Fiske Monthly News

November 2017


Welcome to the home of the Fiske monthly news! We feature great news and updates by grade level and specialist teachers to help keep you informed about what our students are learning. Enjoy your reading!
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News from The Principal, Thomas Martellone

Parent Teacher Conferences

Thank you to parents and families that have attended conferences with us in the months of October and November. Teachers are always appreciative to have the time with parents to share our students' work and school experience. We strongly believe in the home school partnership, and look forward to our opportunities to partner with you in the school experience. If you have not had a conference with your child's teacher, please be sure to reach out to the teacher and schedule a time to meet.

Make It Move It

On November 16th, we will hold our second session of "Make It, Move It", which is a 30 minute time where students get to participate in activities such as a walking club, math games, yoga, dance, art/music, playground games, and cardboard makerspace. We've engaged students in these activities as a means to address their social and emotional needs through positive engagement. These activities present different opportunities to learn that may be viewed as fun and enjoyable. Additionally, we know that students may like some activities more than others, and we are taking those opportunities to talk to students about trying new things, navigating new experiences, and being flexible. Thank you to families that have sent in cardboard for our maker space. Children really enjoyed that particular activity!

Student Laptop Initiative

Over the past several years, we've been fortunate to allocate larger quantities of computers in grades four and five, and this year, we're able to expand that to grade three. During the course of the school day, children in grades 3, 4 and 5 all have the opportunity to access their own device in the classroom. They may use the devices intermittently throughout the day to support their learning. Teachers have worked with our building instructional technology specialist as to how to best integrate these tools into teaching and learning.

Students in grades 3, 4 and 5 across Lexington have their own Google Drive account (no E-mail) which they are able to create work in and create. My underlying belief is that the best 1:1 initiative is always between a teacher and a student, and that technology or any other instrument is a tool to support that relationship. We look forward to having these tools support our teaching and learning, and should you have questions, please do not hesitate to talk to the classroom teacher or reach out to me.

News from the Assistant Principal, Brian Baker

Hello Fiske Families,

The month of November is a time to reflect on what we are thankful for. I would like to take a moment to give my thanks. I am grateful to be the Assistant Principal of Fiske Elementary School and to have an opportunity to work alongside some of the very best students, families, and educators!

First of all, I am thankful for the Fiske students. They come to school every day showing respect, responsibility and they all work diligently to give their best effort in becoming more skilled and knowledgeable citizens. The Fiske Students are open to new ideas, new concepts, and new experiences, and we learn from each of these every day. After all, mistakes are where the new learning goes! The Fiske students come from many different backgrounds and they learn, work and grow together. As you can imagine, that process is not always easy, but they work through the difficult moments, and they celebrate their successes together. I am proud of the accomplishments the Fiske students have made thus far this school year!

The parents at Fiske School are very engaged and enthusiastic and I am also thankful for all of your time and commitment. Fiske would not be what it is without your support and the special partnerships we and our teachers have built with you to ensure our students’ success. Thank you!

What we do at Fiske could never be achieved without the dedication of the staff behind the scenes and in front of the students. From our maintenance staff, to our office and cafeteria staff, the persistence and initiative they demonstrate is remarkable, and I appreciate their dedication and professionalism.

During this month of thanks I want to extend a very special thank you to our teachers. The teaching staff at Fiske work tirelessly. They constantly challenge their students and themselves to reach higher, and accomplish more. Every day that I come to work I am renewed by their energy, their enthusiasm, and their willingness to try new things while remaining grounded in foundational teaching practices. Our teachers are continually adjusting their instruction to help each child reach his or her potential.

To all our students, families and staff, I wish for you a wonderful Thanksgiving!

With much appreciation,

Mr. Baker

Kindergarten News, from Mrs. Button, Mrs. Maestri and Mrs. Crogan

Kindergarten students began writing on the very first day of school. We are now reaching the end of our Launching the Writer’s Workshop unit. We have written about topics we know a lot about, informational writing, and we have written about things that have happened to us, personal narrative writing. On the Kindergarten level, these first writing pieces are pictures with labels and words with approximated spelling.

