ESS Home Scholar Gazette
Week of 03/23/20
Welcome to our first distance learning newsletter! We are hoping this will be a place to update you on current news, as well as share resources as we work to keep our students learning. Also, since this is the first edition, we may have links that don't work, or other unforeseen issues or errors. Please just let us know, and we will work to make changes. The entire staff at Enfield Street is hoping everyone is doing well during this unprecedented time in our history. We want you to know that we are here for you, and intend to continue working together as a community, even if we have to spend a little bit of time apart.
Mark Lord - Principal
Bethany Calado - Assistant Principal
Mindfulness & Wellness
These are certainly challenging times for everyone’s mental health! One of our favorite teacher quotes at Enfield Street School is posted here. Remember, as the adults, to take good care of yourself during this time, so you are at your best to take care of your children.
Please let your kids know that we miss seeing them and hearing them!
All Enfield Street school students are familiar with certain “Mindfulness” practices. In this first newsletter, I want to share with you the things they already use at school and could easily incorporate into home practice. Every month, they learn a new Yoga Pose. They are able to “hold it” for a good amount of time and practice “breathing into” the pose as well. Some of the poses they already know and can “teach you” are:
Butterfly Boat Mountain
Cat Plank Downward Dog
Each month, we also practice different “Calming Strategies”. We like students to have lots of practice with these when they are calm. This way, they seem like “second nature” when they need to use them. Some of the calming strategies we have already been practicing this school year include:
Belly Breathing Squeezing a stress ball Popping bubble wrap
Taking a walk Ripping old paper Wall push ups
Mind Jar/Calming Jar Coloring
There are many easy-to-follow Youtube videos you can find if you are interested in making Calming Jars at home with your children. If you have the materials on hand, it might be a fun arts and crafts family project.
Lastly, our students are very skilled at using “Guided Meditations”. Each month, they carefully practice a new one. Our favorite meditations are found on a website called “Go Noodle” (www.gonoodle.com). Parents are able to set up their own free account. It can also be accessed in “app” format on any mobile device (tablet, phone, etc.) You can find lots of movement activities and brain breaks there too! In order to find the meditations, go to the FLOW channel.
Thank you for all the ways you are working so hard to support your children at home and to continue the learning process for your students. Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns (firstname.lastname@example.org).
School Counselor Corner
I hope that all of you are staying safe and healthy. Throughout the duration of our time spent out of the building, I intend to be a regular contributor to the "Gazette". My goal is to share information for parents and students in order to alleviate some of the anxiety and stress we are all experiencing during this unprecedented time.
For the adults in the family, I have reprinted the following important information in case you missed the post on the EPS web page:
We recognize that the current public health emergency is resulting in an increase of stress on families.
If you or your child are experiencing an immediate safety concern call 911.
If you or your child are experiencing a behavioral mental health crisis call 211.
If you would like to access support services, please contact the following:
For children over 8 years of age, please call Youth and Family Services at 860-253-6380.
For children under 8 years of age, please call the Family Resource Center 860-253-5214.
If you would like to contact your child’s counselor or social worker, please do so via their school email address.
I am also including a timely article about how to explain the coronavirus to children. You can access it at:
For students, doodling can be a relaxing and "mindful" way to deal with these trying times. Author and illustrator Mo Willems is familiar to many primary school age children for books such as the Knuffle Bunny and Elephant and Piggy series. In response to this crisis, he has invited children to doodle with him daily. "Lunch Doodles", hosted on YouTube, launched these sessions on March 16th. To date, there have been five episodes.
Students can access "Lunch Doodles" at:
District List of Available Activities
One Book/Three Schools
Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown
We hope that you are enjoying reading Flat Stanley as a family. This week you should be reading Chapter 3. Here are a few questions that your family may use to discuss what you have read in Chapters 1-3. Have some fun talking about the book!
1. How did Stanley become flat?
2. When Arthur saw Stanley slide under the door, Arthur felt…
3. When Mrs. Lambchop’s ring fell into a shaft, Stanley climbed down to
get it. What did Stanley hold onto when he went into the shaft?
4. Who was Stanley going to visit when he mailed himself to California?
5. What did Stanley eat on his way to California?
6. Where was Arthur when Stanley got stuck in the tree?
7. What is your favorite part? Tell why this is your favorite part.
We have included a template of Flat Stanley if you would like to print and color your own!
