North Tiger Beat

December 2020

12 Days of Joy

I can't believe we are in December!! 2020 is coming to an end. I know many of us are not sad to see it go. However, there have been many things to be grateful for. As we have come together working and navigating learning in this new virtual way, we have not only learned about how resilient we are but how helpful and thoughtful we are. Thank you to all of our families who have worked with us during this time. We do all have something in common. The students that we share and the admiration and commitment to contributing to their development. Our students are great! Thank you for sharing them with us.


About 90% of our parents attended virtual parent-teacher conferences. Please continue to reach out to your child's teacher to talk about your child's progress. Your partnership continues to be important to us.


Please remember there is no school on Wednesday, December 9th. This is a full PD day for our staff.


Our little elves have been busy this past month working hard on their academics while having some fun too. We look forward to the month of December, as we continue to learn in an environment filled with joy and great learning opportunities.


I wanted to wish all of our Somerset families a Happy Holiday season. During December, we know for many families, this is a time of celebrating different holidays. We also know it is a time when families may not celebrate the holidays. We want to teach our students that even though we may have different beliefs, traditions, or ideas, it is important for us to continue to learn from each other so that we continue to build a stronger and more inclusive community. I am putting together a video of our North Family. Please send me pictures or a horizontal video (no more than 8 seconds) sharing a tradition or message to our North community. Please email them to paula.manchester@somersetschools.org. I will download the video to Youtube and share it with all of our families.


Students can still exchange holiday cards if they want to. We just ask that they be in a week before to allow time before they are shared with others. Teachers will be making the exchange on their last days of December. If you are Cohort B, please have your cards in by Friday, December 11th; Cohort A, please have your cards in by Tuesday, December 15th.


We will be sharing different holiday traditions around the world. It is a perfect time to learn about geography, culture, and history. Please feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher about special holidays or other traditions you would like us to learn about. Please enjoy this time with your beautiful families.


Cubby our school elf is having fun hiding every day and leaving us daily clues to find her. Please join us by participating in the 12 Days of Joy "Spirit Weeks". Here is the calendar with each day.


12 Days Of Joy Calendar:


https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HK7VF1L9Xdctv-U-TGMeS1V-McNy3bOC/view?usp=sharing

Colder Weather Is Here

Please dress your child appropriately for the weather for afternoon recess. Teachers are also trying to get students outside for mask and movement breaks throughout the day. Children will be going outside as long as the temperature or wind chill is at least 22 degrees (Fahrenheit). All students are expected to go outside and get access to fresh air while exerting some energy. Also, when there is snow on the ground, we are hoping to allow students to play in the snow, as long as they have the proper attire and they are able to dress with minimal assistance (hats, snow boots, snow pants, gloves, etc.). Please consider working on helping children dress independently so that we are able to give them this opportunity. Students without the proper attire will be limited to the blacktop area of the playground when there is snow on the ground.


Please label all of your child’s items (jacket, hat, gloves, lunch boxes, etc.).

North Gives Back

Student Council Representatives Olivia Hardin and Nash Tessier organized a toy drive for our class! We'll be collecting unopened toys through the end of the week, and then will be delivered to the Somerset Police Department.
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Thanksgiving Letters For Our Seniors

From what I hear, the seniors in our community were very happy to get handmade cards from the elementary students in all 3 elementary schools. A little kindness goes a long way!!!!

Grade Level Happenings

Grade Level Happenings

Kindergarten

This month in math, we are starting Chapter 2. Students will learn to identify whether the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than, or equal to the number of objects in another group by using matching and counting strategies. Through the use of the count sequence and the understanding of cardinality, Chapter 2 builds upon previously learned number sense to continue to strengthen children’s counting skills to determine the number of objects in a group.


In writing, students are learning how to tell and write a narrative story. We are transitioning stories from drawings to sentences that tell a story with a beginning, middle and an end. To do this we are stretching out words, writing the sounds we hear and leaving spaces between each word. The students will have fun creating a simple personal narrative about something they did when they were younger that they do differently now.


In reading, we will continue to learn that stories have characters, settings and major events. Readers will use a graphic organizer to identify story elements. As we start the next unit students will learn the concept of “then” and “now”. Children will discover how inventions have made the way people do things easier.


This month kindergarteners are finishing up the weather unit. Students will be working as engineers to draw a design of something that blocks the sun’s rays. We will begin the “Push, Pull and Go” unit at the beginning of January upon our return to school. During social studies, students will be learning about the differences between a “Need” and a “Want” and how this connects to what we need to live.


First Grade

Ho, ho, ho! The holiday season is upon us and Santa’s elves aren’t the only ones who are busy at work!

The first-grade classes have also been working hard. We have been learning and practicing many new skills across all areas of the curriculum.


As we move along with our reading, we begin unit two with a new story titled A Fine, Fine, School. This narrative text focuses on a principal who loves his school, teachers, and students so much that he wants them to have school every day! Our first few lessons will focus on story elements. The children will work on identifying the characters, setting, problem, and solution. We will also look at describing character traits and identifying the central message.


