September 2019

Slice of the Apple

Lower School News

Tally Lent

Lower School Head

Our new school year has started off smoothly and very happily! It was wonderful to welcome our students into the Marshall Building at Open House two weeks ago and also on the first days of school last week. The students were eager to return to school or to start Applewild for the first time and were happy to see their friends. They are hard at work getting used to schedules, new classmates and teachers, and classroom expectations. We have forty-one new students this year in Lower School and our community is taking good care of all of them. There have already been a number of occasions where I have seen kindnesses performed spontaneously: holding the door for others, inviting kids to join in games, assisting younger ones at the salad bar or at the lunch table. Our Applewild community is shining strongly! 


Our students have looked great this week; thank you all for your support of our dress code. Please note that all students in grades one through five should wear collared shirts every day. Dresses, however, do not have to have collars. Dresses do have to cover the shoulders: no spaghetti straps, please. Outdoor jackets need to be removed when indoors. How we dress for school demonstrates the respect we have for our work, our school, and our community. Our students look like they are ready to work well. 

Your children are likely to be tired at the end of the day and will benefit from a simplified schedule at home and in the evening. It takes a good three to six weeks for the children (and adults!) to adjust to early morning wake-ups, busy days filled with educational adventures and transitions, meeting new friends, and eating on a set schedule. Often, when children get home from school they do not want to share what went on in their days, but need a good snack and some quiet time. 

To help you know what goes on in a general way during your children’s days, the Lower School sends home our monthly A Slice of the Apple. This newsletter brings you information about what your children will be doing in kindergarten through the fifth grade during the upcoming month. It will give you a taste of the range of activities, interests, and energy that make up our Lower School. Perhaps it will provide a springboard for conversations at home about what the children are doing here at school every day, and it may give you ideas about how home and school can work together to enrich your children’s educational experience. We will send this home electronically and it will be posted on our school website. I know that lots of families find the information in the Slice very useful and hang a copy in a central location for easy reference. Please look for the Slice on the first Friday of each month. 

Communication strengthens our home and school partnership. Please feel free to ask questions, big or small, as they arise. You can always send in a note to your children’s teachers, email them, or call them at school with any concerns. We all have voicemail, so you may leave teachers a message if they are busy teaching, and they will return your call as soon as they are free. You may also feel free to call me. I am here to oversee your children’s progress through the Lower School and I am always happy to talk with parents and work together to make the children’s educational experience as exciting, challenging, and joyful as possible.

Our Curriculum Night was last night. It was wonderful to see many of you in the Alumni Theater and in homerooms. Hopefully, the evening gave you a helpful overview of grade level curricula and expectations. We had sign ups for Parent Conferences last night, too. Those conferences will be on Monday, November 4 and Extended Day services will be available for the time of your appointment with your child’s teacher, if you would like to have that service. At your Parent Conference you will get specific and individual information about your child. If you have questions or concerns that come up, please do not wait until your conference time to share them. Your children’s teachers and I are here to answer your questions and are always happy to hear from you.

Our educational adventure is just beginning – we're going to have a wonderful year! 

Kindergarten News
Micaela Caiozzo
Bonnie Buckley

Welcome to kindergarten!  Students have been eager and excited to celebrate this new beginning.  We are happy to begin a new year as well!

This fall kindergarten students will be learning all about our school routine and making new friends. They have already had their first experience visiting Specials (P.E., Art, Music, French, Library, Shop)!

Kindergartners have begun to learn more about life at Applewild by experiencing family-style lunches with their fellow Lower School peers and teachers.  Soon they will be meeting their fifth grade buddies. Also, together as a class, we will construct our own set of rules. These rules will enable kindergartners to learn in a classroom where everyone respects themselves, others, and the environment.

Lots of academic learning is in store for September. Our theme for social studies will be community.  We will be discussing families, members of our school community, and members of the larger community. The concept of working together as a community will be reinforced by introducing classroom jobs. Students were introduced to our Let’s Find Out  magazine, a weekly news magazine that will teach kindergartners about various social studies and science topics throughout the year.

Our science theme this month and into October will be apples.  We will be discussing how they grow, making predictions, and engaging in scientific thinking.  Math and art projects will enrich our apple unit. We will be going on a field trip to George Hill Orchard in early October (stay tuned for more information)!  We will also be making applesauce with some of the apples we pick on our field trip. Students will learn about the history of Johnny Appleseed.

