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Friday, March 20, 2015

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Recognize Three AHS Students

Andover High School students, Jenny Jung, Mary Kuan, and Fiona Jungmann all received recognition from the National level of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards because of their accomplishments in writing and art.  

In recent weeks, the girls received recognition on the state level, receiving many Silver and Gold Key Awards. In addition, Jenny Jung received an American Voices Nominee award for a dramatic script and Mary Kuan received an American Vision Nominee for a drawing titled “Washed Out.”  

Both Jenny Jung and Mary Kuan then received college scholarships for $5,000 each because of their American Voices and Vision Nominee awards.  The Boston Globe Foundation chose both girls from more than 15,000 submissions for demonstrating the highest level of achievement in craft, creativity, and writing. 

The state awards moved all three girls work to a national platform.  Recent notification came to Fiona Jungmann who won a National Silver Medal for her art.  Jenny Jung won a National Silver Medal for one of her pieces of writing and a National Silver Medal with Distinction medal for her portfolio as a whole.  Mary Kuan won three National Silver Medals and the American Visions Award at the National level.  Only one other art student in the state of Massachusetts received the American Visions Award at the National level.  

All three girls are to be congratulated for their esteemed honors.  They have been invited to a National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall in NYC on June 10th and June 11th.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Shawsheen 1st Graders Learn the Art of Pinch Pot Creation

First grade students at Shawsheen had the opportunity to explore clay while making pinch pots in art class. A pinch pot is a simple technique that has been used since ancient times by cultures all over the world. It is still a common process used today by many ceramic artists. We started by discussing clay and where it comes from. Many students were excited to hear that it is a natural material found in the ground. We imagined what it was like for ancient people to have to dig up their own clay! We also read a great book titled The Pot That Juan Built by Nancy Andrews-Goebel, illustrated by David Diaz. The book tells the story of the Mexican ceramic artists Juan Quezada and how he creates his beautiful artwork from scratch. Once the students created their clay vessels and let them dry, we were able to add some color with tempura paint. With this step, students build on their knowledge of the color wheel and were asked to split up their warm and cool colors on their pot. Finally, after some Mod Podge and glitter, of course, their beautiful pots were completed!Three Column HTML Layout

Friday, March 13, 2015

Shawsheen Holds an Open House for Prospective Preschool Students and Parents

On March 13th our Preschool Staff welcomed prospective parents and students to Shawsheen School for an informational meeting and tour. Our staff enjoyed sharing all of the qualities that make the Shawsheen School so special and enjoyed showing off our wonderful building. We will be holding another Open House in the spring and are hoping the snow will be gone so that we can also “show off” our playground.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

South Cooperative Theater Presented Peter Pan Jr.

South Cooperative Theater, comprised of over sixty third, fourth and fifth graders from South School, presented Disney’s Peter Pan Jr. during the first weekend of March at the West Middle School auditorium. Under the direction of many South School staff and local theater professionals, students worked as a team throughout the winter to create a heartwarming production that was enjoyed by huge audiences of all ages. Pirates, indians, fairies, mermaids, Lost Boys and of course a ticking crocodile joined Peter Pan, Tinkerbell, Captain Hook and Wendy, Michael and John in their adventure in Neverland.

During rehearsals, students learned about stage direction and blocking, developed their solo and group singing skills, learned choreography and built new friendships across grade levels. Students and families have commented that this theater experience has helped the cast members to build self-confidence both on stage and in the classroom; to take risks and stretch their abilities in a safe and nurturing environment; and to find a place where they really feel they can express themselves.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sanborn 5th Graders Keeping Water Clean

On Tuesday, March 10, 2015, the fifth grade at Sanborn Elementary participated in the North Shore Greenscapes “Keeping Water Clean” program. Coordinated by Steve Sanborn, our students rotated through six activity stations with hands-on water quality related activities led by Greenscapes educators and parent volunteers.

In one of these stations, they learned about their local watersheds and about the reservoir that provides all of their drinking water; Haggett’s Pond. They watched public service announcements and learned how to conserve and use water efficiently. Two of the stations used dyes and objects to represent pollutants that when added to scaled models of the outdoors, allowed students to observe what happens when fertilizers, chemicals, and toxins enter our environment and affect our water supply. In yet another station, the students taste-tested samples of tap and spring water while learning about the amount of energy and resources used to produce the plastic containers to bottle water. 

