Latest News/Happenings

 5th Grade Supply List



Welcome to 5th grade! Below you will find a list of items that we ask you purchase and bring to school on the first day.


*3 composition notebooks (100 sheets each) - not spiral bound please!

*1 pair of adult scissors

*5 colored pocket folders- must be red, yellow, green, blue, orange- STURDY

1 pack lined index cards (4 x 6)

2 packs Post-It notes

*1 half inch (.5”) binder with a clear cover

3 pack- black dry erase markers

3 packs #2 pencils (Ticonderoga preferred)

*5 highlighters (1 each of pink, orange, green, 2 yellow)

3 gluesticks

2 packs lined paper, college ruled

*1 box washable markers

*1 reusable water bottle for school

2 boxes of tissues

2 containers of disinfectant wipes (Clorox, Lysol, etc.)

2 fine tip, black Sharpies



(Some supplies are communal in 5th grade. Anything marked with a * will remain personal supplies for the student)

***Students can also bring in a pencil case to store their supplies in their desks***



Dear Parents,


We had another exciting week in fifth grade! Students enjoyed their last Field Day on Tuesday, as well as their last Kindergarten Buddy Activity on Friday.  Our class had an absolute blast during both events and were true leaders as they worked cooperatively.  They make me so proud! In addition, Shelly Warren from LHS returned to speak to our students about the dangers of smoking.  As predicted, students were respectful and made thoughtful contributions to the important discussion.  


Here is what we have been up to in each content area:  


Peacebuilders - This week students created and acted out skits that each illustrated a different principle from our Peacebuilders’ pledge.  Audience members were then asked to identify the principle that was being portrayed and provide evidence from the play that led them to their decision.  The skits were, of course, very creative and demonstrated their understanding of each component of Peacebuilders.  

Reader’s Workshop - This week we continued our study of narrative nonfiction and biography by reading and responding to complex biographies.  Students studied how the decisions their subjects made during crucial moments in their lives affected their future.  Students also analyzed the structure of their biographies by taking a look at whether their book covers the entire life of their subjects or whether it focuses on one significant moment in the subject’s life.  


Writer’s Workshop - Students continued working on their graduation speeches, Unlock the Potential.  Students identified character traits that they share with their role models.  Students then researched stories about their role models and connected those stories to themselves personally.  Students ended the week by beginning to draft their graduation speeches.  


Mathematics - Students continued their unit of study on problem solving by solving two-step word problems that include grouping symbols.  Students also analyzed word problems that include too much or too little information.  They read a set of story problems and described the information that is actually needed to solve the problem.  We are looking to complete the Unit Test next week, but remain flexible as our schedule is filled with wonderful end of the year events!  


Social Studies - This week students continued their study of the American Revolution.  Students read about and discussed the Declaration of Independence, the Battle of Saratoga, and the Winter at Valley Forge.  Students also continued work on their song projects, where they are to focus on an event we have studied and describe the event by rewriting the lyrics to a song of their choice...  Their work has exceeded any expectations that I previously had about the assignment!


Have a great weekend!




June 16, 2017: Grade 5 Graduation

(Rain Date: June 19, 2017)

File:Graduation hat.svg - Wikimedia Commons

What to wear:


  • Boys must wear: slacks (zippers and buttons) or “bermuda/golf” shorts, collared shirt, tie optional, shoes (example: docksiders, dress shoes); no hats


  • Girls may wear: Skirts, dresses, or dress pants; all tops/dresses must have straps and straps must be two fingers wide; shoes should be flats or wedges (walking on the grass)


Schedule for the Day:


9:15-10:15 “Unlock the Potential” Student Speeches

Please meet in the following locations for the ceremonies:

 Ms. Anderson will have her ceremony in the Gym

Mrs. Bombardier will have her ceremony in the Library

Ms. Manna will have her ceremony in the Community Room

Mrs. Quinn will have her ceremony on the Green

10:15-10:45 Refreshments on the Esplanade

provided by Center School

10:45-11:30 Grade 5 Ceremony on The Green

IMPORTANT note about seating:

Families are asked to bring lawn chairs/blankets to sit on during the whole-grade ceremony. School chair availability will be limited.

 Please feel free to take your child at the end of the graduation ceremony!

Students who stay at school will need to bring a bag lunch.

            Students will NOT be able to order school lunch on graduation day.  



Dear Parents,


Students had such a productive week of learning! They began the week with the Science MCAS (they finished up STRONG!) and ended the week with another fabulous guest speaker.  Emily Sweeney, a member of the U.S. National Luge Team (and also a personal friend of Ms. Anderson), came to Center and spoke to students about the importance of hard work, dedication, and character when working towards achieving your goals.  Students were also able to learn about her sport and even take a close look at her equipment!


Here is what we have been up to in each content area:  


Peacebuilders - Students participated in activities related to three important parts of

Peacebuilders; Notice Hurts, Right Wrongs, and Help Others.  Students listened to a story (Chester’s Way by Kevin Henkes) and described how the events of the story connect to our Peacebuilders principles.  Students then put themselves in the shoes of the characters and discussed with one another how they, as Peacebuilders, would have handled the situation if something similar happened to them.  

Reader’s Workshop - This week students continued reading biographies.  Students analyzed the early life of their subjects and compared the traits their subject possessed at that time to the traits he or she possessed later on in his/her life.  Students also made inferences about the subjects of their books based on the person’s interests and his/her accomplishments.  Students also analyzed how the passage of time is shown in nonfiction writing.    


Writer’s Workshop - Students began brainstorming and researching ideas for their fifth grade graduation speeches.  The theme of the speech is Unlock the Potential.  Students are expected to think about who they are as individuals and who they would like to be in the future.  Through this reflection they are also expected to select a role model that they look up or an individual whose life story matches that of their hopes and dreams.  Students will continue this preparation next week.  

Mathematics - Students continued their study of story problems by reviewing strategies for determining whether or not a solution is reasonable.  Students also analyzed the language of comparison problems and how the language used can be misleading.  We ended the week by solving problems with more than one step.  Students will be tested on this unit next Thursday (6/1).   


Social Studies - Students studied the events that led up to the start of the Revolutionary War.  Students learned about the different acts that the British Parliament enforced on the Colonies without their representation.  We discussed the causes and effects of each decision made by both the British and the Colonies.  We also read the poem The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere and had some fun reading a parody of that piece called The Midnight Ride of William Dawes (Paul Revere was not the only one who rode that night to warn the Colonists!).


I hope you all have a restful long weekend!




Dear Parents,

We had a great week in A204! Students worked hard in all content areas.  In addition, we spent time on Tuesday assisting with the beautification of our school grounds (it was the perfect day for it!).  We also had a special visitor this week.  Author Tina DiMeo (Christian’s mom!) spoke to the fifth grade about the writing process while focusing on the “big ideas” covered during our recent fantasy unit in Reader’s Workshop… What a treat!

Here is what we have been up to in each content area:  

Reader’s Workshop - This week students began a new unit of study on biography.  We spent the week analyzing and discussing the difference between narrative nonfiction and expository nonfiction.  Students also explored that, in some cases, nonfiction is not able to be labeled within a certain genre.  Students read biographies at their own independent reading level and reflected on the genre that their books fell into.  

Writer’s Workshop - Students completed their Research-based Argument Essays this week.  They worked through the publishing process by making adjustments to their essays based on feedback from their peers and through their own individual reflections.  Students will begin a unit of study on speech writing next week, in preparation for fifth grade graduation.  

Mathematics - Students began a unit of study on Operations and Word Problems.  In this unit, students will be exploring different problem solving strategies.  This week, students  learned about and wrote both situation and solution equations in order to solve story problems.  

Social Studies - Students began their study of the American Revolution. They read about the French and Indian War and the Treaty of Paris.  Students then discussed how the effects of the French and Indian War and how that led to increased tensions between England and the colonies.  

Wishing all of you fun-filled weekend!




Dear Parents,

I want to thank all of you for the special lunch I enjoyed earlier today…  Your generosity is overwhelming!  Please know how grateful I am for you and your children.  Today and everyday, I feel so very appreciated.  

Here is what we have been up to in each content area:  

Reader’s Workshop - This week we wrapped up our unit of study in Fantasy by discussing theme.  Students discussed how fantasy allows us to explore new and exciting worlds while also teaching us valuable lessons.  Students also explored how fantasy writers use allegory (an extended metaphor) to represent theme through analyzing our class read aloud, The Thief of Always.  We will begin our next unit of study on Biography next week.  

Writer’s Workshop - Students continued drafting their research-based argument essays.  They learned and practiced the art of debate by engaging in a class debate on whether or not plastic bags should be banned from stores.  Students then applied this practice to their own arguments.  They also worked on revising their pieces for organization using strategies for paragraphing.  Students will work on publishing their essays next week.  

Mathematics - Students continued developing their multiplication fact fluency through different activities and games.  Students also practiced problem solving using strategies learned throughout the school year. They were expected to read a story problem, write an equation match the story, and solve.  

Science -  Students continued their study of living systems.  Students observed planters and discussed how compost worms interact with organic litter.  Students also reviewed for their upcoming assessment by playing an interactive quiz game and Jeopardy!  Students will be tested on Monday and will also come back to me for their next Social Studies unit… The American Revolution.     

Wishing all of you wonderful mothers out there a peaceful and relaxing Mother’s Day!




Dear Parents,

Spring is in the air at Center! We had a great week, and students worked extremely hard on both days of the Math MCAS.  As always, thank you so much for all of your support at home.  

Here is what we have been up to in each content area:  

Reader’s Workshop - This week we continued our unit of study on Fantasy by discussing the fact that fantasy characters are complex.  Students tracked the behaviors of the characters in their book club books discovering that in many cases it is difficult to label characters as “good” or “bad” (sometimes good people can do some not so good things and vice versa).  Students also explored how fantasy writers use symbolism to represent theme.  Students analyzed the use of symbolism in paintings and then applied that work to their book club books.  

Writer’s Workshop - Students completed their chocolate milk pieces and moved onto their next research-based argument essay.  This time around, students will be writing on a topic that they are passionate about… Not a challenge for our crew! Students spent the week researching both sides of their selected argument and began drafting their essays.  We also  discussed as a class strategies we can use to be sure our writing appeals to our selected audiences.   

Mathematics -  This week students completed their spiral review by taking a look back at solving for volume.  Students also participated in two days of Mathematics MCAS testing.  

Science - Students continued their study of life systems with hands-on tasks and experiences.  Students observed planters after switching them from dark to light and light to dark.  Students also discussed how animals receive the nutrients they need and observed their painted lady butterfly larvae.  In addition, students learned about the features of organisms that attract attention as well as the difference between learned behaviors and instinctive behaviors.  

