April Newsletter FINAL

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April Newsletter FINAL Powered By Docstoc
					                    April 2011
                                             From the Principal
                                                        Celebrating Ramona!
                           WHITEHOUSE NEWS

                                             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
                From 9:30am-10:00am
                     Bring a book!

                                                           Page 2

                  BARBARA HAGAN

The following teachers were also nominated by colleagues or parents:

                          Kristy Ference
                          Michelle Mielke
                         Melissa Truempy
                                                                       Page 3
                          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

                                                                                        Page 4
             Most Educational

         Olivia and Justice Stapleton

 Visiting the U.S. Capitol Building and the Library of
             Congress in Washington, D.C.

                    Julianna Delia
Julianna and her brother showing off the U.S. map puzzle
                    they put together.

                                                           Page 5
                   Best Pose with a Celebrity

                               Lea Kosinski
          Lea and her dad meeting country singer Sara Evans

 Honorable Mentions

  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

                                                                                 Page 6
   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!

First Graders
  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
                                                                                                               Page 7
Second Graders
   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

                                                                                                                     Page 8
Third Graders
                        “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!

                                                                                                      Page 9
 Physical Education
                                   “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.

                                           Upcoming Events

                                        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
                                                                                                            Page 10

      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

                                                                                                 Page 11
Music News

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
following times:

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
Music homepage!

                                                   Musically yours,
                                            Mrs. Laurie Levesque
                                             WHS Music Specialist
                                                 534-4411 ext. 4141

                                                                Page 12
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
themselves flying.

                    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

                                                                                         Page 13
 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 lschmidt@readington.k12.nj.us or
phone (908) 534-4411 x4127.

                                                                                                                                Page 14
Speech-Sound Acquisition

                             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
          and clear.
      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
Speech/Language Specialists

                                                                                   Page 15
Nurse’s Station
                  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
substances include:
*   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:
                                                                                                            Stay well!
                                                                                                Maureen Sjonell R.N.

                                                                                                               Page 16
Counselor’s Corner

                    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
                                                                    School Counselor

                                                                               Page 17
             Seussical Helpers
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)

                                                                           Page 18
Dear Students,
Please remember that at Whitehouse
School, we expect RESPECT for:

Let’s show pride in our school.

                                          Whitehouse School
                                        50 Whitehouse Avenue
                                     Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889
                                        Phone: (908) 534-4411
                                          We’re on the web!

                                                                    Page 19

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