Phonics work this month will be an introduction to/review of the alphabet.  Students will learn/review the sounds of each letter, identify keywords associated with these letters, and practice writing the words. Applewild uses the Wilson Fundations Program to teach reading and writing skills throughout the year.  Kindergartners will also begin drawing and writing in their weekly journals.

In math, students will learn about numbers to ten.  We will focus on recognizing, writing, counting, ordering, distinguishing more and fewer (number sense).  Students will work on recognizing the value of these numbers, and represent them in different ways (e.g. ten cubes, ten digi-blocks, ten beads).  We will also be working on the calendar and counting the days we are in school each day at meeting time.

September is a big adjustment period for kindergartners, as they learn many new routines.  Please be aware that they will be a bit more tired than usual these next few weeks. Plenty of rest at home will help through these transition times.  It is important that your child eats a healthy breakfast before school each day. This will help them tremendously to strengthen their abilities to focus and learn.

As you and your child become more familiar with the unique culture of Applewild, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, comments, or concerns. You may email me at mcaiozzo@applewild.org, or leave a voicemail at 978 342-6053 x309.  Although I usually cannot be reached during the school day, I will get back to you as soon as I can! I am looking forward to a fantastic year ahead and, again, welcome to Applewild!

Kindergarten at Devens

Jenn Bevilacqua

 Welcome to Kindergarten! We are all so excited to begin our new year at Applewild. Our month will be full of lots of academic experiences. In social studies we will be discussing and exploring our community, including friends, families and school community.
Our science theme this month and next month will be a fall theme including apples, Johnny Appleseed, pumpkins, looking for signs of fall and nature walks. 

Introduction of phonics will begin this month. The students will learn the name, sound the name and keywords associated with the letter of the alphabet. We will be practicing our letter formation and reading and writing skills. We will also begin our weekly journals.

In math, the students will learn about numbers to 5. We will focus on recognizing, writing, counting ordering, distinguishing more and fewer. We will be doing calendar, learning the months of the year, days of the week, ordinal numbers, and counting the days we are in school.

September is a very busy month for your child, as they learn the routines of the day. Plenty of rest  and a good breakfast will help during this transition time.

As always if you have any questions, concerns or comments please don’t hesitate to talk to me in person or email me at jbevilacqua@applewild.org

I am looking forward to a wonderful year with you and your child at Applewild!

First Grade News

Lisa Barrette

Happy September!  It is great to begin a new year (and a new grade) at Applewild!  September has already been an exciting month with the opening of school, reconnecting with our old friends, and getting to know our new classmates.  We have been busy learning new routines, making new friends, and sharing our hopes and dreams for first grade.

In reading, first graders will be individually evaluated and will engage in center activities that focus on reading, writing, and phonics.  We will be working with the children to assess their individual reading and writing skills. Once this is completed, guided reading groups will take off!

In language arts, the focus will be on developing penmanship skills and creative writing.  We will work on the correct size and formation of letters on the lines, handwriting posture, and pencil grip. The students will also be writing in their first grade journals.

Upon completion of our math assessments, first grade students will work to compose and decompose numbers within 10. Students will use number bonds as they practice adding and subtracting within 10, draw pictures to show their thinking, and write number sentences. Students will also look for numbers embedded within other numbers and will practice solving word problems.  The skills taught at this time will provide a foundation for your child as he or she learns to add and subtract greater numbers later in the school year.

Our first social studies theme will be community.  We will begin the unit by greeting our new classmates, talking about ways to work together and establishing classroom rules.  We will continue this theme as we move on to learning about our Applewild Community. The students will tour all of the buildings on campus and learn the names of many of the Applewild faculty and staff. 

Many thanks to parents for your support and partnership as we work together to create an exciting year for these first graders. If you ever have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me via phone or email.

First Grade at Devens

Katie Kennedy

Welcome to first grade at the Devens campus! September begins our first month together with the new first grade at Devens. First graders will be learning routines and developing friendships. We will create hopes and dreams for the year as well as develop a classroom agreement. 

First graders will have drumming, yoga, art, Manderain studies, robotics and nature studies here at the Devens Campus this year. When our Fitchburg Campus visits begin, first graders will go to physical education, library, and woodshop each visit, as well as experience family-style lunch at the dining hall and spend time with the Fitchburg first grade. 