Our grade one writers have been busy working on developing narrative writing pieces. They have been practicing including a beginning, middle, and end to their stories. Correct usage of capitalization and punctuation is also being reinforced.


Grade 1 students are moving along with their math skills. The students have just wrapped up unit two. In this unit, students worked with subtraction equations and story problems using a variety of strategies to solve for them. The unit ended with lessons that focused on “taking apart” a number and showing all the possible ways to represent that with equations. Our next unit will focus on revisiting addition with attention given to new strategies. Such as counting on. This unit will also focus on sums to twenty.


Lastly, our budding scientists have been learning all about the day and night sky. As we approach the next few weeks, we will shift our attention to the seasons. Students will explore what causes the seasons, with a focus on how the tilt of the Earth influences our seasonal changes. Our next investigation will look at the moon and its phases. As you can see, the first-grade classes have been working hard and learning lots!

Second Grade

Take a moment this month and ask your child... How does the Earth change? Or maybe ask them... What is the water cycle? These are two guiding questions they have been investigating during our Science time. Videos and hands-on explorations have led them to discover the answers to these earth science mysteries. We will continue to add a few more mysteries throughout the month of December. Second graders will also be touring the world! We will visit different countries and learn about the culture and traditions of how they celebrate the winter holidays. Be on the lookout for some handmade souvenirs coming home. Happy holidays from the Second Grade Team.

Third Grade

Where did November go? It’s already December!


Students are doing well remembering the routines of both in-person and remote learning. In math, the focus is on understanding multiplication. Students are now using this operation to find how many in all. They will use equal groups, skip counting, number lines, and arrays to find the products. Strategies for multiplying with different factors will now be explained and practiced. In ELA, students are working on understanding narrative stories, and beginning to write their own personal narratives.


During social studies we are studying the PIlgrims’ migration to Massachusetts. Students will learn about how the Pilgrims and Native Americans lived. Our science explorations continue to focus on weather conditions. This is a great topic for the climate during this season in New England.


From the entire third grade team, we wish you all a very happy holiday season!


Fourth Grade

Our 4th grade scholars continue to work hard both in school and at home. In math, students will be expanding their understanding of the area model and the regrouping strategy to include two-digit by two-digit numbers. Knowing their basic multiplication facts are extremely important, so we encourage students to work on Reflex often. In Reading, students will continue to analyze various narratives and focus on main ideas, key details, author’s purpose and inferences. Working in Lexia frequently will help students grow in their reading skills. In writing, students have been working on learning the components and structure of narrative writing. They will put all those pieces together to write their own narrative. In Social Studies, we will be finishing our unit of study on the Early Explorers. Our 4th grade scientists will be wrapping up a unit on erosion, deposition and fossils. The students will be having fun this month with some holiday lessons as well.


Fifth Grade


Happy holidays, fifth-grade families! It was wonderful to see so many of you at our conferences. Thank you for taking the time to join us. December will be filled with special days, but also with a lot of wonderful learning opportunities for the students.


In ELA we are continuing to work on the many skills involved in effective narrative writing. We will especially be focusing on word choice, beginning with an interesting lead, accurately punctuating dialogue, and wrapping up our stories with a conclusion. Whew! That’s a lot of learning. Our reading focus this month is on non-fiction science based material. This non-fiction reading will also help us to investigate text features, identifying the main idea and details, determining text structure, and using context clues.


Our math learning will continue to focus on multiplication and division. Please encourage your child to utilize the Reflex online program frequently to help them master their essential multiplication facts. This month we will also begin looking at decimal operations.

Science and Social students will be wrapping up units on the Middle Colonies as well as our learning with the solar system, atmosphere, and water cycle.


We would like to wish all of our families a happy and healthy holiday season.


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Art Classes

Our North Elementary artists continue to amaze me with their creativity and enthusiasm for art! Students are so excited to be transitioning into our winter and holiday-themed artwork. Please check our samples of the art work in the newsletter under their grade.


For in-person students, please make sure students are bringing in their art supplies on art days as we are working to keep our artists safe and are not able to share materials.


Kindergarten

Kindergarten students practiced cutting skills while learning about shapes that make up the body and details on the face. We also began exploring line and shape patterns while creating our self-portrait elves.


First Grade

First graders created their winter landscape paintings using cold colors. We explored how trees look different in the winter and used shapes to draw our winter foxes.



Second Grade

Second graders looked closely at the shapes that make up holiday nutcrackers, noticing similarities among them. They were able to use their imaginations to create their own nutcracker drawings.



Third Grade

Third-grade artists have been exploring the art of John James Audubon, his love for birds and nature, and his book Birds of America. After looking at different owls that can be found in our state of Massachusetts, third graders chose which owl to draw and did a fabulous job!



Fourth Grade

Fourth graders created these parfleches inspired by Native American Indian tribes of the plains region in a social studies - art collaboration. They focused on symmetry and geometric shapes while learning about the lives of the Native American Indians of this region.


