Fiske Monthly News

January 2017


Welcome to the home of the Fiske monthly news! We feature great news and updates by grade level and specialist teachers to help keep you informed about what our students are learning. Enjoy your reading!
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News from The Principal

Happy New Year!

We were glad to usher in the new year with our 483 students on January 3rd! Albeit a few sleepy faces, students and staff came back to school ready to embrace learning and launch into the new year! As always, thank you for entrusting us with your children. Having them back at school was a great way to "ring in" 2017!

Thank you!

I would like to personally thank all of the families and students that so generously and thoughtfully gave me holiday gifts and provided gifts to staff. Our office was flooded with baked goods, candies, gift cards, etc. and I wanted to be sure to let our school community know how grateful I am personally and how touched the staff and I were with your thoughtfulness. You definitely made our busy days and holiday a bit brighter with your gifts and we are most appreciative!

Fiske Focus

Part of my work this year was to increase opportunities for parents to get information about our work at Fiske. I've been holding monthly sessions called "Fiske Focus" where parents have been invited in to learn about a variety of topics and then ask questions about those topics (or others) if they've had them. Our January Fiske Focus session is going to be moved to January 27th as I've had to rearrange some grade level meetings in which I will be participating. The meeting will focus on handwriting (printing and cursive) and I'll be sharing some information about an initiative that we did this year in the fall and continuing as a means of supporting students with tools for writing. I hope you can attend, January 20th, 8:45-9:45 in the cafeteria.

Modular Update

As many of you may know, Fiske will be getting two modular classrooms this spring. Work has been taking place since November, with excavation and foundation pouring. We've lost a couple of parking spaces as a result of the work, however, five were added to lessen the impact of the lost spaces. Over the February vacation, a large crane will be bringing in the sections of modulars and placing them on the foundations as part of the next phase of work. Around that time, connecting hallways will also begin to be built that will connect the spaces to the existing building. Be sure to watch for some pictures in upcoming newsletters and do not hesitate to reach out to me should you have questions about the modulars.

Fiske Focus: A Monthly Parent Forum

Over the past several years, I have tried several forums for providing information for the greater school community on a variety of topics. My goal has been to be proactive in sharing information about our work at Fiske so that the school community is informed and also so that there is not potentially misinformation that is shared either. It is also a great way to share information to larger groups as opposed to one on one meetings, which I am never opposed to, but may not always be the most efficient in regards to time.

This year, I will be holding "Fiske Focus" meetings once per month from 8:45am to 9:45am. In the past, day meetings were better attended than night, and therefore, I've only scheduled meetings for days during the current school year.

Dates and Topics for Parent Fiske Focus Sessions:

December 9, 2016 8:45-9:45 WIN (What I Need) time - Intervention

December 23, 2016 8:45-9:45 MCAS

January 27, 2017 8:45-9:45 Handwriting

February 17, 2017 8:45-9:45 Modular Classrooms/Space at Fiske

March 17, 2017 8:45-9:45 Student Placement

April 14, 2017 8:45-9:45 TBD

May 19, 2017 8:45-9:45 TBD

June 9, 2017 8:45-9:45 TBD

Each meeting will have a topic or focus that will be shared ahead of time, and time will be devoted to share information about that topic and then a time will be available for questions, comments, or other items that attendees may have questions about.

News from the Assistant Principal

New Year’s Resolutions!

It’s that time of year again, when we all look back at the past year and decide what changes we would like to make to our lives for the New Year ahead. Of course there’s the one about losing weight and getting into better shape. We all like the thought of finding more time to spend reading a book or taking a new class. Making more time for family and friends is always on the top of many lists. Also, all of those home projects that you vowed to finish last year still need to be completed. The list could go on and on.

Not only do some adults make New Year’s Resolutions, some children may find it beneficial to do the same as well. Each year, the American Academy of Pediatrics makes it easy by providing the following healthy New Year's resolutions for kids, which you might discuss and consider trying with your children, depending on their age:


  • I will try hard to clean up my toys by putting them where they belong.

  • I will let my parents help me brush my teeth twice a day.

  • I will wash my hands after going to the bathroom and before eating.

