Folsom Weekly Update

April 15, 2019

Please check newsletter daily for updates

Message from Dr. Mazzoni

Good Afternoon Team,

In preparation for Monday’s staff meeting, I ask that you read the essay titled, Kids Need Play and Recess. We will be using this article as our topic in the Spider Web Discussion part of the meeting. In addition, please review the Spider Web Discussion method in the Educational News section of this weekly newsletter. I believe it’s best we put the method to use prior to using the strategy with your students. The Spider Web Discussion is just one of the many best practices to engage students in the academic discussion. I also will provide you a number of resources at the meeting that can assist with questioning and discussion in the classroom.

Bring Your Child to Work Day

Folsom School will be participating in “Bring Your Child to Work Day” on Thursday, April 25th for staff. This is a great opportunity for your child/children to experience their mother or father in a professional setting. I look forward to meeting your children on this day!

Arbor Day

Mrs. LoSasso and I met with Folsom Councilman Greg Conway to finalize an Arbor Day project being sponsored by the Borough of Folsom Environmental Commission. Arbor Day is on Friday, April 26th. Winners of the Arbor Day Contest will be recognized at the Folsom Townhall the morning of Arbor Day. Arbor Day is a holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant trees. Though usually observed in the spring, the date varies, depending on climate and suitable planting season.

Mr. Conway and the committee are asking for the Folsom students to participate in the Arbor Day event. I will be sending specific details of each contest for students to follow. All students in the grades below are expected to participate in the event during the school day; no exceptions. Please have the posters, coloring sheets, and essays to the main office by the deadline date.

K and 1st Grade

Coloring Contest

Pictures will be displayed at Folsom Borough Hall

Deadline: Monday, April 15th

5th & 6th Grade

Poster Contest – Original Artwork

Theme is “Trees Have Mass Appeal”

Deadline: Tuesday, April 16th

7th & 8th Grade

Essay Contest

Theme is “What Good is a Tree”

Essay length is 300 words or less

Deadline: Monday, April 15th

Weekly Events

April 15

Kindergarten Round Up

Faculty Meeting 3:30 pm


Softball practice 4:00-5:30 pm

Concert Band 3:30-4:30

April 16

Kindergarten Round Up

Big/Little Brothers Field Trip to St. Augustine

HWHO Room Room 126

Folsom Singers 3:30-4:30 pm

April 17

Folsom Borough Egg Hunt 11:00 am (Grades K-2) Parents invited

Pre-K Egg Hunt 11:45 am

12:45 Dismissal-Spring Recess Begins


Summer programs meeting 1:00 pm conference room

April 18

School Closed-Spring Recess

April 19

School Closed-Spring Recess

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Educational News


As of April 12th the water system is on!

S.O.A.R Breakfast Nominees

S.O.A.R. Breakfast is scheduled for May 7th (grades K-4) and May 8th (grades 5-8).

Please submit to Jen McConaghy the 5 students per homeroom you wish to nominate by April 17, 2019. If you would like to review the list of students who have received this award in past years you can find the lists in the PBSIS folder.

The path to the folder is: Allstaff, PBSIS, SOAR award nominees. Then they are listed by the years.


Alexis Wiggins, wrote the book titled, The Best Class You Never Taught: How Spider Web Discussion Can Turn Students into Learning Leaders. Wiggins concludes that today’s jobs demand effective collaboration. Today’s most competitive jobs go to candidates who can both lead and listen, innovate and question, see the big picture as well as the small details.

Spider Web Discussion is a classroom method that trains students to work together collaboratively in solving problems and to self-assess that process. In Spider Web Discussion, the teacher is primarily silent in the process. So what is this Spider Web Discussion?!

Spider Web Discussion is an acronym that describes all the components of the method:

Synergetic – it’s team oriented, balanced, and group graded (the whole class get a single grade for each discussion).

Practiced – it’s ongoing, rehearsed, and debriefed. It’s not a one-time activity, but a process; much like writing.

Independent – the teacher interferes as little as possible; students run the discussion and self-assess.

Developed – the discussion get deep, builds on itself, goes “somewhere.”

Exploration – this is the main goal; more than discussion, it is a discussion-based exploration (i.e. – of a text, essential question, or a topic).

With a

Rubric – this is the cornerstone to the whole process: to have a clear, concise rubric against which students can easily self-assess.

The “Web” part of the name comes from the web-like graph that a student or teacher to document the discussion in real time and then used to debrief.

Below is an example of a Spider Web Discussion. For example, Lance was an active voice in the discussion while Marissa only shared twice in the discussion.

This is just a sample of using Spider Web Discussions into student learning. Please feel free to borrow the book from me and as always, keep exploring and learning especially in the area of rubrics to support this method.

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Happy Birthday To You!

13-Lisa Smith

15-Janet Weldon