Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Book Fair at Macdonough School

The front hallway is filled with hundreds and hundreds of books as the annual PTA Book Fair is in full swing.  Children and parents have been busy perusing the shelves in search of the perfect book.  From classics to the latest stories, there is something for everyone!

Proceeds from the Macdonough School PTA Book Fair are used to offset the cost of field trips for our students.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Although school dismissed early today, the hallways and classrooms were filled with students, parents, and teachers.  Our fall parent-teacher conferences provided a wonderful chance to connect with families about the progress of our students.

Miss Grossman is shown sharing a terrific report about one of her first graders.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Macdonough in the News

Mentors: Showing children the way
by Julie Anne Rancourt, Middletown Press Correspondent

MIDDLETOWN - Since its inception in 1992, the Middletown Mentor Program has helped thousands of children navigate the difficulties of growing up by forming lasting
friendships with caring adults.

There are currently 56 children matched with mentors in 11 schools throughout Middletown, while fourteen children are waiting to be matched with mentors. A disproportionate amount of those – thirteen children – attend MacDonnough Elementary School, as administrators recognize the benefits of the program and more mentors become interested in helping the most disadvantaged students.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Celebration

We have so much to be thankful for at Macdonough School.  Today, during our annual Thanksgiving Feast, we shared some thoughts about things we are most thankful for...  the list included friends, family, teachers, our neighborhood, our school, and the world!

Turkeys in the office

Yes, a flock of turkeys made their way down to the office. The kindergarten classes wore their turkeys hats and sang 3 songs for the office.
Gobble, Gobble

Book Buddy Festivities

Students in Miss DiBacco's fifth grade class and Miss Grossman's first grade class meet every other week to read together. Each first grader is paired up with one fifth grade student. First graders get the opportunity to show off their reading skills to the older students. Fifth graders are able to relive their first grade experience by reading some of their favorite childhood books.

This week, in lieu of Thanksgiving, students worked together to create personalized turkeys. Fifth graders helped first graders trace their hands and feet. Each piece was glued together to create a Thanksgiving decoration. The feet were used as the body of the turkey and the hands were used for feathers.

Students look forward to meeting every other week with their book buddies.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Macdonough's Video Production Club

Ms. Jukins wrapped up this session of our Video Production Club. 

The after school program provided children with the opportunity to produce a video entry into the Recess Rocks program. 

Students in second, third, fourth, and fifth grade collaborated on the project along with Kyle and Hannah, two video experts from Middletown High School!

The Video Production Club is part of Macdonough School's 21st Century Schools program.

The Nutcracker

Thanks to our School Family Community Partnership Team, one lucky Macdonough family will be attending the Greater Middletown Concert Association's production of "The Nutcracker."  The program will take place at the Performing Arts Center at Middletown High School. 

"On Saturday afternoon, Nov. 27, there will again be a holiday performance of the celebrated “Albano’s Nutcracker Suite” ballet, which is also presented annually on the stage of Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun. Live orchestral accompaniment enhances the dancers’ performances along with extraordinarily beautiful sets and costumes. This music and dance experience is for all ages."

Turkeys in Kindergarten

This week the kindergarten children made different projects with a turkey theme. The first project was a Thankful turkey. The class thought of things that they were thankful for. Some examples are my school, my family, money and my bike.

The next project was a turkey with their head as the head of the turkey. Now they are gobbling turkeys.

The last project was a hand print made to look like a turkey. The poem read:

This isn't just a turkey

As anyone can see,

I made it with my hand,

Which is a part of me.

It comes with lots of love

Especially to say,

I hope you have a

Very Happy

Thanksgiving Day!

Macdonough in the News

Middletown Environmental Club seeks to make connections with foreign lands
by Hillary Federico, Middletown Press

MIDDLETOWN — Maybe you can go home again — at least for a little while. At least that’s what 9-year-old Kendalyn Zipf thinks as she sits in a classroom at Macdonough Elementary School eagerly awaiting for the Skype call to go through.

The group — made up of fourth- and fifth-graders involved in the Environmental Club — is calling students in Ghana, an effort that is supposed to encourage cultural connections between students from foreign lands. The term “foreign,” however, is relative as students participating in the “Dear Mother…Letters to the Earth” project come from all walks of life, from all parts of the world. Some students are from the southern portion of the United States, affected by Hurricane Katrina. Others were affected by the oil spill locally and overseas, according to principal, Jon Romeo.

Macdonough in the News...

Middletown Students' Environment Project Has International Aspects
by Melissa Pionzio, Hartford Courant

MIDDLETOWN — Huddled in a classroom corner Monday morning, Macdonough School fifth-graders shared posters they have created about the environment and what they can do to protect the Earth.

"Mother Earth provides us with grass and the land," said Leanna See, whose poster depicts a vibrant neighborhood filled with grass, trees, birds and homes. "At home, I have three gardens, one that is just flowers and plants and another that is for fruits and vegetables."

The posters, which the students drew during sessions of their Friday afternoon Green Smarts environmental club hosted by Wesleyan's Green Street Arts Center, are part of a special project they were invited to join called "Dear Mother … Letters to the Earth."

