Classroom Updates - January 12, 2017

Mrs. Mason - MUSIC

Last week some grades continued work on December units and other grades started new units for January and February. Kindergarten finished their sound story on “Berlioz the Bear.” First and second grade started units on how music can help tell a story by watching “Peter and the Wolf” and listen to music that can help create emotion. Third grade continued their studies on world music. Last week they discovered the music of India and created their own pieces using the Indian scale. Fourth and fifth grade learned about the brass and woodwind families and were able to look at and hold some of the instruments in each family. Fifth grade also learned how to determine the meter in a song without having music in front of them. Sixth grade continued their work on their Greek mythology musical. Eighth grade started to learn songs from World War I and started to compose their own songs about what they have learned about World War I in all of their classes. 


I think everyone came back from vacation 2 inches taller and a year older!  Everyone came back ready to be with their friends, get settled in the classroom, and get to work learning new kindergarten skills.

In ELA we have started the second unit of Fundations. We are working very quickly through learning proper upper case letter formation. We introduced "tapping it out" as a strategy for sounding out words. The children picked up on it so quickly, it's like they were all born to tap out words. Please ask your student to demonstrate this new skill with simple 3-letter words, like cat, lid, or rot.

We have also started our geometry module in math. So much fun! We are learning about 2 dimensional shapes currently. We are learning to describe shapes without using their names (and adding the names at the end). We are describing how many sides a shape has and if they are curved or straight.  We also talking about how many corners or points a shape has. When we learned to recognized the difference between a rectangle and a diamond, we talked about L-shaped corners or right angles. As we finish this module, we'll be sending home an invitation to our shape exposition, likely Friday, January 27.

We are starting to talk about living things in science. We are setting up our water garden this week and will be adding the fish to it at the end of the week. We'll be having a fish party to celebrate the new addition to our class.  More will follow on that.


Mrs. Waterman - FIRST GRADE

The math lessons for the week will help students practice associating the two addends that make ten and, then, adding the third addend.  Students will prove to themselves that this simplification of addition is a viable strategy. Students will have ample practice with adding 9 and another single-digit number as they decompose the second addend to make ten with the 9. Students solve problems such as “Maria has 9 snowballs, and Tony has 6. How many do they have in all?” as follows: 

9 + 6 = 9 + (1 + 5)= (9 + 1) + 5 = 10 + 5 = 15. This weeks lessons takes students through a concrete–pictorial–abstract progression as they work with physical 5-groups using objects, 5-group drawings, and finally number bonds.

During our ELA block, we will be continue to learn about animals and will focus on the book, “What Do You Do With A Tail Like That?” by Steven Jenkins and Robin Page. This week students will be learning about how animals use the same feature in many unique ways. Students will identify new information/facts about many animal features. Students will also examine the different ways the illustrator used different texture to represent the animals body and specific features.  

Students are continuing to work on the suffixes during Fundations. Students are doing an amazing job identifying the base words and the suffix within a word.  This weeks trick words are: here, there, where

Martin Luther King will be the focus during our Social Studies time.  


Mr. McHugh, Sub - SECOND GRADE

In preparation for an upcoming Second Grade Gallery Opening for parents (invitation to follow), students have been building sculptures out of found materials. This is a valuable STEAM activity that involves planning, problem solving, and follow through. The sculpture project involves writing at a every step of the project, as it is a second grade goal to write a cohesive paragraph. Building on the science unit on materials and on the STEAM sculpture project, students have been reading “If I Built a House” by Chris Van Dusen and have been designing their own fun house, creating a multimedia art piece. This serves as a writing prompt and, after using graphic organizers for sentence structure, students will write a final draft of their paragraph. In Math, students are continuing the unit on place value and money, as well as working on fluency in addition and subtraction facts. 


Mrs. Berube - THIRD GRADE

This week our Daily Five reading, writing and word work activities are enriched with Social Studies and Science.  We will be learning some geography vocabulary, studying maps and following routes on maps.  We will also continue our student-led study of animals and how different species use camouflage to survive.  We are writing strong paragraphs about our favorite animals and descriptive poems about other animals.  We are looking forward to celebrating all we have learned about animals with an event for our families in the upcoming weeks. 



Fourth graders will begin a new ELA module. Our new module is space; we are very excited to get into it! We will write about why Galileo is an important astronaut, and will be challenged to use specific adjectives in our writing. We will also observe a few different paintings and discuss what we notice and wonder about them. We will begin a new Social Studies unit on New Hampshire. Fourth Graders will start a research project about one of the counties in our state, including information about the physical features of those counties. Everyone has been doing great with Math and Zearn, we will continue to plug away at our different modules. Reading assessments have begun, once finished new reading groups will start! 


Mrs. Tanguay - FIFTH GRADE

Math: Adding and Subtracting fractions, no problem! We will be ending the week with our End-of-the-Module Assessment test and will be starting Module 4 next week.

ELA: With mere chapters to go before reaching the exciting conclusion of "The Phantom Tollbooth," we are working hard on analyzing the tricky wordplay that accompanies the demons on the Mountains of Ignorance. This part of the story is especially important as it will play a large role in the End-of-the-Module task  coming up. The students will be creating a narrative piece to answer our essential question "How and why do writers play with words?"

Enrichment: We are continuing to develop strong scripts for our comedy sketches. Students have been tasked with using many different kinds of wordplay in their scripts, including idioms, puns, homographs, and homophones. This week we will add physical comedy to create visual interest in the skits.

Science: 5th grade: We will be starting our new unit, Environments, this week. The module includes a lot of living creatures for us to observe and experiment with. Students will be learning about all of the components on an environment and what we need to do to keep our living creatures thriving. 

6th grade: Sixth graders will be starting a quarter-long research project studying the biomes of the world. They will be creating a mobile museum exhibit which will be on display for parents and families at the end of the quarter. Look for more updates on this exciting project to come!

** We are looking for empty 2-liter soda bottles to help out with Science. Please send some in! Thanks!**


Ms. Alvarado - SIXTH GRADE

In math this week we will be diving into the world of number lines. To start this module we will be creating full scale number lines on the floor of our classroom. We will be experimenting and using these full scale number lines as models and references as we work through the module. 

In ELA, we will be starting our dramatic table read of our script, The Odyssey, as well as the play. Students will suggest which actors they would like to represent and we will work on fluency and intonation in our reading. 

In 5th grade social studies, we will be studying the components of maps and will be creating our own maps. 


Mrs. Kone - 7th & 8th GRADE MATH & SCIENCE

This week in science, we will be studying motion. Students built a coaster car last week and we will be using the scientific method to determine the best way to build a car that goes straight and far. In eighth grade math, we will begin our unit on functions. In seventh grade math,  we will finish our study of integers and will begin our study of algebraic equations. 


Mrs. Fritz - 7th & 8th GRADE HUMANITIES

Both classes are completing their end of module informational essay this week.  We have been fortunate to have the wonderful Mrs. Blanchette teach a series of lessons on how to create an interesting "no dead fish" introduction, integrate quotes into paragraphs and how to write the conclusion of all conclusions.  It's always an exciting time when the end of the module is approaching.  It's great to see how much the students have learned and how they integrate their knowledge into their project based assignments.



After the winter break, the students are busy with lots of fun, creative projects. Younger grades have been combining their art with their own personal narrative. Luckily, the eighth grade was available to help the younger grades with their writing. Fourth and fifth grades have been combining color with shapes to make "stained glass" pieces. Students in the middle school grades are being challenged with a collaborative clay project. Working in groups, they have to utilize effective communication skills to execute a design in clay, figuring out how to work cohesively together. The art room is always a busy place!