Weekly Newsletter

October 7, 2021

News from Principal Emma Liebowitz

On October 12 at 7:00 PM, we will hold a (virtual) Parent-Teacher Organization Meeting. We are hoping to brainstorm ideas of how the PTO can be re-energized and re-imagined. Everyone is welcome! Click this link to join our Google Meet.

Local Goods Catalog

ORDERS ARE DUE TOMORROW - FRIDAY, OCTOBER 8. Follow this link for the catalog and order form.


Monday, October 11 - No School

Tuesday, October 12 - Parent Teacher Organization Meeting at 7:00 pm (virtual)

Wednesday, October 13 - 1:50 Dismissal

Monday, October 18 - Local Education Council Meeting at 3:15 pm (virtual)

Wednesday, October 20 - 1:50 Dismissal

Thursday, Ocotber 28 - Sugar Rush 5K

Link to Sanderson Academy calendar.

Health Office News from Nurse Loranna

This week I will be starting my health screenings for vision, hearing and growth (height and weight). These screenings are meant to catch any potential vision or hearing issues at an early age which will lead to early intervention, as well as track growth and healthy development. Health screenings are an important way to support students and prepare them for academic achievement and a readiness to learn. Any screenings that are outside of the norm will be followed up with a phone call by myself and referral to a specialist or pediatrician for further evaluation. I will be starting with the Kindergarten class and then moving onto preschool, followed by the older grades. If your child has had a hearing/vision screening recently through their pcp as long as it was after July 2021 that screening is sufficient for this school year- I will be double checking my physicals to be sure it was completed and if not I will do that at school. I quite enjoy doing my screenings as it gives me the chance to have some 1-1 time with my students and is a fun way to get to know them a little better! I try to make it a fun experience, and a nice way to give them lots of positive feedback and a sticker which leaves them feeling proud. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any concerns about your child’s hearing, vision or growth/development.

Preschool News from Mrs. Freeman

This week we read, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? written by Bill Martin Jr. and illustrated by Eric Carle. Preschoolers enjoyed the repetition and pattern of the story, and easily joined in to help read it. Using this story, preschoolers went on a color hunt in the classroom and while walking in the woods. For homework, they will look for colors at home.

The rainy start to our week gave us the perfect opportunity to use scooter boards and sort objects by color. Notice blue objects in the blue hula hoop? Preschoolers are delivering other items to the corresponding colored hoop.

Preschool News from Ms. Melanie

Our butterflies have been emerging regularly and we have enjoyed releasing them and watching them take flight. What a lovely thing to see! Sometimes we see a Monarch butterfly on our way to the outdoor classroom and we wonder if it is one of ours, come to say one last goodbye before heading off to Mexico!

We have been thinking about apples lately. We are reading books with an apple theme, we made our own “apple” book to take home, and we are gathering apples for some exciting projects coming up. Thank you to our families for sending in all those apples!

Recently, we had an “apple tasting”. We thought about three colors of apples--red, green, and yellow. We shared what kind of apple we thought we would like the best and recorded our answers on a chart. Then we tasted slices of all those three apples--red, green, and yellow--and we recorded the results of that tasting. We were surprised to see that some of us changed our answer and actually liked a different color apple than we had predicted!

Kindergarten News from Ms. Sarah

This week, we are beginning to move into some of our academic routines. In our reading and writing times, we are doing a lot of work with our names. We are using labeled lines (skyline, plane line, grass line, and worm line) to form our letters as tall, small, or fall letters because in our language, the alignment of the letters matters. We have also started to learn some of our math routines, such as counting our days in school and playing number line games. It is fun to see how much our students have grown in just 6 weeks!

