Classroom Updates - November 1, 2016

Mrs. Mason - Music

Last week students started looking at pieces from our composer of the month, Camille Saint-Saëns. Kindergarten through fifth grade looked at “The Carnival of the Animals”. We did creative movement in kindergarten and we looked at musical opposites in first grade. Second, third, and fourth grade created their own movements and melodies for the class and have or will be performing them for the rest of their classmates. Fifth grade created a movement and melody for an animal that is not in “The Carnival of the Animals” and performed their compositions for the class. All of the grades will be watching a short video on the piece once performances are done and doing an activity with the video that they watch. 

Sixth, seventh, and eighth grade focused on the piece, “Danse Macabre.” Sixth graders listened to the piece and then created a picture as to what they thought the piece was about. We, then, talked about their ideas and watched a short video showing what the meaning was. Eighth graders did a similar activity without drawing pictures. Seventh grade will be learning about this piece during their portion of music and film and how music can tell a story without words. 

 

Mrs. Savoie - Kindergarten

What an exciting week in kindergarten! We have harvested potatoes planted by last year's kindergarten class and will be sharing them during snack Tuesday.  Next spring, our class will plant potatoes outside and get to share them with next year's kindergarteners.  

We also had the realization that Thursday will be the 45th day of school.  We will be 1/4 done with kindergarten and 1/4 of the way to being first graders.  The good news is that we still have 3/4 of the school year left to spend together.  

In other big kindergarten news, we have a collaborative piece of art displayed at Wild Salamander Creative Arts Center in Hollis. With the leftover pieces of paper from a group art project, Mrs. Dinbergs created our work of art and submitted it to the art show. Check your child's folder for the announcement of the exhibit, including the opening reception of November 4. All of the artwork in the "Good Things Come in Small Packages" exhibit is for sale. Proceeds from the sale of our piece will go to support our school.

During ELA we have been working with "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" and have set the story to drums.  We have been practicing in the classroom and in music class. We'll be performing for our reading buddies next week. As part of our study of this story, we have created a coconut tree outside our classroom door.  During Daily 4 this week, we'll be creating the letters climbing the tree.  

 

Mrs. Waterman - First Grade

In Math, first graders are getting really good at counting on to find the “altogether number”. This week’s math focus will be adding doubles. We will be learning a fun little rhyme and song to help us learn our doubles facts.

In ELA this week, we will begin our second Witt and Wisdom Module.  This module is titled “Creature Features.”  Over the course of the week, we will read three different Aesop’s Fables: “The Hare & the Tortoise,” “Fables,“ and “The Ant & the Grasshopper.”  Students will continue to identify the character, the setting, and the problem and solution of the story. 

During Fundations, we have begin unit 3 which will focus on consonant digraphs wh, ch, sh, th and ck.  This week’s trick words are; as, has, in and into.  

Science is such a fun and exciting time for us because we have so many investigations going on in our classroom. Last spring, Mrs. Savoie’s kindergarten friends planted several potatoes in our garden. Monday morning, we had the opportunity to help dig up the potatoes.  First graders were thrilled and surprised at how big the potatoes were and how many there are! First grade friends witnessed, first hand, that they can make a new plant from and old plant. This week we will also begin to investigate plant stems. Students will be cutting several different plant stems and will begin rooting them. We are still looking for a few more plan clippings for our rooting investigation. If you have some you can donate, please send them in.  

 

Mrs. Duffy - Second Grade

What a wonderful time second graders had at the Fall Festival on Monday! Thank you to all who worked to make it such an enjoyable event! Second graders were very fortunate to participate in another community-building activity last Friday, when Ms. Frost’s fourth grade shared their Civil War presentations with us. First, second, and third graders greatly appreciated the fourth grade’s work - you could’ve heard a pin drop in the audience! We are also lucky to have Mrs. Able beginning to work with us this week. My returning students remember Mrs. Able fondly from her work with us last year. She will be joining us each afternoon for several hours - thank you to Mrs. Gratton, Mrs. Cevasco, and Mrs. Able for working that out for us! We still have Mrs. Butler with us all day and Mrs. Ferguson with us for part of each afternoon, too! Parent conferences are scheduled for Wednesday, November 16th (no school for students on that Wednesday), Thursday, November 17th, and Friday, November 18th. If you haven’t signed up for a conference yet, I have the sign up sheet with me every day at pick up. If I don’t see you at pick-up and you would like to sign up for a conference, please email me and we’ll arrange a time that works. 

