December2006 Newsletter by 39O4YA


              NEWS AND EVENTS
Phone: 742-7334, Fax: 742-4565                                                                         December, 2006

         Big Y Homework Hotline:
              1-800-866-BIGY                                   The Principal's Corner
    For free homework assistance for
                                                                           By Marie Castle-Good
Kindergarten through Grade 12 students.
    Open Monday through Thursday,                  I would like to wish you and your families a Happy and Joyful Holiday
          4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.                   Season! Please check the calendar on the back of this newsletter for the
The Coventry Board of Education meets              winter concert dates and other events here at Capt. Nathan Hale.
at 7:30 p.m. in the Administrative Office          We recently had parent conferences, and we have had positive
Building. Upcoming 2007 dates are:                 feedback. Please let me know if you have any concerns or suggestions.
                                                   Feel free to e-mail me at Thank you.
                  January 11
                  January 25                       The next PTO meeting will be held on Monday, 12/4/06, and it will
                  February 8                       feature information on “Fox 61 Student News” stories and the CNHMS
                   March 8                         Morning Show. We hope you can attend these teacher presentations.
                   March 29
                    April 12                       Winter Break is from 12/25/06 through 1/1/07. Have a great holiday, and
                    April 26                       remember we are proud of our Capt. Nathan Hale students!
                    May 10
                    May 31
                   June 14
                                                                    Student Spotlight
                   June 28                         Valerie Stickles is this year’s Superintendent’s CAPSS award winner for
                                                   Team 8B. Valerie was chosen based upon her outstanding contributions
             July 12 * (as needed)                 to school and community. She is a gifted student and poet who uses her
             July 26 * (as needed)                 verse with every opportunity. She has participated in school blood drives,
            August 9 * (as needed)                 stuffed animal drives, Veterans’ Day ceremonies, History Day, poetry
                                                   contests, and is a member of the Albert Schweitzer Club. Valerie is a
                                                   dedicated student who is a pleasure to have in class. She provides a role
                  August 30
                                                   model par excellence and is a tribute to her family, school, and
            Tuesday, September 11
           Tuesday, September 25                  Scott Francis is this year’s Superintendent’s CAPSS award winner for
                                                   Team 8A. Don’t be fooled by his sometimes quiet demeanor! This is an
                                                   active student who is very involved in both his school and his community.
                                                   Scott is a member of the Ecology Club where he has helped out with
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:                                 composting and clean energy projects. He worked at the Hebron Fair
                                                   keeping the fairgrounds clean as part of a Boy Scout activity. He plays
                                                   baseball, soccer, and basketball during the school year. He is a dynamic
2    Grade 6A and 6B Team News
                                                   student that is more than a pleasure to have on the team!

3    Grade 7A and 7B Team News
                                                   Valerie Stickles, Grade 8, was selected as one of two runners-up in the
                                                   sixth annual Hartford Courant Connecticut Veterans’ Day poster/essay
4    Grade 8A and 8B Team News                     contest. Valerie’s poem expressed her vision and understanding of
                                                   “What It Means To Be A Veteran”.
5    Foreign Languages
                                                   Taylor Vann and Jordan Sabin, Grade 8, were our master of
                                                   ceremonies for our school-wide Veterans’ Day celebration held on
6    Music-Band, Chorus, School Store
                                                   11/9/06 in the Veterans Auditorium.

8    Family and Consumer Science, Life Skills      Band students Valerie Stickles, Kirk Bittner, Nick Norstrom, Caroline
                                                   Kobetitsch, and Kate Berger auditioned for the Eastern Regional
9    Art, Physical Education, Reading Consultant   Festival last month. Chorus students Cheyenne Walsh, Ashley
                                                   Belekewicz, Caitlin Hunter, Nicole Bernier, Sara Edwards, Stephanie
10   PTO News, Basketball Schedule                 Morin, Alexa Jacobs, Dominique King, Mara Gosselin, Jennifer
                                                   Hunter, Caroline Kobetitsch, Samantha Stebbins, and Ian Tyszka
                                                   also auditioned for the Eastern Regional Festival last month.
12   Calendar of Events

CNHMS Newsletter                                    Page 1                    
                                                 TEAM 6A NEWS

In social studies students will be studying the ancient civilization of Egypt. Students will learn about the culture,
customs, and the significance the Egyptian civilization has upon our civilization today. The quarterly project in social
studies will be reading The Magnificent Mummy. Team-wide activities will include a mancala tournament (an ancient
African stone game).
Reading classes will continue to focus on reading strategies while reading various texts.
Language arts classes will continue to focus on expository writing (explaining) in unique ways. Students will create a
specific set of directions for their own game board, and they will also learn public speaking skills and give a speech on
a topic of their choice.
Most math classes will be focusing on fractions while other classes are finishing up on decimals.
Students in science classes will study the electromagnetic spectrum with an emphasis on visible light. Skills
emphasized in this unit include the writing of formal lab reports and extending the development of the content reading
skill of note taking to outlining.

