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December 15, 2011

posted Dec 17, 2011, 5:05 AM by

December is almost half over, and before we know it, we will be ushering in the new year.  Before we do, however, it is important to take the time to stop and celebrate the important people, opportunities, and events that have already occurred over the past two weeks. 

As an entire school community, we thank the many, many volunteers and supporters of this year’s Holiday Shoppe.  The looks of pride, excitement, and joy on the faces of the children as they picked out “just right” gifts for their family members are a testament to those who made the Holiday Shoppe so successful. Thank you! 

On Tuesday, at our monthly staff meeting, our school nurse, Leslie Dowst, our school counselor, Cecilia Tatem Small, and our occupational therapist, Karen Ditto presented an important overview of the mind/body connection and the sensory/motor relationship.  We are grateful to learn with and from the experts within our community.  Your children may start rocking…ask them why!  By doing so we can spread what we learned even further beyond our walls.

Linda Gilberti, a former librarian at Maynard High School, has created a gingerbread house to be raffled on December 22, 2011.  This tradition began several years ago, and the proceeds of the raffle are donated to the Maynard Food Pantry.  The house is on display in the main office and the raffle tickets are in today’s backpack folder.  The chances are 25¢ each or 5 for $1.00.  You will find more specific information in the flyer.  This, like last weekend’s Beacon Santa Telethon, is a wonderful way to contribute to the greater Maynard community.  Thank you for helping make the outreach so successful.

As we all race around and tackle the never-ending to-do lists that are this time of year, we pause to thank you all for the hard work you do as parents and caregivers.  Thank you for your children.  They bring us great joy, bundles of questions, and promise for a bright future.


Donna Dankner and Pamela Bator


News from Mrs. McPhail’s Kindergarten class:

Greetings, once again, from the Smiley Face Classroom!  Mrs. McPhail's kindergarten friends have been busy blending sounds to read and write words, and are enthusiastic each day to find/read/write the “high frequency words” we have learned.  We are excited to be building our stamina for reading during the Daily 5, especially since Mrs. McPhail does her CRAZY dance whenever we add more time! We continue to explore the numbers 1 through 10 with lots of hands-on activities.  We just published our latest take-home class book, Ten Black Dots: rewritten by Mrs. McPhail’s Kindergarten and are thrilled when we each get a chance to share it with our families. We are talking about the Human Body and enjoy having “Stan the Man” (skeleton) visiting in our classroom. This month we're learning about the various holiday celebrations happening around the world through stories, activities/games, and crafts.  We had an amazing time shopping in our Green Meadow "Holiday Shoppe"...THANK YOU, PTO!!!!  It is fun to share our own personal traditions/customs with one another.  We wish you all a healthy and happy holiday season with your families and friends.  Happy 2012! ☺


Holly Class Happenings:

(Written with help from Holly class students) 


As we head toward Winter Break, and reflect on all we have learned in 2011, we are celebrating a lot of great Second Grade growth!


  • We have “fancied up” two writing pieces and had our publishing dance party! 
  • We have been working with our “spelling partners” to do daily word study and really “learn” our words, so that they become words we can spell and write in a “snap”.
  • We are reading many great fiction and informational books, with partners and independently, from our “Just Right Book Bags”
  • We have completed our TERC math units “Mathematical Thinking”, which gave us an introduction to second grade topics, and “Coins, Coupons, and Combinations”, which focused our learning on the number system and problem solving strategies.
  • We have read books about OWLS to learn about their habitats, their bodies, their screeches, and their habits.  We even dissected owl pellets to discover the kinds of “food” a barn owl eats by identifying the bones we found. Then, we “guessed” that our owls were probably smaller to medium-sized.
  • We took a walk to observe the Grace Vernal Pool to “see” what a vernal pool looks like and to explore the “canopy” surrounding it.
  • We have had our first Guest Reader- AJ’s dad, Mr. Colarullo, who shared a “Bully” book!
  • We had a visiting parent scientist- Logan’s dad, Mr. Alefantis, who started a class discovery related to “bacteria” around our classroom.
  • We have worked with our First Grade Friends in Ms. Laferriere’s class to make a Fall booklet, we were invited to their “publishing party” with a “Thanksgiving Feast”, and we will be doing more “get-togethers” each month!


We look forward to new learning adventures, and wish everyone at Green Meadow a fun time with family and friends during the upcoming Winter Break!


Special Notes:


  • The Green Meadow Directory has been completed and both email and print versions are available to our families.  The email versions were sent to those who requested them on their directory forms.  If you did not receive it or would like one, you can email Michelle Grace at  The paper versions are available in the school main office.  Additionally, you can send in a note with your child requesting the paper version and we will send it home in the backpacks.  We are asking for a $2 donation for the print versions to offset printing costs.  If you were not included in the directory or you need to update your child's entry, please email Michelle Grace at  We are able to update the email version and mail you a link to the new version after it is updated. 
  • In 2010 the community of Maynard had the extraordinary opportunity to nine students from China for ten days. We have just been notified that we will have the same opportunity again. The students are tentatively scheduled to arrive on Monday, January 23rd for a week. During the day the students will attend school at the high school. During the week the high school will organize 2 or 3 field trips for the exchange students and the host students. If you are interested in hosting a student please contact Dr. Chesson at the high school at or 978-897-8891 before the Christmas break.

Dates to Remember:

December 26-Jan. 2        Winter Break