First Grade News from Mrs. Wyckoff

Thanks to Mrs. Morey we’ve had the opportunity to observe five caterpillars move through their lifecycle. Once a caterpillar had formed its chrysalis, Mrs. Morey showed us how to place each chrysalis onto the butterfly tree where we were able to notice the slightest changes as time passed each day. Although we did not have the chance to see a butterfly emerge from its chrysalis in front of our eyes, first graders were elated to return to school one morning to see 4 Monarch butterflies fluttering freely around our classroom! It was a neat experience for both students and teachers! Later in the day the 4 Monarchs were released in our beautiful butterfly garden. As we began to release the butterflies, one first grader asked if she could sing a song to the butterflies. It was the most beautiful song encouraging the butterflies to “fly high.” The rest of the first graders listened to the song,and sent well wishes as the butterflies began their flight south. Thank you Mrs. Morey! During language arts, first graders are busy bees! At the start of a new week, students are introduced to a new mentor text. This week we are using The Bad Seed by Jory John for our text. Unlike a read aloud, which is often only read once, a mentor text is used to teach a variety of reading, vocabulary and grammar skills. We begin by doing a book walk to see what we notice about the book or what we think might happen in the book, then new vocabulary is introduced and finally the story is read through to the end. We then use the text to help us learn specific skills like how to identify characters and character traits as one example. Using the same story helps us continue to revisit previously learned skills while becoming very familiar with the story!

Second Grade News from Ms. Robertson

We have been busy in second grade this week, with several different themes and units underway. During our reading block, we read the first story in the Silly Stories theme called Shopping from the book Dragon Gets By. Before reading this story, we explored two parts of our reading book, the table of contents and the glossary, which we will use throughout the year. As a background knowledge activity, we talked about healthy versus unhealthy foods and we discussed foods that make a balanced meal, as the main character in the story is a dragon who has an unbalanced diet. We also utilized the comprehension strategy of previewing, where we looked at and shared our observations about the story’s illustrations to get an initial understanding of the story before we read it. This week also found us beginning our Fundations lessons, a continuation of the phonics and spelling program used in first grade. Unit 1 has us reviewing the short vowel sounds and digraphs (sh, th, wh, ch, and ck) and practicing how to segment and blend the different sounds in words.

Community, defined as a group of people who have something in common, has been a frequently used word in our classroom this week. During our learning times, we use the word community to refer to our class and to review and practice expectations we have for our community of learners. We have also extended the word to refer to groups of people who live and work together and have discussed rural, suburban, and urban communities. We also watched a video about these three types of communities and read about them in our Scholastic News magazine. Discussing that our classroom is a community of learners also served as a springboard to our current math unit on sorting and graphing, where we created beetle glyphs (picture symbols) to use during our math lessons. These beetle glyphs helped us get to know each other better by studying the information on the beetle. For example, if a beetle had a blue body with one dot and 1 stripe, we learned that the person who made this beetle has 1 sibling, a January birthday, and enjoys winter. We have been sorting the beetle glyphs into different groups, such as those people whose favorite season is winter and those people whose favorite sport is soccer. Our sorting activities have led us to ask the question: What if a beetle glyph belongs in both groups? This question led to the class suggesting the use of overlapping circles, or a Venn diagram, where objects that belong to both groups can be placed.

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Third Grade News from Ms. Carole

As part of our learning about Massachusetts, we had a wonderful visit to the highest point in Massachusetts on Friday. First we watched a movie on the history of the Mt.Greylock area at the Visitor’s Center. We also got to do a short hike and look for and identify critters in a stream with a park ranger. Then we drove to the summit for lunch and explored the Veterans Memorial Tower, Bascom Lodge, and the wonderful views. The class had a wonderful time, and we exceedingly grateful for the volunteer parent drivers who made this trip possible! As we continue our learning about the Commonwealth, we have scheduled our next trip to The Quabbin Reservoir. We will be heading there for the day on Friday, October 22nd. If you are available and willing to be a parent driver for this trip, please let Ms. Carole know. Thank you!

