Messages from the Classroom

March 2017      
Our classes Literacy Door---Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs!  
If you look closely you will see that we are the meatballs!

Student Led Conferences are taking place this month and this is very exciting. The students have all prepared and will use this time to share with you, their parents, what they know and how they learn. It can be very powerful.

Stink Week was a huge success for our class. We not only met our goal for funds, but we learned about sign language, hearing loss, and resources needed when you have hearing loss. It was a powerful week for all of us and it was so fortunate that we could participate with The Decibel Foundation. They are truly an amazing organization and in the future, when you consider charity organizations to support I hope you keep them in mind. It is amazing how many children are born with hearing loss and in our own community we have this support group to assist. Thank you so much for your support and donations for the week.

This past week was lots of fun. It was Literacy Week!  An inside Mystery Reader was Michelle, 3rd Grade Teacher. I also read a poem over the school intercom and all students had to guess who the teacher was that was reading. That was great!  We wore crazy hats, we decorated our door (after reading Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett and all of her other books). On Friday, we dressed up as storybook characters and visited all the classroom doors to see their decorations. The Merriam School Facebook page has a picture of every classroom door. It is great!

We have been reading Skippyjon Jons books by Judith Schachner. We have really loved these stories and have laughed so hard at Skippy's actions or maybe it was at my attempt to have a Spanish accent. These stories are about a Siamese Cat that thinks he is a Chihauhuas. Ask your child to imitate how Skippy says "Chihauhua."  Skippy has lots of great adventures, after he jumps on his big boy bed and notices in the mirror that he is a "Chi- wahhh-wahh". He then enters his closet and adventures begin. No matter how his adventures end, he always discovers that his three sisters and his Momma are always there for him. They are fun stories that could be read over and over again. Look for them at the library and let me know how well your Spanish sounds!

In Mathematics we have focused on "What does the Shape say?" We have looked closely at shapes and determined the number of sides, the vertices (corners) and their names. We had a lot of fun making a short video about shapes. I will get that out to you soon. We are moving into Unit 6 in Investigations. This is a lot of reinforcement of adding, subtracting and knowing our shapes. The students are enjoying our mathematics and some of our games. If you need any resources at home to support our learning, please let me know.

Splash Math has granted our class a one year free subscription. You will find the login for your child in their conference folder. Your child should log in with their username only. Do not login as the parent login or a guest login. If you have any troubles, let me know. Dan, with Splash Math is very responsive.  Here is the link for getting to the app:

Upcoming Events shared by our District Curriculum Specialists

Mo Willems, acclaimed children’s author, illustrator, and recipient of three Caldecott Honor awards, recently participated in NPR’s “On Point” (45 minute podcast). Please join Mo as he discusses Knuffle Bunny, Nanette’s Baguette, and finding empathy in today’s world. In a separate interview, Mo Willems shares his insights regarding how he teaches young readers to confront problems and be resilient in this New Yorker article, Mo Willems’ “Funny Failures”. (February 6, 2017 edition).  

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Tuesday, March 14th is Pi Day:   We recently celebrated Literacy Week and Dr.

and activities.  There are some great ideas at,, and to name a few.  You can also check out the Math Fun folder or the

Suess’ birthday and had so many wonderful events to celebrate our love of reading. Consider celebrating Pi Day (also Albert Einstein’s birthday) with some math games

Pi Day folder. Maybe even a DrEAM (Drop Everything And Math) Day.  Please send pictures or activities you try if you celebrate the day with your students.

March 12-18, 2017 is Question Week. Warren Berger (author of A More Beautiful

Question), in partnership with the Right Question Institute and a number of other

leading organizations focused on questioning, is sponsoring the fourth annual

QUESTION WEEK, running from March 12 to March 18 (with a special nod to master

questioner Albert Einstein’s birthday on Tuesday, March 14). Question Week is

designed to raise awareness of the power and value of questioning.  Visit for more details

Friday, March 17, 2017 5:30 p.m & 6:30 p.m. Habitat Earth, a Fulldome Film

featuring Betsey Brewer, will be held at Framingham State University’s Planetarium. Habitat Earth will leave you with a deeper appreciation of our interconnected

ecosystems and the diverse life forms that populate them. Following the film,

Betsey Brewer, Executive Director of education, conservation, and research

programs at Southwick’s Zoo as well as Executive Director of Earth, Ltd., a

non-profit center that works with local and global communities to promote

environmental education, will present her unique perspective on the film’s messages.

