Friday, December 12, 2014

Simplify





Dear Wawaloam School Community,

It is that time of year, holiday shopping and running back and forth and everywhere. Hoping that during all of the hustle and bustle you are carving out the most important thing, time together with your family. I am on a personal mission to worry less about "getting it all done", my plan is to look for ways to simplify while increasing the number of opportunities to spend time together.

The thing is, there is not a magic wand or secret code to make this happen. You have to really analyze the day (the week) and think about ways this can happen. I have learned that the crock pot works as a lifesaver in our house. If I can plan the meal in the morning, when we get back from all of the errands and events from the day, dinner is done. If the schedules are different, the food stays hot and there is less stress involved......and it makes the whole house smell delicious!

Another crazy little lifesaver is using paper plates and cups during the week. First off, I want to say that I HATE THEM.....but it makes for a super quick clean up and increases time to spend together at night. I am sure this is not great for the environment.....but I am using less water because I am not doing dishes....or running the dishwasher......that has to count for something!

This weekend, we are making cookies. My husband and son are probably (definitely) not interested. My plan is to do this with my daughter while the Patriots game is on TV. This will put all of us in the same room while we are accomplishing one of my favorite holiday activities. I actually checked the game schedule and planned the time for making the cookies. This is what I mean by analyzing ways to make this happen.

Do you have any special time saving tricks you can share? I know our Wawaloam Community would love if you would share your own ideas with us! I will post your thoughts if you send me an email or respond to this blog. Let's help each other to simplify!

Next week, December 16th is the last day to turn in your Cards for a Cause orders for the year. I also know that if you add an extra 1.00 or 10.00 all proceeds are being used to purchase gift cards for the local food banks....something to consider.

By now you have probably seen the permission slip for our upcoming whole school field trip to the movies on December 23! We are all very excited about this opportunity to do something so special for our troops, our heroes!

We have already seen some of the items: socks, playing cards and hard candies! Thank you for reinforcing our community project at home and for your support. We can also thank Mr. Feinstein for the funds we will use for our school wide celebration of performing a good deed for others.



I also want to encourage you at home to check out the website called  GoNoodle.com  You can sign on and make a quick account and it is FREE!  On this site you can find many ways to get your children moving, especially on days when it is bitter cold and outside play time is limited. Mrs. Corcoran's class uses this pretty consistently. I have used this during indoor recess with our students and they loved it (well, except for the boys when I played the Frozen song, "Let it Go"). I am sure you can find a few family favorites and it might even become a special part of your routine together!


I asked 3 students to share their holiday wishes and received the following responses: 

Anthony B. "A New Bike!"
Owen S.   "A Video Camera!"
Liam W. "New Pokemon Cards!"


Hoping you all have a weekend filled with lots of time together.  My daughter is in a Holiday Dance Show on Saturday! 

Enjoy~
Melissa Marino



Friday, December 5, 2014

Warm December Greetings


Dear Wawaloam Community,




Make sure you carve out some time on this Saturday to attend the Holiday Bazaar at Metcalf School. 
There you will find nearly 70 vendors with a huge variety of wares, a special kids shopping area with all gifts priced $5 or below, a Penny Social, a 50/50 raffle, Holiday CafĂ©, baked goods, and of course pictures with Santa! You will also find so many people who have put in lots of hours to pull this event all together. Don't miss out on the fun! My daughter had a wonderful time last year in the 4-H craft room with Mrs. Kilday!


This week, we had a special visit with Alan Shawn Feinstein. He brought us a message about being a hero and using your caring powers and we are working on plans for a whole school event to show what a difference we can make. More information coming soon! 

Children in Grades 1 and 2 may have told you about the journal we wrote in this week when we met together and recorded our own good deed! Students were proud to raise their hands to show which examples of good deeds they help with at home and at school! 



I have  a follow up email from Mr. Feinstein that I wanted to share with you all:


"To my friends at Wawalaom School:
What a heart-warming visit I had with your teachers and students.  Please tell them how special you all are to me.Would you please inform your Jr. Scholars that these coming weekends, December 7th , 8th 13th and 14th at Slater Park in Pawtucket between 4p.m and 8p.m – there will be a ‘Winter Wonderland’ of lights and entertainment. The Slater Park Carousel will also be running and all our Jr. Scholars showing their Jr. Scholar Card will be eligible for 4 free rides and popcorn. 


As ever,
Alan"

*As your children complete good deeds during the holiday season, we would love to hear about these and even share these examples during announcements. Please tell us through email, note to school or give us a call. 

