Monday Memo 3/13/17

Conall and Raleigh used their 10-frames to play a math game today.

Conall and Raleigh used their 10-frames to play a math game today.

NOTES

SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY: Our Preschool Assistant Dianah Hale fell on the ice last Thursday morning and has a concussion; she has been at home resting since. The preschool is organizing food donations for her. Please be in touch with Miss Heidi if you could prepare a meal for her this week or next. Remember that in addition to warm dinners, healthy snacks might also be appreciated.

PARENT FUNDRAISING: Thank you to the parents who attended this morning’s meeting. We discussed some big picture ideas and concerns about fundraising at Riverside, as well as brainstorming ideas, and planning some first steps for a few potential events. Stay tuned to the Memos for details!

SEED FUNDRAISER: Are you thinking spring? Parent Casey Doerner and Joy’s 5th grade class are organizing a seeds sale! If you are planning your own garden and seed ordering, please note that you will be able to get your Yaya carrot (organic), Lettuce mix (organic), Provider bush beans, and Sugarsnap snap peas (organic) while supporting Riverside at the same time. They will be selling non-GMO seeds from the FedCo Seed Company in Maine. These are hardy strains, which have good tolerance for Vermont's short growing season. More details to follow.

YOGA FUNDRAISER: Parent Madeleine Balcom has oferred to teach some yoga classes on campus. Check out Helios Heron’s FB survey to help us figure out which times would most appeal.

SCIENCE CLUB: Cancelled for the next two Mondays; no science club March 13 or March 20.

CHESS CLUB: There is no Chess Club this week.

PI DAY: We look forward to celebrating the relationship between the diameter and circumference of a circle tomorrow (March 14 ~ 3.14) with assembly discussions, class- specific math activities, and pie for snack! If any families are willing to donate a homemade pie to the event, we would welcome it (thank you to the Larocque/Doerner and Hall/Henderson families who have already agreed to contribute). Please let Nelia know before the end of the day if you can as well, and we will shop accordingly.

PROGRESS REPORTS: Students in grades 6-8 will get progress reports tomorrow (Tuesday, March 14) so that families can prepare thoughts and questions for conferences the following day. Please ask your student(s) about them and review them together.

PARENT-TEACHER-STUDENT CONFERENCES: We will dismiss at 12:30 on Wednesday, March 15 for conferences. Please call Krystal as soon as possible to schedule a meeting with your children’s teachers. If you are unable to meet that afternoon but have a desire to communicate in person about student progress, please feel free to contact the relevant teacher(s) to set up a different meeting time. Middle School families: note that it may not be necessary for you to meet with all of the teachers, it is up to you to choose where your priorities lie.

Some parents volunteered on the sign up sheet at the Fall BBQ to prepare some finger foods to sustain teachers throughout the long evening of meetings, and for that we are very grateful! If you would like to lend a hand by preparing food for teachers, please email Rebecca Hill-Larsen so she can keep track of donations.

Regarding students: we encourage them to attend these conversations with teachers in order to practice taking ownership of their behavior and learning goals. If you do not wish them to attend, they should stay home, or enroll in the After School Program beginning at 12:30. If your child will be in the ASP and isn’t usually on Wednesdays, please call Krystal to let her know in advance. We will not be able to accept students into the ASP after 12:30, it’s too confusing for Annie to have kids arriving at a later time.

8th GRADE PRESENTATION: Please join us in assembly Wednesday morning for Katie’s eighth grade presentation about pottery!

LATIN CLUB: Latin Club will meet at 3:45 on Thursday.

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING: 7-8th graders will be attending a professional performance at SJA’s Fuller Hall of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing on Thursday, March 16 at 9:30 am.

TRUSTEE FORUM: Trustees are looking forward to hosting a discussion with parents about the next couple years of growth at Riverside. They welcome parents in sharing both their concerns and their celebrations of these plans, and also look forward to having parent help in proposing solutions to maintaining the Riverside culture and mission for which we all care. This event will be on March 16, at 5:30 pm in the barn.

SWIMMING: Our K-3rd graders will be going to the SJA pool on Friday afternoons beginning this week. Note that pickup on these dates will be at 3:15 at the back of the St. Johnsbury Academy pool: March 17, 31, April 7, 28, May 5, 12. Thank you to David Larocque and Nate Killam for offering to help with supervision in the boys’ locker room.

