December 14, 2023
News from Principal Emma Liebowitz
School Dance Coming this January!
The Sixth Grade and Student Leadership Team has chosen the theme of the school dance. This year we have decided on Fancy on the Farm! The Student Leadership Team and the PTO are helping lead it. It will be from 6:00 - 7:30 on Saturday, January 20th. We are looking for the following loans/donations:
farm decor (old saddles, etc)
flowers (real or fake)
Health Office News from Nurse Loranna
Thank you so much for keeping your children home when they are not feeling well, it is very helpful to decrease school spread, as well as help them recover quicker. We have had confirmed cases of influenza and RSV. Some are having ear or sinus infections. Please reach out if you have any concerns about your child’s health and I can check in on them here at school. I have been going to classes to do some teaching on proper handwashing (how, when) cough etiquette, healthy eating, drinking plenty of water and how important sleep is to keep us healthy and ready to learn. The kiddos have done great with it so far!
The holiday season, while magical and exciting, can also be depleting, stressful and a perfect storm for illness. Give yourself some grace and try to slow down, it is so easy to feel pressured to “do it all” and it is so easy to put expectations on yourself or your family, your child and community which may not be realistic. Slowing down, focusing on good sleep, good food to eat and a slower pace can help the holiday season pass with less stress (and illness). Drinking plenty of water, herbal teas with honey, extra vitamin C, vitamin D and elderberry can all be ways to support your immune system. It can also be a stressful time financially which compounds the stress.Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you are in need of some support financially- I have contacts that I can provide to help in that. Be gentle and kind with yourself this holiday season, as the animals know to slow down and hibernate, we too can embrace a slower pace!
Preschool news from Ms. Freeman and Ms. Becky
This week our dramatic play center has been transformed into a bakery! We talked about a bakery and how many families are baking during this time of year. Preschoolers immediately embraced the roles of bakers, creatively using this learning center’s materials. Gingerbread playdough is a part of this learning center. Here is my favorite playdough recipe.
1 cup flour
1 cup water
1/4 cup salt
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
(I added 2 Tablespoons of cinnamon and 1 Tablespoon of cloves to make the gingerbread dough.)
1. Dump all ingredients in a pot. Order doesn’t matter.
2. Stir everything together until it’s mostly uniform.
3. Turn the stove on to medium heat, and stir until the dough begins to solidify and form a ball in the middle of the pot.
4. Carefully (it WILL be hot), remove the play dough to the cutting board. Knead until smooth and cool enough for little hands to touch.
5. Play away!
Preschool News from Ms. Melanie and Ms. Kylee
Preschoolers had a fabulous time on our field trip to North Fire Station in Amherst. Captain Goodhind (Jackson’s dad) and his colleagues showed us around the station. We learned that in Amherst the firefighters work 24 hour shifts so they need places to make food and rest. The children enjoyed seeing where the firefighters relax, sleep and get in a workout to stay fit and strong. The children also sat in an engine truck and explored many tools that firefighters use to do their jobs. We learned that the back side of an ax is a very useful tool to make holes in a roof to let the fire out. The children were also able to see all of the protective gear that keeps firefighters safe when they are on a call. We learned that the firefighter’s coats are made of 3 layers to keep them safe.
We also explored the inside of an ambulance. The children were able to climb aboard and have their blood pressure taken and listen to each other’s hearts with a stethoscope. They felt the pads that are used to hook a patient up to a heart rate monitor. They even took turns strapping each other onto the cot or gurney.
We ended our visit with a tour of a ladder truck. We learned that it goes very high in the air. It is about the same height as four houses stacked on top of each other. The children took turns stranding in the bucket, learning about all of the different controls.
We want to extend a big THANK YOU to Chris for making this trip possible and for teaching us so much about what it is like to be a firefighter!
Kindergarten News from Ms. Sarah, Ms. Veronica and Ms. Beckwith
In science, we are continuing with our study of Force & Motion. This week, we focused on the concept that a collision between two objects causes a change in the motion of the objects. We did three experiments to test this out. One used a train set and we were testing to see what happened with different curves of tracks and different weights of trains. Another experiment used a toy wrecking ball set up to try to knock down a wall without harming the buildings nearby. And in the last experiment, we built magnetic marble mazes to experiment with the effect of gravity!
First Grade News from Ms. Wyckoff and Ms. April
This past Friday first graders were excited to see the arrival of 120 brook trout eggs delivered by the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Over the next several months first graders will learn all about brook trout, their life cycle and their habitat. We will raise them, care for them and then release them in the spring!
This past week we also received another update from our adopt a cow Celestial! She is now weighing in at 215 pounds and stands 35 inches tall! We received the cutest pictures with farmer Julie. Check them out below!
Second Grade News from Mrs. Lilly, Ms. Laura and Ms. Taylor
We ended our science unit about animals last week, by sharing our paragraphs and pictures with the class while enjoying some hot chocolate. It was a great way for us to finish up this fun unit! Second grade has started a new unit on fossils and dinosaurs and we are so excited! We kicked off the unit by looking at some different pictures and guessing what topic we were starting. Next, we read the book Stone Girl Bone Girl by Laurence Anholt. This was a fantastic book to kick off our new unit, the class was so interested in this character’s experience. We have also started talking about social studies in class. We began by discussing what is culture and what sort of traditions we have with our own families. Finally, we will be starting a few projects and need glass jars and shoe boxes if you have any laying around!