Monday, November 22, 2010

Community Health Center Groundbreaking Ceremony

Students from Macdonough School were guests of honor at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Community Health Center's new building located just a few blocks from school.
Students took part in the ceremonial "breaking ground" with shovels and hard hats provided by our friends at the Community Health Center.  They learned that the first School Based Health Center in Connecticut was right here at Macdonough School.  They also had the chance to meet Senator Chris Dodd!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Reading is Fundamental at Macdonough School

Macdonough School is a Reading is Fundamental (RIF) school!

As Middletown’s only RIF program site, Macdonough School will be participating in the “Books for Ownership” program designed to motivate children, families, and community members to read together through a triad of principles basic to the entire RIF organization: book ownership, motivational activities, and family involvement in children's reading.

• Book ownership: Macdonough School students will have the opportunity to choose and keep two to five books per year at no cost to the children or their families.

• Fun literacy-related activities: Macdonough school volunteers and staff will continue to motivate children to read with a myriad of festive book activities that accompany each book event.

• Family and community involvement: RIF headquarters will provide training and technical assistance to our volunteer RIF program coordinators.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Eating Estimation

First graders at Macdonough are currently focusing on estimating using a benchmark. Each student in Miss Grossman's first grade class was given a cup with M&M's in it. Students were asked to estimate how many M&M's they thought were in their cup based upon the benchmark of 10. The leftover M&M's were placed in one big cup for the class to estimate together.

After guessing, students were able to count to find out if their estimation was close and enjoy their tasty afternoon snack!

Vistor to Kindergarten

Mrs. Lenihan's class welcomed Sasha from first grade. She earned a prize for being the SURFS Up winner in her class. Sasha read Oh My, Pumpkin Pie.

Kindergarten Students become Pilgrims

This week the children in kindergarten learned about Pilgrims and the Mayflower. They also learned about the items they brought over on the Mayflower. At the end of the week the students dressed up as Pilgrims.

Thanksgiving Graph

Kindergarteners graph this week about their favorite Thanksgiving food. They chose between: pie, turkey, mashed potatoes & vegetables. The winne goes to: TURKEY for both Mrs. Lenihan & Mrs. Spaman's class!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Apple Fest 2010

Thanks to our incredible PTA for hosting Apple Fest 2010!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Walking Wednesdays on Winter Break

Our Walking Wednesday program concludes for the season on Wednesday, November 24th.  Please join us for the last community walk to school of 2010.

The program will resume again in March when the warmer weather returns.

Thanks for your support of this wonderful program!

Connecticut Odyssey of the Mind

Macdonough School has joined the Connecticut Odyssey of the Mind program!

The Odyssey of the Mind teaches students to learn creative problem-solving methods while having fun in the process.  The program is part of Macdonough School's 21st Century After School programs. 

"By tapping into creativity, and through encouraging imaginative paths to problem-solving, students learn skills that will provide them with the ability to solve problems -- great and small -- for a lifetime.

The Odyssey of the Mind teaches students how to think divergently by providing open-ended problems that appeal to a wide range of interests. Students learn how to identify challenges and to think creatively to solve those problems. The creative problem-solving process rewards thinking outside of the box."

Monday, November 15, 2010

Vistor to Kindergarten

Nate Holmes our Outreach Case Manager spends time in kindergarten on a weekly basis teaching Second Step lessons.

Second Step is a program that teaches empathy, anger management and problem solving.

Guided Reading Groups

Reading has begun in Kindergarten! Children are reading books in small groups and taking them home to read with their families.

Alice in Wonderland

The Middletown High School Drama Department is presenting Alice in Wonderland this weekend.

A Macdonough School family was awarded complimentary tickets to the show as part of our School-Family-Community Partnership Team.  In addition to seeing the show, our family is invited to the Mad Hatter Tea Party on Sunday afternoon where students will recieve a snack and meet the characters.

For ticket information, please contact Middletown High School at 860-704-4500.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Macdonough School Running Club

Mr. Nelson led members of the Macdonough School Running Club through the streets of Glastonbury to take part in the Race to the Pantry.  The 3.1 mile race, hosted by the Glastonbury River Runners, served as a fundraiser for a local food pantry.  Hundreds of non-perishable food items were donated by runners.

Congratulations to Olivia, Ian, Zach, Nora, Aidan, and Dermot!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Kindergarten students dress as Native Americans

Students spent the week making drums, necklaces, vests, and headbands to represent our Native American culture.

Starlab Planetarium at Macdonough

Our friends from Wesleyan University brought their Starlab Portable Planetarium to Macdonough School. 

The planetarium was set up in the school library and members of Miss Weindruch's and Miss DiBacco's fifth grade classes were invited inside to learn about the stars that light up our night sky.

Weekly Kindergarten Graph

This week's kindergarten graph is What is your Favorite Flavor Popcorn? This graph goes along with our Native American theme. The students sampled caramel, butter and cheese popcorn.

Both classes liked cheese the most. Mrs. Spaman's class liked butter the least and Mrs. Lenihan's class liked caramel the least.