  • I will learn how to help clear the table when I am done eating.

  • I will be friendly to all animals. I will learn how to ask the owners if I can pet their animal first.

  • I will do my best to be nice to other kids who need a friend or look sad or lonely.

  • I will talk with my parent or a trusted adult when I need help or am scared.

Kids, 5 to 12 years old:

  • I will drink reduced-fat milk and water most days. Soda and fruit drinks are only for special times.

  • I will take care of my skin by putting on sunscreen before I go outdoors on bright, sunny days. I will try to remember to stay in the shade whenever possible and wear a hat and sunglasses, especially when I'm playing sports.

  • I will try to find a sport (like basketball or soccer) or an activity (like playing tag, jumping rope, dancing or riding my bike) that I like and do it at least three times a week!

  • I will always wear a helmet when riding a bike, scooter or skateboard.

  • I will wear my seat belt every time I get in a car. I'll sit in the back seat and use a booster seat until I am tall enough to use a lap/shoulder seat belt.

  • I'll try to be friendly to kids who may have a hard time making friends by asking them to join activities such as sports or games.

  • I will tell an adult about bullying that I see or hear about to do what I can to help keep school safe for everyone.

  • I will keep my personal info safe and not share my name, home address, school name or telephone number on the Internet. Also, I'll never send a picture of myself to someone I chat with on the computer without asking my parent if it is okay.

  • I will try to talk with my parent or a trusted adult when I have a problem or feel stressed.

  • I promise that I'll do my best to follow our household rules for videogames and internet use.

Kids, 13 years old and older

  • I will try to eat two servings of fruit and two servings of vegetables every day. I will drink sodas only at special times.

  • I will do my best to take care of my body through fun physical activity and eating the right types and amounts of foods.

  • When I have some down time for media, I will try to choose educational, high-quality non-violent TV shows and video games that I enjoy. I will spend only one to two hours each day – at the most – on these activities. I promise to respect out household rules for videogames and internet use.

  • I will do what I can to help out in my community. I will give some of my time to help others, working with community groups or others that help people in need. These activities will make me feel better about myself and my community.

  • When I feel angry or stressed out, I will take a break and find helpful ways to deal with the stress, such as exercising, reading, writing in a journal or talking about my problem with a parent or friend.

  • When faced with a difficult decision, I will talk about my choices with an adult whom I can trust.

  • When I notice my friends are struggling, being bullied or making risky choices, I will look for a trusted adult so that we can attempt to find a way to help.

  • I will be careful about whom I choose to date. I will treat the other person with respect and not force them to do something they do not want to do. I will not use violence. I will expect to be treated the same way in return.

  • I will resist peer pressure to try tobacco-cigarettes, drugs, or alcohol.

  • I agree not to use a cell phone or text message while driving and to always use a seat belt.

** American Academy of Pediatrics, 12/16

I hope the year ahead brings you all good health, manys smiles and lots of laughs!


Mr. Baker

Kindergarten News

Kindergarteners are working on reading and writing books with patterns. What is a pattern book? Ask a Kindergartener! Pattern books have repetitive word patterns, contain many sight words and can be simple or more complex. In December, students have written simple pattern books about one topic. They are working to make sure each page they write matches their title. Pattern books Kindergarteners read are helping them understand the many kinds of word patterns they can use when they write. Here are some of the different kinds of pattern books we have written:

  • simple patterns: Winter is…., winter is…..

  • Title is a question, pages answer: What is red? An apple is red…

  • surprise ending: last page does not follow the pattern

  • title holds the pages together: Fergus likes chew toys, Fergus likes treats…

  • see-saw patterns: a chair is heavy, a pencil is light…

Students read pattern books each day. They are recognizing patterns in books read aloud and in familiar stories. Pattern books are fun to read and fun to write. Join in the fun with a word pattern of your own. What is your pattern?

Thank you for joining our classrooms for the Winter Solstice celebration. We hope you enjoyed yourself and loved looking at the Kindergarten Family Quilt.

We wish you and your family Happy Holidays, take time for yourself and enjoy your family and friends. Happy 2017!