This link will bring you to a site devoted to sharing ideas about ways to inspire kindness.

http://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-ideas

The Exeter Tree Lighting was held on Thursday night and the Grade 2 Wawaloam Chorus was invited to sing! We were happy to hear, "Jingle Bells, Rudolph and Here Comes Santa Claus!"
We even saw Santa arrive by fire truck!! 

Thank you Mrs. Scheff for working so hard with our students to put on such a cheerful show!




Hope to see many of you tomorrow at the bazaar! Enjoy the weekend and each other :)
Melissa Marino

Friday, November 21, 2014

Bee Thankful



Dear Wawaloam School Community,

Hope everyone is managing to stay warm with the surprising burst of frigid temperatures this week! Please be sure to check the forecast as we do try to get the children outside unless the temperature feels well below freezing and if they are dressed appropriately, it is so helpful. Recess is in the morning so please remind your children how important it is to put on those hats and gloves as well. Helping reinforce those habits makes things more manageable for the classroom teacher who is making sure the whole class is prepared.

If you have a preschool age child (3, 4 or 5 years old), please consider a FREE Child Outreach Screening.  The state of RI has set a goal to screen ALL children before they enter kindergarten.  Please call Robin at Lineham School at 397-3771 to schedule an appointment.  And please, share this information with your friends!


Please check out all of the amazing student art on Artsonia!! Our art teachers put your students art in a Virtual Art Museum and you can give comments to all of our budding artists! You can also compliment our awesome art teachers through this site. I am so impressed with the creativity and detail in the projects in the art classroom. Check it out, you will be amazed!  http://www.artsonia.com/museum/  All you have to do is enter Wawaloam School and you are able check out so many masterpieces! 


Thank you so much to everyone who sent in items for our food drive. It was a great success and shows students how we can all be community helpers. We had the collection of food right in the middle of the hallway for students to see how it grew and grew over the past couple of weeks!

On December 3, Mr. Alan Shawn Feinstein will visit our school for a brief visit in the morning. He will be greeting students at Wawaloam during arrival. If you can locate your Feinstein T-Shirts for those of you who have them from last year, please consider wearing yours on that day!

Check out this great picture of some of our Kindergarten friends with their "Cough Spot" tattoos! This is part of the program Nurse Larkin is piloting along with several other Kindergartens in our state this year.



This week in our grade level meeting, all students heard the story Bee Wigged thanks to the PTA approving a request for a group of books that explore the themes of friendship, kindness and a variety of topics on expectations that can be reinforced through literature. I always know when the students enjoy these stories because they applaud and have big smiles on their faces. This fun story about true friendship was a big hit with students in Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 2 this week!



This week, I asked 5 students the question, "What are you thankful for?"  These are the amazing answers I received:
Lila D. "My brother"
Tyler P. My Ipad I got from my dad"
Zoe G. "My friends"
Cecelia B. "My Family"
Gianluca P. "That I am a student at Wawaloam School" XOXO


With the Friday off next week, there will not be a blog posted so I would like to take this time to wish all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving break with your family. I am thankful to be part of such an amazing place and appreciate everything you so to support the learning of your child and our incredible school community.

                                                                   BEE THANKFUL

Have a great weekend! 
Melissa Marino
@MelissaMarino9



Friday, November 14, 2014

World Kindness Day: Making a Difference in our School Community


 WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
We had the opportunity to think about World Kindness Day this week which was officially on November 13. Announcements were made to remind us how small acts can have a large impact on some one's day and in our whole grade meetings, we created little notes to leave for people in an effort to maximize joy! Perhaps some of you were recipients? 

We try to reinforce kindness EVERY DAY but we think it is pretty special that there is a whole day devoted to being kind, random acts of kindness, making kind choices and choosing kind words.

          WAWALOAM STUDENTS MAKE A SNOW/LEAF MAN EARLY THIS MORNING!


If you haven't heard, there is an upcoming presentation being put on by the EWG Partnership with Parents and the PTA. The presentation is titled: Social Responsibility/Social Networking and your Digital Footprint. A Journey into being socially responsible while using Social Media.  This is taking place at the Junior/Senior High School Auditorium from 6-8 PM on Thursday, November 20th. For more information, please contact: Catherine_Murray@ewg.k12.ri.us

Our food drive continues here at Wawaloam, our collection will continue right through the holiday season, thank you for continuing to send in non-perishable items. We have the collection right in the middle of the main hallway, students are always excited to add to this great cause!

