~Newell ES Hosts Parent Curriculum Night~

During the month of November, NES hosted a special evening for parents to visit and learn more about the curriculum that our talented teachers use to instill a passion in our children for life-long learning. The Parent Curriculum Night was designed to highlight Reader’s & Writer’s Workshop, Fundations & Word Study, and EnVisions Math. Teachers prepared a program overview for each area, examined program goals and objectives, and provided parents with helpful tips and tools to further support their child’s learning at home.  

It would be impossible for me to share all of the invaluable strategies, techniques, and best practices that teachers highlighted during the evening, however I thought it would be helpful to provide you with a brief overview of each curriculum area. Please feel free to ask your child’s teacher about any of these programs.

            ~Reader’s Workshop: Growing Readers

Students are assessed by the classroom teacher to determine the appropriate reading level. Students are able to select literature that supports their individual reading level. These books gradually increase in complexity in the areas of word knowledge, comprehension, and fluency. As students read, reflect and discuss their books, they are becoming more familiar with the specific reading skills at each level. While reading, students are learning about the text and making text-to-text or text-to-self connections. In addition, teachers are conferencing with students about their reading and how to have deep book conversations versus cheap or simple conversations. Lastly, you can help your child at home by encouraging them to read, asking them to read aloud to you, and to discuss what they are reading with an older sibling or adult.


~Writer’s Workshop: Growing Strong, Confident Writers

During Writer’s Workshop students have many opportunities to write in a variety of different genres while developing a sense of independence and a love for writing. Students have their own personal journals which are decorated with their favorite pictures of family members to help them remember special times that they can write about. Teacher generated mini-lessons are used to model certain writing skills and to encourage students to apply these newly learned skills to their own writing. Rubrics are used to provide students with valuable feedback regarding strengths and areas of focus for their writing piece. The more students write, the more they build their skills!


~ Fundations & Word Study

Fundations is the name of the word/phonics program that we use in our kindergarten through 2nd grade classes. This program focuses on teaching students the letters and sounds of the alphabet in a very systematic and structured way. In 1st and 2nd grade students begin to put the letters/sounds together to form words. You may have heard of Echo the Owl who helps the children along with learning the different sounds each letter can make. As students move into 3rd and 4th grade, they begin to focus more on the study of words and the different meaning words can have. There is also an emphasis on applying these words to their everyday writing.


            ~EnVisions Math

EnVisions Math is a problem based, visual and interactive program that implements technology to introduce and reinforce math concepts. The program builds upon concepts introduced in kindergarten and 1st grade and revisits these concepts in later grades with more complexity.  The most important piece of information to know about this math program is that it offers an on-line support feature to assist parents when helping their children at home with their math homework. Please ask your child’s teacher more about this!


As an ending note, I would like to take a moment to thank all of our teachers who volunteered their time to plan and present during this important parent evening. A very special THANK YOU to our Reading Team: Andrea Murphy, Nancy Qualiano, Jane Kern, Kelly Bores, Michelle Heissler, and Susan Downs. A very special THANK YOU to our Writing Team: Pam Owens, Julia Rosenberger, Michelle Marcantonio, and Jane Lee-You. A very special THANK YOU to our Word Study Team: Allison Tate, Melissa DeSarno, and Karin Barrett. And last but certainly not least, a very special THANK YOU to our EnVisions Math Team: Lesley Walulak, Corey Hosler, and Lauren Usignol. If it were not for our teachers, we would not have been able to host this informative evening for parents. I thank each and every one of you for your dedication to our students and parents! You are an OUTSTANDING Group of TEACHERS!!

Below are a few pictures to highlight the evening-Enjoy!


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Fall Festivities at Newell ES

The end of October was filled with many special student activities and festivities to celebrate the fall season. Our entire first grade participated in Pumpkin Math Day. This was a day where students used their math skills to estimate, measure, count, and weigh pumpkins. Parent volunteers assisted small groups of students in each class with the math tasks above. I had the opportunity to visit a few classes and saw the pumpkin action for myself! Everyone began by estimating the number of seeds inside their pumpkin. The next step involved students collecting the seeds and comparing their estimations to the actual number of seeds. This is where the parent volunteers were really put to work. Some parents wore gloves and some decided to reach in bare-handed, either way all of the seeds came out of the pumpkin in order for students to get an exact count of the number of seeds. Students then used egg cartons to place the collected seeds into groups of 10 to assist them with counting all of the seeds. As an ending activity, students and parents gathered to share their math findings and each student completed a pumpkin picture book.

In addition to the unique learning activities that occurred in the classrooms, the students of Newell ES participated in several Halloween Festivities. On Monday, October 31st, students arrived to school in costume in preparation for our Halloween Parade and Halloween Parties. Costumes were very creative and included the Smurfs, Snoopy, bumblebees, ladybugs, witches and goblins–oh my! As Ms. Silva and I visited class parties, we had an opportunity to remind students to be safe in the evening while trick or treating and also watched students participate in games such as Halloween Bingo and create crafty crafts!

As an ending note, I would like to take a moment to thank all of our parent volunteers who assisted our first grade students with Pumpkin Math Day and the volunteers who helped make our class parties so much fun. I realize how busy everyone is these days and want you to know that I truly value the home/school partnership and greatly appreciate the time you give to the students and staff of NES!

Enjoy the pictures!

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