Good morning Elmore families,

The March calendar might say it is spring, but as we all know, winter likes to hold on a little longer here in northern Vermont.  The longer days and stronger sun are promising signs that it will not be too much longer until the blanket of snow will give way to grass.  For now, the sugar makers will reap the benefits of the cold nights and warmer days.  It’s a perfect time of year for students to learn about states of matter (solids, liquids, and gases) as we observe the freezing and thawing cycle all around us.  

We had a busy week (our first full week in a while!), and it felt good to be back in a normal routine. Students began researching their Nature Name animals this week.  Students will be sharing their research by creating either a brochure or a “lapbook” which contains several mini books displayed in a file folder.  Students began by brainstorming various questions they had about their animal.   Then they used various publications to find the answers to their questions.  The final step will be to create a final product to teach others about their animal.  This week Tina Lyon will be joining us to lead the children in making sculptures of their animals.  Please go through your recycling bins and have your child bring in items that may be used to help build the base of a paper mache sculpture (containers, toilet paper tubes, etc).

During math each grade completed another unit: third graders used multiplication strategies to solve problems involving multiplying 6,7,8, and 9.  Students have learned how to break these numbers into smaller numbers, multiply them and then add them together (beginning steps for the distributive property of multiplication).  Second graders completed adding and subtracting within 1,000 with regrouping, as well as using repeated addition to find the area of a rectangular arrays (introducing the concepts of multiplication).  First graders concluded a unit using addition and subtraction strategies to add and subtract within 20 as well as introduction to using repeated addition to find the area of a rectangular.  Next week all students will begin learning about fractions.

We dove into our next science unit:  States of Matter.  We began by observing objects in various states: solids, liquids, and gases, and identified their properties.  Then we did some sorting activities to sort solid objects by various properties.  Finally, we performed a couple of scientific investigations involving solids and liquids.  Students made predictions,  and observations, and then formed a hypotheses.  After our first investigations, students helped design our next test (investigation) to learn more about these states of matter.

Thank you all for your flexibility again last week as the weather had us postpone ECO and Family Hot Lunch was postponed, as well.  ECO will be made up at the end of the year as we will lengthen our last day of ECO which will be another hike.  The added time will be a gift!  We will reschedule the hot lunch for another day, and I’ll let you know when that will be. 

We will resume our regular ECO schedule.  ECO takes place every Thursday from 9-12.  Students should dress to be outdoors for an extended amount of time.  I need a  parent volunteer who would be willing to get a fire going before we arrive at the campsite. We will likely need to clean out the fire pit, so a shovel will be needed.  Would someone be willing to provide some kiln dried wood for next week so we can get a strong fire going?  We have a special seasonal cooking project / feature lesson planned.  I am happy to announce that Tina Lyon will also be joining us each Thursday as a volunteer for ECO!

Please email your school lunch orders for the week.

Thank you,

Diane Nicholls

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