From the Principal
HOME OF T HE CUBS
Dear WHS Families:
As I mentioned in my March newsletter, we have launched a
schoolwide unit on Beverly Cleary’s Ramona books. This author
will be 95 years old on April 12, 2011. There is now a national
initiative planned to honor her and her literary works on her
Please join us at Whitehouse School from 9:30am to 10:00am on
April 12th. We will Drop Everything And Read as a school. As a
logistical detail, you will need to bring a book (that you will read
silently) and sit on the floor in the hallway with your child’s class!
Hope to see you there!
Ann T. DeRosa
P O Box 157 50 Whitehouse Ave . Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889 Phone: 908-534-4411 Fax: 908-534-9157 www.readington.k12.nj.us
Please join us for D.E.A.R. time at Whitehouse School on
April 12th, 2011
Bring a book!
THE WHITEHOUSE SCHOOL
2011 GOVERNOR’S TEACHER OF-THE-YEAR
The following teachers were also nominated by colleagues or parents:
Most Exciting Activity
Bailey and Ethan Fluke
Bailey and Ethan went to Niagara Falls, Canada. They
were terrified as they fell down the waterfalls in a barrel.
Silliest Farthest Location
Patrick Nisivoccia, his brother
J.D. and their dog Jazzy Sila Keha
The boys enjoyed dressing up Jazzy for the Sila and one of her favorite princesses at
Day of Blue and Gold Dinner. Disneyland California’s Fantasy Fair
Olivia and Justice Stapleton
Visiting the U.S. Capitol Building and the Library of
Congress in Washington, D.C.
Julianna and her brother showing off the U.S. map puzzle
they put together.
Best Pose with a Celebrity
Lea and her dad meeting country singer Sara Evans
Philip and Molly Arkoulakis Jessica Fielo, Jason Pascale
and their sisters
Philip got his yellow belt in Tae Kwon Do.
Fielo and Pascale family trip to
Great Wolf Lodge
Spring is arriving and the learning. In addition, they will be celebrating Earth
kindergarten children’s skills in continue to develop their phonics Day with a paper
literacy are in full bloom. They skills with instruction in the short e recycling activity
have developed confidence in their and u sounds and the consonant where they will
writing and they are writing words letters Qq, Yy, Vv, Jj, and Zz. All of actually make their
and sentences in their journals. As these skills will be taught in our own paper. Then, it will be on to our
the year continues, they will fine thematic units of Around the Town, new science unit on Animals with lots
tune their skills with spacing and Neighborhood Helpers, Exploring of interesting creatures entering our
using as many lowercase letters as Our Surroundings, and Under the classrooms!
they can. Water. Shared reading and read Kindergarteners will be working on
Phonemic aloud books will focus on these new skip counting by 2’s, 5’s and 10’s,
awareness skill themes. In the sharing literature showing teen numbers as ten and a
development will activities, the children will also be 1-digit number, and writing the
continue to working on reading comprehension, numbers 1 through 30 in order. They
flourish with their concepts of print, story sequencing, will also continue to find partners
newly learned characters and retelling. The for the numbers through ten, solve
skills in phonics. children will continue to bloom with addition equations, compare simple
They are excitedly reading their new literacy skill development math drawings to see which group is
decodable books with short vowel over the next couple of months. more or fewer, and make repeating
blending of three letter words and The children will be completing a patterns. Yes, we will
the sight words that they are science unit on Paper. As the month be busy little bees
of April comes to a close, they will this spring!
The First Graders have kicked their abilities to go back and Ramona the
off an exciting new science unit! edit their sentences for Brave by Beverly
Whitehouse School’s 1st grade capitalization, punctuation and Cleary. Watch
meteorologists spelling. carefully as our
have been The students are now hallways
actively completing their study of Unit 6 transform
engaged in of the Math Expressions themselves into a pictorial book
learning about Program. In this review. This month, an emphasis
and observing unit, they have been will be placed upon identifying
different weather conditions. focusing on graphing cause and effect while reading.
