Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween Parade

The students had a lot of fun parading through the school today and watching all the other grades walk past in their costumes.  There was a lot of excitement in the air!  Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2016

October 28, 2016 Newsletter

Dear Parents,

I hope you are enjoying all the beautiful autumn changes that are happening outside and the cooler and rainy weather too!  It is an exciting time of the year for the children and it is a busy time in the classroom!

As you can see from the work coming home, the children are continuing to make books.  We have finished the Mom and I Went to the Zoo innovation and have been reading them to each other.  I would encourage the children to reread them as much as possible.  It’s also good to have them point to the words while they read them.  We also made a class book based on Mrs. Wishy-Washy and another one about what they will be for Halloween called Spooky Who is This? The children continue to write in their journals, illustrate poetry, and work with beginning sounds and rhyming.

Our big art project for the week was drawing and painting different zoo animals (pictures below).  The students traced different shapes to make the different parts of their animals.  They came out great!

We will be focusing on families and homes during the next couple of weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.  The students started making family collages, which will include everyone who lives in their homes and they will also create a class book with their houses and addresses.  It would be helpful if you could work with your child on memorizing his/her street address.  Phone numbers are also useful pieces of information for children to learn.

We had our first Francis Wyman SOARS Assembly today.  The whole school gathered in the gym to recognize students’ accomplishments, especially in the areas of self-control and outstanding effort.  We participated in a whole-school movement activity, heard from Steve Nugent about self-discipline (karate), and watched one student from each class play “Pin the Face on the Pumpkin.”  It was an enjoyable way to end a busy week!

Our class will be participating in the Francis Wyman Halloween Parade on Monday.  It was start around 9am.  Children are invited to wear their Halloween costumes to school and can change out of them after the parade.  Please be sure to label every part of the costume and send in a labeled bag for costumes after the parade.  Parents are invited to watch us parade through the gym and to take pictures.  If you do not want your child to participate in the parade, please let me know as soon as possible.  Monday is sure to be an exciting day for the students!  We will not be having a party but will be reading special stories, singing special Halloween songs, and doing a few fun activities.

I will be sending a parent conference schedule home early next week.  Thursday, December 1st is a conference day and there will be no school for students that day.  I will try to fit as many conferences into that day as possible but may do a few on other days as well.  Please look at the schedule when it comes home and let me know if you can’t make it so we can set up another time.

Have a great weekend!

Melanie Duncan

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Special Guest Author and Reader

A grandmother of one of our very own students was our special guest reader today! Jeanie Shaw has written and illustrated several books but shared a special one called "Rosie and Opal, Finding Hope."  The story was based on her visit to an elephant farm in Maine where she met the elephants she ended up writing about! The story teaches about and encourages perseverance, kindness, and friendship. The students also enjoyed learning some interesting facts about elephants, including how useful their poop is (always an intriguing topic for five and six year olds)! The students also showed interest in learning a little about the process of writing books, which helped make their own experiences with creating their own stories more meaningful.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Fall Artwork

The students have decorate teddy bears with costumes, painted pumpkins, and have also done leaf rubbings!  Our room is nicely decorated for fall!

Five Little Pumpkins

Mr. Doiron, one of our principals, visited our classroom today. He read the book called Five Little Pumpkins and did a fun little lesson incorporating subtraction!  The students had a great time and enjoyed coloring their own pumpkins afterwards. Thank you Mr. D!

Bus Safety

Officer Schippeletti came in on Friday to talk about bus safety. The students even got to practice jumping off the black of the bus with help from the teachers and bus drivers!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

October 20, 2016 Newsletter

Dear Parents,

We’ve had a busy and exciting week in Room 115!  The students have been playing rhyming memory games and even made rhyming monsters!  The monsters eat lots of things but only foods that begin with the /r/ sound.  Therefore, pizza becomes rizza, numbers become rumbers, elephants become relephants, and zippers become rippers!  The students enjoyed feeding their monsters all of those silly foods and many more!  The monsters will go home soon for the children to practice this silly rhyming game with their families.  Feel free to change the rules and make the monster eat foods that start with different sounds!