If you are not aware, there is a President's Challenge Monthly Fitness On-line Newsletter that you can access if you are interested. It is FILLED with lots of fabulous information and resources. The theme this month is Fitness is Fun!
https://www.presidentschallenge.org/newsletter/nov-20121.html

Last week, I asked if anyone had stories to share about ways your children/family are volunteering time and making a difference. Thank you so much to Jenn Spira for sharing how Owen and Annie spent Election Day! They worked in the North Kingstown Food Pantry helping to sort and put away food collected during a local high school drive and election day drive. They were there for 2 hours that day and " had a blast!" 
 
Jenn shared some of what her kids learned: 

  • even "non-perishable" food has expiration dates
  • pigs love to eat expired human food (!)
  • there are many different kinds of beans (black, red kidney, pink kidney, dark red kidney, garbanzo, chick peas and more!)
  • many hands make light work, and even kids can make a difference
  • work can be fun; and finally, 
  • that many of our neighbors are in great need every day!
Thank you so much for sharing this and inspiring others! I hope other families will share too, I know there are a lot of people (including Wawaloam students) doing great things! 


DATES COMING UP:

November 17 Picture Make-up Day (Old pictures must be returned, envelopes available in office)



November 19 Parent Math Workshop Building Number Sense 6-7:30 PM at Wawaloam


November 20 Social Media Event for Parents 6-8 PM

November 27-28 Thanksgiving Recess


December 4 Exeter Tree Lighting Town Hall 6:30 PM

December 6 Holiday Bazaar at Metcalf School 9-3


CHECK OUT ALL OF THE UPCOMING EVENTS AT THE EXETER LIBRARY!
http://www.exeterpubliclibrary.org/

Have a wonderful weekend that provides you with time to enjoy each other. 

Respectfully, 
Melissa Marino
@MelissaMarino9

Friday, November 7, 2014

Honoring our Veteran's at Wawaloam School


Salutations,

It is with great pride that I share our school based effort to honor our Veteran's.  This entire month of school wide meetings will be devoted to giving thanks and how we can be helpers in our own community.

This week, we worked in collaboration with the Coventry Applebee's to create thank you cards which will be distributed to the many Veteran's who will visit the restaurant on Veteran's Day where they are eligible for a free meal. This is a special day at Applebee's and other local restaurant's who have this in place.  Applebee's decided to reach out to the community by requesting that local schools design these cards to show the impact their dedication and service has had on their community. We were so pleased to have the opportunity to be part of this special event.

I also had the privilege of visiting a Veteran from Wakefield, R.I. who was able to obtain red Poppies for all of our students to thank them for participating in this whole school service project. Wawaloam School made a difference!!






Additionally, I wanted to tell you about an upcoming presentation being put on by the EWG Partnership with Parents and the PTA. The presentation is titled: Social Responsibility/Social Networking and your Digital Footprint. A Journey into being socially responsible while using Social Media.  This is taking place at the Junior/Senior High School Auditorium from 6-8 PM on Thursday, November 20th. For more information, please contact:  Catherine_Murray@ewg.k12.ri.us

Also, please consider taking the time to check out the Wawaloam Art blog created by our Grades Kindergarten and 1 art teacher, Mrs. Beaulieu. She has also hung some beautiful art work in our foyer!!  Check it out www.wawaloamart.weebly.com  When I popped into her class this week the first grade students were creating beautiful owl art with chalk pastels!  Take a peek:



Hoping everyone has a fabulous weekend, I heard there is one more final Waterfire this Saturday for the season in Providence and that the Children's Museum has a brand new water exhibit! Two events worth checking out!

Reminder- No School Tuesday, November 10 in observance of Veteran's Day

I have been reading a book recently that continually emphasizes making time for fun and being silly with your kids, they will hold on to those memories. Instead of rushing to put the laundry away, my daughter and I had a quick "sockball fight" and I think I was laughing harder than her! This took about 2 minutes total and felt great, this is something to think about in those moments of haste and changed my outlook on laundry for a moment!

With admiration,
Melissa Marino

@MelissaMarino9 (on Twitter)

PS We would love to hear about special ways that your family helps the community, please email me if we have students doing good deeds outside of school so we can add these to our daily announcements this month!  melissa_marino@ewg.k12.ri.us






Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween



Greetings and Happy Halloween!

