Monday Memo 12/5/16

Koji, Telly, Cameron, and Jack like to play computer games during their lunch break.

Koji, Telly, Cameron, and Jack like to play computer games during their lunch break.

NOTES

INDEPENDENCE REQUIRES SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY: Thank you to those who have already joined the faculty and trustees in donating to Riverside this year. You each should have received a personal letter in the mail explaining why we need your financial support in our mission to develop active learners, patient leaders, and engaged citizens. Tuition income simply does not cover the cost of our dynamic and meaningful program, and being part of the supportive community of an independent school requires each of us to give a bit more. The amount is not as important as the act of participating. Please take part in helping us to meet our participation goals:
Staff and Trustees = 100%
Parents > 60%
Alumni > 10%
Grandparents > 30%
Alumni Parents > 20 %

REGULATING INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS: The State Board of Education is continuing with consideration of legislation that could greatly impact independent schools (requiring broad special education services, expensive annual audits, state certification for all teachers, and more). There WILL be a hearing tomorrow, Tuesday, December 6th at 6:00 in St. Johnsbury Academy's Fuller Hall. We want to fill Fuller Hall to its 800-person capacity. Please do mark your calendars and plan to attend, so that we can send a strong message of local interest in this issue. If you plan to offer testimony, it should be limited to 2-minutes, and you should get there at least 30 minutes early to sign up to testify. Another helpful thing to do is to send written testimony to the VSBA (SBE.PublicComment@vermont.gov) and/or VT Digger and the Caledonian Record. Use "SBE Rule 2200 Series" in the subject line of your message.

WINTER FINE ARTS NIGHT: This Thursday at 6:30 is the winter concert and arts night in the barn! Beautiful visual art from Suzanne’s classes will be on display, and students have been preparing various musical pieces to perform for you. All 2-8th graders should be prepared to show up on the 8th at 5:50, 40 minutes before the concert, for a warm up in the yurt before returning to their seats in the barn with you. K-1st graders can simply meet in the barn. All students should wear the appropriate clothing for a concert, that means no jeans, t-shirts, or sneakers. Thanks we are all looking forward to sharing our hard work with you!

LATIN CLUB: The Latin Club will be selling flowers at the Fine Arts Night for $2 each. Please bring exact change to support this club and share a flower with your performers.

SCIENCE CLUB: Our visiting scientist can not attend this week, we look forward to seeing her next week. Science club will meet as usual today.

BEGINNER BAND REHEARSAL: Students in 4-5th grade who are playing with the beginner band at the concert will have two rehearsals this week, one on Tuesday and one on Wednesday. They need to bring their lesson book, the silent night sheet music, and their instrument in order to rehearse for the concert those two days. Please make sure they have all of those materials before going to school both Tuesday and Wednesday.

CRAZY 8s MATH CLUB: This week we’ll take coins to a new level, by comparing their values, “buying” fun prizes using specific amounts, and playing Rock, Paper, Scissors with them!

LATIN CLUB: Latin Cub will meet after school on Thursday from 3:45-4:45. As well, we will have Latin Lunch on Friday in the Latin room.

SKATING: All K-8th graders will go skating again this Friday, please remember to pick up at the Fenton Chester Arena between 3:15-3:30. We welcome all parents and families who’d like to join us on the ice to do so, the more, the merrier, at no extra cost. We will be skating one more Friday before winter break: December 16.

HEIFER FUNDRAISING: It's Penny Wars! Every year around this time the student council puts out boxes for each class in the microwave room. From Monday through Friday of this week students can put pennies in the box you chose and each penny is one point for that class. Any money that is not a penny in a box is subtracted from the total amount of money in pennies at the end of the week. The winning class will have the most positive points and they will gets an ice-cream and pizza party. All the money raised will go to Heifer International. The boxes are not to be moved, shaken, or looked in all week. Thank you for helping us to raise money for an important cause!

MYTHOLOGY DAY: December 18 is Mythology Day! In honor of our tradition of classical studies at Riverside, and in conjunction with the ancient holiday of Saturnalia, which fell near the winter solstice, we will fill the day with activities for all students about mythology. Each student has picked a mythological character to dress up as on Friday. Students will be responsible for doing some research about their characters and should prepare a costume at home. 8th graders are also taking responsibility for planning activities on classical topics. The school has many resources for information and costumes, students should ask for help as needed. You may reach Nathan at nathan.gair@theriversideschool.org. We welcome parents to join us for any portion of the day, we’ll have a detailed schedule in next week’s Memo.