MOVIE NIGHT: Please join us for a showing of Singin’ in the Rain in the barn this Friday night, March 17, at 7:00; doors will open at 6:45. Bring a pillow and blanket if you’d like. There is a suggested donation of $5 and there will be refreshments for sale. All proceeds benefit the Latin Club.

DESTINATION IMAGINATION COMPETITION: Riverside has two elementary-age teams participating at an event this Saturday, March 18th at Burlington High School. Each team will perform a challenge that they have been working on for the last few months. In addition, they will also be presented with an "Instant Challenge" during which they will need to use some quick thinking and teamwork to solve. The Popping People (led by parents Sandra Laflamme and Tricia Bunnell) are prepared to focus on improvisation with Lyric, Piper, Brock, Lennon, Gabe, Sofi, and Cora. The Time Machines (led by parents Courtney Daffinrud and Alison Kennedy) are prepared to focus on simple and complex machines with Sawyer, Conall, Anders, Oden, and Zoe. Details: Team Leaders should be at BHS by 8:00 am for registration, students should arrive by 8:45 for Opening Ceremonies at 9:00 am. Lunch is available for sale or students can pack their own. Please also pack snacks and drinks as it is a long day. Contact Courtney Daffinrud (802-999-2513) with questions or further details.

SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN: Middle school play electives and rehearsals are progressing on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. Actors with speaking roles should have lines memorized by now so that they can attend to their movement and acting. March 20-24 will be middle school play week, a demanding and dynamic experience for everyone involved. Some things to note:

Show Times: Performances will be Friday the 24th and Saturday the 25th at 7:00 pm. Students should arrive at 5:00 those nights.

Costumes: Rachel Gilbert sent a note home with students before vacation that explained a bit of what’s necessary. Mostly, the need is help collecting the following kinds of vintage items from the era of 1929:

For the girls, that would be: Cloche-style hats; High heeled shoes; Long costume-type necklaces (think faux pearls or large wooden beads)
For the boys, we could use supplements in the area of: V-neck sweaters, whether cardigan, vest, or pullover; Dress-type shoes (loafers, etc., not sneakers) Also, let Rachel know if your son has a suit and/or button-down shirt that fits which they’d like to use for himself. If you have any questions or if you just have a piece of clothing that seems “so perfect” for this show, please contact Rachel (raygilbert78@gmail.com, 802-626-4565) and let her know.

Make-Up: We will ask that each student bring mascara and eyeliner in a small baggie with his name on it by Thursday, March 19.

Volunteer Help: The following are some ways that you can help us out during play week, please be in touch with Nelia if you can participate:

Extra adult participation and supervision of elective activities during play week

(costuming, set painting, choreography)

Assisting with hair or make-up before each performance (sign up for one or both)

Assisting with costume changes during each performance (sign up for one or both)

Preparing bake sale items

Managing the bake sale table during intermission and after each performance (sign-up for one or both)
T-Shirts: We have a tradition of celebrating our Play Week efforts with commemorative t-shirts for 6th-8th graders. Riverside covers a portion of the cost and we ask parents to accept a $5 charge on your school store account to cover the balance. If this is a problem for you, please be in touch with Nelia.

SBAC TESTING: Students in grades 3-8 will be engaged with computer-based standardized testing March 27-April 6. Students will have time to practice working with the online testing interface and to discuss that experience as a class. Each student then will have about 5-6 hours of testing over those two weeks. If you have any questions about this, please contact Nelia.

PRINTER INK: We have two packages of HP 933 ink that are new but the package is open, for a printer we no longer use. If anyone would like them, just ask Nelia.

AGATHA CHRISTIE’S MURDER ON THE NILE: Friday, March 17th at Fuller Hall, at 7:00 pm. The professional Aquila Theatre will stage Murder on the Nile, by one of the greatest mystery writers in world literature, Agatha Christie. This brilliant new production, set on a paddle steamer cruising the Nile in 1940s Egypt, features a masterful whodunit performed in Aquila's clever signature style. Class, money and reputation are all at stake. And before the steamer's passengers know it deceit, theft and murder quickly make waves on the river. Student tickets are free thanks to a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts; adult tickets: $42, $34, $24, $15; buy online or by calling the Box Office 748-2600.

