Woods Road School Paw Pride

January - 2018, Volume 5, Issue 5

Special Points of Interest

  • January 1, 2018: New Year's Day
  • January 2, 2018:
    - School Resumes
    - 4th Grade Intramurals - 3:00-4:00 PM
  • January 3, 2018:
    - Character Ed Assembly - 2:00-3:00 PM
    - 4th Grade Intramurals - 2:00-3:00 PM
  • January 4, 2018:
    - 3rd Grade Spelling Bee - 8:40-9:40 AM (students only)
    - 4th Grade Spelling Bee - 1:00-2:00 PM (students only)
  • January 5, 2018: Family Movie Night - 7:00 PM
  • January 9, 2018:
    - 4th Grade Intramurals - 3:00-4:00 PM
    - WRSHA General Meeting - 7:00 PM
  • January 10, 2018: 4th Grade Intramurals 3:00-4:00 PM
  • January 12, 2018: Family Movie Night (Snow Day) 7:00 PM
  • January 15, 2018: No School - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • January 16, 2018: 4th Grade Intramurals 3:00-4:00 PM
  • January 17, 2018: 4th Grade Intramurals 3:00-4:00 PM
  • January 18, 2018: School Spelling Bee - 1:00-2:30 PM (Students Only)
  • January 22, 2018: No Pre-School
  • January 23, 2018: 4th Grade Intramurals 3:00-4:00 PM
  • January 24, 2018: 4th Grade Intramurals 3:00-4:00 PM
  • January 25, 2018: 2nd Grade Music Rehearsal-All School-1:30 p.m.
  • January 25, 2018: 2nd Grade Music Show 7:00-8:00 PM
  • January 30, 2018:
    - Marking Period 2 Ends
    - 2nd Grade Music Show (Snow Date) 7:00-8:00 PM
    - 4th Grade Intramurals 3:00-4:00 PM
  • January 31, 2018:
    - Marking Period 3 Begins
    - 4th Grade Intramurals 3:00-4:00 PM

Letter From Ms. Jodi L. Howe, Principal

Happy New Year!

The start of the New Year is a new beginning and an opportunity at the Woods Road to renew our commitment to educating together every student, every one, every day! January is a busy month with the preparations for an all-school character education assembly, on January 3, 2018. We continue to focus on the Pillars of Character and our Kindness Challenge. A very heartfelt thank you to everyone who donated to Toys for Tots and the Agape House. On January 4, 2018, our third and fourth-grade students have the opportunity to participate in the Scripps School Spelling Bee. We will then take the grade level winners who will advance and compete on January 18, 2018. We wish our students good luck! We will end the month with our second graders performing their music show on January 25, 2018.

Parenting Tips! Love your child for who they are: Every child is unique with different temperaments and different interests. Every day they are learning and growing – and the new year is a perfect time to take a new look at what makes your child special. You can support them as they struggle to master more difficult skills and celebrate their unique successes with them. Be a part of playtime: Play is how young children learn about the world and practice new cognitive, emotional, and social skills. A parent can learn a lot about their child’s developing skills and interests by participating in their play. Your questions, ideas, and attention support your child’s curiosity and creativity. Play interactions with you can also help them to develop skills to use when they are playing alone or with peers.

Talk about feelings: Understanding and managing feelings is one of the hardest skills children under five have to tackle. So respect what they are feeling by recognizing their emotions, listening to their thoughts and helping them to work through their emotions. Be an example: Though your voice, your expressions, your gestures and your actions, your child learns from you how to interact with other people and with the world. You are in a wonderful position to set a positive example for everything from solving problems to showing compassion to buckling seatbelts. Create routines and stick to them: Children respond to the expected. If you create a bedtime routine that has three steps and you do the same things every night, your child finds comfort in knowing what comes next and will respond in positive ways as a result of sticking to the plan. Make mealtime special: Whenever possible, make mealtime a time to be together and enjoy a healthy meal. This not only develops a good pattern for eating, but it creates an opportunity to connect as a family. Make books a part of your child’s life: Make reading fun. Cuddle up. Let your child choose the books. By reading to your children, you are helping them to increase their vocabulary, inspiring their imagination, and setting the groundwork for a love of reading. Taken from: The Parenting Magazine.com.