 

Mrs. Berube - Third Grade

We are so proud of our third grade writing! Along with identifying parts of speech, we have studied the elements of a sentence. We are becoming familiar with the components of an effective topic statement. Students will be learning to write explanatory and informational paragraphs by using topic statements; grouping related ideas together; developing a topic with facts, definitions, and details; and using linking words to connect ideas. Students will continue to develop their writing skills in a variety of genres over the course of the year. In conjunction with our study of the elements of a story, third grade authors chose element "ingredients" from bags with which they are crafting a short fiction story.   The ingredients in each category vary.  They are: setting; where and when, problem and character.  After last week's nonfiction writing, we are ready to let our imaginations wander in our creative writing. 

 

Miss Frost - Fourth Grade

Last week we made mazes for Winn-Dixie, our class pet hamster. Everyone worked so hard and had a blast! We will use one maze each week. At the end of the week the maker of the maze will be able to bring their creation home! We are hoping to get to the YMCA for gym this Friday. We will need all permission slips back before we can make it there. We will learn how to do peer conferences for our writing. Getting feedback from peers is a great way to hear a different perspective and improve on our writing skills. 

 

Mrs. Tanguay - Fifth Grade

Math: Keep working on multiplication facts!

ELA: After practicing writing a compare/contrast paragraph, students will now be focusing on finishing reading our main text, Thunder Rolling in the Mountains, and then will begin working on their final assessment, a mini-essay  including a compare/contrast paragraph.

Science: Science is rolling along (pun intended) as we continue to experiment with rolling steel balls down ramps and learning about different kinds of energy and force.

 

Ms. Alvarado - Sixth Grade

This week in math we will be kickstarting our new unit. This unit is solely based on the division of fractions. It will deepen the student's understanding of last year’s math concepts, where they focused on the multiplication of fractions. We will start with the concept that dividing by 4 is the same as multiplying by 1/4. Then we will move to tackling word problems that involve the whole numbers divided by fractions. In ELA we are completing our Thunder Rolling in the Mountain unit by writing an essay to compare and contrast the beliefs and values of Chief Joseph and Sound of Running Feet. Students will write either a 4-5 paragraph essay to show how each of the character's beliefs and values helped guide their actions throughout the novel. 

In Social Studies, we will be wrapping up our debate on Thursday! We will set up the classroom to have a debate forum and students will be able to put into practice what they have been preparing for! 

 

Mrs. Fritz - 7th & 8th Grade Humanities  

"I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, it's stupidity."       - Dwight D. Eisenhower

This week both 7th and 8th grade are beginning their new modules in Humanities.  

Over the course of the week, the 8th grade will be learning about the events that lead up to WWI. During this module, we will look at how art and literature illuminates the events of WWI and we will develop a deeper understanding of the impact that war truly had on the human psyche.

7th grade will be looking at the events leading up to WWII and the impact that it had on Americans at the time.  We will be discussing the American response to the build up of WWII and why they didn't want to be included in Europe's conflicts. 

"I know not with what weapons World War Three will be fought, but World War Four will be fought with sticks and stones.”          - Albert Einstein

 

Mrs. Kone - 7th & 8th Grade Math and Science

In science this week we will be studying the effects that acid has on waterways.  Students will test different samples to figure out their pH and learn about different ways in which water quality is measured.   In seventh grade math we are studying percent problems, while in eighth grade math we are continuing linear equations. 

 

Ms. Keefe - Visual Arts

With Halloween going, going....I had to send home the awesome eighth grade haunted Halloween paintings so parents could enjoy them too! Our middle schoolers had fun exploring color with an interactive music and art lesson last week and, this week, creating color wheel collages. Fifth and sixth grades are continuing their portrait unit from creating realism portraits to constructing cubism faces inspired by the artist Pablo Picasso. Younger grades have been using warm and cool colors for their landscapes drawings. As usual, lots going on, and there is more to come...