                                                 TEAM 6B NEWS

Mr. Spivey: Over the previous weeks math students have been evaluating powers and exponents and writing numbers
in exponential form. Currently students have been working with prime and composite numbers and identifying factors
and multiples. Students will then take this knowledge and apply it to finding least common multiple and greatest
common factor in their quest to evaluate, simplify, and find equivalent fractions. Students have maintained a high level
of interest as they are becoming accustomed to using our interactive whiteboard. Students have also been entered as
users on the Kaleidos (mathematics programming) software that allows them access to classroom activities via the
Internet from home.

Social studies classes recently completed their exploration of life and times in the Stone Ages. Students completed a
comprehensive test that assessed their ability to identify and construct the obstacles and advances of prehistoric
humans. Currently students are immersed in the world of Mesopotamia and are getting a taste of the "Cradle of
Civilization" as they explore the living conditions, social structure, government, and culture of this time period. In the
coming weeks students will begin the trek eastward into the lands of Egypt to look at the next great civilization of our

Language arts students spent much of the last month reviewing and sharpening their grammar skills, more specifically
sentence structure. Students are currently in the midst of an elaborate unit dealing with expository writing. Students
have been taking steps that will help guide them in their construction of a well-written expository essay. In addition to
the writing process, students have been engaged in peer editing and sharing their written pieces in order for them to
make constructive changes. Finally, students will continue with weekly spelling units. These units are assigned on a
weekly basis and are completely independent of class with a lesson test each Friday (or ending day of the week).

Mr. Landry: Science classes will be leaving the world of matter in a few weeks. After our research project on
elements is complete, students will begin studying systems of the human body. The skeletal and muscular systems
will be explored first. Students will create full-sized, properly labeled skeletons, for display in the LGI.

Social studies students are studying the world’s first civilization of Sumer in Mesopotamia. We have seen the
beginnings of writing, mathematics, irrigation and agriculture, the wheel, and countless other “firsts”. Soon we will take
the journey into ancient Egypt.

Ms. Myslinski: Reading students will soon be finishing the novel Where the Red Fern Grows. In December students
will begin a short unit on the celebrated author Mark Twain. Students will be reading a variety of his works including
How the Chimney Sweep Got the Emperor’s Ear and The Medieval Romance. This unit also includes an engaging
Internet scavenger hunt that is fun for people of all ages. Students will explore through the use of live webcams in
Hannibel, Missouri, and on the Mississippi River, as well as, taking a virtual tour of the Mark Twain House in Hartford.

In language arts classes students continue to work on expository composition skills. Students have worked their way
up from writing one well-written paragraph to writing a whole essay. Areas of concentration have been on writing clear
topic and closing sentences, connecting our detail sentences to one another, and good word choice.

CNHMS Newsletter                                      Page 2                 
                                                       TEAM 7A NEWS
Mr. Steinnagel: Students have completed the first four strands of this year’s math continuum. The focus was “Number Sense.”
Students worked on such topics as place value; expanded and scientific notation; pictorial representation of numbers; renaming
fractions, decimals and percents as equivalents; and ordering and rounding numbers. Students are required to bring tests home
and have them signed by parents/guardians. The next round of standards includes working with operations for whole numbers,
decimals, and fractions.
Mrs. Comerford/Mrs. Mazzeo: Students in language arts are in the process of completing their Monster/Creature fictional stories.
By following the Writing Workshop format of prewriting, revising, and peer editing, students were able to create some very
descriptive stories. We look forward to a “gruesome” outcome! The next Writing Workshop will be on persuasive writing. Students
will also be working on a Demonstration Presentation in December. Students will become the teachers by explaining to their
classmates “how to do something.” Students will teach the steps, provide a completed sample, and answer any questions the class
might have about their project. Students continue to work on both spelling lessons and grammar on a weekly basis in language
Reading students have been reading short stories by O. Henry, H.H. Munr, and Richard Connell. Students are enjoying these
stories and coming to class each day with questions, ideas, and opinions that have led to some great class discussion! The next
unit in reading will be a Reading Workshop. The Reading Workshop gives students an opportunity to choose a book to read based
on his/her reading and interest levels. During this time students will be provided with instruction in various reading strategies.
Students will have a chance to meet with peers and discuss what they are reading. Lastly, students will be given choices of
different ways to respond to the literature. We are hoping students will enjoy their experience with the Reading Workshop.
Ms. Peterson: With winter officially beginning in December, it is a perfect time to start our new unit on earth in the Solar System.
During this investigation students will explore the important question of how does the position of the Earth in the solar system affect
the conditions on our planet? When completed later in the new year, students will be able to explain the effect of gravity on the
orbital movement of planets in the solar system and how the regular motion of the Sun, Earth, and Moon explains the season,
phases of the moon, and eclipses. Especially exciting for this unit is our visitor, Dr. Vincent Hurst, (the uncle of one of our students)
who is involved with the NASA Space Center in Houston. Dr. Hurst works for a company who supports the medical aspects of the
space program and will provide a lively and entertaining look into how astronauts care for the medical needs of their fellow crew
members. It has been reported that things are not the same up there as they are here on earth. We are lucky to have Dr. Hurst
volunteer his time while in the area for the holidays and look forward to his visit. Be sure to ask your student to explain medical care
in space when they arrive home on 12/22/06 for the school holiday. I think we might all be surprised!