First grade literacy will begin with a review of phonics and sight words in Fundations. New skills will be added gradually. In addition, I will begin to assess students' reading abilities and start to make individual reading goals and guided reading lessons. Students will begin to build reading stamina during independent reading time.

First graders will develop writing skills in September. They will practice and refine proper letter formations. First graders will work on writing creative pieces with phonetic spelling as well as standard spelling. Each student has a writing journal that they will be working in each day. 

In math, students will work to compose and decompose numbers within 10. Students will also use number bonds, drawings and math sentences to represent mathematical thinking and concepts. Unit 1 is the foundation for future units in math this year.

In science, students begin nature studies observing the summer to fall season change. First graders have been collecting nature objects to identify and describe in their science journals. In addition, we have been observing the monarch life cycle with our very own caterpillar that has changed into a chrysalis and will complete the metamorphosis into a butterfly.

In social studies,we will be focusing on community. We will explore this concept within our own classroom community, family communities and the greater applewild community.

Thanks to families for supporting our first grade learning journey! I am very excited to see each student grow and develop this year. If you have any questions or comments I welcome you to email or call me. 

Second Grade News

Jenny Coeur

Hello, and welcome to Applewild’s second grade!  The students are already busy making new friends and reconnecting with old ones.  We are all looking forward to a year of learning, sharing, and maybe even a little fun...  We’d like to welcome to our class and to Applewild: Ailee, Ayden, and Miles. We’re so glad to have them join us!  Following are some highlights of what second graders will be doing in September. 

In reading, we’ll first check in with students’ oral reading and comprehension individually. Then, we’ll launch into our first set of flexible reading groups, where we’ll work on reading strategies, activities, and thoughtful discussions throughout the year.  Mrs. Lent will help lead groups this year, as well. For language arts, the class will begin our main phonics program, Fundations, which encompasses spelling and handwriting instruction. We will also begin practicing grammar, usage, and mechanics skills, as well as focus on writing using the Six Traits method.

In math, students have explored some of our classroom math tools through guided discovery. Now jumping into our curriculum, we’ll focus on addition and subtraction with sums and differences through 100. Next, we’ll place these skills into a measurement context while practicing addition and subtraction of length. Students will receive classroom practice and enrichment as needed, based on regular assessments.  Please know that a major benchmark for second grade is to have solid math facts through 20, so practicing these at home as well as in the classroom will be important. These facts will make for a smooth transition when approaching regrouping work later in the year.

In social studies, we begin our year by considering our hopes for the second grade year and how we can help each other achieve them. The students will collaboratively create the class rules based on this work, and they will present these ideas at an upcoming Common Time. Second graders are engaged in many important community-building activities this month in order to carefully shape our class community and expectations: morning meetings, modeling and practicing of routines, songs, indoor and outdoor games, and work and life sharing through assignments and small projects. This work will set us up for a successful year together.

I look forward to an excellent year with our students, and I thank you for your partnership! Please always feel free to reach me at jcoeur@applewild.org or 978-342-6053 x316. Keep an eye out each Friday for our newsletter, The Second Grade Scoop, and check out our classroom website at http://mrscoeur.weebly.com for our class calendar, homework assignments, resource links, and more.

Happy New School Year to you all!

Third Grade News

Sharon Greenwood

“September days are here, With summer's best of weather, And autumn's best of cheer.” (from September by Helen Hunt Jackson). Cheers! September marks the transition back to school, and your children are now third graders! I am very excited to have joined the Applewild community, and look forward to working with all of the third graders and their families for a wonderful year of learning together! We have one new student in our class, Parker Bartus, so please be sure to welcome him, his younger brother Carson, who is in the kindergarten class, and his parents Jennifer and Jonathan.

During our first week of school, we engaged in activities designed to help students learn about one another, define how they would like our class to work together as a community, and explore the classroom and the school. New third grade responsibilities have been introduced, which include stacking the chairs after lunch, being messengers collecting notes from home in the morning, ringing the recess bell, and using the elevator to bring up snacks on the fruit cart. There is also the added responsibility of being the elders and the models during K-3 or 1-3 activities, such as during snack, recess, Friday Common Time, and Appleseed Chorus. This week has shown me that these third graders are clearly up for the task! 

