Friday, March 15, 2019

March 15

      In your child's papers is a permission slip. It is about your child entering their poetry in the Poem City Poetry Project in Montpelier, where their poetry will be on display at Kellogg Hubbard.  This project is their choice. If your child wishes to show their great poetry off, they need to have the permission paper signed and returned Monday. If they don't want to participate, just recycle the paper.

     On Friday we started making puppets to go along with the biography, that they have already published.  Students chose and cut out the puppet bodies today. Many thanks to the grandmother of the Cannella's who volunteered to sew the puppet bodies. Next week we will make the head and then we will decorate their outfits the following week. If your child has something specific that they want to put on their puppet, they should bring it to school by next Friday.

     Today our buddies came and we helped them to write books about how to catch leprechauns and then the buddies went back to their classroom to see if their leprechaun traps worked. I hear that the leprechauns escaped all of their traps.

     We are finished with the ancestry research but if kids have any recipes, photos or interviews (could be of parents, grandparents or other relatives), just send them in and we will add them to their project. They also could bring in photos of artifacts ( aprons, journals, things that their ancestor had or what they might have had) For example, this is a tool that my great, great, grandfather would have used as a carpenter. The books need to stay here until the Celebration of Learning on 4/4 and then they can bring them home. Natalie Kinsey-Warnock, who led our workshops will also join us that night.

     For writing, students are working on their final information prompt. This is a piece that they do on their own. We will compare their writing growth from the beginning of the non-fiction unit to the end of the unit.

     In technology class with Arlyn, students have started a Lego programming unit. They will meet in teams each Monday to build and accomplish different challenges.


Friday, March 8, 2019

March 8 News

     Your child's ancestry projects are coming along. They have been working very hard on them. I hope to finish up with them next week and have them ready for you to view at the Celebration of Learning on April 4th.
If you haven't done it already, please send in:

  •    interview-This could be of parents or other relatives
  •    photo for About the Author page
  •    family recipe and photo making it
  •    any family photos that connect to the person they are studying

     Coming home in your child's papers is a sign up sheet for Student Lead Conferences. Please review your calendar, fill it out and return it next week.
     The Celebration of Learning and the Student Lead Conference will be showing different things.  The night of Celebration of Learning on April 4th, your child will show you their ancestry project, read you their biography, etc. Natalie Kinsey Warnock, who lead the ancestry project will be joining us that night. At the conference, your child will be showing you their progress on their reading, writing and math goals, etc. 

     Is there anyone that sews that would be willing to help out with a project? Please let me know if you are interested.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

February 15 News

     A quick newsletter update. about many different things.
     Celebration of Learning has been moved to April 4th. Parent conferences are the next day on April 5th.

     Winter Wellness has been rescheduled to this coming Tuesday.

     Next week is School Spirit week. Look below for a photo of what is happening each day. Students do not have to participate but if they participate, they need to follow the school rules and not have it distract from their or another student's learning. Also, on Tuesday, their wild hair should not interfer with a helmet for skiing or skating.

     Thanks for all the valentine treats. We had a great celebration.

     We are in the process of finishing our biography reports this week during writing class.

     If your child is interested in ordering from the book order, please try to send in the order or order online by Friday. If you would like to order online, my school code is HMJGJ.

      It would be helpful if you could please send in a photo of your child for their About the Author page on Monday.

      Last week the whole 5th grade worked in collaborative teams to do an engineering design challenge to make Rube Goldberg machines in the Maker Space. (The 4th grade was taking the NEAP test. We will find a time for 4th grade to make  them sometime later).  The 5th graders designed, created, tested and redesigned their machines to accomplish the task of having a ball drop from a cup, cause a series of chain reactions and then a cup landing in a cup at the end.  You can ask your child what materials they used and how they designed their machine.

     This past week, Natalie came for her last visit. She brought a variety of artifacts and had the kids guess that they might be used for. Most of the pictures wouldn't load so I'll just tell you what she brought. There was a basket for making popcorn over the fire, a toaster that would be used over a cookstove, a machine to help give a cow a pill, a wooden box with a carved side to press freshly churned butter into a pound  block, a tool for scraping the corn off the cob, a metal basket used for storing bits of homemade soap to wash clothes, a tool for crimping the edges of a pie, an electric curling iron, a metal form used by a cobbler when making shoes, a hand crank coffee grinder, and a tool to add frosting.  Then we looked at what it involved to make toast now (go to the store to buy bread, put in toaster) to making toast in the past (plant wheat, grind into flour, make bread, cut wood for cookstove, then put in toaster). Then Natalie helped students with their ancestry research.  She will return for the Celebration of Learning in April.

Friday, February 8, 2019

February 8 News

  A quick newsletter about a few things.