                                                       TEAM 7B NEWS
Mr. DiBattista: Social studies students have investigated the concept of culture and have written a five-paragraph response to one
of four questions about culture and its’ importance to society. Students are designing a “United States Dream Vacation”. Each
student has $5,000 to spend. Students are developing their research skills, on computers and in AAA tour books. Students are
using math to keep track of their spending. Students are elaborating in their journals what landforms they are seeing during their
travels. Students will then develop an understanding of Canada, the country, and its people. Reading students have completed the
Mystery Unit. Students have read and taken a test on the Westing Game. Students will shortly begin the survival unit. Students
will be reading the Call of the Wild. Students will read a few short stories and plays that are connected to the theme of survival.
Mrs. Masterson: Reading classes are reading the five short stories which will be presented at the Garde Theater on 12/18/06.
Next, students will begin the mystery unit with a choice of several mystery novels including The Westing Game. Students should
additionally select their next silent reading book of their choice with a theme related to the genre of mystery and continue their good
habit of reading for twenty minutes each night. Reading strategies and literary elements will be the focus of class work and
homework assignments. In language arts classes students created “Giving Thanks” Poetry Booklets which were bound and shared
with family over the Thanksgiving break. Additionally, students will be giving oral “Presentation/Demonstrations” to their classmates
during December. Students have also started Renzulli Learning projects some of which include work in Power Point, Web Design,
Desktop Publishing, Video Editing, and Digital Imaging.

Mrs. Scopino: Student scientists have been busy building simple machines and testing them for mechanical advantages. Most
impressive is evidence of higher level thinking skills as students collaborate to creatively find ways to make their machines even
                            more efficient than the original models.
                             From elaborate pulley systems to designing their own wheel and axle machines with straws and index
                             cards, many of our students show promising signs of great engineering feats in the future!
                             Jordan & Taylor design their own pulley system.
                             Energy transformations in the world have also been explored in the
                             classroom, computer lab, and even in the hallway. Using different models,
                             students tested variables such as mass, height, and velocity on the
                             transferring of potential energy to kinetic energy. The colors of autumn
                             brought us outside once again to see if our predictions of color changes in
                             selected leaves were accurate. Reflections of the new season were
                             recorded in field study journals.                          Devon & Chris test energy transformation.
                             Chelsea and Michael record in their journals.

CNHMS Newsletter                                            Page 3                      
                                                  TEAM 8A NEWS
Science classes wrapped up the first marking period studying the different types of terrestrial biomes and their abiotic
and biotic components. We brought the lessons into our own backyard when we studied temperate deciduous biomes
and incorporated some outdoor tree identification labs. Students learned how to use scientific nomenclature to identify
trees using their Latin names. During the second marking period we will finish up biomes by exploring the aquatic
ecosystems. This will include both marine and freshwater studies. Students will also be exposed to writing formal lab
reports as the science labs become a little more demanding. Students will be dissecting this marking period as part of
our aquatic biome study. By the mid-marking period students will be moving on to a new unit about cells.

Math students are working on a variety of topics from decimals to solving equations. The decimal unit includes metric
measurement and scientific notation. A study of fractions will follow with an emphasis on the comparison of fractions,
decimals, and percents. Algebra students are immersed in a unit on solving multi-step equations and will move on to
an in-depth study of slope and linear equations.
Westward Ho! Students concluded a unit of study on westward expansion with “Pioneer Days”. As part of this
interdisciplinary project, students worked in groups to research, write, and present a skit based on an event from this
time period. In addition, each student made a beaded bracelet, a recruitment poster, prepared a part for the
Cowhands’ Luncheon, and learned to square dance!

Social studies students will be exploring the Second Industrial Revolution in the United States. Students will examine
the growth of big business in corporate America, the great inventions of the twentieth century, and the second wave of
immigration. As part of our immigration unit, the students will be working on a performance-based assessment
constructing projects. Additionally, we will take a field trip to Ellis Island in New York, New York, to enrich the students’
understanding of this era.

