Thank you Mrs. Mancini and all the students and their families who donated gifts and gift cards to support our efforts for the Wish Project’s Magic of Christmas program! With your help, we were able to make the holidays a little more special for 15 struggling families in our area! Our students always express excitement about helping other children, which only adds to the pride I have in being a member of the Miller School family!
Children and adults gathered this afternoon in the Miller School gym for the annual holiday sing-a-long led by music teacher Kristin Lampros. The Kindergarteners came wearing their reindeer antlers. (How cute is that?!) Mrs. Lampros selected a variety of holiday songs that represented Kwanza, Hanukkah, Diwali, and Christmas. Thank you Mrs. Lampros for spreading the holiday cheer!
If you are in short supply of holiday spirit just take a stroll down the kindergarten hallway! You will be greeted by gingerbread men and women, snowflakes, hand painted ornaments and even a ride on the Polar Express. Kindergarten teachers have been reading and discussing this book with their students and today they brought the book to life. Teachers created different learning centers and the children moved between rooms dressed in their P.J.'s. They made a ticket to the North Pole, decorated a train to share the story with a loved one at home, and made a reindeer bag filled with "reindeer food". Thank you to the many parents who volunteered today. As I moved throughout I saw many smiles, lots of dancing and fun and was reminded how magical this time of year truly is for children.
We are pleased to introduce our two wonderful nurses at the Miller School. An email introduction was sent earlier to families welcoming Shaina McGoldrick, I thought it best to follow up with a photo so you will now have a face to go with the name. Our two nurses are job sharing the position, Mrs. McGoldrick works Monday, Tuesday and Thursday while Mrs. Haberl works Wednesday and Friday.
To ensure consistent communication with both nurses the clinic it is best to use the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet Mrs. McGoldrick!
Meet Mrs. Haberl!
Below is an excerpt from an email from Judy Lorimer, who collaborated with Miller Brownie Troop led by Sarah Nolan and Linda Arsenault. A used toy dale was held at Miller last spring and all proceeds went to support the building of a new school in Mali.
"My trip to Mali (11/11 - 12/8 ) was very productive. We began construction on our 15th school, in Tiogola; we delivered school supplies to Kartioni, N'Golokouna, and Gongasso, and also visited 2 other schools we had built since 2012, Kounfouna and Kongoliko. Funds for the school supplies were raised by Sarah Nolan's 2nd grade Brownie troop in Westford; their Toy Sale was so successful that we were able to supply three schools! Each school received a large dictionary, teachers manuals for Mathematics and Language instruction for each grade, 1 - 6; a large number of notebooks of various sizes; 6 gross of regular pencils and 6 gross of colored pencils; 300 ballpoint pens; a stamp pad and ink for the school director, and 11 pounds of chalk. Since these schools are relatively small, this should last them for quite some time. All the schools were thrilled, and send their thanks!
We were lucky to visit on a weekday, when school was in session, so I'm attaching several photos of the kids in their classrooms. Kartioni now has three cement block classrooms, with two grades in each -- grades 1 & 2, 3 & 4, and 5 & 6. Combined classrooms are common in small villages, because of a shortage of both classrooms and teachers. Many thanks to all for making this new school possible!"
Today I had the pleasure of spending the morning with three second grade friends: Jared W, Lia A and Eesha G. They were fantastic Principals of the Morning and took their job very seriously! Together we visited 9 classrooms. Lia was thrilled to spend time in her sister's kindergarten class and we were able to listen to Mrs. Keene reading, The Polar Express. In Mrs. Garvey's class children were sharing their family holiday traditions through photos and letters from home. In each class they visited the children complete a handout responding to questions such as: what is the teacher doing, what are the children doing and what did they learn from observing the lesson. You may notice the students writing on clipboards in the slide show below.
If you look back on your own elementary school experience you will most likely remember creating flash cards to practice math facts, standing before the teacher to be challenged with reciting addition, subtraction and later multiplication and division facts. The ability to memorize math facts is still important for elementary-aged students. Mastering math facts allows children to focus on the task at hand, solving higher order math problems as opposed to being challenged by solving the basic facts. Below are links to help you to support your child at home; I hope you find them helpful.
What is math fluency?
Math Apps for Fluency
Very young children thrive on the predictability of routines, finding safety in the consistency. The excitement of the season can change our daily activities often resulting in later bedtimes, meals at different hours and lack of quiet family time. Below is a link to an article on the benefits of daily routines. I hope this will provide information that may help you and your child enjoy the holiday season with less stress. http://challengingbehavior.fmhi.usf.edu/do/resources/documents/tool_fam_routine_guide_early_ele.pdf
Hour Of Code
During the month of December, Miller first and second graders will join millions of students around the world participating in the ‘Hour of Code’ to celebrate Computer Science Education week. To learn more about the Hour of Code, please click on this link by Computer Science Education Week. Hour of Code.
Thank you to Liz Colantuonio, Miller Digital Learning Specialist for providing this opportunity.
On Saturday evening Chris and I had the opportunity to attend a holiday performance by the Reading Community Singers. Miller grade two teacher Lillian Lelless has been a member of this group for over two years. It was an excellent performance and a great way to kick off the holiday season!
May at a Glance
PTO Meeting, 8:15
May 3, 4 Kindergarten Screening (incoming K students)
Incoming Kindergarten Parent Information Night, 6:30 P.M.
Teacher Appreciation Week
May 10 Celebration of Community Night, 6:00 P.M.
Early Release, Teacher Professional Development, 12:20 dismissal
SAC, 5:30 P.M.
Parent/Child Lunch Kindergarten
Parent/Child Lunch Grade 1
Parent/Child Lunch Grade 2
Incoming First Grade Parent Information Night, 6:30 P.M.
Mrs. Post’s Authors Share, 2:00 P.M.
Memorial Day – No School