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!




Dear Parents,

Welcome Back! We had a busy week back in fifth grade.  Here is what we have been up to in each content area:

Reader’s Workshop - This week students entered into the wonderful world of fantasy!  They discussed different elements of the fantasy with the understanding that fantasy stories are quite complex.  We discussed the importance of suspending judgment of characters as we read fantasy because, in many cases, characters are not who they appear to be at the start of a story.  Students also began their new fantasy book clubs, where they discuss assigned novels with other book club members.  

Writer’s Workshop -  Students began their next unit of study on research-based argument essay.  Students were faced with the hot topic, “Should cafeterias serve chocolate milk to students?” We launched into the unit by first discussing the importance of basing arguments on research rather than emotion.  Students then began collecting research to support their claims.  While drafting, students considered counterarguments, and developed sentence stems that they could use to elaborate upon their research.  

Mathematics - Students spent the week reviewing concepts from previous units of study.  Students reviewed and engaged in activities on fraction operations, decimal computation, place value, area, perimeter, and volume.  They also completed mixed review tasks to expose them to a format similar to the one they will receive next week.  

Science -  Students began their next unit of study in Science on lifesystems.  Students identified systems including complex systems, simple systems and subsystems.  Students then completed a forest food web and a kelp forest food web.  They ended the week by setting up planters and discussing plant nutrition.  

Have a great weekend (forecast is looking beautiful)!




Happy Friday!

As we head into the weekend, take a minute to check out your child's most recent technology project. I continue to be amazed at what they are able to create! Please see the link below and remember you can always see what students are up to in tech by visiting Mrs. Giuggio's blog (link above!) 

Dear Parents,

Wow! I could not be more proud of our crew this week.  They worked extremely hard through three days of ELA MCAS testing, and also wrapped up units of study in Reading, Writing, and Social Studies!  Thank you all for your continued support at home; students came into to school each day calm, relaxed, and ready to go!

Peacebuilders - This week we discussed as a Peacebuilders community an important component of our Peacebuilders’ pledge:  Seek Wise People.  We discussed the importance of our role as fifth graders in the Center School community as well as scenarios where (and when) it is appropriate to seek a wise person.  For some of us, this means working on being more assertive when we are faced with conflict before seeking a wise person.  For others, this means learning that that they do not have to face conflict on their own… Wise people are everywhere!  It was very inspiring to hear each student’s contribution to the discussion; our Peacebuilders meetings are always thoughtful and very meaningful.  

Reader’s Workshop - This week students studied and performed dramatic plays.  Students learned the various of elements of plays and observed that many plays portray or teach the audience a lesson and/or message.   Students also discussed what the role of an actor is in a play.  Students were then assigned plays to read and perform to their classmates.  Next week, students will perform their plays and launch into their next unit of study on Fantasy!

Writer’s Workshop -  Students completed their unit of study on Poetry.  As a class, students created a class anthology on Google Drive by selecting three poems that they feel represent themselves as poets, and people.  The anthology will be published and shared with all of you.  In addition, students requested that their poetry be displayed in the fifth grade hallway for our school community to enjoy.  It is the perfect plan as April is National Poetry Month!

Mathematics - This week students studied and found the volume of rectangular prisms.  Students learned that volume is measured in three dimensions (length, width, height) and practiced solving real world problems that involve finding volume.  Students then used this knowledge to find the volume of composite figures.  Students used problem solving skills and reasonability to find the value of missing dimensions in order to find the volume of these more complex figures.  Next week, students will study quadrilaterals and triangles as they wrap up Unit 8.  

Social Studies -  This week students completed their unit of study on the Thirteen Colonies.  Students began the week by working on a group task where they were expected to design a Southern Plantation.  Students then discussed how the Southern Plantation during Colonial America operated similarly to larger corporations today.  Students ended the week by reviewing the Thirteen Colonies with a interactive map activity.  Next week, students will begin their next Science unit with Ms. Anderson.

Wishing you all a relaxing (well-deserved!) weekend!




Dear Center School Families,

Tuesday begins the first round of MCAS testing in ELA (English Language Arts) for our 3rd , 4th , and 5th grade students. The MCAS assessments provide parents and teachers with information about students’ proficiency with specific learning standards in English language arts, math, and science. MCAS assessments are administered each spring and the results are distributed to schools and parents in the fall.

While teachers have practiced specific MCAS questions with their students to familiarize them with the format of the assessment, the most important learning has been accomplished daily through core curriculum instruction! The MCAS is an opportunity for our students to apply their learning and demonstrate their proficiency as growing readers , writers, mathematicians and scientists.

This is the first year for administration of tests known as the "Next Generation MCAS 2.0", which are designed to be computer based and to more deeply assess students’ knowledge and ability levels. Students in Grade 4 will participate in online testing, using chrome books, in ELA and math this year.   

Students in grades 3 and 5 will continue with paper based testing in ELA and math. The Department of Education’s goal is for computer based testing for all students by 2019.  Students in Grade 3, 4, and 5 will participate in three shorter ELA sessions.  All tests are untimed and writing is embedded in tests at all grade levels.

Here are ways you can help:

  • See that your child arrives to school on time.

  • Make sure your child is well rested and eats a substantial breakfast. Don’t forget to pack a healthy snack!

  • Encourage your child to persevere, do the best work possible, and to have a positive attitude!

  • Talk about the test in a positive way!

2017 MCAS Schedule




           Science Technology Engineering

5th Grade

April 4,5,6

  May 2 , 3

            May 22 , 23

4th Grade

April 11, 12, 13

  May 9th, 10th

            Not Tested

3rd Grade

April 25, 26 ,27

  May 16 , 17

            Not Tested

Note that in compliance with MCAS test security requirements, parents /visitors are prohibited from the testing areas on testing dates.

We ask for your help in striking a balance between encouraging students to do their best and minimizing test anxiety. We consider MCAS to be one piece of evidence used to measure student growth and progress, and we recognize your child’s individual strengths, passions, and talents may not be reflected in a test score. By working together, we can make your child’s testing experience positive and successful.

If you would like more information, visit

I extend my appreciation for your support and cooperation. Please contact me with any questions.



Donna Hutton, Principal



Dear Parents,

It was a pleasure meeting with you all during conferences.  I am so fortunate to have a classroom full of hard workers, as well as supportive, thoughtful, parents.  

Here is what we have been up to in each content area:

Reader’s Workshop - This week students used all of their strategies to understand the deeper meaning of poetry.  Students read a series of poems and developed theories for what message the poets were trying to convey.  Students also worked on their Open Response Writing.  Students analyzed examples of responses that were assessed by the State, pointing out and commenting on the aspects of the responses that contributed to the ratings each response was given.  Students then completed an open response where they were asked to support their thinking across multiple texts.  I am so impressed with their hard work in this area!

Writer’s Workshop -  Students continued writing poetry this week.  They revised and edited their poems using strategies they know and took time to write personal reflections on their poems.  Students also constructed “I Am” poems, where they were asked to describe themselves in both literal and imaginative ways.  Students will complete their unit on Writing Poetry next week, as we work to develop a class anthology of our favorite poems.

Mathematics - Students began their next unit of study on Measurement and Geometry.  Students converted Metric and Customary units of length, liquid volume, and mass.  In addition, students worked very hard solving real world multistep word problems where they were expected to convert across different units.

Social Studies - This week, students began a unit of study on the Middle Colonies.  Students learned about the land, people, and economy of the Middle Colonies.  After learning about the economy of the colonies students completed a project where they were asked to set an economic goal, and decide on avenues to achieve their goals.  They were encouraged to weigh out the pros and cons of each of their choices to determine which option would be the most effective in reaching their goal.  

Have a great weekend!




Dear Parents,

We had a great week in A204! We were very fortunate to welcome Justice McDonough to Center School.  As part of National Judicial Outreach Week, students participated in a presentation by Justice McDonough that highlighted the importance of an impartial and independent judiciary governed by the Rule of Law.  The presentation connected wonderfully to our previous unit of study in Social Studies on our nation’s three branches of government.

Here is what we have been up to in each content area:

Reader’s Workshop - This week students learned that, as poetry readers, we take on many different personas and voices depending on the perspective (or point of view) of the poem.  Students also explored the knowledge that poems were written to be read out loud.  That said, students learned through reading a variety of poems that alliteration, assonance, and consonance are all tools that poets use to create sound and rhythm in their poetry writing.  

Writer’s Workshop -  Students continued their journey as poetry writers by writing poems from the perspective of inanimate objects.  Some examples that were written were poems from the perspective of a soccer ball, and thinking putty (hilarious!).  Students also wrote poems inspired by mentor poets, as well as poems inspired by their previous writing and observations.  

Mathematics - Students completed their unit of study on Order of Operations and Coordinate Plane Graphing.  Students prepared for their assessment by solving order of operations word problems and engaged in a coordinate graph art activity.  Students also completed a project where they were expected to create a clock where expressions were created to equal each hour on the clock.  Next week, students will begin a new unit of study on Measurement and Geometry.      

Science - This week students completed their unit of study on Mixtures and Solutions.  Students reviewed for their end of unit assessment by playing a jeopardy review game.  Next week, students will come back to me for their next unit in Social Studies… The Thirteen Colonies!

Wishing you all a wonderful long weekend!




Dear Parents,

Here is what we have been up to in each content area:

Word Study - Students learned and studied the Latin root sub.  They discovered how sub can function as both a root and a prefix and built words with the root.  Students also read a complex text that includes words with audi and audit.  Students used their knowledge of the root aud to discuss and write about the main idea of the text.   

Reader’s Workshop - This week students began a new unit of study on Poetry.  Students spent the week reading and analyzing different types of poetry.  In their reading groups, students learned about and read free verse poetry, haiku, limericks, as well as song lyrics.  They recorded what they noticed about the different poetry types and reported back to their classmates on their findings.  This work had a direct impact on their own personal poetry writing.   

Writer’s Workshop -  Students began to study and write poetry.  Students studied how poetry writers convey a message or emotion through their writing by using various writing techniques and/or creative elements.  Students incorporated line breaks and white space into their poetry to create rhythm and add shape to their writing.  They also considered how author’s perspective directly impacts the emotion and message of poetry.  Students ended the week by writing their own song lyrics (we have some future Grammy winners in our class!)!

Mathematics - This week students studied various data sets while identifying the patterns and relationships present amongst the data.  Students then took the data and used it to develop ordered pairs to graph along a coordinate plane.  Students were able to see that through this process, they can predict future outcomes for the specific data set.  Students will complete their study of order of operations and coordinate graphing next week, with an assessment on Wednesday.          

