Dear SCS Families:

The new year is well under way, and we continue to work hard, be kind, and have as much fun as is allowed. Thank you for sending your children to school prepared for below average temperatures. I think that many of us pride ourselves on raising hearty New Hampshire children, and you know as well as I do it is all about the layers.

In case you did not hear, in the Fall of 2017 the students at SCS raised over five hundred dollars for Hurricane Relief. Over the Holiday break, sixth grade teacher, Justin Chapman, visited Puerto Rico with his family and delivered a check to fellow teacher, Jessica Ramos. With Jessica’s guidance the Chapmans used the money our students raised to help purchase beds for children in Puerto Rico. I am so proud of our students, our student council, and our faculty for reaching out and making a difference.

petittiReading, Writing, Social Studies: Right before break the sixth grade class visited our room and read The Mitten by Jan Brett. Afterwards 6th grade students helped their Primary Multiage partners make a special ornament.  During the same week, the Primary Multiage walked to the Benz Center to visit with some of the seniors in our community.  They sang songs to their wonderful audience led by Ms. Dassori and then with giggles and pride they gave each senior a pair of socks filled with handmade items from all the students at SCS.  Attached to the front of each sock (stocking) were cards that the Primary and Middle Multiage children wrote to each senior. All of us at SCS want to thank all of you who made this project possible by donating socks for the seniors in our community, Thank you!


Science: Following the holiday break, we worked on an investigation to answer the focus question:  What earth material is smaller than silt? Students were given time to explore with this material (clay) and then predicted what would happen to this material if put into water and shaken up. Students have compiled several quality written reflections on their investigations in this unit on 'River Rocks.'
Math:  Ms. Busnach’s Rookies have become masters of fact families.  Using fact triangles, they have been able to determine the two related addition facts and the two related subtraction facts.  Now we are starting to dig deeper into subtraction.  Students will be identifying and demonstrating different methods of solving subtraction problems. As always, we continue to practice doubles facts, compliments of ten, and using words to explain how a problem was solved.

hoagHappy New Year!  Everyone in Upper Multiage enjoyed creating and sharing their Christmas vacation slideshows when we came back to school last week.  This was a great way to reconnect, while students worked on their listening and speaking skills.  We had the opportunity to travel down to ILES this past Wednesday to watch a presentation by PSU’s theatrical group, TIGER, which was a great success.  We also want to welcome our new student Tatiana.  Look for her picture in this newsletter!
ELA:  We have compiled a wide variety of non-fiction materials to gain an understanding of Civil Rights and the Civil Rights Movement. This week, students were highly engaged and asked many thought provoking questions as this topic was introduced. Jim Crow Laws and School Segregation were the focus of some activities and discussions. Viewing some original footage from the 1950’s and 1960’s sparked lively conversation. The book, Let Them Play, written by Margot Theis Raven, enlightened the students to the fact that the Civil Rights Movement affected people of all ages in many settings.

chapmanProject D.C.: The return from Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend will mark the start of Project D.C.! It’s hard to believe, but we are just ten weeks away from our trip to our nation’s capital city.  Project D.C. will prepare this group by helping them learn about the museums, monuments, and buildings that they will visit.  We will also explore the question, “What is the American experience?” We will further the topic by asking, “Does Washington, D.C.  represent the American experience of all Americans?”
Thank you to all the families that supported this evening’s Project D.C. Read-a-thon.  The students and I greatly appreciate your help through delivering of pizzas, serving as guest readers, setting up breakfast, and making pledges to our readers.  The read-a-thon is a great way for the students to take some ownership over the fundraising that makes this trip possible, while having a lot of fun in the process.  Thank you.
Language Arts: We are nearing the end of Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief.  The students are becoming quite skilled at applying the Notice and Note Signposts and using them as a tool for reading comprehension.  During Project D.C., we will be reading James L. Swanson’s Chasing Lincoln’s Killer.  This book gives the history behind the events leading up to and following President Lincoln’s assassination at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C.  This books is the middle school version of the book Manhunt, by the same author, and it gives the students a great understanding of the time period, an opportunity to explore the question, “What is the American experience?,” as well as deeper understanding of the significance of the theater that we will visit on the third night of our trip.
The sixth graders are also wrapping up their ancient Greece focus topic research.  Over the next few weeks they will write about what they have learned and create a museum piece for our Ancient Civilizations museum.
Students will also begin planning a short story that takes place in Washington, D.C.  While in the city they will take notes, photographs, and short videos of the locations where their stories take place, and then use this research to further enhance the aspect of setting in their stories.
Math: The Upper Multiage Veterans are halfway through the fourth unit of Everyday Math.  Currently they are learning about the coordinate grid, and soon we will be learning how to add and subtract using decimal numbers.
The sixth graders just finished Unit 3.  Their next unit will focus on algebraic expressions and equations.  This will include order of operations, the distributive property, inequalities, and absolute value.
Science: Students have been learning about chemical reactions. They have studied what to observe to determine if a chemical reaction has taken place. I have really enjoyed seeing them further the discussion beyond the scope of the FOSS program, as they have chosen to use temperature probes to observe which reactions are exothermic (giving off heat) and which are endothermic (absorbing heat).  They have also done some Google searching and experimenting to determine the chemical compounds of certain reactants and products that were not clearly defined in the program.  Great work by these sixth grade scientists!

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