HMS Monthly Update

The Helen Morgan School November Newsletter

From the Principal...

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We have reached the end of the first marking period. Congratulations to all of our students for successfully navigating the first two months of school. In my daily classroom visits I see our students asking great questions, respectfully collaborating with peers, and approaching learning tasks with enthusiasm.

Beginning next week, parents will have the opportunity to conference with teachers to discuss the progress of their children. In addition, our annual Open House next week affords parents a glimpse into the Helen Morgan learning experience.

Finally, we have our annual Tricky Tray event tomorrow night. All adult members of the HMS community are invited to stop in for a night of fun and prizes. This event is our PTO's biggest fundraiser of the year, and proceeds from the event go to support many of our assemblies and programs.

I look forward to seeing many of you at these events and I wish all of our students a challenging and rewarding second marking period.

Doug Layman


"Intelligence plus character- that is the goal of true education."

Martin Luther King, Jr.


11.11: End of MP1

11.14: HMS Tricky Tray

11.17: Caring Kids Week

11.18: MP1 Grades Posted

11.18: HMS Open House

11.20-11.25: Early Dismissals: Parent Conferences (12:50 PM)

11.21: HMS Spirit Day- Spirit Wear

11.26: Early Dismissal (12:50 PM)

12.05: Early Dismissal: Teacher In-Service (12:50 PM)

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Conferences begin on Thursday, November 20th and go through Tuesday, November 25th. If you have yet to sign up for a conference please contact your child's teacher.

Parent Conference Tips

Open House/Parent Visitation Day

In recognition of American Education Week, parents and guardians are welcome to attend our Open House on Tuesday, November 18th. We welcome you to HMS and proudly share our classrooms with you.

This event allows parents to observe a child's daily experience. We respectfully request that all individual questions or concerns be directed at teachers at conferences or via e-mail and not during this event. In addition, we ask that younger siblings do not accompany you on on your visit.

Grade 4- 9:30 to 10:30

Grade 5- 1:30 to 2:30

3-D Periodic Table of Elements

We have wonderful, colorful, and informative element projects lining our hallways and adding a bit of color and helpful information. These 5th grade projects aimed to introduce students to the wide variety of elements that make up the Periodic Table.

Sussex County Math Contest

4th grade students participated in the SumDog Sussex County Math Contest. The results are in!

Mr. Connors - 6th Place

Mrs. Zoeller- 10th

Mrs. DelCoro- 12th

Ms. Baccarella- 14th

Top 50 students included: Elizabeth E. (22), Race P. (24), Sofia I. (25), Julia J. (29), Julia K. (30), Thomas S. (39), Ethan R. (41,

Stay Home or Send to School: Guidelines for Parents with Sick Children

Deciding when a child is too sick to go to school can be a difficult decision for parents to make. When trying to decide, use the guidelines below and seek the advice of your healthcare provider.

GO TO SCHOOL-if your child has any of the following symptoms, they should probably go to school.

· Sniffles, a mild runny nose

· Mild cough without a fever

· Vague complaints of aches, pains, or fatigue

STAY AT HOME-If your child has any of the following symptoms, please keep your child home

· Colds- Keep them home with a runny nose AND fever, bad cough, headache or nausea or if the child is too tired or too uncomfortable to function at school.

· Diarrhea- Keep children home for persistent watery stools especially if the child looks or acts ill. Persistent diarrhea, especially if accompanied by fever and cramps, should be evaluated by your healthcare provider.

· Vomiting- A child who is vomiting should remain home for 12-24hrs after the episode and until the child has tolerated at least two normal meals.

· Eyes- Thick mucus, pus, or clear liquid draining from the eye may be contagious. One or both eyes may also appear extremely red and feel irritated, itchy, or painful. The child should be evaluated by your healthcare provider. The child can return to school when symptoms have cleared or a note from your healthcare provider states the child is not contagious.

· Fever- Stay home for a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher within the last 24 hrs. Child must be fever free without medication for 24hrs before returning to school.

· Sore throat- A sore throat, especially with fever or swollen glands may be contagious. A child must be on antibiotics for a full 24hrs before returning to school.

