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Monthly Archives: January 2015

Week Ending 1/30/15

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Congressman Guinta

Frank Guinta supports school choice and he stopped by on Thursday to see our school in action. He observed students during project time and in math. He encouraged the kids to ask questions and he asked several of his own.  He also told students said that if they ever travel to Washington, D.C. to call his office and he will arrange a tour for them (and an ice cream as well!).

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Information Session

The last information session is this Sunday, February 1st at 1:00 pm. If you know of any families that are interested in Polaris, please have them email Liz Putnam at e.putnam@polarischarterschool.org or call the office at 634-0034 to RSVP.  Attendance at an Information Session is mandatory for new families. If your child is interested in being a Tour Guide also let Liz know.

Diversity/Acceptance

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It was a short week but a very busy one! We enjoyed a wonderful video/song sent to me by Nevaeh at Morning Gathering this week. It featured Matty B who wrote a rap sung to the tune of Cindy Lauper’s True Colors for his little sister who has Down Syndrome.  You can view it here:

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On Monday, Devansh’s mom visited Ms. Haynes classroom to present about Nepal and their culture. We learned about two of their special holidays and the activities that accompany them. Thank you Luna for sharing this with us!

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Noah and Joshy’s grandma Anita Levy came to Ms. Gilbert’s and Mrs. Fesh’s class to share some Chanukah traditions. The children learned an Israeli dance, made applesauce, and a book mark and learned the dreydel game. They then gathered together to eat prepared Potato Latkes (pancakes). Applesauce and sour cream are traditional toppings for them and the applesauce made by the students was served.

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Mrs. Dudley’s Class Share

Today, Mrs. Dudley’s class taught us about polymers and demonstrated how they work using plastic baggies, water and pencils.  Students filled the baggies halfway with water and then with a sharpened pencil, poked it all the way through the bag out to the other side. Did water leak out?  No, because the plastic baggies are made of polymers. Polymers are long chains of molecules. The pencils poked through the long chains and the bag sealed itself around the pencil and kept the water from spilling.

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Chinese Paradise

Dear Parents,

This week’s focus was to incorporate what we learned from the last week on how to say “congratulations”and write the character in Chinese. Some of the students even got to start a project on writing the words onto are papers and soon they are going to decorate them and display them as part of the Chinese New Year celebration in our school.

For Intermediate classes, we are also starting to form groups to do a project on Chinese New Year. Please ask your students about it.

Talking about Chinese New Year, our classes are still looking for your generous donations on items that are related to Chinese New Year.  For example: 8 red table covers, Chinese fans, lanterns, chopsticks, liquid glue, red art papers and fortune cookies. You are also welcome to Google and find out more items that you want to donate for Chinese New Year presentations from our students. Thank you!

Have a safe weekend!

Ms. Wong

Art Room

This week and last we are working on printmaking, weather permitting! More to come.

I want to enclose two links–

One is for a book that students, especially primary, may enjoy The Old Man Mad About Drawing.  This is a tender short chapter book written from the perspective of a young boy in Japan, 1830s; the famous print-maker Hokusai winds up as his mentor.  In story form you learn about life in Japan, and printmaking, and how integral art was to their culture.  Great illustrations.  Available at libraries!  

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Star Students

This week’s star students who showed acceptance of diversity were: Courtney, Crosby, Gaby, Izzy, Jennifer, Joshy and Myleigh.

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PEF News

Information about the Read-a-Thon went home with students yesterday or today, so ask your child to show you the form. We hope that avid readers will share their love of reading with classmates and friends, and reluctant readers will be inspired to explore the wonderful worlds available through books!

Upcoming Events:

Game Night – Sunday, February 8th, 1:00-4:00

Double Feature Movie Night – Saturday, March 21st, 2:30 -7 PM

PEF Auction – Friday, April 10, 6:30 to 11:30

TIME TO GET EXCITED FOR THE UPCOMING READ-A-THON!

The third annual Polaris Read-a-Thon will be from February 2nd to 15th. 

