Curriculum & Instruction Newsletter
Fair Haven Public Schools
November 2022 - Volume 5, Issue 1
I hope your school year is off to a great start! Our students and teachers have been very busy these past few months. A new school year brings so much excitement and wonder, it is my favorite time of year. Teachers are building routines, establishing relationships, and doing the important work of not only teaching, but getting to know each child in their class to support them and their learning journey throughout this school year.
Teachers have been able to engage in professional development opportunities, supporting their growth as educators. We continue to be a community of learners, setting positive models for students and looking for new techniques to use in our teaching. This is going to be an amazing year!
I wish you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving! I am so grateful to be part of such an amazing community.
Director of Curriculum & Instruction
"Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself." John Dewey
Peer Leaders Lead Lessons
With the help of Ms. Cheryl Romano, 7th and and 8th grade Peer Leaders learned all about the Responsive Classroom, a program we utilize in grades K-5 to tap into social-emotional learning and community building. After taking part in an actual "morning meeting" that modeled the four components that our elementary students engage in every day, 7th and 8th grade students started planning out morning meetings for the classrooms they will be visiting. On a rotating cycle, Mrs. Miglin will work with the Peer Leaders to provide morning meetings several times a month in 4th and 5th grade classrooms.
Knollwood's Peer Leaders took on this responsibility and brought their creativity to the table when thinking about how to do meaningful activities with the 4th and 5th grade students. Peer Leaders planned for an opening greeting, a class share, a group activity, and they even wrote out morning messages for the classes they led.
3rd Graders Write a Newspaper
Being that our 2nd graders shared this idea with me, I told them that we would be able to create our own newspaper when they were in 3rd grade. Students were so excited about this that I had many of them emailing me their ideas over the summer.
We held our first meeting in October and about 60 students attended! With that many students interested, we decided to create two teams of students to create the school newspaper. One team would work in the fall/winter and one would work in the spring/summer. We decided that publishing two newspapers in our club's inaugural year would be the best plan of action.
Currently, students are working on many articles, including exclusive interviews, student interest pieces, scientific findings, and even arts and entertainment! This paper is truly student centered, as they are making all of the choices for what goes to print.
This is the just the beginning of how The Sickles Scoop was born. Stay tuned for more information.
Halloween Theater in the Round
8th Graders Create Cells
As a culminating activity in Mr. Fritts' science class, students build models of cells. They can choose which cell they want to build, either plant or animal, then they have to label the organelles correctly and describe their function.
Check out some of the awesome cells that students built!
Knollwood's Green Team
7th Grade Independent Reading
The 7th grade team has really taken on our Independent Reading block as a core component of literacy, connecting the 30-minute daily block back to class in a very tangible and authentic way. During that time, literacy teachers also use the period to check in on students, review their reading, connect their reading to class instruction, and preview what's on deck, if necessary.
The primary goal of the independent reading block is to build stamina, move students through books while gathering some very real data about who they are as readers and the 7th grade team is creating resources to get there. Their work helps students to quantify their reading and set personal goals. It is so cool to be a part of in real-time!
Nature Scavenger Hunt
Part of the scavenger hunt led one of our middle school students to use blueberries that she found to create a natural paint. The student created an amazing piece of art with only the natural paint she made. Check out this awesome painting of blueberries, using only blueberries as a color source!
Trapping Turkeys in the Sickles Library
Taking Advantage of Opportunities
There's no better way to learn about your local government than to have a meeting with the town Mayor! Mayor Halpern visited our 3rd grade students and shared his story about becoming mayor, as well as shared the message about taking advantage of opportunities.
Students asked Mayor Halpern how he became the mayor. He shared that he took advantage of an opportunity that presented itself. He also shared the process by which a candidate is chosen as the Fair Haven mayor. While Mayor Halpern didn't have previous political experience, as part of the Fair Haven community, he felt he could make a difference. This all stems back to taking advantage of an opportunity that presented itself.
Mayor Halpern encouraged students to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves. Even if what they are striving for doesn't work out, they can learn and grow from the experiences. He told students to be brave enough to go for it every single time because if they don't they'll never know the outcome.
Mayor Halpern then engaged students in a simulation of a council meeting that would lead up to a vote. The council members had to go out into their 3rd grade community to see what the consensus was, would they rather American flag pins or American flags? After speaking to the "community" the council voted...it was a tie! Mayor Halpern shared with the students that in the case of a tie, then the mayor makes the final vote. Our 3rd grade mayor broke the tie and voted for pins.
Students learned a lot from Mayor Halpern during their time with him. They learned about their community government and walked away with the important message of taking advantage of opportunities.