ATC Principal's Newsletter

April 2016

Important Upcoming Dates

April 11th - Red Sox Spirit Day!

April 12th - PTO Meeting 6:30PM

April 12th - Yankee Candle Pickup 6-8PM

April 15th - Early Release - 3rd Day of Parent Conferences - Sign up here.

April 18th - April 22nd: Spring Vacation (No School)

April 25th - Kindness Club Meeting 3PM

April 26th - School Site Council 3PM

May 2nd - First Day of PARCC - Full Schedule by Grade HERE.

May 26th - School Pride Night / Talent Show

Parent Survey

Please take a minute to complete the survey created by the ATC Site Council. This information helps us as we develop our school improvement plan. The middle school will also be using this information next year as they begin planning. Click HERE for the link.

Honor Roll!

Congratulations to our sixth and seventh grade students that have received High Honors and Honors status for the second trimester. Click HERE to see a list of these hardworking students!

Egypt Day

The sixth grade loves traditions! One of their famous traditions is Egypt Day. The teachers encourage students to dress in the clothing of this civilization and bring in their own artifact. The students create memories that creatively reinforce their classroom learning with kinesthetic experiences. Below: students share facts and their egyptian dance moves as they earn the next clue on their scavenger hunt.

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ATC Students Take Ownership!

A few weeks ago, I was very impressed with a group of fourth and fifth grade students that approached me about helping out around the school. The students asked if they could spend a few hours after school picking up trash around the playground and other areas of the property. This spirit of taking ownership of our school is a great sign and a testament to the work parents are doing at home with fostering good values.
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Dodgeball Tournament

The fifth grade teachers organized a terrific event for students this past week. Students from each grade created teams and competed against one another in a spirited dodgeball tournament. The entrance fee, $5 / player is going to a fifth grade field trip later this spring.


Below: One of the fifth grade teams.

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Student Council Bake Sale

The student council has been extremely active this year, planning many events and organizing activities that encourage their peers to become more involved. They have truly showcased and developed their leadership skills. This past Saturday, students spent their Saturday morning selling baked goods to raise money for a field trip they are planning later this spring. A big thanks for parent Kathy Hubert for helping organize the event!


Below: Students brave the cold to help their cause.

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Choice Program

This past month, students in grades 6/7 had a visitor from the Suffolk Country Sheriffś Department. Deputy Fiste discussed the importance of making good choices and covered a range of topics from social media to drug / alcohol use. The outreach program of the department is geared towards building positive relationships with the community while enhancing public safety.
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Hands-on Math!

The fourth grade has been doing a lot of work with hands-on math and manipulatives. Although we do integrate a lot of technology, there is no substitute for great instruction! In the below picture, Mrs. Calichman (4th grade teacher) and Mrs. Letterie have students doing a number line activity with decimals. This multi-sensory approach not only makes learning more fun, it works!
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Curriculum Updates

Grade 4

READING

Student will be able to correctly identify similes, metaphors, alliteration, hyperboles and personifications.

Students will be able to compare and contrast stories to poems.

Students will be able to identify the story elements of folktales, fables, myths and fairytales.

Student will be able to use a T chart to assist in Answering Inferential Open Response about character traits, settings and themes.


MATH

Our fourth grade students are working on developing a deeper and flexible understanding of both fractions and decimals. They have been using decimal models to explain equivalent decimals and they have been relating fractions, decimals, and money.


WRITING

Students will write literary essays on comparing and contrasting stories and poems.


SCIENCE

Students will finish the unit on Rocks and Minerals and the Rock Cycle.


SOCIAL STUDIES

Students will learn about the major immigrant groups that lived and settled in Massachusetts. Students will have an understanding of how immigrant groups settled in various areas for a variety of reasons.


Grade 5

In ELA students have been reading a variety of novels and they continue to focus on finding details and supporting them with evidence from the text, recognizing character traits, summarizing passages and reading for author’s purpose and perspective.


In Math students have been working on fractions. They are finding simplest form, comparing and ordering, multiplying fractions by whole numbers and fractions. Students are changing improper fractions to mixed numbers and mixed numbers to improper fractions. Some students have even begun dividing fractions.


In Science classes are finishing units on Simple Machines, Weather, Ecosystems, Light and Sound. Ben from Science for Scientists continues to come and work on experiments with the students. Some experiments include the egg drop without breaking and polymers.


In Social Studies classes are working on Explorers and Colonial America.



Grade 6

In ELA, students are preparing for the PARCC assessment which will be given in the beginning of May. This preparation includes targeted focused reading, time management, and writing. April is also poetry month, so we will be reading, writing, and viewing poetry of different forms.


In Social Studies, we are studying the culture of Ancient Greece. Our unit will highlight the development of the Minoan, Mycenaean, and classical civilizations. We will study Greek history including major political and cultural developments, highlighting Greece’s achievements in mythology, mathematics, the sciences, and politics. Our study will culminate with a celebration of Greek culture, Greece Day!


In math, we are finishing our equation unit by graphing equations on the coordinate plane. We are beginning our unit on geometry. In the geometry unit we will be focusing on area of various polygons and their placement on the coordinate grid.


In science, we continue learning about the geologic time. Study includes climate, land formation, and lifeforms in each of the three major eras. There will be a unit test coming up.



Grade 7

Students in science are transitioning out of the unit on Molecular Genetics and beginning the unit on heredity. They will learn that some genes have different “flavors” or alleles and that certain alleles are dominant to others. They will learn how Gregor Mendel discovered the laws of heredity. We will use Punnett Squares to determine possible gene pairs two parents can pass down to their offspring. We will also use family trees to follow genes and the traits they code for as they pass from generation to generation.


In social studies students are currently working on a unit for East and South East Asia. Students are focusing on the political, physical, and human geography of the region. Additional topics of focus will include population patterns, education in the region, tsunami and earthquake preparation, movement of goods and services, the Three Gorges Dam, religion, culture, and cuisine. Students will also be working in groups to complete an oversized physical feature map project of the region.


In seventh grade mathematics we are diving into our unit of Geometry. We are going to start calculating area of composite figures and then move onto calculating surface area and volume of prisms. In the accelerated class, we are finishing up our unit on probability and going to start a unit on real numbers. We will continue to practice for the upcoming PARCC assessment and implementing TenMarks assignments.


SCHOOL-WIDE READING

We continue to look for ways to motivate and encourage all students to read independently. Research shows that students who read more achieve more.

Last month, all fifth graders who successfully read two books were treated to a movie in the cafetorium. This month, our fourth graders are being challenged to read 3 chapter books by the end of April. Those students who successfully complete the challenge will be awarded to an extra afternoon recess on a warm spring day. Teachers and students are working hard to build reading stamina and achieve 100% participation.