In Mrs. Kennedy’s reading class, students have been introduced to several reading strategies that will make them
more effective social studies readers. The strategies are designed to teach students how to read in order to retain and
learn new information. As students work through the course, they will be given ample opportunities to apply the
strategies to new literacy tasks. Second, the students will also be exploring the genre of historical fiction. By reading
historical fiction, history will become a subject about real places and real people facing real problems. History comes
alive through the characters’ lives and events that occur throughout the novel. The historical novel uses imaginative
and figurative language to entice students into historical exploration. This quarter students will be studying novels
revolving around the Industrial Revolution.
                                                  TEAM 8B NEWS
In social studies students have begun a new unit on Urban Industrial America. Soon students will begin the Corporate
Project--an activity whereby students create their own company. Students will be responsible for plant design, product
design, corporate infrastructure, ads, company history, and personal profile. Projects will then be presented to the
December and January will be exciting months for us! In December students will present "Rockin' to the Fifties”, a
program which examines the political, social, and cultural life in America during the decade. Skits, performances,
music, poetry reading, and dancing will be featured. An evening performance is planned for 12/21/06. Come and catch
some Beatnik poetry, rock n' roll tunes, and some classic television!
In January we will present the findings of our grant entitled, "Triumphant and Democratic: Measuring Presidential
Greatness." A generous state grant will fuel this project. Working in groups of three, students will choose one
president and examine his foreign and domestic policies. The use of statistics, research, and technology will be
included. This activity encompasses a number of historical strands as identified by the National Council of Social
Studies. In addition, the research involved, aided in part by the Renzulli Learning program, will sharpen intensive
research skills which will be utilized in the spring when students write their term papers.
In preparing for the CMTs, all social studies and language arts written work has been altered to include sample
questions from the state tests. Finally, all field experience questions have also been revamped to conform to CMTs.
Students have begun a unit on the “short story”. Throughout this unit, students will be reading works from both
contemporary and modern writers. After reading, students will be meeting in both small and large literature groups to
evaluate and discuss the story, paying particularly close attention to the way the writer makes use of literary elements.
During this unit students will be constructing a writer’s notebook, which will consist of favorite words and/or phrases
from the short stories. These notebooks will be used as a reference for student narratives, which will be the final
project. Finally, as a reminder, students should be reading their independent reading books for a minimum of twenty
minutes a night.
At the present time, students are working on persuasive writing. The major goal for students is to be able to write an
essay that has a clearly defined thesis, support for that thesis, fluency, and an awareness of audience. Grammar and
usage continue to be a focus in individual writing samples. In addition students will be doing some practice with editing
and revising. This entails looking at an existing piece of writing, evaluating the errors, and making appropriate

CNHMS Newsletter                                       Page 4                   
                                                 FOREIGN LANGUAGE
                                                            By Mrs. Page

Grade 6
Students spend half the quarter learning Spanish and half the quarter learning French. Students will borrow a book to use for each
portion of the class. It is important that this book be kept neat and that all written work is done on separate paper. Units for both
languages include names, greetings, numbers, days of the week, months of the year, colors, and holidays. If time permits, students
will also discuss classroom objects and body parts. There are no tests, I assess through projects, homework, and class
participation instead. My Homework Hotline is Ext. 6469.

In December students will be doing a special program in conjunction with Mr. Rhoades’ art classes (which are the classes I had last
quarter for World Language). We will join to study some important Mexican holidays and then make piñatas. A letter will be sent
home with each student closer to the date, but we will need donations of non-food piñata fillers in early to mid-December. Mr.
Rhoades and I will accept donations at any time! Thank you in advance for your contributions!

Grade 7
Students created beautiful ofrendas for El Día de los Muertos at the beginning of November. These are altars that are created to
honor friends and family members to pass on. While ours were not about any specific individuals, they covered much of what one
might traditionally find on an ofrenda, including flowers, candles, foods, and other decorations. This was a competition, and I am
proud to report that group 7-1 was the winner for the most aesthetically pleasing mural!

The first unit test will happen this quarter in all classes. Although it is hard to tell at this point exactly when, groups 7-3 and 7-7
should expect to have their unit test on Chapter 1 before the holiday break, and groups 7-1 and 7-5 can expect theirs in mid-
January. I will have class review time, but students should practice the words on their picture dictionaries and practice the activities
in their books. The test is designed to be similar to work we have done for homework and classwork; students just will not be able
to use their notes!

Grade 8
Students who paid for replacement books should pick them up from me if they have not yet done so. Students who have not paid
for replacement books may still purchase a new one for $19, or they will be given a very used book donated by an eighth grade
student last year. The Chapter 3 test for students is coming up. Groups 8-3 and 8-7 will have their test before the holiday break.
Groups 8-1 and 8-5 will have theirs in mid-January. Although the test will focus on Chapter 3, any words from Chapters 1 and 2 are
fair game, and the students are expected to practice them as well. Whenever there is no written homework assigned, it is
understood that students should be studying their vocabulary.

Remember to check the Homework Hotline at Ext. 6469.

                                                          By Mrs. Thornton

Grade 6
It is the beginning of the second quarter, and a new group of students will explore the French and Spanish languages. The
Exploratory World Language course consists of twenty lessons of each language. The workbooks, Discovering Languages-
French/Spanish, are age-appropriate and very entertaining! Topics of study include the origin of the Romance languages,
greetings, numbers, the date, colors, class objects, and commands. Written homework is assigned three times a week and is worth
ten percent of the grade. The Homework Hotline is Ext. 6465. At the quarter's end, each student will select the language that s/he
would like to continue to study in the seventh and eighth grade. A form will go home for parental approval. There will be a Mardi
Gras as a culminating activity at the end of the quarter. More information will follow in January.

