Dear Elmore Families,

Over the past three weeks, students at the Elmore School have been busy during their free time creating handmade valentines for the post office patrons at the Elmore Store.  Their hard work concluded Friday as valentines were hung on all the post office boxes.  This has become an annual tradition for the Elmore School (started by Mrs. Anderson), and is truly a gift of love to the Elmore community.

In Literacy this week students concluded their informational writing unit.  Students have published at least one book, and this week they have been sharing them with the class.  Our next writing unit will be opinion writing (also known as persuasive writing). During this unit we will focus on writing book reviews and persuasive letters.  I also began sharing some phonemic awareness lessons.  Phonemic awareness (or phonological awareness), focuses on the sounds in words and the ability to manipulate the sounds.  There is no print (reading or writing) involved.  Studies have shown that when students have a strong phonemic awareness they are better readers and writers.  

In Math first graders are relating number stories to subtraction.  Second graders learned about using place value disks to show units of ones, tens, and hundreds in counting from one number to another using units to regroup.  Third graders are using the distributive property (break apart and distribute) to solve multiplication and division problems involving multiples of 6 and 7.  Next week the first graders will take the PNOA (Primary Numbers and Operation Assessment).

We finished our science unit on plant heredity and traits.  This week we explored the idea of growers using the process of selection (repeatedly selecting plants with desired traits to become new parent plants) to make new varieties of fruits (and plants).  Our next unit will explore vibration and sound.

Now is a good time of year for you to talk with your child about the importance of adhering to our health and safety protocols.  Remind them to wash hands frequently, remain physically distanced from others as much as possible, and wear a clean, dry mask which fits over their nose and under their chin which they should refrain from chewing or sucking on.  Students should have a couple of extra masks in their bag every day. 

Also, just a reminder, if your family is planning to travel outside of VT over the break, your child will be required to quarantine for 14 days after returning or be tested on the 7th day and have a negative test result come back before they can return to school.  The marking period ends shortly after our return on March 3, so please advise me of any plans to travel as soon as possible as the week we get back will likely be a time for gathering last pieces of evidence for the mastery report.  Your help in keeping us all healthy and school opened for in person instruction is greatly appreciated!

Diane Nicholls

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