THANK YOU FROM MEL FINN: To those who prepared meals for Mel after her fall on the ice: “Thank you! My usual instinct was to immediately tell everyone, ‘I’m fine, don’t bother,’ but let me tell you! I have been so grateful to those who helped. It has been really wonderful not to cook, clean dishes, or really even shop, particularly that first week. I have been so fatigued, just being able to feed the girls and get them to bed has been tremendously important to my healing.”

BURKE BILL KOCH LEAGUE: BKL is an instructional youth Nordic Ski program for children ages 3-13, with clubs across New England. It meets twice a week December-March (Saturdays from 9-11 AM, Thursday 3:30-5:30 PM) at Burke Mountain Academy, Kingdom Trails, and at other trail systems around the Northeast Kingdom. Children and families love being a part of this club for outdoor adventure, skills, exercise, and fun! Program Cost: $50 for first child, $25 for each sibling (for scholarship info email: burkebkl@gmail.com); register at: www.skireg.com/burke-bill-koch-league-2017-season

CLASSES AT CATAMOUNT: Luminaria and Lanterns, by our own Riverside parent Kate Renner (preschooler Raya): Join teaching artist Kate Renner to make lanterns and luminaria that will line downtown sidewalks during First Night North in St. Johnsbury on December 31. Extras may be taken home. Each project stands on its own, so children may sign up for any or all classes. The classes and workshop are free, but registration is required, and donations to cover the costs of materials and teacher are gratefully accepted. Family Workshop on Saturday, December 3, 10:00am- 12:00pm (Ages 5 and up, adults welcome); Monday, December 5, 3:45-5:15pm (Ages 5-10); Monday, December 12, 3:45-5:15pm (Ages 8-12)

Pet Portraits: Inspired by the exhibition in the Catamount Gallery of dog and cat art by Stephen Huneck of Dog Mountain, students will create their own pet portraits in a variety of media. Bring a photo of your pet, if you have one. We will have photos (and possibly live models!) if you don’t. Pet portraits make great holiday gifts! Workshop fee: $15 for first family member, 10% off for each additional member. Registration deadline: December 2. For information about scholarship availability, please call 802-748-2600, ext. 108. Saturday, December 3, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm (Ages 8 and up, adults welcome)

Cardinal Card Making: As part of St. Johnsbury’s Victorian Holiday festivities, families are invited to make holiday greeting cards and gift tags featuring beautiful red cardinals in a variety of materials. This free workshop is suitable for all ages, though children under 7 must attend with an adult. Donations are gratefully accepted. Saturday, December 10, 10:00am-1:00pm at Catamount Outback Artspace

CALENDAR

December 6 - Forum on proposed regulations for independent schools, SJA’s Fuller Hall, 6:00
December 7 - K-8th to “Junk Music” performance at Fuller Hall
December 8 - K-8th Fine Arts Night & Concert , 6:30 pm
December 9 - K-8th grade Skating, pick up at Fenton Chester Arena at 3:15-3:30
Deceber 15-20 - 6-8th grade Semester Exams
December 16 - K-8th grade Skating, pick up at Fenton Chester Arena at 3:15-3:30
December 21 - Mythology Day, early dismissal at 12:30
December 22 - January 2 - Winter Vacation, No School
January 3 - First Day Back to School
January 5 - Alumni Day

LESSONS

Preschool
Over the next two weeks we will be learning about holidays around the world, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas and other holiday traditions. We welcome parents to join us for a holiday project of your choice. Please let me know if your interested.
Language Arts: Letter O, o-sound books, writing our own stories. Letter review F,L,H,A,U,T Math: sorting practice, 1-1 correspondence counting
Science: introduction to sink or float
Social/Emotional: How are we feeling, looking at poster faces & describing the feeling and learning how we can support that feeling as a friend.
Special Note: Parent Conferences Thursday 8th, 15th and January 5th. Teaching Strategies Reports are complete from the state and can be printed. I look forward to meeting with all of you now & after break. If a Thursday doesn't work for your schedule please let me know and we can schedule a different time. Conferences will be approx 15-30min long. Some parents have suggested that January would be easier after the holidays. That is why I have scheduled January 5th as a meeting date.
** This Wednesday we will have a visitor from STARS visiting the classroom in the morning. We will not be receiving a score for our program at this time. However, this is our initial visit (for STARS points), late April or early May we will be visited again for a score of our program.