This Week's School-Wide Activity
Here’s an easy recipe to try if you don’t have any PlayDoh on hand:
Easy Dough Recipe
1 cup of flour
¼ cup of salt
1 Tbsp cream of tartar (optional)
½ cup of warm water
5 drops of natural food coloring
1. Mix together the flour, salt, and cream of tartar.
2. Mix together ½ cup of warm water with a few drops of food coloring.
3. Slowly pour the water into the flour mixture, stirring as you pour. Stir until combined, then knead with your hands until the flour is completely absorbed. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour until it doesn’t stick at all.
4. Repeat process for whichever colors you want to make.
Happy learning and playing together!
I hope everyone is finding their groove in these ever changing times. I know my family is working on finding a daily routine with learning and fun mixed in. My kids are in kindergarten & second grade so I’m at home figuring this all out right along with you! Here’s a few fun things the Guertin crew has been up to this week:
- Everyday we’ve been doodling with Mo Willems the author of the Pigeon books & Elephant and Piggie Series. We’ve learned how to draw pigeon, elephant, piggie and how to be animators. Here’s the link to the Kennedy Center where we watch Mo’s daily lunch doodles. https://www.kennedy-center.org/education/mo-willems/ Check out Caylee & Graham’s drawings below.
We have been enjoying daily walks around our neighborhood. Next week we are going to see if we can find something for every letter of the alphabet (think acorn, crocus, or a V shaped stick). I’m going to take pictures of everything and challenge my kids to write pages for a neighborhood alphabet book.
- At our house we LOVE to build with Lego bricks! We have been trying this 30 Day lego brick challenge and then watching LegoMasters on Hulu in the evenings. In the TV show, the builders are asked to have a story to go with their builds so I’m challenging my own kids to write a story to go with their daily builds.
Stay well and know we are missing your kids and our daily routines as much as they are!
Let’s Welcome Spring!
Start with a mindful “Rainbow Breath.”
Let’s listen to the story “When Spring Comes” by Kevin Henkes. https://youtu.be/-35AX3K5tCs
· Here’s a song to sing, “Spring Is Here” by The Learning Station.
Go on a nature walk and use your senses and record what you see, hear, feel, and smell.
To make an acrostic poem, write a word down the left side of your paper. Then think of related words that start with each letter and write them beside the letters.
New animal babies
Make a directed draw of a baby chick!
- Here’s a book about the weather. It’s called “What Will the Weather Be Like Today?” by Paul Rogers
Second Grade, Room 14
Greetings from room 14! I hope this letter finds you healthy and safe. Below you will find some tips and resources to help support your second grader’s home learning. I miss seeing your children every day. I am sending my love and positive vibes to you during this difficult time.
Learning at home is not easy! As some of you may know, I have four children. Their ages range from 2 to 12. Here are some things that have worked for my family so far.
Set a schedule. Even if you can’t follow it exactly. The children are used to a lot of structure at school. Setting time aside for different activities helps them (and you) accomplish the tasks.
Rethink time. If you talk to homeschooling parents, they will say that they can accomplish a “school day” in 2 ½ to 3 hours. We spend an hour on reading, an hour on math, and then I may have them do a writing activity. In the afternoon, we may try a science experiment.
Take breaks. I know this is hard, especially if you are working from home. One thing that I have found is my children don’t have the stamina to learn at home. Give them small tasks to complete and reward them with breaks.
Move! My children all play multiple sports. Sports cancellations have been devastating to them. Take a family walk or watch a fun you tube dance video. A fun site we used a lot in room 14 was gonoodle.com.
Limit screen time and use it as a reward. I know this is hard. I use screen time as a goal for the afternoon. We have “quiet time” when my 2-year-old naps. Use it as a reward if they complete the work for the day.
Reading and Writing
Libraries and schools have closed. How do you support your child’s reading at home? Remember, your child has an account on RAZ kids. Another great resource is EPIC. There are hundreds of books to choose from. They are offering free remote access right now. See below for some additional resources for enrichment. Take time each day to listen to your child read. A great way to fit in writing is have your child write about a book or topic. Remind them that second graders use phonics knowledge to spell words, and they know the rules about capital letters and punctuation!
Second graders were beginning a unit on measuring. We were learning about all the ways things can be measured. For example, length, capacity, and weight. A fun, hands-on way to practice this would be taking a tape measure on a hike with you. I also love this activity from notimeforflashcards.com.
Science and Social Studies
In science, second graders are learning about habitats. How do the animals in the habitat survive? Check out this cool video about coral reefs.