     The Celebration of Learning scheduled for 1/21 is going to be rescheduled because of snow days, delayed starts and needing more time to prepare. I will let you know the date as soon as I know.

     Winter Wellness scheduled for Monday will be postponed. Stay tuned for more info about the make-up day.

    Today students wrote an About the Author page. It would be great if they could bring in a photo of themselves for the page. It could be a school picture, a photo with a pet,  a family photo, etc. Thanks.

     In your child's Friday Folder are two interview forms.  They need to choose at least one person to interview. It could be their parents, grandparents, or elderly neighbor or friend. They could interview more than one person if they wish and could use either form. They should bring in the written answers, which can be transcribed after an oral interview by the first week in March. Let me know if you need more forms.

     Another thing that students can put in their Ancestry binder is a copy of a family recipe that they have made and a photo of them (either the family member or the student or both).

    Next week students will be getting a list of things that they will be putting in their Ancestry binder.  If they want to do more research at home, you might want to sign up for a free two week trial of  The program that we are using is only for US information. It doesn't access relatives from other countries. I do have a trial membership so I have been helping kids that are having trouble finding information.

     Next week is Valentine's Day.  If you can send in food for our celebration, please let me know.  If your child chooses to do valentines, there is a list of classmates on the last blog entry. If they are sending valentines, then they should include everyone.  We will be playing a variety of board games for the party. If your child would like to any games that would be great.

     Next Thursday is also the I Love East Montpelier luncheon.  If you have not RSVPed please send an email to

     If your child has a change to their end of the day plans, could you please send in either a paper note or an email in the morning to  I know there is another site to send this information, which you should also do, but I don't have access to that site and the information that I turn into the office for the end of the day plans is supposed to be correct. Thanks.

     Natalie will be returning on Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Ancestry Project and More

     During Morning Meeting today, we talked about having a Valentine's Day celebration.  It was decided that students are welcome to bring in valentines but if they choose to bring in valentines, they must give them to the whole class.  Students also wanted some food at the celebration. If you are able to send in food for the celebration, please let me know.
The class list is below.

     Last week Natalie came on Thursday and show us how to do family research and we practiced using a variety of internet sites.
She told the students about one piece of information that they can put in their ancestry project is an interview. It could be of you, grandparents or great-grandparents. There are two different forms in with your child's papers. I found it easier to record the information and then type up the replies. It is also a nice to have a recording of people's voice telling their answers.  We were also treated to listening to 130 year old records on a Victrola machine.
    Students are going to be asked to find at least 3 pieces of evidence. Another piece of evidence that students can put in their binder is for them to make a family recipe and then put a copy of the recipe and a photo of your child with the finished product.
   Evidence could include-

  • family photos
  • census records
  • letters
  • diaries
  • recipes
  • interviews
  • church records
  • military records
  • birth, marriage or death records
  • ship records
  • newspaper articles
  • memories
  • family stories
  • photos of family artifacts such as aprons, paintings, watch, uniforms
  • photos of artifacts that the relative would have during that time period but it doesn't actually belong to them.

 If you send in photos, please let me know if you want me to photocopy them.

Class list

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Science Fair

     Wow! That is all I can say is, "Wow!"  The students did an AMAZING job on the Science Fair.  I'm so proud of them. I could tell that they worked really hard on the exhibits. They were all very well done and very unique too.
     Mrs. Giammusso's second grade, Mrs. Parker's 2/3 class, Ms. Gallagher's third grade and Mrs. Shedd's 4/5 class all came to see the exhibits. Our students did a stellar job of sharing with others, what question they investigated, how they conducted the experiment and what their results were.
The class also shared their experiments with their classmates today and will finish up tomorrow.

    I hope you get a chance to see the exhibits in person. If not, here are photos of the projects.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Natalie Kinsey-Warnock Day 3

    Today was photography day with Natalie Kinsey-Warnock. 
      First students saw different kinds of cameras and learned about the history of photography and what kind of photos could be seen from each camera.

Ambrotype photo on left and Daguerre type photo on right

History of photographs and year

Carte-de-Visite. These are the size of a deck of cards.
Cabinet Cards

The first Brownie Camera

Brownie Camera

 A later Brownie Camera

Snapshots from Brownie Camera. They usually have a brown appearance.

Snapshots sometimes came in a cardboard cover.

35 mm Camera

35 mm photos. Just called photos!

Polaroid. Quick processing by poor photo quality.

Putting photos in order from earliest to oldest

Photo Dominoes

Adding dates to photographs based on woman's fashion

Adding dates to photographs based on hair

Adding dates to photographs based on men's fashion

Adding dates to photographs based on kind of photographs
   We also watched a neat Youtube video called 100 years in 100 seconds. It is about the  history of fashion. The clothes change every second. Check it out.