Sunday, March 19, 2017 Acton Historical Society presents “A Mid-March Evening

of Mystery” with Dr. Edith Maxwell, acclaimed author of Delivering the Trust: A

Quaker Midwife Mystery (Midnight Ink, 2016). This event is $5 and reservations are required. Contact 978-264-0690 or email  for more details.

Now - June 8, 2017: The MFA has a special exhibit, Make Way for Ducklings:

The Art of Robert McCloskey, in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the beloved children’s book set in Boston, Make Way for Ducklings (1941). This exhibition tracks

the career of the book’s author and illustrator Robert McCloskey (1914–2003). The recipient of two Caldecott Medals and three Caldecott Honors, McCloskey was a

major force in 20th-century picture book art, and “Make Way for Ducklings: The Art

of Robert McCloskey” provides an opportunity for visitors of all ages to enter the

author’s delightful world.

April 1, 2017 Science on Saturday at MIT - How the Internet Works This Science

on Saturday event on the MIT campus is free and open to all elementary, middle, and high school students, as well as their parents and teachers. For maps of the event

and parking garage locations, please see: Please plan to join us 10:00 a.m.-noon in MIT’s Kresge Auditorium,

48 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge.

April 9 - 15, 2017 National Library Week: Communities nationwide will celebrate

the contributions of libraries and library workers during ALA’s National Library Week. Libraries and library workers transform lives every day through education and

lifelong learning. The ALA’s Public Awareness Office is offering resources to

assist in promoting the theme of “Libraries Transform” in honor of this annual


Wednesday, April 19, 2017, 7:00 p.m - 9:00 p.m.  The Discovery Museums

Speaker Series presents Ron Fournier:, Love that Boy: What Two Presidents,

Eight Road Trips, and My Son Taught Me About a Parent’s Expectations will be

held at The Gallery at Villageworks, 525 Mass Ave #200, West Acton, MA.  

This event is free of charge, but pre-registration is required. A wait list is expected.

Ron will sign copies of his book, Love That Boy, following the presentation.

Saturday, April 22, 2017 Earth Day and March for Science The Earth Day focus

for 2017 is Environmental and Climate Literacy. Participate in the worldwide

movement of teach-ins and marches celebrating our planet and science. The link

above has educational resources.

May 1 - 7, 2017 The Children’s Book Council (CBC) will celebrate Children’s

Book Week’s 98th Anniversary! Children’s Book Week is the annual celebration of

books for young people and the joy of reading. Established in 1919, Children's Book Week is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country. Every year,

events are held nationwide at schools, libraries, bookstores, homes — wherever

young readers and books connect!



WE ARE IN A PLAY! is back on the road all across AMERICA and CANADA. It's a great show and one that often sells out.  So, get your tickets! Read a recent Off-Broadway review here!

Mystery Readers- We continue to greatly enjoy our Mystery Readers and strongly encourage you to sign up on the site Kelly Philpott shared with you. You can  sign up more than one time. We would love to have you.  I will continue to post pictures of our guest readers in the sidebar link.

Mathematics- In mathematics we have been focusing on non-conventional ways to measure. We have used our feet, we have used cubes, and we have used Popsicle sticks. We are also doing more adding and subtracting of single digit numbers. We had one day where we did our math problems in Shaving Cream. Ask your child how fun that mathematics work turned out to be.

Science- We have begun to look at Solid, Liquids and Gases.  We have done one experiment making snow and although it was messy it was a great deal of fun! We will continue until February break with looking at matter and doing fun experiments to study it. Any ideas, please let us know.

Social Studies- We are focusing on our community and its members. This project is called "I Went Walking." We will begin interviewing individual community members at Merriam School next week. Three students will meet with one adult. Two will ask questions while the other records the interview on the iPad. Once we have all of our members interviewed we will put together a movie about the Merriam School Community members. I will let you know when the premiere showing of the movie will be. It will be a box office smash that we will forever love!

Rest time- Since our rest time has altered, if you are wanting your child to bring home their mat or towel please let me know. Some of the children still choose to rest on the mats while others are reading or drawing. Please check with your child if they are using their mats.

Karen Sonner,
Sep 28, 2015, 5:09 PM
Karen Sonner,
Oct 4, 2015, 3:04 PM
Karen Sonner,
Sep 28, 2015, 5:10 PM