K-1st Grade/Carriage House Kids
Language Arts: We will continue working on the same goals as last week during our reading groups. Students will do writing activities about holidays around the world.
Kindergarten Math: We will continue to explore addition and patterning.
1st Grade Math:We will dive into a new chapter on subtraction strategies. This week we’ll take a look at the following strategies: “Count back”, “Think addition to subtract”, and “Use 10 to subtract”.
Science/Social Studies: Experiment with precipitation. We will begin a unit on Holidays Around the World.
Spanish: We will continue our holiday words and customs.
Music: We will finish our preparations for the concert this Thursday, December 8th at 6:30 pm.
Art: We painted a mexican landscape using tints of colors.
Special Note: On Wednesday afternoon, we will head to St. Johnsbury Academy to see “Junk Music”, a production sponsored by Burklyn Arts. Please remember to have children bring outside footwear, as well as outdoor clothing. The yard has been a bit wet and messy lately and it’s getting much chillier.

2nd-3rd Grade/Allee’s Angels
Language Arts: New spelling lists this week. Look for new assignments and lists in your child’s boomerang today. We continue our study of Greek/Roman myths this week. We’ll finish up with Persephone and then continue on to learn a bit about Phaeton, and Echo and Narcissus. SMUG activities include learning the difference between “there, they’re, and their” and “better and worse”. Students will have the opportunity to do choice writing in their journals and exploring/choosing books to read from our mythology library during reading workshop.
2nd Grade Math: Counting on and counting backwards, number patterns (skip counting in the 100s), comparing numbers/place value.
3rd Grade Math: Multiplying 7, 8, 9. Using different strategies to find products; related facts, commutative property, repeated addition, associative property, tricks with nines. Spanish: We will work on our recipe and some holiday customs.
2nd Grade Music: We will try our hands at playing some rhythm duets this week in class on the drums.
3rd Grade Music:We learned our new note C on the recorder and will continue to gain flexibility in playing that new note.
Art: We drew a tree filled with symbols based on Paul Klee’s playful pen-and-ink line drawings.
Of Special Note: Wednesday will have us traveling again to Fuller Hall to watch “junk Music”, a Burklyn Arts sponsored program. We’ll leave after lunch and return before the day’s end. Also, please remember to help your child to dress appropriately for outdoor breaks and to bring a change of footwear. It’s becoming quite cool and muddy, and it’s becoming increasingly hard to keep our classroom dry and clean.

4th Grade/Erin’s Electric Eagles
Writing: We are finishing up mini myth writing projects where we have been creating stories to explain natural phenomenon. This week, we will expand upon these projects as we start thinking about the upcoming mythology day! Students will be choosing mythological figures, studying them, and writing informationally to teach about their figures.
Reading: We continue to read and discuss Charlotte’s Web in small groups! We will do an activity concerning character traits and textual evidence. As we finish up the book in the next few weeks, we will be completing a project to practice retelling a story in a unique medium and also evaluating the book.
Math: We successfully finished up chapter 2 of our math books last week! Now that we have mastered multiplying multi-digit numbers by 1-digit numbers, we will expand our knowledge to explore how to multiply multi-digit numbers by multi-digit numbers.
Science: We will be learning more about designing experiments and manipulating variables as we try to design whirligigs that spin slowly to the ground! We will be talking about gravity, air resistance, and how these two things affect falling objects. We will also work more on our skills of writing scientific claims and backing them up with evidence.
Genius Hour: You are formally invited to come to school on Wednesday December 14 from 1:15-1:45! More information will come in an email this week, but we are excited to share our learning from our genius hour time. As a result, we will have some extra time this week so that we can polish our products and prepare to share what we have learned!
Outdoor Learning: We had a fabulous time outside last week while we learned about compasses, practiced hanging up hammocks with knots, and working on various carving projects. We look forward to another wonderful day outside this Thursday! Please help your students remember to wear or bring layers and appropriate clothing for being outside in December.
Spanish: We are learning about singular and plural agreement with nouns as we practice words about modes of transportation.
Music: We are starting our new style of the month, country, and learning how to write out popular holiday music using the musical alphabet.
Art: We continue to design our printing plates based on Gustav Klimt “Tree of Life.”
PE: Individual goal-setting and measurable steps toward achievement in an specialized area of physical education preferred by each student. I will read and help modify each student’s goal on Tuesday.
Special Note: We will be going on a field trip Wednesday afternoon to Fuller Hall for a Junk Music concert! Please also return Scholastic book order forms and order forms for the fall book we have written by the end of this week.

