Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays

From all of us at Macdonough School, please accept our warmest wishes to you and yours for a peaceful holiday season.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas & A Very Big Thank You to Our Troops

Macdonough's fifth grade students are in the giving spirit this holiday season. Students and staff are donating various items to send care packages to our troops overseas. Along with the supplies students are sending a little holiday cheer through pictures. We know how difficult it can be to spend the holidays away from home so we hope our smiles and well wishes bring a little light to their long days. Thank you to the fifth graders for coordinating this!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

3D Creations

First graders have been learning about 2 and 3 dimensional shapes. To culminate our unit, students were able to build 3 dimensional shapes out of toothpicks and gumdrops! After making their creations, students took their 3D shapes home to show their families!

Box Tops for Education

Help Macdonough School earn money by clipping Box Tops from your favorite products. This is one of the easiest way to earn, because we buy these products daily! All you have to do is Clip, Turn-In and Save!

Another great way to earn Box Top points is by registering online. Once you register through Box Tops for Education Website, you have the opportunity to receive coupons and promotions on Box Top products that you can use at the local grocery store.

You'll also get: Macdonough's complete Box Tops earnings details, money-saving coupons for Box Tops brands, over 100 recipes using Box Tops products, and exclusive chances to win Bonus Box Tops. Best of all, membership in is absolutely FREE!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Dress Down Day at Macdonough

Did you ever wonder why every few weeks the teachers at Macdonough School are dressed a bit more casually than normal? The reason is a staff initiative to raise money for local causes. Staff members donate money for each of the "dress down days" and the donations are allocated throughout the year to help Middletown area organizations.

Organizations supported by the Macdonough teachers include Oddfellows Playhouse, the North End Action Team, Amazing Grace Food Pantry, Relay for Life, and the Ruth Lawrence Fund.

Friday, December 16, 2011

'Tis the Season to be Reading!!

Macdonough School was a host site for Connecticut's Tis the Season to be Reading celebration.

This morning the school hosted the All Aboard - Parent Express, a 40 foot bus visiting locations throughout Connecticut to provide education and wellness presentations, information packets, hot cocoa, fun activities, free books, and giveaways to families. Middletown's Bookmobile was also on site!

Each classroom hosted a guest reader from the community who helped send the message that it's always the season to be reading at Macdonough School. Guest readers included: Officer William Warner, Middletown Police Department; Mr. Ron Klattenberg, Mr. Phil Pessina, and Mrs. Deb Kleckowski, Middletown Common Council; Fire Marshal Al Santostefano, Middletown Fire Department; Donna Marino, Middletown Schools’ Family Coordinator; Mr. Quentin Phipps, Treasurer, City of Middletown;  Mrs. Izzi Greenberg, Executive Director, North End Action Team; Professor Lynda Valerie, Central Connecticut State University; Mr. Sebastian Giuliano, former Mayor, City of Middletown; and Mrs. Julie Kastenbaum!

The entire school community came together for a celebration in the gymnasium featuring a presentation by fifth grade students, a reading of Governor Malloy's proclamation, and an inspirational talk by author Jane Sutcliffe.

The day concluded with each child at Macdonough School receiving a book so that this could truly be a season to be reading.

Kwanza in Kindergarten!

Today in Kindergarten we learned about Kwanza. We read a story about how people celebrate Kwanza and had a picnic with some of the delicious fruits that people eat during Kwanza!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Award Winning Author Coming to Macdonough School!

Author Deborah Freedman is coming to Macdonough School on Thursday, January 19th to take part in a family reading celebration.

Deborah Freedman is an architect turned author-illustrator who lives in Connecticut.  She used to live in Middletown! 

Mrs. Freedman's first picture book, Scribble was a Book Sense Pick and a Connecticut Book Awards finalist.

Her second book, Blue Chicken, was released this fall to three starred reviews – from Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, and Booklist – and is on Kirkus's list of "Best Children's Books of 2011".