The students have been working on their “Mom and I Went to the Zoo” innovations.  These will be completed this week and will go home as soon as the students read them to the class.  Like the Brown Bear books that went home last month, I would encourage students to read them often!

In the art area, students decorated teddy bears for Halloween.  I will try to post some pictures next week.  They also finished their teddy bear masks, which we used for a special Teddy Bears' Picnic activity today.  The students also made Readers' Theater masks of different zoo animals that they will use to act out "Polar Bear, Polar Bear" by Bill Martin, Jr.  They will help write the script next week.

We finished our second topic in math and will be beginning our third one next week.  Our focus will be on numbers 6-10.  I would encourage you to review the daily math papers that are coming home with your child to help them get a little extra practice.

Our school’s safety officer will visit tomorrow to talk about bus safety.  The students will have a chance to practice jumping out of the back of the school bus (with help from teachers and bus drivers), which is always very exciting!

I will be sending the November Parent Volunteer Calendar home the beginning of next week.  If you are interested in volunteering in the classroom at all but haven’t emailed me, please do so by the weekend.  Be sure to include which day(s) you are available.  The volunteer time is 9:45-10:20am daily.

I will also be sending the Parent Conference Schedule home early next week.  Thursday, December 1st is a conference day.  There will be no school for students but I am looking forward to meeting with all of you.  I will set up 20 minute conferences.

Francis Wyman will be having a Halloween Parade on Monday, October 31st at 9:00am for grades K-5.  Students are welcome to come to school dressed in a costume for the parade if they wish to participate.  They can bring a change of clothes for after the parade.  Please let me know ahead of time if you do not want your child to participate.  Parents are invited to watch the parade in the gym.  It’s a lot of fun!

I hope you have a great weekend!

Melanie Duncan

PS...Your children all looked so beautiful and handsome on Picture Day.  I can’t wait to see their pictures!

Friday, October 14, 2016

October 14, 2016

Dear Parents,

It's hard to believe October is half way over already!  We had a wonderful trip to the Franklin Park Zoo yesterday.  It was a wonderful way to kick off our unit on mammals and other animals.

The children have spent time working on their individual innovations of Mom and I went to the Zoo.  They are working very hard on their illustrations, which are looking more and more like the animals they want them to be.

We started our second topic in math.  We have been comparing numbers 0-5.  The students enjoyed learning how to play the game of Compare with number cards.  They are getting more comfortable with the number formations.  I will continue sending homework home during the next couple of weeks so they can continue practicing them.

The students also made costumes for the bears they painted and cut out.  They were quite creative as they made their bears into superheroes, princesses, and many other Halloween characters.  I will post pictures next week after all the glue has dried!

We will be going to the library on Wednesday.  Please be sure to have your child return his/her book by then.  Also, please make sure you read and return our class books as soon as possible too.

Please consider practicing shoe tying and coat zipping at home.  It will save a considerable amount of time in the classroom…especially getting ready for recess!  Also, don’t forget to label water bottles, lunch boxes, coats, sweatshirts, and other clothes items.  We have been doing a lot of detective work trying to figure out what belongs to who!  Thanks!

Have a great weekend!

            Melanie Duncan

PS...Picture Day is this Wednesday, October 19th.  Please fill out the form and include payment if you would like to order pictures.  We will try not to do anything too painty or messy untill after pictures are done!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Franklin Park Zoo

We had a beautiful day at the zoo today and the students seemed to have a blast!  We want to say a special thank you to Mrs. Walker, Mrs. Shaw, Mrs. Lewandowski, and Mr. Gates for being our chaperones.  We enjoyed seeing the zebras, wildebeests, lions, tiger, gorillas, and much more.  We even were fortunate enough to see the giraffes while we were heading back to the bus!  We are looking forward to learning more about mammals and different animal groups over the next couple of weeks!