I hope to see you at our events this month! Don't forget WRSHA's Movie Night this Friday, January 5, 2018!

Stay warm!

Mrs. Guastella's Counselor Connection

Happy January, everyone! First, I'd like to sincerely thank each and every member of our Woods Road families who were able to contribute to our Giving Tree over the holidays. I hope that everyone was able to have a joyful holiday and a happy New Year! The New Year is always a time where we are able to reflect on the year we’ve had and look forward to what’s ahead. We are able to look back at our successes that were accomplished, areas we’d like to improve on, and new resolutions to push us forward through the year. Creating a “Year in Review” along with New Year’s Resolutions is not only an activity for adults but also a wonderful activity that can be completed with your children!

Having your children reflect on what they feel were highlights of their year and what they’d like to improve on is a great bonding activity to do together. You can even attempt to fill out a form, keep it safe until next New Year’s Eve, and then reflect together on what has changed within the year and how the goals and resolutions turned out. One resolution that can always easily be encouraged is to practice empathy. Currently, your children and I are discussing empathy and recognizing feelings in others in the classroom. We are working together to look for clues to figuring out how someone is feeling and understand that we all feel differently in situations. We continue to work on remembering that there is no “wrong” way to feel and that having empathy helps us expand our emotional intelligence. Throughout this school year, we will broaden our skills on empathy and move into using these skills to help with problem-solving with our peers.

Please click here to access one example of a “Year in Review” that could be a great activity to complete with your children. I hope that everyone has a wonderful start to the New Year. This is a very special time of year, full of exciting new possibilities and adventures. I sincerely hope everyone is able to fulfill all that they endeavor.

Nurse's Corner

by Nancy Carroll

From the nurse….

As a reminder, flu vaccine records were due by December 31, 2017, for all pre-school students as per NJ law. All student immunization records need to be updated with the school nurse to prevent exclusion from attending school (unless there are documented medical issues, provisional allowances, or religious exemption).

If you do have cold or flu symptoms, and are unsure if it is a cold or flu, below is a quick reference.

Bundling up during the winter months.

Please send your child to school with the appropriate layers of clothing during the winter months. A coat, hat, and gloves are a must. Shorts are not acceptable. It may get warm in the classrooms with the heat turned on, and if your child overheats easily, please layer clothing to accommodate classroom temperatures.

GIVE KIDS A SMILE DAY The New Jersey Dental Association will be sponsoring the annual Give Kids a Smile Day on Friday, February 2, 2018. Children age 12 and under from families with financial need who DO NOT have dental insurance will have access to free dental services at participating locations around the state on that day. Appointments are necessary. If you would like more information please, call them at 888-576-9278, or log on to www.njda.org

Looking forward to a Happy Healthy New Year!

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Shelf Talk

by Dina Stoff

This month in the Library, Pre-School students are hearing stories and playing games about the topics of Winter and Bears. Ask your child about the mitten activity we did, it got lots of giggles. Students in Kindergarten will be hearing stories all about Winter and snow.

TP and First Grade students are learning all about the differences between Fiction and Non-Fiction text and hearing stories about the same topic in both genres.

Students in Second Grade will be learning about elements of Fairy Tales and hearing versions of familiar Fairy Tales from around the world. We have learned that the basics of the story are the same, but there are many other differences.

Third Grade students will be starting to learn about the research process and will be researching a state using books and online resources. They will learn about plagiarism, and how to give credit to sources.

The Fourth Grade students will be continuing work on their National Park research project and virtually visiting a few more parks with the Expeditions Tablets, as well as having a Skype session with a Ranger from Grand Canyon National Park. Students will also be visiting the Makerspace throughout the month to work on various STEAM projects and challenges.

Students will also be painting rocks for the WRS Rocks project this month during library.

Follow the library on Instagram @wrslibrary

Third Grade

by Samantha Finnegan, Peter McLaughlin, Heather Zieziula, Jennifer Peterson

The third-graders have been working hard to tackle new skills in reading and writing. Hillsborough has adapted the literacy curriculum, using Making Meaning by Collaborative Classroom and Reading and Writing units by Lucy Calkins. In reading, the students have been studying realistic fiction. In third-grade, we see the shift from learning to read, to reading to learn. The students are using strategies to read multisyllabic words, studying plot structure, analyzing characters and using evidence to support their thinking. In writing, the students have learned to write with more volume and organize their stories into paragraphs. They continue to mature as writers by elaborating on their stories and using craft elements such as figurative language.