Lastly, they learned about the role of the Water Treatment Plant and looked at samples of water in the various stages of the treatment process. All of these stations delivered a clear message on the importance of keeping our water clean.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

WBZ-TV Meteorologist Danielle Niles Drops in on 1st Graders at Shawsheen

What’s the weather going to be like this week?

Well, if you are curious, you will need to check in with our First Grade meteorologists who have
been very busy tracking the wind speed for the month of March. Every morning the students are collecting data by observing the flagpole and keeping notes about the flag’s movement. The First Grades excitement for the study of weather was recently increased by a visit by Danielle Niles, Meteorologist for the WBZ-TV Weather Department. The children even became television stars on Channel 4 News.

During her visit Danielle talked with first graders about the water cycle, the various types of precipitation, and different kinds of clouds. We took a weather quiz, and also learned that the city of Boston  was ready to break the snowfall record  (the snowiest winter of all time).

Monday, March 9, 2015

Shawsheen Students are Reaping the Benefits of In-House Professional Development

Shawsheen feels so fortunate that we have been able to have in house professional development provided by Jen Barresi. It has been so exciting to learn more about the "Units of Study" writing program that was developed by Lucy Calkins. Our students have been learning about strategies that real authors and illustrators use and then incorporating these strategies into their own writing. We have also been discussing that writers do not give up, and it has been amazing to watch our students' writing stamina increase so drastically.

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Friday, March 6, 2015

HPE Students Create the "Social Detective Newsletter"

There are times when some of the best student work shines through when they work together. That can certainly be said about this group of "Social Detectives" at High Plain Elementary. HPE Speech Pathologist, Cindy Olendzenski, recently invited a group of her students to undertake a project targeting Social Thinking skills. Through this project the students work together in cooperative groups, sharing their interests, as well as learning about the activities and interests of other people in their classes/school/community (perspective taking skills).

Being a student reporter for the newsletter is a fun and engaging way for these students to work on these important skills and they are eager participants.  They chose the topics that they would like to include (along with some teacher suggestions as well).  Of course, the best part is reading the newsletter when it is finished and seeing their work “in print”.  We also share this newsletter with their teachers and parents.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Artwork of Betsy Wish Highlights Health & Wellness in the HPE Cafe

High Plain Elementary hired Artist Betsy Wish to create murals for our cafeteria to promote health and wellness in our cafeteria. She used the health and PE curriculum to create a warm environment in our cafeteria with a focus on healthy foods and choices for healthy minds and bodies.

We were able to bring Ms. Wish in to do this project with the help of an Andona Grant, as well as funds we raised through our school store and food services also contributed.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

HPE 5th Grader Advances to State Level Competition

Congratulations to Xerxis Palsetia- HPE 5th grader who has qualified to compete in the state level competition of the National Geographic Bee, sponsored by Plum Creek.  The state Bee will be held on Friday, March 27, 2015 at Worcester Academy, 81 Providence Street in Worcester.  

Xerxis competed against his classmates at HPE to receive this honor and he had a high enough qualifying score to go to the state level.

We are very proud of Xerxis and happy he is representing HPE.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Living Lessons with Crawling Creatures

Mrs. Smith's Shawsheen Kindergarten class experienced a real treat recently by attending the "BugWorks" presentation.

Bugworks is an educational company that specializes in exciting science enrichment programs featuring live insects and other arthropods.   They have a unique approach which is hands-on and interactive; students have the opportunity to learn by observing bugs, touching bugs, or both.

In a typical presentation, we cover a variety of topics, including life cycles and metamorphosis, anatomy, feeding strategies, locomotion, habitats and anti-predator defenses.

Monday, March 2, 2015

DMS Celebrates National School Breakfast Week

In celebration of National School Breakfast week, Grade 6 Health students are studying the importance of eating a balanced breakfast every day.  To augment this celebration and give students a "taste" of healthy eating, Food Services generously provided breakfast to fifty sixth grade students. It was a delicious, nutritious collaboration.

Students were greeted by a very enthusiastic kitchen staff - who worked overtime, slicing, dicing and blending.

Breakfast was colorful and included: Cantaloupe, Strawberry/Banana Yogurt Smoothies, Whole Wheat French Toast and Milk. After breaking the fast, students plotted the provided foods on the national guideline, MyPlate, and discussed the nutrient content of the meal. Many thanks to Alana Sousy for making the event a tasty success!
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