While the official month of Bullying Prevention is coming to a close, it does not mean that we will not continue these efforts. I can not tell you how much I appreciate all of the calls, emails and even notes acknowledging the time taken to address this serious topic. I also appreciate the calls that come in when parents are unsure what is going on but notice something is different with their child. These are the type of tips that really help us to get to the bottom of a concern.

The students here really do understand how to help a friend in a situation and go out of their way to do so! They also will report a situation if they feel someone is not making a safe choice. Please feel free to suggest that your children come to see me or even write me a note if there is something that I need to address. Some students have either written or drawn pictures of their ideas for making our school the best place it can be. We would love if you would continue to encourage that!

We did spend a lot of time talking about when a situation is considered bullying and when it is time to address a specific, individual concern. We know that a bully repeats the same behavior over and over again and how important it is to share your concerns with an adult.

We are moving away from this topic (although we revisit often!) and onto being thankful and being a community helper. I love this topic because it typically sparks great conversations about ways students and families are already helping out in the community. If you have specific examples of ways your family helps others, please share so that I can mention you! This could even be events you participate in that benefit others.

First grade had a great time during the Fire and Safety presentation this week! This is always such a memorable visit!



What a great turnout for the Family Bookfair Spooktacular!! Thank you so much to all of the student and parent volunteers! There were so many well thought out events! Coloring, tattoos, games, stories, shopping and snacks! I absolutely love seeing all of the kids in costumes, that is so much fun!! Hope you all had a wonderful time, I know I did!!




Thank you so much for getting into the Halloween spirit and sending in a carved pumpkin!! We have placed them all out in front of the school. They look nice during the day but I can't wait to check them out at night!! They should stay lit through the weekend, they make me feel happy!


Some of our teachers got into the spirit too!  We were all invited to enter a pumpkin decorating contest! The kids got a great big kick out of our designs! Aren't we a creative group??



Question of the week: What are you going to be for Halloween?? 
Adeline C. "AWitch!"
Domenic F. "An Army Guy
Will G. "Olaf!"
Noah T. "An M & M, a blue one!"
Alice B. "Twilight Sparkle Equestrian Girl!"

Overall another great week at Wawaloam School! We love OUR students! 

Respectfully,
Melissa Marino
@MelissaMarino9

P.S. No School Tuesday November 4, Election Day
       No School Tuesday November 11, Veteran's Day

Friday, October 24, 2014

Wawaloam Updates 10/20- 10/24


Dear Wawaloam School Community,

Do you want to know what is better than finding books to share with students? When a student finds a book they think I will like and comes into my office to read it to me- and then invites me to share it with the whole school!!

This week, I had the pleasure of hearing the story "One" by Kathryn Otoshi read to me by Madelyn R.  This book was about a group of colors that were not always made to feel nice by the color red! One day, a gray number 1 comes along and convinces the other colors that it is NOT ok to be made to feel bad by RED and then they all became numbers too. In the end, even the color RED becomes the number 7 with an ending theme that "all it takes is 1" to do the right thing :) This book celebrates differences and making your choices count.

What a great theme to share with all of the students as we continue to think about October being Bully Prevention Month.




 Madelyn R. holding the book "One" by Kathryn Otoshi


Have any of your children told you about our new benches out on the playground? Our PBIS team meets about every 6 weeks or so. We brainstorm ways to make our PBIS program stronger and stronger. We heard about a student who had the idea of a "Buddy Bench" for his school so that when children are feeling lonely or can not find a friend to play with, they can sit on these benches as a quiet code that they would like someone to play with. As a team, we decided that we like this idea and found two small benches so that we could put one on both levels of the playground. We spent time reviewing that the benches serve a purpose and that they are not to be moved around. We role played what a scenario might look like, students shared examples of when they would use the bench. Ideas like, when you can't find your friend, when your other friend is sick, when you don't like what your friends are playing etc.  The conversation went really well and the students seemed genuinely happy to have this option available. Here is a picture of the bench:


                                                                   Friendship Bench



What a great week at the book fair! We are fortunate to have such an awesome group of PTA parents who came and volunteered to help with this in our library. I appreciate Mrs. Gagner, our Reading Specialist working with the PTA to make this happen! The book selections were awesome and it is always fun to see what the children select! 

Don't miss out on the Spooktacular Book Fair Halloween Party, this Friday night at Metcalf from 6-8 pm Come in costume! There will be a Spooky stage and fun games and trick or treating! There will be a crafts station, free refreshments and of course lots of great books for sale! 