With a recent blast of and measurement. The students will also be
unseasonably cold weather, we’re In Unit 7, the learning how to find the plot
now eagerly anticipating warm, students will begin to study within a story. In addition, they
sunny weather. fractions and will also enhance will focus on other
This month, the students will their abilities to tell time. reading strategies
be focusing on adding that they have
Along with the rest of the
descriptive words to their previously learned.
school, our first graders are
writing. They will also work on enjoying listening to the story
becoming more independent in
Second grade readers have been marveled at the moon’s phases. Our what a plant needs to
learning about nature through young astronomers read many books survive and study
children’s literature. They’re studying about Earth’s only natural satellite and insects that both help
plants and animals as they read built up their moon vocabulary. Ask and hurt our
interesting non-fiction books in your child about waxing and waning gardens. Our
language arts. Be sure to ask them crescent and gibbous moons and the gardeners will tend to
about what they learned while reading fascinating full and new moons. We the garden every other week in
books in this genre. had fun celebrating our knowledge of anticipation of Harvest Day and Salad
It’s time to tell time! We’ve been the moon during our trip to the Raritan Day in mid-June. With the help of our
working on telling time with Valley Community College Planetarium. Master Gardeners and parent
digital and analog clocks, GET READY TO GARDEN! We’re volunteers, we will make the biggest
watching the time pass excited to break ground for our salad you can imagine to
with elapsed time, and ENORMOUS second grade vegetable celebrate the "fruits
recognizing the and flower garden. and vegetables" of our
difference between A.M. The second grade labor. Encourage your
and P.M. Ask your child what time it is gardening project children to garden at
throughout the day and ask them how gives our young home and ask them to
much longer it will be until your next botanists the teach you what they've
family event. opportunity to learned about plants.
We enjoyed moon gazing this past investigate soils,
month! Each night our second graders identify parts of a plant, determine
Have An Extra Long, Extra Recess
Watch a Movie in Your Pajamas
Get an Extra Chance to Win
Books from the Reading Wagon
“Multiplication Madness” has continued throughout the classrooms in third
grade! Students continue to be introduced to the facts in small clusters.
During the daily lesson, students learn tricks and strategies to help them solve
these problems more accurately and with increased fluency. Those students
who work a few minutes at home each night practicing and memorizing these
facts are demonstrating strong growth. Thank you for supporting your child in
this way. In addition to multiplication, we have been working on finding
perimeter and area of a variety of shapes.
In literacy, we are wrapping up our exploration of proverbs, fables and tall tales and are moving
into the genre of historical fiction. During this unit, students will be reading a variety of stories that
contain historical facts from the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl and the Gold Rush. Students will be
participating in discussions and activities to help them develop stronger relationships to story
characters. As our third graders become more thoughtful readers, they are encouraged to provide
stronger responses to the text. Using a variety of open-ended questioning techniques, we are
continuing to provide students with opportunities to develop and strengthen this skill.
Our curriculum has been enriched with a variety of wonderful assemblies that our students have
been fortunate to attend. Our study of fables was enhanced with a visit by Jim West’s production
company. Students enjoyed watching a variety of Aesop’s fables artistically presented through
puppetry. Some of our students were so inspired by Jim West’s puppets
that they made puppets and props of their own. In connecting our lives to
the story of Balto, The Dog Who Saved Nome, we welcomed a visit from
Kim Darst, a local musher who raced in the Alaskan Iditarod. She
brought one of her dogs along and shared with us her amazing journey to
the Iditarod. We were very proud of the connections our third graders
made to this experience. The questions and discussion generated by our
students following this presentation were insightful and impressive.
Next, students stepped back in time with Mr. John Kraft, exploring life in New Jersey as Lenni
Lenape Indians. Mr. Kraft shared with us his knowledge of the
Lenape Indians through a fact-filled power point presentation and a
hands-on exploration of his amazing collection of artifacts. Students
were thrilled to be able to touch, handle and wear these authentic
items! Following the Lenape assembly, students were transported to
the early American pioneer days. This assembly is a perfect tie-in to
our historical fiction literacy unit. More hands-on experiences with
tools and toys from the Pioneer Days helped students connect to life
during this important era. Our final assembly, lead by Dr. Loew,
brought us back to the realities of present day life and our need for good dental health. Students
learned all about responsible dental health and orthodontic care.
