Monday, December 15, 2014

It's The Holiday Season at Barnard School!

It’s hard to believe that it’s already December and we have completed our first trimester! Parent Conferences are scheduled from 3-6:00 on Thursday December 4. This year we are modifying our schedule to better accommodate parents and to reflect the numbers in each grade.  K-1 conferences will be increased to 15-minute intervals while parents in grades 2-5 will still be scheduled in 10-minute intervals to allow enough time blocks for each family. Grades 6-8 will be meeting groups of up to 3 parents in 20-minute intervals.  Teachers will be seated in corners of the room at a confidential distance and parents will circulate “round robin.”  This is a continued attempt to respect parents’ time and to allow teachers to know who will be attending so they can better prepare. There are provisions for those who need more time and teachers and other staff are available at any time when there are concerns about student performance or other issues.

We continue to have teachers eager to share classroom news:

Mrs. Cestrone:
“In December grade 8 will transition to "Pre-Biology" and begin Circulation and Immunity.  We will conclude the chapter with a sheep heart dissection.  Each student will dissection their own specimen and learn in-depth about how the heart works and its various structures.  Grade 6-7 will be learning about Life's structure and classification. They will review microscopes, cells, their structures, their make-up, the cell theory and identification.  They will also learn about viruses in-depth.”

Mrs. Sheckells’ Art News:
“The whole school enjoyed a trip to the Currier Museum of Art. The Escher show was stunning and tied in to the study of tessellations that we have been exploring in math and art. Remember, the Currier is free for New Hampshire residents every Saturday morning.
Sewing/ Craft classes with Mrs. K and Mrs. Sheckells have been a great hit. Many students have their own machines and because of this class, they now have lots of ideas for making holiday gifts. From infinity scarves and burrito pillowcases to zippered coin pouches and tiny gift totes they gained many new skills and had a lot of fun!
Check out your child's artwork on Artsonia  for more great gift ideas. A percentage of all sales go back to the art program.”

Mrs. Casassa:
Here are some things that have been happening in 6-8Language Arts and Tech:
“8th graders finished up their unit on Short Stories, reading some classic Edgar Allan Poe, and "The Lottery" and "The Most Dangerous Game."  Students created a map of Ship Trap Island based on the description of the setting in the story.  Be sure to look at them on the wall by the upper grades.  Students in grades 6-8 are writing expository essays, choosing topics to research and reviewing rules about citing sources and creating bibliographies using “EasyBib.”  They have also been reading non-fiction writing and analyzing the writing style and ways that information can be presented in an engaging and interesting manner.  The 7th graders are beginning their unit on drama by reading an adapted version of Charles Dicken's "A Christmas Carol." Students are learning how to use Google's newest web platform:  Google Classroom.  Mr. Szeliga and I have set up Google Classroom sites where students can submit and work on assignments.  Five students have met the first trimester goal of reading ten books.  Congratulations to Kaylie, Michael, Tucker, Kylie and Seth.  Many other students came very close and will certainly meet that goal in the second trimester. 

In November, I presented a workshop at SERESC to teachers on Integrating Technology into the Classroom.  The Saturday morning workshop was part of their technology series.  I will be teaching another Saturday workshop at SERESC in the winter and have been invited to present at their Adolescent Literacy conference in June.  I will also be presenting for the third year at the Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference in early December.” 

Student Reflections on Reading:
“This trimester I learned so much more that I didn't know before. One of my most favorite things I learned this year was about myself. I discovered my passion for reading! I read way more books than last year. I read only 3 last year. But this year, 12 books was my new record. I really think that my choice of reading changed this trimester. At first I started to read more short books, but as a continued, I read pages for 400 pages or more! Now that's an improvement.  The thing I am most proud of this year is the amount of books I read. “

“I met my reading goal of tens books this year, and I thought that it was going to be a lot harder.  When I first was told about this goal, I never thought I could do.  It wasn’t that hard if I just read a little bit every night.  I can’t believe I actually read ten books this trimester.”

“This first trimester for me personally ended up being pretty good, I am very proud of myself! I hope to continue on my strength of reading.  Yes, This first trimester I was able to meet the goal of ten books. At first I thought I would never be able to do it, I thought it was ridiculous amount to read per tri when the overall goal last year was ten books in total. I kept track of my reading, because since it was a requirement I pushed myself to do it. I plan on reading twenty more books to meet the thirty-book goal. At this point I have definitely read more books than I did last yea, last year at this time I had only read three or four books, I have read ten. “

"The thing I am most proud of about my reading this trimester was after taking such a long period of time to read a small book, I did my best to pick up my reading and try to get close to my goal. I would like to improve my reading this trimester by reaching a goal of 10 books as if I was retrying my goal over again."

       Future events include our annual Holiday Music Concert on Monday December 8th at 7 p.m. and community sponsored Santa Breakfast and Santa’s Ride on the weekend of December 13 and 14.  Christmas break will begin on Wednesday December 24 with students returning Monday January 5, weather permitting. Our PTA Ski Program will begin Jan. 6.

       Here’s wishing you a joyous and safe Holiday Season on behalf of the entire Barnard Staff.  Thank you all for continued your kind friendship and continued support in the New Year!


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