Classroom Updates - November 8, 2016

Mrs. Mason - Music

Last week, most students started to wrap up their first unit and some started a new unit. Kindergarten, second, fourth and fifth completed learning about “The Carnival of the Animals.” Third grade will complete it this week. First grade started a new unit learning about the instruments in the orchestra. Sixth grade began working on their end of the unit cross-curricular project on Native American culture. Seventh grade completed the lecture part of music and the media and will start their end of the unit project this week. Eighth grade completed their bucket song ending their unit on non-traditional instruments. Most grades also had the chance to meet Mrs. McHugh, our accompanist for the winter concert. She spent the day here on Thursday to work with the students on their winter song. She will be coming in throughout the upcoming month to work with all classes and help us with final preparations. 

 

Mrs. Savoie - Kindergarten

What a busy four days for kindergarten! We will be drumming "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" for our reading buddies on Wednesday. The final piece in our study of this book will be to complete a class book to answer the question, "How do our senses help us understand this story?"

Our new Daily 4 routine is working quite well. Working in small groups allows Mrs. Dinbergs and me the opportunity to provide more targeted instruction and gives everyone an equal opportunity to share what they're learning and to ask questions. A few students have even said that this is their favorite part of our day. During Daily 4 we continue to work on Fundations. We're also creating an alphabet book and have started writing in book journals.  Each student has a journal in which he or she writes the title of the book being read independently (reading either words or pictures), then records the favorite part of the book using either words or pictures.

During science we continue talking about the weather. We have learned about different tools to measure the weather (thermometers, anemometers, and rain gauges).  We'll be focusing on clouds for the next 2 weeks, learning about cumulus, stratus, and cirrus clouds.  Self-made books will come home soon.

Conferences are scheduled for next week.  You will get a reminder note home with the report cards on Monday.  If you haven't scheduled a conference and would like to, please either stop me during drop off / pick up or email me (savoiea@gccs-nh.org). I'm looking forward to being able to talk with each of you.

Thank you to everyone who has been able to come in to volunteer. Children love to have a family member join us and your presence gives us the opportunity to provide a richer learning experience. Your joining us gives the children a chance to play games or participate in other reading or math activities while Mrs. Dinbergs and I focus on the formal curriculum. And, it just makes kindergarten more fun! So thank you again for taking the time. We look forward to welcoming more volunteers.

 

Mrs. Waterman - First Grade

First graders will have a busy week! Since Election Day is Tuesday, we will read several fun books about voting and elections. We will also learn about what it means to be a veteran and we’ll acknowledge Veteran’s Day on Thursday.  We will write a message to a Veteran and create a project.

In math, we will continue to work on addition facts to 10 and we will focus on double addition facts to 20.  

During Fundations, we will continue learning about digraphs. The trick words for the week are: he, she, we, me and be.

 

Mrs. Duffy - Second Grade

We are working on linear measurement in second grade math this week. Our curriculum provides experience in measuring with non-standard units as well as measuring in inches and centimeters. We measure to the nearest whole number, without using fractional numbers. Students move from measuring with unit manipulatives to using more standard math tools (rulers, tape measures, and centimeter sticks). Using any of these tools to measure a variety of items at home is a great way to extend and reinforce our in-class activities. As always, we are continuing our work in developing counting skills and fluency in working with number order, place value, abstract thinking to take apart and put together numbers in our heads through several steps of problem solving, and addition and subtraction within 100. Working at home towards automatic recall of basic addition and subtraction facts within 20 is very beneficial. Many students need additional practice with determining and continuing a counting sequence ( __, 27, 28, 29  or 117, 118, ___, 120). Practicing these skills at home keeps them fresh for those who have mastered them and goes a long way towards developing fluency for those who haven’t yet mastered the skills. Fluency with all addition and subtraction facts for single digit numbers (5+4,  9-3, etc) is expected by the end of second grade. Addition and subtraction war are favorite in-class card games to practice these skills, and are easily played at home if you have a deck of cards! 