To get you started, we polled the kids to come up with a list of favorite books to recommend. If you want to buy some of these books, go to http://astore.amazon.com/polariseducat-20.

For more information, go to www.polariseducationalfoundation.org/read.

Meetings – for the rest of the school year (all at 7 PM at the school):

Thursday 02/19
Friday 03/20
Thursday 04/16
Friday 05/15
The June meeting date is TBD.

 

Week Ending 1/23/15

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Re-Enrollment-DEADLINE TODAY

The deadline for re-enrolling/enrolling your child(ren) is January 23rd, 2015. You must do so by logging in to our student information system (SIS) and clicking on re-enroll. You will also be able to add a sibling during this process.  A Polaris Application must be downloaded at the end of the online process and completed for new students only. Family’s usernames and passwords for accessing the SIS were emailed separately on Thursday.  The re-enrollment form can be found at https://app.sycamoreeducation.com/enroll.php?schoolid=2024 (click). Instructions can be viewed here.

 

Featured Author

Sky

A sparrow’s egg is as blue as the sky

the mama says hi with a big “chirp chirp!!”

but when they hatch their beauty

blows away with the wind their egg goes away to the sky

Sky

-Calvin

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Information Session

The information session scheduled for Saturday, January 24th has been cancelled due to the expected snow storm.  It has been rescheduled for Sunday, February 1st at 1:00 pm. If you know of any families that are interested in Polaris, please have them email Liz Putnam at e.putnam@polarischarterschool.org or call the office at 634-0034 to RSVP.  Attendance at an Information Session is mandatory for new families. If your child is interested in being a Tour Guide also let Liz know.

Diversity/Acceptance

While most of us are familiar with the “I Have a Dream” portion of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic speech given at the March on Washington, at Tuesday’s Morning Gathering we read a part that preceded that:

“I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.”

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.” (http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm)

The children broke out in spontaneous applause afterward.  On Wednesday, we watched a song/video called “Everyone is Different” by Lanny Sherwin. Take a moment to listen to it here. On Thursday, we discussed the difference between tolerance and acceptance. So often, we hear tolerance go hand in hand with diversity. Tolerating someone or something is to endure continued subjection to something or to allow the existence, presence, practice or act without interference. Acceptance, however, it to regard favorably or to come to recognize an opinion, explanation, etc. as valid. Would you tolerate an apology or accept one? We hope that at Polaris we have created a culture of acceptance of one another.

Our celebration of diversity extended into our classrooms as well this week. Primary students did an activity on Thinking Differently Together. They were read the same set of instructions but each student interpreted them differently.

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Mrs. Fesh’s class brainstormed different foods that match various skin colors.  They then drew a picture of themselves as that item or holding that item.

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Mrs. Vlasich’s Class Share

Students in Mrs. V’s class gave a presentation about Martin Luther King Jr. at Friday’s Morning Gathering.  Each student thought of a word to describe Dr. King. Some of those were: Courageous, Lover of Peace and Leader. Student also created their own “I Have a Dream” poster. Some of the children’s dreams included finding a cure for cancer and ending violence.

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Mariposa Museum

Did you know about the Mariposa Museum in Peterborough, NH?  Its mission is to bring the rich diversity of world cultures to New England. Through education programs, exhibits, performances and workshops, they provide a unique place for children, seniors and adults to celebrate our common humanity.

The Mariposa is a passport to the world. Their hands-on approach encourages people to explore the world through all their senses. With a special focus on children and education, they use art and everyday objects, folklore and mythology, traditions and stories to broaden awareness of both the differences and common ground between cultures.  You can find more information by clicking here.

 

Star Students

Our students from last week were recognized on Monday for their actions that showed acceptance.  Way to go Bea, Caedan, Dory, Hafsa, Izzy, Jonas, Liam and Raden.

