Dear Families,

We had another great week back at school following a nice long weekend. Students continue to get to know one another as our new students become part of our Elmore School family and we continue learning our routines and expectations.  

On Tuesday we made maple cinnamon applesauce using the apples we collected from our apple tree last week.  Students cut up apples which we simmered until soft.  All the students helped process the apples through a food mill, adding maple syrup and cinnamon. After lunch, all students had a serving of warm applesauce – some even coming back for seconds and thirds!  I think it is safe to say, everyone loved it!

We assessed second graders on phonemic awareness (the ability to recognize and manipulate the individual sounds in a word) and sight words this week.  Phonemic awareness is a good predictor of reading success.  Next week I plan to assess reading levels for all our new students.  Once I have this information we will be able to begin guided reading groups.  

Students continued building writer’s workshop routines as they compose personal narratives.  While several students have asked if they can write imaginary stories, our first writing unit is personal narratives.  These are true stores where we pull from our own experiences.  Over the year we focus on four main types of writing during writer’s workshop.  They are personal narratives (true), informational writing, persuasive (or argumentative) writing, and narratives (imaginary).  We will try to sprinkle in some poetry this year, but you will not find this on our mastery report.

In addition to several read alouds this week and some shared reading, we continued building reader’s workshop routines with silent reading and on Friday we started partner reading.  Partner reading is something we were not able to do last year, so I look forward to seeing this become part of our regular reading routine. 

Students did a great job filling out their reading logs this week. We are off to a great start. Together they read 903 minutes!  For our reading challenge this year we will “climb” various mountains around Vermont.  Each minute will equal one vertical foot climbed.  Our first mountain will, of  course, be Elmore!  At 1,634 feet, we may reach our first goal next week!

In math, we continued our math launches, and practiced solving math puzzles and playing math games.  We are building routines for independent practice which will be part of our math menu as I work with grade levels.  Look for math homework to begin next week.  

We spent time each day this week discussing digital citizenship.  These lessons are required prior to students using any technology at school and focus on staying safe on the internet and using technology respectfully and responsibly. On Friday students signed a Digital Citizenship Pledge.  Parents must also sign the permission for technology use which is part of the e-registration process.  If you have not done this yet, please assure that this is completed as devices will not be issue to student until all forms are signed.  In the event we need to revert to short term virtual (remote) learning for more than one day, students will need their devices.  We do not plan to have iPads travel back and forth daily this year.  We will be using them in the classroom to ensure students are familiar with various platforms they will be using.

In your Friday folders, please find a walking permission slip to sign and return.  We have been invited to walk to the Elmore State Park to watch and cheer on PAML sixth graders as they race cardboard boats!  It should be a fun time!  We will leave the school around 9:00 am and don’t expect to be gone more than an hour.  

I will be meeting with Carrie Riker from the North Branch Nature Center on Monday afternoon to begin planning for ECO this year.  We will have 12 ECO sessions throughout the year on Wednesday mornings and will need a couple of parent volunteers to help with this program. 

There is no School on Thursday, September 16, (Yom Kippur) or Monday, October 11, (Indigenous Peoples Day / Teacher PD) 

School Picture day is October 5.

Fire Safety field trip to the Elmore Fire Station is Friday, October 15, @ 9:00 am.

If your child will be absent or late, please call the school or email me by 8:00 am. Likewise, please notify us if your child’s after school plans change or if someone other than the usual person will be picking your child up after school.

Best,
Diane Nicholls

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