Once again we are having a Pumpkin Parade at Wawaloam School. Bring in a carved pumpkin next week and we will display these in front of our bee statue outside. On Friday, we will place them on 102 for a lit display (LCD lights) right our on 102. Last year, this looked GREAT at night~ the more participants the better!
                                                                               



I surveyed 5 students this week with the following question:
What is your favorite Fall activity?
Jordan H.  "When all the leaves come down and look pretty and stuff"
Evan B. and Madelyn R. "Jumping in the leaves!"
Emily M. "Watching the leaves fall"
Tyler B. "Making a big pile of leaves!"


COMMUNITY ANNOUNCEMENTS


A message from the towns: Please bring canned goods and pasta on Election Day when you vote on November 4, 2014.

For information about what is happening at the Exeter Public Library go to www.exeterpubliclibrary.org/



Parent Support Network is presenting a workshop for parents on Social and Emotional Learning. Any questions and for registration, please call 467-6855 

Hope you all have an outstanding weekend filled with family fun! 

Respectfully, 
Melissa Marino

P.S. On TUESDAY morning, we are having a safety demo and emergency/rescue vehicles will  be
in front of Wawaloam School. Please do not be alarmed, our Health teachers do this annually 
with Grade 1 students. 


Friday, October 17, 2014

October is Bullying Prevention Month




Dear Wawaloam Community,

I am starting out today with a reminder that the book fair is happening here next week for students during their scheduled Reading class in the Library. We have watched the PTA magic unfold all week long as the volunteers came in and set up for this loved event at school! Students can bring money to school to make a purchase at the book fair and plenty of people are here on sight to help with making good decisions. There are books, posters and other trinkets so you might want to be specific with your child about what you are allowing them to purchase. If you are planning to attend the Spooktacular Book Fair at Metcalf School on October 24 from 6-8 PM, you can also purchase books together at that time and simply have them look at the books here at school next week if you prefer. We are excited that this will take place in the library giving students plenty of time to browse and/or shop.

I also wanted to tell you again that October is Bullying Prevention Month and while we work on this ALL YEAR LONG we put particular emphasis on this important topic during this month. Earlier this week I sent home information about the CHALK IT UP AGAINST BULLYING EVENT in Wakefield scheduled for this Saturday. If you are interested in going, you have to register your artist on-line and print out your registration ticket. I am sure it will be a fun family activity if anyone is interested in attending. I am including the link to register for this event:

http://www.eventbrite.com/e/chalk-it-up-against-bullying-registration-12996531977




We talked about Bullying Prevention during the Weekly Meeting this week with Grades 1 and 2.  I read the book Lucy and the Bully by Claire Alexander. In this story a student is having some trouble with a "bully" who stomps on her art project, rips her book and breaks her pencils! She is afraid to tell her mother about this and when her mother figures out what is happening, she calls the teacher. The bully's mother walks him into school the next day and Lucy finds that the "bully" is suddenly very quiet and she starts to feel bad for him! She compliments a drawing he is working on and he feels happy. They share a laugh together and become friends.
The reason I like this story for sharing with the students is because it touches on being afraid to tell! We spent some time talking about NOT being afraid to tell and that it is NEVER acceptable to feel afraid of someone. We also talked about all of the people you could talk to and who could help you.
Finally, we drew mini-posters with the choice of a friendship theme or a "No Bullying" message. I thought I would share a few because I am very proud of our students! They have some great messages to share!!





There have been several of you inquiring about the new code entry system for our lunch program and I thought I would pass along some information that would be helpful and comforting.

First, we are hoping to start the first lunch 15 minutes earlier starting on 10/29 so that extra time is built in to the lunch schedule for the first week.  Second, we are planning to give evert teacher a class set of labels with the name of each student in the class and their ID code so that the kids can wear the code right into the cafeteria for the first week so that the code is at the fingertips of the cashier. Third, I am planning to be in there throughout the entire lunch period for the first couple of days so that one of the Teacher Assistants can help with the coded system. By starting the first lunch early, it will give us time to add minutes to the second lunch if it is needed. Our plan, on the Wawaloam end, is to be as proactive as possible. We anticipate this to be a bit slow in the beginning but these little children really do surprise us and they are pretty good at remembering codes and passwords and I suspect this will warrant the same results. 

I have also been in communication with Brett Nadeau who is the Food Service Director for the program. He is committed to making sure the change goes over as smoothly as possible. He is planning to have extra staff on hand to assist with the process. He is planning on distributing student ID's that will help with having the information at their fingertips in the lunch line.   Their lunch ID will be the same as their student ID that they were assigned when they started school, and this will be the same number that will carry them through their senior year. Brett has shared that it does allow us them to do a better job of tracking meals  compared with the pen and paper method that is currently being used.  It will take the younger kids a small amount of time to adjust to punching in numbers on a keypad, but we have seen that with most kids familiar with computers, ipads, and electronics as at much younger age than ever before it will not be as challenging for them to adjust to the new ways.