CALENDAR

March 14 - Pi Day; Middle School Progress Reports
March 15 - Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences, early dismissal at 12:30 Board of Trustees meeting, 5:00 pm
March 16 - 7-8th grade to see Much Ado About Nothing at Fuller Hall, 10:00 am Trustee Forum, 5:30 pm
March 17 - K-3rd grade swimming, pick up at SJA pool at 3:15 Movie Night, 7:00 pm
March 18 - Destination Imagination Competition
March 20-24 - Middle School Play Week
March 24, 25 - Singin’ in the Rain, 7:00 pm
March 30 - Open House for Prospective Families, 6:00-7:00 pm March 31 - K-3rd grade swimming, pick up at SJA pool at 3:15 March 27-April 7 - SBAC Testing for grades 3-8

LESSONS

PreK/Heron Chicks
This week we will start our “Art Friday's” with our Riverside Art Teacher Suzanne Tanner.. We are so excited.. Friday’s, we will also have a parent Abby Johnson come from the Cobleigh Library to read the weekly Red Clover Books with us. We are so excited that she will be sharing these wonderful books with our class. We will also be talking about St. Patrick Day and we will be counting & patterning with our St. Patrick Day theme..
We will be listening to our students ideas & interests this week to see what our next unit of study will be.
Early Release Wednesday - 12:00 pick up/ no after school care.
Language Arts:letter R, letter R sound books..
Group work: sorting letters & Writing letters/ words
Journaling with magazine pictures & using phonetic spelling..
Book Activity Retell: “The Mitten”,by Jan Brett/ using props in a mitten..
Math: Pi week/ we will talk about whole pie & half, 4 quarters.. To participate in school wide pi day & will be eating actual pie with the whole school on Tuesday.
St. Patrick's day counting books..
Writing numbers 1-10 in our HWT books
Science: How do you make a rainbow?
Art: Create so many colors using just the 3 primary mixing colors; magenta, yellow, and turquoise (with homemade play dough)
Social/Emotional: reviewing how to be a good listener to a friend..Special Note: Reminder/ we have a morning snack, lunch & afternoon snack.. Please provide enough food to support your child's hunger.. We have growing & hungry kids! ;) Classroom Needs: napkins, paper cups for water

K-1st Grade/Carriage House Kids
Language Arts: Letter knowledge and spelling tests in small groups this week. Also focus on “making connections” while reading - bring background knowledge and personal experience to the understanding of the text and the interpretation of the characters and events. Also, some “interactive writing” about Hurricanes for our class bulletin board.
Kindergarten Math: Tuesday is Pi Day! We will celebrate by doing some Pi activities. As well we are starting the new unit about the number 20.
1st Grade Math: Last week students learned about the greater than and less than symbols. This week they will work on using symbols to compare, solving complex problems that involve comparing, solving problems with 10 more or 10 less, and a chapter test. Tuesday is Pi Day! We will celebrate by doing some Pi activities.
Music: We are going to continue to learn music from our show. We will also play a few theater games to get us in the creative spirit!
Art: We finished our winter collage by adding a bright red cardinal and falling snow.
Special Note: We begin swimming this week, with a departure time of 1:15 and lessons/free swim from 2-3. Please arrive for student pick-up in back of the St. Johnsbury Academy Field House no later than 3:15. Students will need to bring a swimsuit and towel. Wednesday is Early Release with pick-up at 12:30. Parent Conferences will be held throughout the afternoon. Please call to set up a time if you have not already.