 

Mrs. Berube - Third Grade

Hooray Third Grade Readers! I am happy to announce that our class now has access to Raz-Kids both at home and in the classroom. Raz-Kids provides leveled reading books online for students. Raz-Kids offers hundreds of e-books at 29 reading levels.  Students access their leveled text through an interactive learning portal designed to keep children motivated and engaged. Every eBook is available in online and mobile formats, and allows students to listen to text, read at their own pace, and record themselves reading. Students may take a corresponding eQuiz complete with an extended answer response to assess comprehension and determine future instructional needs. Once a child has read ten or more of the leveled eBooks and passed each of the corresponding eQuizzes, they advance on to the next reading level where they have access to lengthier and more difficult text.  The ebooks children have access to on Raz-Kids are the same books I print and teach during our guided reading groups. This new home-school connection will allow your child to share reading strategies we are practicing in third grade.  We will practice logging into Raz Kids in the classroom, then students will bring their login info home.  Please continue to encourage your child to read every day!

 

Miss Frost - Fourth Grade

This week, 4th grade will be making fall leaf bowls as a fun artistic activity. We will do some creative writing, pretending we are slaves during the Civil War and will create our own fictional story. Our stories will be displayed on lanterns that we will make out of construction paper. We will also begin to learn about some of the battles fought during the Civil War. In ELA we will start to discuss why and how scientists explore sea creatures. We will begin our discussions with sharks. We have been working very hard writing in paragraphs that are organized and interesting. Everyone has been doing a great job using the writing process to improve their own work. Students have been peer conferencing with each other to give helpful feedback to one another. We will do some fun STEM activities that require critical thinking and team work! To help with our multiplication facts, we will make multiplication circles using string and other materials. Parent teacher conferences are next week. If anyone would like a conference but has not signed up yet please email me at frosts@gccs-nh.org

 

Mrs. Tanguay - Fifth Grade

Math: Students will be moving on to dividing multi-digit whole numbers and decimal fractions using estimation strategies and the standard algorithm.

ELA: Students are working hard on their mini-essays to answer the focus question: What important beliefs and values guide Chief Joseph and his daughter, Sound of Running Feet? Drawing on multiple sources that they have cultivated over the course of the module, students are writing two paragraph mini-essays that include a topic statement, comparison and contrast body paragraphs with appropriate transition words, and a conclusion statement. Students will be using Google Docs for the first time in order to save paper and provide an easier way to deliver edits and revisions. 

Science: Students are about halfway through the module Motion, Force, and Models. In their next Investigation, they will be creating flipper models that will allow them to test how force affects different masses.

 

Ms. Alvarado - Sixth Grade

In math we are continuing to work on dividing fractions. We will be moving forward with dividing fractions with unlike denominators. Student will learn how to show the model through tape diagrams that will show the math visually. In addition students will be working on dividing fractions by mixed numbers. We will be reviewing how to create improper fractions from proper fractions in order to divide them properly. 

In ELA we will be starting our new unit that involves understanding the Hindu culture as we will be analyzing a Hindu myth that follows a hero's Journey. In this module we will be looking at both mythology as well as contemporary examples that follow a hero's journey.

In 6th grade social studies we will be looking at the concept surrounding religious freedom. Does this exist in our society today? We will be doing research that surrounds this topic to understand how many different types of religions there are around the World as well as why is it important to know about and understand them. 

 

Mrs. Fritz - 7th & 8th Grade Humanities  

 

 

Mrs. Kone - 7th & 8th Grade Math and Science

This week in science we will be studying about different ways to determine water quality.  Ask your child about what they learned about their carbon footprint and how it affects water quality.  In math for seventh grade we will continue our study on percents, while in eighth grade math we will continue linear equations and start to graph them. It will be a great week!

 

Ms. Keefe - Visual Arts

Greetings! This week in kindergarten through second grade, we are creating movement in art by studying Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night. Both my students and I love technology of watching Starry Night interactive videos while making our own masterpieces. So cool! Fun art projects continue for all grades, from the continued progress of making crazy 'Picasso' faces to incorporating the color wheel into collages with eighth grade students. Much to see and do...

Classroom Updates - November 15, 2016

Mrs. Mason - Music

Last week, classes worked on ending unit projects and some started new units. Seventh, fifth, and sixth grades worked on their projects to end their units on music and the media and Native American culture. Third and fourth grade completed learning about The Carnival of the Animals. First grade continued to learn about the instruments in the orchestra and the terminology for grouping of different numbers of instruments. Kindergarten and second grade started new units on rhythm. Eighth grade began to learn about World War I and the role that music had during and how it was influenced by the war. All classes also worked with our accompanist to prepare for the concert in December. 