The children have developed a writing routine that involves using writing tools, such as writing folders, letter charts, date stamps, flair pens and the word wall. The routines build independence and self-motivation. Our Writer’s Workshop begins with a lesson, children engage with the topic, and then they go off to their own writing tables to try out the techniques that are taught. During the Writer’s Workshop, teachers conference with students about their writing or offer smaller group lessons on building individual writing skills. The end of the Writing Workshop allows children to share what they have worked on and/or teachers to reinforce the day’s lesson.

Kindergarteners have been adding details to their writing, drawing speech bubbles to show dialogue, telling stories with a beginning, a middle and an end, and making sure they have told who was in the story, what happened and how the characters are feeling. The use of classroom charts allow children to self-monitor their learning and act as a rubric to which students can compare their work and determine if they need to add or remove anything from their writing.

Grade One News, from Mrs. Shew, Mrs. Torpey, and Mrs. Wallace

Language Arts Happenings:

Congratulations to our first graders who have been actively engaged during the month of October in our daily writing lessons! All of that hard work paid off as each writer published and celebrated the publishing of a Small Moment story. We are so proud of our first grade writers for telling “all they know” about an event and making characters move by making them think, feel and talk. Writing continues as we begin the next unit on Opinion Writing.

During reading, the children have been learning about and practicing the good habits of readers, like taking a sneak peak, making predictions, asking questions, doing something at the end, reading more and more, scooping words and reading smoothly. At the same time, readers use lots of different strategies to read words they don’t know, like stretching out the sounds, using chunks, using pictures, rereading and always thinking about what they are reading. Practicing these good habits during read alouds and independent reading and buddy reading (with Just Right Books) has been the main focus during reading so far.

Marvelous Math:

The first graders have been learning games to help practice many skills including more than/less than, how many more/less, combinations to ten, and recognizing groups. We have also been looking at clocks and learning about the hour hand, minute hand and beginning to tell time by the hour. We are working on addition and subtraction within 20 to solve word problems. A large part of our lessons are involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing.

Super Science and “BIG” Backyard at Fiske News:

The first graders learned so much about the animals, insects and plants living around Fiske School and how they are getting ready for the colder days ahead. Thank you to the parents who guided our fall walks.

The students are wrapping up their “Light and Color “ Science Unit and will have a hands-on field trip to the Acton Discovery Museum and an in-house “field trip” with Acton Discovery Museum instructors this Spring.

Social Studies and Building Community:

We have had a great start in September and October and we want to thank you for all your support. These first months have been dedicated to building a respectful classroom community. All first graders have been working on first time listening, independence, learning routines, being kind to one another and following expectations.

Grade Two News from Mrs. Carter, Mrs. Dinsmore, Mrs. Gobiel, and Mrs. Johnson

Math is all around us if we just take time to notice. We encourage our students and families to look around and point out the fabulous places math occurs in our daily lives. From the family calendar, to a recipe for grandma’s famous cookies, to keeping track of time for your “always late” family member, making numbers a discussion point will allow unlimited review for students.

Addition and subtraction facts and strategies will continue to be the focus in math. We will also begin a unit on Place Value, Money, and Time. Throughout this unit, students will use place value to help them add and subtract numbers and solve one and two-step problems within 100. This will include solving word problems about dollars and coins. One method for adding and subtracting that we will encourage in this unit is that of using a number line to solve equations. A few ways in which families can support their second grade mathematicians at home are to provide frequent and varied opportunities to work with coins and time. Have an analog clock on display in your home and ask your student to keep track of time for the family using the analog clock. Provide or discuss real experiences using money and receiving change for an amount paid.

