It was a short but full week at the Elmore School.  A fresh blanket of snow refreshed the playground where children worked throughout the week to construct a series of connected “rooms” stringing along the front fence and winding around to far side of the playground.   I observed the children plan, construct, collaborate, and problem solve through their play in a way that no lesson plan could provide.  As we make our way through this challenging school year, I am so grateful for the opportunities kids have to play outside together.  With nothing more than some snow and a few shovel, these kids have demonstrated collaboration, creativity, empathy, goal setting and planning, perseverance, and a growth mindset (all of our Scholarly Habits!)  And… this is why providing students with opportunities for unstructured play is so important.  This is where they get to practice the life skills and develop the characteristics they will need throughout their lives.  

Back in the classroom, writer’s worked on publishing their non-fiction (teaching) books.  Small groups participated in phonics/reading groups, and I am making my way through assessing reading levels.  Students have a few extra days to work on their spelling words as we will not have our spelling quizzes until Monday due to our short week.  

In Math:  First grade worked on strategies for finding the missing addend (3 + ___ = 8).  Students are led to understand they can use related facts to solve for the unknown.  Second grade used an empty number line to model counting on using units of ones, tens, and hundreds. Later they worked with a partner(s) to problem solve how many units of 10 are in 1000.  Third grade began the week using related facts to show the relationship between multiplication and division.  We ended the week with strategies for skip counting by sixes to solve multiplication facts involving 6.

In Science we explored why some apples are green and some apples are red.  We learned that by using a process known as “selection”, apple growers have been able to grow bigger and sweeter apples with various skin colors.  Students made connections to what they previously learn about the process of selection in the animal kingdom.


  • Library is Monday!  Remember to bring your Library books and activity bags!
  • Tuesday and Thursday are PE at 8:00.  Students need their sneakers!
  • We will Celebrate Valentine’s Day on Friday, February 12th.  I will send home a Class List on Monday or it can be found in Seesaw as an announcement from me. 
  • The 100th Day of school is approaching and should be on Monday, February 15th.  This week we will decide how we will celebrate this annual milestone!
  • We are on track to earn our next reading reward next week or the week after that.  The students have voted for a (socially distanced) School Dance.  I’d like to plan on having the dance on Friday, February 19.  We will decorate the space (possibly the Town Hall) and some students have expressed an interest in “Dressing Up”, but this is not required.  Unfortunately, we are not able to have parent volunteers this year, but I may looking for a few of student volunteers to help decorate after school on Thursday, Feb. 18th. 
  • February Break is Feb. 22 – March 2 this year.  School resumes on Wednesday March 3rd (remote).
  • The 2nd marking period ends on March 15th
  • Early Release On Thursday March 18th (dismissal is 12:15)
  • No School on Friday March 19th.  We will have remote Parent / Teacher Conferences. You will have the option to have a Google Meet or a phone conference and they should take between 20-30 minutes.  
  • Please email me your lunch orders!

Diane Nicholls

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