Frances Drake March Newsletter

From Mr. Vera's Desk


Dear Frances Drake families,

I want to especially thank you for your support during our Fun Run event! The fundraiser did amazingly well, and students had an absolute blast! Each day of the fundraiser, students learned about character traits, while also earning some cool prizes as well. As a reward for having met our financial goal, Mrs. Hess and I got ourselves into dragon costumes and raced around the school, riding two brand new scooters with our finish line in the gym where all students were waiting to cheer! What a fantastic event all around! By the way, those two scooters, only used once, will be raffled for free during our Fun Family Night event taking place on March 19th, so be sure to put that date on your calendar and join us for another fun event! Lastly, do not forget to join us tonight for our Annual Sweetheart Dance! Information was sent home in advance; this is just a reminder! Thank you for the constant and amazing support you provide to our students and staff! Have a fantastic weekend, and let's start thinking Spring!

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From the School Council:

Parents, as MCAS approaches please keep in mind how important your child's attendance is. Research shows that students who miss more school than their peers consistently score lower on standardized tests, like the MCAS. This is a result that holds true at every age, in every demographic group, and in every state and city tested.


Even if your child is not being tested this year, their regular attendance is so important. Chronic absence is associated with a lack of certain social skills, including a child’s ability to pay attention, work independently, adapt to change and persist in tasks.


For more information related to the importance of attendance, visit Attendance Works.org.

We Celebrated 100 Days of School!

Mrs. Alera's K Class
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Mrs. Lane's 2nd Grade Class

Recently the second grade hosted another in-school field trip with the Nashua River Watershed Association Program. They focused on how water and wind change the Earth with hands on learning! They watched "wind" change the land, made rivers, and used a Magiscope to see eroded rocks.
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Mrs. Johanson's 3rd Grade Class

The students have been exploring the elements of poetry. Students have enjoyed exploring many of the elements of poetry including structure, poetic devices, including locating similes and metaphors. The kids had a blast relating poetry to lyrics in songs they know and locating the words "like" or "as" when they found similes. Then they were able to write their own simile "I am" poem comparing themselves to other objects. They are all great poets.
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HELP AUSTRALIA-Mrs. Gates 4th Grade Class

Recently, the fourth graders from Mrs. Gates's class organized a fundraiser to support the victims of the terrible fires in Australia. They learned about these fires by seeing them on the news and reading articles about them. The class felt like they had to do something to help. After days of planning and organizing, students spoke on the morning announcements, went from class to class to talk, and made posters to spread the word. Everyone in the school was invited to make a donation of $1 or more in order to wear a hat or bring in a stuffed animal for the day. Our goal was to raise $1,000. After 3 days, the fundraiser brought in $1,540.70! Students wrote letters to accompany a check to the Australian Red Cross. Way to go 4th graders!
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Mrs. Davis' 4th Grade Class



The Davis Team loves science! Her class used the engineering design process and basic materials to create a contraption that could safely carry an egg down a zip line. Eggcellent news!! All eggs made it down safely!

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Physical Education

Mrs. Alera's Kindergarten class practicing volleyball skills
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Mrs. Copeland's 3rd Grade class practicing their volleyball serve.
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Mr. Arbour's 4th Grade class practicing their volleyball serve.
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Nutrition Fun

Red Smoothies for your Sweetheart!

(A sweet idea without added sugar)

Ingredients:

¼ cup low fat yogurt (vanilla)

½ cup frozen strawberries

½ frozen banana

½ cup fat-free milk

Directions:

1. Wash hands with soap and water

2. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth (about 45 seconds).

Enjoy!

Did you know February 16 is National Almond Day? Almonds, like other nuts, are contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, meaning they are a heart healthy food! In addition, almonds are an essential source of protein which helps build strong muscle and maintain satiety throughout the day.

March is right around the corner, which means it’s almost National Nutrition Month. This year, our schools will focus on “Plant Power” as the National Nutrition month theme. Not only do plants contain vitamin B and fiber, but they also provide ample amounts of protein! Be on the look-out as we will be promoting fresh, seasonal and local foods within our cafeteria next month.

Personal Space with Mr. Londo-Guidance

Mrs. Alera's Kindergarten class was learning all about Space from our Guidance Counselor, Mr. Londo. Now, they are not talking about Outer Space, but Personal Space. In this Space Themed book Mr. Londo used a Hula Hoop to teach students all about their Space Bubble's and then the students practice what they learned around the classroom. Educating the students about the importance of respecting other's personal space, especially at at time of the year when germs are spreading rapidly, is something important for students to understand.
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Mindfulness with Ms. Feinberg-Guidance

This newsletter we are featuring Mindfulness. Mindfulness has become quite a buzz word as of late and for good reason.

"The benefits of mindfulness are not just anecdotal: A growing body of scientific research shows its positive effects on mental health and well-being. Practicing mindfulness has been shown to improve attention and reduce stress as well as increase one's ability to regulate emotions and feel compassion and empathy. Mindfulness also is widely considered an effective psychotherapy treatment for adults, children, and adolescents with aggression, ADHD, or mental health problems such as anxiety. " (reference: PsychologyToday)

Mindfulness is a life- long practice , something that applies to everyone... across cultures, religions, socioeconomic backgrounds, genders, age ...etc. Taking time to practice Mindfulness with our children will give them the ability to regulate themselves in any situation that comes their way, easy or hard, for years to come.

There are MANY free resources online for further exploration. Below are a few to get you started.


Activities:

Scan your body. This exercise helps students tune into their entire bodies and is a great
relaxation technique.

Follow the steps below.
1. Have your child lay on their backs on the floor. They can close their eyes if they are comfortable, or they can choose to look at the ceiling.
2. Beginning with their toes, instruct kids to take some deep breaths as
they pay attention to their various body parts for five to ten seconds at a
time. As they do so, ask them questions such as the following.
• How does this body part feel?
• Is it cold or warm?
• Does it feel tight or relaxed? If there is tightness in the body part, imagine breathing the stress out with each breath.
• Is all of that body part touching the floor or clothing, or just a part? What does that feel like?
3. Move on to their feet, ankles, calves, knees, etc. until you reach the head.



Calm your mind using your senses. Senses help students focus on the present. In order to calm their busy minds and bring awareness to the present moment, challenge students to close their eyes and think of the following.

Five things that can be seen
• Four things that can be touched
• Three things that can be heard
• Two things that can be smelled
• One thing that can be tasted



Video link: These are Excellent short mindfulness video clips.

https://www.youtube.com/watchv=wf5K3pP2IUQ&list=PL8snGkhBF7ngDp1oJtx5VcjwatxZn8xLK


**Please find 25 simple MINDFULNESS practices you can do at home with your children.


ENJOY!!

UPCOMING IN MARCH

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