We are excited to begin our nonfiction unit in reading. Students will grow as nonfiction readers by learning strategies to approach “just right” nonfiction texts. We will practice reading closely for details, thinking about each part of the text, asking questions about a text, and talking about our thinking. We will also learn about the many features of nonfiction texts including headings, diagrams, captions, and glossaries, and how these features help readers process information. At home, encourage your child to read the “nonfiction texts” that are all around us such as labels on cereal boxes, calendars, and maps.

Second grade has been very busy writing! We recently published our personal narratives and shared them with the class. Each student worked diligently to revise and edit his or her writing. Now, we are excited to begin a unit on Informational writing. Students will write as experts as they create “All About” books and practice developing an informational piece of writing.

Digging our way through soil is how we have been learning about living

and non-living materials. We will continue our investigation of this science unit through this month before transitioning to learning about Ghana.

Grade Three News from Mrs. Aufiero, Mr. Halfond, Mrs. Owen and Ms. Williams

We are nearing the end of our unit on Adding and Subtracting Whole Numbers. Your children are learning to:

• Solve multi-step word problems. Use operations (+, -) to solve the problem accurately and efficiently.

• Write number models to show how they solved the problem.

• Check if their answer makes sense. Round numbers to the nearest 10 or 100.

• Accurately solve addition and subtraction problems within 1000.

Soon the students will be introduced to Multiplication Concepts

Readers’ Workshop

During our reading block, the children have independent reading time. The books the children read independently in class should be "just right." This means that they are not too easy, but comfortable enough to rehearse the reading skills and comprehension strategies we learn throughout the year. We have had whole class lessons and discussions on choosing "just right books". Students have been learning that readers check their understanding by 1) giving themselves comprehension checks, 2) making predictions, and 3) retelling by telling the BIG parts of a story. They are also thinking about themselves as readers and setting goals for themselves. Please encourage your child to continue reading every day at home, and don’t hesitate to read with them, and discuss the text together!

Writers’ Workshop

The children have all chosen their “seed ideas” for their Personal Narratives. Prior to their topic selection, they created maps, diagrams, and lists to help them think about topics “close to their heart.” We have been doing various writing activities to help develop their writing fluency. Storytelling is also very important, as it allows the author to rehearse the story and define what he/she wants to say. Students have been working to use a “storyteller’s voice” in their writing, as opposed to a “news reporter’s voice” simply stating facts. This is a skill we will continue to develop as the year progresses.

Social Studies

We kicked off our first social studies unit with a visit from the Map Lady, Mrs. Pietrantoni! She introduced our students to cartography with a specific focus on the geography of Massachusetts. Every child created a beautiful map of MA while learning about important mapping skills such as using and creating a map key, a compass rose, and a scale. We hope your child has shared some of what he/she has learned about the geography of Massachusetts! Mrs. Pietrantoni will return in March to focus on the geography of Lexington as we begin to learn about Lexington in 1775.

We are beginning to learn about the Wampanoags, the Pilgrims, and the relationship between those two groups. We are looking forward to our field trip to Drumlin Farm on November 7th!

Grade Four News from Ms. Hoffman, Mrs. Jaffe, Ms. Michael, and Mr. Wilde

Our fabulous Fiske fourth graders have been busy learning! In math we have been working on the concepts of multiplication and division, as well as number sentences/models, open sentences with variables, and patterns. A major goal for fourth graders is to develop the automaticity of basic multiplication facts 0 to 12 by the end of the year. Any additional support our fourth grade families could provide at home would be extremely beneficial and very much appreciated.

During Reader’s Workshop students continue to make predictions, connections, and inferences while they are reading. The students know that during Reader’s Workshop they are either reading or writing about their reading in their Reader’s Notebooks. It’s been exciting to see the students growing theories and ideas during our interactive read aloud of Tiger Rising.

Fourth grade is an important year for writing, and the students have recently begun our unit on realistic fiction during Writer’s Workshop. Students will be focusing on author’s craft moves such as developing strong and effective leads through small actions, dialogue, and setting, as well as endings that reflect the heart of the story. In addition to this, students will be developing internal and external features for their characters, realistic settings, and relatable problems and solutions in real-life situations.

