Walnut Square Elementary School
Parent Update- October 25, 2020
Model of Instruction at Walnut Square School
At the start of this school year 2020-2021, our Kindergarten teachers decided they would each take a cohort, either A or B. They believed this model would give them the ability to focus only on one group of students, whether they were in person or remote. Grades one and two decided on a different model, taking a group of students from cohort A and another group from cohort B and teaching them, some in front while at the same time others were participating remotely. This model meant that each day they would teach some students in class with them while the others were with them remotely. After being in school more than a month both grade one and two teachers felt that the model they were using was not as effective as the Kindergarten model in terms of keeping both groups: the in class students and remote students, engaged in the lessons as well as ensuring that all learners were getting the individualized support required. Starting November 5th, both grades one and two will transition to the model of instruction that the K teachers have implemented. This means that each teacher will take a cohort. This will allow them to focus on one group of students and provide these students whether in person or remotely, with their undivided attention. Both grade one and two teachers have sent letters home to parents further explaining in great detail what this will look like and what it means for any changes in your child’s classroom teacher. Should you have further questions please communicate with your child’s teacher or myself by contacting the school at 978-374-3471 or via email.
Black and Orange Days
Next Saturday, October 31st is Halloween. While we are not having Halloween parties or having students wear costumes, we are encouraging students to wear black and orange on a specific day: For Cohort A- Black and Orange day is Tuesday, October 27th. For cohort B- Black and Orange day is Friday, October 30th. Students who wear black and orange on their day will will a small prize.
PTO Members Needed
Our PTO needs you! We need your creative thoughts and ideas on how to fundraise and plan events that are fun and safe in this time of Covid-19.
Late last week I sent a PTO flyer out via robo email, out asking for parent volunteers for our PTO. We have scheduled a remote PTO meeting this Tuesday, 10/27 starting at 3:45 PM. Here is the link: Meeting ID meet.google.com/gkr-wkbe-ctg I am also attaching the flyer again. Please join us for this very important.
Kindergarten students have finished up their initial iReady assessments in Reading and Math. Beginning on Monday, students will begin completing online iReady lessons at home that are tailored specifically to their individual learning needs. Please check our daily slideshow in Google Classroom this week for instructions on accessing iReady at home. Students will be introduced to the Letterland characters Harry Hat Man and Munching Mike. We will practice their sounds and letter shapes throughout the week while also reading and writing the word my. In Math, students will continue to read, write, and make numbers to 10 while using their counting strategies. Finally, students will learn about the life cycle and parts of a pumpkin in Science and begin to understand the voting process in Social Studies. We look forward to an exciting week!
Grade 1 Update
First graders are working hard at school and at home! In Letterland they are working on words with short e (Eddy Elephant) and reviewing th, sh and ck. In math we continue to focus on addition and subtraction strategies including doubles, doubles plus one, related facts and facts to ten. We are also working on problem solving using the D.I.C.E. protocol. We are having fun with Halloween stories and related writing pieces. We are looking forward to Black and Orange Day on Tuesday and Friday.
Grade 2 Update
In second grade, we are beginning topic 2 in Envisions Math. This topic covers even and odd numbers and arrays. We made our own analog clocks and continue to practice telling time within the classroom. For writing we are introducing “how to ” paragraphs. Our first assignment will be how to carve a pumpkin using sequence words such as first, then, next and last. In reading we are reviewing the following text features, table of contents, heading, diagram, captions, glossary, and index. As the election draws near, the students will read about election day. Finally, in science the children will have a STEM activity that involves creating a pulley.
Progress Reports Issued 10/27 and 10/29
Trimester one progress reports will be issued to students in each cohort this week. Cohort A students will receive their progress report on Tuesday, October 27th while students in cohort B will receive their progress report on Thursday, October 29th. Accompanying the progress reports will be letters explaining in detail the progress reports.
Remember that Daylight Savings time ends at 2:00 AM on Sunday, November 1, 2020 and we must turn our clocks back an hour on that day. Have a good week!
Beth Kitsos- Principal