Science - This week students continued their investigation of mixtures and solutions.  Students discovered whether or not there was a limit to how much solid material can dissolve in 50 mL of water.  They also made saturated solutions and compared the amount of solid materials it took to saturate the different solutions they made.  Students participated in virtual investigations in preparation for their assessment next Wednesday.  

Have a great weekend!  




Dear Parents,

We had an amazing week in fifth grade! We began the week with our Valentine’s Day celebration and ended the week with our Memoir Celebration.  A huge thank you to all that donated to our Valentine’s Day Ice Cream Party... and a special thank you to Mrs. Ceccotti for doing all of the scooping!   

Word Study - Students learned and studied the suffixes -ness and -less.  Students spent time building words with these two suffixes by manipulating various root words (for example, color became colorless and sad became sadness).  

Reader’s Workshop - This week students celebrated the end of their Realistic Fiction unit of study by viewing the movie version of our classroom read aloud, Bridge to Terabithia.  Students then compared and contrasted the movie to the novel.  After sharing their thoughts, students focused in on one major contrast they identified and constructed a written response (or “wrote long”) on their thinking.  

Writer’s Workshop - Students completed their memoirs this week.  They developed introductions for their memoirs that describe their stories as well as the overall message of their pieces.  Students also prepared for their memoir celebration, by speech writing and developing an order of events for the share.  

Mathematics - Students began a new unit of study on Algebra, Patterns, and Coordinate Graphs.  Students practiced reading and writing expressions and also learned the technique “PEMDAS” for remembering order of operations.  Students then simplified (solved) expressions with multiple operations.       

Science - Students continued to learn about mixtures and solutions.  They observed their classroom evaporation station and separated dry materials.  Students also investigated concentration using soft drinks (Kool-Aid) and salt solutions.


Just a gentle reminder that photos for the Fifth Grade Memory Book are to be uploaded no later than February 28, 2017 - it will be here before we know it so don't delay in uploading those photos.  Submitting photos is easy:

* Go to

* If it does not automatically log you into the site, enter username 406813600

* Click "Browse" to select the photo(s) you wish to upload

* Enter information about the photo and click "Save Details"

Wishing you all a fun-filled Winter Break with your wonderful children!  




Dear Parents,

I hope that you all enjoyed a relaxing snow day!  We had a wonderful week of learning in A204.  Here is what we have been up to in each content area:

Word Study - This week students worked on their own word lists.  Students learned the spelling rule associated with their assigned words and also wrote sentences with their words.  Students revised their sentences to include enough information so that readers could uncover the meaning of the words through the context of the written sentences.  

Reader’s Workshop - This week students worked on their final projects for their realistic fiction unit of study.  Students chose from a menu of options to demonstrate both the content knowledge they gained from their book clubs, and also their ability to apply the knowledge they learned about realistic fiction through the minilessons presented throughout the unit.  Examples of the options students chose from include rewriting a section of their book club books from another character’s perspective and comparing a character from their book to another book they have read.  Your child’s creativity is shining brightly through this project!

Writer’s Workshop - Students continued working on drafting their memoirs.  Students learned how to express big emotions through writing.  They experimented with adding metaphors and similes to their writing and varying the length of their sentences to show, not tell, the emotions their words are trying to convey.  Students have also begun to write dedications for their memoirs and introductions that they will share with the full group at our memoir celebration.   

Mathematics - Students completed Unit 5 by engaging in review tasks leading up to their end of unit assessment.  Students practiced dividing decimals, interpreting remainders, and solved story problems where they were expected to determine whether or not to multiply or divide.  Students have worked extremely hard developing their strategies! Next week, students will begin their next unit of study on order of operations and coordinate graphs.   

Science - Students began their next unit of study on Mixtures and Solutions.  Students participated in a virtual investigation on mixtures.  Students also completed two hands on activities where they separated materials in mixtures and both made and measured solutions.  Students also visited a classroom “evaporation station” where they made observations and recorded their thinking.


Just a gentle reminder that photos for the Fifth Grade Memory Book are to be uploaded no later than February 28, 2017 - it will be here before we know it so don't delay in uploading those photos.  Submitting photos is easy:

* Go to

* If it does not automatically log you into the site, enter username 406813600

* Click "Browse" to select the photo(s) you wish to upload

* Enter information about the photo and click "Save Details"

Wishing you a great weekend! We have an exciting week coming up as we head toward Winter Break!




Dear Parents,

Here is what we have been up to in each content area:

Word Study - In addition to working through their own word lists, students also studied syllable patterns and learned how knowing syllable types can help us with our reading and spelling.  Students also completed a grammar activity where they added the suffix -er to a list of verbs to fill in the blanks appropriately of given sentences.     

Reader’s Workshop - This week students learned that readers of realistic fiction push themselves to think beyond the surface.  Students identified the types of characters present in their book club books.  They also compared characters across texts that face similar struggles to the characters in their books.  They ended the week by developing theories about themselves as readers, just as they generate theories about their characters.  

Writer’s Workshop - Students continued working on drafting their memoirs.  Students worked on revising the expository sections of their memoirs.  They considered the “finer points” of their writing by focusing in on the big moments that connect to the messages of their personal stories.  Students also added transitional phrases to their memoirs to link the expository writing to the narrative writing.  Students ended the week by peer editing a partner’s memoir.      

Mathematics - Students spent the week dividing with decimals.  We uncovered strategies for dividing whole numbers by decimals, dividing decimals by whole numbers, and dividing two decimal numbers.  Students then applied this knowledge to solving division story problems with decimals.  Next week, students will be tested on these concepts as we wrap up Unit 5.  

Social Studies - Students began the week by reviewing the European Colonies in North America by mapping out their location on a blank map of the United States.  Students then began their study of the New England Colonies.  Students completed a Mixed Map activity, where they explored New England during this time period.  Students also studied King Phillip’s War, with a focus on “King Phillip’s Stockade”.

Next week, students will begin their next unit of study in Science, with Ms. Anderson!  

March Conferences - Attached to this week's Weekly was information on your individually scheduled conference time.  Times were chosen based on our October conference schedule.  Please fill out the bottom portion of the sheet and return it to school as soon as possible.  If you need to reschedule, I am happy to find a time that is more convenient.    


Just a gentle reminder that photos for the Fifth Grade Memory Book are to be uploaded no later than February 28, 2017 - it will be here before we know it so don't delay in uploading those photos.  Submitting photos is easy:

* Go to

* If it does not automatically log you into the site, enter username 406813600

* Click "Browse" to select the photo(s) you wish to upload

* Enter information about the photo and click "Save Details"

Have a great weekend!




Dear Parents,

Here is what we have been up to in each content area:

Word Study - Students worked through their own word lists for the week.  They completed Word Study tasks throughout the week and participated in small group “teacher time” opportunities to learn

their assigned spelling rule and explore other words that follow the same rule.

Reader’s Workshop - This week students analyzed how authors use objects to represent themes in a story.  Students also practiced thinking across characters, comparing and contrasting two or more characters in more than one book. Students used their book club books as well as our class read aloud, Bridge to Terabithia to complete this work. In their books clubs, students focused on a guiding question as they read their assigned pages and are working towards responding to the question as they write about their reading.   

Writer’s Workshop - Students continued working on drafting their memoirs.  They focused on using emotional language to convey meaning in their stories and also edited their drafts for voice.  Students also worked with a writing partner this week and participated in peer editing. Partners checked drafts for proper organization as well as proper use of writing conventions. 

Mathematics - Students worked extremely hard this week on dividing whole numbers.  They used estimation to check quotients before and after problem solving and also worked on interpreting remainders.  Students analyzed story problems to determine what do with a remainder when developing an answer to a problem.  Students also wrote their own division story problems.      

Social Studies - Students continued their study of colonization this week as they learned about the French and Dutch colonies. Students researched why the French colonies developed slower than the Spanish and English colonies and also the reasons why the French and the Dutch wanted to settle in North America. 

Students also read about the delicate relationship between these colonists and the Native Americans.    Students then created a map of Colonial America in preparation for their quiz on the European Colonies next week. 


Just a gentle reminder that photos for the Fifth Grade Memory Book are to be uploaded no later than February 28, 2017 - it will be here before we know it so don't delay in uploading those photos.  Submitting photos is easy:

* Go to

* If it does not automatically log you into the site, enter username 406813600

* Click "Browse" to select the photo(s) you wish to upload

* Enter information about the photo and click "Save Details"

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!




Happy Friday!

We will be celebrating Valentine's Day in our classroom on February 14th. Students will enjoy ice cream sundaes while they exchange cards with their friends.

We are in need of volunteers to help out at the event and/or donate items. If you are interested, please see the link below to sign up. As always, please contact me with any questions you have.

Thank you all so much!

Valentine's Day Party Sign Up

Dear Parents,

We have had a busy week of learning full with meaningful learning opportunities and discussions.  I would also like to once again congratulate our talented musicians on their wonderful performances in the Winter Concert! Bravo!

Here is what we have been up to in each content area:

Peacebuilders -  Students were provided with many special opportunities this week to share and grow as a Peacebuilders community.  On Wednesday, two players from the Springfield Thunderbirds (as well as their mascot Boomer!) came to Center and invited students to ask questions about their experiences playing a professional sport.  In addition, Shelly Warren, our district’s Substance Abuse Response Coordinator, spoke to students about Substance Abuse.  The specific focus was on the definition of the the term “drug”.    

Reader’s Workshop -  This week we completed our realistic fiction read aloud, Bridge to Terabithia.  Students wrote about our reading by using evidence based terms to support their thinking.  Students also continued to develop theories about the characters in their book clubs.  They shared these theories with their book club members, and may have adjusted their thinking based on the information they gained from their classmates.  

Writer’s Workshop - This week students studied the structure of familiar memoirs and planned for how they would like to structure their own personal memoirs.  Students decided whether or not they wanted to write their memoir in narrative form, essay style, or a hybrid of the two.  Students also began planning out their memoir celebration, which will take place before February vacation.     

Mathematics - Students reviewed three strategies for dividing whole numbers; area model, partial quotient, and the long division algorithm.

Students understand that the expectation is that they are all to be able to solve division equations using the algorithm by the end of the year.  Students also began dividing numbers with remainders.  We defined the word “remainder” and brainstormed real world scenarios where we would divide with remainders.  

