February Slice of the Apple

Mid-Winter Days in Lower School!

Tally Lent
Lower School Head
 

No matter what the groundhog says, we do know, now that we have reached the month of February, that spring is on the way. Besides “predicting” the beginning of spring, Groundhog’s Day is the midpoint between the Winter Solstice in December and the Vernal Equinox in March. We are poised in the middle of the seasons, in the midst of change. Similarly, we are just past the midpoint of the school year, and are getting ready to celebrate our One HundredthDay of School later this month. We are all immersed in tremendous growth, learning, and change. In the life of the school, we adults are fully present in this year, yet looking forward to the next, ensuring that our students will be ready for the challenges and triumphs that lie ahead. While I am reveling in the solid and spectacular progress of your children right now, and enjoying their plays, songs, reports, athletic prowess, and good citizenship, I am looking ahead to next year, and planning for opportunities for their success and happiness in school.

This shortest month of the year is packed full with community activities, celebrations, and learning at Applewild.

Parent Conferences will be held on Monday, February 4, and I hope you will find them informative and interesting. Conferences are wonderful opportunities for parents and teachers to share information about children and to discuss their strengths and any areas of needed work. Our home-school partnership is a major factor in our students’ successes in school and their positive feelings about school.

The Book Fair begins on February 11 and goes through the week. We are grateful to our Parents Association for organizing this great event and to all the parents who volunteer at the Fair. The Book Fair will be held in the Marshall foyer and is always a popular destination for our enthusiastic readers.

We will celebrate Valentine’s Day on Thursday, February 14, and each homeroom may be taking different approaches to this celebration. In some classes, each child is asked to bring a Valentine card for each and every classmate; in other classes, there may be a “Secret Valentine” where one card is handmade for one child whose name is drawn out of a hat. In all cases, we stress the importance of every individual being included. We never want any child left out. As we celebrate this fun holiday in classes, I strongly request that contributions to class parties be healthy ones. In all celebrations, please keep in mind our peanut/ tree nut and nut-product prohibition. Many candies are made in plants that also use nuts or peanuts in their production; this makes a dangerous cross-contamination risk and we cannot allow those candies on campus. I appreciate your support of this policy and encourage us all to make our class celebrations both healthy and fun.

Community service continues this month with second graders visiting their grandfriends at The Gables, and the third graders meeting up with their Arc buddies. These face-to-face interactions are important ways to connect with the wider Fitchburg community and to meet and talk with people who are different from our usual Applewild friends. Your children rise beautifully to these occasions and I am always proud of their patience and empathy.

We will celebrate Presidents’ Day with a long weekend and there will be no school on Monday, February 18; on Tuesday, February 19 teachers will come to school for a professional learning day and students will have an extra long weekend. We are excited to bring educational author and consultant Mike Anderson back to campus to work with us as we continue to develop a metacognitive approach to learning and teaching.

On Thursday, February 21, we will enjoy our Annual Family Math Celebration from 3:30 to 5:00. All parents are invited to come to the Marshall Building to learn, firsthand, about math in your child’s classroom. Math games, activities, and fun will be had in each homeroom. We hope families will be able to join in the fun for an hour or more of math with your children on this day.

March 2 is Dr. Seuss’ Birthday and we will celebrate that with our annual Pajama Day on March 1 in the Lower School. All students and teachers are invited to wear school-appropriate pjs – collars are not required!

We are waiting for sleddable snow and seasonable temperatures to enjoy our perennial favorite event: WinterFest. At this event, fourth and fifth graders (and their younger siblings in second grade and above) stay after school to enjoy good sledding and fun in the snow on the front lawn of the Crocker Building and then have a pizza for supper afterward. We are watching the skies to see when WinterFest will be and will alert you as soon as we know. Please do a snow dance so that we can enjoy this traditional favorite activity.

The shortest month of the year is packed with great activities and wonderful learning adventures. Please read the teachers’ articles for glimpses of the month ahead in the classrooms.

Kindergarten News
Lisa Barrette
Sandi Rantala
Jenny Coeur 

Happy February! I look forward to connecting with you at conferences. It is a treat to share observations, perspectives, and information with you about your kindergartners. It is important to recognize the changes and growth in each student at this mid-year point. We will capitalize on the skills they have built as we move into the next semester.