As you can see, our third graders had an exciting couple of months. We are looking forward to
visiting with you at spring conferences and wish you a restful, warm and enjoyable spring break!
“Spring” Into Fitness!
Whitehouse School students are gearing up once again and participating in our annual Jump Rope For Heart event
coming up in April. All information was sent home along with a parent letter and collection envelope. For more
information about how to fundraise, using the website, or upcoming due dates, please check the nurse’s school
website. This year the top fundraising classes from each grade level will win an extra recess with Mrs. Sivo!
“You too can be a HEART HERO!”
You can also visit the Jump Rope For Heart website for more information. www.heart.org/HEARTORG
In The Gym
We have been very busy in the WHS Gymnasium. Students have just finished learning volleyball skills. We have
been practicing how to bump, set, and serve using proper form. We put our skills to the test with the famous
Beach Ball Volleyball Game.
Presidential Fitness Challenge
In April, WHS students will participate in the Spring Presidential Fitness Challenges. Students have the ability to
achieve National Fitness and Presidential Fitness (more difficult) Awards depending upon fitness scores achieved.
To view the list of broken down scores for each of the five tests, you can visit the WHS Physical Education
website or the President’s Challenge website listed. www.presidentschallenge.org
The Physical Education classes will also be participating in this year’s Thematic Unit of Ramona. As a school we
will be focusing on multiple aspects of movement and exercise expressed in many of the books your children are
reading. Students will be participating in units such as: outdoor games, jump rope, and playground safety.
Mrs. Sivo & Ms. Kozal
Get ready to explore the world of Beverly Cleary! Beverly Cleary is perhaps the best known
author of humorous and realistic fiction. For the next several weeks we will “hang out” on Klickitat
Street with Ramona, Henry, Ribsy and their friends!
Beginning with Beverly Cleary’s seven picture books, kindergartners will be introduced to Jimmy,
Janet and Petey and their experiences as “big boys and girls.”
A young mouse named Ralph makes friends with a boy and enjoys riding a motorcycle in The
Mouse and the Motorcycle. Our first grade students will take a wild ride with Ralph as they listen to
excerpts of his stories which also include Runaway Ralph and Ralph S. Mouse, the S stands for smart!
First graders will write and illustrate their predictions about Ralph.
Henry Huggins and his dog Ribsy are featured in the early Beverly Cleary books, Henry Huggins
and Ribsy. As I introduce and read Henry Huggins to our second graders, we will create a Henry
Huggins Word Wall!
The spunky Ramona Quimby first appeared in Beverly Cleary’s Henry and Beezus. Later in
Ramona Quimby, Age 8, Ramona starts third grade. I will share this story with third graders. Along
with the fun of listening to Ramona’s experiences in third grade, students will learn about the Newbery
Medal, an award given annually to an author for outstanding children’s literature. Ramona Quimby, Age
8 was chosen as a Newbery Honor Book in 1982.
National D.E.A.R. Day is a special day to remind and encourage families to read together. It
will be celebrated on April 12th, Beverly Cleary’s birthday. We hope you can “Drop Everything and Read”
with your children at home or come in and join us at Whitehouse School.
Mrs. Susan Cunningham
The sounds of Spring are in the air at Whitehouse School!
The children have begun preparing for their upcoming
concerts and we hope you’ll be able to join us at the
Grade 3 ~ “Listen to the Water”; Friday, May 20 @ 9:30pm
Grade 2 ~ “Have to Have a Habitat” Friday, May 20 @ 1:30 pm
Grade 1 ~ “Spring is in the Air”; Thursday, May 19 @ 1:30 pm
Kindergarten Proud Day Concerts ~ Thursday, June 2 @ 9:30am
(AM Kindergarten) and 1:30pm (PM Kindergarten)
For your convenience, lyric sheets, concert updates and
other materials for students are updated regularly on our
school website. Just follow the “classrooms link” to the
Mrs. Laurie Levesque
WHS Music Specialist
534-4411 ext. 4141
Artists at Work
The young artists of Whitehouse School are busy learning new things in
the Art Room.