He also shared that along with the new POS system will be the ability to electronically monitor a student’s transactions and deposit money electronically into their account.  It will be done through a website, www.myschoolbucks.com where you will be able  to create an account for your child and monitor their transactions and account balance, all for free.  For a minimal fee, you will be able to electronically deposit money into a student account and set up low balance email alerts.  He has found that parents have found this very useful in lieu of sending their younger child to school with cash or a check and making sure to find its’ way to a teacher and ultimately the Cafeteria. I have been doing this for several years with my son and it is convenient to have the opportunity to add money to his account when needed. 
PUMPKIN MATH IN KINDERGARTEN

Community Announcements

EWG Girl Scouts is hosting a 2nd Grade Social - to find out what Girl Scouts is all about!  Join us on Tuesday, October 21st from 6:00-7:30pm in the Wawaloam School Cafeteria. 


There are some exciting events happening at the Exeter Library and on the website you can read all about the Calendar of Events and more! 

http://www.exeterpubliclibrary.org/utm_campaign=October%2014th&utm

Hope you all have an enjoyable weekend, there is so much going on! The weather looks to be promising as well. Thank you for all you do as partners in the education of our students. 

Respectfully, 
Melissa Marino

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Weekly Reflection Wawaloam School






This has been a week of quiet reflection.......your children are the reason we all love to come here every day. They amaze us with their growth and amuse us with their innocence and sense of humor! 

Given the information we were exposed to this week, it is important that we search for stories of hope and encouragement. There is an inspirational quote by Maya Angelou that says,  "Be the rainbow in someone else's cloud". 

I want you to remind you that we prioritize the safety of our students but I also need to share that I observe the faculty and staff coming in here every single day  "bringing the rainbow with them" no matter what they are dealing with in their own life or even disheartened by due to disturbing news or events in the world. 

The feeling of joy and happiness permeates throughout Wawaloam School. I believe that a sense of optimism and positivity contributes to the feeling of safety and security for our students and I just wanted you to know that this is what I notice and proudly appreciate every single day when I walk throughout our building. 







Motivated by the back page of Parenting Magazine I have decided to ask 5 random students a question on occasion so that I can share these responses with you from time to time. The first question that I asked was:


"Where is your favorite place in the entire world?" 

These are the 5 student responses to that question:
Stephanie S. "Disneyland!"
Natasha P.  "My house" 
Angelina L. "Hershey Park!"
Hunter G. "Yawgoo Water Park!"
Natalie S. "Hawaii"

If you have ideas for questions that I could ask, please feel free to share your ideas! If I choose your question, I will mention you in my blog :)


PTA has asked me to forward to you the following information:


The deadline for the fall fundraiser is approaching fast - all paperwork and payments are due by Friday, October 17th.  All students who sell $100 or more or donate $40 or more will be entered for a chance to win a Samsung Galaxy 3 tablet.

Forms have gone home for new student directories being compiled for each grade. The PTA will not publish home addresses, only adult email addresses and/or phone numbers for those interested in sharing. The directories will be distributed in paper form in November, by grade.

In honor of Eat Better/Eat Together Month I am sharing the following link because I love how it recognizes the importance of eating together as a family. With my husbands schedule and the busy kids schedules, it is hard to sit down for dinner together EVERY night but we make it a point to do this at least two nights a week and always on the weekends. I try to cook one of the meals the night before and we usually do take-out on Thursdays to make this manageable. Consider pasting this link in your browser and check out some of the ideas contained in the President's Challenge Newsletter:


https://www.presidentschallenge.org/newsletter/articles/10-2014-get-involved.html#involved1

Parent Teacher Conference Day Tomorrow  10/10/14 -We will miss all of our students at school tomorrow but I know teachers have been getting ready to meet with you for Parent Conferences if you have not done so already. 

We are very excited about all of the Box Tops coming in to school and also the returned Stop and Shop Codes for the A+ Reward Program. Thank you so much!!

You should have received an email today with an attachment telling you about the new computerized system we will be using for our lunch program starting at the end of the month. We are planning to send home a paper copy of this information as well. This will be on RED paper and will go home on Tuesday of next week so please be on the lookout. 

