Thursday, December 10, 2015

First Trimester Ends! Many Holiday Events!

   December is a busy time here at school.  First Trimester ended November 24, and parents will be seeing Pilot Report Cards.  On Wednesday November 18 we had a Parent Q&A Night and collected valuable input, and I will be reporting on the meeting shortly.  Unfortunately there was short notice and I have promised to schedule another evening with more notice, probably after the Holidays.  As always, I am proud to share teacher contributions and other interesting things to share:
From Ms. Donabedian:
Mrs. Preston, our Special Education teacher, was trained in the Orton Gillingham Method of teaching reading this fall.  Now both Ms. Donabedian and Mrs. Preston are trained!”

From Mrs. Dugan:
On November 13, South Hampton Children's Librarian Lori Laverty, assisted by Literacy Specialist Carol Dugan, organized the first of three yearly Book Swaps for students in the lower grades, K-5.  Children brought gently used books from home to swap for their classmates' books.” 

From Ms. Macdonald:
The 4th and 5th graders have been learning about the Mayflower and the conditions of the ship as the Pilgrims made their voyage to the 'New World'. Students even participated in a Mayflower simulation where they had to work together in teams, which was a supportive team building experience. This has been a wonderful cross-curricular unit where students have been able to visualize themselves in the shoes of the Pilgrims!”

From Mrs. Sullivan:
“The music department is diligently working on a their musical performances for the upcoming holiday concert. The concert is on Tuesday, December 15 at 6:30. It will be a fabulous night of music for all ages.

From Mrs. Cestrone:
After Thanksgiving break grade 8 will begin our biology unit.  We will start will regulation and reproduction of the human body, followed by our baby projects.
Grade 7 will be learning about our oceans and grade 6 will be learning about the forces that shape our planet.
Grade 4/5 will begin a unit on plants, adaptations and diversity.”

Many of our teachers have Blogs or weekly newsletters; here are some excerpts:
From Mrs. Moran October 24:
  Every Tuesday, Mrs. Bowen-Irish OTR/L, visits the classroom, and with her arrival there is an excitement in the air. This week she guided the students to make fall trees using a directed draw for the branches and the trunk. Then the students used modeling clay to make leaves. At first glance, this activity may seem like just plain fun, but as an educator, I saw so much more. First, listening to oral directions and following a model is critical. Then the directed draw helps children build spatial skills when drawing.  The act of drawing long straight lines, then slide lines, and short slide lines helps children to begin forming letters.  Mixing clay colors and then placing and spreading them on the paper helps students to build critical muscles that support pencil gripping skills.  This was hard work, yet students perceived this as fun.  This is is Mrs. Irish's gift.  She makes learning fun, even when it is challenging. Most parents will never meet Mrs. Irish, yet I want you to know what a great impact she makes.”

From Ms. Casassa November 12:
7th graders-- Today we begin a new play, The Monsters are Due on Maple Street. This is a screenplay, a play that was written for television. It was written as an episode for a show called The Twilight Zone. Ask your parents about it--many of them will remember watching it. We will watch a clip today of the opening scene of every Twilight Zone show. Rod Sterling, the writer and narrator of The Twilight Zone began every show the same way. His opening introductions are a good example of a lead that really pulls you in and makes you want to know more!”
Please continue to visit these pages since teachers (and I) are constantly updating

Mrs. Pruett’s Newsletter from November 23:  
“Thank you so much for coming to watch us perform our poem!  Don't worry if you didn't get the chance, we will be on stage again this year!
I will not be sending home homework tonight~ well, that's not entirely true!  I asked the students to help you clean for Thanksgiving as their assignments!
Next week, we will be starting a small heredity unit in science.  If you could please send in a copy of a family picture that would be great!  Our goal is to see different traits inherited from our parents.  It should be fun!
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend!  Don't eat too much!”

At the November Board Meeting it was suggested that I include facilities in my monthly reports and I very much agree:  
  • Custodians are preparing for the winter months by storing our garden benches and putting markers around walkways and equipment to make snow clearing easier.  Our snowblower is at Brentwood Power Equipment being serviced and repairing the power chute.  
  • The water storage tank has been removed as suggested and the original drainage system has been restored.  There are plans for aboveground use if we can get our Living Lab Garden going.
  • The cracked PVC vent pipe in the Gym has been repaired.
  • The trim repairs are scheduled to be completed and will be inspected by Mr. Verge, South Hampton’s Building Inspector upon completion. 
  • The exterior leaks to roof vents in the Gym and main building will soon be repaired.
In December we look forward to Santa’s Breakfast on the12th, Sleigh Ride on the 13th and our Holiday Concert on the 15th.  We look forward to Ski and Snowboard Club in January.  Our 8th Graders thank you all for your wreath purchases and look forward to your continued support as we prepare for our trip to DC.  Best wishes on a Joyous Holiday Season and, thanks for a great 2015, and Happy 2016!

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