February Newsletter

Newton School

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From the Principal

On Thursday, February 7, 2020 we will celebrate the 100th Day of School. Join us

and make the 100th day of learning special on February 7, 2020. This is also the

day your child will be bringing home their report card.

We will kick-off our Penny War on Monday, February 10th and end our Penny War

on February 14th . A Penny War is a way to teach children about the value of a

penny and a fun way of giving back to the community. During our Penny War we

will celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on February 12th and learn important

information about our sixteenth president. We will also look closely at the penny

and discuss the symbols and words on the penny. Each grade level will choose a

charity to raise pennies for. The grade level that wins the Penny War will donate

all the pennies to their charity. Children need to earn the pennies to help with our

goal of teaching children the value of money. Please think of ways your child can

earn pennies.

On Wednesday, February 12th we are excited to have Deerfield Academy present

the play How I Became a Pirate. This play is based on the book How I Became a

Pirate by Melinda Long and David Shannon. We are looking forward to an

amazing performance.

Our students and staff are busy making Valentine’s Day Cards for Meals on

Wheels. The Valentines are made so every person who receives a meal on

Valentine’s Day will also receive a handmade Valentine’s Day card. If your

family would like to participate in this community event please send in your cards

by February 10th .

Please read to your child every day.


During January kindergartners have been learning how to keep their bodies healthy. We have discussed ways to stop the spread of germs by covering our coughs and washing our hands thoroughly. We have stressed the necessity of rest, exercise and healthful eating. We hope to encourage healthy habits that last a lifetime!

In February kindergarten will be celebrating the 100th day of school, Groundhog Day, Presidents’ Day and Valentine’s Day. Lots of celebrations for a short month!

Kindergartners are always excited to play outside in any season, and many children are very proud to be able to snap, zip and tie. Please practice these important skills at home if your child has not already mastered them…especially the tying of sneakers!

Also PLEASE remember to LABEL your child’s boots and outdoor gear. Sneakers to wear in the classroom are needed daily!

Thank you and stay warm!

Mrs. Encarnacao, Ms. Neeley, Ms. Swist, and Mrs. Hurteau

First Grade

We are very busy in First Grade! So hard to believe that we have almost reached 100 days of school! Check your child’s backpack for important 100th day celebrations within our classrooms. Thank you for having your child prepared for our cold outdoor Playworks. Please remind your child to bring shoes for changing into during the day when we are not outside. Clomping around in snow boots can be slippery and uncomfortable.

We have continued to work on our essential reading skills for First Grade. These skills include reading fluency (pace, punctuation and expression) and reading comprehension. Fluency is assessed orally by listening to a child read. Students need to be mindful of punctuation and the vocabulary used in the reading. Reading comprehension assesses their understanding of what is read or heard. Questioning your child during and after reading at home is an excellent way to practice this developing skill!

In math, we continue to develop fluency in both addition and subtraction throughout the year. That means, as Ms. Goodwin has stated, that addition and subtraction facts up to ten must be mastered by June. Your child should be utilizing strategies such as counting on, counting back, doubles facts, and near doubles to answer these facts. Mastery means your child knows their facts within three seconds.

Keep up the hard work!

Thank you!

Ms. Hayes, Ms. Warren, and Miss Galipault

Second Grade

Dear Second Grade Families,

January has been a very busy month in second grade. We completed reading and math MAP testing, STAR reading assessments, and DIBELS reading fluency testing. WHEW!

In reading, we are working on the second module which focuses on the American West. Students will closely read stories and informational texts to build their knowledge of the American West: its history, its land, and its people. In this module we are still looking at change but now we explore changes to the people and environment of the West. We're also using text features and identifying topics and details so we know which points are most important to include in our informative paragraphs. Please keep on reading at home!

In math, we continue working on place value, less than, greater than, and equal to. Students will begin ordering three digit numbers from least to greatest and greatest to least. Students are building a greater sense of manipulating numbers in preparation for more difficult mathematical operations. We have instituted a daily “Mad Minute” in order to encourage our students to increase their addition and subtraction fact fluency. It would be helpful if students practiced their facts at home as well.