 

Mrs. Savoie - Kindergarten

Our new letters in Fundations this week are Ll, Hh, and Kk.  We are finding our small group work for handwriting is much more successful than doing the work altogether.  As I mentioned in the letter that came home with the report cards, by the end of kindergarten each student is expected to be forming letters the Fundations way.  The letters that come home most weeks review the letter formation including the language we use to teach letters.  If you would like a copy of the writing paper we use to copy at home, I'm happy to send one home.  Just let me know.

We have just about completed our books, "Clouds".  We've been learning about cirrus, stratus, and cumulus clouds and have made a book reflecting that learning.  Look for it in backpacks soon.  As part of our study of clouds, we'll be talking about the water cycle.  At the end of this week we'll be making our own clouds, then we'll be making it rain through shaving cream clouds.

Friday we have our second MugaLive class.  The first class was such a huge success.  What we do during that time is such a nice complement to what we are learning.  For instance, last time they used several of the same alphabet yoga poses we've been doing in class.

 

Mrs. Waterman - First Grade

The first part of the week in math, students will complete our Mid-Module Assessment.  After the assessment, we will begin Topic G which will help students begin to understand the meaning of subtraction as it relates to addition. We will continue to work on counting on as it relates to subtraction.  

During ELA we will continue our focus on how animals can teach us lessons.  We will read the fable The Ant and the Grasshopper and we’ll also read the Story Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young. This story is about how, six different colored blind mice investigate parts of the strange something near their pond and speculate to the group about its identity. Not until the seventh day, when the seventh mouse examines all of it, do they see what it truly is, proving that wisdom comes only from seeing the whole.

Students will be also be looking closely at Matisse’s painting The Snail.  The first time we look at the painting, students will notice that it does not look like a typical snail.  However, once they are given more information on the artist and their style, students will see what the colors and shapes in the painting reveal and about how Matisse portrayed a snail. To portray something means “to make a picture of something or act it out.” 

 

Mrs. Duffy - Second Grade

In Social Studies, second graders have begun our year-long study of some of the symbols of The United States, beginning with the American Flag. We are also learning some of the songs that celebrate our country, including the National Anthem and “America the Beautiful.” This week, we will begin our study of Thanksgiving, turning our attention to the people involved in the first Thanksgiving. Our research will include articles, books, studying an artifact, and virtual field trips to Plymouth Plantation. ELA and study skills introduced and practiced in this unit include comparing and contrasting, taking notes, and using those notes to draw, write, and speak about our learning. Our six days of school before Thanksgiving break are very busy, indeed...a cornucopia of learning!

 

Mrs. Berube - Third Grade

I could not be more proud of my students and their sincere respect for our country, our veterans and members of our armed forces. I shared three books about Veterans’ Day in class last week. We learned about Flanders Field and the AmVets’ symbolic poppy. While I read about the significance of 11/11 at 11 o’clock, and how President Eisenhower called for 2 minutes of silence, one of the kids called out, “We should do that”, and another said, “After we make our poppies.” So we followed through with this plan. We pinned our hand made poppies to our shirts and began our 2 minutes of silence. About 30 seconds in, one third grader quietly got up and walked over to face our flag. The others began to join him standing in front of the flag and saluting. Most were carrying the additional poppies they made to give to their Dads, their Uncles, an Aunt, and Grandpas who have served. I stood behind my class with tears feeling such love and awe of this bunch of 8 and 9 year olds. I am so grateful for my role of teacher and guide to this group of young thinkers. Thanks to all who have served and who are in service today for this opportunity.

 

Miss Frost - Fourth Grade

This week we will do some more STEM and team building activities. They are so much fun and the kiddos love them! In ELA we will be researching an ocean animal and writing a paragraph about the animal we choose. We will also talk about and review what a sentence subject is and change sentence fragments into sentences by adding subjects. We have been talking about synonyms and will continue this talk throughout the year to keep it fresh in our minds. We will make synonym rolls, which is a fun art activity showing different synonyms for a chosen word. We are continuing to choose a maze for our hamster, Winn-Dixie, to use each week. Just a reminder, at the end of the week, the chosen maze will go home with students. For our Civil War unit we will talk about different battles fought in the war and which side won each.