The third graders at Woods Road School are becoming technology experts! Their skill set has grown as they continue to use their Chromebooks naturally in each subject. The students have worked with our computer specialist, Mrs. Rothblatt, on Typing Club. This helps the students to increase their typing fluency. The students have used Google Classroom to access different assignments during WIN time; Google Docs and Book Creator to publish writing pieces, and Kahoot and Quizizz to test their knowledge of social students vocabulary. We will continue to explore more programs in the new year.

During Social Studies, the third-graders have been traveling outside the classroom with virtual field trips! The students traveled back in time to see how pilgrims traveled to New England on the Mayflower, how they adapted to their new environment, and how their journey and experiences became the Thanksgiving holiday we celebrate today. Students also were able to experience the Wright Brother’s First Flight via an interactive Geoshow! They were able to learn about the development of the first practical airplane and participated in a multi-class discussion about the Wright Brothers and their first flight.

Also during Social Studies, we have been studying map skills and exploring the different regions of the United States. While exploring the different regions and landforms that affect our everyday lives, the students discussed how they “adapt” to these areas. By using Hillsborough as a main example, the students were able to relate how they adapt to the climate and weather in the region without even realizing it! Students also described other situations and “diagnosed” different ways we can adapt to different situations, for example, building up houses at the Jersey Shore after Hurricane Sandy.

In Science, the third-grade students are excited to get started with our Forces and Interactions unit! We have already started the unit by introducing our “Super Scientist” project. Each student will be given a chance to demonstrate their own science experiment to the class. They will work with their parents at home to choose, create, and practice doing their experiment for their classmates. Each experiment will match the Science unit we are learning about in class. The students are enjoying being the “teacher” during these experiments!

The third-graders were excited to perform the first music show of the 2017-2018 school year. They enjoyed singing songs about the different winter holidays and diligently practiced to prepare for the show. We are so proud of their spectacular performance!


A great math resource for parents is your students Everyday Math online account. Each student has an Everyday Math online login that gives you access to many resources. You can see the family letter for each unit and preview what your child will be learning. Also, if your child forgot their homelink, you can print it at home. There is even a reference book for you to peruse and check out the different algorithms we use in math or to help your child with their homework. Games and activities are also available to keep math fun. There are even suggestions for math-related literature for children to read. Check it out with your child!


Math practice can be done just about anywhere with your child. Whether you are in the car or at a restaurant, you can practice basic facts, ask comparison questions or make-up word problems. Repetition is the best way to memorize basic facts and give your child a strong foundation in math. One way to do this is to play games with your child. It is an easy way to practice facts and have fun at the same time. Try playing Top-it with a deck of cards (just like the old card game War). You can just compare numbers, add two cards or three together or multiply two cards to find the winner of each round.

There are also many math websites students can use to practice their facts. Try some of them out with your child.





Jan Genes

Teacher of Math



By Michele Diaz-LaManna, PT and Meghan Salotti, OT


  • Pillow case races
  • Indoor ice skating —turn your paper plates or empty shoe boxes into ice skates; turn on some classical music and skate away
  • Obstacle course — using furniture, blankets pool noodles, oversized pillows for some crawling, hopping and throwing fun!
  • Outdoor activities — making snow men, snow ball fights, sleigh riding


  • Shaving cream on baking sheets — writing words, shapes, drawing pictures of the family. If your child doesn't like getting their hands messy, use an ice cream popsicle stick or a paint brush
  • Plant an indoor garden
  • Beading activity using pasta shapes/popcorn
  • Use stick pretzels and small marshmallows to create something from your imagination
  • Make a family mural using an old sheet; use paints/dot markers; using hands/feet to make designs


  • Sleigh rides
  • Hide little plastic dinosaurs or toys in water and freeze. Your child could chip away the ice (with a spoon) to find them.
  • Create a rice/bean bin- hide pine cones, stones or any small toys and let your child search for them
  • Homemade Play Dough