Our fourth graders recently became U.S. Senators on a field trip to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. In conjunction with our study of immigration, our young political scientists discussed and debated how to pass a “bill” on Pathways to Citizenship. It was exciting to see our fourth graders sitting in an exact replica of the Senate discussing and debating issues around immigration. We will continue to discuss immigration in both the past, present, and future, and the reasons why people immigrated and continue to come to America in pursuit of happiness and opportunity!

We also had another terrific field trip recently, as the fourth grade visited Whipple Hill in conjunction with our geology science unit. With support and guidance from outstanding parent volunteers, our young geologists shined during this Big Backyard hike. Whipple Hill is the highest point in Lexington, and we were able to view firsthand evidence of weathering, erosion, deposition, and many other science concepts that the students are learning about in the classroom. Why not take a weekend hike at this hidden gem located right here in Lexington? Your fourth grader will be more than happy to show you around!

Stay tuned for future updates on our fabulous fourth graders!

Grade Five News from Mrs. Belletti, Mrs. Gavrin, Mrs. McMahon and Ms. Springfield

We are learning how to multiply decimals during math. First, you need to estimate. Then you take away the decimal and multiply. When you are done multiplying, then you put the decimal in a place so that the number is close to the estimate you made. Here’s an example:

We also learned about place value. (Arul and Caitlin, Ms. Gavrin’s class)

Right now in writing, the 5th graders are working on their second narrative stories. They are learning how to make their stories come to life. This will keep the stories interesting. We are also learning how to bring out “what the story is really about.” That means to focus on the big idea in the story. The class just received their laptops, so they will be working on typing their final drafts. (Eleanor, Ms. Gavrin’s class)

In reading we are learning how to compare characters in our books. We also learned about story arcs and how in most books there is a problem, a climax, and then a resolution of the problem. Our teachers are reading Home of the Brave to us. It is about Kek and how he moves to America from Africa after his dad and his brother died in a war. His mom is missing! He lives with his aunt and cousin in Minnesota. (Sophia, Ms. Gavrin’s class)

In library, the fifth grade was just notified about MCBA (Massachusetts Children’s Book Awards). If you read at least five books on the MCBA list by March, you can for next year’s MCBA books! But that’s not all: if you read 20 of the books before the end of the year, you can have lunch with Mrs. Kishpaugh! Happy reading! (Graham, Ms. Gavrin’s class)

Have you ever been to Thompson Island? The fifth grade had lots of fun! We ate great food in the dining hall. We had great counselors. There was an opening circle. We slept in a dorm building at night. We had an awesome bonfire and in the morning we played some fun games (“Bobby, Bobby,” “Fishy, Fishy,” “The Portal,” “Whale Watch,” “Monkey Bridge”). We visited a salt marsh, the beach, and the woods. We played in the gym, the field, and our dorms. (Ray, Ms. Gavrin’s class)

Specialist News

Counseling News from Mrs. Pirone

Helping Elementary Schoolers Deal with Social Conflict


As children move out of preschool and into elementary school, parents should focus on helping their child handle social conflicts rather than attempting to solve the problem. While experts encourage parents not to fight their daughters’ battles and get over-involved, they do provide ideas for helping girls to help themselves.

Expect girls to respect everyone, but don’t expect them to like everyone.

You can certainly insist that your daughter behave in civil, non-hurtful ways — but you should also respect the fact that she doesn’t have to like or be best friends with everyone. “Talk with your daughter about what respect looks like,” says Rachel Simmons. “For example, if someone sits down at her lunch table who isn’t her friend, what is your daughter’s obligation? To say hello? To answer if asked a question? Talking about this with your daughter will help her make the right choices in social situations.”

Behave the way you want your daughter to behave.

