Friday, May 29, 2015

May 29, 2015 Newsletter

This Past Week:  We had a fantastic time on our nature hike to the Middlesex Fells today.  We couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather or for such enthusiastic children!  We saw many neat things and were able to apply what we had been learning in the classroom to nature outside the classroom!  I'm sure you heard all about the trip from your children.  I would like to extend a special thank you to Mrs. Fragoso and Mrs. Suhail for joining us on our trip!

Wednesday, June 17: Clean-up day…We are sure to get wet and maybe a little dirty…so please have your children dress appropriately.  We will have a variety of projects for everyone to help with.  If you are available to help with some of our cleaning projects, we would love to have you.  We will be busy cleaning from 9:00-9:45am.

Monday, June 15: Make Way for Ducklings Tour, Boston Swan Boats.  More information will go home as we get closer.  Chaperones will be riding on the bus with us and should arrive at the school by 8:45am.  We will be doing a lot of walking that day so sneakers are a must!

Monday, June 22: Simonds Park - We will be leaving school around 9:00am (weather permitting) to walk to the park.  Crossing guards will be with us along the way to safely cross us at strategic points.  Parents are welcome to join us at the park.  We would like a few parents to walk up with us (just let us know).  The children will be dismissed from the park.  The bus company has already been informed.  Children who attend the After School Program will take a bus back to school.  If you plan on taking your child home from the park, it is very important that you tell us you are taking your child.  We will be sending more info home later regarding lunches and other details.  NO BACKPACKS are needed that day.  Students should wear sneakers and sunscreen. Students will not be going in the pool.

Tuesday, June 23: Last day of school.  Dismissal will probably be around 11:30am.

Have a great weekend!      

Melanie Duncan

Middlesex Fells Nature Hike

We had a beautiful day for our nature hike around Long Pond in the Middlesex Fells Reservation. It was a little buggy but we got to see some pretty neat things including snake skin, salamanders, toads, turtles, smelly skunk cabbage, and endangered lady slippers.  It was fun to see and discuss so many of the things we had been learning about during the past several weeks in school!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Clay Birds

We learned a little about birds this week and enjoyed reading "Have You Seen Birds?" illustrated by Barbara Reid.  The students made their own clay birds too!

Changes in Nature

We finished our Changes in Nature poster this week.  We have enjoyed walking around our school to take pictures of various plants over the past five weeks to see how much they have changed.  There have been some pretty big changes!  Spring has most certainly arrived!

Friday, May 22, 2015

BEF "Exercise for Education" 5K Road Race

On Sunday, May 31, 2025, the Burlington Education Foundation (BEF) is holding their 11th Annual “Exercise for Education” 5K Road Race and ½ Mile Family Fun Run at Burlington High School .  Check-in for the event begins at 8:00am with the Family Fun Run beginning at 9:00am, followed by the start of the 5k which begins promptly at 9:30am.

Please visit BEF's website for more information on the activities as well as online registration. All pre-registered participants are guaranteed a free t-shirt. NEW This Year - Chip Timing! - with instant results.

Run, Walk, Volunteer or join us as a spectator! Don’t miss out on this great community event or the chance to win a Grand Prize Raffle!!

BEF's Mission is to channel donations from businesses and individuals to provide Burlington educators with an additional source of funding for creative and innovative curriculum enrichment programs.  Help us make a difference in the Burlington Public Schools!

May 22, 2015 Newsletter

Dear Parents,

We are all looking forward to going on our nature hike next Friday!  We’ve done a lot to prepare for the hike and are anxious to look for all sorts of really neat things along the way.  A field trip reminder will go home in your child’s folder on Thursday.  Please don’t forget to check these folders daily.  Children do need to wear pants and sneakers on Friday and they do need a disposable lunch and snack.  The children will need to bring their backpacks.  Please make sure to empty it so they aren’t carrying anything unnecessary.  Chaperones should plan to arrive by 8:45am and will be carpooling.

If you have not sent in the $10 to cover the cost for our next two field trips, please do so as soon as possible.  Checks can be made payable to Francis Wyman Kindergarten.  It will cost $3 for chaperones who will be coming on the Swan Boat trip with us.

After our hike next week, we will start preparing for our trip to the Swan Boats in Boston!  We will be reading Make Way for Ducklings and the children will be learning a bit about Boston and the walk we will be taking.  We will be creating a three-dimensional map showing the Commons, the Public Gardens and the area around the State House.

