Fiske Monthly News

June 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

End of Year Thank You

This time of year is always one that is busy and bittersweet. It seems like we just started yesterday and here we are at the end of another school year. We're busy both trying to wrap up our current school year and get ready for our next one.

I'm always amazed at the work your children do while they are with us and how much they grow, both academically and socially. It truly is amazing! Over the course of the year, it's exciting to see them grow a little bit taller, navigate social situations with friends and peers, and then most importantly, learn about the world around them.

This all could not happen without our team of extremely dedicate educators and without you. It is always a partnership.

Thank you for entrusting us with your children and partnering with us this year. We hope that you have a safe and wonderful summer, filled with new adventures, time together, and also a bit of rest and relaxation.

Evening with the Masters

Thank you so much to all of the parents, families and students that came to our first annual Evening with the Masters. It was an extremely well attended event that promoted the arts for families and it was wonderful to see so many people working in the likes of great artists such as Michaelangelo, van Gogh, Cezanne, O'Keefe, and many others!

A special thank you goes to my administrative intern, Lauren Couillard, for all of her help in organizing the event, and also to all of the staff that came back after school and ran centers for the night! We also had some great parent and student helpers cleaning up with us at the end of the night too! Thank you all for making our first Evening with the Masters such a great experience!
Fiske Focus: A Monthly Parent Forum

Over the past several years, I have tried several forums for providing information for the greater school community on a variety of topics. My goal has been to be proactive in sharing information about our work at Fiske so that the school community is informed and also so that there is not potentially misinformation that is shared either. It is also a great way to share information to larger groups as opposed to one on one meetings, which I am never opposed to, but may not always be the most efficient in regards to time.

This year, I will be holding "Fiske Focus" meetings once per month from 8:45am to 9:45am. In the past, day meetings were better attended than night, and therefore, I've only scheduled meetings for days during the current school year.

Dates and Topics for Parent Fiske Focus Sessions:

June 9, 2017 8:45-9:45 TBD

Each meeting will have a topic or focus that will be shared ahead of time, and time will be devoted to share information about that topic and then a time will be available for questions, comments, or other items that attendees may have questions about.

News from the Assistant Principal

The end of the school year is a special time for all of us, although it is a bit difficult to believe that June is here already! It is a time to celebrate with our students for all they have accomplished, and to acknowledge the Fiske School staff and families who have dedicated themselves to yet another wonderful school year. It is a time to review all of the ways in which we have been successful and a time to begin making plans to build on that success in new ways that will positively shape our future.

The Fiske students have had a super year. This would not be possible without the committed and enthusiastic Fiske faculty. Our teachers and staff members give freely of themselves, without hesitation, to provide many opportunities for our students to take on different challenges and enjoy new experiences. We have an outstanding school staff, and I am honored to be working with them.

I would also like to express heartfelt appreciation to our families for whom we are very thankful. It is because of your dedicated presence, your time, energy and your generosity that we have such a great school community. Our school is not only a center of academic learning, but also a special place in which each student is empowered to excel academically, show compassion toward others, as well as, becoming model citizens. We are very fortunate to have families who provide us with constant support of these endeavors. “Thank you” for your committed partnership in the education of our students.

At Fiske School a sense of community and pride is evident in everything that we do. You notice it immediately. You feel it as soon as you walk into the building or attend a school function: the quality, the tradition, the pride, and the history of being “family.” Whether in the classroom or on the playground, participating in a community service project or performing at an All School Meeting, our students' pride for their school and for themselves shines through.

Our desire for continuous improvement is because of the Fiske staff, students and families. You make me proud to be an administrator of this school. And so, to our students, staff and families I would like to say, “thank you” for another amazing year. I wish everyone a safe, restful and wonderful summer vacation!


Mr. Baker

Kindergarten News

We had a fun and successful Field Day on Thursday June 15th. Thank you to Mr. Spiller and all the parent volunteers who helped out. Classes will be wrapping up their year with classroom celebrations. Kindergarten is looking forward to their field trip to Oak Knoll Farm on Monday June 19th. Be on the lookout for a Summer Activities packet with resources and suggestions to help your child continue developing the skills they learned in Kindergarten. It has been a fabulous Kindergarten year. Have a fun and safe summer.

Grade One News

It is hard to believe that June is upon us! The end of the year has snuck up on us! First grade is such an amazing year! The amount of growth and progress that happens is just unbelievable! We are so proud of each and every one of them!