You are your daughter’s primary role model. Let her see you model positive social behavior, such as talking to lots of different parents at school gatherings and refraining from gossiping. Help her learn to be kind; for instance, don’t let your daughter distribute presents or party invitations at school unless she has one for everyone.

Don’t get over-invested in her social life.

Experts say that sometimes elementary-school girls’ social pain is exacerbated by parents. “This is a tough time for many parents because possibly for the first time, they witness their girls experiencing real social pain. And sometimes they see them inflicting pain on others,” adds Catherine Steiner-Adair. “Parents need to separate their own emotions from their daughters’ social lives.”

Don’t interview for pain.

“When girls get rejected, parents feel it too,” says Michael Thompson. “But I encourage parents not to keep asking their daughter’s questions about who did what to whom. This doesn’t help and it actually stirs up their feelings — and yours. A better focus is helping your girls learn to take care of themselves. We absolutely want to comfort and console, but we don’t want to dig for it out of our own anxiety or desire to fix things.”

Help your daughter learn how to speak directly.

“You can’t fight her battles and can’t choose her friends,” says Steiner-Adair. “But you can help her develop the tools to say things like, ‘It hurts my feelings when you don’t talk to me at school,’ or ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings that way.'”

Realize that your goals for your daughter may not be her goals.

It’s important to acknowledge, understand and respect your daughter’s goals, even if you are trying to convince her otherwise,” says Lawrence Cohen. “You may think the friend she is pining for is not good for her. But your daughter’s agenda may be to figure out a way to make this girl become her best friend.” Adds Simmons, “Empowering your girl to set her own goals helps her to take responsibility for her own behavior, and to practice setting and achieving realistic goals for herself.”

Talk about friendship in an open way.

“Discuss with your daughter the interactions you witness among her group of friends,” recommends Meg White. “You might ask your daughter what she thinks about certain players in the group. What does she like or dislike about them? By listening to her you will teach her to listen to herself.” Says Simmons, “Parents have every right to say what they think about their daughters’ social situations — just be careful how you say it. It’s one thing to say, ‘That girl is spoiled and selfish’ — which could make your daughter leap to her friend’s defense — and quite another to say, ‘I am really disappointed with the way Marie handed out invitations in front of everyone but didn’t include Annie,’ which criticizes the action without condemning the friend.”

Help her solve the problem independently.

If your elementary-schoolgirl comes home in tears, or has a conflict at a play date, you can help her with some strategies for resolving issues on her own. “I am more of a believer in getting elementary-school girls to do their own thinking and helping them brainstorm solutions, even if they are different from the parent solutions,” says Lawrence Cohen. “Guiding her to solve it independently (with a little help from you) will help her far more than you rushing to call the other girls’ parents.” Here are some questions that might help her solve the problem:

“What did you try?”

“How did it work?”

“What else can you try?”

“These questions help parents get out of the trap of telling kids what to do,” says Cohen. Even if the answer to the first question is ‘nothing,’ your second question then becomes, ‘How did nothing work?”

Here’s how one parent tried this with his nine-year-old:

“When my daughter Lucy went into fourth grade, her best friend Annie dropped her for another girl, her old best friend Sally. Lucy was devastated. We talked to Lucy’s teacher and we talked to Annie’s mother, but we decided not to intervene, partly because Lucy asked us not to. Instead, we listened and we sympathized. Lucy would come home with stories about how mean Annie and Sally were. We asked Lucy how this made her feel and what she would like to do about it, and encouraged her to play with other kids. Lucy would describe how disappointed she was, but she was closed to any suggestion to talk to Annie, because she said she was too shy. We brainstormed with Lucy ways of talking to Annie. We didn’t tell her what to say; instead, we asked her what she would say, if she had the nerve.