Mrs. Weir - Special Education
Greetings ESS Families,
Hoping this newsletter finds you safe and well. We have been working hard on letters, sounds, and sight words with some students so I just wanted to share some ideas that you can do at home to make learning fun and engaging.
Go outside and make letters/words with chalk. Erase or trace the chalk with a wet paint brush.
Make Lego or block letters. Write letters/words on sides of Legos/blocks. As they build, they can talk about letters/sounds or words they used.
Make a letter or word collage. Write a letter, word or name on a piece of paper. Have your child place stickers, dots, tissue paper, beads etc. on top of the letters you made.
Make letters/words with PlayDoh (see below for homemade dough recipe)
Play letters/words hide and seek! Take letters/words and hide them around the room and have your child find them! J
Make sensory letters/words. Sprinkle salt, flour, or oatmeal onto a cookie sheet. Have your child use his/her finger to make letters or write words.
Use shaving cream on hard, flat surface and practice making letters or words.
The following link has some great printables including upper and lowercase letters in case you don’t already have them.
Mrs. Baroni - Math Support
Hello ESS Families,
I hope everyone is doing well during these trying times. I have three school aged children at home and know the challenges you are facing. Try to find the positive in each situation. Whether that be slowing down and spending quality time with your children or even getting some long overdue chores done at home. I know the students want to be doing some schoolwork which is great. It brings them some normalcy during this unknown situation. For math there is an abundance of websites out there where students can practice their math skills. Websites are listed on the district webpage. Each student also has an ST Math account that they can go on. I am providing a link of some Jack Hartmann songs that the students love to dance too. Jack Hartman Video links.pdf
Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have a math related question. My email is email@example.com.
Please know that we all are thinking of our students and ESS families.
Stay safe and healthy.
Kara Baroni - Math Support
Mrs. Sadosky - Librarian
Hello ESS Families,
I really miss seeing, and reading to, your children every day. Routine is good for everyone, especially chidren. During this time away from each other, I would like to share some great resources with you. Your children can still enjoy being read to and they can meet some new authors as well as authors they are already familiar with.
Mo Willems, author of the Elephant and Piggie books, will draw every day at 1:00 pm.
Jarrett Krosoczka, author and illustrator of Peanut Butter and Jellyfish; Good Night Monkey Boy; Punk Farm; and the graphic novels The Lunch Lady, will draw every day at 2:00 pm.
kidsaskauthors.com (with author Grace Lin, author of Ling and Ting; and Where the Mountain Meets the Moon)
Every week she and a guest author will be answering kids questions.
Grace Lin is also using her personal YouTube channel reading books, including "Mulan". She will also do some drawing demonstrations.
(FYI - Laura Numeroff reads her book "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" on her Facebook page.)
I hope this helps. Until we meet again - stay well.
I hope everyone is doing well at home. Below are some resources (mostly free books online) that may be of interest to you. I primarily work with English learners, but these resources can be used by any family!
- Ms. Chlus
Unite For Literacy - Free children’s books with options for narrations in multiple languages.
This is a website that has hundreds of books, with narrations in over 15 languages. The website is free and doesn’t require a login or password. The books can also be accessed on a phone.
The Fable Cottage - Free bilingual books for language learners (and anyone else!)
This website has children’s fables in multiple languages in written, audio, and video forms. No login is required.
Brainpop ELL & Brainpop Jr. - Educational website with animated videos (currently free)
Website: ell.brainpop.com (for English learning)
jr.brainpop.com (grades K-3)
This website has hundreds of educational videos and games for students. The language learning version (Brainpop ELL) is also a great language learning tool for adults who are looking to improve their English. A username is required, but the application is currently being offered for free.
Rosetta Stone - Online language learning resource
If you or your child is interested in improving your English skills using the Rosetta Stone language learning tool, please reach out to me by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
www.Newsela.com -This site has hundreds of articles for children to read. They begin at grade 2. This is a wonderful resource to challenge an advanced reader.
Don’t forget to practice your facts. Do you have a deck of cards? These 16 games are a fun way to practice at home.
For social studies and science videos check out brain pop junior. They are offering free access because of school closures.
This is a link for Math Strategy practice. It is lengthy, but has some great things that you can print off for all grade levels. https://community.ksde.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=n2ZHaEprrfs%3D&tabid=6036&mid=14879
Scholastic Grade K
Scholastic Grades 1 & 2