Grade 7
From November through January students started speaking and writing skills in polite conversation. Students will request personal
information from other students; i.e., name, age, telephone number, address, date of birth, information about family members.
Students will also learn how to tell time in French. Also, each student will earn his/her own personal, paperback French/English
dictionary by demonstrating knowledge of the function of the parts of speech. Please remember to check the Homework Hotline at
Ext. 6465 for assignments and projects. Written homework is given three times a week, and students are expected to practice the
vocabulary daily. In each chapter the vocabulary is listed in the yellow boxes.

Grade 8
Students continue to learn to express new activities that they like or dislike to do. Students have begun to learn the polite way to
extend, accept, or decline an invitation. The irregular verbs "vouloir”, to want, and “pouvoir”, to be able, will be introduced. In
addition, students will learn to use interrogative expressions and to form the negative. Written homework is given three times a
week, and students are expected to practice the vocabulary daily. In each chapter the vocabulary is listed in yellow boxes. Please
remember to check the Homework Hotline at Ext. 6488 for assignments and projects.

              Bonnes Fêtes et Meilleurs Voeux pour la nouvelle année! (Seasons Greetings and Happy New Year!)

CNHMS Newsletter                                            Page 5                     
                                                     By Janet Belden
Band and lessons are now in full swing. All students should have a lesson book by now, and students should be
practicing at least twenty minutes per day. Please keep reminding your child of his or her lesson day. Lessons are
important for it is there students will learn the fundamentals that prepare him or her for the band literature here at Capt.
Nathan Hale Middle School and at Coventry High School.
Practice is the key word for any success in the middle school band program. No student at this point should be
struggling with the reading of notes. If your child is, then extra help is needed. Private lessons are one way that your
child can catch up and be at grade-level playing. I have a list of private teachers if you are interested, or you can call
the Community of the Arts Dept. at UConn. We also have a number of talented high school band members who teach
Our Holiday Concert is scheduled for Tuesday, 12/5/06, at 7:00 p.m. in the Veterans Auditorium. The snow date is
Wednesday, 12/6/06. There will be a $1.00 donation collected at the door. The Gr. 6 band, the Gr. 7 and 8 band, and
the Pop Ensemble will be performing. Please join us!

Grade 6 General Music
The composer of the month is J.S. Bach--The Master of the Fugue. Students will be studying his life and music. The
students will be involved in a group project creating their own fugues and performing them for the class. We are also
trying to learn the words to our National Anthem. A review of the words would be great to do at home together. 

                                                      By Tony Gibbs

The general music classes are studying the music of J. S Bach. At the end of the unit, students will compose a four-
part fugue and perform it in front of the class.

The Gr. 7 and 8 Chorus, the Gr. 6 Chorus, and the Show Choir will present their concert on Thursday, 12/7/06, at the
Veterans Auditorium. There will be a $1.00 donation collected at the door. The students have been working hard, and
we all look forward to the concert. Please join us!

Thirteen students auditioned for the Eastern Regional Chorus on Saturday, 11/4/06. The auditions were held in East
Lyme, Connecticut. The students auditioned well, and we had a strong showing from our school.

                                                 SCHOOL STORE
                                                     By Debby Page

It took us a while to get started, but the School Store has been up and running since mid-October. I have a great crew
of students working at it this year: Ian Tyszka and Brittany Peck in Gr. 8; Mara Gosselin, Jennifer Hunter, and Jesse
Mercer in Gr. 7; and Morgan North, Cheyenne Baskowski, and Cheyenne Walsh in Gr. 6. These students work every
morning during homeroom to keep things organized by making posters and writing announcements, counting money
and filling out deposit slips, and figuring out what to order next. At lunch students open the store three days a week.
The School Store is open during the last ten minutes of lunch on the following days:

        Gr. 6: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday
        Gr. 7: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
        Gr. 8: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday

        The school store is never open on early release days due to the shortened lunch time.

We sell a variety of school tools including pens, pencils, memo pads, cloth book covers, rulers, pencil grips, and
highlighters. We also sell key chains, pencil pouches, erasers, and folders. Items are priced from 25 cents and most
items are under $1.00, although some items are more expensive. If you have any questions or comments about the
Store, please feel free to contact me at Ext. 469.

CNHMS Newsletter                                       Page 6                  
                                   CHALLENGE AND ENRICHMENT
                                                    By Tom Dzicek
We the Jury
Grade 8 students participated in a program designed to make them aware of the duties and responsibilities of being a
member of a jury. The program concluded with students becoming jurors and then watching a “mock trial”. The jury
then deliberated and rendered their verdict.
History Day
Some students have formed groups and are already working on potential History Day projects for competition in April.
This year’s theme is, “Tragedy and Triumph”. The mission of National History Day is to provide students with
opportunities to learn historical content and develop research, thinking, and communication skills through the study of
history and to provide educators with resources and training to enhance classroom teaching.
Christopher Columbus Project
Two groups of students are planning to enter the Christopher Columbus Awards Project. This contest requires
students to prepare an entry that explains a community issue (problem), research to understand the issue, develop a
solution to the problem, and then test the solution. More information about the Christopher Columbus Awards project
can be found at

FOX 61 Student News
Fox 61 Student News stories start to roll. Two stories have already been submitted. One of the more unusual topics
was about a horse dentist! This is a story you just have to see to really believe! This submission has been accepted
for broadcast. You can check the evaluations and the status of the stories on the Internet at,
select Student News, and then select Capt. Nathan Hale School.