Grade One News

Language Arts Happenings:

The first graders have been working really hard on their non-fiction pieces. They have become an expert on a topic and have written everything they know about the topic. Each writer is a “teacher” who is trying to teach his/her reader through the incorporation of facts, detailed pictures, and labels. The writers have discovered and will be encouraged to add different non-fiction text features in their all about books. Some features include the table of contents, diagrams, zooming-in, labeling, chapters, headings, and caption boxes. Stay tuned to see their published all about books.

During reading we continue to be word detectives. The students have completed their missions and are using the strategies they learned. Our students are now learning how to use snap words in their books to become better readers.

Marvelous Math:

The first graders have started measuring with standard and non-standard measurements. They have been using their body parts (fingers, feet, hands, digits) to measure different objects and then compare those measurement results with their friends.

Super Science:

The first graders are starting to learn about balls and ramps. During this exciting inquiry based unit the first graders will compare balls. The scientists will investigate and see which types of balls bounce the highest, farthest, are the bounciest, and roll the farthest.

Social Studies:

The first graders have worked really hard on creating their own community. Each community included a compass rose, map key, and a description of the community. Now the first graders will learn about reading and labeling their own world map. Each student will be given a world map. The goal is for the children to become familiar with the world map as well as label each continent and ocean and include the compass rose.

We hope that you and your family had very Happy Holidays and that 2017 is a wonderful year for you!

Grade Two News

Happy New Year!

January is a terrific month for revisiting expectations, renewing class promises, and setting new learning goals as we reach the midway point in the school year. We returned refreshed and motivated after the December break.

Second graders concluded the nonfiction reading and writing units. Our ability to extract information from nonfiction texts by using multiple text features has grown significantly over the duration of the unit. We chose one informational All About book to share from our writing folders and paired up with another second grade classroom. When meeting with a partner we listened for new information and keywords. Nonfiction writing

continued in our learning about Ghana.

In Reading Workshop we have been focusing on a mini unit, Studying Characters. Students are gathering information about characters before, during, and after reading. We are discussing how sometimes characters change from the beginning to the end of the book. Students are encouraged to ask themselves questions while reading,

such as:

  • What are the things I can do before, during, and after reading a book to be a thoughtful reader of characters and stories?

  • How can I draw on strategies I know and am learning, to continue getting to know characters even when it's hard to do so?

  • How can I study how the characters change and grow, thinking about the lessons the author may have intended?

We are also noticing how reading fluently helps us with comprehension in longer texts. Way to go second graders!

In Writing Workshop we delighting in Unit 3 Opinion writing, as 7 and 8 year olds have many opinions on a variety of topics! We began the unit by reading several mentor texts, such as I Wanna Iguana by Karen Kaufmann Orloff and Earrings by Judith Viorst. Students wrote letters to persuade others of their point of view. Additionally

students are writing about books or series stating their opinion, and supplying evidence from the text that supports their thoughts and ideas.

Ages and Timelines, was a short 7 day Math unit in which students constructed an understanding of computational procedures for addition and subtraction of whole numbers by:

  • Using the open number line model

  • Using the ten structure

  • Using ten as a landmark number

  • Contextualizing and decontextualizing (story problems)

Your child may have shared with you about the story of Carlos and his Bisabuelo Gregorio. The story presents several problems to be solved beginning with the ages of family members at the time of Carlos’ birth. As students worked in pairs to solve the scaffolded problems, they were to use an open number line to show addition and subtraction. Decomposing numbers to efficiently add and subtract, and using one problem to solve another were highlighted strategies in the Math Congress (group share) at the end of daily workshops. Students demonstrated their understanding of using landmark numbers and constant differences on an open number line by creating a poster representing the ages of their own family members on an open number line. We are continuing to use this strategy in Unit 5 Addition and Subtraction through Number Stories. This unit focuses on modeling and solving one- and two- step addition problems within 100 by using an open number line, cubes, base 10 blocks, or by decomposing.

