Archive for the ‘Newsletters’ Category

Thanks for your help and support with the Wax Museum. It was a great success! The children’s dress rehearsal speeches are now posted on the blog. Thanks for your patience. The site I use would only let me upload a few each day!

It is hard to believe that we are in our last full week of school! This week will be packed full of both learning and fun. It has been an amazing year working with and getting to know your children. I will miss each and every one of them! They should be proud of all they have learned and of all of their accomplishments this year!

Thanks to you, the parents, for all of your help and support throughout the year. It was a pleasure! Have a wonderful summer!

Sincerely,

Ms. Sawyer  :)

Posted on June 12th, 2011 by hsawyer  |  No Comments »

You Are Cordially Invited

You are invited to attend our “Living Wax Museum” on Wednesday, June 8th, 2011 from  6:30-7:30pm. PLEASE NOTE THIS TIME CHANGE.

The children’s speeches, props, costumes, buttons and any extra credit elements are due in school on Monday, June 6th, to be prepared for dress rehearsal and proper set up of Wednesday afternoon’s performance.  All props should fit in a grocery bag. No furniture or weapons are allowed.

Children should arrive, no later than 6:15 pm on Wednesday night. We will be “setting the stage” for the Hall of Fame in the hallways,  and would prefer it to be a surprise for families when they arrive at 6:30 pm. Thank you in advance for respecting this request.

On this night students will pose as wax and will “come to life”-at the press of their button- to give guests a rendition of who they are and why they are famous. If you have any further questions or need additional information please feel free to contact me.

ALSO: Keep practicing that speech! I will make a copy to be kept at school and will send the original home to allow your child to continue practicing!

Thank you for all of your support for this very special, once in a lifetime project! I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday evening!

Posted on June 5th, 2011 by hsawyer  |  No Comments »

With an astounding fifteen and a half days of third grade left, the children continue to be introduced to new and valuable information each day! In Science, we will wrap up our work on energy with some really cool, hands-on activities and experiments. The students will learn about potential vs. kinetic energy and will visit each of our five third grade teachers for a look at five different types of energy! During our Kaboodle time, your child will finish up his/her work on the area that he/she chose as an area of interest. These areas are: rocks & minerals, the Solar System and animal habitats.

 

In Social Studies, we will spend some time wrapping up our learning about the American Revolution. The children will also learn about the Puritans and their similarities and differences when compared to the Pilgrims and we will take a closer look at Falmouth’s history! Of course, each child will be completing his/her research of a historical figure with ties to Massachusetts in preparation for our one-of-a-kind Living Wax Museum! Speaking of which, here are the details for homework for this week:

At home, students should be preparing to “become” their characters… This week’s homework is to design some type of appropriate costume, choose 3 relevant props to go on display, and finalize his/her speech. All students should attempt to memorize their speech before the 8th. It is much more interesting to listen to a presentation that has been practiced many times J.

These tasks are this week’s homework. This will give students plenty of time to prepare. Please be sure that your child takes this opportunity to work hard.  Speeches (completely written), props and costumes should be brought to school on MONDAY, JUNE 6. (A friendly reminder…no weapons or furniture, please.)

On the 8th, we will have a dress rehearsal from 2:00 – 3:00 at school. (Costumes will already be here.) That evening, we will have our performance at 6:00pm. Students should WEAR their costumes (which will be sent home at the end of the school day), and arrive a bit early to be set up and ready to go. Parents will be asked to remain outdoors until we throw the doors open for all to enter.

PLEASE email me with any questions you have as our exciting day approaches!

Also: Friday is our field trip to Aptuxcet Trading Post Museum. Children should bring a bag lunch (unless you sent in the slip last week ordering a school bag lunch) and wear sneakers, a hat and sunblock. Thanks, in advance, to all of our drivers!!

Posted on May 30th, 2011 by hsawyer  |  No Comments »

Countdown to Summer!!