2nd-3rd Grade/Allee’s Angels
Rainforest Unit/Language Arts: This is presentation week! Students will have the opportunity to show off what they have learned about their animal from many weeks of research. They will present throughout this week during our class time following morning snack and recess. Every student has been assigned a day and parents received an email from me during vacation (March 2nd) letting everyone know when your child(ren) would be presenting. Three students will present each day until we have heard from every student. We spent some time last week reviewing what it means to be an attentive audience member and also talked about skills that a person presenting should possess. Our focus will be on volume, clarity, pacing, and eye contact. There are other skills to be sure, but will place our focus on those four. Your child may choose to bring home their index cards to practice on a family member throughout the week, but must be sure to bring them back! As we finish our rainforest work, we will be putting together our reports, illustrations, bibliographies in a student-designed report cover, and reviewing our work folders to catch any unfinished items within them. The Harpy Eagle is looking spectacular! (Thanks Sandra!) We’ll continue to work on it this week as well.
Second Grade students will continue to practice cursive writing with a focus on upper case letters from now on. Both grades will continue their study of pronouns with focus on choosing “object pronouns” in sentences, and also reviewing subject pronouns. We will return to browsing our class library this week and choosing “just right” books. Our library has evolved and there are new titles to explore. Prior to vacation and during the last week, some students have been being assessed using the Fountas and Pinnell Reading Assessment Kit. This will continue in the near future, but probably not this week, so if you child mentions that they haven’t been assessed, their turn will be coming soon.
2nd Grade Math: We will continue to learn strategies for understanding place value in subtraction. I am hoping by the end of the week to have students using traditional algorithms to perform subtraction by regrouping from the tens place to the ones place.
What does PI look like in color? We will figure that out on Tuesday!
3rd Grade Math: Third grade students will continue to work with fractions this week. They are endeavoring to understand fractions as numbers. They are using pictures to illustrate parts of a whole, parts of a group, and drawing a number line to illustrate fractions/parts of a whole in that way too. What does PI look like in color? We will figure that out on Tuesday!
Music: This week I have asked anyone with lines in the first scene to memorize them by this Thursday. We will continue to work on that scene as well as the blocking of scene 2 and “Let’s Make a Deal.”
Art: We finished our colorful chameleons using water soluble pastels (a new art tool.) We started creating paper medallions and learning about radial symmetry.
Of Special Note: Swimming begins for grades K - 3 on Friday this week. Parents should be prepared to pick up their child by 3:15 at the Academy Pool in St. Johnsbury. Students will be transported to the Academy by bus with a 1:15 departure time. Students will need a swimsuit and a towel. If they are lacking those, they will sit out of the lesson on the bleachers and watch.

4th Grade/Erin’s Electric Eagles
Writing: This week we will be starting a new unit on poetry! Leading up to the Poetry Fest before spring break, we will be learning about different styles and structures of poetry, reading and sharing the works of others, and trying our own hands and writing various poems. We will be starting by asking ourselves why people bother writing poetry and what the point of writing with so many different rules is. We will also learn about couplets and tercets.
Reading: In conjunction with our poetry writing unit, we will start reading Love That Dog this week as a whole class. We will explore both the structure of the writing, as well as the story of one student’s experiences with poetry in his own classroom. We will also be continuing to read our Great 8 books and starting a project to draw our focus into the settings, character, and plot of our stories.
Math: We continue our work with mixed numbers and improper fractions this week as we think about different ways to approach problems to make them easier, and working through multi-step word problems. This week we will also be celebrating Pi Day (3.14) by doing an activity to learn about the relationship between a circle’s diameter and circumference! Social Studies: After lots of hard work last reading about various options for the colonies to take in regards to their relationship with Britain, we are now working towards creating materials for our deliberation. Students will be making posters that outline their options and preparing brief statements to share with their fellow colonists. We will hopefully be holding our deliberation on Thursday and Friday this week!
Genius Hour: Posters and models and powerpoints - oh my! Hard work continues on various displays of our research and learning experiences. We are still planning to have a presentation the week before spring break, but as a change from last week’s memo, we will likely have this presentation on the afternoon of Thursday April 13.
Outdoor Learning: Last week we were grateful to have some time to play in the snow, be silly, and reconnect as a group of 4th and 5th grade outdoor learners.
Spanish: We are continuing conversations about personality traits.
Music: This week I have asked anyone with lines in the first scene to memorize them by this Thursday. We will continue to work on that scene as well as the blocking of scene 2 and “Let’s Make a Deal.”
Art: We finished making the tissue paper background and started designing our printing plate for our Andy Warhol inspired print.
PE: Fencing continues with bladework, footwork, and strategies.
Special Note: Please make sure to call Krystal to schedule a time for a conference. If none of the available times work for you, I’d be more than happy to find another time. I would also ask that your student be present during their conference if possible!

