Wednesday, September 30, 2009

All About Matter

The 3rd graders were excited to have scientist, Ms. Smith from High Touch-High Tech, visit and teach about matter, solubility and density. Everyone had to the opportunity to make predictions, conduct experiments and analyze data.

NAACP Rewards Dinner

On Friday, September 25th, representatives of the parents and teachers of Macdonough Elementary were presented with an award from the the Middlesex County NAACP chapter in recognition of our remarkable progress. Congratulations to the entire Macdonough Community!
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Teamwork in the 3rd grade

3rd Graders are practicing their teamwork! We are lucky to have Nat Holmes from the Community Health Center spend time each week with both classes focusing on teamwork, community, and communication.
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Monday, September 28, 2009

Number Kids

We are thrilled to announce that our second grade classes will be participating in an interdistrict program called Number Kids. This program partners schools from different districts to explore mathematics through literature, projects and games as well as to develop skills, conquer fears and bias and celebrate the newfound strength of diversity. Macdonough School will be paired with Essex Elementary School for the Number Kids project.

Student partners from each school district will meet monthly in one another’s classrooms and other exciting settings to explore and develop greater understanding of math. Integrating literature, hands-on activities, real life math, and everyday math problems will allow your child an academically intensive experience. We will open the program on October 16th with a trip to Groton Municipal Center to meet with all the students in the program. Other things planned include professional programs such as “Percussion Math,” a Domino Extravaganza, a trip to Bushy Hill Nature Center, and an end of the year party at Ocean Beach, New London where we will build sand castles with Chuck Feld, a professional sand castle artist!

Stay tuned for all the details!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Grant is Back!

Macdonough School was awarded a 2009-2010 grant from the Connecticut State Department of Education in conjunction with United States Department of Agriculture to continue the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.

The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) provides all children at Macdonough School with a variety of free fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the school year. It is an effective and creative way of introducing fresh fruits and vegetables as healthy snack options.

The goal of the Macdonough School FFVP is to:

• Create healthier school environments by providing healthier food choices.

• Expand the variety of fruits and vegetables children experience.

• Increase children’s fruit and vegetable consumption.

• Make a difference in children’s diets to impact their present and future health.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Free Book Friday at Macdonough School

Free Book Friday” is Back at Macdonough School Thanks to the generous donations of area residents, Free Book Friday is back again this year at Macdonough School.

A few Fridays each month, every student at Macdonough School has the opportunity to select a gently used book to bring home to read. The books are theirs to keep! The Free Book Friday program is part of a school-wide initiative to promote literacy at home.

Anyone looking to make a donation of gently used children’s books for the Free Book Friday program, can contact the school at 347-8553. Special thanks to Alex Hartley, a senior at Wesleyan University, for coordinating the Free Book Friday program.

September 18th - Early Release Day

About once each month, school is dismissed on Friday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. While the students get an early start on their weekend fun, teachers are at school participating in a variety of professional growth activities.

Macdonough teachers were busy on September 18th (the first of the early release days) reviewing student work and planning instructional units. Grade level teams took advantage of the opportunity to collaborate!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

After School Program - Fitness Club

More than a dozen students are enrolled in the Macdonough School Fitness Club, an after school program meeting two times each week. The Fitness Club, under the direction of Miss Jessica Atwood, provides students with the opportunity to engage in healthy activities designed to be fun and get children active.

The Fitness Club is offered as a partnership with the Wesleyan University Cross Country Team. Each week, members of the men's and women's teams come to Macdonough to lead the students in games and activities.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Recess Plus - Chaelyn's Book Clubs

Two groups of 4th graders are participating in the “Spiderwick-Literature for Lunch” book club. This fun-filled club is now part of Macdonough’s Recess Plus and will be held on Wednesdays and Thursdays for eight weeks.

During the club, students will read and discuss books from the five-book Spiderwick Series by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black. They will also complete several enrichment activities based on the books, including reading, art, field guide diagramming, character mapping, cooking, creative writing, and more.