This adorable calendar, created and shared by Mrs. Brooks, is a visual reminder of how fast, busy and fun the remainder of our year will be! The learning has not stopped in Room 202, though! Each member of the class is up to his/her elbows in research in anticipation of our Living Wax Museum on June 8th! Homework time this week should be centered on speeches (1st paragraph due Wednesday) and toward the end of the week information will be sent home on the timeline for gathering props and finishing speeches. Interested students can also be working on the extra credit portions of his/her Wax Museum project. Details regarding the extra credit were sent home in the Wax Museum information packet and are posted on the “Projects” page of our classroom blog.

The students are also busy demonstrating their automaticity of multiplication facts. They have been incredibly motivated and all have made great gains! We will be wrapping up Chapter 9 (multiplication and division) in Everyday Math and moving on to Chapter 10 which focuses on measurement and data. This chapter will include a very unique (in-school) project that will surely pique the kids’ interest and have them talking at home!

In Reading/English Language Arts, we will be finishing up our Reading Street work, spending some time with chapter books, working on fiction writing and publishing the student’s final personal narratives in a new & special way. Check out next week’s newsletter for our end of the year wrap up information in Science and Social Studies!

Posted on May 22nd, 2011 by hsawyer  |  No Comments »

Company in the Classroom!

We have been extremely lucky to welcome some special guests into our classroom to enhance our learning!

Falmouth Historical Society: Volunteer docents from the Falmouth Historical Society, in costumes reflecting style of Colonial times, came in and talked to the children about the clothing worn by colonists. They also taught the children about the materials that were used in Colonial times to make various kinds of cloth. The class learned about wool and had the opportunity to “card” the wool and then twist it into yarn. They learned about the numerous steps that are required to make flax into linen and the uses of “tow”. The children were then invited to share their thoughts and opinions on whether they would like to live in Colonial times or not. Ask your child about it!

Falmouth High School Ecology Club: The Ecology Club spoke to our class last week. Each high-school student taught our third graders about different species of endangered “Big Cats.” The students were asked to identify the cats visually by choosing the appropriate picture and by picking the stuffed animal version of the species that were just discussed. The club members discussed each cat’s role in the food chain (eating the cows and goats of farmers) and why this is a critical part of the problem that is causing them to become endangered (frustrated farmers kill the “Big Cats”). The club members helped the children to understand ways that farmers can protect livestock without killing the lions, tigers, leopards, etc. Some of the solutions include building barns, getting guard dogs and using guard llamas! The students then created “Big Cat” pencil toppers to help remind them of the lessons of the day.

Cross-Age Science Teaching (CAST): Teams of eighth grade students came over three times during the months of April and May to teach our class about electricity. Each eighth grader was assigned a group of third graders to work with over the course of the three visits. They worked amazingly well together! The third graders learned about safety in regards to electricity as well as circuits, conductors and insulators and much more. They built motors to spin colorful paper discs, used batteries to light a light bulb, tested everyday objects to determine if each was a conductor or an insulator and created their own circuit board that would light up when a question was answered correctly. The third graders were attentive, enthusiastic and thrilled with their creations! It was definitely a “win-win” situation for all involved!

Just a reminder…we are still looking for volunteer drivers to both Aptuxcet (June 3) and the Cape Cod Canal (June 16). Currently we have enough drivers/seatbelts for 13 students for the June 3rd trip and 8 students for the June 16 trip. If you are able to drive, please send back the form that was sent home last week. Thanks very much!!

Posted on May 16th, 2011 by hsawyer  |  No Comments »

Spring Has Sprung!

As the weather changes and the sun is out longer, it becomes increasingly more challenging for the children to keep their brains in the classroom during the day. This is natural, of course! We talked this morning though, about the importance of continuing to do our best in these final six weeks. The Wax Museum is our biggest third grade project and will require substantial effort and attention. It will all pay off on the magical night of June 8th when over one hundred third graders transform Mullen-Hall into a phenomenal learning experience for families and community members of Falmouth.