Our Social Studies unit on Ghana began in December and is continuing through January. Students gained a greater understanding of the geographical elements of Ghana by studying maps and photographs. We are looking closely at the currency (cedi) and coat of arms, making comparisons to those of the United States. We are using short videos and selected nonfiction texts to provide details about the significance and craftsmanship of kente cloths and adinkra symbols. We are focusing on the similarities and differences we can observe about school experiences of Ghanaian children and ourselves. Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, a Ghanaian activist for the disabled exemplifies how one person can work to change unfair beliefs or laws for a whole group. Students marvel in his grace and perseverance. We were fortunate to have Deborah Side, a Lexington music specialist come to Fiske at the end of December & beginning of January and teach us some of the games and songs that are a part of the Ghanaian culture. To conclude the unit, students will chose one of the Ghana essential questions to answer by creating a poster to demonstrate their acquired knowledge and understandings from the unit.

Grade Three News


Multiplication and division continue to be our focus in math. Our goal is for each student to be able to:

Make equal groups to show a multiplication fact

Divide a number into equal groups

Show and solve multiplication problems with products up to 100

Show and solve division problems with dividends up to 100

Solve multi-step word problems

Show the relationship between multiplication and division

Use turn around facts (5x7=7x5)

Combine factors in different ways to solve multiplication problems

Break apart numbers to help multiply 28x5=(20x5)+(8x5)

Use fact families to solve multiplication and division problems

In the new year we will begin a unit on fractions

Social Studies

In social studies we have learned about the daily lives of the Wampanoag, Pilgrims, and Puritan during the 1600’s. We have especially looked at the reasons that the Pilgrims and Puritans wanted to come to the new world, and what sorts of freedoms they were looking for. In this unit we have relied heavily on the use of the non-fiction text book that accompanies the unit.

Writers’ Workshop

We our concluding our unit on informational writing where the students have carefully chosen a topic, and through planning and revision created informational writing pieces. The children were very thoughtful in their planning when creating a table of contents that was built around main ideas. Soon we will begin a unit on opinion writing. Don’t be surprised if your children talk about the possibilities of longer recess, gum in school, or daily gym class.

Readers’ Workshop

To go along with informational writing the children have finished up a unit on non-fiction reading strategies. This unit went hand in hand with the non-fiction work we also do in our social studies unit on Plymouth. In the new year our students will begin to take a closer look at the characters in their fiction books. They will investigate their inside and outside traits and their motivations.

Happy New Year from the third grade students and teachers.

Grade Four News

Our fourth graders have started off the New Year with lots of enthusiasm! In math, we’re working on our unit on division with a focus on the partial quotients algorithm. Our Math Specialist extraordinaire, Mrs. Rawding, has some wonderful youtube videos demonstrating the partial quotients algorithm with a focus on the connection to the inverse relationship between multiplication and division. Please check out these videos to learn more about partials quotients and to help your student at home:

In addition, students have been learning how to interpret remainders by considering the context or situation of the problem.

In writing the students continue to fine tune their persuasive essays. During this unit, students have created strong thesis statements and have worked to develop supporting evidence in the form of examples, anecdotes, facts, and information to strengthen their opinion. Graphic organizers and other resources have been utilized to support students with this genre of writing. Soon we’ll be moving on to crafting literary essays that analyze various elements of fiction.

We’re excited to be launching our historical fiction book clubs!

We said goodbye to our classroom crayfish just before the winter break. It was great to see the students get more and more comfortable handling them over the weeks! These crustaceans really helped our young scientists to think deeply about animal adaptations, and they gave us great practice in setting up fair scientific tests. How would YOU control for variables and conduct a test to answer the age-old question - Do crayfish prefer tuna or catfood?

We have completed our Social Studies unit on immigration and citizenship and look forward to exploring the regions of the United States. As we explore the United States we will compare and contrast the landforms, natural resources, history, and ____ of the regions. We will also be focusing on the states and capitals. Your children will be coming home with flashcards to help. We won’t quiz them until March but start studying them now!

In addition, we’re excited to hear our fourth grade instrumental musicians perform this month and hear how their practice has made progress!