The students have finished their Very Busy Spider books and have brought them home.  They did a great job on them.  I would encourage them to read them at home many times.  It’s also a great idea to have them point to the words as they read.

Please continue to practice the sight words.  I sent a list home of the sight words your child knows.  I will be testing them for the final time next week!

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

                Melanie Duncan

Dates to remember:  May 29 - Nature Hike
                                 June 15 - Swan Boats in Boston
                                 June 16 - Field Day
                              June 22 - Walk to Simonds Park
                              June 23 - Last Day of School (half day dismissal)

Friday, May 15, 2015

May 15, 2015 Newsletter

Dear Parents,

Where does the time go?  I can't believe that it is mid-May and that we are going on our nature hike in two weeks!  Let's hope for a beautiful day!  More field trip information will go home right before the trip but if you are planning to be a chaperone, please be at the school by 8:45am.  We are planning to leave the school around 9:00am.  Chaperones will have to carpool because the parking lot is very small at the entrance to the trail we take.  I am still accepting chaperones for both the hike and our trip to Boston.  If you are interested in either one, please let me know.  Don’t forget that field trip money is due by the end of next week.

We have been learning more about butterflies and other insects this week.  All of our caterpillars have turned into chrysalises and will hopefully turn into butterflies really soon!  We spent time this week drawing and labeling the life cycle of a butterfly and will do the same for frogs next week!  It’s exciting to see some real life cycles right in our own classroom!

The students brought their sunflower plants home today.  They planted them a couple of weeks ago.  The plants have grown quite a bit!  We talked about how they will need lots of sun and water and a safe place to be planted.  You may want them to grow a little more before they are transplanted or put them in a bigger pot for a while.  They may also need to be supported by a stick as they grow.

We just completed our last math topic in Kindergarten!  I have some assessments to give and some extra “Step-Up” lessons to do with the students but it is exciting to think that we made it through all sixteen of our Kindergarten math topics!

Please continue to work with your child on their subtraction fluency facts to five (5-3=2, 4-1=3, etc.).  I will be testing the students on these to see how fluent they are.  The goal is for students to tell me the answers within three seconds.  I would also encourage you to work with your child on counting to 100 by 1s and 10s and practice recognizing and writing numbers to 20.  Those teen numbers are tricky!

Have a great weekend!

Melanie Duncan

PS...We will be having a Classroom Cleaning Day on Wednesday, June 17th from 9:00-9:45am.  I could use several parent volunteers to help with some of our cleaning projects.  If you are interested, please let me know and I will add you to my list!  Thanks!

Changes in Nature Update

We went for our walk around the school this afternoon to observe all the changes in nature going on around us.  There have been some pretty big changes!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

From Cocoon to Moth!

We received a luna moth cocoon from the Burlington Science Center last week and found it to be empty Monday morning when we returned from the weekend!  Fortunately we found the moth by the window and were able to release it outside to look for some food.  It was fun comparing moths and butterflies and getting such a close look at a pretty amazing insect!

Friday, May 8, 2015

May 8, 2015 Newsletter

Dear Parents,

We have had a very busy week here in Room 115!  The students have been working hard and learning lots!  We have been learning a lot about nature in preparation for our nature hike to the Middlesex Fells on Friday, May 29th.  Please let me know if you are interested in chaperoning for either the hike or Boston field trips.  We will be going to Boston for the Swan Boats field trip on Monday, June 15th and will be walking to Simonds Park for the day on Monday, June 22nd for our final field trip!

We have been learning more about butterflies and other insects this week.  We received caterpillars from the Science Center and are anxious for them to turn into chrysalises.  The students are learning about all the different body parts of insects and are even learning how to label their drawings of insects.  You’ll have to ask them to sing the “Head, Thorax, Abdomen” Song!

We have been doing butterfly symmetry at the art table and just finished measuring our tall flowers with non-standard units.  We are starting a new topic in math about analyzing, comparing, and composing shapes.  Please continue helping your child practice his/her subtraction facts.  I will be getting ready to assess them soon.  The more they practice…the better they will get!