Veterans Essay Contest
“Citizenship in America” is the theme for this year’s essay contest sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).
Essays were written and have been submitted to the VFW.


FSN New England, a leading regional sports network in New England, created the FanCaster program to provide an
opportunity for middle and high school students to learn about sports televisions and participate in a FSN telecast. In
conjunction with the Boston Celtics and their community-service campaign, FSN will select one student to videotape
the “Heroes Among Us” community-service campaign for each of the Celtics home games. Selected students will
receive two Celtics tickets for that game and experience a behind the scenes tour of the TD Banknorth Garden and
broadcast their segment from the famous parquet floor! The opportunity to try for a FanCaster is open to all students.
You can learn more about the program at

                                   WANTED: BAND INSTRUMENTS
                                         By Carol Gould, GHR Band Director

If you are looking to sell a used band instrument, please call Carol Gould, the               band director at G.H.
Robertson School. I am sure that many band parents will be looking to                       purchase instruments as
the rental period for their child's instrument expires in a few months.

The number to call is 742-7341, Ext.173. Please leave a message.                          Thank you!

CNHMS Newsletter                                     Page 7                
                                                     SKI CLUB
                                                   By Carla Kennedy

The winter season is quickly approaching, and there will soon be plenty of snow on the ground! Many children are
involved in an exploratory skiing and snowboarding program through a “School’s Out Ski Club” at Mt. Southington Ski
Area in Southington, Connecticut. We have planned five trips on Thursday nights. These trips are scheduled on
1/11/07, 1/18/07, 1/25/07, 2/1/07, and 2/8/07. This is an excellent opportunity for students to learn how to ski,
snowboard, or to advance their skiing abilities. The bus will leave CNHMS at 2:30 p.m. and return at 9:00 p.m.

                                  FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCE
                                              By Corine Cagianello-Jones

The recipe below is always a big hit with my students. As the holidays are approaching, I thought what a great idea it
would be to include this in the school newsletter. I encourage you to have some fun family time together preparing
these delicious muffins. As you savor each bite, take a minute to reflect with your children on what you are thankful for
this season. I know I am thankful to be here at Capt. Nathan Hale Middle School working with your children each

                               PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS
1 2/3 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup plain canned pumpkin
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Thoroughly mix flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
3. In a smaller bowl, mix together the eggs, pumpkin, butter, and olive oil. Blend well.
4. Stir the chocolate chips into your wet mixture.
5. Pour the wet mixture into the flour mixture and fold in with a spatula until just moistened.
6. Spoon into muffin pan coated with Pam and bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle
comes out clean.

                                                   LIFE SKILLS
                                                    By Robin Rosen

This time of year reminds me to remember to give thanks and appreciate all of my life and to give to others who are
struggling. I encourage you to pass these values on to your children and support them in their efforts to complete
community service. As always, I am very proud of the contributions that our students have made to others by
completing community service. Students have helped at the PTO ski sale, the Haunted Hayride, Best Buddies, Sight
Night – collecting used eyeglasses, travelers rest stop on I-84 with free food and drinks, ornament making at Channel
3 Kids’ Camp, Coventry Food Bank, Senior Center, Fire Department, Booth and Dimock Library, Relay for Life and
Muscular Dystrophy walks, Kitty Angels and Tara Farms animal rescues, the assembly of this newsletter, and many
more. WOW!

We are also making plans for our GET HEALTHY! GET FIT! Initiative. Gr. 7 and 8 health students will be completing
5-3-1 Worksheets (5 – servings of fruits and veggies, 3 – servings of dairy products (calcium), and 1 - hour of exercise
per day) every week throughout the rotation. Ask them to show you and work together on its completion! Life Skills
classes will be recording their five a day soon--and remember--french fries do not count as a vegetable!

CNHMS Newsletter                                     Page 8                  
                                            PHYSICAL EDUCATION
                                                    By Michelle Talaga

The Physical Education Department is very pleased with the Connecticut State Fitness results. Students from the sixth
and eighth grades were administered a battery of four tests in October that included the mile run, sit and reach, push-
ups, and curl-ups. These tests measure students’ cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, muscular strength,
and flexibility. Many students passed these tests at the health level set forth by the State of Connecticut. Students
who perform at this level demonstrate a healthy level of fitness-related skills for their age. These students may be at a
reduced risk for certain injuries and diseases that are related to a sedentary lifestyle. The Health Level for each task is
considered to be a challenging, yet attainable, standard for most students. Congratulations to the following students
that were the top scorers for the mile run:
                         Grade 6                                          Grade 8
                 Carli Shroyer             6:20                         Britney Curtis                 6:42
                 Hannah Rauchle            7:04                         Amber Pelletier                6:42
                 Alyssa Keeney             7:28                         Becky Santos                   6:42
                 Erika Trudon              7:28                         Stephanie Oliver               7:36
                 Jessica Voros             7:44
                 Ryan McLean               6:40                         Tommy Fitzpatrick              6:04
                 Colton Zima               6:54                         Charles Morgan                 6:20
                 Jake Jutras               6:59                         Evan Skowronek                 6:44
                 Nathan Decker             7:15                         Matt Marchand                  6:48
                 Dylan Edgerly             7:16                         Justin Sombric                 6:55
Physical education classes recently wrapped up a Flag Rugby unit and are looking forward to participating in the Ball
Games Unit, Gymnastics/Mat Work Unit, Volleyball, and Basketball.