In phonics, we are working on blending, writing, and segmenting consonant-vowel-consonant words. Students are becoming stronger with their letter - sound association and picking out the order of individual sounds in words. We have also begun work on syllabicating, which helps students to encode all sounds in a word. We will begin to build our foundation of “trick words” to use in writing and reading.  Trick words are what Fundations calls sight words because they cannot be sounded out.  “Are” is an example of one of  these words. In their journals, students will be writing more frequently and more independently, as we are moving toward encouraging "invented spelling".  Invented spelling is when a child listens to the sounds they hear in words, and write down the letters that make those sounds.  Invented spelling builds a sense of confidence and pride, and allows students to express themselves creatively without having to worry about the correct spelling of unfamiliar words. This is a big step in the writing process, and the beginning of a journey into becoming stronger writers.

In math, we will be wrapping up our unit on measurement, as well as comparing objects in one group as greater than, less than, or equal to the number of objects in another group.  Students are also comparing numbers presented as written numerals.  Dice, cards, and dominoes are fun ways to practice math skills at home. With the 100th day celebration coming this month, we have been exploring numbers higher than 10, and are learning to skip-count by 2's to 20, and 5's and 10's to 100.  Also this month, we will begin to dive deeper into addition and subtraction to 10.

In social studies and science, we will continue to be inspired by the winter season. We will read our Let’s Find Out magazines and learn about groundhogs, polar animals, and two famous presidents. We will do some experiments with snow/ice melting and making snow crystals. This month we will celebrate Valentine’s Day and our 100th Day of School.  Students are welcome to bring in cards for their classmates. Our rule is if you choose to give cards in class, you must give one to each child. We will also be making Valentines for our fifth grade buddies.

If we do not have any snow days, our 100th day of school will be on Thursday, February 21st.  For that day, students are invited to bring in a collection of 100 small items.  These items should be able to fit into a sandwich bag or a gallon-size Ziploc bag.  On our 100th day of school, we will have a small celebration, and participate in various "100 Day" themed activities.

Please email or call (x309) if you have any questions or comments about the upcoming month.

Kindergarten at Devens
Jenn Bevilacqua      

Winter is upon us and we are hoping for more snow! We have been learning about animals we see in the winter! We are also learning about the animals in the Arctic and Antarctica.

In phonics we are busy blending, writing and segmenting. We are learning trick words or sight words and using them in sentences. Our daily journals are filled with inventive spelling and creative pictures and stories. Inventive spelling gives the children the freedom and confidence to write words without the worry about correct spelling of unfamiliar words. This is the beginning of creating strong writers.

In math we are beginning our unit on addition and subtraction to 10. With the 100th day of school approaching, we will be celebrating this day with many hands-on activities and exploring the many ways to count to 100. We will be counting by 2s to 20, 5s and 10s to 100.  We will be building with 100 blocks, creating Lego creations with 100 Legos and making necklaces with groups of 10 to 100! It will be a very busy and exciting day!

Valentine’s Day is February 14th and we will be decorating mailboxes in class and making our own valentines for our classmates and for our Main Campus friends!

February is a very busy month full of lots of events and activities! We will be hard at work in class and busy creating in the Art Studio and developing our poses in the Yoga Studio. I am looking forward to Parent Conferences and discussing your child’s  wonderful growth and development .

First Grade News
Micaela Caiozzo
 

Happy February! This month, we will celebrate our 100th day of school. Our math work in February will be focused on time, money, and measurement. First graders will learn how to compare the lengths of objects and how to write the length as a whole number labeled with length units. They will practice reading and graphing data points, and will learn about and identify patterns on a hundreds chart. We will support our learning with a variety of math games and manipulatives, some of which will be shared at Family Math Night. We will also continue to practice skip counting by twos, threes, fives, and tens. Many of these concepts will involve the use of digi-blocks to help build number sense and to strengthen our understanding of place value.

In phonics, we will continue to work with words that contain closed syllables. There are six types of syllables, and closed syllables are the most common. Whenever you have a short vowel sound, it will likely be a closed syllable. Later, we will blend and segment up to five sounds in a closed syllable word. We will also continue to learn our trick words, and I encourage you to practice these words at home with your child.