Social Studies - Students continued presenting their Explorer Trading Cards to their classmates.  I have been very impressed with their performance on the student-prepared formative assessments that were created! In addition, students studied the Virginia and Plymouth colonies this week.  Students discussed what motivated the colonists to settle in North America and also where the colonists settled.  Students also learned about the story of the lost colony of Roanoke and read a biography that featured Pocahontas.  Students then created a Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting the information in the biography to what they already knew about Pocahontas.  

Have a great weekend! Please enjoy a spotlight on our latest VIP… Amelia B.!




Dear Parents,

We have had a wonderful week of learning in A204! Here is what we have been up to in each content area:

Word Study -  Students restarted their Word Study routine where they were each assigned a word list at their own individual spelling level to work on throughout the week.  Students engaged in related activities both in home and at school as they prepared for their spelling quiz on Friday.  

Reader’s Workshop - Students continued their unit on Realistic Fiction by developing theories about the characters in their books that are grounded within the text.  Students also compared and contrasted how different characters in books can experience the same event quite differently.  Book club meetings were also held throughout the week where students engaged in character discussion and vocabulary instruction.  

Writer’s Workshop -  Students worked diligently on developing their topics for their first memoir this week.  They discussed how literature can inspire their own writing by analyzing different texts as well as memoirs by public figures and fellow fifth graders.  Students have all identified a “seed topic” of great importance to them and have all entered into the drafting stage of the Writing Cycle.  

Mathematics - Students wrapped up Unit 4 this week, which focused on Multiplying by Decimals and by Powers of 10.  Students participated in review centers and tasks as they prepared for their Unit assessment on Friday.  Next week, students will begin their next unit of study:  Division by Whole Numbers and Decimals.  

Social Studies - Students completed their Explorer trading cards and developed a formative assessment to correspond with the content presented in their cards for their friends to complete after their presentation.  Students also studied the Spanish colonies, paying extra attention to the reason why the colonists from Spain settled in the New World and also what parts of the New World they colonized.  

Wishing you all a wonderful long weekend!




Dear Parents,

Happy New Year! I hope 2017 brings all of you peace and happiness.  I would like to thank you all again so very much for your generous holiday gifts.  Working with your children each day is the very best gift of all.  

Here is what we have been up to in each content area:

Peacebuilders - This week we discussed as a Peacebuilders community the importance of practicing empathy.  We brainstormed the advantages, and challenges, of being able to walk in another person’s shoes and also created and acted out scenarios where empathy could/should be shown to one another in and out of the classroom.  

Word Study -  Students studied the suffixes -er, meaning “more” and -est, meaning “most”.  Students pulled words with these suffixes out from our current read aloud as well as their book club books.  

Reader’s Workshop - Students continued their analysis of Realistic Fiction by focusing on how characters drive the plot of a story.  They looked at the strategies and techniques author’s use to allow readers to get inside the mind of characters.  Students also learned to be flexible in their character analysis, through developing the understanding that characters change.  

Writer’s Workshop - This week our memoir writers took a look back on themselves as writers to see if they could find any patterns in the topics they have chosen to write about in the past.  Once they were able to identify those topics, students thought critically to uncover the reason why these topics are of interest to them.  Through this work students began to develop meaningful topics for their first memoirs.     

Mathematics - Students applied their knowledge of multiplying two digit by two digit numbers to multiplying decimals.  Students learned that by estimating the products of the two numbers they can best predict where the decimal place will be in the actual product.  Students also began to see that by identifying the number of decimal places in each factor, they can determine the number of decimal places present in the product.  Students will be assessed on this content next Thursday, 1/12.  

Social Studies - This week students returned to me for our next unit in Social Studies.  Students began studying colonization by discussing and learning about what occurred when European explorers first came into contact with Native Americans.  Students were then assigned an explorer to research with the purpose of reporting their research out to their classmates.  Through their research students will be uncovering why their assigned explorers journeyed to the New World and what parts of the Americas were explored at that time.  

Have a great weekend!




Dear Parents,

Here is what we have been up to in each content area:

Peacebuilders - This week as Peacebuilders students worked on filling the two gift baskets in our classroom for our two friends from the Prospect House Shelter and the YWCA of Springfield.  On Thursday, we wrapped the gifts and had the opportunity to admire the finished baskets before they were delivered.  The students took great pride in their efforts and discussed with one another how their generosity will bring joy and happiness to these two girls.  I thank you all so very much for your support of this special Center School tradition.  

Word Study -  Students practiced reading and writing the words on their assigned word lists.  Students completed various activities that provided them with opportunities to write their words as well as hunt for words in available texts that follow the same spelling rule they are currently studying.  

Reader’s Workshop -  Students are wrapping up their unit of study on nonfiction by applying the skills and strategies learned throughout the unit while reading complex nonfiction.  Students were presented with an opinion piece on whether or not elementary schools should allow students to use their cell phones on school property.  Students identified the main idea of the passage and also analyzed the text structure of the text. They will complete a final task on their book club books to close out the unit before we break for the holidays.  

Writer’s Workshop - This week students began to immerse themselves in  the topic of our next unit of study, memoir.  We discussed how writing a memoir involves incorporating multiple genres (personal narrative, research based argument, and opinion writing).  Students also dug deeper into author’s perspective where they looked a familiar passage and worked on rewriting the story from a secondary character’s perspective.  I have say… The drafts are AMAZING! I cannot wait to see the finished products and will send them along your way.   

Mathematics - Students began a new unit of study on multiplying whole numbers and decimals.  Students identified patterns when multiplying numbers by 10, 100, 1,000.  Students observed the shift that takes when multiplying these numbers and also how exponents can be used to represent numbers with many zeros.  Students also explored how they can apply this knowledge to solving other equations mentally (for example, knowing that 5 x 40 = 200 can help you solve 15 x 40).  

Science - This week students studied the Water Cycle.  Students experimented with condensation and also completed an experiment in order to understand water distribution.  Students engaged in an interactive water cycle activity and began to prepare for their Water Cycle quiz next Thursday.

Wishing you all a peaceful weekend!




To be performed at the Holiday Assembly! 

(To the Tune of Hokey Pokey)

You put your hooves in

You put your hooves out

You put your hooves in

and you shake 'em all about

You do the reindeer pokey

And you turn yourself around

That's what it's all about.

You put your antlers in

You put your antlers out

You put your antlers in

And you shake it all about

You do the reindeer pokey

And you turn yourself around

That's what it's all about.

You put your tail in

You put your tail out

You put your tail in

And you shake it all about

You do the reindeer pokey

And you turn yourself around

That's what it's all about.



The fifth grade will be celebrating the holidays with one another at a Holiday Breakfast on 12/23.  We are in need of volunteers to donate supplies and/or help with set up and clean up.  If you are interested in volunteering, please click the link below to sign up! THANK YOU!

Fifth Grade Holiday Breakfast Sign Up 



Dear Parents,

I hope you all had a wonderful and relaxing Thanksgiving and long weekend.  Our students have had another wonderful week of learning.  Please remember to check the Weekly Folder for important notices and information with regards to classroom and Center School news.  Our weekly newsletter is also a great tool to use when speaking to your child about his or her week in school.  

Here is what we have been up to in each content area:

Peacebuilders - With the spirit of the Holiday Season in mind, over the past couple of weeks we explored the term gratitude.  Students uncovered the meaning of the word through class discussion and brainstorming and then reflected on what they are grateful for.  Fifth graders then took their individual lists and posted them on a “Tree of Gratitude” that is posted in our hallway.    

Word Study - Students began the second week of their word study routine where they learned specific spelling rules and completed activities on a set of words at their own individual spelling level.  Students also engaged in a lesson on syllables to stretch their thinking on what syllables are (syllables are a word or part of a word with one vowel sound) and how we can use this knowledge when reading and writing words.      

Reader’s Workshop -  Students continued making thematic connections across texts by taking texts from different genres and developing themes/big ideas/messages that are present across the different texts.  Through this work students also practiced organizing their responses to reading in order to ensure all parts if their responses are present in their final product.    

Writer’s Workshop - This week students continued drafting their lively voiced nonfiction picture books.  Using their peer’s work as models students worked on organizing their thinking and chose text features to actively engage their readers in the content of their books.  Students will continue on with this task through next week, with final drafts expected to be completed by next Friday.   

Mathematics - Students used their knowledge of multiplying fractions and applied it to our new concept of dividing fractions.  Students used models to divide whole numbers by whole numbers (where a fraction is the quotient) and whole numbers by unit fractions.  When solving story problems, students then used their models to create equations to match the problem they were presented with.  

Science - Students have been discussing air, the atmosphere and weather.  Students learned about the layers of the Earth’s atmosphere as well as different weather variables.  Students also completed a study guide in preparation for their quiz next Monday.  

Have a great weekend! Please enjoy a spotlight on our latest VIP… Maddie!



Wanted:  Your copy of our 'One Book, One Community' summer read:  The Trumpet of the Swan

Are you finished with your copy of The Trumpet of the Swan?  I will be collecting copies of the book to donate to Springfield elementary schools. Last year we collected almost 200 copies of our summer read, The One & Only Ivan, which went to two Springfield schools.  The book donation enabled them to run a similar One Book, One Community program for their 5th graders.  Donating your book is an easy way to help our neighboring community, since many of us have this book (generously provided by our PTO/PTA) on our shelves and may not be reading it again.

If you have an unwanted copy of The Trumpet of the Swanthat you would like to pass along, please consider donating it.  A collection box will be in the school [location, TBD/approved by principalsMonday, December 5 through Friday, December 9, or you can drop your copy in a collection box at my house (98 Ellington Street) through Sunday, December 7
.  Please contact me if you have any questions:  Your contribution is greatly appreciated!

Beth Paulson



Dear Parents,

Here is what we have been up to in each content area:

Peacebuilders - This week we discussed as a Peacebuilders community the importance of Seeking a Wise Person.  With the theme of friendship in mind, we defined the term “wise person” and discussed scenarios where seeking a wise person would occur at Center School.    

Word Study - This week students studied and explored the prefix un- meaning “not” or “opposite of.” We also launched our new word study routine where students complete activities on a set of words at their own individual spelling level.    

Reader’s Workshop -  Students looked at ways nonfiction is becoming more complex for them as readers.  They analyzed how main idea is presented in their nonfiction books and how text structure can be determined at the whole text, paragraph, and even sentence level.  Students were then challenged to summarize the main ideas of their books by constructing brief and concise written summaries.  

Writer’s Workshop - This week students planned out their nonfiction picture books by developing a table of contents for their books and determining which chapters and subtopics would be covered.  Students began drafting by focusing on the subtopics they were most excited about writing about first, including all of the details they had planned to share.    