A Reminder….tomorrow, Tuesday, May 10th and Wednesday, May 11th, your child will be taking his/her first Math MCAS test. These two days will test your child’s math skills.  The test will include answering multiple choice questions, short answer questions and even Math open response questions (“O.R.Q.s”).

The children have been learning and practicing math skills, strategies and important math vocabulary since the beginning of the year. They have been working hard and I know they will do well!

A friendly reminder of the best ways to prepare your child for the test:

  1. Have your child go to bed early on Monday and Tuesday night so he/she will be well rested on the MCAS days.
  2. On the MCAS days, have your child eat a well-balanced breakfast (including protein) before coming to school. We will not be able to have morning snack at our usual time.
  3. Please be sure that your child arrives on time to school on each of these days.

During the week of MCAS testing there will be no written homework on Tuesday-Thursday. Instead, please encourage your child to continue practicing his/her math facts, reading and to play outside. Also, I’m looking for donations of healthy snacks for us to share those 2 days. Students with last names beginning with A-M can donate on Tuesday, N-Z on Wednesday (juice boxes, cheese sticks, fruit, veggies, banana bread, fruit snacks, etc.). My only request is that you send in enough for 19 students to each have exactly the same size, shape or flavor. Otherwise it gets challenging trying to figure out who – gets – what and to make it equal. (Thank you, in advance, for your help and understanding!)

Also, we are looking for volunteer drivers/chaperones for our full day field trips to the Aptucxet Trading Post Museum (on June 3rd) and the Cape Cod Canal (June 16th). Specific details will be sent home this week. If you are able to drive, please send me an email indicating how many children you can fit in your back seat (how many seatbelts). As always, thank you so much!

Posted on May 9th, 2011 by hsawyer  |  No Comments »

Room 202 is Ready to Research!

We are beginning to work towards an exciting research project discovering many famous and talented people that have ties to Massachusetts.

Some students have chosen one person who made a significant contribution to America and is connected to Massachusetts in some way. If your child has not brought back his/her top three choices, please do this as soon as possible. We will research important information about this person, write a well developed research report, and later “become” this person in our living wax museum. Please keep an eye out for additional information that will be coming home with your child on Wednesday.

Of note this week:

*On Tuesday, your child will participate in CAST (Cross-Age Science Teaching)!  Eighth grade students from the Lawrence School will come to our classroom to teach the children about circuits, insulators, conductors and electrical safety. It is a hands-on experience that is a fun & fantastic learning experience for all involved.

*Please be sure to come by for some dinner (Spaghetti Supper-5:15 PM) and to view the incredible artwork (Art Show 6:00 PM) created by the students of Mullen-Hall, including YOUR CHILD! :)

*On Friday, we will enjoy a special concert with Bill Harley!  ”Bill uses song and story to paint a vibrant and hilarious picture of growing up, schooling and family life. His work spans the generation gap, reminds us of our common humanity and challenges us to be our very best selves.”~ www.BillHarley.com

“…Harley’s witty, ebullient performances will have listeners young and old laughing out loud.” ~ Publisher’s Weekly
There will be a special FAMILY CONCERT on Friday, May 6, 2011 @ 7:00 PM
Lawrence School. More information will be sent home on Friday.
Tickets are available through Mullen-Hall, at Eight Cousins, Booksmith or at the door.
$4.00 Students
$6.00 Adults

Posted on April 11th, 2011 by hsawyer  |  No Comments »

We Have Some New Additions!

Recently, our class was lucky enough to receive a SMARTBoard! A SMARTBoard is an interactive whiteboard (IWB). For those of you unfamiliar with this piece of technology, it is a technology device designed for whole group access to lessons that are interactive and can build cooperation.  The unit is mounted on the wall at a perfect height to allow the children to use it readily during lessons. Also, I have changed the configuration of our classroom so that we have easy access to the SMARTBoard and can use it seamlessly during the day.