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Mind Challenge Game Show

MIND CHALLENGE, is a new competition series that will test the mental agility of the nation’s smartest children, aged 7 -12. Young brainiacs from across the country are invited to sign up:  applicants will need to be highly gifted academically, with significant IQ scores and abilities well above their grade level. The competition will be celebratory and supportive, showcasing great young minds and their exceptional abilities. Regional qualifiers will be held across the country this summer, with successful contestants progressing to a prestigious grand final in the nation’s capital. The winner of the competition will be named “America’s Junior Mind Challenge Champion 2015” and be awarded a monetary prize to assist in future academic endeavors. We welcome math whizzes, junior chess champions, advanced coders or cryptologists; budding scientists or doctors, ace spellers to come join this academic adventure.

Emmy nominated producers Shed Media, creators of  ‘Supernanny’ and ‘Who Do You think you Are? have teamed up with a major broadcast network to bring you Mind Challenge!

This initial casting phase will only last a few more weeks, so parents who are potentially interested or have questions, are encouraged to email Jess ASAP at: jansary@shedmedia.com.

PEF News

Information about the Read-a-Thon went home with students yesterday or today, so ask your child to show you the form. We hope that avid readers will share their love of reading with classmates and friends, and reluctant readers will be inspired to explore the wonderful worlds available through books!

Upcoming Events:

Dine Out at Skinny’s – There are two days left – today and tomorrow (Thursday, January 22 through Saturday, January 24 – just mention the PEF when you order) http://www.skinnyspizzeria.com/

Game Night – Sunday, February 8th, 1:00-4:00

Double Feature Movie Night – Saturday, March 21st, 2:30 -7 PM

PEF Auction – Friday, April 10, 6:30 to 11:30

TIME TO GET EXCITED FOR THE UPCOMING READ-A-THON!

The third annual Polaris Read-a-Thon will be from February 2nd to 15th. Packets will be going home today.

To get you started, we polled the kids to come up with a list of favorite books to recommend. If you want to buy some of these books, go to http://astore.amazon.com/polariseducat-20.

For more information, go to www.polariseducationalfoundation.org/read.

Meetings – for the rest of the school year (all at 7 PM at the school):

Thursday 02/19
Friday 03/20
Thursday 04/16
Friday 05/15
The June meeting date is TBD.

 

Week Ending 1/16/15

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Re-Enrollment for Next Year

The deadline for re-enrolling/enrolling your child(ren) is January 23rd, 2015.  You must do so by logging in to our student information system (SIS) and clicking on re-enroll. You will also be able to add a sibling during this process.  A Polaris Application must be downloaded at the end of the online process and completed for new students only. Family’s usernames and passwords for accessing the SIS were emailed separately on Thursday.  The re-enrollment form can be found at https://app.sycamoreeducation.com/enroll.php?schoolid=2024 (click). Instructions can be viewed here.

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Information Session

Our next information session is on Saturday, January 24th at 10:00 am.  If you know of any families that are interested in Polaris, please have them email Liz Putnam at e.putnam@polarischarterschool.org or call the office at 634-0034 to RSVP.  Attendance at an Information Session is mandatory for new families. If your child is interested in being a Tour Guide also let Liz know.

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Diversity/Acceptance

We began our week by reading the book Incredible You! by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer with Krisitina Tracy during Morning Gathering. It addressed 10 ways to let greatness shine through and discussion questions followed. We read this poem on Wednesday:

Our School Family

Our family comes
From many towns:
Our hair is straight
Our hair is curled
Our eyes are blue,
Our skins are different colors too.
We’re girls and boys,
We’re big and small,
We’re short and tall.
We’re everything
That we can be
And still we are
A family.
We laugh and cry,
We work and play,
We help each other
Every day.
The world’s a lovely
Place to be
Because we are
A family.
-Meghan Webb 

On Thursday we learned that many of our students speak other languages in addition to English.  Some of these are: Amharic, Arabic, Nepalese, Greek, Hebrew, and Spanish 

Hafsa in Mrs.Rainey’s class has volunteered to teach the class Urdu, a language in Pakistan. So far they have learned: Hello, Bye, Sister, Brother, and Puppy. Challenge your kids to review these words with you.