                                               By Scott Rhoades, Lori Vigue

“The life of the arts, far from being an interruption, a distraction in the life of a nation, is very close to the center of a
nation’s purpose and is a test of the quality of a nation’s civilization” President John F. Kennedy

Three seventh grade students had art work published in the Chronicle this fall. They are Brandon Huestis, Becky
Abitz, and Mike Griffith. Student art works to date include drawing (narrative, texture, and perspective), calligraphy,
sculpture, and ceramic pieces; such as, animals and slab boxes.

The Art Department can always make use of donated wood scraps, paint, paper, and cardboard. Thank you!

                                            READING CONSULTANT
                                                   By Virginia Dimmock

Now that the year is in high gear, and I am beginning to get a feel for the wonderful people – students and staff – at
CNHMS, my focus is on how to provide both students and staff with strategies for reading and writing success. If the
rest of this year goes by as quickly as the first quarter has, CMTs will also be here before we know it! While there are
many opinions as to the importance of this document, it is my professional belief that the skills this procedure
assesses are valuable, and a student’s understanding of them is crucial for future academic and career success. That
having been said, I also believe we should not ‘teach to the test,’ rather incorporate these necessary skills into the
curriculum as much and as often as possible. To that end, if your student comes home over the next few months and
tells you they spent some time during Focus in Mrs. Dimmock’s room, there is no need for alarm. I plan on seeing as
many students as I can to discuss/brush up on strategies for success. If you ever have any questions, please do not
hesitate to contact me at Ext. 467.

CNHMS Newsletter                                        Page 9                   
                                                    PTO NEWS

               2006/07 Board: Carol Bittner, President; Betsy Grupe, Secretary; Carol Noski, Treasurer

Our last two PTO meetings were informative and fun. In October we met in a Family and Consumer Science
classroom and participated in a lesson just as our children do. Mrs. Rosen and Mrs. Cagianello-Jones did a wonderful
job explaining what their classes entail. In November we traveled to France and Mexico by visiting the Foreign
Language classrooms. We were all surprised at how well we could understand what both teachers were saying when
they talked in their foreign languages. Both Mrs. Thornton and Mrs. Page made their lessons effective and
entertaining. At the end of each meeting the Principal and the Asst. Principal are available to answer any questions.

The PTO board has received many comments from parents saying how much they have enjoyed the meetings.

 Please join us for our next meeting on Monday, 12/4/06! Highlight: The Morning Show and Fox 61 Student News

We are halfway to our goal of $500 dollars from Box Tops for Education. Please keep sending them in. We receive
ten cents for each label.

T-shirt orders will be accepted through 12/8/06 in order to receive them before the holiday break. T-shirts will go on
sale again in the spring,

We are looking for a chairperson for next year’s Ski Sale. If you are interested, please contact the PTO at Ext. 492.

A big “THANK YOU” to all who participated in our fundraisers this year.

       All children in our school benefit from your support and participation in our PTO. Thank you! 
                                         BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
                                             Boys’ Coach: Bill Cherniske
                                              Girls’ Coach: Jeff Spivey
                                         Date           Boys            Girls

                                         12/12/06        @ Windham        Home

                                         12/15/06        Home             @ Mansfield

                                         12/18/06        Home             @ Columbia

                                         12/20/06        @ Lebanon        Home

                                         1/3/07          @ Bolton         Home
                                         1/8/07          Home             @ Windham

                                         1/11/07         @ Mansfield      Home

                                         1/17/07         @ Columbia       Home

                                         1/19/07         Home             @ Lebanon

                                         1/23/07         Home             @ Bolton

                                         1/25/07* League Make-up Date
                                         1/29/07* NEMSAC Quarterfinals

                                         2/1/07* NEMSAC Semifinals

                                         2/5/07* NEMSAC Finals
                                     *Game locations and times to be announced.

CNHMS Newsletter                                     Page 10                  
                                          LIBRARY MEDIA CENTER
                                               By Karen Norris, Librarian

I am excited about my new job and look forward to working with everyone in the school community. I encourage
students to come to the Library during Focus to check out books and work on assignments.