Students have begun to use organizational planners for the first time, and are responsible for bringing them to and from home on a daily basis. We discussed how to select “Just Right Books” and students have begun to explore the classroom library and have picked independent reading books. They have helped to define and have practiced important classroom routines. 

Academically, students have jumped into math, supported by Eureka Math as well as manipulatives from Digi-Block programs.  We will study multiplication and division with a focus on problem solving using units of 2, 3, 4, 5, and 10. In reading, we will begin out first book entitled, Our Strange New Land: Elizabeth’s Jamestown Colony Diary, by Patricia Hermes. This novel is in diary format about a child’s experiences in 1609 Jamestown, Virginia, which ties directly into out first social studies unit focusing on the colony. While reading, students will keep a journal for reflection and creative writing. We will follow current events using the Newsela reading program. Additionally, students will review important spelling patterns and phonics with Fundations, login to their first Google accounts, begin practicing keyboarding skills, and will try their first set of cursive letters!

Third grade will continue its collaboration with The Arc of Opportunity of North Central Massachusetts located in downtown Fitchburg. In upcoming weeks, Program Director of Family Support and Recreation Madeline Merchant will visit to kick off this wonderful community connection and answer students’ questions about The Arc. We plan to meet with  our buddies from The Arc once a month as well as explore various intellectual, learning, and developmental challenges through books and discussion over the year. 

I greatly value being partners in your children’s school experiences. Please do stay connected with any concerns or questions; you can reach me at sgreenwood@applewild.org or (978) 342-6053 EXT 315. Thank you!

Fourth Grade News

Jenn Buck

The month of September will be filled with many transitions, new traditions, and exciting adventures!  Much of our time this month will be spent on community building. We welcome a new student into our grade!  Katie Higgins is a wonderful addition, and we look forward to getting to know her better and have her and her family as part of our larger Applewild family.  We will also set classroom expectations and rules and learn the new routines of being a fourth grader. We will spend our recesses with the fifth graders on the Marshall and Crocker lawns.  Also with the fifth graders, we went on an orientation trip to Camp Starfish. The emphasis of the trip was team building, and we had great fun.

Our first chapter in math is place value, which is the most important concept to solidify, as all other math work throughout the year will build upon what we learn straight off.  We will cover place value of multi-digit numbers, comparing multi-digit whole numbers, rounding multi-digit whole numbers, and whole number addition and subtraction. Time will also be spent on applying what we learn to real-life scenarios through word problems. 

In reading we will complete follow-up activities related to our summer reading book, Riding Freedom, and then we'll begin our first reading unit of the year with a non-fiction reading selection about the French and Indian War, Struggle for a Continent, as well as a historical fiction selection, Look to the Hills, that takes place during that same time period. These readings will kick off our cross-curricular reading/social studies approach.  Be sure to ask your fourth grader about our new independent reading program, “What’s Your BHAG?”, which we are in the process of kicking off.  

Rounding out our Language Arts program will be familiar programs to many of you: Wordly Wise (vocabulary development), G.U.M. (Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics), and the use of both Six Trait Writing and EmPOWER to guide our writing curriculum.  In addition, we will use the Spellography program as an age-appropriate extension to last year’s Fundations.  

I am greatly looking forward to a year full of learning, fun, and partnership with you. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch should any questions or concerns arise.

Fifth Grade News

Christine Davis

Jake Schrader

So that you might have a better idea of what the not-too-distant future holds, here are a few things that we’ll be doing in the month of September.

During these first few weeks the students will focus on settling in, learning the classroom procedures and routines, and showing off the many skills that they bring with them to fifth grade.  We begin each day with a morning meeting time that allows a natural classroom community to emerge. Connecting with one another, participating in activities and games together, and working through challenges as a class helps the group become more comfortable and friendly with each other for the rest of the year. 

We’re looking forward to two big events on our calendar this September.  First, we will meet you; our new fifth grade parents on Thursday, September 12th for Curriculum Night.  Then, weather permitting, on Friday, September 13th we’ll be off to Camp Starfish in Rindge, New Hampshire.  That trip promises to be filled with exciting activities designed to foster teamwork, trust, and a sense of community. The same skills and community building we have been working on during morning meeting times will be put to the test with a series of obstacles and challenges at Camp Starfish. 

