Specialist Newsletter

First Quarter, Erwin Montessori

There is something special at Erwin . . .

Greetings from art, music, p.e. and the library. Ms. Young, Ms. Crouch, Mr. Kendall, Ms. Pagano, Mr. Eggleston, and Ms. Cravey have been busy so far this year. Keep reading to see what your children have been learning in their classes and what is being planned.

The Art Room

News from Ms. Young

Your children have been incredibly busy in the art room this year! My goal is to give them plenty of hands-on experience with wonderful art materials. We also focus a lot on looking at art and how to be a critical thinker.

When your children engage in art, they are using all their senses and practicing higher level thinking skills. The best way to encourage artistic behavior is to simply describe what you see. Rather than praise first, ask them to tell you about the work. Enjoy the stories!

Here is a little sampler . . . .

Exploring Art Processes | Learning about Materials | Learning about our World

Drawing, Fall Leaves - Oil Pastel | Watercolor Resist, Sugar Skull drawings, Dancing Skeletons, Paper Mache Animal Masks, Self Portraits in Drawing and Collage, Dots for Dot Day | Mosaic Dots, Pom-pom Dots, Story Dots, Pointillism Dots, 3-D Dots, and Dot Explosions.
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Community Art

Erwin 4th and 5th grade students worked to create two 30 ft ladders from cardboard and magazine collage which sent messages of Kindness and Unity to our community. Our paper ladder was a big hit at the Rise Together Greensboro art installation in downtown Greensboro for ArtsGreensboro 17 DAYS.

Say Yes!

Erwin Montessori was invited to create special materials and decorations for an important SAY YES to Education event. Most of the grade levels participated creating unique table toppers. The students made “book” messages either thanking “Say Yes” or sharing stories about what they wanted to be when they grew up. Fourth and Fifth Grade Students also completed sculptures of what they wanted to be when they grew up!

The Community Foundation said that our table toppers amused the funders and added lively and meaningful conversation at the tables.

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Guest Performance

ArtsGreensboro’s National Folk Festival sent performer Jack London All Brass Klezmer Band to Erwin for a fabulous afternoon of Klezmer music (featuring our own talented Dr. Parker)!

More to come . . .

Special Thank You to the family that donated a digital projector that will help me provide a much richer art education experience. Thank you so much!!!

Here is what we are getting ready for:

Weaving, Puppets, Native American Art, Coffee Stirrer Sculpture and more!

Here is how you can help:


Elmer’s Glue (regular size)


Wooden Coffee Stirrers

Popsicle sticks

Glue Sticks

Dollar Donations for Prang Watercolor Refills (I may have to order those)

Dollar Donations for Gel Printing Plates (they are about $18 each and it would be great to have 5)


The Music Room

This year the 4th and 5th grade students performed at the September PTA meeting. This is always and great first performance even though students have less than a month to prepare.

Right now all students are practicing for the Winter Performance, which will be the evening of December 10. We will be excited to have families join us for this event.

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The Gym

Students have been working on Hand-Eye Coordination, Socialization Skills & Cardio activities in PE on Mondays with Mrs. Pagano. We are finishing up with our Soccer unit and will be starting the Fitnessgram pre-testing very soon. I have enjoyed getting to know our Erwin students and I am excited to see the accomplishments that they will make this year.
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The Library

In library lessons, students focus on the Common Core ELA curriculum and the North Carolina Information and Technology Essential Standards. Students interact with texts, explore author/illustrator techniques, and use technology to support their learning. Writing is part of every lesson for 1st-5th grade students, whether through research or written responses to lessons.

In the fall, all students are taught Digital Citizenship lessons to help them be better, more discerning users of the internet and its varied resources. Younger students are taught to seek adult guidance when accessing the internet, while older students are exposed to internet safety guidelines and lessons.

Promoting reading and the use of resources to find information is at the forefront of school library programming. Here are a few ways we do that at Erwin . . . .

How much are we reading?

During the first quarter of the school year, 3,873 books have been checked out of the library by students.

In September, Erwin students read for 115,940 minutes, for an average of 331minutes per student. The top class was Ms. MacClean's 3rd Grade. Her students read 15,250 minutes for the month and averaged 803 minutes of reading each.

The October reading numbers will be announced Friday, November 6. The top classes each month have their picture displayed in the main hall by the library and on the school website.

GCS and Erwin encourage students to read at least 20 minutes every night. Be sure to turn in your reading logs to your teacher so we know how much you are reading!

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Read and Ride

Seven stationary bicycles were donated to the school so a Read and Ride program could be started. Students can visit the library, with their teacher's permission, and read while riding for 15 minutes. So far this school year, 408 students have been to Read and Ride. That is 6120 minutes of reading and 408 miles of riding.

This program promotes literacy as well as allowing students to be active, both of which are important for students' academic growth.

This program has gotten the school year off to a great start and everyone is excited about continuing it. There are several teachers who would like to add a bike to their classrooms. If you or someone you know has a bike that could be donated to expand the program, please contact the school.

Dot Day

Ms. Young and Ms. Cravey collaborated to bring Dot Day to Erwin for the first time. Dot Day is an internatonal recognition of the creativity inside all of us inspired by the children's book The Dot by Peter Reynolds.

Just make a mark and see where it takes you . . . .

All of the students read the book in library lessons and created dot art in art classes. Hanging dot sculptures were unveiled and the entire community was invited to decorate themselves with dots and show off their creative side.

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Battle of the Books

For the first time Erwin 4th and 5th graders are participating in a Battle of the Books club. Ms. Williams, the AG teacher, and Ms. Cravey are coaching the students as they read books from a list chosen by a state committee.

Club members are reading more and varied books for a chance to represent Erwin at the regional Battle of the Books competition in March.

Question of the Week

Each week three new questions are posted in the library for students to answer. Students practice research skills as they use library resources to find the answers.

On Friday, one response is drawn at random from the submitted answers and the winning student is announced on the morning announcements.

So far, four 5th grade boys have been the lucky winners.

Justin M.

Seth W.

Isaac C.

Abe J.

Online Resources

Be sure to take advantage of these online resources available through GCS and DPI.

Follett eBooks:

All GCS students have access to eBooks. Login is necessary.

username: student ID (lunch) number (i.e. 1234567)

password : student birthdate (mmddyyyy) (i.e. 01012001)

Discovery Education:

All GCS students have access to streaming educational videos, games, and other resources. Login is necessary.

username: studentid@stu.gcsnc.com (i.e. 1234567@stu.gcsnc.com)

password: student birthdate (mmddyyyy) (i.e. 01012001)


All North Carolina students have access to online encyclopdias, magazine collections, eBooks, and other resources through this state database. A password is necessary to access subscription resources.

password: wiseowl15

Coming soon to the library . . .

  • Book Fair is the week of December 7-11
  • 4th grade will be having a Family Reading Night event after Winter Break. This was funded through Donors Choose. Similar events will be planned for other grades if grant funding is available.