The students finished a unit on persuasive writing right before vacation.  They wrote me letters trying to convince me which class pet we should get.  They all had some pretty convincing letters but I decided to go with turtles since they are so quiet, very easy to take care of, and they are not dangerous.  We enjoyed watching one of the turtles eat some salad before the end of the day today.  The two turtles’ names are Dorito and Mia!  I’m sure they will be a fun addition to our class!

We enjoyed a special presentation by Mr. Musselman from the Burlington Science Center earlier this week.  He taught us some pretty neat facts about magnets, which was a wonderful follow up to the short unit on magnets we did before vacation.

Listed below are some important upcoming dates:
May 29 - Nature Hike at the Middlesex Fells
June 15 - Swan Boats in Boston
June 16 - Field Day
June 22 - Walk to Simonds Park
June 23 - Last day of school

I would also like to extend a very Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mothers in Room 115!  We hope the gifts your child gives you will be special and meaningful.

Thank you also for all the special things so many of you did for Teacher Appreciation Week.  The luncheon was amazingly delicious and the other pictures, gifts, and kind words were all very much appreciated.  It is truly a pleasure working with each of your children and seeing how much they have grown this year!

Have a great weekend!

Melanie Duncan

Changes in Nature Update

We went for our little nature walk around the school this afternoon to look for new signs of spring and to see how nature has changed over the past week.  There were some pretty big changes!  The warm weather must really be making a big difference!  It certainly is exciting!

Class Pets

The students finished a unit on persuasive writing right before vacation. They wrote me letters trying to convince me which class pet we should get.  They all wrote very convincing letters but I ended up choosing turtles because they are so quiet, easy to take care of, and they aren't dangerous!  The two box turtles arrived this week.  Their names are Dorito and Mia.  They will be a great addition to our classroom as we learn about nature, reptiles, and animals that live near a pond.  We are hoping to see some turtles on our nature hike at the end of the month too!

More Spring Artwork

We have been busy decorating our classroom walls with more spring artwork.  The students made giant flowers similar to the giant flower in Eric Carle's "The Tiny Seed" book.  They also painted forsythia bushes to illustrate our forsythia poem.  We decorated our classroom door with recycled materials too to help celebrate Earth Day.  Spring is definitely in the air in Room 115!

Magnet Show

Mr. Musselman from the Burlington Science Center presented a Magnet Show this week and taught us some pretty cool facts about magnets!  It was a nice follow-up to the quick magnet unit we did before vacation.  We have also been using magnets to "fish" for our sight words this week!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Changes in Nature

We have been taking pictures of different locations around our school to keep track of how nature is changing around us! There have been some pretty big changes already! We are excited to see even more over the next few weeks!

May 1, 2015 Newsletter

Dear Parents,

I hope you all had a wonderful vacation! I loved hearing all the stories that your children came back with! They were all excited to share what special times you had last week.

We have had a busy week in Room 115!  We have started learning all about seeds, trees, and plants.  We will start learning about insects next week. The students made trees and labeled each of the parts at the art table. They wrote in their journals about their vacations, what trees give us, and about seeds. Their writing is coming along nicely. We have been practicing putting spaces between our words, periods at the end of the sentences, and uppercase letters at the beginning of sentences.  We will be starting our last writing unit on narrative writing and they will be writing stories about themselves and some things they have done!

In math we started a new unit on the position and location of objects.  The concepts have been more of a review for the students so we have been trying to come up with some fun and creative ways to practice them.  I will be getting ready to assess the students’ addition and subtraction fluency facts in a couple of weeks as well as their sight words.  I would encourage you to continue working on these daily.

We planted sunflower seeds this week. We will watch them grow and then send home the plants after they have grown a little so you can plant them somewhere at your home.  We have also started taking pictures of a few different plants/trees around our school and have been discussing the changes in nature we have been observing.  I would encourage you to do something similar at home if you are able to.  I would love for students to bring in their pictures or drawings in a few weeks to show us the changes in nature they observed at their homes!

Enjoy your weekend!

Melanie Duncan

PS… Our next field trip will be on Friday, May 29th.  We are going on a nature hike in the Middlesex Fells Nature Reservation.  More information will go home next week.  If you are interested in chaperoning, please let me know.  I can take as many as are interested!

Labeled Tree Diagrams

We have started our unit on nature. We have talked a lot about trees and plant parts. This week the students made and labeled trees to decorate the hall!  We will be filling our classroom walls up very soon with more spring artwork. Stay tuned!