Mathematics - Students continued their unit of study on Multiplying Fractions by multiplying fractions by whole numbers and multiplying mixed numbers.  Students learned different strategies for problem solving including using models to represent the fractional amounts.  Students ended the week by relating different fraction operations to one another.  Students were presented with different fraction story problems where they were expected to choose the appropriate operation for solving, form an equation, choose a strategy to use while solving, and then solve the equations.   

Science - Students began the week by completing their Investigation 2 Assessment.  Students also began their next unit of study on the Earth’s atmosphere by studying air and what air is made up of.  

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and a relaxing, safe, and enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday!




Dear Parents,

We had another eventful week in A204! We began our week together with Halloween celebrations and ended with our “Election Convention” assembly.  My sincerest thanks to all of you for your generous donations to our classroom Halloween party.  

Here is what we have been up to in each content area:

Reader’s Workshop -  Students completed their unit of study on theme by presenting to me (through writing) the themes present in their book club books.  Students also began their second unit of study on nonfiction.  We launched the unit by thinking about how the more you know about the topic you are reading about, the more you will “see: while reading.  We discussed how readers of nonfiction look for specific information while reading, and sometimes before they even begin to read (main ideas, text structure, connections, etc.).

Writer’s Workshop - Students learned that even information writers have a focus or perspective for their pieces.  Students analyzed nonfiction passages to determine the author’s viewpoint and provided evidence to support their thinking.  Students then began to plan out what the viewpoints will be present in their own nonfiction picture books.  

Mathematics - This week students began their unit of study on multiplying and dividing fractions.  They began by applying basic multiplication concepts to unit fractions and then applied that work to multiplication with non-unit fractions.  Students also worked on writing equations for story problems involving fractions and learned that “of” is synonymous with “times” or “multiplied by.”

Social Studies - Students completed their research on their assigned focus points of the Electoral College.  Students then turned their research into scripts that were presented at the “Election Convention” assembly at the close of the day on Friday.  Students were instructed to create a back and forth conversation with their group members, sharing the information they collected.  Their research contributed to a grand presentation of the election process by all of Grade 5.  The assembly also featured presentations from Superintendent Marty O’Shea, Senator Eric Lesser, and State Representative Brian Ashe.  

Have a great weekend!




Dear Parents,

What a wonderful week! Thank you all so much for taking the time to sit down with me to discuss the wonderful progress your children are making in fifth grade.  I look forward to continuing to work together as students work towards achieving their individual goals for the year.  

Here is what we have been up to in each content area:

Reader’s Workshop - This week students used the characters in books to uncover theme.  Through picture books, students examined theme by observing characters’ actions and feelings.  We also discussed as a group how supporting characters (and in many cases the “villains”) can contribute to the themes as well.  Students applied this work to their individual book clubs as they continue to track and uncover the themes in their assigned novels.   

Writer’s Workshop - Students began their unit of study on nonfiction this week.  Students will be working on creating a nonfiction picture book on a topic that they have “personal expertise” in.  They began their work by brainstorming a list of nonfiction topics they have knowledge on to choose from.  Students also began to write on these topics by creating brief snapshots of their topics to outline the information they would like to include in their books.  

Mathematics - This week students completed their unit of study on decimals.  Students practiced graphing decimal numbers using a variety of scenarios with the purpose of gaining an understanding for creating a reasonable scale for presenting the data.  Students also applied their knowledge of decimals to “real world” situations where they compared the diameters of the planets in our solar system using astronomical units.  Students also completed their Unit 2 Math Assessment.  

Social Studies - Students continued their study of the “road to the White House,” sequencing the steps that an individual traditionally goes through in order to become President.  Students also began taking a deeper look into the history and function of the Electoral College through the close reading of informational texts.  The information gathered will be used to present at a school assembly to celebrate the election process in a couple weeks.  

Science - This week students continued exploring the relative size of the Earth, Moon, and Sun and the distances between them.  They learned that the Moon is the approximate size of the United States (across) and other ways to use the diameter of the Earth to compare these objects to one another.  

Wishing you all a wonderful, restful, weekend!  




Dear Parents,

Here is what we have been up to in each content area:

Reader’s Workshop - This week in our book clubs we began to dig deeper into the events of our stories and attempt to pull out “big ideas” that could lead to the themes present in each of the books.  We also discussed as a class the difference between a story’s main idea and the theme of the story.  

Word Study - Students completed a buddy sort of their word lists where they were read a word from their list and were asked to spell the word and sort it according to their spelling pattern without looking at the word.  Students also learned about the Latin root aud (hear).  

Writer’s Workshop - Students completed their unit of study on personal narratives. Students took a deeper look at ways to bring out the emotion of their small moment stories by catching the action or image that expressed that emotion.  As a class, we looked at ways that authors accomplished this in familiar books to us.  

Mathematics - This week students learned and applied strategies for adding and subtracting decimals.  Students used estimation, as well as the commutative and associative properties to assist them in adding numbers with greater values and solving equations with more than two addends.  We will conclude our unit on decimals next week, with the Unit 2 Test scheduled for Thursday, 10/27.

Social Studies - Students completed their study of the Electoral College with an activity where they were expected to tally votes from a mock election, involving three fictitious candidates.  Students then began to study the “road to the White House,” outlining the steps an individual goes through while running for President.   

Science - This week students explored the relative size of the Earth, Moon, and Sun and the distances between them.  They learned that the Moon is the approximate size of the United States (across) and other ways to use the diameter of the Earth to compare these objects to one another.  

Wishing you all a peaceful weekend.  Looking forward to seeing you all next week at Parent/Teacher Conferences! An e-mail was sent out to each of you at the start of the week confirming your individual conference time.  




Dear Parents,

Here is what we have been up to in each content area:

Peacebuilders - This week we revisited the first principle of our Peacebuilders Pledge, Praise People.  Students secretly observed their Praise Buddy and the reported their observations to the full group.  In addition, buddies were given a PraiseNote, which will be displayed on our classroom Peace Board.  

Reader’s Workshop - This week we launched our classroom book clubs.  Students met with their club members daily and developed a plan for each period.  Students were are also given the opportunity to rate their club members based on the expectations that were established for book clubs.  In addition, students discussed and explored how one theme could be present in multiple books.  We looked at books we have read together that share the same theme, or take-away message, and compared how the theme was presented across the texts.

Word Study - Students worked in their Word Study groups on categorizing a given word list based on specific spelling rules.  Students noticed patterns in the spelling of their words and also uncovered the meaning of each word they were given.  Students will be assessed on these words next week.  

Writer’s Workshop - As students continue to work through the writing cycle on their personal narratives we looked at ways we can elaborate the important parts of our story by using specific details from that moment being written about.  We also analyzed our drafts with the purpose of determining whether or not a small moment was featured or a larger moment.  Students worked to focus their writing on that specific moment in their lives rather than retelling a larger event.

Mathematics - This week students explored the relationship between fractions and decimals.  Students also experimented with different ways to represent decimals (standard form, word form, expanded form).      

Social Studies - Students began their unit of study on the election process.  Students began by discussing the Electoral College process and why it was established.  Students engaged in an experiment where they represented two states in our country and voted on a given question.  Results were posted on a classroom Electoral College map.  

Science - Students explored and compared the sizes of the Earth, Sun, and Moon.  They learned that the Sun is 100 times larger than the Earth.  Students also explored the distances between the Sun, the Earth, and the Moon.  




Dear Parents,

Here is what we have been up to in each content area:

Peacebuilders - This week we continued look at the belief of growth mindset.  Students worked in groups to transform common fixed mindset beliefs to reflect a growth mindset.  For example, “this is too hard” became “this may take some time and effort.”

Reader’s Workshop - This week students took a look at their thinking points in their independent reading books and used them to create larger, more meaningful, theories about the characters and events that are taking place.  We referred to our thinking points as puzzle pieces that fit together to form big ideas about our reading.  Next week, we will be launching our class book clubs.  

Word Study - Students learned about the Greek root graph.  Students uncovered the meaning of the root through guided discovery and brainstormed a list of words that contain the root.  Students then worked in pairs to find the meaning of the words they listed.   

Writer’s Workshop - Students thought critically about what their stories “are really about” this week.  They switched their thinking as writers and began looking at their personal narratives as stories, rather than a summary of an event that happened in their lives.  To model this thinking, we worked to pull out the message or “take away” from stories we know and began to apply that work to our own writing.

Mathematics - We completed our unit of study on fractions with an assessment.  Students practiced skills learned throughout the unit with review questions and games.  On Friday, students moved into our next unit on adding and subtracting decimals.  Students discussed the relationship between fractions and decimals.  

Social Studies - Students completed their unit of study on our federal government.  Students reviewed concepts learned with a jeopardy game and completed a unit assessment.  We will be moving into our nation’s election process next week.   

Science - Students continued studying shadows and made connections between shadows and why we have night and day.  Students completed a quiz on these concepts, which will be returned next week.  

Wishing you all a wonderful long weekend,




Just a reminder that tomorrow is Fancy Day at Center School! Students are to wear their fanciest clothing and accessories to school. 



Monday (9/26) we will be taking our all-school, panoramic photo... Students are to wear RED to school on Monday for the event!

It was wonderful to see so many of you last night at Back to School Night! For those of you that were unable to attend, please see below for a copy of last night's presentation:

Back to School Night Presentation



PeaceBuilder Rap

(written by Cindy Knight at Bostonia Elementary in Cajon Valley Unified School District)

**To be performed at the International Peace Day Assembly on 9/21**


I’m a PeaceBuilder and I’m here to say

I’ll build peace in my own special way


If there’s a wrong, I’ll make it right

And any other problems, I won’t fight!


I’ll be a wise person cause that’s really smart.

I’ll study hard in school and get a head start.


I’ll never give a put-down. I’ll have lots of friends.

I’ll be really kind and set a lot of trends.


I’ll take responsibility for righting every wrong

I know when I grow up this will make me strong.


I’m a PeaceBuilder and I’m here to say

I’ll build peace each and every day!



From PTO:

Directory Forms - Due September 30th
Each year Center School publishes an annual directory of students.  This year parents have the option to complete this form electronically by clicking on the following link to our new Center School Website at: Center School Online Directory Form or by completing the Green Center School Directory Form, that went home in your child’s backpack Thursday September 1st.  All children's names are included in the directory.  If you would like your contact information listed (address/phone number/email) please use the online link or return the green directory form no later than: 
Friday, September 30th.



From PTO:

Reminder:  Order your Staff T-Shirt for the Carnival!
Deadline is Thursday, Sept 1st
Follow this link: 



From Mrs.  Giuggio:  

The law requires that we ask for your permission to photograph or videotape your child.  This year we’ve made it easier for families to fill out their preferences online at  Email with any questions or to clarify your preferences.

