Thursday, March 24, 2016

Circle Letter 3/24/16

March 24, 2016
Dear Families,
         Welcome to Spring!  Hope you enjoyed the spring snow with your family on Monday.  Great snowmen building weatherJ
         As you know by now Maine’s public schools are required by law to take a computer – based assessment developed by Measured Progress.  Mr. Foster’s letter, sent out earlier this week, explained the process in detail.  I want to explain how this affects our class. This week in computer lab we went on –line to see the format, practice logging on, and take a practice math test.  We will continue this practice into next week for the reading and writing sections.  For the next two weeks we will take a session test most days.  On Monday our class starts the day with a math session test – 8:45 – 9:45.  Each day of the week we test at different times of the day.  Our overall schedule will be two days of math sessions, followed by four days of reading sessions (of various lengths and time) and lastly 2 days of writing sessions. As Mr. Foster stated please make every effort to be in school these days to avoid having to extend testing with make up days. One of the small perks is that sugar free mint gum is allowed during testing time to help with concentration.  Please donate a package or two to support our test takers!!    Although the testing can be long and arduous at times, I will try to make it a positive experience for all.  Encouragement and praise from you will also helpJ

            Just some house keeping news: Our Spring Conferences begin next week. Please give some thought as to what you would like to focus and reflect on… we only have 20 minutes and it can go quickly!  Thanks!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Circle Letter 03/11/16

March 11, 2016
Dear Families,
         Let’s give it up for our Funk to Junk music and dance performers!!  Woo-hoo! J  News from Art Week 2016!  Sure hope you enjoyed the Junk to Funk Performance last night.  Thank you to so many for coming!  It was a great - standing room only - turn out.  I hope that you have heard a lot about the experience over the course of the week.  Boy, it has been wonderful.  Jeff, our Junk to Funk drumming and dance teacher is super hip and cool… while being totally calm and respectful.  All students really respond well to his teaching style.    He has been patient and encouraging, informative and interesting as we learn new rhythms, body and dance moves.  And believe us… it is harder than it looks! Be sure to get the scoop from your kiddo this afternoon about how the school performance went.  We think the Mitchell community will love it!
                  We also had a special treat on Thursday afternoon with a live performance from the spectacular Shapleigh Jazz Band.  They were fantastic!  Lots of different instruments, beats, melodies and rhythms.  It is such fun for the teachers to see former Mitchell School students playing for us.  Who knows… maybe in a few years your child will be playing for us too.   Joining band in fifth grade is a great experience and one that can continue through high school years and beyond.
         And of course, none of this could be possible without our wonderful PTA who funds The Annual Mitchell School Arts Fair Week.  A big shout out to them and all they do to support our kiddos!

            Just some house keeping news: Our Spring Conferences are quickly approaching.  Thank you for signing up on-line.        Enjoy the weekend~

Friday, March 4, 2016

Circle Letter 03/04/16

March 4, 2016
Dear Families,
         What a great “Leap Year” week we have had together, perhaps highlighted by our Read Across America (drop everything and read…) Dr. Seuss recognition.  On rainy Wednesday morning we got to take over the hallway and windowsills and read lots of the morning away.  Perfect start to a school day!
         And more good stuff is in store for next week!  Mitchell School’s 26th annual Arts Fair, funded by our awesome PTA, is next week.  This year our third graders will have the opportunity to try “rhythm and rap” with Trash Can Lid Production. The kids will work with an artist-in residence all week for about 45 minutes each day.  Students will have the opportunity to perform for you on Thursday Night, March 10th and again for the school on Friday afternoon. It sounds wonderful and promises to be a great enriching experience for all our students. Stay tuned!
         We continue to develop our information books during writing workshop time.  This week kids worked on crafting survey or interview questions related to their topic as well as learned new computer skills on Google Draw. Get the scoop from your kiddo… or better yet have them show you what they know.  It’s great and useful!
         Lastly, we have started Roald Dahl book groups.  Find out what book your child is reading… and with who.  Thanks to Thomas’ mom and Ollie’s mom for volunteering to lead a book group.  The emphasis will be practicing “Smart Book Talk.” Also we started a new read aloud… an absolute favorite of Ms. Lantz’s.  Find out more from your child…! J                     Enjoy the weekend..!