Fifth Grade

Fifth graders have been learning about the textile art of weaving. They have started their own weavings, wrapping their looms, and have been practicing the plain weave pattern.

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From Nurse Stephanie Roy

December usually brings a higher volume of reported illnesses in our students. In addition to our Covid-19 pandemic, we are still seeing children with the common cold, influenza, and other seasonal ailments. Any child with Covid-like symptoms is asked to remain home for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms. Covid-like symptoms are: Fever above 100F, headache (with another listed symptom), fatigue (with another listed symptom), loss of taste or smell, muscle/body aches, sore throat, cough, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, nasal congestion/runny nose (with another listed symptom). If your child is experiencing any of these, please keep them home from school. Covid-19 testing is not mandatory to return your child, however they will be asked to quarantine for those full 10 days. If you would like your child to return earlier, we will gladly accept an alternative diagnosis by way of a negative test result. Any person who has a Covid-19 test for symptoms is mandated to quarantine until the test results are returned.


If your child has been a designated close contact of a Covid-19 positive individual, they will be asked to remain in quarantine and out of school for 14 days. I work very closely with our local Board of Health and we are finding that close contacts are taking themselves out of quarantine early with a negative test result. Testing out of quarantine can be done, but it is very time-sensitive and must be done on the right day of your quarantine to ensure higher reliability of continuing to stay negative. Please contact me if your child is a close contact and needs to quarantine and we can establish their return to school date. Also, of importance for our elementary-age kiddos, it is almost impossible for them to isolate from a Covid-19 positive parent. Therefore, the child’s quarantine does not begin until the parent’s 10 day isolation period is completed. Your child may end up being out of in person learning for up to 24 days. Arrangements can be made for your child not to incur any absences provided they are still fulfilling their remote learning obligations.


Influenza vaccine for the 2020-2021 school year is mandated at this time. Please submit all documentation by December 31, 2020.


All screenings (BMI, vision, hearing, postural) have been waived this year. If you are having concerns about your child’s vision or hearing, please contact their pediatrician for a referral.


Please remember to send your children with ample amounts of water. Our public water fountains are disabled at the time and keeping our students hydrated reduces their risk of illness.


Our teachers here at North are amazing and are going above and beyond to serve the children of our school community. However, they are not responsible for maintaining medical records and determining when students can return to school. They certainly have enough on their plates! This is the sole responsibility of the School Nurse. If your child cannot attend in person learning because of a medical issue or a Covid-19 related issue, please email me at stephanie.roy@somersetschools.org or call the office between 830-330 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. I am obligated to protect the privacy and I cannot disclose personal health information. I will let the teachers know how long their students will be out and when they can return.


I will still be available during the holiday break until we return in January. Please continue to let me know when your children are ill. Screening our hybrid students to make sure they are staying out of school for the appropriate amount of time will keep our students and staff safe when we return.


I wish all of you a Healthy and Happy Holiday! I look forward to celebrating this month with our students and seeing them all in January!


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SEL NEWSLETTER

Please take some time and read our newsletter from our Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Team. There is some information on how to help students when they are learning home remotely.


Click on Link for SEL Newsletter:


https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pUPmhS2UH7Zbhz-sOPavh8BKTLCGvplN/view?usp=sharing

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PTO MEETING

Please join us at the next PTO meeting on December 15th. It is virtual. You can join from the comfort of your own home. I will send out the zoom link in an email the night before.
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Spirit Wear

The company where you can order our North Spirit Wear has extended to the end of the week to guarantee delivery to your home during the holiday season.


Items include T-shirts, Sweatshirts, Hats, Facemasks, Water bottles, and more!

Here is the link:


http://shop.designs2signs.com/north_elementary_middle/shop/home

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Parent Resources

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.


Click HERE for a great list of different holiday books to read to your child/children


December Lunch Menu: please click HERE or try this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-GNBjKlXne145-d9BBgsEB_kZRn3Ndgp/view?usp=sharing


School meals (breakfast and lunch) are free for all students (in-school and virtual) up to age 21 for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. Meals can be picked up between 10 am and 11 am and 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm at North Elementary. Please call 508.324.3172 for details.

If you are picking up meals you can pick up several days' meals at one time. If you aren't able to come yourself you can have someone come in your place to pick up the meals. Click HERE for more information.


Somerset Recreation Department Gingerbread Workshop-Click HERE


Somerset Recreation Letters to Santa-Click HERE


MA/COVID Travel Information: If you are planning on a family vacation or a visit out of the state, please review the Massachusetts Travel Order. https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-travel-order.


Somerset Public Schools Handbook: SPS Health and Safety Handbook includes important information on face masks/covering (no neck gators or masks with vents, unless a doctor's note is sent in), travel restrictions (links in Parent Resources for Massachusetts Travel information), and keeping students home if students or their close contacts have COVID symptoms.


Somerset Public Schools, Revised Calendar: please click HERE


MA/COVID Travel Information: If you are planning on a family vacation or a visit out of the state, please review the Massachusetts Travel Order. https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-travel-order.

Community Events