Pleasant Street School News

building a community of learners that strive for excellence

December 13, 2015

Guided Math Centers in Mrs. Coleman's first grade

Guided Math is a structure for teaching whereby a teacher supports each child’s development of mathematical proficiency at increasing levels of difficulty, within the context of a small group. It is premised on the idea that working with children in small groups provides powerful possibilities for reaching all children where they enter and taking them to the next level. In Guided Math groups, students engage in standards-based, rigorous, engaging meaning making learning opportunities where the teacher focuses on a particular concept, strategy or skill. Teachers facilitate this learning through hands-on, scaffolded conversations and intensive questioning.

Guided math provides a structure for teachers to differentiate instruction so they can reach and teach every student by:

  • Creating flexible small groups that allow students to work in their zone of proximal development so they can learn exactly what they need to know at their instructional level
  • Creating activities that tap into student's individual learning styles and interests so they stay engaged
  • Providing immediate feedback so the student can adjust their work
  • Questioning students in small groups so they have an opportunity to talk with their peers, ask questions and justify their mathematical thinking
  • Allowing teachers to re-teach, reinforce, expand, and compact concepts, strategies and skills
  • Providing short lessons that emphasize conceptual understanding, procedural fluency or problem solving
  • Scaffolding lessons so that they can be taught at a concrete level, pictorial level or abstract level
  • Ultimately providing students with the self-confidence they need to become successful mathematicians

excerpted from Dr. Nikki's math blog:

Need Some Math Pointers?! Here are some great resources and videos

Like the Athol Royalston Regional School District, the Lafayette Public Schools in Lousiana also uses Eureka math as their primary math curriculum program. They have a fantastic website for parents and guardians that includes math activities and helpful tips, resources, and videos by grade, module, and topic area. We encourage families to use this website that breaks down math lessons with step by step guidance.

Mrs. Richardson's first grade in action in Physical Education class

Exploring Folktales from Around the World in Second Grade

Our second grade friends have been enjoying a unit on folktales. Ask your son or daughter what are characteristics of a folktale? Does your child have a favorite tale? An interesting and interactive website on myths as well as a comprehensive site on folktales from around the world are linked below.

Family Literacy Challenge Winners!

Congratulations to our prize winners who participated in our family literacy challenge throughout the month of November. We had over 60 families sign up for this challenge and all participants who turned in their challenge form were entered into a random drawing to receive one of 10 prizes.
  • Our (5) runner up prize winners for a $10 WalMart gift card: Leah, Noah, Nicholas, London, and Cadence.
  • Our (4) first place prize winners for a $25 WalMart gift card: Dakota, Cheyenne (sister Chevelle pictured who received the prize for her preschool sister!) Kendyl, and Sophia.
  • Our grand prize winner for a $50 WalMart gift card: Caleb.
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Coming to School is Cool Attendance Program

At our recent December all school meeting students were introduced to our "Coming to School is Cool" attendance program that is being lead by Mrs. Schwab, our guidance counselor, and Miss Meghan Williams, her guidance counselor intern. Congratulations to Mrs. Jones' and Mrs. Richardson's classes who were honored as having the best whole class attendance for the month of November. In addition, students were also recognized for "Gold Star" perfect (no absences or tardiness) and perfect attendance for the first quarter. We had a combined 43 students with perfect and gold star perfect attendance!

Certificates were also given out to students who had perfect attendance for a given month.

Monday Science Program Week #7

This past week in our Monday Afterschool Science program students experimented with electrical circuits and magnetism. To see more images from this program please see our short video linked below.

Mad Science -Week #9

This week our Thursday Mad Science students had great fun creating their own light sabers! To see pictures from this program please check out our short video of images. Our Mad Science program will be ending this week Thursday, December 17th.

Second Step Lessons Teach Friendship Skills

Students from Mrs. Richardson's class practiced friendship skills during a Second Step lesson role play. Rachel Schwab, Guidance Counselor, is teaching Second Step lessons in Mrs. Richardson's 1st grade class during November and December. Pictured is Lauren and Miley practicing a role play.

Catch of the Day!

Our School Support Noon Duty staff continue to be recognizing students in their, "Catch of the Day," program. This honor is given to students who staff observe demonstrating our school expectations of respect for self, respect for others, and respect for property during recess. Each day they choose one student from recess as the Catch of the Day who then receives a certificate, a stuffed fish for a day, and is entered into a weekly drawing in the "fish bowl" to receive a prize. Congratulations to all and to Kendyl pictured below who was our prize winner for the week.