Guided reading groups will continue to provide students with strategies to decode words and gain meaning from texts. These strategies are necessary to help students recognize words quickly and automatically, aiding the development of fluency. Fluency also encompasses phrasing and expression. Fluent reading is an essential reading skill necessary for comprehension. Reading out loud is a great way for students to practice fluency.

In writing, students will be working on an animal research project. Students will use a variety of text resources to research their animals’ habitats, their predators, the food that they eats, what they look like, and some facts about the animals. After organizing this information into a graphic organizer, students will write their information in paragraph form and type their research.  The first grade animal study is a strong example of learning through metacognition. Students are provided with choice by being given the opportunity to explore a variety different animals and their habitats before selecting their personal top three choices for the project.  Students are then assigned one of their top choice animals on which to focus for the project.  Throughout the project, students use skills that promote critical awareness of their thinking and learning.  At the end of the project, students will reflect upon their learning and assess their individual processes of researching and organizing information, writing and editing their reports in a meaningful way, and creatively building their animals and habitats.  This will help promote a foundation of self-awareness and foster cognitive growth and metacognitive thinking. 

In social studies, we are reading stories, watching Brainpop Jr. videos, and discussing facts about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. 

This month we have many exciting events to look forward to such as Groundhog’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Family Math Night, Presidents’ Day, and of course, our 100th day celebration. We look forward to talking and sharing with you at parent conferences. Our partnership is vital as we work together to support the growth and development of your child. Please feel free to call or email if you have any questions or comments before or after conferences.

Second Grade News
Kathie Grzewinski
 

I am always amazed to come to the point in the year when we have been in school for 100 days! This year, weather permitting, this landmark day will fall in February. This is a time of pride for the children and me, to examine where we began and how far we have come. This has been a year of great development in second grade. I feel so fortunate to have such a wonderful, eager group of learners with whom to spend my days. I’m looking forward to their continued growth during the remainder of the school year. As I mentioned during Curriculum Night in September, on of the primary skills taught in second grade mathematics is regrouping. With the acquisition of their math facts, the children have proven their readiness for this big step. We are working very hard learning how to “carry” in addition up to the hundreds place and thousands place. We will also learn how to “borrow” in subtraction as well. The children have enjoyed the challenge of this new concept, as well as practicing our math facts with our  Sprints.

In reading, we will continue with our six-week unit on Aesop Fables. This month, we’ll work on the three Fox fables. As a culmination, we will be reading and acting out our own versions of several of the fables we have already read, this time in a play format. We will be performing these small skits at a future Common Time.

We also will be reading about Ruby Bridges, learning about her life and writing a class biography. This will prepare us for our biography project after our March break, where we will then return to leveled books and reading groups.

In Fundations, we are applying the phonetic rules we have learned so far this year to more complex, multi-syllable words. We will work on open syllables, y as a vowel, r-controlled syllables and vowel teams. We are also expanding our spelling ability with new trick words.

We are as busy as ever in language arts. We will be working on composing, editing and typing up our original Tacky stories and making another class book.

Next, the class will be writing their own fables, based on the Aesop Fables we have been reading about. Each fable will be based on a real moral of Aesop’s creation, but the stories are all their own! Now that we have completed the parts of speech for grammar, we will now work on sentence structure. We will learn about subjects, predicates and complete/incomplete sentences.

In social studies, we are working in our Junior Atlas program. This month, we will learn about these continents: North America, South America and Europe. We will also be learning about famous leaders, which ties in nicely with President’s Month, Black History Month and Woman’s History in March. We will continue to work on our core values, as well as visit our grandfriends at the Gables. The children and their grandfriends both anticipate these visits with great joy. We will all continue to be touched by the caring and generosity the children show during our visits.

Whether the groundhog sees his/her shadow or not, we will still have a few weeks of winter. Please remember to have your child bring in the necessary cold weather gear to school, as well as extra clothes to change in to. Please be aware that even if it is too cold for outside recess (below 20 degrees), the children do have to travel outdoors for lunch, P.E. and P.A.

Thank you for your communication and partnership during our mid-year conferences, and, as always, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me with any questions or concerns.

