Paw Prints Newsletter

Burnham School February 2021

A Note from the Principal:

Dear Parents/Guardians,

During the month of February, we will be preparing to celebrate Read Across America and Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Read Across America is a nationwide reading celebration that takes place annually on March 2nd, Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Theodor Seuss Geisel was an American writer and illustrator best known for authoring popular children’s books under the pen name of Dr. Seuss. Did you know that Dr. Seuss would be 116 this year? While he is no longer with us, his legacy lives on in the pages of his books.

Dr. Seuss had written and illustrated over 60 books during his career. His first book, And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street was published in 1937. Other favorites include such books as Horton Hears a Who!, Happy Birthday to You!, The Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Green Eggs and Ham, The Lorax, and one of my favorites and the last book published in 1990, Oh, the Places You’ll Go. Dr. Seuss’s books have been translated into more than fifteen languages and his works have provided the source for eleven children’s television specials, a Broadway musical, and a feature-length motion picture.

In preparation of March 2nd, the teachers are working on additional activities to continue to promote reading during the month of February, with a culminating celebration in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday/NEA Read Across America. Please help us by encouraging your child to spend time reading at home which will also lead us nicely into our upcoming PTO sponsored Read-A-Thon which will start during the first week in March. Try choosing your favorite Dr. Seuss book!

Reading as a family is always an enjoyable experience and reading aloud to your child is the number one suggestion from reading experts across the country. Reading aloud to your child, particularly in an engaging manner, promotes literacy and language development, improves reading ability, and perhaps most importantly, fosters the love of books and reading. Reading aloud to your child requires only a book and your willingness to spend a little quality time with your child. While the sacrifices are few, the benefits are many. Your child will learn to read better, think better, imagine more richly, and become a passionate and lifelong reader. So take time with your child and share the enjoyment of a good book.

Once again, I thank you for your continuous support in helping us to build a caring and supportive school community. Our partnership makes a world of difference!

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” ~Dr. Seuss


Cathy Colella


Dates to Remember for February

2/1 Board of Education Meeting, 7 p.m.

2/4 PTO Meeting, 6 p.m.
2/8 REACH Open House, 2:30-3:15 p.m.
2/10 Early Dismissal for Students, 12:45 p.m.
2/15 President’s Day – No School
2/16 Professional Development – No School for Students
2/22 Board of Education Meeting, 7 p.m.
2/24 Early Dismissal for Students, 12:45 p.m.
3/3 Grades Close
3/4 PTO Meeting, 6 p.m.

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K-1-2 Wonderful Writers!

Kindergarten and first graders are working on informational writing pieces. They are working on procedural writing (how-to). Together, they wrote a group procedural piece about about how to build a snowman. The introduction included a fun question and the materials needed. They then wrote about each step using transition words (first, next, finally) along with detailed and labeled illustrations. Students are now moving into individual pieces about topics such as, “How to Make a Pizza” and “How to Build a Snowman.” We can’t wait to learn how to do some new things.

Second graders choose Arctic Animals to research for informational writing pieces. After researching and reading two sources about the animal, students categorized the sources using abbreviations for each subtopic (A= appearance, D = diet, H = habitat, O = offspring, and IF = other interesting facts.) Students wrote introductions with strong leads such as a sound or a question. Currently students are writing about what his/her animal looks like, such as body covering, size, weight, and comparison between male and female. Our reporters are also creating Google presentations about the animals which include information in each subtopic, along with student-made drawings. We are looking forward to becoming Arctic animal experts and learning a lot of new information.

Art Round Two! With Mrs. Manley

Art was taught in Burnham School from the end of November though December. The focus during this rotation was on how visual art communicates Ideas by artists using color, shape, line, and space. Students also learned that there are many sources for inspiration for art ideas.

K-1 used their life experiences to create a series of landscapes - fun memories, pictures of where we live, the change of seasons, changes in weather, and colors at night. Special things and food also provided subject matter for still life pictures. They also learned about Vincent van Gogh, and used his style to create a personal version of one of his famous sunflower paintings.

Second graders extended these concepts to create relief self portraits, creating mood and showing movement in landscapes using van Gogh’s Starry Night for inspiration, as well as learning about how to use size and positioning to create pictures of groups of people that show a sense of space. Discussions about what makes a picture look realistic as opposed to imaginary helped to develop ideas for underwater scenes. They also explored how to create a sense of unity by repeating colors, lines, and shapes through a collage project.