Winter Coats Are Available at Pleasant Street School for Children in Need

The Knights of Columbus, and Kevin Murphy of Fiske, Murphy and Mack Funeral Home just donated wonderful winter coats for children in need in the Athol-Royalston elementary schools. The Knights of Columbus also obtained beautiful hand knitted children's hats and mittens from the elder knitting volunteers from Sunrise Assisted Living, "Charity Stitch Night." If you have a financial need, please contact Rachel Schwab, Guidance Counselor at (978) 249-2405, Ext. 306, or on Email: or Dianne Ellis, Principal, at Pleasant Street School, to let us know your child's first and last name, the size coat that your child needs, and whether your child also needs a hat and mittens. You could also write a note in your child's school Agenda Book, or Homework folder, and your child's teacher will give the note to Mrs. Schwab, or Mrs. Ellis.

Student Council Spirit Day "Winter Holiday Colors"

Join us for a student council spirit day this Friday, December 18th and wear your favorite winter holiday colors - red, green, white, blue, silver, and gold. There is an optional donation of $1.00 to participate in this event.

You are invited to join our School Wide "Great Bedtime Story Pajama Drive"

Dear Parents,

It’s time for the annual Scholastic Reading Club Great Bedtime Story Pajama Drive benefitting Pajama Program, a nonprofit organization that provides new pajamas and books to children in need—especially those living in group homes, shelters, foster care, and orphanages. Since 2009, caring classrooms across the country have risen to the challenge and donated nearly 350,000 pairs of new pajamas. The Scholastic Reading Club has more than matched those numbers with nearly 700,000 new books donated directly to Pajama Program headquarters, where they are then distributed across the country by Pajama Program. Mrs. St. Jean's third grade class will be leading Pleasant Street School's Pajama drive campaign so we can help make a better bedtime for these children. Together we can help the Great Bedtime Story Pajama Drive reach even more kids with pj’s and books. If you and your child are able to participate, please have your child bring in a new pair of pajamas to school by .

Here are some simple guidelines for the pajamas:

  • Pajamas must be brand-new.
  • Pajamas in all sizes are needed—from newborn to adult.
  • Pajamas must be in complete sets or nightgowns.
  • Pajamas in children’s sizes must be manufactured as pajamas—this ensures that they are flame-retardant and safe.
  • All donations must be received by December 18, 2015.

Thank you for helping us share the gift of a good night’s sleep and a sweet bedtime story. To find out more about the drive and the program at:

Free Breakfast & Lunch

As part of the 2010 Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids Act, Athol-Royalston Regional School District, along with other districts, now offers free meals to all students this school year.


  • Breakfast menu for December

  • Lunch menu for December

Community Events & Postings

Do you have news to share or want to inform members of our school community about family friendly events in our area? if so, please email or forward a flyer or link.

Thank you :)

Mother Goose on the Loose Playgroup-Thursdays 10am—11:30am Valuing Our Children 217 Walnut St. Athol. For more information contact: Jen: 978-249-8467 x 22

Athol Public Library- Starry, Starry Night- Tuesday December 29th 5:30 pm In the Program Room. Join the members of ATAC to create papier mache stars for the Starry, Starry Night parade on December 31. If enough stars are created, the town of Orange will earn a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records! Cocoa and cookies will be served

Petersham Playgroup- Beginning on Thursday, Sept. 17th from 10-11:30 at the Petersham Center School. For more information please call Jennifer at Valuing Our Children 978-249-8467 x22

For other local events, happenings, and resources in this area... you can also check the North Quabbin Community Coalition website below:

These are not school sponsored events but are posted here as a public service for families in the greater North Quabbin community.

Upcoming Events...Mark your Calendars!

Upcoming Events and Dates!
  • December 18, School store, 11:30-12:30
  • December 18- Winter holiday spirit day! Students can dress in red, green, white, blue, gold, and silver. Sponsored by our student council. Optional donation of $1.
  • December 23, district half day, noon dismissal, bagged lunch will be served
  • December 24-January 3, Winter recess, no school
  • January 4, School resumes

For your convenience our district calendar is linked below.

News from Principal Ellis

Building a community of learners that strive for excellence

Check back soon for more news!