South Elementary Family Newsletter
Volume #3 November, 2023
Message from the Principals
Dear South Families,
During the month of Thanksgiving, it is a natural time to practice both gratitude and reflection. We are thankful for the opportunity to teach, connect, and care for your child/ren over the year/s. Thank you for providing a nurturing environment at home that respects education and gives a solid foundation to build on at school. We appreciate your hard work! If you have an extra moment, consider sending a quick thank you email to a staff member. These types of positive connections help to make our relationships stronger and increase the family-like atmosphere of our school community. Thank you for helping to make our school such a great place to be!
November also allows us to give special appreciation to our Veteran's and their families. If you have a veteran in your immediate family, please send in a picture so we can put them up on our VIP board. Please be sure to include the veteran's name, the student's name they are connected to, and their branch of service. You can send that in a hard copy or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can print it. Thank you for your service!
For our PRIDE traits (Perseverance; Respect; Independence; Diversity/Equity/Inclusion; and Empathy) this month, the character traits we will be working on are: helping others; persevering through difficult tasks; and having good transitions. These are very fitting given November's holidays.
A few reminders......Please send in a reusable water bottle with your child's name on it each day. Students can refill these at our filling station. With the cooler weather coming in, please remember to send in warmer clothing for recess (sweatshirts, coats, etc). Please label clothing so we can return it. Each year, our Lost and Found pile grows and we end up donating the items left.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!
Steph Brown & Rebecca Hurley
Wednesday, November 1, PJ Day!
Thursday, November 2, Papa Gino's Night 4-9PM *Enter Code 19 at payment screen for online orders or just mention this fundraiser for South School-we will earn 20% of orders
Sunday, November 5, Daylight Savings-"Fall" Back-turn those clocks back one hour
Monday, November 6th-Monday, November 20th, Patriots' Tickets Raffle-See PTO section for more specific details- Purchase at: https://somersetsouthelementarypto-181.mycheddarup.com/
Tuesday, November 7, NO SCHOOL for Students-Election Day
Friday, November 10, NO SCHOOL-Veteran's Day!
Thursday, November 16, School Committee Mtg @ 6:30PM, North Elementary School- Mini Auditorium
Tuesday, November 21, PTO Meeting @ 6PM @ South
Wednesday, November 22, Early Release at 11:30AM-NO LUNCHES SERVED
Thursday, November 23 & Friday, November 24, NO SCHOOL-Thanksgiving Break
Tuesday, November 28, Early Release Day @ 12:30PM
Wednesday, November 29, First Trimester Ends
From Mrs. H., School Adjustment Counselor
November is the start of the Holiday season. We often think of Thanksgiving, Veterans Day, Turkeys and pumpkins when we think of November, Beautiful Foliage, and cooler weather. This is traditionally the month we celebrate Thanksgiving and it is also National Native American Heritage Month.
This is a great topic to have conversations with your family about. There are also so many activities to do at this time of year that can create positive life long memories. Pumpkin picking and carving. Raking leaves and jumping in them, making pies etc. What comes to mind when you think of November? What traditions do you and your family celebrate? Do you want to start new traditions or is this a time of sadness due to shorter days and longer nights. We are all different and have unique traditions, routines, expectations and cultural celebrations. Fill out this form to share yours. click here
No matter what life has brought you so far, what can you be Grateful for this November?
Some good ideas to practice in November are a Gratitude Journal.
There are many ways to do this but here are some tips.
15 minutes per day, at least three times per week for at least two weeks.
How to Do It
There’s no wrong way to keep a gratitude journal, but here are some guidelines to help you get started.
Write down or type up to five things for which you feel grateful. You can use a notebook, your phone’s notes application, a word processor, or whatever works best for you. The physical record is important—don’t just do this exercise in your head. The things you list can be relatively small in importance (“The tasty sandwich I had for lunch today”) or relatively large (“My sister gave birth to a healthy baby boy”). The goal of the exercise is to remember a good event, experience, person, or thing in your life—then enjoy the good emotions that come with it.