2015 PARCC Dates

5th Grade:

March 5-11

April 30-May 6

4th Grade:

March 12-18

May 7-13

Hour of Code

Take a computer programming course during the National Hour of Code the week of December 8 - 14.
What Most Schools Don't Teach


This year, we are entering our fourth year of math instruction with curriculum based on the Common Core Standards. As with any major change, the implementation takes time; challenges arise, adjustments are necessary, and lessons are learned. It is evident that both teachers and students are becoming more comfortable with the purpose of the common core – to help students think more deeply and at a higher level. What some may not realize is that there are two major components to the Common Core Standards, the content standards (what students learn) and the Standards for Mathematical Practice (how students learn). The content standards are specific to each grade level and they explicitly describe what is to be taught in a particular course. The Standards for Mathematical Practice span all grade levels and are meant to be addressed regardless of the content being learned.

To many, the Standards for Mathematical Practice are as important, if not more so, than the content standards because they teach students how to think. Many students will leave formal education and not have to do the math the learned on a day-to-day basis in school. On the other hand, some skills, such as problem solving and critical thinking, will be essential to their future success, regardless of the career path that is chosen. These skills are the ones embodied in the Standards for Mathematical Practice.

Below is a summary of each practice. By understanding these practices, one can recognize that math is about more than just the numbers, it’s about developing a way of thinking that will help solve problems in a variety of situations.

Mathematical Practice #1: Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. This practice reminds students that their first goal is to understand a problem, but then they must work hard to solve the problem by trying different strategies, making and correcting mistakes, and persevering until a solution is discovered.

Mathematical Practice #2: Reason abstractly and quantitatively. This standard is one that highlights the need for students to develop number sense and the ability to work flexibly with numbers. Students must be able to break apart problems, manipulate the numbers and the context, and re-build the problems in a way that makes sense to the student.

Mathematical Practice #3: Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. This practice reminds students that they must have a deep conceptual understanding of a concept and be able to defend their reasoning when solving problems. Additionally, students must be able to investigate the work of others to determine if it is accurate or erroneous.

Mathematical Practice #4: Model with Mathematics. Students must see the math with which they are working. They must be able to transfer between visual models, equations, and words.

Mathematical Practice #5: Use appropriate tools strategically. This practice reminds students that there are a variety of tools that can be used to solve problems. Whether it is rulers, counters, a calculator, or a computer program, students must be able to recognize and select tools that make the most sense given a particular situation.

Mathematical Practice #6: Attend to precision. Students must be precise in the use of numbers and words when dealing with mathematical situations. Working with the appropriate units and degree of error can have an impact on problem solutions, so students must pay close attention to such details.

Mathematical Practice #7: Look for and make use of structure. This practice standard urges students to look for structure and patterns in numbers. Often times, larger problems can be simplified to mirror a simpler situation, so it is important for students to seek out the opportunities to take a more complicated problem and translate it in to a more manageable situation.

Mathematical Practice #8: Look for an express regularity in repeated reasoning. Students employing this standard will look for repeated calculations and find short-cuts for solving more complicated problems. Students use their reasoning abilities to ensure such alternative mehtods make sense and lead them to accurate problem solutions.

Each of these practices is intertwined in the work students do and together these practices embody the non-content skills that are critical for students to master. Keeping these standards at the heart of lessons and discussions about math instruction will lead our students to be better, more perseverant critical thinkers and problem solvers.

Tilly's Kids/ Pass It Along Toy Drive

Our annual toy drive, benefitting students at two elementary schools in Newark, kicks off November 17th. Information will be sent home via e-mail. Last year we collected over 800 new and unwrapped gifts and this year we hope to collect even more! The drive ends on December 5th.

Donation Idea (new and unwrapped): toys, board games, sports balls, books, dolls, arts and crafts and scarfs and/or hats.

Following the collection, a group of Sparta student volunteers wrap the gifts and deliver them to the children's classrooms. For many of the students these donations are the only gifts they will receive during the holiday season.

Big image


The Sparta Education Foundation has awarded over $500,000 in grants to benefit the students of Sparta Schools. Join us on Thanksgiving morning for fun, exercise and to support their biggest fundraiser of the year.

Click here to register.

Sign-up To Receive Text Message Reminders from HMS

Join our Remind 101 messaging service to receive non-emergency updates and reminders (ex: "Tomorrow is Picture Day!"). Signing up is very easy, click here for instructions. You will be asked to send one text message to join, and then another that will ask for your name.

Remind 101 is a one-way messaging service- you are not able to reply. For more information about the service click here.

Bayer Visits our 5th Grade Classrooms

Alka-Seltzer Rockets
Big image
Big image
Big image
Big image