Kindergarten students just finished their unit on warm and cool colors
by creating a landscape using the two color families. We will soon start
our Ramona themed project with portraits .
First graders created beautiful watercolors of faces and a collage city scene with a cut out of
Second graders designed beautiful silhouette pictures with
mountains in the background. Our clay mask project was a
big hit. Some of the masks are displayed in the school
showcases. We will soon, create wild, crazy hairstyles for our
Ramona themed project.
Third graders constructed “Curly Trees” in the style of artist T.R. Mack.
Third graders also worked on shades and tints of their birthstone colors
for their Ramona inspired gemstone report cover.
Mrs. V. Patterson
We have been doing some fun and exciting activities here in the computer lab. We’ve been sorting,
counting, making spreadsheets and graphs! We’ve also been skyping and making PowerPoints. Time
has been flying by and will continue to do so with all of the thrilling projects yet to come!
We are jumping into computer projects with Ramona! We’ll be exploring her website, making posters,
creating comics, taking pictures, making ads and more. Each grade level will be focusing on their
individual book and relating Ramona back to their own lives. It will be so interesting to see how similar
and different we are from her.
Students work hard to gain computer knowledge here in the classroom. They love to explore the
internet, play educational games and work on their typing skills. Using my website at home is a great way to enhance
their interest in the computer. My website is full of skill building games, fun websites to explore and challenges to
take on! You can find my website on the Whitehouse School homepage (www.readington.k12.nj.us/whitehouse), scroll
over classrooms and then click on computers. Each student has used my website many times and should know how to
navigate it! As April showers keep us indoors, use that time to help keep your child’s computer skills sharp!!!
Miss Jen Hoff
Computer Teacher Long-Term Substitute
It is that time of year again! Selection for the 2011/2012 school year will be starting. Parents are welcome to
nominate their children for Gifted and Talented programs. These are separate classes from the Enrichment
math and writing groups for second and third graders. G&T nomination forms can be found on the district
website under the curriculum office tab.
Please see below for clarification about entrance criteria. Also, there is more in-depth information on my
Kindergarten and 1st Grade Enrichment
* For language arts enrichment, students need to demonstrate that they are reading, comprehending, and writing at a very
advanced level for their grade. Students are evaluated based on their classroom reading level and writing scores, in addition to
their performance on an enrichment language arts assessment.
* For math enrichment, students need to demonstrate mastery of a high percentage of the math curriculum that will be taught
in the next half of the school year.
2nd and 3rd Grade Enrichment (G&T)
In order to qualify for this program, students must demonstrate not only advanced reading and math abilities in the classroom, but
also must score within a certain range on a nationally recognized assessment designed to show giftedness in young children. This
assessment is in three parts and covers math, science, language arts, social studies, and reasoning. The assessment results indicate
the likelihood that the child is gifted, ranging from highly likely gifted to highly unlikely gifted. The assessment is used nationally
and has proven to be a very reliable indicator.
As always, I am happy to answer any questions you may have via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or
phone (908) 534-4411 x4127.
Fact: 85% of what we know, we have learned by listening.
When we help our children learn to listen effectively, we
are providing the foundation for successful communication.
Suggestions to Increase Listening Success at Home
1. Give your child a quiet area in which to do homework or read.
2. Eliminate distractions as much as possible. Turn off the television or
radio during homework or conversation.
3. Establish eye contact when initiating a conversation. Try not to hold a
conversation from separate rooms.
4. Give simple, concise directions or instructions. Give one or two-step
directions first. (“Go to your room and bring me your dirty clothes.”)
5. Have your child repeat directions back to you to check for
6. Rephrase or restate directions a second time. Keep rate of speaking slow
7. Designate certain listening times in which conversations might be limited
to one person speaking at a time without interruption (dinnertime and
bedtime, for example).