Thank you!

Fall Carnival

September 16, 2016

Dear 5th Grade Families,

Please consider volunteering your time and creativity to help our 5th graders with their role in the Fall Carnival. Each year, the 5th graders are responsible for creating and then running a game for the event.

We need families to help the students organize their games and then supervise the afternoon of the carnival. We rely on the 5th grade students and their families to make this event a huge success!

New this year!! Order a tee shirt for your 5th grader. Visit for detailed information. Don’t miss the deadline!!


·      What do I need to do?

Complete the sign up below and we will count you in for the event.

·      Do the students work on the games during school time?

No. Mrs. Hutton will facilitate the group organization, provide guidance for game choice, provide the details for set up, assure that all students who want to participate are in a group, and help students along the way problem solve issues. The students will need to organize time with their group to work on the collaborative project.

·      How elaborate are the games?

We encourage fun and simple activities-low cost for sure! The school and the PTO will supply some resources –cones, tables, prizes for example-but the students have always been responsible for the remainder of the materials.

·      How much do I help with the game creation?

We encourage you to facilitate and let the students do the work!


Please contact Mrs. Hutton with questions.  Thank-you and see you on the 16th!



Parent Name:                                 Student’s Name and Teacher:

I will be present on the 16th   from 4:00 to 6:30 to supervise a group. 

I will help supervise/facilitate the creation/organization of the game with my child’s group. Consider me parent leader of a group.

I will help with set up of the games at 3:45 on the 16th.

I will supervise clean up at 6:30.


Other?  Please let me know how you’d like to help!


2016 - 2017   Class List

Meghan B. 

Hadley B.
Amelia B.
Brian B.
Jack C. 
Seth C.
Elizabeth C.
 Zaida C.
Elias D.
Iman D.
Amelia F.
Catherine J.
Jackson K.
Finley M.
Julia P.
Madeline R.
Saaliha S.


Hello All,

I hope you all are enjoying your summer break! I would like to officially welcome you to Fifth Grade! Fifth 

Grade is an exciting year at Center.  There will be many wonderful opportunities and experiences heading 

your way that I look forward to sharing with you all.  Along with all of these opportunities there is 

also a tremendous amount of responsibility... Congratulations because you are now the leaders at Center! 

Having worked across the grade levels at Center (and with many of your younger siblings) I can tell you with 

certainty that your younger friends look up to YOU.  What a privilege!

Please find our supply list for the year below.  In addition to the supplies on this list please bring your copy of 

The Trumpet of the Swan and an independent reading book of your choice on the first day of school.  I am 

looking forward to seeing you all soon... Here we go my friends! Let's do this!

--Mrs. Bombardier 

5th Grade Class Supply List

Some supplies are communal in 5th grade. Anything marked with a * will remain personal supplies for the student.

*1 Composition Notebook (100 sheets)

*1 Pair of adult scissors

*1 Accordion Folder (7 pockets) - STURDY!

1 Pack lined index cards (3 x 5)

*4 Packs Post-It notes

*2 1.5” binders with a clear cover

*2 Sets of dividers for binders (8 tabs)

1 Pack dry erase markers

1 Dry erase board eraser

2 Packs #2 pencils (Ticonderoga preferred)

*5 Highlighters (1 each of pink, orange, green, 2 yellow)

3 Gluesticks

1 Pack lined paper, college ruled

*1 Box washable markers

*1 Box colored pencils

1 Pack small cups (Dixie cups)

1+ Box tissues

1+ Disinfectant wipes (Clorox, Lysol, etc.)

*1 Pack of plastic sheet protectors (minimum 25 sheets)

2 Fine tip, black Sharpies

***Students can also bring in a pencil case to store their supplies in their desks***

$13.00 for classroom magazine/supplement. Payments must be made in CASH ONLY.


Hello All,

Hope you are having a nice start of the week! 

I am writing to let you know that our ice cream party has been rescheduled.  We will now be celebrating on Thursday (6/16) at 1:15pm.  

Thank you very much,



Hello All,


Just a few friendly reminders about our upcoming events…


Wednesday, 6/1 - Our Field Trip to the Connecticut Science Center!

-We are asking that students arrive promptly at 8:30am as the bus will be leaving Center School at 9:00am. 

Chaperones:  Please also arrive at 8:30am with your student.  

-Please send your child to school with a bag lunch containing disposable items only.

-Dismissal will be at the regular time (2:45pm) in our usual location 


Friday, 6/3 – Field Day!

-Your child should arrive to school wearing their team color or Field Day Shirt

-Unless you have previously ordered lunch for your child, please send a lunch to school with them.  

-Each student should also come prepared with a refillable water bottle

-Do not forget to apply sunscreen and bug spray as our friends will be outside all day!

-Please let us know if you plan on joining your cardinal for lunch on the day of Field Day.  



Thank you for your help! Please let me know if you have any questions. 

I wish you all a fun-filled Memorial Day Weekend! 




 First Grade Trip to the Connecticut Science Center

Wednesday, June 1st


9:00am    Depart from Center School to the CSC

9:45am    Arrive at the Connecticut Science Center

10:00am  Forces and Motion Stage Show

10:45am  Students explore the Science Center

12:30pm  Lunch – Please send students to school with a bag lunch with disposable items only!

1:00pm    Depart from the CSC to Center School

1:45pm    Arrive back at Center School



Hello All,

May??? I cannot believe that the countdown to Summer has begun! Here is what is new in A103:

Word Study - Over the next couple of weeks, we will be practicing adding the suffixes -s, -ed, -ing to our two-syllable words.  Students 

will also be learning when the -s suffix is spelled -es (when words end in s, ch, sh, x, z, ss).  

Reader's/Writer's Workshop - We are celebrating the end of our poetry unit this week and will be moving on to Author's Study.  

We will be looking at the works of Mo Willems (a crowd favorite amongst our crew!).  Once again our Reader's Workshop lessons will 

coincide with our Writer's Workshop lessons.  We have found this connection provides meaningful learning opportunities for students. 

Mathematics - Students took their assessment on 2D shapes last week.  This week we will focus on measurement.  The "big idea" 

students will be exploring is why standard units of measurement are used... Why do we need to use the same size paper clips when


Science - We are wrapping up our unit on states of matter and will be moving onto Astronomy! Students will be studying the sun,

moon, and stars.  We will be exploring the terms rotation vs. revolution and even learning what it is like to travel into space! 

Thank you all so much... Keep in touch!




Hope you are all having a nice week! Here is an update on all things A103... We are switching gears in many subjects this week!

Word Study - We are now exploring two-syllable words! Students are practicing reading and writing these types of words.  Students 

will be expected to read and write words that are made up of two closed syllables (laptop) and words that are made up one closed 

syllable and one vowel consonant e ("King Ed") syllable (mistake).  During this unit, we will also be discussing compound words with 


Reader's/Writer's Workshop - Mrs. Salvatore, Mrs. Kadis, and I decided to coordinate our Poetry units of study in both subject 

areas.  That said, we will be focusing on Poetry in both Reader's and Writer's.  This works out perfectly because April also happens to be 

National Poetry Month!  This week, we will be focusing on how poems can have rhythm through syllables patterns, repetition of words 

and phrases, and alliteration.  

Science - We will be ending our Unit of Study on force and motion and moving on to states of matter (solid, liquid, and gas).  Students 

will be investigating these topics through many hands on experiments.  While working through these experiments, students will also be 

given the opportunity to work through the scientific method.  They will be provided with lab sheets that they will be expected to 

complete as they conduct their experiments.  

Mathematics - Students will be learning about 2D shapes.   They will learn the attributes of the rectangle, square, triangle, and circle.  

Friends will also be asked to classify each shape by these attributes once they are identified.  

A lot of exciting things are happening! In addition, we are in the process of planning a first grade field trip in May! I will be in touch 

with the details as they are available.  

Thanks so much, keep in touch!




It was a pleasure meeting with you all last week for conferences! Thank you all for your ongoing support, I am very grateful.  

In Word Study, we have been discussing vowel consonant e, or "King Ed" words.  Students have been building VCe words and also 

practicing changing CVC words to VCe words (hop to hope, rat to rate, etc.).  

In mathematics, we have begun a new unit on time, shapes, and equal shares.  Students are currently studying how to tell time on both 

an analog clock and a digital clock to the hour and half hour.  Please encourage your mathematician by asking them to identify the 

time whenever it is appropriate (on the hour or half hour) at home or while you are out and about.  Thank you!

We are wrapping up our units in both Reader's Workshop and Writer's Workshop over the next couple of weeks.  We will be reading 

across different genres in Reader's and begin a unit of study in poetry in Writer's.   

Have a wonderful week and restful long holiday weekend!




Our friends have been hard at work in Technology this week.. Please click the link below to see their green screen video that outlines the 

steps in the Water Cycle! They ROCKED it!!!!



Hello Friends, 

I hope this update finds you all well.  We have been hard at work since we have returned from break!

1.  The last day to turn in Read to Care reading logs and care bags is Thursday, March 3rd.  Your generosity and support for the program 

has been overwhelming! Thank you!

2.  In Science, we have begun discussing force and motion.  Students have been exploring the concepts by experimenting with magnets. 

We have been discussing the terms force, push, pull, attract, and repel.  

3.  In Word Study, students have been introduced to various "vowel teams" (ai, ay, aw, au, ee, ea, oa, ou, ow, oo, oi, oy, ew, ue).  

Students have also learned about the suffixes -ed and -ing.  They have been building words with these two endings and noticing how 

adding these endings changes the meaning of the base/root word.  

4.  In mathematics, we have begun Unit 6:  Comparisons and Data.  Students are looking at data sets by sorting the data into categories 

and then comparing the amounts in each group.  Students have been generating comparative statements and questions using the words 

more and fewer.

5.  I look forward to sitting down with you all in a couple of weeks for March conferences! We will be discussing student progress in all 


Thank you all, I am here if you need me!




Hello All, 

I hope you all are enjoying our unexpected long weekend! Since I will not able to send home our rundown of the week until tomorrow, I 

wanted to send along a quick outline of our happenings:

Tuesday (2/9) - Hopefully our return to school!

Wednesday (2/10) - Grade 1 Helping Hands.  We will work together in the cafeteria from 7:50am until 8:30am.  Siblings are 

welcome to join! 

Thursday (2/11) - Students will sort their collections of 100 items in preparation for the 100th day of school.  