Third Grade News
Danielle Mannion 

And with the blink of an eye, second semester is here! It’s truly amazing to see how much the students have been able to accomplish in such a short period of time.

In math we are completing Module 2: Place Value and Problem Solving with Units of Measure this week! We will soon continue onto Module 3: Multiplication and Division with Units of 0, 1, 6-9, and Multiples of 10.

In reading we have began to read stories in Junior Great Books. This program allows students many opportunities to interact with thought-provoking stories as they develop their reading, writing, oral communication, and critical-thinking skills. Together, the students and I will work to find meaning to every story. We have began with the story  The Master Cat, and will continue with The Fisherman and His Wife.

In social studies we will begin our President Unit. In this unit we will talk about the main responsibilities of a President, and will describe major events from the lives of Jefferson and other presidents. During this unit students will also be responsible for researching a chosen President, creating a timeline of important events for that chosen President, and the creation and presentation of their President Project with the goal of educating their classmates. More details to follow.

The President Project will allow for students to use metacognitive strategies that we have introduced this year. A part of this approach provides student choice. Students will choose what president they would like to research as well as how they would like to represent their information. As they research their chosen President, they will be able to use metacognitive strategies and skills to assess themselves to see what information they already have  in comparison  to what they still need, as well as assess what they have already learned. This process of metacognition allows for students to take more ownership of their work and more importantly their learning.

Starting in the second semester students will also have weekly spelling words! Students are responsible for studying these words at home in preparation for a spelling quiz. Both our Wordly Wise and G.U.M. lesson will continue as normal.

I look forward meeting with you on either February 4th or 6th for Parent Conferences.  As always, if you have any questions at all please email me at dmannion@applewild.org.

Fourth Grade News
Jenn Buck  

As we launch into the second semester, it is remarkable to look back at the students who came to us in September and assess their progress and growth since then.  With the second half of the year begun, life will be busy in fourth grade between now and March Break.    

In math, we will complete Module 3, which covers multi-digit multiplication and division.  We will then begin Module 4: Angle Measurement and Plane Figures.  We will learn about lines and angles, angle measurement, problem solving with the addition of angle measures, and two-dimensional figures and symmetry.

In reading and social studies, we will begin our Underground Railroad unit.  We will read the historical fiction novel, Bright Freedom’s Song, by Gloria Houston.  This book, a perennial favorite in fourth grade, follows a young girl, Bright Cameron, whose family’s North Carolina farm is a stop on the Underground Railroad and who gets increasingly involved in her family’s dangerous involvement helping escaped slaves in the South find freedom to the North.

For the remaining weeks leading up to March vacation, we will also begin the annual fourth grade States and Capitals Extravaganza.  Some social studies and some reading periods will be used for in-school practice.  Students will use various methods to help them learn the placement of the states and the names of the state capitals.  We have games, puzzles, websites, books, songs, and more, which will be of help, and time spent at home will be essential as well.  A list of websites will be sent home for extra practice.  The final test will be given on Thursday, March 7.  This long-term undertaking with a measurable goal at the end will provide the students with the opportunity to put into practice the metacognitive strategies we have introduced this year.  As they set their sights on their end goal, they must figure out for themselves (with support at home and at school, of course) how they, as individual and unique learners, can best set themselves up for success.  They will need to set smaller goals along the way, assess those goals as they progress, and, most likely, re-evaluate them and make changes during the process.  They should be asking themselves questions such as: “What do I already know and what do I still need to learn?”; “What do I know about myself as a learner that will help me determine the best way to approach this project?”; “How can I check in with myself along the way to make sure I am on track with my smaller goals and will be able to reach my final goal?”; “What resources do I have available that can help me reach my goal?”.  The process of learning how we each learn best and how to set ourselves up for success is even more important than the content the students are learning.  This important fourth grade venture accomplishes both content and self knowledge! 

In Language Arts, our spelling, Wordly Wise, and G.U.M. lessons will continue.  In G.U.M. we will begin unit 3, which is the “usage” chapter.  In writing, we will work on a creative writing assignment, writing our own picture books to share with Applewild’s younger students.   The students’ original stories will be loosely based on the master text, Spoon, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.  Students will be able to take the basic premise of the book, feeling like one doesn’t measure up to one’s peers, and will come up with their own scenarios to illustrate the same idea.  This assignment incorporates a lot of choice for the students and allows them to approach their work independently and creatively.