Once a level of comfort is achieved, we’ll tackle more academic topics. In mathematics, we will study place value and number sense. We will tackle the idea of each place value being exactly ten times the value of the place to its right and one tenth the value of the place to its left. We will multiply and divide by powers of ten, compare decimals, and learn to write numbers in several different forms in the upcoming weeks.  In social studies class we will be learning how to read different kinds of maps. Then we will put our skills to the test by making maps of our own emerging countries and civilizations. Finally, we'll have discussions of our summer reading books as well as the steps of the writing process during language arts lessons.  

We are looking forward to getting to know you and your children during these first few weeks.  It promises to be a busy and exciting September!

Physical Education 

Paulo Valentim

Students had a great first week in PE class! We worked on introductions, setting expectations, and building teamwork. For the month of September, all of Lower School will be working on locomotor and soccer skills. This week we focused on understanding what locomotor skills are, and how we use these skills in PE class and while playing soccer. In the coming weeks, students will work on dribbling, passing, trapping, and shooting the soccer ball. As classes become more comfortable with these skills, we will begin scrimmaging. All year in Physical Education class, we will work on moving with a calm and under-control body, teamwork, sportsmanship, perseverance, and having fun! 

La Classe de français

Madame Katy Niose

Bienvenue à la rentrée scolaire ! Welcome to a brand-new year of Lower School French!  Your children will be learning French metacognitively, interactively and naturally, just as they have learned their maternal language.  Third, fourth, and fifth graders will also enjoy conversation and “TPR” (“Total Physical Responsive” learning, although the focus will be shifted to grammatical structure, in addition to honing reading and writing skills.  We will continue to benefit from our Promethean Activboard, playing games, singing songs, and having fun while reinforcing French vocabulary. We will also continue to make connections across the curriculum: integrating science, math, physical education, music, art, and drama, as well as periodic partnering with Upper School Latin and Spanish students for several engaging activities. 

For students in grades five and above who are interested in more French conversation, culture, and cuisine the French Club will be meeting the first Friday of each month after school: stay tuned for more information!  Please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns, or suggestions at kniose@applewild.org. I am looking forward to a fabulous, fun year ahead in Lower School French!

Music and Drama Notes

Erin Schlesinger

UPCOMING PERFORMANCES

4th and 5th Radio Play

Wednesday, November 20th at 7:00 p.m.

Friday, November 22nd at 9:45 a.m.

Snow Date is Thursday, November 21st at 7:00 p.m.

We are off and running! There are Orff instruments ringing, and body percussion being practiced. There is review of locomotor and non-locomotor movement, and new movements to be learned. There are Mirrors and Shadows and wonderful new warm-ups. With all the new music and new performances coming up we are really excited to get to work here in the Lower School… stay tuned!

Recorder Ensemble and Fifth Grade Band

Frank Bonanno

The fourth grade begins the instrumental program by playing the recorder. This is a great stepping-stone into instrumental music. We will be focusing on three basic skills to build a strong instrumental foundation.

 1- Reading the name of the notes on the staff and associating it with the correct finger.

 2 - Counting the rhythms on the staff using their foot to guide them.

 3 - Blowing into the recorder with the proper air stream & articulation.

We will work on each of these skills separately and then combine them by playing the recorder and reading the music on the staff.

Fifth Grade Beginner Band: The first day of school the French Music Co. and I had a demonstration to show the different band instruments. The fifth grade got to listen to and view the different instruments up close. We explained the way the different instruments produce different sounds. Then the students got to choose an instrument they liked.

The woodwind and brass players will be working on setting up the instruments properly and trying to produce the right sound with just the mouthpiece. The percussionists will be working on correct hand position, how to strike the drum and counting the rhythms out loud. Bass players will be working on how to hold the bass and finger the correct note without looking at the fret board.

In both the Fourth Grade Recorder Ensemble and Fifth Grade Beginner Band, I will be stressing the importance of a good practice schedule at home.

Lower School Art

Sara Sanford

We are off to a wonderful star in the Lower School studio! Kindergarteners are learning about Norman Rockwell and his painting, The Golden Rule. This is a great way for us to talk about kindness, as well as work on our painting skills. Each student is creating a family portrait! In first grade, we are studying the portrait painting of Pablo Picasso. We will be learning about the artist’s life, and his discovery of the style of Cubism. Our Picasso style portraits will be exciting! 

