Thursday, April 28, 2016

Circle Letter 4/28/16

April 28, 2016
Dear Families,
         Welcome back families!  Hoping it was a great spring vacation. We have hit the ground running this week.  Wow – I don’t recall such a fast paced week –not ever!  We have had Kathleen and Richard, special guests from Boston’s Museum of Science, with us all week capturing us on film as we grappled with new vocabulary terms, data collection and analysis and biomedical engineering concepts. Thursday was the big culminating hands-on design project day – I sure hope you have heard all about it by now.  Knee braces were imagined, planned, created, designed, and then tested… to discover where and why the design needed to be improved upon. All in one afternoon… imagine that! This weeklong experience has been wonderful – and I think many of our students have great potential at a thriving and creative engineer career.  Truly.
         It has also been wonderful having the Native American dioramas trickle in a few at a time.  We really love how individual and creative each project is.  Also of great intrigue are what materials students used and how the things were made. When each student shares, the village scene comes to life as information pours out, whether it is on the tribe or the ingenuity and clever construction.  Well-done students!  (Thank you parents for the home support on this project) We look forward to seeing the remaining dioramas next week.
         We also visited Native American cave dwellings in art this week and got to try some cave paintings too.  Get the scoop from you kiddo!!

         Lastly, please sign the permission slip to Bowl-o-Rama, sponsored by Ms Torr.  This is a fun (and free…!) grade 3 excursion that is intended to build upon a life long love of this inclusive sport!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Circle Letter 4/8/16

April 8, 2016
Dear Families,
         Wow, kudos to our student test takers again this week… especially Thursday…, which was one long arduous session of both reading and story writing: prewriting, drafting, typing and editing.  Our students have shown great focus, grit, and perseverance.  
         Round three is next week.  (Yup, one more week… Monday and Tuesday) These two tests are shorter and focus on writing skills, word work and punctuation. The sugarless gum continues to be a perfect perk!  (Something to look forward to during testing.)  And so another A-l-e-r-t request from the class… more packages of sugarless gum and mints during test taking time for next week. Thanks!        
         Our Native American Studies are really underway at this point.  This week students have been selecting a region and tribe to research in class. Our research will include books, web sites, videos, documentaries, legends and maybe a guest speaker.  Each student will also be making a diorama depicting tribal life of his or her tribe and region. More information on this school/ home project will come next week.  However, each student will need a shoebox (no bigger boxes please) to work on this project… so be on the look out at home or in the garage!  We are also in need of toilet paper and paper towel cardboard rolls… We will use them for a few Native American crafts!           Lastly, if you are looking for something fun to do with the family tonight (and support our schools) plan on attending the wonderful Kittery Live Talent Show.   The event is held at Shapleigh School with Mitchell School performers beginning at 4 pm!  Good luck to our Adie, who is performing!

                                    Have a great weekend… J

Friday, April 1, 2016

Circle Letter 4/1/16

April 1, 2016
Dear Families,
         Hello and Happy April Fools Day! J
         It has been a different sort of week due to the computed –based State testing that is going on.  It has a way of disrupting the daily schedule and rhythm of things.  A big Round of Applause needs to go out to all of our test takers this week.  Students are taking it seriously and trying their best, pushing themselves to stay focused and answer the questions fully.
                  On the flip side, we have had some special perks throughout the
week …! One of them is that sugar free mint gum or mint suckers which is allowed during testing time to help with concentration.  Please donate (another) package to support our test takers!!    This was a popular option during testing and our supplies are dwindling.  Another perk has been watching the movie version of Because of Winn Dixie a little bit at a time.  We are doing a compare/contrast with the book and the movie.  It is interesting to observe how some things stay true to the storyline but not all the plot.  Overall, I’d say we give the movie version a “thumbs-up!” Lastly, visiting Traip’s climbing wall was a great mid week perk.  I hope by now you have heard about the experience from your kiddo.  Test taking resumes next week.  Please do your part with encouragement and praise. J

            Lastly, our annual Kittery Live Talent Show is underway.  Performers are getting ready and so is the PTA.  Each year the third grade is asked to donate items for a grade 3 raffle basket. If you could please contribute an item or two to fit the theme of “outdoor activities” it would be greatly appreciated.  Our PTA counts on us for support!  Thanks!