“A few weeks later, Lucy came home, proud. ‘I talked to Annie at recess. I told her I felt left out when she was with Sally, that it made me sad. Annie said that she was friends with Sally and friends with me, but that Sally and I weren’t friends and I should get to know Sally better.’ Lucy was optimistic. We told her how proud we were of her for expressing her feelings. That’s the real victory here. It’s likely she will still experience some heartbreak with these two girls. But the important thing is that our shy daughter took a stand in a positive way, and explained her feelings directly and successfully, without us doing it for her.”

Art News from Mrs. O'Leary and Ms. Walker

The creative juices have certainly been flowing during Art since the start of school! We have so many exciting projects slated for this coming year! All students have worked on a selfie box collage, a self-portrait and things they are inspired by. This community project together shows the students’ individual talents in a unique way. Please check out all the amazing work by our talented students throughout the school.

GRADE K - Students are starting to settle into our route. Children, this year will learn about the Elements and Principles of Design and how to use them to create art. We have been working on pieces dealing with shape and texture, using a variety of different materials. A few weeks ago, the K students made piles of leaves using leaf rubbing and leave stamping. Some are on display outside of the Gym. They are so eager to grasp these concepts and are a joy to teach. Volunteers are always welcome!

GRADE 1 - Children have just completed their unit on texture. During October, we observed the work of Vincent Van Gogh and noticed the texture he used in his paint. We created our own sunflower painting, which involved color mixing. We celebrated Johnny Appleseed’s Birthday, by creating picked apples in basket scenes. Eric Carle's, “Very Busy Spider” will inspire us to create spiders and their webs.

GRADE 2 – Ask a 2 nd grade student, “What does asymmetrical mean?” They will first tell you what symmetrical means and that the “A” in front makes this word mean the opposite. Symmetrical is when you cut something in half down the middle and both halves are equally the same. Some examples are the human body, animals and butterflies. Our students have been using shape, line, pattern, texture and color, in their asymmetrical self-portrait, inspired by Pablo Picasso.

Picasso came along and started painting people and things that didn’t look like they were supposed to. He shocked people when he would put eyes, the nose etc. in the wrong places. His work became very important in the art world. Faces, pumpkins or other opposite symmetrical work will be done this week. Woven pumpkins will be worked on next week, again dealing with a symmetrical shape and opposites. We will soon create butterflies with organic shapes on the wings. We will also be starting our unit on African Art. The objectives for this unit are to familiarize students with Ghana symbolism and animals of Africa.

GRADE 3 - We have been learning about, architecture and the details involved in constructing a “Victorian” house. Although you may notice some spooky surprises, we are sure you will be able to appreciate the characteristic qualities of this particular period through these detailed drawings. Students will look at the work of Picasso, and created their versions of “The Three Musicians”. We will use geometric shaped pattern blocks and shape templates to create these cubistic compositions. We are also working on a music note project with Mr. Hart.

GRADE 4 – We are now finishing up a trinket box with a sculpted sugar skull inspired be “The Day of the Dead”, a Mexican Celebration. We will soon to look at ancient civilizations, basically the Mayan, Aztec and Incas. We will be designing masks, using plaster sheets, paint and found objects. Also in November, we will design fine china and display our favorite foods, using our knowledge of complimentary colors and shading. Students will illustrate art tools again with shadows and the use of complementary colors of the color wheel to color them. This work can be used as the cover for their in-class sketchbook covers.

GRADE 5 – We just created an interesting abstract composition, looking at the work of Frank Stella. We mixed black and white to create at least three different grays. After our gargoyles have been sculpted, fired and painted students will talk about the values and shades of color. We will also be looking at the work of Pablo Picasso. We will observe his “Blue and Rose” Period. We will discuss how certain colors make us feel or how they remind us of certain events and things. We will first do a color study of the color of interest then paint its scale from light to dark. Using a digital black and white photo, these students will mix the shades of their color to create a self-portrait. We will also be discussing what objects give off energy and what energy might look like. They will use their knowledge of color mixing and drawing to create these paintings.