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I would like to invite any parent, grandparent or student to visit our classrooms during January to share information about their culture, customs, special holidays or history. Please contact Jen if you are interested.

Library Needs

We are still looking to add to our library. You can view the wish list here.

 

Star Students

Our students from last week were recognized on Monday for their actions that showed acceptance.  Congratulations to: Ava, Daniel, Dominick, Giuli, Joe, Mikail, Sarah and Temperance!

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Simple Machines

Students in Mrs. Dudley’s class began learning about simple machines. This week they learned about the wheel and axle and inclined plane. They made cars out of simple materials and then measured how far they traveled after rolling down the inclined plane. One of the cars traveled an impressive 34″! 

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Chinese Language Paradise

Dear Parents,

As you have heard, our students are in the process of preparing to learn and do a few projects on Chinese New Year. Any donation in reference to Chinese New Year is welcome and appreciated.  For example: red envelopes/packets, Chinese lanterns, Chinese fans, red colored art papers and a lot of fortune cookies!

This week, your students are learned how to say winter words.

Have a good weekend!

Ms. Wong

Art Room Update

This week and last we looked at the work of M.C. Escher, particularly his patterns and work with tessellations and transformations. The play with perception was fun to look at and try to figure out.

The Primary classes made some of their own patterns in grids and used tessellation stencils to create a new pattern.

The Intermediate classes created their own tessellations; then put those in repeat by tracing around them.  Some intermediate classes then pinned their work up and we had a class “critique” of works.   The students rose to the challenge of looking at the work objectively, commenting in terms of color, theme, etc.

Escher was also a master printmaker, in precision and skill.  We will soon move on to printmaking.

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Art on Winter Weekends

Many of you know about the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester.  Keep the Museum in mind for activities with your kids these cold weekend days! 

There are Creative Studio activities each month where kids can make a project (…Valentines  in February…) . On Super Saturdays there has been a magician, a storyteller, puppet performance and so on.  In-between, you can see a little art!  See Family Activities.

Many town libraries have free passes for this museum and others; children under twelve are always free at the CMA. 

For Art Classes at any age, check out the offerings at the museum’s friendly
Art Center, around the corner.  

 

Mrs. Rainey’s Class Share

This trimester in Mrs. Rainey’s class, we are learning about how the U.S. Government works. We are doing a simulation, where students will get to experience what it is like to have a job in one of the three branches of government: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. Last week, we learned about the three branches of government, specific roles within the branches and the length of terms that are served. This week, students worked in small groups to look up the process of having the role that they want to play in the simulation. 

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PEF News

All fundraising this school year goes toward the Playspace Improvement Campaign. Here’s a link to the letter which you can share with friends and family. You can read the letter here.

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Meetings

  • Auction Committee meeting, Friday January 16th, 5:00 pm
  • PEF meeting, Friday January 16th, 6:00 pm

Dine Out at Skinny’s 

Want an excuse not to cook dinner? How about for a good cause? Raise money for the PEF by ordering takeout, dining in (small seating area) or even delivery for any meal from Thursday, January 22nd to Saturday, January 24th at Skinny’s. Just simply state you are with Polaris before placing your order and 15 percent of the bill will go back to the PEF. www.skinnyspizzaria.com.

Game Night
Sunday, February 8th, TBA

PEF Auction
Save the date and spread the word! The PEF Auction will be the evening of April 10 at The Yard in Manchester. Details will be coming soon.

