Green Meadow News
December 12, 2013 Donna Dankner, Principal
Debbie Bresnick, Assistant Principal
With the support of our Math Coach, Terri Morrison, math has been an important curricular focus at Green Meadow School. She would like to take this opportunity to share with families all the exciting initiatives and programs that have become important components in our students’ learning experience.
Math Fact Fluency-Fact fluency is knowing basic facts with automaticity. Fact fluency allows students to access big ideas in Mathematics and to apply their knowledge of basic facts to calculations involving larger numbers.
Teaching math facts involves more than using flash cards. Often students who can’t remember their math facts don’t know what they mean. It is vital that students know what the facts mean and connect them to something that they understand. Teachers are using ReflexMath in conjunction with the teaching of calculation strategies and understanding of operations which build strong foundations for mathematical ideas. Students who are using ReflexMath regularly are making impressive gains with their fluency.
REFLEXMATH- Reflex Math is an online fact fluency program. All students in grades 2-6 have free access to ReflexMath. ReflexMath is an important tool that teachers are using in school to help students gain fact fluency here in Maynard. We selected Reflexmath for TWO important reasons.
1. ReflexMath individualizes each session for every student. The program adjusts to the needs of each student and provides practice with “just right” facts for each session.
2. ReflexMath teaches facts strategically. It is important when learning facts that students make sense of what each fact means and connect it to something that they understand. This builds long-term retention of the facts and supports sense making in mathematics.
ACCESS Reflexmath from any computer. This supports regular practice. It is recommended that students:
· USE ReflexMath at least 3 times a week.
· SHORT sessions are most effective…. 20-30 minutes maximum.
· GREEN LIGHT-Play one game until they see the green light. This ensures that students have had a good session and have demonstrated fluency with the facts they are practicing. Once students see the green light they can select any game or activity they prefer.
· Teachers receive a weekly update for their class. It tells how often each student uses Reflex, what facts they are fluent in, and recognizes milestones in achievement for the class and for individual students.
· Parents and students can see which facts students are fluent in and which facts they are still working on.
Thank you for partnering with our schools to support this important work. Many teachers are assigning ReflexMath as part of regular homework routines. Please be in touch with your child’s teacher or Terri Morrison, Math Coach firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about ReflexMath.
News from Mrs. Mazeika’s Class
In kindergarten we have kept busy despite the distracting snow falling outside! We are finishing up a month long author study on Tomie dePaola. Come by and we can share some of our observations of his writing styles, book themes and common characters. The next author we will be studying is Jan Brett. We look forward to reading some of her countless favorites, such as The Mitten. In addition, we have been learning about the human body in science. We have read many interesting facts including we have 206 bones and over 600 muscles in our bodies!
Where does the time go? Can you believe it is the middle of December? Well, we have been really hopping along in the Frog Class! We enjoy reading lots of interesting book and to name a few: Corduroy by Don freeman, Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes, Dinner at the Panda Palace by Stephanie Calmenson, Bunny Cakes by Rosemary Wells, No, No, Titus by Claire Masurel and our all time favorites Mo Willems’ Pigeon.
It’s that time a year, so we have started our unit on “Winter Holidays around the World”: Diwali, Ramadan, Hanukkah, Las Posadas, Christmas, and Kwanzaa. Recently we read Tomie DePaola’s The Legend of Old Befana (a story from Italy), we learned about children from the Netherlands and their wooden shoe tradition, and we read The Festival of Lights the Story of Hanukkah by Maida Silverman, Chanukkah Guests by Eric A Kimmel, The Magic Dreidels by Eric A Kimmel, and The Story of Kwanzaa. In addition, Mr. and Mrs. Richter visited our class and taught us about authentic German traditions. They gave us a wonderful book with the most beautiful illustrations: The Elves and the Shoemaker by Jim La Marche!
In math our class is working on addition. We have been making up fun stories and challenging each other to create number sentences (Two of our cats were outside and two of our cats were inside the house; how many cats do we have in all: 2+2=4). The children enjoy learning math facts by playing with cards, dice and dominoes too! (Truly, inexpensive great gift ideas for the holiday!) We also love to sing a Ten Frame song to the tune of… one little, two little, three little! The children are having fun and learning their Fact Families at the same time… a win- win strategy! Dreidel Games have brought days of fun!
We are stretching those sounds to form words as we write our terrific Small Moments Stories. After we publish our monthly stories we always have a dance party which is always a hit! We definitely have the right moves!
Seasons Greeting from the Frog Class
Ø There will be an 11:25 dismissal today, Thursday, December 12 and tomorrow, Friday, December 13.
Ø If you need to change your child’s dismissal plan, please send a note with your child at the beginning of the school day. Please do not call or send emails during the day for routine changes as it is very difficult to be certain each child is safely dismissed. We appreciate your assistance in this process to ensure safety for all.
Ø Please be certain to send warm clothing for outdoor play each day.
Ø Please check the Lost and Found located in the Cafeteria for any items your child maybe missing. Any items not claimed by December 20, 2013 will be donated to charity.
Dates to Remember
Ø December 12, 13 Parent Conferences - 11:35 Dismissal
Ø December 18 Parent Coffee – 8:45 AM
Ø Friday, December 20 Early Release, 12:40 dismissal
Ø December 23-January 3 No School – Vacation
Ø January 14-16 Kindergarten Registration 9:00-12:00
Ø January 15 Kindergarten Registration 5:00-7:00 PM