OTHER INFO – We are collecting plastic caps for our “Make it and Move it” days. We are off to a great start collecting thousands of plastic caps. Please continue to be good recyclers! We also use other recycled materials like: clear egg cartons, 16oz. yogurt containers, plastic coffee containers, foil-type containers with peel off labels, yarn, ribbon, discontinued wallpaper books, empty spray bottles, magazines, paper and plastic bags and paper towel tubes. We do not need small yogurt containers, cardboard boxes, like cereal boxes.

Just a friendly reminder, 4 th and 5 th grade students have an in-class sketchbook this year. Please review your child’s work, if they choose to bring it home to work on. In most cases, they should actually be observing what it is they are drawing.

Thank You, Creatively - Mrs. O’Leary and Ms. Sarah Walker

Also feel free to email: or

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ELL News from Mrs. Hine and Mrs. Murphy

In our kindergarten classes we are using our SMARTT board technology to practice with letter naming, letter sounds, and learning new academic vocabulary. We are writing about our families and using academic vocabulary. Our newcomers are focusing on academic vocabulary such as colors, numbers, and school tools.The first grade ELs just finished their books about their families and we are working on using academic conversations to help build ideas. In addition, we are working on our number sense and using comparative language. Second grade ELs are learning how to use science words in sentences and apply their knowledge that they are learning in their 2nd grade classrooms in their soil unit.

Ms. Hine’s second grade group is focusing right now on author’s craft moves as well as

writing using description as well as the five senses. The third graders are working hard on establishing routines for having academic conversations to growth their learning, and writing routines. Soon we will launch a unit on Water and States of Matter to support what your children will be learning in their third grade classrooms. In Ms. Hine’s fourth grade class we are reading memoirs about people who have immigrated to the United States and making connections to them and the work they are doing in Social Studies. In our fifth grade class we are focusing on paraphrasing and elaboration using academic conversations, and then using these techniques in our written work.

Carolyn Hine:

Catherine Murphy:

PE News from Mr. Spiller and Ms. Murphy

PE classes have just completed their football/frisbee skills unit. Proper throwing and catching techniques were taught and then implemented during lead-up games that reinforce the skills practiced. Our over-hand throwing unit will be starting in November. As always, please help your child remember proper PE attire on days they have gym!

Music News from Mr. Hart and Mrs. London

News from the Music Room

Performance dates are set for the 2017/2018 school year:

  • Fifth Grade Chorus/Band/Strings: Wednesday, January 24, at 9 am in the Fiske Gym

Wednesday, May 30, at 9 am and 7 pm in the Fiske Gym

  • Third Grade Recorder "Informance": Thursday, May 24, at 11:30 am in the Fiske Gym

  • Fourth Grade "Informance": Thursday, April 26, at 11:30 am in the Fiske Gym.

Here are some of the things you might see and hear if you looked into the music room this month:

  • Kindergarden: Singing I’m Being Swallowed By A Boa Constrictor, Listen to the Pigs, and Hey, Betty Martin.

  • First Grade: Writing quarter notes and eighth notes, and moving to Big Black Cats.

  • Second Grade: Playing the Poor Little Kitty Cat game, and making Witches’ Brew.

  • Third Grade: Making ostinatos to go with Mary Lost Her Coat, dancing La Raspa, and getting ready for RECORDER MADNESS.

  • Fourth Grade: Singing and moving to the Papaya song, playing the Poison Rhythm game, and learning about the Brass Family.

  • Fifth Grade: Playing Run For Your LIfe on drums, singing the Crawdad Hole song, and practicing our chorus songs.

Library News from Mrs. Kishpaugh

Kindergarten: We have been reading fiction and non-fiction books about pumpkins, as well as some humorous Halloween themed stories. BOO!