8. Reading books to your children promotes good listening. While you read,
have your child answer questions or comment on the story.
9. Listen to your children in the way that you like to be listened to by them.
Hearing what your child has to say makes them feel important while
they’re talking to you. Children are more apt to listen to you when you
listen to them.
Reward your child occasionally when they display good listening
Noelle Laurita and Marie Potenta
It’s the season for the sneezing!
With warmer weather, seasonal allergies are about to begin. How do you tell the
difference between a cold and a suspected allergy?
An allergy would have the following symptoms:
* Repeated or chronic cold-like symptoms that last for more than 2 weeks
* Symptoms that develop at the same time every year
* Runny nose, nasal stuffiness, sneezing, throat clearing, nose rubbing, sniffling, snorting, itchy eyes, runny eyes
* Itchy throat or tingling in the throat and mouth is a classic indicator of an allergen
* Recurrent red, itchy, dry skin
* Dark circles under the eyes caused by nasal congestion
You can help to control reactions to allergens. Avoidance of the suspected allergen is the best way to
prevent a reaction. Other recommendations for minimizing exposure to environmental allergy causing
* Keep pets out of certain rooms, like your child’s room
* Remove carpets or rugs
* Remove heavy drapes and other dust collecting items
* Clean frequently
* Keep windows closed when pollen is at its peak
* Change clothing and wash face and hands after having been outdoors
* Mow the lawn when children are inside or away from the home
* Keep exhaust fans in working order in mold prone bathrooms
* Keep bathrooms clean and dry
If your child requires an antihistamine or other allergy medication while at school, please send in the permission
to dispense medication form signed by your child’s physician. This form is available on my webpage
www.readington.k12.nj.us/whitehouse then scroll over Information and click on Health Services.
Helpful websites for allergy information:
Maureen Sjonell R.N.
TESTING TIPS FOR PARENTS
Tests have been used to measure student achievement and ability for many
years. Testing begins at the elementary level and travels all the way through to
college entrance exams. Your child is prepared for testing in many ways at
school, but here are a few tips that you can use to help your child:
* Get your child into a regular sleep schedule.
* Start the pattern of eating a nutritious breakfast.
* Get your child to school on time.
* Promote a relaxed feeling about taking any type of test.
* Praise good work and display it!
* Remind your child to always try to do his/her best. They may not
know every single answer.
* Have your child dress in layers, so they feel comfortable.
* Remind your child to check all of their answers carefully.
* Know when tests are being given.
* Remind your child to listen and follow the test directions.
All of these tips can help to reduce test-taking anxiety.
The most important thing is to remind your child that you love him or her
regardless of the results!
Mrs. Debbie Debaro
Grace Davitt Michelle Amoia
Carol Armstrong Wendy Beyer
Kelly Cooper Rana Dellapello
Dana DeGiovanni Laura Dolan
Gina Doyle (Volturo) Peggy Fitz
Kelly Francfort Nicole Hunt
Patty Marsden Carrie Mastropaolo
Amy Matza Kathy Powick
Lee Scotti Carolyn Smith
Liz Woods Jennifer Heppner
Jinah Lim Suzanne Hoffman
Kathy Wagner Bob Paulson
Patty Marshall Theresa Amster
Lisa Varma Allison Bain
Diane Steinberg Kelli Fitzgerald
Lauren Gallagher Deanna Gulick
Beth Campbell Mary Beth Antonello
Michelle Berger Beth Menyhert
Lee Scotti Heather Agosto
Edel Connolly Patti Nisivoccia
Book Fair Crew
Lisa Sepulveda Deirdre Lund
Deanne Altom Stephanie Armstrong
Lisa Bell Diane Freeman
Lori George Val Kasper
Julie Pansari Linda Leach
Susan Rizzo Vicki Shepis
Karen Sinagra Anthony Sinagra
LaBonbonniere Bake Shoppes (Pansari Family Bakery)
Please remember that at Whitehouse
School, we expect RESPECT for:
Let’s show pride in our school.
50 Whitehouse Avenue
Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889
Phone: (908) 534-4411
We’re on the web!