As you write, here are some important tips:
Be as specific as possible. Being as clear as possible is key to fostering gratitude. “I’m grateful that my coworkers brought me soup when I was sick on Tuesday” will be more effective than “I’m grateful for my coworkers.”
Go for depth over breadth. Going into detail about a particular person or thing for which you’re grateful carries more benefits than a surface-level list of many things.
Get personal. Focusing on people to whom you are grateful has more of an impact than focusing on things for which you are grateful.
Try subtraction, not just addition. Consider what your life would be like without certain people or things, rather than just tallying up all the good stuff. Be grateful for the negative outcomes you avoided, escaped, prevented, or turned into something positive—try not to take that good fortune for granted.
See good things as “gifts.” Thinking of the good things in your life as gifts helps you avoid taking them for granted. Try to enjoy and savor the gifts you’ve received.
Savor surprises. Try to record events that were unexpected or surprising, as these tend to bring up stronger feelings of gratitude.
Aim for variety. Writing about some of the same people and things is OK, but focus on different details each time you write about them
Write regularly. Whether you write daily or every other day, commit to a regular time to journal. Do your best to honor that commitment
Click here for Ideas to help your child with a gratitude journal.
In your corner,
Cecilia Huard, LMHC
School Adjustment Counselor
From Our Amazing PTO!
Upcoming Events: Mark your Calendars!
Thursday, November 2nd: Papa Gino’s Night 4PM-9PM
869 GAR Highway, Somerset
Walk-in or phone orders: Mention this fundraiser when you place your order for South School to get the credit for your order.
Online Orders: Enter Code 19 at the payment screen and click redeem.
South School earns 20% of orders!
November 6th-November 20th Patriots’ Tickets Raffle
Kansas City Chiefs vs New England Patriots
Monday December 18th at 8:15PM
2 tickets: Section 308 Row 13: Seats 19 and 20
There are 250 available raffle spots to purchase a chance at winning the tickets.
Each spot costs $2.00
Raffle spots can be purchased on Cheddar Up beginning on November 6th using the following link: https://somersetsouthelementarypto-181.mycheddarup.com/
A winner will be picked on November 21st.
(Maybe Taylor will be there…)
Tuesday, November 21st: PTO Meeting
South School Cafeteria at 6:00PM
Review the upcoming school year and events!
All are welcome! Please join us!
Ma Raffa’s Night
Thank you to all the patrons who came out to support our school during Ma Raffa’s Night!
A special thank you to Ma Raffa’s generosity for hosting the fundraiser to support our school.
The event raised $1000.00 for South PTO! It was a great success and we appreciate all of your support!
Trunk or Treat
Well it didn’t rain! Thank you to all who came out in the heat to decorate their cars and distribute candy!
The event was filled with so many creative trunks, interactive games, and activities at the various cars.
There were so many clever and creative trunks decorated at this year’s events.
The winning car this year was Jurassic World and they were awarded a Target Gift Card.
Our 50/50 Raffle prize was awarded to Judah Chase who generously donated the $85 winnings to his classroom teacher, Mrs. Faria to use for her classroom.
Thank you to the volunteers and participants who helped to make this event happen! The PTO greatly appreciates all of the time and effort it takes to make this event happen.
Want to Volunteer?
The PTO is still looking for an event coordinator. This is a 2 year position that is shared with two other coordinators.
This position assists in setting up and decorating events, selling tickets at raffle tables, and cleaning up.
It’s a great way to be a part of the school community and get to know families.
Anyone interested in the position can email the PTO at email@example.com
Why Join the PTO?
The PTO is a volunteer organization made up of parents, teachers, administrators, and support staff.
The purpose of PTO is to enhance and support the educational and recreational experience at South School.
Meetings are a great way to meet other parents and work together on upcoming
Follow South Elementary PTO on Facebook for updates and information!
From Ms. Bertrand, School Nurse
Halloween Candy Hints
For health-conscious parents, Halloween can be tricky. Do you set limits? Do you let your child decide how much to eat? There isn't just one right answer. Instead, use your best judgment given what you know about your child's personality and eating habits.