I’m extremely excited about what this technology can bring to our classroom. I’ve already been scouring the Internet for lessons and inspiration on practical, effective ways to put the SMARTBoard to use. I’ve been participating in the SMART Exchange website, where teachers share lessons and ideas with each other. I am also working in collaboration with other Mullen-Hall teachers in a study group that will help us all learn more about this cool, new tool. I’ll be sure to keep all of you posted on our explorations, as this is new to me, and I’m excited about where it will take us!

Our Morning Board allows each child to show that he/she is present and choose lunch for the day by physically moving his/her name to the correct box.

We have also welcomed 4 new members to our classroom – our anoles!  They are named Aloe, Shy Guy, Geico and Buddy. They will be here until April school vacation and are helping us learn about Food Chains & Webs. If you‘d like to donate live crickets, please let me know!

Posted on April 8th, 2011 by hsawyer  |  No Comments »

Dear Families,

You will notice that our homework this week is a little different.  Hopefully today’s snow will be an isolated incident, and students in Room 202 will get a chance to enjoy the change of pace when the weather warms back up.

Homework is an important part of school, but with MCAS this week; I feel that everyone may need some down-time.  As a parent, I love nights when there’s no homework, but they are few and far between. So, this week, students will have homework of a different kind altogether. Each assignment is listed below. Please sign after each night and have your child return this sheet to school on Friday

Before we know it, the weekend will be here, and the Language Arts MCAS will be a wonderful third grade memory. Praise your children for the hard work they have put in all year, as it truly pays off in the efforts they put forth.

For those of you new to MCAS, the results of both the Language Arts and the Math tests will be mailed to your home address sometime in October.  It’s a long time to wait, that’s for sure!

Also, I’m looking for donations of healthy snacks for the children to share on those 2 days. Students with last names beginning with A-Ma can donate on Wednesday, Me-Z on Thursday (juice boxes, cheese sticks, fruit, veggies, chips & salsa, banana bread muffins, whole wheat mini-bagels, etc.). My only request is that you send in enough for 19 students to each have exactly the same size, shape or flavor. Otherwise it gets challenging trying to figure out who – gets – what and to make it equal. (Thank you, in advance, for your help and understanding!) Also, please be sure that your child has a water bottle that he/she can use during the test.

Thanks, as always, for your continued support!

Posted on March 21st, 2011 by hsawyer  |  No Comments »

MCAS: Round 1!

Next week, on Wednesday, March 23rd and Thursday, March 24th, your child will be taking his/her first English Language Arts/Reading MCAS test. These two days will test your child’s reading comprehension skills.  The test will include answering multiple choice questions, short answer questions and open response questions (“O.R.Q.s”).

A friendly reminder of the best ways to prepare your child for the test:

  1. Beginning tonight (not just the night before please), have your child go to bed early each night so he/she will be well rested on the MCAS days.
  2. On the MCAS days, have your child eat a healthy breakfast (that includes protein) before coming to school.
  3. Please be sure that your child arrives on time to school on each of these days.

During the week of MCAS testing there will be no written homework. Instead, please encourage your child to continue reading and to play outside, if the weather permits.

Also, I’m looking for donations of healthy snacks for the children to share on those 2 days. Students with last names beginning with A-Ma can donate on Wednesday, Me-Z on Thursday (juice boxes, cheese sticks, fruit, veggies, chips & salsa, banana bread muffins, whole wheat mini-bagels, etc.). My only request is that you send in enough for 19 students to each have exactly the same size, shape or flavor. Otherwise it gets challenging trying to figure out who – gets – what and to make it equal. (Thank you, in advance, for your help and understanding!) Also, please be sure that your child has a water bottle that he/she can use during the test.

Finally, please know that I have taken the time to explain to the children that despite the focus right now on MCAS, that it is just one small part of their education. I have assured them that if they are well rested, have breakfast and most importantly, try their best, they will do well. I am, and will continue to be, proud of their effort and accomplishments! Please feel free to contact me with any additional questions or concerns.

Thanks, as always, for your continued support!

Posted on March 17th, 2011 by hsawyer  |  No Comments »