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Number Buddies Visit 2nd Grade

Second graders welcomed their Number Buddies from Essex Elementary School on Wednesday. The started the morning with a snack that included delicious clementines and grapes. After talking about different ways to name numbers, the students played the card game "Close to 21." They also heard a fairytale that involved sorting gems so that all characters got equal amounts. The kids worked together to reinact the folktale. They ended their visit by eating lunch together and wishing their new friends a happy holiday.

Miss Weindruch's 5th Graders Present Achievement Awards

After spending the first few months of school on the theme, Hard Work and Perseverance, fifth graders demonstrated their knowledge of hard working role models: Wilma Rudolph, Jackie Robinson, Mae Jemison, Michelle Kwan, Harriet Tubman, Buck Leonard, Benjamin Banneker, and Mia Hamm. Students created personalized achievement awards, as well as wrote and practiced speeches. As a final project, students presented the awards, and also gave acceptance speeches on behalf of the honoree. What a fun project! Public speaking isn't easy- very well done!!

Stuff-A-Cruiser Toy Drive for Macdonough School!

The Middlesex United Way’s Young Leaders Society held a Stuff-A-Cruiser Toy Drive at Esca Restaurant on December 13th. The gifts that were collected were donated to the children and families at Macdonough School!

The Young Leaders Society is a unique and dynamic group providing community involvement, personal development and networking for individuals or couples 40 years of age or younger who live and work in Middlesex County. Their mission is to create opportunities for young professionals to get involved with Middlesex United Way, connect with colleagues and community leaders and give back to advance the common good.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Concert Special Guests!

Students and families were treated to three special guests at this year's holiday concert!

Soro-Bindi African Dance coming to Macdonough School!

Soro-Bindi is coming to Macdonough School in February!

Soro-Bindi is an exciting, interactive performance that incorporates traditional Ghanaian dances, songs, stories and explanations of Ghanaian culture. Iddi Saaka and his dance partner will lead the children through various dances such as the Kpanlogo dance and the Bawa harvest dance. Between dances, the students will learn about Ghana through multiple stories. Students will be invited to play traditional Ghanaian instruments and join together at the end for the big circle dance.

Soro-Bindi teaches students about Africa in general and Ghana in particular. The performance encourages students to respect and appreciate different cultures through an exploration of Ghana and its art forms.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Dear Santa.....

Today kindergarten wrote letters to Santa. Each student was able to personally mail their letter. The mail box is right outside the office if you'd like to mail one too! Ho, Ho, Ho!

Macdonough Awarded Grant from MSAPC

The Middletown Substance Abuse Prevention Council awarded Macdonough School a grant to support the spring edition of the Macdonough School Running Club.

The Macdonough School Running Club provides opportunities for students to participate in running practices to enhance their abilities and compete in local road races with parents and school staff.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

First & Fifth Grade Book Buddies

First graders in Mrs. Walsh's class and Mrs. Paul's fifth graders are book buddies! One student from each class is paired up with one another to read together each week. Older students read to the younger ones, and recently, the first graders have been starting to read books to their fifth grade buddies! All students enjoy this time together to share the love of reading!

Miss. Grossman's Class has a Guest Teacher!

Student's were pleasantly surprised when Miss. DiBacco was a surprise guest teacher in Miss. Grossman's class today. She read the book Head to Toe by Eric Carle and taught them about verbs. Thank you Miss. DiBacco for such an exciting lesson!

Hanukkah In Kindergarten

The kindergarten children learned about Hanukkah today. The children made menorahs and ate potato latkes. Ms. Izzie came in to show the children how to light the menorah and read them a Hanukkah story. Happy Hanukkah!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Book Fair at Macdonough School!


It's that time of year again!  The Book Fair is here!

Children will have the opportunity to browse through a collection of fiction and non-fiction favorites throughout the week.

Proceeds from the book fair will be utlized by the Macdonough Parent-Teacher Association to off-set the cost of field trips.