Grade Five News

We have transformed our classrooms back in time to the Age of Exploration. Students have engaged in an interdisciplinary unit focusing on this time in history. They have enjoyed reading, writing, researching and have even begun projects to display in a Fiske Museum exhibit on January 13th. Read below for more information from our students:

In writing, we are studying the Age of Exploration. We get to pick an explorer and then we study that explorer. Explorers like Columbus, Cortes, and Magellan are the most popular choices. We have to study our explorer and then write a research paper about them. Some kids are studying technology or ships. Our resources are books and online databases. We have a lot of fun studying explorers! – Enya (Ms. Gavrin’s class)

Reading is fun when you get to talk about great reading strategies. It’s fun, because who doesn't like reading?! It is fun because in reading we also work on our social studies projects that are about explorers in the Age of Exploration, otherwise known as the time that Columbus sailed the ocean in 1492. Boxes and bullets is one strategy we have. It is when you make a box and list the main idea, then use bullets to list facts or reasons that support why you chose that main idea. - Chad (Ms. Gavrin’s class)

During social studies we have been working on our projects on explorers in the Age of Exploration for a museum exhibit. Someone from the Concord Museum came to Fiske to talk about museums exhibits and how to present our projects. We will be presenting our projects on January 12th and 13th, a Thursday and a Friday, to kindergarten students, 4th graders, other 5th graders, parents, and other guests. - Zachary (Ms. Gavrin’s class)

In math we have conquered geometry and coordinate graphing. It’s been a busy month classifying shapes according to a variety of attributes. Students have developed their understanding of lots of geometry vocabulary. They have also polished their math computational skills with games and puzzles.

We look forward to our celebration of reading, writing and social studies in the new year. We will also be launching into a world of Best Buys in our context math unit.

The fifth graders have a busy January! They’ll not only show off their academic accomplishments, but also their musical instrument and choral skills in their concert, as well as their waiting/waitressing skills at the Spaghetti Supper! Hope to see you all there!

Specialist News

Counseling News

Making New Year’s Resolutions with Your Child

By Laura Lewis Brown

For many of us, the New Year means it’s time to take stock of our lives and fix what we don’t like. Whether it’s our diet, exercise routine or tendency to procrastinate, there is always room for improvement in the coming year. We not only benefit from New Year’s resolutions; our children can also learn a lot about self-discipline and the value of making goals. Here are some tips on how to help your kids benefit from making resolutions.

Make It a Family Activity

The best way to teach your children the importance of New Year’s resolutions is by making it part of the family tradition. Sit down each December and reflect on the past year, discussing your accomplishments and goals, as individuals and as a family. In your resolution conversation you can each talk about what worked this year and what didn’t.

Dr. Benjamin Siegel, professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine, suggests saying, “Each one of us is going to state a few things that we want to continue to do and things we’d like to change that would make us feel better about ourselves and how our family works.”

Each family member gets a turn sharing something they are proud of and something they want to improve. It may help for parents to go first, to give children a model. If your child is old enough to write, he or she should write down their accomplishments and goals, and you can help your younger child by writing theirs down.

Resolutions for the entire family might include taking a monthly hike, playing board games twice a month or committing to more volunteering activities. Try to limit the number so they are more doable and more meaningful. “A list of 100 things is impossible,” Siegel says. “It should be based on things that are doable without economic hardship.”

You can make a master list to hang in a public spot, like a bulletin board in the kitchen. Dr. Kathleen Clarke-Pearson, a clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, suggests making a resolution box, in which each family member can drop in his or her resolutions, then pull them out at a later date to review them.

Different Resolutions for Different Ages

What your child needs to work on depends on your child. If you are concerned about his diet, then encourage healthier eating habits for him as well as the whole family. If your daughter’s room is a mess, try to help her commit 10 minutes a day to cleaning it. As your child ages, he can be more active in coming up with goals, which will mean more to him when he achieves them.

For preschool-aged children, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends resolutions that focus on cleaning up toys, brushing teeth and washing hands and being kind to pets. However, parents who consider these behaviors part of their regular expectations may want to provide resolutions that focus on higher goals.

Clarke-Pearson suggests preschoolers be encouraged to work on listening and helping skills. A resolution could be “I will be a better listener when Mommy or Daddy asks me to do something” or “I will help out more when Mommy or Daddy asks me.” If you keep it simple, your child is more likely to understand the concept as well as succeed.