 

Mrs. Tanguay - Fifth Grade

Math: We are continuing to power our way through division by practicing estimating quotients as the first step to the standard algorithm.

ELA: We are starting our next Module this week! This new Module, called Playing with Words, explores how and why authors use words creatively in writing. We will have the opportunity to practice spelling while learning about homophones and words with double meanings. Our main text will be "The Phantom Tollbooth" and our read aloud, which we started a couple of weeks ago, is "A Wrinkle in Time."

Science: Next up for Motion, Force, and Models is flipper systems! 

Enrichment: 5th grade is going to study Theatre with Mrs. Tanguay for their next enrichment class. We will be using a lot of the ELA curriculum to build a unit on improvisation and playing with words. 

 

Ms. Alvarado - Sixth Grade

This week in Math we will be tackling word problems, everyone's favorite! We will deciding when we should be dividing whole numbers by fractions or fractions by whole numbers, depending on the number story. We have covered how to divide fractions by fractions, fractions by whole numbers, and whole numbers by fractions. The trickier part is deciding how we set up our problem to, then, find the answer. We will create reference sheets which will help us consolidate information onto one sheet to make it easier to use both the models and the algebraically. 

 

This week in ELA we will be continuing our work with the Ramayana and learning about the Gods of this story, as well as start reading about the myths. We will be discussing how the context can be used to both provide background information pertinent to the reader as well as engage them to continue reading.

 

In Social Studies, we are working on researching how many religions there truly are in the World and how many categories there are. We will also be discussing how in some parts of the World, a certain religion may be more predominant than others. The 5th graders are working on a States project. We have used a few maps to take note of the different regions of the United States as well as their locations. Students will choose one state to become an expert on and create a project that will showcase their expertise. 

Remember conferences are this week! If you have not scheduled one, please feel free to e-mail me to ask for a conference time. 

We are in need of hand sanitizer for our classroom. Any donations would be much appreciated!

 

Mrs. Fritz - 7th & 8th Grade Humanities  

Essential Questions

8th Grade: How does art and literacy illuminate the Great War?

7th Grade: How did WWII impact humans?

America was established not to create wealth, but to realize a vision, to realize an ideal - to discover and maintain liberty among men.        - Woodrow Wilson

Students are studying the text 'Warhorse' by Michel Morpurgo, as well as discussing the roles that MAIN (Militarism, Alliances, Imperialism and Nationalism) played in the conflict.  Understanding the European history: large Empires, the legacy of Queen Victoria and the role of the monarchy in pre WWI Europe are some of the conversations that have been generated from our learning thus far.  This week we will be diving deep into the reasons behind why America and Britain entered into WWI. 

You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.     - Winston Churchill

Understanding Woodrow Wilson's 14 points and how the League of Nations came to be, is the focus for the European front this week.  We will be discussing the reasons for it's implementation as well as the events that saw it crumble.  On the American front, we are exploring, through our text 'Code Talker', how the Navajo culture impacted the Navajo code talkers of WWII.  

If your 7th/ 8th grader could get their hands on a copy of the text 'Night' by Elie Wiesel, that would be very helpful for our read aloud.  Both classes are exploring this text as a supplement to their main text. 

 

Mrs. Kone - 7th & 8th Grade Math and Science

In seventh and eighth grade science, we will have a unit test about water quality indicators.   In eighth grade math, we will continue our study of linear equations and have a mid-module assessment. In seventh grade math, we are continuing our study of percents.  Also in seventh grade, we are doing a food drive for the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter.  Please bring in boxes of mac and cheese, cereal, bars of soap, shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrushes.   Thank you!

 

Ms. Keefe - Visual Arts

After such a gorgeous weekend the students and I had fun creating with Fimo clay after finishing their art projects. Younger grades are finishing their Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night projects  while enjoying the interactive Van Gogh video's online by Vimeo...Technology is so cool! Hope everyone had a great weekend; hopefully there will be a few more nice weather weekends to come...