Third graders used posed unmasked selfies as a reference for drawing self-portraits that evoked a specific emotion. They also learned about how using different types of lines and shapes can create a sense of calm or movement and action in landscapes. Futuristic cities allowed students to explore how to show nighttime or daytime settings.

In fourth and fifth grade, students explored using cartoons to communicate ideas after looking at examples from Rube Goldberg and Keith Haring. Creating an imaginary place through map-making helped students to consider settings in fantasy stories by including details for different landforms and locations. Flip books provided an opportunity to create animation through planning a starting point and an ending motion as well as the “tween” pictures in the middle. Focusing on an emotion to depict in art challenged students to think about how best to use color, line, and shape to convey their messages.

In grades 3, 4 and 5, students learned some specific techniques and tricks through warm-up exercises with fun one-point perspective landscapes and other-wordly “worms in space” which sparked new confidence in drawing abilities. The Circle Project prompt, What are you learning about yourself, your family, your community, or the world right now? led students to create “circle projects” to depict messages relevant to their personal experiences and feelings during the COVID crisis.


Feeling stress and anxiety about coronavirus is a common experience right now for adults as well as children. COVID 19 has had ripple effects into almost every aspect of our lives. Anxiety is a natural and sometimes helpful emotion in everyday life, but when it becomes overwhelming, it can do more harm than good.

Here are a few tips to support your child with signs of anxiety:

  • Reassure your child about how the spread of germs works and that we are following the advice of experts to protect ourselves and each other from the virus.
  • Teach children to notice what they are feeling. To pause and notice their emotion and label it and accept it as something that is “okay” whether it’s a “good” emotion or a “bad” emotion.
  • Assist your children to keep perspective by noticing the good/positive in their days. Practice gratitude with them.
  • Teaching your child to pause to a deep breath in a difficult moment can give your child skills and confidence to accept their feelings without overwhelming anxiety/reactivity. If you practice breathing “exercises” with them regularly, this becomes a wonderful “tool” in their self-help “toolbox”.
  • If you have concerns about the level of your child’s anxiety, contact your pediatrician to discuss a plan for support.

Below are some fun printable exercises to do with children found on this website:

Or you can access the printables right here!

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Visit us at our Website!

Our web address is Once you are at the district’s home page you can visit Burnham School’s website. The staff will be adding information regularly. Please use it as an additional resource for information gathering.

Student Council

Happy New Year! Our December fundraiser with Charleston Wrap was a great success. We earned over $500 which will go toward our 5th Grade Aloha at the end of the year. We want to thank all the families and friends that helped us achieve our goal.

The Student Council also helped raise donations for the Bridgewater Food Pantry during the months of November and December. We appreciate all the charitable donations given during this dire need to reach out and help our community.

The Burnham Student Council is hard at work brainstorming new ideas for the 2021 year. Our first new year efforts will be our annual Flower Sale for Valentine's Day. A pre-sale order form will be sent home next week. Flowers will go on sale for $2 each. The Student Council will also hold a Valentine's Chocolate Raffle during the week of February 8th. Raffle tickets will be $1.00 a chance. The money we raise will go to Feed America.

Look for more fun activities and fundraisers in the coming months. Have a wonderful New Year and stay safe and healthy.

Burnham School PTO

Parents are our partners in the important job of educating all our children. I urge you to attend and support the PTO and take part in helping your child to grow academically. PTO meetings are held monthly at 6:00 p.m. Our next virtual meeting will be held on February 4th.



“Though February is short, it is filled with lots of love and sweet surprises.”

~Charmaine J. Forde

February is National Library Lover’s Month- This is a month-long celebration of libraries of all types. Show your appreciation for our libraries this month by encouraging your child to make full use of our school library and our town library. Students in Grades 3-5 have access to Overdrive, where they can use their student ID number to read eBooks or listen to audiobooks. Students in grades K-2 have SORA bookmarked on their iPads and Chromebooks, where they can find read-along books, eBooks, and audiobooks.