We would like to start by saying a HUGE thank you to all of you for helping to make our American Symbols Performance such a success! The students looked great in those costumes! Thank you for taking the time to make them extra special! The first grade teachers can’t say enough about how proud we are of this crew! They worked so hard to learn the songs, the lines, and everything else that came with the show! It was heartwarming to see them do the sign language for America as well! We are beyond impressed!

Here’s what is on our to do list for the rest of the year:


Poetry Poetry Poetry! The first graders launched our poetry unit with the help of our very own, Mrs. Needle! We talked a lot about what we noticed about poetry! The children came up with some great ideas! They have been perusing different books of poetry and have been inspired to write their own poems as well! They will be writing poems about everyday objects, reading with rhythm and beat as well as experimenting with line breaks by reading a poem and then changing it up to make it their own!


In Science, the students are continuing with the Organisms unit. The children have learned a lot about Pill Bugs. They thought it was incredibly funny that a pill bug is not a bug or insect at all, it is a crustacean. We will also be doing more exploring with our Bess Beetles and guppies in the coming weeks. One of the last parts of this unit will be to do some planting! This is always a highlight of the unit for the first graders. We hope that you can add the seedlings to a garden at home!

Social Studies

Our last Social Studies unit of the year will be to study China. The students will be learning about Chinese culture and comparing rural and urban China to our lives here in the United States and Lexington. The children will watch a few brief videos, and then will participate in a “trip to China” where they will spend the day learning about and participating in different activities like calligraphy, the Great Wall of China, and mapping skills.


In the last few weeks of school the first graders will be wrapping up math by working on Number Operations in Base 10. They will be using place value understanding and properties of operations to add and subtract multiples of 10 within 100. They will work on some fun stations in class to practice these skills. We will end a cumulative review of first grade math!

So as you can see, there is no slowing down now that it is June! We are going to keep on chugging until they are official second graders!

The first grade teachers would like to encourage your child to read and write over the summer. Every day is a good day to read a book!

We wish you all a very happy summer vacation! It has been our pleasure to get to know all of the first graders this year! We will miss them dearly!

Grade Two News

We are going out with a BANG!

Although the year is almost over, we are still working hard to get in all the learning we can. Some of our most fun units, like Poetry and Engineering, are during the month of June. Going STRONG is our motto. Here is just a sampling of what we will be focusing on.

Review is the name of the game for our last Math unit. We will focus on skills that require a little more practice and ones that we may just be struggling with. Reading clocks, working with timelines and delving further into the concept of multiplication are just a few of the topics.

Grade 2 Composite Vocabulary List

● Addition facts, Doubles, Near Doubles, Addends, Sum, Difference, Equation

● Odd, Even

● Ones, Tens, Hundreds

● Skip count, Equal Groups, Multiplication

● Regroup, Trade, Compose, Decompose

● Expanded form, Standard form, Number names, Place Value, Value,

● Greater than, Less than, Equal to

● Ruler, Yardstick, Meter stick, Measuring tape Foot, Yard, Meter

● Number line, Open Number Line

● A.M./P.M.

● Dollar, Quarter, nickel, penny, Half Dollar, Cents, Dollar and Cent notation

● Line plot, Picture graph, Bar graph

● Angles, Faces, Quadrilaterals, Quadrangle, Pentagon, Hexagon, Cube

● Rows, Columns, array

● Fraction, Thirds, Quarters, Halves

As we roll into the final few weeks students will continue their investigations around our Painted Lady butterflies and our Brassica Plants we grew. Along with learning about both organisms’ life cycle, we will study the relationship between the two and how pollination is needed to continue growth. We will also be using our engineering skills to create our own “hand pollinator”. This has become a highlight of our scientific practices this year!

As we come to a close of the school year our 2nd grade team would like to thank all their families for the overwhelming support we have received all year. Two-way communication has proven to be the backbone for such a successful year and we wanted to encourage this to continue as we finish off our last few weeks. Mixed emotions for students, families and staff are elevated at this time, but the greatest emotion of all is PRIDE. Your children have shown amazing effort and the fruit of their labors is all they have learned. We know this love of learning will continue into 3rd grade. Just know we will always be your child’s teacher even when they have moved on so please fell free to reach out to any of us at anytime.

Please be sure to check the Fiske Calendar for all the exciting end of year activities such as Field Day and our Museum of Science in school presentation on life cycles.

Grade Three News

The third grade has been busy with the culmination of our unit on Lexington 1775. Our field trips to Historic Lexington were wonderful! The children learned a lot as they toured through the Hancock-Clark House and the Old Burying Ground. Some of them were quite excited and surprised to see the headstones of the relatives of the Lexington 1775 personas they have been portraying throughout the unit! The children have learned about the Lexington Bonfire (of tea), the Boston Tea Party, and the Revolutionary War. The “Lexington 1775 families” in each classroom enthusiastically learned what life was like and how it differed from life today.