Classroom Updates - November 29, 2016

Mrs. Mason - Music

The last couple of weeks, students have been busy completing final projects and starting new units. Kindergarten and second grade started units on rhythm, learning that notes in a rhythm can be long and short. First grade finished an activity on an overview of the instruments found in the orchestra. Third and fourth grade completed their work on “The Carnival of the Animals” and will be starting a new recorder song this week. Third grade also completed a short three-part piece about Thanksgiving using both chanting and instruments to make an accompaniment. Fifth and sixth grade completed their Native American projects and will be starting new units this week on how music tells a story and rhythm. Seventh grade also completed their final project for music and the media and will be starting a new unit on theory and aural skills. Eighth grade continued their studies on music in World War I. Last week, they focused on the music from World War I and music from the War on Terror and the similarities and differences that the music from the different time periods have. 

 

Mrs. Savoie - Kindergarten

After our very short week and very long weekend we are settling back into being in kindergarten.  We are working our way through the last few lessons in our math module, focusing this week on recognizing a group of ten in multiple configurations, working through story problems, and automatically stating one more than a given number.  We look forward to finishing this module so we can move on to our module focusing on two- and three-dimensional shapes.

During ELA we continue to utilize the Daily 4 to organize our time.  We will do the Ii page in our alphabet books this week, continue our Fundations work, and record our favorite parts of books in our book journals.  We also have added ELA boxes as part of this routine.  Much like our math boxes, these self-directed experiences give students and opportunity to practice essential kindergarten skills alone or with one other person.  

During science we will focus on precipitation during the month of December.  We'll be talking about rain this week; how nice of the weather to cooperate!  We'll be playing an auditory discrimination game in which we'll compare the sounds of different rain sticks to determine what's inside.  We'll also be making our own rain sticks.  We'll also be discussing the water cycle.

Throughout the month of December we will be spending some time learning about Jan Brett, a children's author/illustrator.  We'll start by comparing "Cinders, A Chicken Cinderella" to Tomie dePaola's "Adelite, A Mexican Cinderella Story".  We'll also be reading "The Mitten", "Berlioz, the Bear", and "The Gingerbread Baby." During the last week of school before winter break, we will be joining with other classes to make gingerbread houses together.  More information will be coming home as that date draws near.  

 

 

Mrs. Waterman - First Grade

In math we will continue to work on counting on as it relates to subtraction.  

 

During ELA, we will continue our focus on how animals can teach us lessons.  This week we will read “Me…Jane” by Partick McDonnell.  Patrick McDonnell tells the story of the young Jane Goodall and her special childhood toy chimpanzee named Jubilee. As the young Jane observes the natural world around her with wonder, she dreams of "a life living with and helping all animals," until one day she finds that her dream has come true. Students will explore ways of how Jane discovered new facts about animals.  

 

First grade friends are still enjoying learning about Henri Matisse.  This week we will read “Matisse’s Garden” by Samantha Friedman. The children will all work together to create a class masterpiece that was inspired my Matisse’s art work.  

 

In science we will continue to explore with our plants and animals unit.  This week we will be creating plant terrariums. 

 

Mrs. Duffy - Second Grade

I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving! Absent any snow days, we have 19 days of school between our Thanksgiving and winter breaks…19 days packed with learning and activity! This week and next, second grade work will center around various retellings of the folktale, “The Gingerbread Man.” Our work will integrate literature, reading, writing, listening, speaking, and social studies, will allow us to explore different arts techniques, and of course, to have some fun! Some of the ELA topics covered by lessons in this unit include: recounting stories from different cultures, asking and answering questions for understanding of key details, describing how characters respond to challenges, comparing and contrasting two or more versions of the same story by different authors, and acknowledging and expressing differences in characters’ points of view. In our work on opinion writing this week; students will be asked to introduce a topic, state an opinion, supply reasons in support of their opinion and provide a concluding statement. Not a bad week’s work, considering it’s all based on a cookie!

 

Mrs. Berube - Third Grade

We’re so proud of our Tacky the Penguin performance!  I see how our collaboration in creating the show has strengthened our class community.  Each student played a vital role in the evolution of our play and I congratulate all third graders on their personal successes and on working together.  This week finds third grade continuing our studies of the Pilgrims and the Wampanoags, with our focus on the Native American tribe who shared their land around Plymouth with the early settlers. We will create and play a Native American game which will help us solidify our math facts.  We continue nonfiction writing by beginning our animal research projects.  While reviewing nonfiction text features, we will learn to take notes from printed and online sources, then turn those notes into sentences.  We will organize our statements into topic sentences and supporting sentences and construct paragraphs.  We'll turn our paragraphs into chapters!  After creating 3D representations of our animals, we will celebrate our finished work with a publishing party before winter vacation.

