Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Earth Day Assembly

By Carol Moran/ from

Imagine a circus in which actors juggle bottled water, polar bears dance on melting ice floes, the props and set are recycled, and the core of clowns are called the Fossil Fools. That's part of what you get in ARTFARM's Circus For a Fragile Planet, an exciting educational circus performance featuring juggling, clowning, physical comedy, acrobatics, unicycling, and other circus arts built around a strong environmental message.
6th-8th graders enjoyed this assembly on April 17, thanks to the PTO!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Author Visits School

By Carol Moran

Primary students were captivated by author/illustrator Jeff Mack, who shared his work on April 2nd. Mr. Mack has illustrated many books, including Hurry, Hurry by Eve Bunting, and Rub A Dub Sub and Starry Safari by Linda Ashman. Thank you to the PTO for the event!

3rd Grade News

By Mrs. Christopher, Mrs. Dickenman, Mr. Horn

Welcome spring! Our third grade teachers and students are looking forward to our upcoming special events and activities for fourth term.

Our social studies curriculum focuses on learning about communities and that includes our traditional emphasis on the 1850's community life and times experienced at Old Sturbridge Village. We are fortunate enough to have a docent visit our classes to showcase lessons about "Traveler's Trunk" and "Ye Old Schoolhouse". Mrs. Christopher, Mrs. Dickenman and Mr. Horn will also team teach to present learning activities to inform, interest and motivate the children to thoroughly enjoy our field trip to the village, scheduled for May 22, 2009.

We continue to be excited about our participation in the "Find Your Way" EASTCONN program, conducted by Cathy Smith-Carolan. She comes to our classes to assist with a variety of instructional endeavors with mapping skills and practice with compasses for orienteering. Then, we visit Mansfield Hollow, June 6, 2009, where the children work cooperatively in small teams with their chaperones, to use their skills and compasses searching for clues and map puzzle pieces to complete this unique orienteering experience.

Finally, we'll participate in Mrs. Hardisty's annual "SWINGS Day" on May 27, 2009. It's a lively, great day to be outdoors on the playgrounds, enjoying some physical activity and great games.
We are delighted to finish our third grade year together with these interesting, rewarding, and memorable events!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Eighth Graders Take in a Play

By Jen Lindsay

On March 19, the eighth grade traveled to Hartford to see a performance of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. After studying the novel in language arts class, and viewing Horton Foote's screenplay, students enjoyed seeing Hartford Stage's Artistic Director Michael Wilson's interpretation of the plot. Set in 1930s Alabama, To Kill a Mockingbird follows the life of children Scout and Jem Finch as their father defends an African-American man who was falsely accused of attacking a white woman.

Harper Lee wrote the novel in 1960. It won numerous awards immediately, including the 1960 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

Hartford Stage's performance of To Kill a Mockingbird was part of the National Endowment for the Arts initiative designed to encourage literacy in America. In conjunction with the Hartford Public Library, community members were encouraged to read (or reread!) the novel. We were delighted to see Matthew Modine (Memphis Belle, Gross Anatomy, Vision Quest ) in his stage debut as Atticus Finch as well as many local actors.

Following the performance, the mostly school group audience, enjoyed time to ask questions of the performers. This interesting opportunity allowed students and actors to discuss the themes of the novel, the differences between life in 1930s Alabama and today, and the challenge of discrimination, racism and prejudice.

Students were encouraged to expand their view of the world and to avoid passing judgment on others. In a phrase, they were encouraged to "…climb into his skin and walk around in it." (Lee)
While at the theater, and during a brief lunch stop, several teachers enjoyed comments from passersby about our eighth graders. It was observed that students were courteous, helpful, and appropriate. They truly represented our school and community well. We look forward to sharing more events with this class as we head toward graduation.

If you have not read To Kill a Mockingbird, or if it has been some time, do consider reading it again. You won't regret it!