Friday (2/12) - The 100th day of school! Students in grades K-2 will tour one another's classrooms to admire their collections of 100 

items! We will also participate in many "100th day" themed activities.  

Today we will also distribute valentines to our friends and participate in center activities to celebrate Valentine's Day.  A class list was 

sent home last week, but please remember that you also have access to a class list on our website.  

We have a busy week ahead, but also lots of fun opportunities for our friends!

Thanks so much,


Dear Parents,


It’s hard to believe that today marks the beginning of the month of February! This month our class will celebrate the 

100th day of school and Valentine's Day.


We will celebrate the 100th day of school on Wednesday, February 10th.  Each child is responsible for bringing in one 

hundred things (i.e., 100 pretzels, 100 paper clips).  Students will sort his/her collection of 100 items at school on a hundreds 

board in groups of ten.  We will practice counting by 2’s, 5’s and 10’s in class.  Please reinforce these skills at home.  Your child 

should bring his/her collection of 100 by Monday, February 8th


We will celebrate Valentine's Day on Friday, February 12th.  Students will participate in center activities and exchange 

valentines with their classmates.  Please be sure that your child has a valentine for every child in our class.  Attached is a class 

list for your child to use as a checklist as s/he makes valentines for our class.  If you have any questions, please let me know.


 All the best,




Happy Friday! Here are a few items as we head into the weekend:

1.  Due to the colder weather, a decision has been made to switch around our recess schedule.  Beginning on Monday (1/25), students will be having recess directly after lunch for an extended time (12:15 - 12:45).  Student recess time will not be reduced, they will be just be having a longer recess as opposed to two 15 minute recesses.  This change will allow students to only have to bundle up for the outdoors once during the school day. 

2.  Our Read to Care initiative will begin on Monday 1/25.  Students have an information packet for you outlining the program in their 

folders.  The program will track student reading hours by a reading log.  I will attach the reading log to their homework packet on 

Monday.  Our friends are VERY excited about this program, which makes me very proud.  

3.    Students will be recording their book reviews in Technology on Monday.  They have been practicing their lines in school as we 

continue to work on our Oral Reading Fluency.  I will post the link to the project when it is completed by Mrs. Giuggio.  Please also 

remember that you can access Mrs. Giuggio's blog at any time using the link above.   

Wishing you all a relaxing weekend!



This week it just so happens that we will be starting new units of study in Science, Mathematics, and Word Study.  Our short week will 

be a busy one for our friends! 

In Science, we will be moving into studying animal habitats.  We will begin by defining the term habitat and what elements are needed 

in a habitat to make it a home.  The first habitat we will be investigating is the Arctic.  

Students will begin studying syllable types in Word Study.  Students will be learning about closed syllables.  A closed syllable has one 

vowel, and ends in a consonant (pen, truck, ask, stretch are all examples of closed syllables). 

In Math, students will be starting Unit 5, Place Value Situations.  This week, students will be adding and subtracting teen numbers.  

They will be solving story problems where there are missing totals to solve for and/or missing partners.  Please continue to encourage

students to show their work while solving story problems at home (even if it is not asked of them... We would like this routine to 

become automatic!).

Thank you all so much, have a great week!



I hope you are having a nice week (and staying warm!). A few things to send your way... 

We will be administering several AIMSweb subtests as a district for formal progress monitoring purposes over the next few weeks.  

In addition to those subtests assessed in the fall, students will also be assessed in Oral Reading Fluency as well as their ability to 

compare and sequence numbers.  

Many friends have been forgetting to bring in a snack each day.  I do have snacks on hand to provide for those that forget, but my 

supply has been going quickly! 

Please remember to check the different tabs on our web site for upcoming important dates in our classroom and/or school.  You can

also find a copy of our homework assignments for the week and a running list of our trick words.  

Thank you!



Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a relaxing break with family and friends.  Our friends were excited to share all of their adventures with me today! 

1.  THANK YOU so much for all of you that joined us and/or contributed to our Holiday Pizza Party.  Students had a great time and it 

was a nice way to send us off to vacation.  I also want to thank you all again for your generous and thoughtful gifts.  I am very grateful 

for each of you.  

2.  The winter weather has arrived!  Please be sure students are being sent in with appropriate clothing to enjoy outdoor recess.  

3.  In Word Study this week, we will be moving onto consonant blends and "r controlled" vowels (ar, er, ir, or, ur).  Thank you for your 

continued support with our weekly trick words.  I reminded students that once they are able to read and write the words fluently ("like a 

snap") they no longer need to study them each night.  

4.  Nonfiction will continue to be the focus during Reader's Workshop.  We will be expecting students to use more advanced 

comprehension strategies, such as:  visualizing (making a movie in their mind), monitoring and clarifying ("Am I understanding this 

information?"), and asking questions.  Please free to engage students with this type of thinking while they are reading at home.    

5.  Students will be creating their own opinions to write about during Writer's Workshop this week.  Students will be writing their 

opinions with the intention of persuading their readers to take their "side".  I am already impressed (and amused!) by some of the 

arguments our friends have developed.  

6.  In Science we are moving onto studying hibernation, migration, and adaptation.  Students will be provided with hands-on 

experiences as they investigate these topics.  They will also be given the opportunity to read and write about each of the three behaviors.

7.  In math, we are continuing to study place value concepts.  This week we will be using place value to help us compare two-digit 

numbers and add two digit by two digit numbers.  If students are using IXL at home, please encourage them to work through the place 

value strands under the first grade standards.

Thank you all, 



Hello everyone,

I hope you had a nice weekend.  A few items to send your way:

1.  Friday, 12/11, is the day that the gift baskets will be wrapped for our child in need.  Please send in your donations either on or before 

that date.

2.  Wednesday, December 23rd is a FULL DAY of school! Our Holiday party will be on that day as well.  Please let me know if you are 

able to join us.

3. Trick Words should be practiced each night.  I have added a tab to our web site where I am keeping a record of all of the words we 

have studied.  Students are expected to be able to read the words with automaticity AND write the words from memory.  When they are 

able to do both independently, it is not necessary to keep practicing that particular word.  

4.  Winter Coats must be worn to school each day! Out school policy is that students must be appropriately dressed for the outdoors in 

order to join their friends out at recess. 

Thank you all... KEEP IN TOUCH :)




Happy Thanksgiving my friends! 

I wanted to take a moment before our festivities begin to share with you how thankful I am for all of you.  At Center School, I am surrounded with a community of parents, educators, and students that inspire me each and everyday.... This is a special gift that 

do not take for granted.  

Wishing you all the very best today!




Hello All, 

I hope you are having a nice week!  A few things:

I have been noticing that students are beginning to come into school telling me that they "are too busy" for homework 

and/or that they "didn't have time" to complete their homework :).  Just a reminder that students do not need to be spending longer 

than 15 minutes on their written homework (The additional 15 minutes are designated for independent reading).  Also, please 

remember that  students may pass in written assignments early in order to free up that time on another night.  

Attached to this week's Weekly Wrap Up was a rubric outlining student achievement on our "Small Moment" unit.  Student's sent 

home all of their work in progress throughout the unit.  I held onto the pieces that they submitted as their final products.  Some 

students finished up this task earlier this week, so if you have not received a rubric, expect to see it attached to next week's wrap up. 

We have also begun discussing the next phase of our Peacebuilders program, "Notice Hurts".  We are reading and discussing 

how we can increase the peace in our community by noticing how our actions affect others.  Once students are able identify hurts they 

have caused, they can take action and "speak up".     

Please remember to check our website often for updates! Friday is Fancy Friday here at Center! We will also be making English muffin 

pizzas and then writing about the experience as we continue to launch our Informational Text unit of study in Writer's Workshop. 

Enjoy the rest of the week, If you need anything, I am just an e-mail/call away!




Happy Friday!

I hope this update finds you all well.  Our friends were hard at work this week, here is what's new as we head into the weekend:

Word Study - We have begun learning about "glued" (or "welded") sounds.  Students have practiced reading and writing words with 

the "all" glued sound.  Please have your child(ren) demonstrate how you tap this words.  Next week we will be studying the "am" and 

"an" glued sounds.  

Reader's Workshop - We are moving onto to a new unit of study focusing on Nonfiction.  Please Please Please continue to 

encourage students to "use their strategies" while reading at home.  They have worked very hard on their developing their skills!

Writer's Workshop - Next week we will be wrapping up our unit on Narrative Writing.  I sincerely do not want this unit to end 

because I continue to be amazed at the quality of the pieces that our friends have been producing!  We will be celebrating their 

accomplishments on Friday.  

Math- We completed Unit 2 this week.  Students completed the end of unit assessment on Thursday.  As we head into Unit 3, we will 

continue using subtraction concepts to find the missing "partner" and addition concepts to help find the missing "total".    

Science - Students studied and observed leaves this week.  We are in the process of conducting a series of experiments with leaves we 

gathered from the playground.  This work will end our unit on Autumn.  Next, we will be taking students back in time to the first 


Thank you all and have a wonderful weekend,




Hello Friends, 

Halloween week is upon us! Our friends are very excited for our week ahead.  Here is a run-down:

Halloween Party/Parade - On Friday, we will be having our Halloween Party and annual Halloween Parade.  Students are to bring 

their costumes to change into before the parade.  Our Halloween Party will begin at 1:00pm in our classroom.  If you are interested in 

lending a hand, please let me know.  We will begin to parade around the green at 2:00pm... Hope to see you all there!  

Math - We will be continuing to explore subtraction this week and begin investigating the relationship between addition and 

subtraction.  Mrs. Cummings will be coming in this week to assist with a hands-on activity.

Word Study - We are studying the "floss rule" for spelling.  Students will learn that when they hear /f/, /s/, /l/, /z/, after a short vowel 

at the end of a one-syllable word, it is spelled with a double f, s, l, or z.  Some examples are:  off, miss, hill, buzz (exceptions to this rule 

are:  gas, bus, yes).  

Science - We are studying pumpkins this week!  We have many fun activities planned that will push students to apply skills from other 

content areas.  There will be lots of opportunity for hands-on observation and critical thinking.  

Writer's Workshop - We are working on revision strategies for our small moment stories...  How did we feel during that moment in 

our lives?  These details will really allow our readers to feel as if they were there with us!

Reader's Workshop - Reading groups have begun! Please be on the look out for book bags in student backpacks.  Students will be 

coming home with books that we are read together during small group time.  Enjoy listening to your child read these books to you! 





A couple of things:

1. Just as a heads up, during word study we used "goo bags" (blue hair gel in a sandwich bag!) to trace our trick words.  Students really 

wanted to bring them home, that said, I am hoping that their enthusiasm will stifle any annoyance you feel towards me about this :)! 