As always, thank you for your interest and support in all that we do in school.  Your partnership is greatly appreciated.

Fifth Grade News
Mike Mullins
Jake Schrader           

February is a short month, so we’re hoping to pack as much awesomeness as we can into it. We’re on guard against the mid-winter blues and are hoping to string together a few solid weeks to start off our second term. Good effort on homework assignments will pay off down the road.

In math, we will begin working Module 4, which dives into multiplying and dividing fractions and decimals. Although we began thinking about this earlier in the year, now is the time when the standard algorithm becomes the hero of the story. This study will begin with an earth shattering realization...fractions are division! Though this realization will shock and awe at first, it leads to a more deep and fluid understanding of how fractions work and where they appear in daily life.

Our language arts lessons in Wordly Wise, writing class, and GUM will continue. We’ll look at some winter poetry and perhaps write some of our own, and we will find out what is in store for three lost souls as they try to get home in The Incredible Journey  by Sheila Burnford. This adventure through Canadian wilderness features two dogs, one cat, and countless perils.

In history, we will travel to ancient Egypt and compare their great civilization to those of the peoples of Mesopotamia. We will think about ancient Egyptian culture, religion, geography, and more as we attempt to put ourselves in the shoes of our ancestors. Then we will take a look at their pantheon of gods and discuss how they helped the Egyptians in their day to day lives. We will then extrapolate and create a pantheon of American gods that highlight the elements of life that we find most important.

All that and more in just twenty-eight days!

Physical Education News
Paulo Valentim 

Over the past few weeks, students have had a great time learning new games with the parachute and riding scooters! In fourth and fifth grade, we ended our basketball unit with some competitive scrimmages.

For the month of February, kindergarten through third grade will focus on fitness and learning the basics of floor hockey. In floor hockey, we will work on passing, trapping, stick handling, shooting, and developing basic game strategies. As always, we will end the unit scrimmaging. Overall fitness is something we have been working on all year long, but will be more of a focus over the next couple of weeks. Have fitness levels improved since the beginning of the year?

In fourth and fifth grade, we will play some floor hockey, but also participate in our own Olympics! As always, games will focus on the underlying concepts of teamwork and sportsmanship.

La Classe de français
Madame Katy Niose
février 2019 

<< Bonne Fête du Saint Valentin ! >>  (Happy Valentine’s Day this month!)

Kindergarten through third grade will continue learning winter vocabulary, singing traditional French songs, and playing games to reinforce vocabulary on the Activboard.

In first grade, we will be collaborating with Art, Science, Library, and Language Arts, as we learn about animals and their habitats.  We will continue to work with numbers, shapes, and weather, and we will begin clothing vocabulary.

Second grade will wrap up their study of the five senses, concentrating on le goût (taste).  They will be learning the words for different food items, and whether food tastes salty, sweet, bitter, sour, or meaty (salé, sucré, amer, acide ou umami).  They will also begin learning the names of different articles of clothing.

Third grade will continue their study of the organs, while collaborating with the science curriculum.  They will also be reviewing prepositions, location, and practicing math facts.

Fourth grade will continue their study of the French Revolution, as well as reinforcing daily routine vocabulary, practicing conversation, conjugating verbs, and time telling. They will also learn new “house and home” vocabulary.

Fifth grade will learn about map skills, location, and buildings, as they practice navigating different French cities around the globe.  We will also be skyping with another French-speaking middle school class this month, honing our conversational skills.

As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns or suggestions at kniose@applewild.org.

Recorder and Band
Frank Bonanno 

In the Recorder Ensemble we are working on increasing the range by learning new notes. The students have had the challenge of covering the holes properly so that the notes come out easier. Recorder students are reminded of their hand position so that their fingers will be able to cover the holes.

In the Fifth Grade Band, the Brass players are working on the high register, which involves playing certain warm up exercises that will help build their range. The Woodwinds are working on hand position and mouth position for a more controlled sound. The percussionists are working on playing more independently of each other by trusting their counting abilities. The Bass players are working on tuning their basses and to focus on the music and not to watch their fingers on the fretboard.

