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November 3, 2011

posted Nov 3, 2011, 10:27 AM by

This has certainly been a year of surprising weather! The snow during this past weekend as well as the resulting power outages created challenges for us all.  Hopefully the power has finally returned to all families so we can keep warm as the winter approaches!

Many students and families were disappointed that the Monster March could not be held as scheduled. We have rescheduled this special event for Friday, November 4 at 8:45.  As previously planned, please bring your children to school in costume.  Students should follow their daily arrival procedure while parents locate a location to view the march.  The pleasant but cool forecast should allow us to hold the Monster March as planned. We look forward to seeing all our students in their creative and colorful costumes.

This year we are continuing our focus on the integration of technology into the curriculum as an important aspect of supporting each student’s development of 21st century skills. SmartBoards, SmartTables or Interactive white boards are integral components of instruction in many classrooms.  In this way, students are able to share and manipulate information. In many classrooms, students are using netbooks to enhance and extend their learning by accessing the wide range of instructional resources and information available through internet access.  Students are able to integrate knowledge and enhance their creativity while learning and enhancing their skills as global citizens. 

During our professional development this month, the staff will be exploring a new venue as we learn about Voice Threads. The Voice Thread website describes this as a collaborative and interactive tool that “allows every student in a class to easily record audio commentary about the ideas and experiences that are important to them….. Whether it’s an event, a project, or a milestone, students can tell their story in their own voice and share it.” Through a secure school website, families can then view and respond to student contributions. This professional development opportunity will introduce us to this exciting tool as we consider ways that Voice Threads may be able to extend student learning in the future.  

                                                            Donna Dankner and Pamela Bator

Special Notes:

Please join us this evening, November 4 for our first parent “Cookies and Conversation” on the topic Friends and Foes. We look forward to an informative discussion on this important topic.

There will be a PTO meeting on Tuesday, November 8 at 7:00 PM in the Green Meadow Library.  We hope you can join us!

Please join Brain Balance Achievement Center and Maynard SEPAC on Monday, November 7th at 7:00 pm at the Fowler School Library in Maynard to learn more about the causes of ADHD, autism, aspergers, Tourette's, and other disorders.   In 2011, nearly 25% of all children will struggle with the challenges of ADHD, autism, dyslexia, aspergers, and other learning and developmental disorders.  Our presentation will introduce the concept of positive neuroplasticity, the importance of integrated brain function, and the reality of remediation through hemispheric stimulation as well as helpful hints for working with children of both at home and in the classroom. Contact Jennifer O'Leary at or 978-897-2705 for RSVP or more information.

If you bring your child to school in the morning, please remember not to pass stopped cars as children are exiting to ensure all children arrive safely in school. 


News from Mrs. Foss’ Second Grade Class:

Next week we will begin our study on the Vernal Pool.  This unit is ongoing throughout the year, as we visit it at least once per season.  A few weeks ago, we had a guest speaker from the Audubon Society come in to talk about how to identify different leaves out in nature.  Ask your child about the stuffed owl she brought it.  It was very interesting!

In word study we have been practicing phonics skills such as:  short vowels, long vowels with magic e, long e spelled with ea, ee, e, and y, beginning consonant blends, and digraphs (the H brothers- sh, wh, ch, th).  We have been working on grammar skills such as:  subjects and predicates, the four different types of sentences (statement, question, command, and exclamation) and homophones. 

We recently completed our first unit in our Writing Workshop.  The authors celebrated with a publishing party where we shared our pieces of writing with other students.  We had a special snack and got to play outside.J  Students chose 1 piece of writing to publish for the celebration and they are proudly displayed on our “Amazing Authors” bulletin board outside our classroom.  We are now working on Small Moments: Personal Narrative Writing.


News from Mrs. Monahan’s Kindergarten Class:

Our kindergarten class has been quite busy this fall.  Last Friday we had our second publishing party.  The children picked their favorite story from all their writing this month.  They edited their work and we displayed it on the bulletin board.  We invited our Assistant Principal, Mrs. Bator, to come by and the children read their stories to her.  Then we celebrated with popcorn and a movie.  It is gratifying to see how our students’ writing has improved so much in one month’s time.

In science, we are studying the parts of the body and their different functions.  Last month we classified living and non-living things.  We studied a dissected sunflower under magnifying glasses.  The sunflower was no longer living, but the worm that crawl out was—how exciting!  In math we’ve been talking about sorting, graphing, patterns, counting objects and forming numerals.  Every day we have the problem of the day and demonstrate how many days we’ve been in school on our abacus.

Our social studies unit has been about the seasons and how they affect our weather in New England.  We learned about community workers and a Maynard firefighter gave us a presentation on Fire Safety.  Every morning we have our daily class news and question of the day such as “Do you have your costume yet?”  We tally our answers and are discovering how difficult it is to get a unanimous response (we’ve only had two).  Then the kindergarten helper checks the calendar, weather, daily schedule and does a “show and tell” for our class. 

Finally, in reading, we practice reading alone, reading with a partner and listening to books on tape.  Each child has a cubby of books they can read, either by using the words or the pictures.  In phonics, we study the sounds of letters and connect these sounds to make words.  Each of the children wrote a list of words they know for their writing folders.  They have all been such hard workers!

Dates to Remember:

      • November 3, 2011                   Family Association Pre School Info Night 6:30-8:30 PM
      • November 3, 2011                   Cookies and Conversation, Parent discussion Forum
      • November 4, 2011                   Early Release, 12:30 Dismissal
      • November 7, 2011                   Grade 3 Field Trip – Plimoth Plantation
      • November 11,2011                  Veteran’s Day, No School
      • November 18, 2011                 Early Release, 12:30 Dismissal
      • December 1-2, 2011                Early Release 11: 25 for Parent Conferences
      • December 5-9, 2011                Holiday Shoppe