The students have learned so much this year in third grade! They have grown as readers, writers, scientists, mathematicians and historians. Please encourage your child to continue reading, writing and playing various games throughout the summer.

We wish you all a wonderful summer vacation!

Grade Four News

Our year long study of North America is culminating with our annual Fiske Fourth Grade Fiesta! The students have researched various aspects of Mexican culture in preparation for the big event. A special thank you to the ACT Committee for hiring our mariachi band, to the Whitson’s Food Service folks for preparing a delicious feast of Mexican fare, and to all of the parent volunteers and participants. This festive celebration is a great way to wrap up our learning this year.

We wish all of our fourth grade families a relaxing and fun-filled summer ahead. Please keep your child reading this summer! In addition, try to keep your child writing this summer by writing postcards, emails, keeping a journal or diary, etc. With regards to math, students can continue to strengthen and solidify their fact power, work on the Greg Tang Summer Math Challenge that was sent home or try some other web games they enjoyed this year (check out the research sheet sent home for some ideas).

It’s hard to believe our year is coming to an end and that our students will be entering their last year at Fiske. They have so much to look forward to as fifth graders next year, and we look forward to watching them learn and grow as we have seen them do throughout this school year.

Grade Five News

On Thursday, June 8th, all 5th graders will wear tie dye to represent the last year at Fiske Elementary. We made our shirts and they came out amazing, with many different designs. The 5th grade will be full of color and smiles on Field Day. (by Gavin and Zachary, Ms. Gavrin’s class)

Every year, the fifth graders work hard for the upcoming MCAS. In the fifth grade, not only do you have ELA and Math MCAS, you also have Science. We are all very proud of our hard work, and it certainly paid off! (by Abigail and Hania, Ms. Gavrin’s class)

On May 2nd the fifth graders visited and took a tour of Diamond Middle School. During the tour, we experienced the schedule and many of the different classes. For example, ancient civ, world languages, art, and math. From the inside, Diamond looked really exciting. We are all sad to leave Fiske and had many great memories here. For instance, the 5th grade camping trip, the Mexican Fiesta in 4th grade and the Fiske Fair. Lots of us started going to Fiske in different grades, yet we all had a fun experience. Even though graduation will be a fun experience we’re all sad to leave Fiske. But, we are happy to go to Diamond and start a new journey together. (by Enya, Maya and Nina, Ms. Gavrin’s class)

Memoir writing was an awesome project because you can write and express the most awesome things in your life or the best thing that happened to you. We write about things in our lives that meant something or something that keeps coming up always keep coming back to us. Also if you have a story about an example of courage, perseverance, or bravery. We also made posters to illustrate the important parts of our lives. We brought in pictures of us on vacations, pictures of pets, pictures of our family members and memorabilia of things from our lives (Awards, Things you collect, favorite toys, etc.). (by Austin, Chad and Destini, Ms. Gavrin’s class)

In math class we’ve recently started a unit on basic algebra. We’ve been learning about how to solve for a variables in very basic equations such as n+5 = 7 in which case the answer would be n=2.We’ve also been making expressions for word problems such as: A submarine is at a depth of x feet and then it dived 150 more feet. How many feet did the submarine dive in total? The expression for that equation would be x+150. (Elias and Aidan, Mrs. Belletti’s class)

In Science we have been learning about ecosystems and how they work. We made the ecocolumns out of plastic bottles: on the top was the terrarium and on the bottom of the ecocolumn was the aquarium. In the aquarium we added mosquito fish, snails algae, duckweed and elodea in the aquarium. On the other hand, in the terrarium we added crickets, soil, mustard seeds and pill bugs. (Kate and Samantha, Ms. Gavrin’s class)

Specialist News

Counseling News

11 Ways to Reclaim a Relaxing Summer for Your Family

By Grown And Flown, Jennifer Breheny Wallace

Summers start with the best intentions. We fantasize about long, peaceful days at the beach building sand castles with our toddlers or playing tennis with our teens. Casting off a busy school year, we’re excited to finally relax the rules. Yes to the ice cream cones with insanely sugary toppings just before bedtime (heck, what bedtime?). Yes to the car keys (so what if it’s three late nights in a row?). Breakfast brownies? Why not? Another TV show? Sure, go ahead. It’s summer vacation, right?

Then, in Week Three, reality sets in: the bedtime routine now takes twice as long, everything has become a negotiation, and those idyllic days at the beach — well, they’ve become the setting of the sunscreen wars. How did these relaxing summer days get so... stressful?