Third Grade News from Ms. Carole and Mr. Luke
To wrap up our first EL module (which was all about how difficult it is for some places to access books, libraries, and education) third graders decided to show a bit of gratitude for how easy they have it. They wrote heart-filled thank-you cards to our incredible librarian, Ms. Wilson, and decorated them with love. Then we worked together to make apple cake and create a surprise celebration for Ms. Wilson. It is helpful to be reminded of our many blessings, and take a minute to recognize them. Third graders also began working on hand-crafted gifts for their buddies this week. The class puts a lot of care and personality into these kindness projects, and it is beautiful to see how truly thoughtful they can be.
In math we practiced using the standard algorithm for solving multi-digit addition. This is the technique most older people will recognize as “The Way” to solve these problems. The students were amazed to find out that this is the ONLY way some of us were ever taught to get an answer to these problems. They are glad to have options to choose from!
Fourth Grade News from Ms. Lagoy and Mrs. Upright
In math class this month, students are learning all about fractions and decimals. We are comparing fractions with like and unlike denominators (e.g., ½ and ⅓), locating fractions on a number line, adding and subtracting fractions with like and unlike denominators, identifying equivalent fractions and decimals, and comparing decimal numbers. Your child will learn and practice these skills by solving problems like those shown below:
Fourth Grade News from Ms. Lagoy and Mrs. Upright (continued)
How can you help at home? First, know that you don’t have to know all the answers to help. Students do a lot of sense-making in class by using pictures and logic to think about fractions, so invite your child to talk about what has been happening in class. Also ask your child to point out to you examples of fractions in real life or pictures—anything from the eggs left in the egg carton to the parts of a pie chart with a news item. Ask questions like, “Where do you see a fraction? What is the whole? How many equal parts are there? How many of those equal parts are we talking about?”
Lastly, you may be wondering why you are seeing so many pictures drawn on your child’s work. Students use models like the egg carton, rectangles divided into equal parts, and the number line to represent fractions. They also use a square divided into 100 smaller squares to see decimal numbers and fractions. The model makes it clear, for example, that 1.05 is smaller than 1.5.
Students will eventually work with numbers alone. Right now, the pictures help them build a strong understanding of decimal numbers and fractions, and of the relationships among them.
Fifth Grade News from Ms. Johnson and Ms. Shero
Fifth grade has been learning about the writing of our Constitution and how our government is organized. This week we read from a few more sources, watched a Liberty’s Kids about the Constitutional Convention, watched a short video about the ⅗ compromise, watched some SchoolHouse Rock, created a slideshow of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and finally students have started a project where they are creating games about the government. Most students create a board game and part of the requirements are that students must have a set of rules, they have to have at least twenty questions and answers that come directly from the unit, it takes a reasonable amount of time, has a winner, and is attractive and appropriately themed. I also have many books about the presidents, first wives, first kids, pets of the White House, the constitution, and much more that they can read and pull questions from.
Sixth Grade News from Ms. West, Ms. Alexis and Ms. Glenda
Sixth grade has just started a new math unit studying ratios. We have already started talking about real-life applications such as doubling or halving recipes. They have made connections to their study of ratio tables in previous grades. In ELA, students have been engaging in daily paragraph-length writing while analyzing our current text, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. Students have had the opportunity to think about the similarities and differences between growing up in America vs. in Malawi where the book takes place. We have been reading with compassion as characters in the book are experiencing a time of famine as a result of drought in the early 2000’s.
Library News from Ms. Wilson
Fifth and sixth graders led their 2nd and 1st grade buddies on a Storywalk last Friday during the 1st and 2nd grade library time. Circling the perimeter of the baseball field, the Storywalk featured a beautifully illustrated 30-page book called Snow Is… by Ellen Yeomans. It was all about the snow season: preparing for it, enjoying it, and being ready for it to end! There was no snow in sight on this beautiful day, though. It was wonderful to see buddies holding hands, playing rock, paper, scissors, skipping, and reading to one another in the fresh air and sunshine.
Mindful Movement from Ms. Sue
Our theme over the past two weeks in ALL of the grades has been KINDNESS!! We have read books in the lower grades: A Little Spot of Kindness by Diane Alber, Try a Little Kindness by Henry Cole, Finding Kindness by Deborah Underwood, Kind Mr. Bear by Steve Smallman. We have had some serious discussions about all the things you can do and say that create kindness amongst us all. In the upper grades we read kindness quotes and discussed their meaning and took turns reading from the book Be Kind by Naomi Shulman. We also worked on a project about writing something kind or remarking on something kind someone may have done towards you for each of their classmates. In return each student received a large index card (see picture) with all the responses from their peers. My hope is that each student will treasure these and keep them close to their hearts, as a sign of how integrated we all are.
Music News from Ms. Cherry
Come join us next week for our Winter Concert! The performance will include instrumental groups and all students from Pre-K through 6th grade will be singing the music they’ve been working on in music class! The concert will be held in the gymnasium at 2pm on 12/15. We hope to see you there!
Check out what is happening in our area!