Grade 5: We kicked off the 2018 Massachusetts Children’s Book Awards with a book talk of all 25 nominated titles. Students who read 5 of the books on the MCBA list are eligible to vote for their favorite in March 2018. Those who read 20 or more of the MCBA books will be invited to lunch in the library with Mrs. Kishpaugh in June! For more information, please visit the MCBA link on the Fiske Library web page:

Grades 1 - 4: Digital Citizenship

In collaboration with Mrs. Rhodes, our Instructional Technology Specialist, and Mrs. Pyrone, our Guidance Counselor, students in first through fourth grade have been learning about what makes a good citizen online. Most lessons and videos come from, which also has wonderful resources for families.

Grade 1: What is the Internet? A general discussion about the kinds of things one can do on the Internet and how we use it responsibly.

Grade 2: Following the Digital Footprint. Students learned that the information they put online leaves a digital footprint or “trail.” This trail can be big or small, helpful or hurtful, depending on how they manage it. Students watched a video and had a discussion.

Grades 3 & 4: Students learned about staying safe online by viewing a short, animated video and having a discussion. This served to remind students to think with their head and heart when online to help them stay safe.

Math News from Mrs. Rawding

We had a great turnout for our Parent Math Night on October 18th! Parents engaged in puzzles and challenges with a focus on the 8 Positive Math Norms. This cube word cloud reflects how people were thinking at the end of the presentation!

You can access the resources from Parent Math Night in this folder:

Here are some of the resources we recommend:

Which One Doesn’t Belong:

BedTime Math
Math Before Bed
KenKen Puzzles

Follow me on Twitter to see and learn more about Math at Fiske @FiskeMath

Literacy News from Mrs. Azeredo, Mrs. Donahue and Ms. Jones

Greetings from the Fiske Literacy Department!

Do you know one way to encourage your child to read volumes is to encourage reading a series or author set? Regardless of grade level or interests, there are series and authors that will entice your young reader. We want our students to be engaged readers, so parents, educators and librarians can help them find series and authors that they will enjoy time and time again. If your child enjoys sports books, we suggest authors like Jake Maddox, Matt Christopher, Tim Green, John Feinstein and Mike Lupica. Or if your young reader likes strong female characters, they might enjoy Junie B. Jones, Amber Brown, Ramona, novels by Judy Blume, Angela Johnson, Patricia McCormick and the like. Finding a series or favorite author is like finding a friend. If you’d like to meet some authors, like David Adler, Avi, Eve Bunting, Beverly Cleary, Jon Scieszka and more, visit this website

Happy Reading!

Health Office News from Mrs. O'Connell

Dear Parents

Flu is an active concern for school. We can all do a lot to help reduce the transmission of illness at school by reducing the number of sick children sent to school. I am sending the following guidelines to help parents determine when students should stay home. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me, Claire O’Connell, RN. 781-541-5007.

Please keep your child home if your child has had any of the following:

*Fever of 100F (37.8C) in the past 24 hours

*A fever accompanied by any one of the following: cough, runny nose or sore throat (flu like symptoms)

*Your child has needed Tylenol or Ibuprofen to control fever for the past 24 hours

*Strep throat , if awaiting culture results of less than 24 hours of antibiotic treatment *Vomiting or diarrhea in the past 24 hours

*An undiagnosed rash accompanied by an elevated temperature

Tips for managing a sick child at home:

*If your child has a fever with any one of the following; cough, runny nose or sore throat (flu like symptoms), please keep your child home until no fever (off Tylenol/Ibuprofen) for 24 hours

*Use a thermometer to accurately measure body temperature, (not the back of your hand)

*For people who are awake during the day and asleep at night, the body temperature is lowest upon waking an gradually increases throughout the day (not usually over 100F) a good time to check for fever when ill is 4-5PM

*Children do not usually wake with a headache, if your child wakes with a headache, a fever may be present, please check temperature

*Avoid sending your child to school after administering a dose of Tylenol or Ibuprofen “to get through the day”. Children are poor learners when they are ill

*Wash hands before eating and after using toilet

*Do not share food, eating utensils or drinks with family members that are sick

*If you are not able to stay at home with your sick child, please have a backup plan ready to avoid sending a sick child to school