5th Grade
Science: Last week we began learning about the parts of a seed and this week we will be sprouting seeds and comparing various seedlings. A part of our science learning is a community service fundraiser project, as well. Fifth graders will be selling packets of carrot, pea, lettuce, and bean seeds. Stay tuned for further information!
Math: This week we will be celebrating Pi Day and investigating the connection between diameter and circumference while reviewing our division skills. Groups of mathematicians are also working on dividing decimal numbers and multiplying mixed numbers.
Readers’ Workshop: New reading groups begin this week! Students have chosen a realistic fiction group to be a part of. We will be continuing to deepen our skills with noticing and understanding the theme authors weave into a book, especially focusing in on how realistic fiction authors bring out the internal conflict in a character.
Writer’s Workshop: Students will be working on crafting and expressing a strong stance as we prepare for short debates.
Social Studies: We dove into a new unit on Vermont history last week, viewing a reenactment of Abenaki lifestyle, and working on our note-taking skills. This week we will be discussing the difference in values and cultures, and beginning to learn about settlers moving into the Green Mountains and the role of the Green Mountain Boys. Through it all I’m excited for deep discussions around the different perspectives diverse groups of Vermonters had about specific events.
Birch Buddies: Last week we had a great time of reconnecting with games and nature stories. Now that skiing is finished we will hopefully be able to return to our normal Thursday afternoon schedule with full times for science/nature crafting workshops. However, to run this effectively we need additional volunteers to be in a support role or run a workshop. Please let Erin or I know if you may be willing to come on a Thursday afternoon or two or have connections with someone who may be willing to lead a nature-based activity for one of our workshop times. Thank you!
Spanish: We are reviewing verb forms in order to compose paragraphs about ourselves and our family.
Music: This week I have asked anyone with lines in the first scene to memorize them by this Thursday. We will continue to work on that scene as well as the blocking of scene 2 and “Let’s Make a Deal.”
Art: We finished our starry night painting and continue to work on our cardboard prints. PE: Fencing continues with bladework, footwork, and strategies.
Special Note: I’m looking forward to meeting with families this week on Wednesday.

Grade 6
English: We’ll work on Wonder projects and on short stories this week. There will be a vocabulary quiz on Wednesday.
Math: This week we will continue exploring solving equalities in one variable using addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
Ancient History: We’ll learn more about some archaeological techniques this week. Physical Science: This will be the last week of bridge building in class.
Spanish A: We are reviewing vocabulary about school rooms, classroom objects, emotions, and relative locations for a quiz on Friday. They will also begin learning about using and conjugating the verb “estar.”
Latin: We will be taking the National Latin Exam on Thursday this week.
Music:We will spend time rehearsing solos and group parts from Singin’ in the Rain.
Art: We finished “The Great Wave”. We started a new art project using the letters of our name to create a cubist painting with gradations of color.
PE: Last week of gymnastics

Grade 7
English: After completing some writing about Part 1 of To Kill a Mockingbird, we’ll move on to Part 2, focusing further on the rich thematic aspects of this novel.
Math: We are learning about surface area and volume of regular solids: rectangular prisms, cylinders, and pyramids.
American History: We’ll learn about the lives of slaves and about the reform movements that swept through this country in the years leading up to the Civil War.
Life Science: They will wrap up their study of the reproductive systems this week. They will have a test Friday.
Spanish A: We are reviewing vocabulary about school rooms, classroom objects, emotions, and relative locations for a quiz on Friday. They will also begin learning about using and conjugating the verb “estar.”
Spanish B: We will be concluding our online work this week and working with Monica on irregular verbs in our conversations.
Spanish C: We will be concluding our online work this week and working with Monica on irregular verbs in our conversations.
Latin: We will be taking the National Latin Exam on Thursday this week.
Music: We will spend time rehearsing solos and group parts from Singin’ in the Rain. Art: We continue to work on our painted landscapes inspired by Ton Schulten’s artwork. PE: Last week of gymnastics

Grade 8
English: Having finished reading A Raisin in the Sun, the eighth graders will work on a writing piece in response to the novel. There will be a vocabulary quiz on Wednesday. Algebra: We are beginning our introduction to properties of quadratic relationships: the parabolic shape, concavity, intercepts, vertex, line of symmetry, and new relationships between x and y in the real world involving gravity, acceleration, and area.
Algebra II: We are beginning geometry this week.
World Issues: We are wrapping up our unit about the Middle East and consideration of the refugee crisis with final thoughts about The Other Side of the Sky and an article about Somali refugees in Maine.
Earth Science: They will continue studying weather this week. They will carry out a insolation lab Wednesday.
Spanish A: We are reviewing vocabulary about school rooms, classroom objects, emotions, and relative locations for a quiz on Friday. They will also begin learning about using and conjugating the verb “estar.”
Spanish C: We will be concluding our online work this week and working with Monica on irregular verbs in our conversations.
Latin: We will be taking the National Latin Exam on Thursday this week.
Music: We will finish our podcasts. Adding as many layers of music as possible.
Art: We created a design for fabric inspired by Sonia Delaunay’s fabric designs. We will paint the same design three times using three different colorways.
PE: Last week of gymnastics.