Macdonough School Supports Amazing Grace Food Pantry

Kelli Swan, the secretary at Macdonough School, accompanied a group of fourth and fifth grade students on a trip to the Amazing Grace Food Pantry. 

The pantry, now located just a block away from our school, received several hundred food items donated by our students.

Each month as part of a school-wide campaign, students are donating non-perishable food items to help families in need.

Our next food drive will be held in conjunction with the Thanksgiving holiday and is being coordinated by the students in Miss Morello and Mrs. Waterman's third grade classes.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Macdonough School on Better Connecticut!

The Better Connecticut television show featured a segment recently promoting the Recess Rocks program at Macdonough School. 

Click on the link to see our wonderful kids in action!

PTA Apple Fest

Mark your calendars for the upcoming PTA Apple Fest on November 18th from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm!

Lyman Orchard is coming to do an Apple Pie Workshop.  Every child will leave the event with an apple pie to bring home!

Thanks to our amazing PTA for coordinating this event for Macdonough families.

Native Americans

This week the kindergarten children are learning about Native Americans. They will make drums, headbands, necklaces and vests.

Mrs. Spaman's class has a Tee-Pee in the class for children to sit in and pretend that they are Native Americans.

A special thanks to Quinn's family for bringing in the Tee-Pee for the class.

Monday, November 8, 2010

SOAR for Science program

Macdonough School fourth grade students have been selected for a special field trip to the New England Air Museum!  The trip was arranged as part of the SOAR for Science program.  Located at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, the Museum is the largest aviation museum in New England.

Our students will:
  • SEE the landmark artifacts of aviation which changed history - Learn about the courage and determination of famous men and women who brought aviation to where it is today.
  • HEAR firsthand the stories of veterans who lived the wars of the 20th century and fought to preserve the freedom we now enjoy.
  • EXPERIENCE firsthand the principles of flight which have challenged the pioneers of aviation for generations.
  • DISCOVER the impact our state of Connecticut has had on aviation and space exploration from the earliest balloon launches of 1857 to the design of space suits and life support systems for present and future space missions.
The trip is scheduled for April 2011.  Stay tuned for a special blog about this exciting experience!

Ray of Sunshine Smoothie

Kindergarten classes enjoyed making homemade smoothies with author Jodie Fitz. She wrote the book "Thumbs Up to Kids Cooking!" The students gave the smoothies 'thumbs up.'

Friday, November 5, 2010

Macdonough Awarded "Horns for Kids" Donation!

Macdonough School was awarded a flute through the Horns for Kids program!

Horns for Kids is a non-profit organization that supports deserving school music programs throughout Connecticut. Its main purpose is to encourage children to experience the thrill of performing music in school, and as a life-long activity.

The flute will be used a part of the Musical Mentoring Program, a new Macdonough partnership with the Green Street Arts Center.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sign Language Club at Macdonough

Groups of children in second grade are working with Wesleyan University students to learn basic sign language.  A partnership with Professor Sheila Mullen from Wesleyan University and the second grade teachers at Macdonough School made the program possible.

This week the students learned signs for a variety of food items.  Interested in learning the sign for peanut butter and jelly?  Just ask one of our second graders!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Student Leadership Conference

A group of six Macdonough School fourth graders have been selected to attend the Connecticut Association of School's Student Leadership Conference.  The conference is being held at Naugatuck Valley Community College on January 13th.

This one day event is designed for students in grades four through six. Students will participate in hands-on activities designed to foster leadership skills in productive thinking, decision making and communication.

Congratulations to our young leaders!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

WES Arts Program

As part of our WES Arts Program, a group of twenty students, parents, and staff members will be attending a concert at Wesleyan University on Friday, November 5th.  The group will be entertained by pianist Donald Berman in a concert entitlted "Celebrating Chopin’s 200th Birthday." 

The WES Arts program is a partnership between Macdonough School and Wesleyan University with a goal of promoting opportunities for our students to experience the arts.  It is a component of Macdonough's School Family Community Partnership Plan.

Monday, November 1, 2010

And the winner is....

Students at Macdonough School participated in a mock gubernatorial election today.  The activity helped us to learn more about the political process in action.

Each student was required to sign in at the registration table and then received a replica ballot to cast a vote.  The process was similar to what eligible voters will be doing in our gym tomorrow. 

Fifth graders tallied the ballots and declared a winner!  They had the chance to use their math skills!

Dan Malloy won our election in a landslide collecting 62% of the vote.  Tom Foley was the runner-up with 33% and Tom Marsh collected 5% of the vote.

Students are eagerly awaiting the results of tomorrow's election to see who Connecticut's next governor will be!

Macdonough Running Club at MxCC Road Race

Members of the Macdonough School Running Club participated in this weekend's MxCC Scholarship 5K Race in Middletown this weekend. 

A group of teachers, parents, and staff all represented the school with pride during the 3.1 mile race. 

Congratulations to Ezra and Olivia for their award winning performances!

The Macdonough School Running Club is a part of our 21st Century School Program. 

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