In second grade, we are learning about the artist Vincent Van Gogh. We will be studying the genre of still life, and reading some stories about Van Gogh and his time in Arles, France. Our sunflower drawings will explore composition in a work of art. Third graders are also studying still life, and the artist Paul Cezanne. We will be looking closely at fruits and vegetables, both inside and outside, and thinking about composition and size in a still life work.

In fourth grade, we are learning about the Pop artist Wayne Thiebaud. His paintings of delicious desserts are our inspiration for our still life paintings. We will learn about patterns and placement, tints of primary colors, and creating shadows with paint. Fifth graders are beginning their plaster sculptures in the style of George Segal. Segal’s installations in many cities are a great inspiration for this long term project of a plaster figure. We will begin our class critiques, sharing our progress, and asking others for their input. We hope to have our first displays by the end of September!

Lower School Shop

Sharon McGowan

Welcome to Lower School Shop!  

Our first week will be filled with shop safety review for our returning students and introduction to shop for our new students.  The children are bright and attentive and ready to get started on their projects! We look forward to working together once a week for the entire school year.

Each wood rack has been refilled, new paints, brushes and other supplies restocked.  The kindergarten and the first grade will begin working on their snowman fences and balance toys respectively. 

The second grade is planning the color scheme of their tool boxes as they begin cutting the pieces.  We will introduce the mitre saw to the second grade, The second grade will practice how to measure in ¼” and  ⅛ th inch increments.

In third grade shop will build a wooden loom.  We have had great success with this project. After building looms in shop, we will move them next door to Mrs. Sanford’s art studio to string the weft and warp.  Then the magic of the weaving begins resulting in truly lovely projects. The third grade will be introduced to measurements in 1/16th inch increments.

The fourth grade will construct a working “pump lamp.”   It is very exciting and a good deal of skill is needed to fit the small pieces together.  We will review and construct an electrical circuit to power the lamp. We all look forward to the completion of the lamp and “lighting up” Common Time!

All the grades will have access to additional projects as time allows.  There are several choices including a balance toy, bookshelf, and picture frame.

Fifth Grade Woodworking

Skip Ciccarelli

The fifth graders have been very pleased to be in the  upper school woodworking shop. They have been busy learning woodworking processes and procedures. The students have all started the fifth grade stool project and have learned about being in their work zone while using the hand saw. There have been many comments about how quickly the class goes by. It’s a pleasure working with the fifth graders. 

Lower School Science

Stephanie Roy

It has been a pleasure meeting all of your young scientists and hearing about what they are looking forward to the most in science! I have already gotten so many requests to go explore outside of our classroom and to do experiments that create chemical reactions. Your children have certainly given me a warm welcome to Applewild community and I am eager to continue with our units. We will be working in our hands-on FOSS units learning important scientific concepts and gaining observational skills. To kick off the year the first, second, and third grade will have a short unit on nutrition and then jump right into their fall units.    

First grade is beginning with the study of Air and Weather. Students will be looking for evidence that air is matter—that it is something real. They will explore the properties of air using plastic syringes and tubing. They will observe how air can be captured, how air can be compressed, and how air under pressure can move things around. They will observe daily weather conditions such as temperature, rainfall, cloud cover, wind speed, and wind direction. They will be recording all of this information on a class calendar and in a science journal.

The second grade will be completing a unit on Insects where they will care for and investigate several different insects to discover the secrets of their lives. Some of the insects that will be visiting our class undergo complete metamorphosis, as in the classic case of the butterfly— egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly. Other insects reach maturity by growing through a less dramatic sequence of stages in a process known as simple metamorphosis. Your child may demonstrate a heightened interest in insects over the next several weeks. 

The third grade will be learning about how their bodies work in our Human Body unit. In this unit your child will investigate the basic structural systems of his or her body, which include the skeleton, joints, and muscles, and the ways these systems work together to provide movement and coordination. This is an exciting unit for students. Over the next six to eight weeks they will engage in thoughtful investigations exploring bones, building skeletons, making models, and testing their responses to sensory stimuli.