 

Miss Frost - Fourth Grade

We are excited to be back in 4th grade, doing what we do! This week we are continuing to write about what we are thankful for. Students are working on writing multiple paragraphs using lots of good details for each reason. Students are meeting with 3 peers to receive feedback that they will decide how to utilize. Everyone has been doing an excellent job giving and receiving feedback. We will talk about the Gettysburg Address and do some different vocabulary activities dealing with specific words from this speech. Before break we started using Zearn.org for math. Zearn is aligned with Eureka, our math curriculum. Students will be doing math on Zearn everyday, as well as receiving a math lesson from me, and completing their problem sets. This is also something students can work on at home, they just need to bring their login information home with them. 

 

Mrs. Tanguay - Fifth Grade

ELA: We are having so much fun with our new Module, Playing with Words. Together we are reading and deciphering “The Phantom Tollbooth,” and learning a lot of new vocabulary and parts of speech. 

Math: Long division is going very well, even with large numbers! Next we will add in decimal division and then wrap things up with some multi-step word problems. By next week we will be taking the end-of-module assessment. Please continue to practice multiplication tables!

Science: We are heading towards the end of our Motion, Force, and Models unit by exploring and building leaf springs, or catapults. 

 

Ms. Alvarado - Sixth Grade

In math we will be completing our mid-module on the division of fractions. We have been working hard at this for quite some time. We have been working at reading word problems and trying to identify if we need to divide fractions by whole numbers, whole numbers by fractions, or fractions by fractions. We have been gearing up for this and are quite ready!

In ELA this week, we will be holding a socratic discussion surrounding our main character of Rama. A socratic is meant for students to start a discussion about a topic, then move to build off of one another, challenge one another, in order to hold deep and meaningful conversations around the text. This will be our first formal socratic; however, we have had multiple times to practice this in our literature circles from the previous module. 

In social studies, 6th grade is finishing up their investigation on 5 major religions of the World as well as creating their projects to showcase their findings. 

5th grade, is continuing to work on their state projects. Most are wrapping up the research part of this project and will be moving forward with the creation of how they will showcase their findings. 

 

Mrs. Fritz - 7th & 8th Grade Humanities  

This week we are holding a foreign policy conference in 8th grade.  The objective is to play an active role in discovering the factors involved in foreign policy decision making and to demonstrate that self-interest at times makes peace almost impossible. The challenge is to maintain peace and avert a World War.   

 

In the 7th grade we will be learning about the appeasement process in the late 1930's between the Allies and the Axis powers.  We will be acting out the Munich Pact agreement and then showing our understanding of the events during this time through reading political cartoons. 

 

Mrs. Kone - 7th & 8th Grade Math and Science

Thank you so much for all your support for our food drive for the Nashua Soup Kitchen!  They were so excited to receive our donations.  For December, the seventh grade will be working to perform acts of kindness throughout the month.  For every act of kindness the seventh graders will create a snowflake to hang outside on our wall.  Please encourage your seventh grader to do acts of kindness within your family and in their community!

 

Ms. Keefe - Visual Arts

We are working on a number of fun projects with the holidays in mind along with continuing our study of basic art techniques. Learning “perspective” is a step-by-step drawing challenge. Observing the “ah-ha" moment occur when middle school students draw their own cities with one point perspective and seeing the three dimension aspects they create come to life is awesome. Middle school students are learning about the artist Norval Morriseau using primary colors to create amazing animals in Mr. Morriseau simplistic, yet distinctive style. The students in the lower grades love playing texture detectives and "capturing" textures by crayon rubbings and the next step will be to create monsters from reading “Where the Wild Things Are.” Have a wonderful and artful week.

Call us:

603-943-5273

FAX:

603-943-5745

Find us: 

7 Henry Clay Drive, Merrimack, NH  03054

© 2014 Gate City Charter School for the Arts