Book Presented in Honor of Firefighter Hal

The staff at Macdonough School has donated a book to the school library in honor of Firefighter Al (who is also known as Al Santostefano, Fire Marshall, Middletown Fire Department).  Firefighter Al not only comes to Macdonough School to teach students about fire safety, but also serves as a mentor to a second grader.

The book, Firehouse by Mark Teague, is about the amusing journey of Edward and his cousin Judy as they learn how to be firefighters.  Not taking the job of a firefighter lightly, Edward is thrust into a real emergency and is able to put his newly learned skills into action—saving the day, of course.  Firehouse received the Parent’s Choice Award Silver Medal!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Hip Hop Dance Class for Parents, Teachers, and Care Givers!

Beginning Monday, January 9th!

4th Graders are learning about Math Combinations!

 This Week in 4th Grade Math: Combinations and Food fun!

Students manipulated various types of toppings and crackers to see how many possible combinations they could make. Students enjoyed eating their results as well!

Friday, December 2, 2011

First Grade Visitor to Kindergarten

SURFS winner and first grade student,Quinn from Mrs. Walsh's class came to read
to Mrs. Spaman's class.This was the prize chosen by Quinn for being
SURFS winner this week! Thank you! Our class really enjoyed
your story!

Cultural Exchange Night

On Thursday evening, Macdonough hosted a Cultural Exchange night. Parents, teachers and children got together to eat some food and converse in both English and Spanish. Latin music played in the background as folks ate delicious food from Iguanas Ranas and homemade dishes. It was a great opportunity for people to practice their Spanish and/or English skills. A big thanks to the Family Resouce Center for organizing and decorating the cafeteria. Fun was had by all!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Firefighter Al Visits 4th Grade!

Firefighter Al visits Miss Morello's & Ms. Claffey's class as part of the Adopt-a-Firefighter program. Students learned about fire safety as well as power outage safety.

4th Grade Goodspeed Theater Trip!

Students got to dance with Allie, one of the Goodspeed Actresses! Allie taught them the different genres of music; starting from the present all the way through the 40's. Students danced to Michael Jackson to the Beach Boys. They danced from rag to ballroom to hip hop. 

Students also got to meet with Beth and Ben, who are also performers from Hello My Baby! Beth and Ben taught students the musical component of the show.

Students learned practicing drills, in which singers use to warm up their vocal cords.

Students learned lyrics to Hello My Baby!

Here is Miss Morello's class at the Goodspeed Theater.

Here is a beautiful view of the Connecticut River.

Students learned about the purpose of East Haddam's swing bridge. 

4th Grade Mystic Aquarium Trip

4th graders went to Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Connecticut on November 22nd with their BioBuddies. They learned about marine animals, interacted with some of them, and went on a scavenger hunt. It was a great experience!

Here is a Mystic Staff member swimming with the fish.
Briana and her BioBuddy had a chance to observe a crab?
Did you know that if a crab loses one of its leg, it can grow it  back?
Chante is examining the underneath of a horseshoe crab!
Here are Christopher and Kenny with a baleen from a baleen whale. The baleen is used to help catch food. 
Students learned about the food chain within the ocean and the different animals that take part.

Elf on the Shelf!

The Elf on the Shelf has been visiting Kindergarten everyday! He stays and watches for good little boys and girls. He even sometimes brings goodies for the children! Keep an eye out, you might see him too!

Christmas in Mexico

The Kindergarten students learn about 'La Posada' a holiday celebrated in Mexico. Children enjoyed 'Three Kings Cake' where there was a prize for the classroom in the middle of the cake. The children also put their shoes outside, which is a tradition done in Mexico. In Mexico the children believe that the 'Three Kings' will leave presents in their shoes.

The children listened to a story called "The Legend of the Poinsettia." In the story the little girl could only offer weeds as a gift. The weeds then in the spirit of 'La Posada' turned in poinsettia. The children in Kindergarten also crafted their own poinsettia

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