Whether your kids are having a throwback 1970s summer, a Free-Range or a Hovering Helicopter summer, beware of the ever-tempting “summer slide.” The summer slide is the parenting equivalent of the “summer brain drain,” where what we know as parents slides, well, down the drain. In an effort to keep our summer fantasy alive, we sometimes bend our rules just a little too much and then suddenly... SNAP.

Before things get totally out of control, let’s get back to the basics, kindergarten-style — and start digging our way out of this sand pit to avoid getting buried alive. It’s worth reminding ourselves that summer is a break from routine, after all, not a break from parenting.

Here are 11 things you can do now to reclaim your relaxing summer:

1. Stop with all the choices.

Teachers offer “choice” in small doses. They don’t offer a range of snacks and they don’t ask kids if they’d rather go to art class or gym class. Giving too many choices gives up too much control, and teachers know to do that sparingly.

2. Go ahead, disappoint.

You-Get-What-You-Get-And-You-Don’t-Get-Upset. Don’t be afraid to disappoint. Resilience, learning how to bounce back, is a skill that can be taught, but not if we’re smoothing over every conflict just to avoid a momentary tantrum or mommy guilt. We need to learn to live with the short-term discomfort and concentrate on the long-term gain.

3. Sloooow down.

Seeds grow slowly; chicks hatch when they are ready; important things take time. Children and teens don’t understand time — they want what they want when they want it. We too often react by jumping on their timeline. When we contort ourselves to suit their whims, we not only upend our lives, we give away the opportunity to teach them about patience.

4. Stop asking permission, OK?

“Mommy just has to run this quick errand, OK?” Teachers don’t ask permission. Ending declarative sentences with question marks is giving power to a little person who doesn’t actually want it. What children want is the security of limits and parents who know when to say no, even in the summer.

5. Let them clean up.

Overscheduled children don’t have time to clean their rooms or do their chores. Teens with summer jobs and SAT prep are just too busy to pick up their clothes off the floor. In school, if you haven’t cleaned up your mess, then you cannot move on to your next activity. By failing to insist upon this at home, we let our kids control the disorder in our houses and in our lives.

6. Revisit Oz.

The single most exciting thing that happens in kindergarten is that children take their first steps on the way to reading — starting on a yellow brick road that leads to a vast magical world they can now visit on their own. And then we and our kids get busy and forget about the Emerald City because life is too rushed and there is already too much reading assigned at school. Take back Oz; remember how lucky our kids felt when they first decoded the printed page.

7. Circle time.

It’s important to ask our kids about their day, every day. Create your own version of “circle time” at home. Tell the kids about your day, your challenges and triumphs, and ask them about theirs. This becomes even more important with teens, who will know that sharing what they are up to with their parents is just part of the deal.

8. Teachers, not friends or fairy godmothers.

When we try to be our child’s friend, we not only cede authority, we actually cheat them out of a more important relationship. We are there to teach and love and guide, not to grant their every wish.

9. Rest time.

Teachers know the importance of rest. Regular and adequate sleep is essential for kids at every age. Even tweens and teens should have a regular bedtime right up through high school. The end of summer should not be like a bad bout of jet lag, with no one able to get to sleep at night or up in the morning.

10. Mind their manners.

Manners never stop mattering. As parents, we all too often rush, cut corners, forget to be as polite as we could and let our kids get away with the glib manners of the 21st century. Nothing has changed; manners are still magical and it is within our power to teach them.

11. Summer doesn’t equal spoiling.

At every age, kids think getting everything they want will make them happy, and it will be a very long time before they learn this isn’t true. We know the truth, and if we don’t teach this lesson early and often, the unbridled greed inspired by media can soon overwhelm our family’s true values. Days at the beach are a treat. A family vacation is something special. Summer doesn’t have to equal spoiling.

Summer is just a different season, not a different childhood. It can be so easy to confuse the two.

Art News

Wow! Where has this year gone!

Thank You to FOLMADS (Friends of Lexington Music, Art and Drama Students Inc.) for awarding Fiske with a grant for six sewing machines. We are so excited to be able to teach our students how to sew!

Grade K

We are working on “My Art Books”. The activities in this book are a review of all things we’ve learned this year. We started the pages about shapes and line. Coming up – A self-portrait, texture, neutral colors, secondary and primary colors, warm and cool colors and all about and pattern.

Grade 1

Soon to come - a small Matisse like painting. We will also be working on what to pack for summer vacation.

Grade 2

We are now working on a “Bug’s” eye view of a flower, with the flowers inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe. We will be designing the ultimate dream house project inspired by the Taj Mahal.

