Dear Elmore families,

We are back into the full swing of things in the Elmore School!  Even though we had one bitter cold day this week where we were stuck inside the children have had good spirit throughout the week! They have been working hard to move the snow into a pile in order to carve out an awesome snow fort. They have added to it by piling more snow on the outside so they can carve out more from the inside. This is engineering at its best!  Play really is a child’s “work”.

On Monday students were treated to another reading reward.  They watched the film, Because of Winn Dixie.  I chose this film as we just finished reading the book last week.  Students have been logging so many reading minutes they are over half way to reaching their next goal and next reward!

During Literacy we continued our mini unit on Poetry.  We have listened to several poems be read, have shared in reading several poems and have now had the opportunity to write a handful of poems.  This week we focused on adding intentional line breaks, using beautiful language (where students were encouraged to use a Thesaurus to find help them find beautiful words for more basic words), and showing, not telling to share about a feeling (describe the feeling rather than name it).  Some of their work is truly inspirational and I was very moved by the poetry they created! Students will be choosing one of the poems they have written and we will be publishing a book of original poems which families will have the option to purchase as a keepsake! Stay tuned for more on this soon.

Reading groups have also restarted and we are working on phonics rules and spelling strategies.  Additionally, students took the STAR Reading assessment this week.  This was our second benchmark of the school year.  We will administer the assessment again in May.  This assessment is just one of the tools we use to gauge where students fall in meeting the end of the year reading goals.

Our focus in Math this week was reading clocks. Students had several days to practice reading an analog clock to the hour, 1/2 hour, 1/4 hour, and level 2 students also learned to read a clock to the 5 minute intervals, while 3rd graders read time to the minute.  Students also took the STAR Math Assessment this week.

In Science we finished our Science unit on Plant and Animal Superpowers.  In this unit students explored how parts of plants and animals are essential to their survival.  Students also made observations of parent and their offspring to determine how they are similar and how their behaviors help offspring survive.

I am happy to announce that we are working on plans for Nordic Skiing (and possibly snowshoeing).  Lisa Cross and Ryan Heraty have been working behind the scene at Central Office to make this happen for us.  It looks like we will have 4 afternoons of skiing at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center this winter and we will have transportation provided by Lamoille Valley Transportation.  The dates have yet to be determined, but I will let you know more when the dates have been set.  I need to get an idea of how many students have equipment so I can determine out how many students will need equipment.  Please take a moment to fill out this Questionnaire

Ms. Leopold will be taking a break from teaching recorders to 3rd graders for the time being.  Instead, she would like to begin teaching with 2nd and 3rd graders Ukulele!  This may begin as early as next week! I am so grateful to Lisa for taking the time in her busy schedule to offer these lessons to the Elmore students.  She is doing this as a favor to me, and I could not be more grateful!  If you see her around the community be sure to thank her for taking the time to come out to the Elmore School!

I’m happy to report that we made it through our Test to Stay period with no further positive Covid-19 cases.  I’d like to resume Hot Lunch on Friday.  Oliver’s family is on the Schedule for Friday, January 21st.  They are planning to bring Meatball Subs with Cheese! School lunch will be available on Tuesday – Thursday.  Please EMAIL your lunch orders.

Diane Nicholls

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