If your child can stop eating candy before the point of feeling sick, you may want to let him or her decide how much to eat. If your child tends to overdo it, then it's probably a good idea to set limits.
Here are some more tips for handling the Halloween treats:
Know how much candy your child has collected and store it somewhere other than the child's room. Having it so handy can be an irresistible temptation for some children.
Consider being somewhat lenient about candy eating on Halloween, within reason, and talk with your child about how the rest of the candy will be handled. Candy and snacks shouldn't get in the way of your child eating healthy meals.
If a child is overweight - or you'd just like to reduce the Halloween stash - consider buying back some or all of the remaining Halloween candy. This acknowledges the candy belongs to the child and provides a treat in the form of a little money to spend.
Be a role model by eating Halloween candy in moderation yourself.
Encourage your child to be mindful of the amount of candy and snacks eaten - and to stop before feeling full or sick.
Remember that Halloween, like other holidays, is a single day on the calendar. If your family eats sensibly during the rest of the year, it will have a more lasting impact than a few days of overindulgence.
Information obtained from KidsHealth.org
November Lunch Menu: please click HERE.
**Click HERE for November Read Aloud Books for Elementary Students
Click HERE for a 100s Chart to help count to 100, add, subtract, and notice number patterns.
Click HERE for an Alphabet Linking Chart to help your child match sounds and letters when writing/reading.
Click HERE for Multiplication Charts to practice math facts or use for a reference.
Somerset Public Schools, SY' 23-24 Calendar: please click HERE
First graders were very busy in October! At our number corner ,we worked with triangles, trapezoids, rhombus, and hexagons using them to sort, count, and graph. We also used our calendar to create equations and story problems to go with them. Keeping track of the days we’ve been in school gave us an opportunity to discuss place value by counting tens and ones each day. As of today, we have been in school for four tens!
Our math lessons this month focused on composing and decomposing numbers within 5 and 10, and counting by 2’s, 5’s and 10’s. Students used various math tools such as cubes on a ten frame to represent numbers in different ways. We also used popsicle sticks and cubes to learn about measuring. They began using math work stations which give them opportunities for independent practice with the skills they are learning.
In our ELA lessons, we focused on short vowels and practiced those skills in small group reading workshops with teachers. Students worked on sequencing stories and then wrote their own stories with a beginning, middle and end.
Finally, we had a lot of fun with our Mystery Science lessons this month! The sunshine gave us plenty of opportunity to learn about, observe, and discuss the sun and shadows.
It seems like October just began, and here we are already in November! Our interactive read alouds have had us reading memory stories, books by Tomie dePaola, and books about bugs. In reading, we have been talking and thinking about books, especially understanding plot. We have examined how an author has characteristics that we can find to connect to other books about the same author. Our next mini-unit will be about characters’ feelings, motivations, and intentions. We are not only discussing this as a group, but we are also exploring this during our individual reading time and in our guided reading groups. In phonics, we talked about phonograms, contractions, and the long vowel silent e. Our next unit will begin to explore inflected endings. In writing, we determined the important story elements in a story: main character, setting, problem/adventure, solution/conclusion, and theme. We will become text detectives and turned questions into responses. In math, we wrapped up our Number Sense chapter, and will now be working on place value through 1,000. We will be talking about all the different ways we can show a number. These include the standard form, word names, expanded form, drawing quick pictures, and even showing our number on a number line. Our science mystery answered the question of why there is sand at the beach. Our next science mystery will help us understand where do flash floods happen, and we will look at the land features in Texas to understand why it is called Flash Flood Alley.
Dear Third Grade Families,
It is hard to believe that we are more than halfway through Trimester 1. First and foremost, I want to express how proud we are of all our students. They have been working diligently and demonstrating great enthusiasm in their learning journey. Your support at home is greatly appreciated and has undoubtedly contributed to their success.
In our morning routine, the students have been thoroughly enjoying our engaging Morning Meeting and Number Corner activities. These activities have been instrumental in developing their higher-level thinking skills in areas such as number sense, geometry, data, and the metric system.
