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January 19, 2012

posted Jan 19, 2012, 11:53 AM by

This week the staff participated in a wonderful professional day, filled with information and ideas.  We began the morning with a presentation from Dr. Robert Brooks on Robert Brooks, The Power of Mindsets: Nurturing Motivation and Resilience in Students.  We also explored many avenues to effectively integrate technology into curriculum and instruction.  Creating classroom websites and using IPADS in the classroom were among the workshop offerings.  It was amazing to see the enthusiasm and excitement as teachers developed websites to enhance communication with families and explored the power of the IPAD in the classroom.

Next week, we continue our work with the Reading and Writing Project from Columbia University Teacher’s College. On Monday, January 23 and Tuesday, January 24, teachers will spend time observing and discussing the model lessons as presented in the classrooms, enabling them to expand their implementation of Writing Workshop.  We are so fortunate to be part of such a vibrant community where staff and students are always engaged in learning. 

This evening we will host a special parent discussion, Nurturing Thinkers, Curriculum and Assessment.  During this program we will explore the curriculum expectations through our school focus on Differentiated Instruction and the development of 21st Century skills. We will also have an opportunity to discuss how we assess student understanding and how families can participate in this important process. We hope you are able to join us to share your thoughts and questions on this important topic.


Donna Dankner and Pamela Bator


News from Mrs. Monahan’s Kindergarten Class:

This month, at morning meeting, we talked about our favorite winter activities.  The children had some good suggestions on how to stay warm, especially for one child who did not like snow, or ice or cold!  We learned about the night sky.  The moon and stars look so bright on these dark winter nights.  We also discussed winter conditions at the north and south poles and why a polar bear would never meet a penguin.

In handwriting we practiced lower case letters.  We wrote our first and last names using upper and lower case and even found out each other’s middle names.  In Creative Writing we wrote stories about events in our own lives, depicting what happened first, next and last.  Some interesting things have happened to the people in our class!

In language arts some of our activities have been reading with a buddy, reading by ourselves, writing a book report, keeping a reading log, lining up alphabetically, learning sign language and talking about plot, setting and main characters.  In Phonics we talked about word families and sounded out words in our books and our own stories.

In math, we graphed the length of our names, measured items with unifix cubes and kept track of how many days to 100 day on our classroom abacus.  We also played many games to develop our number sense.

Finally, in social studies, we talked about Martin Luther King and his work to reform laws in our country that were unjust.  The children were particularly interested in the story of Rosa Parks and how she quietly changed laws that were “just not fair”. We also studied the author, Ezra Jack Keats, and how he wrote stories for children who lived in the city.  We hope you and yours have a wonderful new year.


News from Mr. Mehigan’s Grade 3 Class:

The big news of the week was the arrival of our new student from Maine.  We welcomed her warmly and are enjoying getting to know her and making her feel comfortable in school.  Last week was also exciting as we celebrated the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.   We read biographies and watched videos including the full 18-minute, incredibly powerful "I Have A Dream" speech.  It left me with goose bumps.  During an in-class week long activity, children got to experience what it might have felt like to be segregated against, which I hope left an impression on how unjust segregation laws were.  In our science study of matter, we all enjoyed watching a can implode as the water vapor (steam) we created inside instantly turned back into water (which takes up less space) when we dunked the can into cold water.  To study solids, liquids and gases we witnessed the water cycle as we heated ice and watched it turn to water and then to steam.  We collected the steam on a cool surface which turned the water vapor back into water and then put the water outside to freeze completing the cycle.  Learning can be so much fun!!    Be kind to each other. 


Special Notes:

  • Kindergarten registration for the 2012-2013 school year will be next week, January 24th, 25th, and 26th from 9:00-12:00 and January 25th from 5:00-7:00 P.M.  Please contact the school office for registration information.  Also, if you know of families with children who will be eligible for kindergarten next year, please share this information with them.
  • Kindergarten registration for EXCEL is January 24, 25, 26, 2012 and remains ongoing after those dates.

January 24th     9-12:00

January 25th     9-12:00 and 7-9:00 PM

January 26th     9-12:00

  • Please remember not to bring dogs to school.  Many students are fearful of dogs which makes arrival and dismissal difficult for them.  We appreciate your assistance in making this a positive experience for all.

Dates to Remember:

  • January 19, 2012                              “Nurturing Thinkers: Curriculum/ Assessment” 7PM
  • January 24, 25, 26, 2012                  Kindergarten Registration       
  • January 24, 2012                              Preschool Information Night
  • January 27, 2012                              Early Release at 12:30