As a child reaches age five and up to age 12, he or she is more able to comprehend a resolution and participate more in the process of picking one. The AAP suggests this age group commit to drinking more milk and water on a daily basis, wearing a seat belt and being friendly to all children. What your child needs to work on is very personal, so work with your child to come up with areas for improvement. Is she having trouble with a certain subject at school that needs more attention? Is he oversleeping and nearly missing the bus most mornings?

When your child gets into adolescence, the AAP recommendations focus more on the child taking more responsibility for his actions, including taking care of his body, dealing with stress in a healthy way, talking through conflict, resisting drugs and alcohol and helping others through community service.

Serve as a Role Model

No matter what age your child is, he or she is more likely to understand the value of goal setting if you take the lead. Just as with everything else you do, your child is watching. “Parents should be reflective about how they wish to be in the coming year,” Siegel says. “It’s a good opportunity to promote good mental and physical health.”

Think of how you can include your child in your resolution. “I’m going to drink more water this year, because water is good for me. Do you want to join me?” If you are finding yourself checking your e-mail when you should be spending time as a family, consider incorporating that into a goal. “I’m going to turn off my phone when I get home. Can you remind me and also remember to keep your computer in your room until after dinnertime?”

Rewards Are Long Lasting

We all know the feeling of meeting a goal, whether it be losing five pounds, quitting smoking or putting in extra hours to earn a promotion. Children also relish that thrill of accomplishment, especially when their parents are acknowledging it. As you go over the family list of resolutions each month or quarter, take time to acknowledge the successes, along with reinforcing the resolutions that need more attention. “Children will benefit by having the parent praise them, which will improve their self-esteem,” Siegel says. “This will help them with self-regulatory behaviors that they can integrate into being a healthy adult.”

When you sit down to review resolutions, this is not time for punishment, however. It’s important to be flexible and understanding, especially if the child is making the effort. “You don’t penalize if you don’t fulfill a resolution,” Clarke-Pearson says. “The resolution is not written in stone. It’s a guide.”

However your family arrives at resolutions, the best part is that you’re doing it together and learning how to manage your role not only in the family but also in the larger world.

Art News

Happy New Year! We hope you had a great break.

Here are just some highlights of the projects we will be working on in January and what we are doing until the February break:

Grade K – Winter seems to be theme for us during art. Before the break, we made textured snowman, winter scene snow globes. In January, we will make pattern pairs of mittens. We will be looking at some African art. Look for Kufi hats and symbol paintings from Ghana. Chinese “I Love you” window hangings and “lucky” penny envelopes should arrive around Valentine’s Day, to complete the unit.

Grade 1 – We will look at African designs as well. Look for African collars and ear wear with the use of pattern and line. In February, children will be studying a “celebrations” unit on China. During Art, we will observe “Chinese New Year”, by creating lanterns, Chinese paper cuts and watercolor fans.

Grade 2 – Look for the figure in motion pieces to come home sometime this month. We soon be working on a weaving project based on the African Kente Cloth. Students will view many cloth designs, and will be asked to not only weave a tight checkerboard but to also interweave and apply a variety of other materials as well as use traditional African symbols. This will then be the cover of a book with animal illustrations. These books will be from the inspiration for our African clay animal sculptures.

Grade 3 – Soon in the halls, you will see work we did for Mr. Hart illustrating E, G, B, D, F. With the understanding of the color wheel primary, secondary and tertiary (analogous and complementary) these students will create artworks with cool colors. Warm color backgrounds with silhouettes drawings will come later in the year. We have worked on a Picasso-like “Three Musicians” collage, using pattern blocks. To celebrate, Mardi Gras, “Fat Tuesday” we will be looking and designing a Velegante Mask, native of South America.

Grade 4 - We are finishing up plate designs with 3D food, using opposite colors to give that affect. We are combining art and science, with our shadows in the snow. In February, we will be working on projects of Mexican influence.