In Social Studies, we are finishing up our study of the seven continents. Students have been learning the names, location, geography and a little about the culture of each continent. Students especially enjoy working on a craft/art project that focuses on something unique to the continent we are currently working on.

In writing we are expanding our learning about writing meaningful paragraphs using a topic sentence, 3 details, and a conclusion.

Thank you and warm wishes,

Ms. Sherry, Mrs. Palermo, Ms. Darmanchev, and Ms. Silk

Third Grade

Greetings from the Dynamic Duo of Mr. Stone and Ms. Witherell!

We hope everyone had a wonderful Winter Break and we have returned to learning in full force. The month of January has been spent benchmark testing. Students were assessed for growth in NWEA MAP, DIBELS Fluency, and Accelerated Reader Star Assessments. We are exceptionally proud of students who are continuing to show growth in all academic areas.

In reading, Mr. Stone's class family is working on Module 1 and learning all about the Sea and Jacques Cousteau. Ms. Witherell's class family is working on the beginning of Module 2 and learning all about Space and Galileo.

In math, both classes are finishing up Module 2, and hope to start exploring Module 3 in the coming weeks. In module 3 students will explore multiplication and division more in-depth.

Mr. Stone's class family is currently finishing Wrinkle in Time. Ms. Witherell's class is beginning Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library.

In Social Studies, both classes are beginning to research famous people of influence. Stay tuned for our banner display as we finish.

We are having so much fun learning with your students, thank you for sharing them with us.

Peace, laughter, and lots of learning,

Mr. Stone & Ms. Witherell

Fourth Grade

Dear Fourth Grade Families,

It's hard to believe it is February already. We have a lot coming up this month including a show from Deerfield Academy, Penny Wars, Valentine's Day, and February Break. Please keep your eye out for your child's teacher information regarding Valentine's Day in the classroom. Students NEED to be practicing their multiplication and division facts daily as we are using them in class while working with fractions.

Ms. Skiff's class starts swimming on Friday, February 14, 2020. Permission slips went home at the end of January. Please send in the permission slips ASAP.

All the best,

Ms. Gutierrez, Ms. Lively, Ms. Skiff

School Adjustment Counselors

It’s February already and we are looking forward to a fun filled month that includes the 100th day of school, Valentine’s Day and a weeklong vacation for Winter Break. In addition, February celebrates Random Acts of Kindness Week from the 16th-23trd, ending with Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17th. A Random Act of Kindness (RAK) is a selfless act performed by kind people to help a stranger for no other reason than to make people feel happier. Newton School will be celebrating RAK again this year the week before February vacation. We will focus on random acts of kindness that we can do every day. We will talk about ways to make others feel happy, which in turn makes us feel happy! A bulletin board will be dedicated to RAK and we will be encouraging students to share their experiences when they perform kind acts for others. We will also be making a kindness quilt from fabric squares created by all Newton students and staff. Please encourage your children to participate and engage in random acts of kindness for others!

Katie Irizarry, LICSW and Nancy Garlock, LICSW

PTO News

PTO Upcoming Fundraisers and Events

February 10-14- Penny Wars- Save your change!

February 13- PTO Meeting at 6pm

February 26- Newton Fundraiser night at Applebee's

PTO Gratitude

Thanks to Amy Dwight and Amy Charboneau for their help with Winter Craft Night.

Thanks to Rita Longe, Linda Allis, Jackie Swist, McKenzie Webb, Just Roots, the YMCA, and Baystate Franklin for their help with Get Fit, Newton.

PTO Supports

Craft Night in December and Get Fit, Newton in January.

UMASS Basketball Game

February Events

2/7 - 100th Day of School; Activities planned in classes

2/7 - 3rd graders going to Amherst Cinemas

2/7 - Report cards going home

2/10-2/14 - Random Act of Kindness Week

2/12 - Performance by Deerfield Academy of How I Became a Pirate

2/17-2/21 - NO SCHOOL, Winter Vacation Week

2/27 -YMCA Camp Wiyaka coming to teach Gaga Ball in PE classes

2/28 - All School Meeting at 8:30am hosted by Kindergarten

Please be sure to check out the Newton School website page on gpsk12.org!