5th Grade
Science: We will be wrapping up our learning about the phases of the moon this week and students will begin individual research on various features of our solar system.
Math: This week our math focus will be taking multiplying decimals to the next level with understanding the place value of the product when both factors in a multiplication problem are decimal numbers.
Readers’ Workshop: Students are well on their way toward bringing selected scenes from The Hobbit to life with their reader’s theater productions. They are exercising teamwork as they plan and practice together. This week we will specifically focus on how they can use acting to draw out the significance in the powerful themes and symbols we have been discussing in the text.
Writer’s Workshop: Students are finishing revising and working on the editing stage of their fantasy stories this week.
Social Studies: The project is taking longer than expected but we will be working toward wrapping up our “Then and Now” photo album project this week.
Birch Buddies: We had a fabulous time outside last week while we learned about compasses, practiced hanging up hammocks with knots, and working on various carving projects. We look forward to another wonderful day outside this Thursday! Please help your students remember to wear or bring layers and appropriate clothing for being outside in December.
Spanish: We are making maps of a fictional town, filled with vocabulary words about local businesses and meeting places.
Music: We are starting our new style of the month, country, and learning how to write out popular holiday music using the musical alphabet.
Art: We carved printing plates that included four different patterns.
PE: Individual goal-setting and measurable steps toward achievement in an specialized area of physical education preferred by each student. I will read and help modify each student’s goal on Tuesday.
Special Note: We need transportation help for our field trip to the planetarium next Wednesday afternoon. Please let me know if you would be available to help drive!!!

Grade 6
English: We’ll continue to read and discuss A Christmas Carol, preparing for the writing piece the students will complete as part of the semester’s exam. There will be a vocabulary quiz on Wednesday.
Math: We are continuing with the study of polygon area, resuming with trapezoids Monday. Then we will go on to the areas of composite figures.
Ancient History: We will continue exploring commonalities among civilizations.
Physical Science: They will learn about gravity and basic kinetics and begin constructing an egg drop.
Spanish A: The class had a chapter test today about activities and foods they like and using “gustar” with indirect object pronouns. Later this week we will be doing cultural and geographical activities while also reviewing content from the semester.
Latin: We will continue with our look at Carthage and the Punic Wars and pick our Mythology Day characters.
Music: We are starting our new style of the month, country, and learning how to write out popular holiday music using the musical alphabet.
Art: We continue to paint our fantasy ‘bark’ paintings using fluorescent colors.
PE: They will continue playing net sports this week.

Grade 7
English: We’ll dig into A Midsummer Night’s Dream with lots of discussion, clarification, and, most importantly, performance. There will be a vocabulary quiz on Wednesday.
Math: We have a short quiz on monday for sections 3.1-3.2 on algebraic expressions and simplifying. Then we will begin the study of solving algebraic equations.
American History: We’ll look the beginning years of the Revolutionary War.
Life Science: They will wrap up their study of the immune system and work on their first research paper.
Spanish A: The class had a chapter test today about activities and foods they like and using “gustar” with indirect object pronouns. Later this week we will be doing cultural and geographical activities while also reviewing content from the semester.
Spanish B: We will be finishing our cultural geography and look at some different verb forms.
Spanish C: We will be finishing with the different usages of ser and estar.
Latin: We will pick our Mythology Day characters and continue with work on the Second Declension.
Music: We are starting our new style of the month, country, and learning how to write out popular holiday music using the musical alphabet.
Art: We are designing printing plates with the image of Camel’s Hump.
PE: They will continue playing net sports this week.

Grade 8
English: We’ll finish reading Speak and will begin work on projects in response to the issues raised in the novel. There will be a vocabulary quiz on Tuesday.
Algebra: We continue our investigation of linear systems through graphing, substitution, and elimination. They are working in teams to decide at what point is financially prudent to buy a family pass at Burke vs daily ski lift tickets. Please ask them how they are figuring this out! (I sure hope they use the word rate as the explain.)
Algebra II: Trigonometry.
World Issues: We are discussing the colonization of Africa and the impact of European culture and leaders on the continent.
Earth Science: They will wrap up their study of the ocean and write a reaction paper this week.
Spanish A: The class had a chapter test today about activities and foods they like and using “gustar” with indirect object pronouns. Later this week we will be doing cultural and geographical activities while also reviewing content from the semester.
Spanish C: We will be finishing with the different usages of ser and estar
Latin: We will work on integrating our grammar work thus far.
Music: We are starting our new style of the month, country, and learning how to write out popular holiday music using the musical alphabet.
Art: We continue to paint our Fauve-inspired designs based on the architecture of our school.
PE: They will continue playing net sports this week.