Grade 3

Students have been working on sculpting a self-portrait of what they want to be when they grow up, inspired by Dr. Seuss’ “Maybe you should fly a jet! Maybe you should be a vet! The students are making clothing and set them in an illustrated scene. We will also be working on a silhouette type painting of warm colors. We will wrap up with a movie and a book, inspired by Henry Rousseau.

Grade 4

Look for Mexican influences during the Fiesta! We will be working on a Celtic stained glass like design as well as a giant face card.

Grade 5

We will be designing starbursts with our names for graduation, based on the Pop Art style of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. Look for your son or daughter’s during graduation. We will be designing our own Campbell Soup and practicing drawing a city in one point perspective.

Hope you all have a great summer relaxing and having fun together.


Mrs. O’Leary, Miss Walker and Ms. O’Connor

Please Note our new email address as of July 1st., swalker, and aoconnor

ELL News

ELL classes are finishing up strong this year. In our Kindergarten group we are learning how to use academic conversations to enhance our learning. We are reading big books and talking about story elements and textbook features. In our 1st grade classes we are reading fairy tales and discussing story elements as well, and using comparative language in academic conversations. In our second grade group our ELLS are finishing up their research on Jacques Cousteau and their academic conversations about his most important invention. We will embark upon a fun reader’s theatre about Cousteau to finish out the year. Our 3rd grade group is working hard on costumes and props as they get ready to perform their reader’s theatre called “Melt the Snow” to 3rd grade classrooms in the near future. They had fun reading the story as a culmination of our unit on States of Matter. In our 4th grade group we have been working on alternative poems to coincide with the students’ work in the classroom. We will finish up the year working on our unit about animal intelligence.

PE News

We have had a wonderful year in P.E. We wish the best to all our 5th graders and other students that will not be returning. Our hope is that everyone has a wonderful and active Summer and we look forward to seeing our returning students in the Fall!

Music News

News from the Music Room

Performance dates are set for the 2016/2017 school year:

Fifth Grade Chorus/Band/Strings:

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

Third Grade Recorder "Informance": Thursday, June 1, at 11:30 am in the Fiske Gym

Congratulations to the Fabulous Fourth Grade for their tremendous performance last week!

It’s been a great year! We will miss our Student Teacher, Ms. Granada. She got a job!

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

Kindergarden: Cobbler Cobbler, Tick-Tock, and the Good King/Queen Leopold game.

First Grade: Otto Goes to the Beach, Rain on the Green Grass, and Alison’s Camel.

Second Grade: Making our Menus, 1000 Hungry Savages, and learning about time signatures.

Fourth Grade: Great concert! We are on to Four White Horses.

Fifth Grade: Getting ready for our concert!

Thanks from Mr. Hart and Mrs. Larson

Library News

All books are due back to the Fiske Library by Friday, June 9.

It’s been a wonderful year in the Fiske Library. I love watching students find a new favorite author or series and blossom into avid readers. I enjoy each and every one of your children. They are unique and sweet and thoughtful and amusing. I hope the students have had as much fun in library as I have had with them.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those who give so much of their time to volunteer in the Fiske Library. Your commitment and enthusiasm makes Fiske School the best that it can be!

Have a safe, wonderful summer!

Math News

Ideas to continue math fun through the summer:

Bedtime Math - Apps, Books, and Online Resources ~

Follow me on Twitter @FiskeMath

Literacy News

It’s hard to believe that summer break is only a couple of weeks away. Each year we learn so much about our students, especially about what they love to read. We hope they all have the opportunity to read on a daily basis this summer. This book list will give you many suggestions for age appropriate books for your children.

Thousands of new titles are published every year, but children never get tired of the classics. Try to include some of the titles from the list below into your child’s summer reading list.

We would love if all our students kept up some of the writing skills they acquired during the school year and the best way to practice writing is to just write. Summer writing has to be fun and you will get some fun ideas from the site below.

Have a safe and fun-filled summer.

Health Office News


If your child has medication at school, it must be picked up by the last day of school. If it is possible, and your child will not need the medication, you are welcome to pick up the medication anytime before the last day of school. Any medication not picked up from school will be discarded.

At the elementary level, medication is usually transported from home to school and back by adults. This is to prevent any accidents with medication among children.

It is important to note that a new medication form must be completed for any medication to be administered by the school nurse for next year. New forms can be downloaded for your convenience.

All prescription medications must be submitted in the original prescription bottle, clearly labeled. Over the counter medications that are ordered must be in small, unopened, original container, marked with your child’s name.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call, or stop by the Health Room.

Have a safe, happy and healthy Summer!