In both Recorder Ensemble and Fifth Grade Band we will be starting 3-6 part arrangements.

Lower School Shop
Sharon McGowan
 

The kindergarten has made a terrific start on their ring toss game.  The center dowel has been cut.  The students worked very diligently to measure the base pieces to be square.  It is impressive how straight our youngest shop students can cut!  We will determine the center of the square in order to use the drill press for the dowel placement.  Though our least favorite part of the process is sanding, the kindergarten gives the task their best effort.

A highlight for the first grade is the construction of the balance toy.  For such a simple toy, it provides a good deal of entertainment.  The first grade has cut the main body and feet.  They are working on making the toy as smooth as possible as they discuss finishes and choices for color combinations.  We will use a jig to hold the body pieces steady when drilling for the neck and legs.

The second grade has made a strong start on their toolboxes.  We have been measuring very carefully to match the side pieces to the end pieces.  We will begin to use the scroll saw together to cut the angled end pieces.  We will measure for placement of screws before pre-drilling for assembly.

The third grade have assembled  some colorful, imaginative looms.  We have nearly completed the staining and painting.  We will add the warp to the loom for the weaving before moving the project to the art studio with Mrs. Sanford.  It will be magical as the third grade adds color and texture for their looms for a winter scene

We had a little friendly competition between Shop A & B as we played a game online to refresh our memories of simple circuits and how they work.  The fourth grade is ready to pre-drill for placement of screws for assembly of the lamp.  We are double checking measurements, and sanding to be sure all the pieces fit together before we begin assembly.  Then let the painting begin!

Lower School Art Studio
Sara Sanford 

February will be busy in the studio! There are ongoing projects to finish, as well as brand new ideas just beginning. In kindergarten, we will finish up our cave paintings! Please ask your children about this interesting on campus trip! We will then begin some lessons on weaving with fabric and ribbon, read some stories about weavers, and learn some key terms such as warp and  weft. In first grade, we are working hard on our mandala portraits. We are working with the first grade language arts, learning about adjectives that describe ourselves, and ways to show those words with pictures. We are also learning about the history of mandalas in different parts of the world, as well as nature and earth art mandalas. In second grade, we are continuing our study of portraits, and learning about the art of William H. Johnson, a famous American artist.

Third graders will be weaving their looms that they made in shop class. We cannot wait to see how beautiful our fabrics look, and how amazing it is to make landscapes with fabric! We will also be learning about dragons and the character of line in a fantasy animal study. Grade four artists are working on their collective noun watercolor stencils, and learning many group names for all types of animals, people, and objects. This has been lots of fun for all of us, and we have each been stumped by some of these terms! Fifth graders are just about finished with their color wheel study, and will be moving onto the study of clay sculpture, and their Egyptian canopic jars. This project is a wonderful example of Egyptian art, as well as a great opportunity to work on clay sculpture.

We are using our hands, our hearts,  and our minds each week to create art. We are discovering  how we learn best, and are looking forward to sharing our work with all of you!

Library
Molly Wong 

February in the library is a month full of the love of books. Students of all grades will continue working on grade-level projects, writing valentines to favorite books, and listening to stories celebrating African American History Month.

Kindergarten students will find time to rhyme! We will have fun with rhyming texts and even write some of our own rhyming valentines.

First grade researchers have been assigned their animals and will begin to flex their research muscles. We will review the difference between fiction and nonfiction animal books, introduce the helpful tools in nonfiction books (table of contents, index, glossary), and explore a few websites. We will finish our fun Kevin Henkes unit by using what we have learned about characterization to write some valentine stories starring Lily, Owen, Chester and the gang.

Second grade will finish up our unit with author WIlliam Joyce with The Mischevians, and create our own naughty creatures. Students will write and present their own Book Crush reviews to share with classmates and follow-up with a book tasting. 

Third grade will be digging into African American History Month with a short, guided-inquiry project on a significant person, event, or place. They will practice their inquiry, research and presentation skills in preparation for the President research project.

Fourth grade students will create a book trailer for one of their BHAG books, write a valentine book review, and then, using what they have learned about their classmates’ reading preferences, prepare a book tasting for their peers.

