Happy Holidays from TES!
Greetings TES Community,
I hope this newsletter finds you enjoying your winter vacation. Whether you enjoy playing out in the snow or sitting by the wood stove, this certainly is a special time of the year. As you can see from our newsletter, there is a lot happening at TES.
Ski Fridays will be starting the week after the vacation. Our first ski day is scheduled for Friday, January 4th. Students who are skiing will take the bus to Dartmouth Skiway, and there will be alternate programs offered for those who stay at school. This ski program is offered through the Thetford Recreation Department and is a wonderful opportunity for our students to get out and enjoy the beauty of our landscape with their friends from school.
I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank the TES Parent Teacher Organization for their amazing fundraising efforts this year. They raised over $4,000 which goes a long way to support all of our field trips and other special events for our students. The PTO is a great group of dedicated parents and is always looking for new involvement. If you are interested in learning more, please let me know.
I am excited to announce that TES has hired a new Spanish teacher! Kate Magill will be joining the TES staff after the vacation and begin seeing students shortly. Please read her introductory letter below.
Thank you all and I hope you have a wonderful vacation!

Colin McLaughlin

Dear families/Estimadas familias,
I am thrilled to be joining Thetford Elementary School as the new Spanish Teacher. I have been teaching Spanish classes at Open Fields School for the past year and look forward to sharing my passion for language with the students of TES.
I minored in Spanish Language and Literature while pursuing a degree in Political Science at Marlboro College, and later went on to study Education at Union Institute & University in Montpelier. I have traveled extensively in the Spanish-speaking world, spending substantial time as a student in Mexico and Chile. In 2009, I walked five hundred miles across northern Spain, from the Basque Mountains to the Galician Coast, on the Camino de Santiago. 
As a strong proponent of early foreign language acquisition, I am so pleased to be working with a community that is committed to providing foreign language opportunities for its elementary school students. I look forward to getting to know all of you in the weeks and months to come.
Kate Magill

Upcoming Important Dates:
Holiday Break - No School December 24 - January 1, 2019
PTO Meeting January 3, 2018 5:35PM to 7:30PM
1st Ski Friday January 4, 2018
Thetford School Board Meeting January 8, 2018 6:30PM
Martin Luther King Jr. Day January 21st, 2019 No School
Ms. Bette's Kindergarten Class
Ms. Bette’s “Friendship Train Stars”
We have been working very hard with our Number Corner (Bridges) this month. Our calendar concepts are opposites in, out, behind, in front, under and over. We continue with colors, shapes, fruits, vegetables, numbers 0-20 both recognition and one to one count, place value with number chains, straws and trains. We have also focused on teen numbers and addition problems.
The children love math time and we play lots of fun games too like Long Train, Spill 10 Beans and Dot card Math.
Ms. Rogers' Kindergarten Class
The month of December is always a great time to add projects into the curriculum! Our class created a "paper quilt" using a simple A, B pattern design. Creating the quilt allowed the Kindergarteners to visually notice a variety of patterns. Some were excited to discover that the A, B pattern went across (horizontal) as well as up and down (vertical). Others noticed the butterflies were flying in diagonal lines. You can see our quilt hanging in the Primary hallway, take a look and see what you notice. 
We made marshmallow snowmen!
A paper chain to help us count down how many day until the Holiday break!
Look at the fossil!
Ms. Oliver's 1st & 2nd Grade Class
One of my favorite things about Quiet Time is the room it provides for both reflection and creativity. Students can just relax their bodies during Quiet Time, silent read, draw, or fold paper. No scissors, tape, or talking is allowed. It's a time to rest bodies, vocal chords, and our busy minds. Recently one of our second graders, Iris Smith, gave an impromptu lesson on making an origami crane. The results were beautiful, and students who had never before done origami created amazing birds. Sometimes less is more.
Ms. Kate's 1st & 2nd Grade Class
Ms. Kate's class has launched into a new unit on Matter. They started off by looking at a collection of objects and thinking about all the ways they might be able to sort the objects. Strategies including sorting by color, shape, texture, material, or size. 
Our class also has been thinking about ways we can be kind during the winter season. We read aloud two books, "The Jelly Donut Difference" and "The Mitten Tree" and brainstormed a list of ways to be helpful to our neighbors. We wrote the ideas on mittens and created our own mitten tree to share the ideas in the hallway.
Ms. Atherton's 1st & 2nd Grade Class
As much as Mrs. Atherton loves reading aloud to students, she's decided to take the morning off from read aloud every now and again, and pass the job to her first and second graders. Thankfully, students have been more than happy to step up and take over! Once a week a volunteer will choose a familiar book from home or their book bag to share with the class. It's the reader's decision how they would like their audience to sit and how they will manage their audience if they start to lose focus. Taking on the role of the teacher can be challenging, but somehow, these kiddos seem to be old pros.
Ms. Bradley's, Ms. Bennett's & Ms. Mousley's 3rd & 4th Grade Classes
All the third and fourth graders were recently involved in a “compost day” with Cat Buxton, our garden coordinator. The three classes participated in three stations of composting learning. One was digging through a bin of red worm castings and observing their role in decomposition. A second station was ‘compost theater,’ acting out what happens in a compost pile. The final stop was an experiment on comparing the growth of fungi and bacteria as organic matter is decomposing. We all came to the conclusion that composting is fun! 
Ms. Harrington's 5th Grade Class
Fifth graders are nearing the end of our science unit on Mixtures, Solutions, and Chemical Reactions. Recently we explored the concepts of saturation, concentration, and density, as well as the idea of creating new products in a chemical reaction. We have also been learning research skills through a class project focused on pre-colonial Native Americans of the Northeast. We have used what we've learned and to write a shared class report. After the break, student groups will apply our research and writing process to learn about Native American cultures from other parts of North America. 
Mr. LaRoche's & Ms. Kendall's 6th Grade Classes
Sixth grade has spent some time discussing what democracy is, how it was created, and comparing and contrasting how democracy worked in Athens, Greece and how it currently works in the U.S. We were surprised to find how many things are the same! For example, Ancient Athens used three branches of government with the same responsibilities as ours have today.
Next week sixth graders will host an  Ancient Greece Museum ! The students have been researching a topic of their choice related to Ancient Greece (ex. pottery, weaponry, mythology, etc.). They have taken notes from a variety of sources and are now crafting their informational essays. The students will share their Ancient Greek independent study reports, and accompanying visuals, in a museum exhibit fashion on Friday.
We have also been enjoying outside time, and are hoping for some fresh snow to continue building with! 
Calling all Mud Season Madness Volunteers!

Do you have a special talent or interest that you've always wanted to share with a small group of eager kiddos? Are you a responsible high school student looking for a couple of volunteer hours and like working with kids? Join us for Mud Season Madness!

MSM is an after school program that allows students to participate in unique, volunteer-run activities. This year MSM will begin on March 5 and end March 28, and will take place Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:00-4:00. If you're interested in being a group leader, know that you may choose which day (Tuesday or Thursday) you would like to run your activity, how many students you would like in your group, and the age range in which you are comfortable working with. You have a supply budget of $10 per student. Some examples of past activities include, floor hockey, cake decorating, cooking, card making, lego building, mindful coloring,and yoga. If you're interested in leading or assisting an activity, or have any questions, please contact Sarah Atherton:  satherton@thetfordeschool.org