                              BOOTH & DIMOCK MEMORIAL LIBRARY

The Booth & Dimock Memorial Library now provides two new services to help students with research projects. “ASK
AMY” is sponsored by a grant from the SBM Charitable Foundation, Inc. This program allows for an additional staff
member on Wednesdays from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. “AMY” can help middle and high school students with research
reports using print sources and ICONN.ORG, Connecticut’s research engine. ICONN.ORG is trustworthy, kid safe
and available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. It is funded by the state legislature, participating libraries,
and is free with any Connecticut library card.
The Booth & Dimock also subscribes to INFO ANYTIME, a real-time, web-based reference service that provides
trained librarians to assist students, faculty, and the public in finding information to support their research. Just click
the INFO ANYTIME button on our homepage,, to log on with a librarian twenty-four hours a day.
If you have questions about these services or need more information, please call the Booth & Dimock Library at 742-
                                       ALBERT SCHWEITZER CLUB
                                                     By Dr. Scopino

The Albert Schweitzer Club conducted its annual Food and Coat Drive late in November. Thus far, the Schweitzer
Club has voted to donate funds to the Coventry Clergy Fuel Bank and the Coventry Social Services Holiday
Committee. Both efforts will help our Coventry neighbors. The food and coats will be donated to Manchester Area
Conference of Churches, the Windham Area Interfaith Ministries, and Coventry Social Services. Thanks for your
support! Later, members will be researching, writing, and filming a documentary on the tragedy unfolding in Darfur,
Sudan. More information to come!


Did you know about the fundraiser for the Coventry Scholarship Foundation Trust to benefit our students? If you buy
holiday gifts for friends and family that like to cook or just like to eat, The Pampered Chef will donate twenty to twenty-
five percent of all sales to the Coventry Scholarship Foundation Trust! You can also get a free gift for you…spend at
least $60 and not only does the Scholarship Fund receive between $12 - $15 you will have a choice of a free
cookbook! For more information or to place an order, please contact Debby Page at Ext. 469 or check on-line at Under “name of host or organization”, enter “CSFT”. All orders must be called in
or entered on-line by 12/11/06, and all payments must be received by 12/13/06. Thank you for your support of this
great local cause that will benefit your children!

         DONUTS WITH DONNA: The Superintendent of Schools is available for casual conversations with
         community members during the school year. “Donuts with Donna” is a way for you to greet your school
         Superintendent, ask questions, and keep informed about education in our town. Please feel free to stop by,
         where there will be an informal atmosphere with an open dialogue and no set agenda. The first 2007 winter
session of “Donuts with Donna” is scheduled for Friday, 1/12/07, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Jodilynn & Company,
1141 Main Street (lower level of Sanctuary at Home).

            BUDGET SEMINARS: Have you ever had questions about how your public school system manages
            your taxpayer dollar? It is the intent of Coventry Public Schools to not only be extraordinarily prudent and
            efficient, but to also keep the public well informed. In that interest we are will be televising Budget
            Seminars on Channel 14 and Channel 17 of your cable system. These “seminars” will provide you with
            information on your schools’ budget. Look for an upcoming seminar on our Special Education budget,

CNHMS Newsletter                                      Page 11                  
                                       CALENDAR OF EVENTS
December 2, 2006     PTO Craft Show                         9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Coventry High School
December 4, 2006     PTO Meeting - All are invited, please join us!         7:00 p.m.    Media Center
December 5, 2006     Grades 6, 7, 8 and Pop Ensemble Holiday Concert        7:00 p.m.    Auditorium
      December 6, 2006 – Snow Date
December 25–29, 2006 Holiday Recess – NO SCHOOL

January 1, 2007       Holiday Recess – NO SCHOOL
January 15, 2007      Martin Luther King Day – NO SCHOOL
January 26, 2007      Staff Development Day – NO SCHOOL
January 31, 2007      Report cards distributed

February 6, 2007     PTO Meeting - All are invited, please join us!      7:00 p.m.      Media Center
February 19-23, 2007 President’s Day plus Winter Recess – NO SCHOOL

March 6, 2007        PTO Meeting - All are invited, please join us!      7:00 p.m.      Media Center
March 13, 2007       Ensembles Concert                                   7:00 p.m.      Auditorium
       March 15, 2007 – Snow Date
March 16, 2007       Staff Development Day – NO SCHOOL

April 3, 2007         PTO Meeting - All are invited, please join us!     7:00 p.m.      Media Center
April 6, 2007         Good Friday – NO SCHOOL
April 12, 2007        Report cards distributed
April 16-20, 2007     Spring Recess – NO SCHOOL

May 1, 2007           PTO Meeting - All are invited, please join us!     7:00 p.m.       Media Center
May 11, 2007          Art Show                                           6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
May 22, 2007          Grade 6 Spring Concert                             7:00 p.m.       Auditorium
May 23, 2007          Grades 7, 8 and Pop Ensemble Spring Concert        7:00 p.m.       Auditorium

 Capt. Nathan Hale Middle School                                                               NON-PROFIT
 1776 Main Street                                                                                 ORG.

 Coventry, CT 06238-1343                                                                       US POSTAGE

                                                                                               PERMIT NO. 23

                                                                                               COVENTRY, CT


CNHMS Newsletter                                 Page 12            

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