First and Second Grade Science
Tally Lent 

After spending some time exploring habitats, predators, prey, and animal adaptations, first graders will be busy this month exploring the properties of solids in our Solids and Liquids Unit.They will use the properties of those solids to be engineers and will construct towers and bridges. We will observe the properties of many solids and liquids, comparing how different solids and liquids are alike and how they are different. We'll organize the results of our inquiries, and communicate both orally and in writing the things we discover. These processes (observing, communicating, comparing, and organizing) are the basic thinking processes students need at this age to develop a scientific understanding of the world around them.

Second graders are culminating their insect unit by  creating imaginary insects within a habitat, and will be presenting their insect to the whole class next week. Then we will jump into our Balance and Motion Unit and will explore balance, counterweights, and gravity. We will get into the motion study and will explore rotational motion, slope, wheel-and–axle systems, weight, pushing and pulling. We will culminate our study with the construction of a large marble run

Third, Fourth, Fifth Grade Science
Jake Schrader and Lynda Gregson
 

Third grade scientists made educated guesses, then counted the number of bones in the human body. They put together paper skeletons and had fun figuring out what happens with forearm bones when pointing thumbs inward or outward. They will be learning some bone names and how they all fit together for support, protection, and movement. The study of the human body will continue with the exploration of an owl pellet to see how bones of rodents compare with human bones. Students will discover that the shape of a bone is often a clue to its function. We will move on to study the various types of joints in the human body and how they make connections between the bones.

Fourth grade scientists are finishing up the study of water. They will finish the unit with learning about the water cycle and how water moves through different materials. We will then begin our unit on the Physics of Sound. Fourth graders will learn that sound is a form of energy that starts at a source and is detected by a receiver, which is often their ears. Through a series of investigations, they will observe how sound is produced through vibrations, and how those vibrations produce different pitches whether an object is long, short, loose, or taut. Moving forward, fourth grade scientists will explore how sound travels from one point to another through various mediums (substances through which sound waves travel). If there is no medium, no sound can be transmitted.

Fifth grade scientists finished off the solar energy unit and now begin the unit on planetary science. The unit itself emphasizes the use of knowledge and evidence to construct explanations for the structures and motions of objects in the Solar System. Students will consider what they know and how they know it. Through the internal processing of information, students will confirm their knowledge. The first few investigations will familiarize students with maps and images presented in a variety of different scales. They will learn about frame of reference and point of view. They will develop a sense of the planet Earth as a tiny base to launch an inquiry into the vast reaches of the solar system.

Extended Day
Jenny Coeur
 

Happy February! Extended Day runs Monday-Thursday from 3:40-5:30, and on Friday from 12:00-5:30. Contact me at 978-342-6053 x306 or jcoeur@applewild.org for care requests or more info about our program. If you have a contract and would like to adjust your hours, feel free to reach out.

Stay tuned for details about our Spring Break Camp, set for the week of March 11th. It will run from 9:00-3:00 each day with a before-care option beginning at 8:30. Lots of special activities, indoor and outdoor free-play time, and fun with friends is in store! Keep an eye out for our flier, coming home this month. 

Important February  Dates to Remember: 

February 1                   3:30 French Club for grades 4 - 8, 3:30 Ski Club

February 4                   NO SCHOOL for Students: Parent Conferences in Lower School; Extended Day available. Please bring your child’s progress report with you to your meeting.

February 5                   Lunar New Year

                                    Bring a Parent to School in kindergarten

February 7                   Bring a Parent to School in kindergarten

February 8                   9:45 All School  Assembly , 3:30 Ski Club

Feb. 11 - 15                 The Book Fair comes to the Marshall Foyer

February 14                 Valentine’s Day

                                    Arc buddies visit third grade

February 15                 Ski Club make-up

February 18                 Presidents’ Day; No School

February 19                 Professional Day; No School for students

February 20                 10:00 Second graders go to The Gables

February 21                 3:30- 5:00 Family Math Afternoon

February 24                 One Hundredth Day of School, hopefully

March 1                       Dr. Seuss’ Birthday: Pajama Day in K - 5!

9:45 Seventh and Eighth Grade Play

Jennifer Raterman