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Ffith Grade News from Ms. Johnson

The fifth grade has been learning about free-verse poetry. We have had a lesson about writing about a specific item, person, experience, etc. So instead of writing about sunsets, write about the sunset you experienced last night. Instead of writing about kittens, write about your kitten. We also had a lesson about the power of ‘I’. Putting yourself in the poem to give the reader someone to be with. And we had a lesson about breaking lines and stanzas. How to end lines on certain types of words to emphasize meaning.

Fifth and Sixth Grade Fundraiser

Fifth and sixth grade are having a fundraiser from now until October 14th selling frozen pies and cookie dough. If you are interested in any Lyman Orchards Pies or Otis Spunkmeyer® Cookie Dough please contact one of the fifth or sixth grade students.

News from Ms. Prew

Happy October Sanderson family! October is the 10th month of the calendar year and in the math world the number 10 is very significant! Starting in Kindergarten we explore the patterns of the base ten system. This foundational learning carries us all the way through sixth grade where we continue to explore the power of 10! In the spirit of the 10th month, and 10 being a rather important number for math learning, I want to hear from you! What do you know about the number 10? Can you use pictures, numbers, and/or words to show all of the things that you know about 10? Email me your thoughts - aprew@mtrsd.org. Also, a friendly reminder that the LEC meeting is on Monday, October 18th at 3:15. It is a virtual meeting so you can either log in using this link or call in using this information. We will review the Title I program here at Sanderson and ask for your feedback on how to improve our students' math learning experiences! I hope to see you all there! :) aprew@mtrsd.org

News from Trish Aurigemma

Role and responsibilities of a School based Speech Language Pathologist:

I love being a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP)! I have served Sanderson Academy for the past 10 years. Before that I was an SLP Assistant for 8 years. So you may be thinking what does a SLP do in a school setting and why is it important? A Speech Language Pathologist plays an essential role in education. Look at some of the amazing ways I can support children at Sanderson Academy as a Speech Language Pathologist (See Below). Additionally, many people may not be aware that a School Based Speech Language Pathologist needs to hold two licenses to work with children in school. My first license is a Teacher’s License which is granted by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DECE) and the second license is granted by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Licensure for Speech and Language Pathology.

Role and responsibilities of a School based Speech Language Pathologist (information obtained from the ASHA website ASHA Roles and Responsibilities of School Based Speech Language Pathologist :

  • Working Across All Levels SLPs provide appropriate speech-language services in Pre-K, elementary, middle, junior high, and high schools. I specifically provide services for students from age 3 to 6th grade.

  • Serving a Range of Disorders — Speech Language Pathologists work with students exhibiting the full range of communication disorders, including those involving language, articulation (speech sound disorders), fluency, voice/resonance, and swallowing. A variety of etiologies may be involved.

  • Ensuring Educational Relevance — Speech Language Pathologists address personal, social/emotional, academic, and vocational needs that have an impact on attainment of educational goals.

  • Providing Unique Contributions to Curriculum — Speech Language Pathologists provide a distinct set of roles based on their focused expertise in language. I help students access their curriculum by developing strategies and modifications for each individual learner.

  • Highlighting Language/Literacy —Speech Language Pathologists contribute significantly to the literacy achievement of students with communication disorders, as well as other learners who are at risk for school failure, or those who struggle in school settings.

  • Providing Culturally Competent Services —Speech Language Pathologists make important contributions to ensure that all students receive quality, culturally competent services. SLPs have the expertise to distinguish a language disorder from “something else.” That “something else” might include cultural and linguistic differences, socioeconomic factors, lack of adequate prior instruction, and the process of acquiring the dialect of English used in the schools.

Speech and Language Pathologist Range of Responsibilities include the following:Speech Language Pathologists help students meet the performance standards of a particular school district and state by way of prevention, assessment, intervention, program design, data collection and analysis, and compliance.

I hope you found this information helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions about the content of this message or any topic concerning child language development.

Best Regards, Trish Aurigemma M.S., CCC-SLP