Enjoy the extended weekend with the Columbus Day Holiday on Monday. There are still plenty of pumpkins and apples left to pick! 

Respectfully, 
Melissa Marino


P.S. There is an article in the Standard Times this week about our new Smartboard Technology at Wawaloam School. Check it out!   http://www.ricentral.com/content/wawaloam-school-exeter-excited-new-smartboards


Friday, October 3, 2014

"Bee Updated" - Read About Wawaloam School This Week!


Happy Friday!!

Last year at the Kindergarten Orientation I shared a poem by Robert Fulghum called:

"All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten"

I recently came across a copy of the poem and I think it is worth reviewing again, the message is simple but if we want to be successful in life, there are key elements that balanced with academics, will make a huge difference-

Share Everything. 
Play Fair.
Don't hit people. 
Put things back where you found them. 
Clean up your own mess. 
Don't take things that aren't yours. 
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody. 
Wash your hands before you eat. 
Flush. 
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. 
Live a balanced life-
Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance 
and play and work everyday some. 
Take a nap every afternoon. 
When you go out into the world, 
watch out for traffic, 
hold hands and stick together. 
Be aware of WONDER. 

SOME OF OUR STUDENTS SHARING
(taken 10/2 in Mrs. Petrarca's class)

In addition to these important considerations, we also want to pass along some small steps that will help students feel confident and happy about school. A good night of sleep can move mountains for a young child. The recommended amount of time for sleep is between 10-12 hours! 

Also, when you encourage independence in your child, you are giving them a gift. As a mom myself, I can attest to the fact that it is indeed faster to zip the jacket and tie the shoes and pack the lunches by yourself but think about the opportunity you are giving to your child to gain the successful feeling of "I did it myself!"

If it is unrealistic to have children do this everyday, think about a plan like this:

Mondays- Make your own Bed Day
Tuesdays- Try Everything by Yourself Day 
Wednesdays- Wear the Clothes you Pick out the Night Before
Thursdays- Think About Doing Something Nice for Someone Else 
Fridays- Fun Lunch -Pack it Yourself Day (do it the night before)

If you take on any of these attempts at independence, or you implement something like this already- think about offering specific feedback for the task accomplished.  For example, instead of "Good Job" let your child know how much better they are getting at making the bed and how tidy their bedroom looks with a made bed. These small changes can instill the mindset of wanting to grow and improve each time.

I am passing along a short but great article with emphasis on the Growth Mindset for Parents with 5 small ways to encourage the Growth Mindset at home:

http://wonderofchildren.wordpress.com/2011/07/21/5-things-you-can-do-to-encouarge-a-growth-mindset-in-kids/

I had the opportunity to share the book Your Fantastic Elastic Brain by Dr. Joann Deak with Grades 1 and 2. We had a great conversation about things they want to get better at and how they can improve at anything they put their minds to. We repeated the phrase, "You can train your brain" several times. They were pretty engaged in this discussion in case you hear anything along these lines at home :)

This 1 minute link will share the concept of this great book that Mrs. Cohen so generously shared with me so that I could share with our students!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ch3kbXBah5Y

To end, we wanted to be sure you reviewed the two sided memo from The RI Department of Health regarding the Enterovirus D-68. We sent this home on paper so you could keep it nearby to review the steps for prevention as a family. It should have come home in the yellow home/school communication folder. For more information, see the RI Department of Health website:

www.health.ri.gov/diseases/respiratory/?parm=141

Here at Wawaloam we are doing everything we can to encourage everyone in the building to wash hands as often as possible and we are working together to disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Mrs. Larkin and I have really talked up keeping our hands clean and she has taken pictures of students (and teachers) she sees showing their Healthy Bee-Havior of handwashing! She has used these to create a bulletin board outside of her office and students check frequently to see if their picture is up there! Isn't this awesome!



Wishing you all a splendid fall weekend- I am hoping to get my pumpkins this weekend!
Sincerely,
Melissa Marino

PS- It was great to see SO many faces at last night's PTA meeting!! 


Friday, September 26, 2014

Wawaloam School- The Place to "Bee"!!!



Dear Wawaloam School Community,

Another fabulous week at Wawaloam School!! Fabulous......but bustling with activity! One week ago, we had Mr. Bill Plumley here working with our Technology Department to get our Enoboards (Smartboards) off of the trucks, these gentlemen have not stopped for one second over the course of this week!

