Do you think patience is important? YES! Totally! So many great discussions with each grade level, some students had real good, real life examples that they shared!

"Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting."

~Joyce Meyer

Practice the Pause: Pause before answering. Pause before responding. Pause before interrupting. Pause before getting upset. Pause before being impatient.

Taking a deep breath in & out, a few times will be just the reset to help you practice your patience spot! We discussed how the older students can set good examples for the younger ones. Even adults need to fine tune theirs every once in awhile, and we can be good examples for all children.

"Patience is a form of wisdom. It demonstrates the we understand and accept the fact that sometimes things must unfold in their own time." ~Jon Kabat-Zinn