Friday, June 27, 2014

School Year in for a Soft Landing

As we approach the final days of the 2013-2014 school year (I know it’s hard to believe) there is a flurry of activity here at Barnard School! By the time you read this two major events will have already taken place.
            Wednesday, April 30, through the coordinating efforts of Mrs. Pruett and with the support of the staff, we held our Barnard “Poetry Slam.” Mrs. Pruett tells me that this event happens on years that the staff “feels that the students would benefit from the opportunity to perform on stage and recite a poetry passage of their choice.”  We will be taking video of much of the performance and will be sharing it online and at our Celebration of Leaning scheduled for May 19.
            I’m really looking forward (although I’m not in very good condition due to the extended winter) to this year’s Blaze the Trail 5K scheduled for Saturday May 3.  This annual PTA fundraiser and community builder combines a great trail run with a fun run for kids and activities, food, and raffles.  Thanks so much to out PTA and especially to State Line Field and Steam Club for the generous use of their facilities.
            In addition, the whole school will be attending a Fisher Cats Game (parents are invited) on May 14 and grades 5-8 will be visiting the Freedom Trail May 20.  Mrs. “D” and I look forward to our annual trip to DC with our 8th graders June 8-13.
            Testing is also a part of our spring plans and grade 4 and 8 will participate in the NECAP (New England Common Assessment Program) science testing in May.  The entire school will also participate in the NWEA MAP (Northwest Evaluation Association Measures of Academic Progress) in language arts, math, and science.

From Ms. Donabedian:
Child Find- The district attempts to locate and reach out to families of children under the age of 5 who may have concerns about their child/ren.  If you know of any families with young children who might want their child/ren screened, please encourage them to contact Aline Donabedian.
Homework Club-continues to flourish under the direction of Mrs. Orlando and students continue to be referred to it through the school year.
Middle School Issues and Transitions” group for 7th and 8th grade girls will start next week, please look for orange permission slips.  Ms. Laurie Conley, our new Guidance Counselor/Home School-Facilitator, is leading this group.  7th/8th grade boys will have the opportunity to participate as well in the coming weeks. The focus of the activity will be on the transition to high school, social issues, and concerns brought forth by the group members. Please call Ms. Conley with any questions Please remember that both our guidance counselors , Ms. Avellino( Thursdays) and Ms. Conley ( Mondays and Tuesdays), are here to support students and families.  Please feel free to reach out any time.

From Mrs. Sheckells: May 2014 Notes from the Art Room
The Celebration of Learning is scheduled for May 19th at 6pm. 
The arts at Barnard School support and enrich the curriculum and this special night gives parents, teachers and friends an opportunity to enjoy the fine work students have created during the year. In this era of testing and documentation, this is an evening of fun and pride in jobs well done. Let your children guide you and share their learning space. Each classroom will exhibit student work. From the Monet's Garden art installation to drum circles, poetry slams and folk dancing. Students have enjoyed rich opportunities for exploration and creativity. The highlight will be The Hero interdisciplinary project that allowed students to pick a personal hero, write a persuasive letter about their hero, and create a postage stamp commemorating their special person. Many parents will be pleased to see their own likenesses represented on this special wall.

From Mrs. Ryan:
Mrs. Ryan's K/1 class has a few exciting Spring Science projects involving: life cycles of seed to plant, metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a butterfly, and then we will be designing bridges using Balance, Forces, and Civil Engineering utilizing an Engineering is Elementary Program from the Boston Museum of Science.  The students will become knowledgeable about what engineers do and how they incorporate technology into their field, learn how to solve problems with multiple solutions, employ skills and experience to utilize the Engineering Design Process, apply science and math in engineering, use creativity, and use a tremendous amount of information from designing and building bridges, in addition to utilizing higher ordered thinking.

From Mr. Szeliga:
In grade 4, we will be working with students on their multiplication facts.  They will be participating in "Grade 4 Math Karate" in which they will be asked to learn three new facts each week and if they can cite their facts with me on Friday, they will earn the color wristband for that week.  They will work toward a "black band" which symbolizes mastery of the facts.
In grade 7, students are working on a Cellular Telephone Project that incorporates the learning of linear equations as well as systems of equations.  Students have to analyze six different plans along with their corresponding equations.  They will then create their own cell phone plan and advertisement and give a presentation to "Donald Trump" for final approval.  (Let’s hope they don’t get fired!)

             That’s about it for now. Please continue to visit our school website along with webpages and blogs by the staff and myself for updates, event photos, and examples of student work. 

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