In mathematics, we have recently completed our units on data and foundational multiplication skills. We are now focusing on mastering multiplication facts. To support your child's practice at home, I have compiled a list of websites where they can practice multiplication. Additionally, traditional flashcards are an effective low-tech option.
Math Playground (www.mathplayground.com): This website offers a wide variety of multiplication games and puzzles that will challenge and reinforce multiplication concepts.
Multiplication.com (www.multiplication.com): Here, third graders can find interactive games, quizzes, and printable worksheets to practice multiplication in an enjoyable way.
ABCya (www.abcya.com): ABCya provides a range of educational games, including multiplication activities. Students can choose from different levels of difficulty to suit their needs.
Coolmath Games (www.coolmathgames.com): This website offers a collection of multiplication games that are both educational and entertaining. Students can sharpen their skills while having fun.
Our reading lessons have centered around narrative texts, with a special focus on analyzing character actions and motivations to understand story sequencing. We have just concluded our read-aloud unit featuring the incredible author Patricia Poloco. If you would like to explore more of her captivating books with your child, please check out her official website http://patriciapolacco.com
In writing, we have been exploring the essential elements of narrative writing. Through the use of graphic organizers, the students have been applying these elements to their own writing. We are also working on improving our typing skills and becoming proficient in using Google Drive.
Currently, in social studies, we are delving into our unit on "The First People." The students have thoroughly enjoyed working collaboratively to learn about the lives of children in the 1600s. Their newfound knowledge has inspired them to create hands-on pieces of learning evidence, showcasing their understanding of this important historical period.
Our science unit on Earth Science is nearing completion, and we are now focusing on Extreme Weather. Throughout this unit, the students will explore the causes of extreme weather and learn how to stay safe and minimize damage during such events.
As we navigate through third grade, it is crucial to foster independence and perseverance in our students. To support your child's growth in these areas, here are a few suggestions for activities you can do at home:
1. Encourage your child to take responsibility for their daily tasks, such as organizing their backpack and completing homework.
2. Foster a growth mindset by celebrating effort and embracing challenges.
3. Set aside time for reading together and discussing the stories they are reading independently.
As we head into the holiday season, we wish you continued health, success, and time to make wonderful family memories.
The Third Grade Team
Our fourth graders are moving right along and getting into their routine now. It has been nice seeing them becoming more independent!
We are focusing on nonfiction in reading and writing. We are noticing text features in books and are thinking about how they help us as readers. In writing, we are learning how to “dump” all of our knowledge about a topic before writing. We are organizing all our thoughts into main ideas and thinking about how adding text features to our writing can help the reader understand our text. In phonics, we have talked about the closed syllable pattern, silent e-syllable pattern, and open syllable pattern. We are continuing our study of landforms in the United States in Social Studies and have discussed how Mexico and Canada are part of North America. In Fourth-grade math, the kids are working on multiplying in Base 10. In Number Corner, they are working on equivalent expressions and numbers to one million. In Science, they are continuing to learn about energy and how it is transferred between objects.
Our fifth graders are moving right along and getting into their routine now. It has been nice seeing them becoming more independent!
We are focusing on nonfiction in reading and writing. We are noticing text features in books and are thinking about how they help us as readers. In writing, we are learning how to “dump” all of our knowledge about a topic before writing. We are organizing all our thoughts into main ideas and thinking about how adding text features to our writing can help the reader understand our text. In phonics, we have talked about the closed syllable pattern, silent e-syllable pattern, and open syllable pattern. We are continuing our study of the colonies and are taking a closer look at labor and slavery in the colonies.
In Math, they are learning about division strategies and how to break apart larger numbers. In Numer Corner this month we are watching what happens to room-temperature carrots left out all month. We have been weighing them, watching their appearance, and creating a graph based on their weights. It surely has been an interesting investigation.
We have wrapped up our Watery Planet unit in Science. The kids did great with that unit! We are moving on to Earth and Space Science where the kids will be learning about the correlation between the Sun, Earth, and Moon.