Thursday, January 29, 2009

WES Reads is Back!

The return of the Wesleyan University students for the spring semester marks the return of the WES Reads program at Macdonough School.

Selected students in grades three, four, and five will be spending time this spring reading
novels with university tutors.

This semester's novels are: The Mouse and The Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary, Frindle, by Andrew Clements, and Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher by Bruce Coville.

Last semester, more than three dozen Macdonough School students participated in the WES Reads program.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Presidential Inauguration at Macdonough

Teachers and students had the opportunity to witness history at school as the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony was shown on the big screen in the school gymnasium. Cheers were heard throughout the building as Barrack Obama took the oath of office.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Macdonough In the News

Fourth grader Thomas Natale is among the students featured in a Hartford Courant article about
Thomas was a Week One winner in the CMT League and was awarded a Test Prep Fun t-shirt and is in contention for a $300 US Savings Bond.

Raising Readers at Macdonough School

Macdonough School was selected as a host site for the 2009 Raising Readers program. Macdonough was one of only two schools in the district to be chosen for this honor. The program will be offered to parents of primary age children to support efforts at promoting literacy at home.

The Raising Readers program is a nationally recognized family literacy program for parents. The Raising Reader program provides opportunities for parents to practice storytelling, reading aloud and writing in a nurturing environment. Parents use weekly journals, to record at home literacy experiences. They also are provided with a free quality children’s book after each session to add to or build a family library.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Literacy Grant for Macdonough School

Congratulations to Mary Beth Brick, Instructional Support Teacher at Macdonough School. She was awarded a $250 grant from the Community and University Services for Education committee. Mrs. Brick's grant application was entitled We Both Read: Children and Parents Sharing Books.

The grant will be used to purchase a collection of hard cover books that feature a unique interactive format designed for a child to take turns reading aloud with a parent or another member of the family. The left-hand pages feature more sophisticated text for the parent to read. Then, for their turn, the child reads the right-hand pages, which feature text written at a specific early reading level.

This is an excerpt from one of the books to be purchased, a non-fiction selection about animals. As mentioned, the left hand pages are geared for adult reading, while the right hand pages feature similar content at a child's reading level.

Grant Awarded to Macdonough School

Congratulations to Kym Ciccia, Reading Teacher at Macdonough School. She was awarded a $250 grant from the Community and University Services for Education committee. Mrs. Ciccia's grant application was entitled Half and Half: Children and Parents Sharing Books.

The grant will be used to purchase a collection of hard cover books that included fiction and non-fiction collections. Research shows that reading a fictional story will ignite a reader’s curiosity and interest in non-fiction information on the same subject. By presenting a great story, followed by non-fiction content that relates to the story, the Half and Half books provide a perfect bridge for readers to cross from story to facts!

This is one of the books to be purchased entitled Giants of the Ocean.

FICTION: Rescued by a Dolphin - A storm rages at sea and a young boy sees a small raft being tossed through the waves. On the raft is a young girl and circling the raft is a huge shark, just waiting for a wave to knock the girl into the sea. Unable to help, the boy watches as the shark begins to attack the raft. Suddenly, a dolphin strikes the shark - and what happens next is nothing short of amazing!

NON-FICTION: Sharks, Dolphins and More! - Did you know there is a whale with a long twisted horn like a unicorn? Did you know there are crocodiles that swim in the ocean? This book is loaded with exciting information! You'll learn about animals of the ocean that are endangered - and some of the things that are being done to help protect them. Plus, find out how killer whales catch seals, how dolphins sleep, and much more!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Firefighter Al Visits Second Grade

Macdonough School second graders got a special treat on Thursday, January 8th. After reading stories all week about Fire Safety, Firefighter Al from the Middletown Fire Department visited.

He showed the students all the specialized gear that firefighters use and he reminded students how to prevent fires and how to be safe around fire. Did you know that a firefighter's gear weighs 100 pounds? And that a room can be over 1,000 degrees in a fire?

The second graders got to ask Firefighter Al some excellent questions and everyone enjoyed his visit.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Test Prep Fun - Week One Champion is a website dedicated to providing opportunities for students in grades three, four, and five to improve their reading, writing, and math skills. The site has thousands of questions to help children sharpen their skills. For the next few weeks, the site has opened "The Official CMT League" to challenge students across the state to compete for the title of MVP (Most Vigorous Player).

At the end of Week One, a Macdonough School student has taken top honors in the fourth grade division earning an MVP t-shirt and placing him in contention for a $300 savings bond.

Friday, January 9, 2009

More Technology at Macdonough School

The white boards at Macdonough School are coming alive with a new technology called mimio. Some classrooms have received a ceiling mounted projector which transforms white boards into larger than life computer screens. Students and teachers can now interact with technology in new and exciting ways.

New mimio systems have been installed, most recently in Mrs. Waterman's third grade classroom, in many of the upper grade rooms. With installations scheduled for two more classrooms this month, Macdonough School will have this exciting technology in more than half the school!

Book Donation for Macdonough School

A case of new books arrived this week as a donation to the Macdonough School library.

Miss Loiseau, a reading teacher, made a connection with a publishing company and arranged for the shipment of books to be added to the collection in the library.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Kindergarten Students Get Special Visitor!

Students in Mrs. Lenihan's kindergarten class were treated to a special visitor during their sharing time.

Several reptiles were brought into the classroom to the delight of students and teachers alike!

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