On Friday September 26th, Gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal visited Polaris Charter School. They toured several classrooms led by tour guides Alex and Alanna. Students were very welcoming and were excited to meet them and ask questions. Following the tour, we held a round table discussion. Two students from each classroom had the opportunity to meet Mr. Havenstein and Governor Jindal and ask them questions. The questions raised ranged from what sort of problems do they think need fixing to what their favorite food was – Governor Jindal’s is chocolate chip cookies and candidate Haventein’s is hot dogs!
On Tuesday we discussed the meaning of community and tied that in with our peanut butter and jelly drive. I think students were quite surprised to learn that there are some kids in New Hampshire that would go hungry over the weekends if the program End 68 Hours of Hunger didn’t supply them with food to take home with them on Fridays. On Wednesday, I asked students to share what they have observed about the Polaris community. There was a lot of talk about the friendships that have been made. On Thursday, we watched a short video about the ingredients necessary to create a positive classroom community. You can view it here.
This Friday, it was Ms. Vlasich’s class turn to share with the school. They read a poem about their class:
Many people are good at talking about what they are doing, but in fact do little. Others do a lot but don’t talk about it; they are the ones who make a community live. -Jean Vanier
Our Star Students were announced on Monday. These students were recognized for their actions toward cultivating a sense of community. Nice job: Colton, Courtney, Dominick, Ephrim, Madison, Sebastian, and Tyler.
Art Class News
This week, students worked on their renditions of Starry Nights.
Mandarin Chinese Corner
Hello Parents! Thank you for having the kids bring in family pictures to my class. This week, we learned a few new words like: I have and family member names such as Dad and Mom. We also reviewed all the words that we have learned so far. Next week, we will continue learning some more family member’s names and use the picture to do a project.
Please kindly have your child bring the following for next week: two folders with pockets and some art papers. I am also looking for donations of some decks of cars and dice. Thank you!
It has been an exciting start to the school year in “Ms. Dan’s” music class! I am enjoying getting to know every student and discovering their knowledge and enthusiasm of music.
In keeping with the theme of “Who am I”, we’ve used several songs and chants to explore our origins. In the primary classes, we’ve been singing “This Little Light of Mine.” Because it is a zipper song (meaning you can change the lyrics to fit the theme), the students have sung of how they let their light shine individually, how they care for their pets, and how they help others. In the intermediate classes, we’ve been learning a chant that asks, “Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?” Student sing (in rhythm) of where they were born, what is their passion, and where they want to go in life.
All of the classes have participated in creating their own “names” by using the musical alphabet of the letters A through G. Each student wrote their entire names, identified how many of the letters of the music alphabet were contained in their names, notated those letters on a musical staff, and then played those letters on the Orff instruments. This tradition comes from West Africa, where each person has a “song” that is as important as their given name. The community sings a person’s song at rites of passage, and holds him or her accountable in their life within the community. We have had lots of fun being creative in this process.
We also have honored the 200th anniversary of the poem, “The Star Spangled Banner”. Penned in September, 1814, we studied the origin of the song, when it is used, and the proper respect given when hearing or singing the song. One of the fun exercises we did was to form a circle, and pass the stick in the 3/4 rhythm while singing the song. It was a challenge!
I am grateful to have so many varied rhythm instruments available in the classroom, as well as the wonderful Orff instruments (xylophones and glockenspiels). My “wish list” would be to have each student have their own recorders, a set of Boomwackers, and a music staff notebook for each child. Some students have studied music outside of the classroom, and we’ve had a few mini”concerts” on the piano and guitar. It is our plan to have some additional instruments from the Manchester Music Store in our classroom for a sort of “petting zoo”, whereby the students can hold and play a variety of instruments.
The student-led school newspaper is kicking off again this year and Ms. Haynes needs a volunteer for Fridays from 11:55am – 12:20pm. The volunteer would help organize the kids, help them with computer and spelling questions, and overall just monitor them as they work on the newspaper. If you have any questions, please contact Daniela (firstname.lastname@example.org). Thank you!
Our Event Chairperson is actively seeking donations from several companies for dairy free, nut free and gluten free foods so that families with special dietary concerns have a wider option of treats at school events. To best communicate how unique or school is to potential donors she is asking that anyone with special family diet or allergies send her a quick e-mail about those needs. No individual family information will be given to outside parties, just statistics that will bring us more free goodies. Jayme25@aol.com
We are hoping to make our annual auction a much bigger, more exciting event this year. We will need lots of help to do this. There will be jobs that won’t require coming to meetings or coming in to school. If you’re looking for ways to help out from home, this is a great opportunity. Please let us know if you’re interested, and we’ll put you on the mailing list for the auction committee. The auction will take place in the spring. Email Daniela (email@example.com) or Kathy (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
A note from the PEF Enrichment Committee:
Please remind your children that participating in Enrichment Activities is a privilege. Many parents are volunteering their time and energy to provide and/or support these unique opportunities. It is very important that your children understand:
– They should treat the program leaders and parent volunteers with the same respect they show their teachers during the school day.
– They should show respect for fellow students and school property.
Please review the Behavior Contract with your children to be sure they understand – see page 15 of the Enrichment Brochure (http://polariseducationalfoundation.org/enrichment). We want everyone to feel safe, comfortable and happy while experiencing something new. Thank you!
Mark your calendar for these upcoming events:
October 1: Parent Coffee at Bridge Street Café starting at 8:15.
October 18: North Star Dance, 6 to 8:30 PM. Details were sent via email earlier in the week, and paper invitations will go home soon. Here’s the sign-up list for volunteers for the North Star Dance:
November 15th, evening: Thanksgiving Pot Luck at Polaris. Details will be provided in a future newsletter!
Brianna Sargent Merrill
Students in Miss Gilbert and Miss Hayne’s paired with a buddy to read in partners this week.