August 31, 2018
School Notes & Athletics
Welcome 2018-2019 School Year!
What a week! It started with faculty inservice and a very well attended Start the Year Right Night.

My favorite moment was the flagpole assembly which included Captain's Coming, a reminder of school expectations, and a parade into the school with smiles and high fives.

The last couple of days included a lot of team building and community building.
Soccer started this week for the 3/4 team and the 7/8 squad. The 5/6 and the K-2 start next week. If you have any questions please five the office a call
Kindergarten News
The Newton School's new kindergarten students are off to a great start!

Here they are ready to listen to a story read aloud after recess time.
1/2 News
First and second graders have spent a lot of time getting to know each other, and especially our three new children this week!

On Thursday we read a book about John James Audubon. He was one of the first people to draw birds and investigate what they did in the winter time, as well as if they came back to the same spots each year. He was also the first person in the United States to do bird banding!

We are going to do a Tunbridge Fair project with birds, and it will be part of our meadow habitat study. The first few days have been great and we look forward to many more with your awesome children!
3/4 News
The first two and a half days of school are always exciting, and we are tired but thrilled that we are starting to get to know your children. We have focused on community building within our homerooms as well as within our 3-4 cluster. We have welcomed a few new students into our fold of narwhals and wolves. It is our hope that students are making new friends, while keeping their old friendships.

This week’s highlights include our first math class, brainstorming and planning our Hopes and Dreams for the 2018-2019 school year, and team challenges. The theme for this year’s Hopes and Dreams comes from Kobi Yamada’s What Do You Do With a Chance? read-aloud. The main character lets chances go by and it is not until the end of the story that the character decides to take a chance. Students have been making connections and discussing what they want to do with this chance of a new school year.

Please remember that we have a second, healthier snack in the afternoons as we have found that this helps students focus and engage with their peers better. This will eventually become a working snack. Most students have been hydrating with water bottles and we appreciate this as it decreases visits to the water fountain during instruction. We appreciate you sharing your children and please get in touch with us if you have any questions! Enjoy the long weekend!
7/8 News
For the start of the new school year, our students participated in the following:

-Introduced our year's focus on kindness by showing a video and discussing how we would demonstrate/record kindness.

-Started discussing the 1,000 paper cranes project, including a reading of the book, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr. Our students are hoping to make 1,000 cranes for a fundraising effort which will benefit an organization dedicated to helping children.

-Brainstormed new 7-8 cluster expectations.

-Played a team-building activity in which students needed to silently construct a burger. Each child had a component of a burger (e.g., top bun, lettuce, cheese) taped to her/his back. They needed to put themselves in a prescribed sequence.
-Started work on puzzle pieces about themselves and how we fit together. We will have these pieces on display on a bulletin board downstairs by the end of next week.

-Began academic instruction in all subject areas.

We are looking forward to a school year filled with kindness, hard work, lots of learning and, of course, having fun!
Art News
The first day back at school was a muggy one, but the kids showed a lot of tenacity by sticking with the art classes.

The 3/4 mix played a getting-to-know know you game, then we discussed the importance of sketchbooks and how they can help us work out ideas and make plans. We created our own sketchbooks and had some time to sketch out some ideas that we might like to explore in the future.

Kindergarten and 1st grade read  Harold and the Purple Crayon  by Crockett Johnson with a keen eye on how Harold uses lines to create his world. We discussed different types of lines: straight, curvy, diagonal, and zig zag. Students then used their own crayons, or markers, to create things in their own world. There were robots, dragons, chihuahuas, plants, and many other creations. 

The Creating Comics elective started out great. We discussed 4-panel comic strips as a group and studied some examples. We talked about how even within a small 4 panel strip you can have a beginning, middle, and ending of a story. Students then were prompted to create their first four panel strip that had a beginning, middle, and ending. Next week we will share what we created. 
Library & Technology News
Our first trimester middle school elective will be starting with building touch-typing skills! We have a class in Typing Club that we'll be using to measure our progress; students are encouraged to practice whenever they have a chance, even at home if possible.

According to the MIT Technology Review , touch-typing is an important skill, a type of "cognitive automaticity" that allows to people to focus on the what they want to say rather than on the keyboard itself. We will not spend too much class time on keyboarding, but ideally students will reach a skill level that they can build on over their high school career; practice outside of the class will certainly help them with that. Thank you!
Lunchroom News

We hope you all had a fun, safe and yummy summer! Did you try any new foods? My family had kohlrabi for the first time and really liked it. It was even more enjoyable and delicious because it came from one of our local farmer’s market. Did your family buy any fresh vegetables from a farmer’s market this summer?

We are gearing up for another scrumptious year here in the Newton cafeteria…we will be trying to use as many fresh , local ingredients as possible and even feature some of our Newton garden harvest in our recipes. We make as much homemade food as possible and really love any input on what your favorite dishes are. We even like to know which dishes you would rather not have again too. This year we plan to have a taste test every month and hope to get some of these new fun recipes on the menu as well.

Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend and we will see you in September!
Health News
Hi Parents - Welcome back! I hope everyone had a great summer! 

A few things of importance that I need to mention and that are needed (first thing) every year:

- Every student, every year needs to fill out the "Health Information" form that is posted on the Newton School website and at the Registration portal. I am also sending home with students, a hard copy to those students who I have not yet received this from. PLEASE fill these out or we cannot allow students to participate in activities here, and even attendance could be compromised. If I do not have an updated form for a medical condition I cannot even do any of the leg-work for parents and get permissions/orders from the doctor to tend to the student's condition- this is another reason why it is imperative I get these.

- ANY student who has a medical condition that warrants school administration of a medication; an Action Plan submitted from the doctor (needs to be current yearly); or permission to carry these prescriptions on themselves, need forms re-signed yearly (permission to carry; permission from the doctor so I can administer them; and permission from you the parent, allowing me to also). I will be contacting those of you who I need these from next week. 

- I will need all immunizations completed also by the end of October when the state collects these updates. 

- Physical exams and dental exams should be up-to-date yearly also.

It's still tick season! Please take a moment to look at the Vermont Department of Health's Be Tick Smart information page.