GET SERIOUS ABOUT A SERIES! Burnham School Library is small and mighty! We have dozens of different series for our students to delve into. All it takes is a peek into the first book of an amazing series for a kid to be hooked on books. That is why February is our Burnham School series month. Check out the list below to find your child’s new favorite series:

The Chronicles of Narnia (Grades 3-5)

The Shadow Children (Grades 3-5)

The Underland Chronicles (Grades 3-5)

Guardians of Ga’Hoole (Grades 3-5)

Land of Stories (Grades 3-5)

A Series of Unfortunate Events (Grades 4,5)

Warriors (Grades 3-5)

Eragon Series (Grades 4,5)

The Maze Runner Series (Grades 4,5)

Spy School Series (Grades 4,5)

Percy Jackson Series (Grades 4,5)

The Baby Sitters Club Graphic Novel Series (Grades 3-5)

Critter Club (Grades 2-4)

Dragon Masters (Grades 2-4)

Phoebe and Her Unicorn (Grades 2-4)

The Bad Seed Series (Grades K-2)

Pinkalicious Series (Grades K-2)

Princess in Black Series (Grades K-2)

Arnie the Doughnut Series (Grades 1, 2)

A to Z Mysteries (Grades 2-4)

Junie B. Jones, First Grader (Grades 2-4)

Ramona Quimby Series (Grades 2-5)

Flat Stanley Series (Grades 1-3)

Elephant and Piggie Series (Grades K, 1)

Dr. Seuss books (Grades K-5)

Not sure where to begin? Feel free to email me to ask for recommendations for your child.

Read Across America: February-The National Education Association (NEA) Read Across America theme for the month of February is: Practice Empathy. To help students learn to practice empathy in their day to day lives, the book of the month is A Ride to Remember: A Civil Rights Story by Sharon Langley and Amy Nathan. The middle grade featured book is When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed. This month in the library we will be reading and discussing books that focus on African American history and honoring the many contributions that African Americans have made to the world we live in.


As the winter season continues to progress, our schools may be impacted by inclement weather. In the event of a delayed opening or a school closure, a district phone call will be made through School Messenger by 5:30 a.m. to families. Announcements will also be posted on our district website, and with local news outlets. Delayed Opening/Early Dismissal Schedule

A reminder of what is new this year is the following. The Connecticut State Department of Education is permitting schools to use the option of remote learning snow days when possible. The remote learning snow day will allow schools to hold virtual learning classes when the weather conditions are unsafe for travel. Remote learning snow days will be counted as a regular school day within the school calendar. These remote learning days will not need to be added to the end of the school year as make-up days. The only reason for a traditional snow day cancellation of school (in-person or remotely) would be due to power outages. True snow day cancellations will need to be made up in June. The district announcement will indicate whether a delayed opening, a school closure or a remote learning snow day will be used. For remote snow days the following schedules will be used: Remote Snow Day Schedule.

Travel and Parking Safety Tips

Did you know that school buses are the most regulated vehicles on the road. They are designed to be safer than passenger vehicles in preventing crashes and injuries and in every state, stop-arm laws exist to protect children from other motorists.

If you are driving, remember these simple rules:

  • Yellow flashing lights on a school bus mean slow down because the bus is preparing to stop. There are likely students waiting to get on the bus or parents waiting nearby to pick up children.

  • Red flashing lights mean stop and wait at least 20 feet behind the bus because children are getting on or off the school bus. Stay stopped until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop-arm is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving.

  • Even when lights aren’t flashing, watch for children, particularly in the morning or afternoon, around school arrival and dismissal. Be alert as you back out of a driveway or drive through a neighborhood, school zone or bus stop.

Let’s all work together to keep our children safe!

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Good Character Traits

(Referenced in Board of Education Policy #0210.3)

Region 12 is dedicated to strengthening the character of our students by encouraging a consistent set of ethical values that direct and guide behavioral choices. These universal values, which transcend political, religious, cultural, and the Golden Rule encompasses economic differences, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Therefore, good Character Traits are essential to the learning process. We work throughout the year in developing the following:

  1. Trustworthiness
  2. Respect
  3. Responsibility
  4. Fairness
  5. Caring
  6. Citizenship

Good conduct is synonymous with good citizenship. Students are expected to exercise good citizenship at all times while in school, attending school-related activities and after school activities conducted at the school. This includes showing respect for the rights of others and regard for personal and school property. Students should strive to contribute to the climate of the school by being courteous and well mannered.

Burnham School also utilizes The Second Step Program to promote social skills necessary to be a caring community. Additionally, grades three through five have access to a second program, Steps to Respect when needed.

It is our hope that the power and influence of the school-family partnership will provide consistent messages to our students regarding the development of positive student behaviors and thus, improve student learning.

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