Enrichment 
Registration opens this weekend for the following Enrichment classes:

Jewelry Making (a one-day class on Feb. 4th):  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/10Mu_Ovvoe1FjclEqNkFtrwJOvwJUIePjcI8Wj5K3sfs/edit#

Weird Science (a four-week class beginning Feb. 11th):  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Rsntfu-wcrdxc0bVHnYFTbk7mVZtDOrIxJ_JkKJVuG0/edit#

This is a repeat of the previous Weird Science (held in Fall 2014). Possible activities include:

  • Microscope exploration 
  • DNA extraction from a strawberry
  • Yeast’s role in baking
  • The effect of exercise on heart rate

Week Ending 1/09/15

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Re-Enrollment for Next Year

The deadline for re-enrolling/enrolling your child(ren) is January 23rd, 2015.  You must do so by logging in to our student information system (SIS) and clicking on re-enroll. You will also be able to add a sibling during this process.  A Polaris Application must be downloaded at the end of the online process and completed for new students only. Family’s usernames and passwords for accessing the SIS were emailed separately on Thursday.  The re-enrollment form can be found at https://app.sycamoreeducation.com/enroll.php?schoolid=2024 (click). Instructions can be viewed here.

As Spencer says, it is the best lottery he could ever have won! 🙂

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Information Session

Our next information session is on Wednesday, January 14th at 6:30pm.  If you know of any families that are interested in Polaris, please have them email Liz Putnam at e.putnam@polarischarterschool.org or call the office at 634-0034 to RSVP.  Attendance at an Information Session is mandatory for new families. If your child is interested in being a Tour Guide also let Liz know.

Diversity/Acceptance

This week, we began our discussions about diversity and acceptance during Morning Gathering. Diversity means that there are lots of different kinds of things. Just like there are different models of cars, trees, types of jobs, etc., there is diversity among people. We have differences in where we come from, our cultural traditions, the way we look and the things we like and dislike. We are going to learn about these and celebrate our uniqueness. Tuesday we read the book Is There Really a Human Race? by Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell. Wednesday morning we watched the video for the song I’m A lot Like You by Frank Nemiroff. The message of the song is inclusion, diversity and acceptance. You can play it here. On Thursday, we read the poem Human Family by Maya Angelou.

I would like to invite any parent, grandparent or student to visit our classrooms during January to share information about their culture, customs, special holidays or history. Please contact Jen if you are interested.

Hello

Students in Ms. Gilbert’s class made paper lanterns.  Each child picked a country and on their lantern they wrote what the word for ‘hello’ was there and then shared it with their classmates. Some of the words they learned were:  geia sas, bonjour, hola, namaste, chou and guten tag.

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Chinese Language and Cultural Paradise

Dear Parents,

Happy 2015! From now on your children are starting to learn about Chinese cultural to incorporate with the language. Talking about culture, this week they watched a video about two Chinese kids who lived in different living styles and in different provinces.  After the video, we talked about the differences in the two kids’ lives.

We are also in the process of preparing to learn about Chinese New Year which is going to start on February 19, 2015 for this year.  Please let me know if you want to participate in this big event by volunteering and/or donating anything which relates to Chinese New Year.  For example, some RED craft papers or a bag of fortune cookies. I would need these items by the end of January.

My email address is desiree_wong18@yahoo.com should you have any questions.

Thank you!

Ms. Wong

 

Art Room Update

In mid-December we learned about an early Impressionist, then Abstract artist, Wassily Kandinsky. We followed his example by making squares with colorful concentric circles inside, then arranging them together in a bigger square. This is very like his 1913 painting, Color of Squares. This student work is on display in four boards, downstairs in the Art Room and gathering room. The students’ individual work came together beautifully in these displays!

This week and next we are learning about M.C. Escher, making patterns and tessellations.

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PEF News

Parent Coffee
9:00 am January 10th at Moe Joe’s

Monthly PEF Meeting
7:00 pm January 16th

Dine Out at Skinny’s 

Want an excuse not to cook dinner? How about for a good cause? Raise money for the PEF by ordering takeout, dining in (small seating area) or even delivery for any meal from Thursday, January 22nd to Saturday, January 24th at Skinny’s. Just simply state you are with Polaris before placing your order and 15 percent of the bill will go back to the PEF. www.skinnyspizzaria.com.

PEF Auction
Save the date and spread the word! The PEF Auction will be the evening of April 10 at The Yard in Manchester. Details will be coming soon.