2. Also, students made autumn collages this week in technology.  I will be sending them home on Monday, but feel free to check out the 

link above to Mrs. Giuggio's blog to take a look at their work.  





Hello Friends, 

I want to thank you again for the positive and productive conferences that took place last week.  I am incredibly grateful for your on-

going support.  Please remember to e-mail or call with any and all questions as they come up.  

Just a few things...

1. We released our two butterflies last week! We were faced an unexpected hiccup, but the experience allowed us (myself included!) to 

learn even more about butterflies.  The CSS reporters were there to capture the experience... Please click the link below to check us out! 

Special thanks to Mateo, Connor, and Jojo for sharing what they learned about butterflies on camera!   

2. We have shifted our focus in math this week from addition to subtraction.  Students are using what they have learned about forming 

true equations with addition and are applying that knowledge to subtraction.  Please encourage our mathematicians to check their 

signs while working on their homework and/or IXL so that they are not confusing the two operations.   

3.  Our Halloween Party is coming up on 10/30! If you have not already, please let me know if you are available to lend a hand that day.  

Our friends will be extremely excited for the festivities! 

Thanks again for everything and have a great rest of your week.




I hope you all are enjoying this beautiful fall weekend!  A few items/updates as we head into next week:

1. Sight words, Trick words, High frequency words... Are all the same thing! Each week, attached to the homework packet, I am including a set of the week's trick words for students to use as flash cards.  I am encouraging students to hang on to the cards from week to week so that they can have a set to practice with at home.  If you ever need a replacement set, please let me know. 

2. Scholastic News - **This is a previous post from 9/30** Mrs. Salvatore, Mrs. Kadis, and I have purchased Scholastic News/Science Spin to supplement our Science curriculum.  Students have already completed a lesson and loved the online resources! If you are able, we are asking families to contribute $7.00 in cash to help us offset the annual cost of the magazines.  Please send along the payment in an envelope marked with your students' name.  We appreciate your help!

3. Conferences - I am looking forward to sitting down with all of you next week for October conferences! I will have the conference times posted outside of the classroom on both days.  We will be discussing each student's observed strengths, current reading level, and any goals necessary to ensure continued progress.  I will be working very hard to make sure conferences begin and end on time (as many of you know, I can be chatty!).  

4. Word Study - Students have studied consonant digraphs this week.  Their homework on Wednesday will be related to this skill.  Wait until you see how awesome they are doing! Our word study program is in full swing and we are expecting a lot out of our friends.  

5. Butterflies - When we left for the weekend, one of our chrysalis' was beginning to change from a light green shade to see through... That is a sign that the butterfly is almost ready to emerge! Stay tuned for a video of our friends releasing their butterflies.  

6. Personal Narrative Writing - Our writers have been working on personal narrative writing, where they are asked to focus on a "small moment".  I have been enjoying reading the stories (so many fun adventures!) and am very proud of their abilities!

7. Math - Students are now working on addition, building upon their knowledge of addition "partners" that they gained in Unit 1.  We have also been discussing greater than and less than, as well as the term "equation".

Enjoy the rest of the long weekend... See you in a couple of days!


Our friends have been hard at work in technology this week... Please click the link below to check out the Science book our class 

created! Also be sure to check out Mrs. Giuggio's blog regularly for updates (the link is above).  I am always amazed at what our

students are able to create, with the help of Mrs. Giuggio's creativity!  




A couple of quick items:

1.  Mrs. Salvatore, Mrs. Kadis, and I have purchased Scholastic News/Science Spin to supplement our Science curriculum.  Students have already completed a lesson and loved the online resources! If you are able, we are asking families to contribute $7.00 in cash to help us offset the annual cost of the magazines.  Please send along the payment in an envelope marked with your students' name.  We appreciate your help!

2. Colleen Cummings has helped our class set up an IXL account!  Students will be working on IXL during school and I will be able to track their progress through the system.  I will be sending you home an information sheet that explains how students can access the site at home.  This will not be part of the weekly homework expectations, just a tool if students would like additional practice with math skills at home... Totally optional! 

Have a great rest of the week!

I hope you all had a nice weekend! 

NAMES! - I have been noticing that more and more papers have been coming in without names.  If you are able, please remind students at home, while they are completing their homework, that they should be putting their names on all of their work.  Also, I have been encouraging students to only use capitals when writing the first letter of their first name and first letter of their last name. Most students are doing very well with this new expectation.  I appreciate your help! 

Word Study - Students will be studying CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words this week.  I hope you will see a lot of "sound tapping" this week as students complete their literacy homework... They are rocking it in the classroom!  

Math - We will have our Unit 1 Assessment on Wednesday of this week. Students have been working hard with finding the partners of numbers within ten and making five groups while problem solving.  

Website - Do not forget to visit the "Weekly Homework" and "Dates to Remember" tabs...  They are updated regularly as well with all school and A103 events!

Thanks so much,

Dear Friends, 

I want to thank you all for your support with getting our Homework Routines up and running! Here is a review of the routine that will hopefully help as we continue to adjust:

-Each Monday Students will come home with a homework packet.  On the top of the packet will be a sheet that outlines the assignments for the week.  Attached to the packet will be the materials needed for the assignments (if applicable).  

-Students are to pass in the assignments throughout the week as they are due.  

-On Friday of each week, students are to pass in the Thursday night assignment AND the homework sheet that outlines the 

assignments.  The homework sheet should be signed by a parent/guardian and have the student's name on top. 

Please remember that students are just starting this new routine so hiccups are normal! I am here if you need me!  



Hello Friends, 

A HUGE thank you to all of you that were able to attend our Back to School Night on Wednesday.  I am glad we were able to partner up to discuss expectations in order to ensure a successful first grade year for our Cardinals.  

This coming week, I will be using the WIN block to practice letter/number formation.  I have been noticing that most students need to get used to using their lines to form letters and numbers.  For homework this week, I will be sending home additional practice using the handwriting lines from Fundations.  We use four lines; the sky line, plane line, grass line, and worm line.  Students are very familiar with this set up.    

In mathematics, we will be continuing to explore "partners" of numbers.  We will be working on finding the partners of 9 and 10 over the next couple of days.  Students are using a variety of strategies to develop their partners.  Math homework for this week will be related to these lessons.  I will post the homework sheet that outlines the assignments on the website under the "Weekly Homework" tab.  A paper copy will be sent home tomorrow afternoon.  Please contact me with any and all questions!

Tomorrow is the International Day of Peace! To celebrate, we will be holding an all-school assembly.  Thank you for supporting our mission of creating a peaceful classroom/school community! Your children have already proven that they are true Peacebuilders.  

Have a wonderful week, 


Hello All, 

I hope you are all having a nice week.  We have been hard at work in A103! A couple of things... 

1. I am looking forward to seeing you all at our Back to School Night on Wednesday, September 16th!  The evening is for parents only.  We will begin with a social on the green at 6:00pm, followed by classroom presentations beginning at 6:45pm.  

2. Mrs. Salvatore, Mrs. Kadis, and I are in the process of setting up the first grade bulletin board.  That said, there are a few friends that still need to turn in a photo of themselves to post.  I will be sending home a reminder note tomorrow in folders to those students that still need to send in a picture.  Thank you for your help!



Welcome Back!

Just a heads up... Our first "Weekly Wrap Up" will go home TOMORROW (9/9) due to technical difficulties (the printer!).  Thank you for your patience.  

Second, Mrs. Giuggio has posted the first CSS of the year! Please click on the link above titled "Mrs. Giuggio's Center of Technology" to view.  I am always amazed at what our Cardinals create to share with us! 


We had a wonderful first week here in A103! Our assembly was a success... although a bit warm :).   One of the most special things about our opening assembly is welcoming our new friends to Center.  In our class, I introduced five new cardinals and the entire school welcomed them with a friendly wave.  

Next Tuesday, students will be coming home with work they have completed this week.  Attached to the front will be our "Weekly Wrap Up".  At the end of each week, the students and I will reflect on what we have learned and generate a list to share with you.  This will be the routine each week.  

Also, we created our Friendship Rules this week as a class.  We began with a brainstorming session about what Peace looks like, sounds like, and feels like.  We then created a list of classroom expectations that reflects the themes discussed.  I am very proud of our friends for their thoughtful contributions... They are true Peace Builders!  

I wish you all a relaxing four day weekend!


Happy September from A103!

Just a reminder that tomorrow (Thursday, September 3rd) is our first Cardinal Spirit Day, as well as our annual start of the year all school assembly.  Please remind students to wear red to school tomorrow to show our Cardinal spirit! Students may also wear their red Center School hats  (if they have one!).

Thank you for your support!     
Dear Parents, 

We had a great first day in A103! It always amazes me how quickly the day goes by.  Our class spent the day getting to know our classroom and one another.  It was wonderful meeting so many of you this morning on the playground.  The support for both myself and your child's learning is overwhelming.  Just a few things:

Specials - We have Specials everyday at 2:00pm and Technology Monday at 9:00am.  Please familiarize yourself with our specials schedule.  The schedule can be found under the "Special Schedule" tab.  We have P.E. on Mondays and Fridays.  Students should wear sneakers or bring a pair to change into on those days.  

Take Home Folder - Each student will travel to and from school each day with their take home folder.  Please check the folder each night for important paperwork and homework.  Regular homework routines will not begin until after Back to School Night (9/16).  Just a heads up, some students requested to bring home work they did not finish today for homework (They did this completely on their own, please DO NOT WORRY if it is not completed :)... Very impressive!

I will continue to update this website regularly so please check back often.  Thank you all again for a great first day! E-mail me with and all questions you have:


Monday, August 31     First Day of School!
Friday, September 4         No School
Monday, September 7      No School - Labor Day
Monday, September 14    No School - Rosh Hashanah 
Wednesday, September 16        Back to School Night for PARENTS only
Wednesday, September 23        No School - Yom Kippur      



(Please label with your child’s name) 

  • Small, hard plastic cup with your child’s name on it to keep in the classroom for drinks
  • 2-pocket folder that your child will use to carry papers to and from school
  • 1 wide ruled spiral notebook
  • An extra set of clothing to keep at school in a Ziploc bag


(Do not label)

  • 1 box – CRAYOLA broad washable markers (8-10 colors)
  • 1 box – CRAYOLA fine line washable markers (8-10 colors)
  • 1 box – CRAYOLA crayons (24 count)
  • 1 box - colored pencils (24 count)
  • 6 large glue sticks
  • 1 large box of tissues
  • 3 containers of antibacterial wipes