Grade 5 – We will be starting a conceptual drawing piece, which is astonishing! Students chose a ½ of a magazine picture and were asked to complete by blending colors etc. You will have a hard time finding the original. Students will look at the work of African American Artists, Romare Bearden and Faith Ringgold. Both masters of collage and the use of pattern. Students will design a story quilt square done in collage. The squares must have themselves in the foreground. The mid and background of the final composition, should illustrate the story around the border.

Ask your child what they do in art each week because many times our projects are carried over to the next week or two.

Attention knitters and anyone with leftover yarn! We could use your unwanted yarn for a weaving project. We are also in need of recycled materials: clear egg cartons, yogurt containers, plastic take out containers, magazines, old calendars, gift wrap, paper towel tubes, ribbon, tissues, wipes and hand soap.

Thanks Again,

Mrs. O’Leary, Ms. O’Connor and Miss Walker

ELL News

Happy New Year from the ELL Department! We hope you had a restful holiday season. As we start the new year we are preparing to give our students the state mandated ACCESS assessment. ELL classes will be suspended during this testing period. You will receive your access scores later in the spring and we share information with you on how to interpret the scores at that time.

PE News

Music News

Performance dates are set for the 2016/2017 school year:

Fifth Grade Chorus/Band/Strings: Wednesday, January 18, at 9 am in the Fiske Gym

Wednesday, June 7, at 9 am and 7 pm in the Fiske Gym

Third Grade Recorder "Informance": Thursday, June 1, at 11:30 am in the Fiske Gym

Fourth Grade "Informance": Thursday, May 18, at 11:30 am in the Fiske Gym.

Here are some of the things you might see and hear if you looked into the music room this month:

Kindergarden: Acting out the story of Thorn Rosa and Dancing to How Many Jelly Beans?

First Grade: Choreographing Teddy Bear and playing the Jack In The Box game.

Second Grade: Creating ostinatos to Grandpa’s Whiskers and Holiday Treats.

Third Grade: Recorder Madness continues. Please go to and look for the Recorder Instructional videos. Ask your third grader to perform that old holiday classic, Hot Cross Buns, for you.

Fourth Grade: Moving to Sleigh Ride and the Trepak dance from the Nutcracker.

Fifth Grade: Choreographing ostinatos to Bach’s Gavotte and getting ready for the FIFTH GRADE CHORUS CONCERT ON JANUARY 18 AT 9AM IN THE FISKE GYM.

Thanks from Mr. Hart and Mrs. Larson

Library News

  • Kindergarten has been studying author and illustrator Kevin Henkes, including such classics as Chester’s Way and Julius, Baby of the World. For lots of fun activities and videos to go along with our author study, check out the Kevin Henkes website in the Fun Links section of the Fiske Library web page:

  • The Caldecott Awards for best illustrations in a children’s book will be announced in mid-January, so first graders have been reading recently published picture books such as The Magic Word and A Well Mannered Young Wolf. Will one of these be an award winner? Stay tuned!

  • In coordination with their study of continents and countries, second graders are reading books about schools in different parts of the world, such as Rain School and Listen to the Wind. How are these schools the same or different from our experience here at Fiske?

  • Third graders have been learning about historical fiction by reading such books as Caldecott Medal winner Finding Winnie, Girl Wonder, and The Quickest Kid in Clarksville.

  • Fourth graders are studying immigration stories by Patricia Polacco, including The Keeping Quilt and The Blessing Cup. Every family has a story; what is yours?

  • Fifth graders are discovering the rich, and rather frightening, power of folk tales by sharing Neil Gaiman’s “Grimm” re-telling of Hansel and Gretel.

Math News

Each month I share a few resources for you to use at home with your child.

Math Fun: What do you notice? What do you wonder?

Have a discussion with your child about your noticings and wonderings. What math could you explore with this image? Or check out more images to prompt discussions at

Book recommendation: 8: An Animal Alphabet by Elisha Cooper

Game recommendation: Pentago

Which One Doesn’t Belong?

Then find a reason why each one does not belong.

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Literacy News

Brrrrrrr - It’s cold outside!

What better way to warm up than to cuddle up with a blanket and hot chocolate while reading to your child. Here are some suggestions for winter reading: Scholastic

Health Office News