The fourth grade started the year off with a Water unit. One of the goals of this module is to help students focus their observation skills on water—to begin seeing water in a new light. Through their investigations into the properties of water, how it reacts to heating and cooling, and the processes of evaporation and condensation, students will begin to appreciate how important this unique material is. During this unit we will have a special opportunity to visit the Nashua River Watershed Association (NRWA) River Classroom on October 9th. In preparation we will be reading Lynne Cherry’s A River Ran Wild. Students will learn about what has been done to turn the Nashua River from a severely polluted waterway into a national model of watershed restoration. We will also have Mrs. Chilcoat come to our class on September 25th to give us an introduction to the Nashua River Watershed. Ths canoe-based program creates an understanding of how the quality of the water and the surrounding greenway are a vital part of the ecosystem that directly impacts everyone’s lives.  We will need chaperones for this full day adventure. Thank you in advance to all the parents who will volunteer to chaperone on this exciting trip! Please contact me if you wish to join us on the river.

The fifth grade scientists start the year with a Solar Energy unit. We will focus our investigations on the Sun’s energy. We’ll start by tracking shadow patterns for a day and think about the information we can get from the constantly changing shadows. We will use thermometers to record temperature changes in earth materials as a result of solar heating, and conduct experiments to discover what materials hold the Sun’s energy most effectively. We will go on to make solar water heaters, sorting out the variables that influence the temperature and heating rate of a water-heater system. In our last investigation we will investigate model solar homes and identify some of the variables, such as insulation and direct sunlight, that support energy-efficient solar space heating.

Library 

Molly Wong

During the month of September, all students, new and old, will be introduced to the routines of the library, and listen to some wonderful stories. All students will have time to explore, browse, and experiment with books during each library class. Whether they are learning how to choose a book, find a book, or review a book, the focus is always on individual choice. The sense of autonomy developed by individual choice is a key factor in building a lifelong love of reading. 

Access is also important - our students, like all kids, are more likely to read when we make it easy for them. I am happy to announce a large expansion to the collection of books available to all Applewild students. We recently partnered with the Massachusetts Library System to add a robust collection of eBooks and audiobooks to our collection. In the e-velope you will receive information about our new Sora platform and login information for each will go home via backpack. Also included will be login information for Tales2go, the audiobook platform we launched last spring. 

We still have a large physical book collection in both our school libraries: the Marshall Library in the Lower School and the Ansin Info Center. The books and resources they contain belong to the community, and you are always welcome to make use of them. 

The library is never short of things to do and I rely heavily on volunteers to help keep the books on the shelves for our students! If you’re interested in volunteering, please email me (mwong@applewild.org). I can be very flexible in meeting your schedule, and we will find a time that meets your availability. 

Extended Day

Stephanie Roy

In addition to teaching the young scientists of the Lower School here at Applewild, I am delighted to have the opportunity to see some of those familiar faces at the Extended Day program. During Extended Day, children are able to unwind from the school day with various activities or get a jump start on their homework. We are based out of the multi-purpose room in the Marshall building, which allows kids enough space to enjoy a healthy snack, play games, and/or make a craft. You will also find us playing outside in the fresh air having a game of freeze tag or connecting with nature at the frog pond. This year I am joined with returning Extended Day staff member, Jillian Nowd, a Fitchburg State elementary education major and Applewild community member.

Extended day is available Monday through Thursday from 3:40 (dismissal time) until 5:30 PM, and on Friday from 12:00-5:30 PM. Families may schedule regular weekly care at a discounted rate by signing up for contracted hours, or may call in on an as-needed basis ahead of the day requested. Please reach out to me with any questions about our Extended Day program by emailing sroy@applewild.org or calling (978) 342-6053, Ext. 306.

Extended day will also be provided to families needing child care for curriculum night, Thursday, September 12th from 5pm-6:30pm. For this event a discounted contract rate of $8/hour per child will be charged. Once again, a snack is provided with plenty of engaging activities. Please reach out to me by email or phone (contact information listed above)  should you need this service. 

Important Dates in September

Thursday, September 12: 5- 6:30 Lower School Curriculum Night

Friday, September 13: Fourth and fifth graders go to Camp Starfish for 

in Rindge, NH for their team-building orientation trip. We will be gone all day.

Friday, September 20: School-wide celebration of International Peace 

Day.

Tuesday, September 24: School photos at Fitchburg K - 8 campus

Wednesday, September 25: LS/US Buddies meet each other!

Thursday, September 26: School photos at Devens K & 1 campus

Friday, September 27: 9:45 - 11:00 LS/US Buddy Field Day



Taylor Poucel