The final club will include a Jeopardy-style Spiderwick Chronicles Challenge. At the end of the club, every student will be able to keep the five hard-cover books in the special boxed set!

WES Reads is Back!

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

Selected students in grades three, four, and five will be spending time this fall reading novels with university tutors. This enrichment opportunity is geared toward students reading at or above grade level.

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

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Recess Plus - Chaelyn's Book Clubs

Sixteen third grade students are participating in “Sideways Stories from Macdonough School,” a Recess Plus Book Club. Two eight-student groups will meet once a week during recess and lunch to complete enrichment activities based on Louis Sachar’s Wayside School Collection.

Activities will include reading, cooking, art, creative writing, physical games and more. At the end of the eight-week club, the students will be able to keep the special three-book set with cardboard carrier, which features art by Adam McCauley.

Thanks to Chaelyn Lombardo of Kids Korner for coordinating this exciting program!

Recess Plus - Mrs. Raney's Book Clubs

Fifth grade students have a new "Recess Plus" option!

Two groups of students, one from each fifth grade class, are meeting with Mrs. Raney to read and discuss Charlotte's Web by E.B. White. The groups meet once each week during recess.

For many of the children, Mrs. Raney is a familiar face. Two years ago she was their third grade teacher!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Student-Teachers at Macdonough

We are delighted to welcome two student-teachers to Macdonough School this semester.

Miss Stephanie DiBacco is working with second grade students under the direction of Mrs. Joanne Jukins. Miss Sarah Claffey and her fourth grade class have been joined by Miss Kaitlyn Casey.

Miss DiBacco and Miss Casey are both seniors at Central Connecticut State University.

WES Reads

Each week children at Macdonough School are visited by students from Wesleyan University. There are several initiatives in place which provide opportunities for local college students to support elementary students at our school.

One of the most popular programs is entitled WES Reads. This activity matches high achieving second, third, fourth, and fifth graders from Macdononough with Wesleyan students to form small group literature circles. The groups read classic children's books such as Stuart Little and Mr. Popper's Penguins and participate in rich discussions related to the reading. Making connections between the text and their lives, predicting future events, summarizing story lines, analyzing character traits are examples of some focus points for the literature discussions.

This semester over a dozen university students are meeting with more than twenty Macdonough students on a weekly basis. The groups will participate in an end-of-semester celebration of learning in early December.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Test Prep Fun is Back! is a website dedicated to providing opportunities for students in grades two, three, four, and five to improve their reading, writing, and math skills. Each student has a special password enabling them access to this resource.

The site has thousands of questions to help children sharpen their skills. In a few weeks, the site will open "The Official CMT League" to challenge students across the state to compete for the title of MVP (Most Vigorous Player).

Right here at Macdonough School, Mr. Glover will be offering a variety of prizes for students who complete the most questions including a $50 U.S. Savings Bond!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The President's Back-to-School Message to America's Students!

On Tuesday, September 8, the President spoke directly to students across the country on the importance of taking responsibility for their education, challenging them to set goals and do everything they can to succeed.

Macdonough School broadcasted this speech in our gym so that our students and teachers could participate in this special opportunity.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Second Graders Create Time Capsules

Second graders in Ms. Jukins and Miss Monarca's classes created Time Capsules today. Inside each time capsule is a photo, a length of string to record our height, and an "All About Me" page. The time capsules will be saved until the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL! On that day we will open them to see how we've changed and grown. Only 178 more days to go!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

First Day at Macdonough!

Today was the first day of school!
Here is a slide show of some great Macdonough moments (and a few of their neighbors).

Also, my friend Gus (whose parents happen to be videographers!) had his first day of school as a kindergartner. It's a pretty cute video and also shows the Macdonough Surf's Up assembly where the kids sing the school song, are welcomed and the new teachers are honored. Congratulations everyone and have a great year!

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