Once all of the equipment was here, they worked tirelessly to get our computer lab up and running with 22 computers. In my opinion, they have moved mountains!! !We had to track down the right furniture, make sure we had the power and connections where needed and then proceeded to begin our first diagnostic online math assessment with our Grade 2 students. While it is not perfect and we are nowhere near finished with any of these projects......we are in a much different place than we were just one week ago!! If you would like to send a quick note of kudos to Mr. Plumley or Mr. Jeff Bain, you can reach them at:
bill_plumley@ewg.k12.ri.us   and  jeffrey_bain@ewg.k12.ri.us

I can not tell you how exciting it is to walk into the classrooms to see teachers using this new technology! I am sharing a picture of Isabelle P.'s tower that she worked on in Science today
and on the BRAND NEW ENOBOARD you can see the question projected to our budding scientists-
"What properties are useful for engineers to construct the tallest tower?" I am excited for our students to have access to this amazing resource!
  

Switching gears a little bit, I want to tell you about the book I am using right now with the students during our Weekly Meeting. I have not shared with Kindergarten yet but plan on it next week. I was inspired once again by the book Bullying Hurts/Teaching Kindness Through Read Alouds and Guided Conversation by Lester Laminack and Reba Wadsworth

The book is called The Pirate of Kindergarten by George Ella Lyon. The book touches upon the differences of one little girl who finds herself bumping in to chairs and we learn that she has double vision. After a screening with the school nurse and a visit to the eye doctor, she is empowered when she learns that this can be corrected with an eye patch. We were able to have a conversation about what we can learn from Ginny's experience and how some people helped her while others laughed. Again, it gave us the chance to talk about the importance of kindness, friendship and empathy. I would love to know if any of your children tell you about our time together. 


I am also sharing a resource I came across for parents and families that gives some great ideas for exploring creativity together as a family. This is the link if you are interested:



I will end this week by adding this quick photo....which may be a little bit blurry because these Kindergarten friends were skipping down the hall this morning to bring attendance to the office. This is what we see around here most often....these are the sights that we cherish and I just wanted to freeze that moment and share it with you. 

Enjoy the weekend, 

Melissa Marino

Friday, September 19, 2014

We are busy bees!



Week of September 15, 2014

Good Afternoon,

Congratulations! We made it through the first, full five day week of school. Did it feel longer for anyone? I did notice a few extra yawns today :)

Thank you to all Kindergarten families who attended our Open House this week. We were thrilled with the turn out and I am sure you gained valuable insight from the Kindergarten teachers on the expectations for the year. We are so happy to have our Kindergarteners here for the WHOLE day!
Thank you again  this week to the PTA board for their welcoming reception at the entrance to our school and for helping families complete background checks and "sign-ups" for PTA memberships.

Also, I know there have been a few questions about dropping off AFTER the allotted time for parents, which is 8:25-8:35. We simply have to wait until all 5 busses have dropped off children and left before we will be crossing students in our crosswalk. Please wait in your vehicle until we are clear of busses rather than waiting where the flagpole is at the beginning of the crosswalk. We cannot have children "playing" in that area and we really appreciate your help with this.
We recognize that this may not be the most convenient approach, but from everything we have experienced, we assure you it is the SAFEST method for our students.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my weekly meetings with each Grade level. I am so impressed with their RESPECTFUL behavior during our time together. We are working so hard on what it means to be a GREAT audience. We talk about eyes on the speaker, hands to yourself, bodies still and I have to tell you the results are IMPRESSIVE!!! We have had weekly raffle winners in each grade and students are applauding for their friends and celebrating their good choices together.

In all 3 Grades, K-2 we read the book, It's Mine by Leo Lionni. The reason I picked this story is because it talks about working together and that sharing yields better results for everyone which is a great message for our school community.  If you would like to check out this book with your child, I found a youtube link that reads the actual story out loud:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkRiTJNYyIk

Community News

There was information passed along this week regarding Boy Scouts- if you have any additional questions, please contact: saarnold@verizon.net

For more information about GIRL SCOUTS you can contact: tmitchell524@yahoo.com


I have been watching the signs pop up around town for the FALL FESTIVAL this weekend  and I am happy to share the following links that will give you the details about this FUN FAMILY EVENT! I know Keith Munslow is scheduled at 11:00 AM!  I am hoping to make it there myself. This information can be found on the Exeter Library website www.exeterpubliclibrary.org or at www.exeterfallfestival.com

I hope you have an amazing weekend! Make it count!
Melissa Marino 
Melissa Marino
melissa_marino@ewg.k12.ri.us