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Ms. Holloran's Writer's Corner

October 12, 2018

posted Oct 12, 2018, 12:05 PM by Christine Roman

Dear Parents and Guardians,

The autumn colors have been amazing this week! This year, the red ones are my favorite. Being a short week didn’t tamper with the academic work of our students. I think Thursday’s rain helped with everyone’s focus.

In looking at our student data and knowing that social-emotional learning is an important part of educating the “whole child”, we have established a way for our students to continue to practice and model these skills. As a school community, we established our lunchroom expectations. Our lunch personnel daily reinforce those lunch manners and social skills.

Additionally, this year we will provide an opportunity for our students to practice these skills with some direct teacher intervention. Every Tuesday and Wednesday, Mrs. Gagnon will be sitting at a designated cafeteria table with small groups of students.

The selection process will be a collaboration between the lunch duty personnel and Mrs. Gagnon. Together they will select both peer models and students who could benefit from additional practice. Throughout the course of the school year, Mrs. Gagnon will invite all the NHCS students to her lunch groups in the cafeteria.

We are excited about this learning venture. Our ultimate goal is to have all of our students ready and able to attend a “fancy gathering at a restaurant/wedding or go to a friend’s house” and be comfortable and confident in these situations.

Have a great autumn weekend!

-Ann

October 4, 2018

posted Oct 8, 2018, 2:05 PM by Christine Roman

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We have had a busy, yet short week of school. Monday and Tuesday were a little more challenging with no recess opportunities, but our students and staff persevered and we were able to get outside on Wednesday. Our students are well into the academic year and many are working on their first writing challenge prompt. For example, fifth graders are writing opinion essays, fourth graders are creating a scene from their own fairy tale and first graders are working on a “super seven sentence.”

So far this year, I have been able to spend more time in classrooms watching and interacting with students and faculty. I have been able to celebrate our teachers’ instructional practices and also pose wondering questions to them. This has led to having more informal discussions and dialogue with my staff. I don’t know if they are always enjoying my opportunity to spend more time in their classrooms, but I am confident that it will be beneficial for all of us in the end.

I am also doing more reading as noted in last week’s newsletter. This week, I read 365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne’s Precepts. According to Merriam-Webster, a precept is “a command or principle intended especially as a general rule of action.” Or as Mr. Browne states, “words to live by.” Here are a few of my favorites so far:

  • Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much. –Blaise Pascal
  • Be nice to each other. It’s really all that matters. –Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung
  • When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on. –Thomas Jefferson
  • Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work. –Shreya
Maybe your family could find a precept that inspires you and hang it on your refrigerator for the month. Then at the beginning of each month add another one.

Have a great, extra-long weekend! See you Tuesday, October 9th.
-Ann

September 28, 2018

posted Sep 30, 2018, 6:51 AM by Christine Roman

Dear Parent and Guardians,

I can’t believe that we will be turning our calendars to October at the beginning of next week. The school year is already flying by! I just finished up our first data meetings with classroom teachers, our literacy specialist and our special education teacher. We analyzed the data, spoke about students’ strengths and unfinished learning, and developed strategies to move all students forward in their knowledge.

This week, I also spent some time reading several articles in Education Week, which is an education magazine that highlights relevant topics in classrooms. Here is a summary of the articles I read. I am sorry that I don’t have the titles of the articles but I threw away the publication before I knew I was going to write about them.

One article I read was about teenagers increased use of vapors. Although this is really not an issue at the elementary school level, my middle school and high school colleagues are concerned about student use of vape products at their levels. The article talked about the strength of nicotine and addictiveness, which is a major concern with vaping products. The author spoke about how different states are trying to increase the age and requirements of purchasing these devices.

Another article I read talked about classroom management and the importance of building relationships with your students. The author in this piece took a different angle to the quote “Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Although the author agrees that building relationships with students is a key component, he also believes that our best teachers also need to know how to teach. He wrote about the importance of engagement, differentiation, and knowing grade level standards.

The last article I read spoke about different ways in which communities and our country can help families living in poverty. This article summarized the research of several different studies and highlighted that not all programs are equally effective. Two specific programs discussed in the article were the Earned Income Tax Credit program and public housing. The Earned Income Tax Credit was one program that showed a positive result in helping high school students graduate and attend college, whereas research showed that public housing was inconsistent in its effect on student achievement.

To end my week, I subbed for Mrs. Roman, our ICT teacher on Friday. I watched our students in grades 3-5 finish an assignment in Google Classroom. I also read two of the potential Ladybug Picture Books, (Hello Goodbye Dog and Bunny’s Book Club) to our K-2 students. It was fun to be back in the classroom!

Have a great weekend!
- Ann

September 21, 2018

posted Sep 22, 2018, 12:16 PM by Christine Roman

Dear Parents and Guardians,

This week I started to reread a book. I am reading, The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader. It is a quick read and it makes me reflect on my leadership skills and my personal growth.

I enjoyed reading this book because it is full of quotes that cause me to reflect on life and leadership. It also gives me little tidbits to “flesh out”. Here are some things I have been thinking about:

“Character is the greatest virtue of a person.”—I agree that character is an important virtue but so is honesty, respect, and love. How do you know which one is the greatest? Aren’t they all significant?
People enjoy leaders who enjoy life.”—I often reflect on the question, “Do I enjoy what I do?” I truly love being in education. I enjoy helping to create an atmosphere where all students feel comfortable and confident in their abilities. I love going to the lunchroom, checking in on students and talking with them about various topics. I enjoy helping them solve a problem. On my most stressful days, I wonder “Am I smiling enough? Do my colleagues know how much I appreciate working with them? Did I take a minute to laugh or watch the beautiful sunset?”

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they give up.”—It does make me wonder if I have given up on something right before I would have gotten the hang of it. Should I have given up on learning how to ski? If I wasn’t so nervous about breaking a leg and if I was more of a risk-taker, would I enjoy this life-long sport?

In the chapter called “Vision: You Can Seize Only What You Can See”, they ask you to do “a gut check. Consider what impacts you at the gut level. What makes you cry? (Watching my parents get older) What makes you dream? (Falling in love) What gives you energy?” (Hearing students laugh and trying to be the best leader I can be)

After reading this book, I came away with ideas, energy, and wonder. Sometimes I leave a book with more questions than when I started. Some “redo’s” are worth doing.

Have a good weekend!
-Ann

September 14, 2018

posted Sep 16, 2018, 9:09 AM by Christine Roman

Dear Parents and Guardians,

The 3rd week of school and I’ve already come down with a cold! I even had to bring in my soft tissues from home. I have been drinking more hot tea rather than coffee over the past few days to soothe my sore throat.

This weekend, I am bringing my Dad (and Mom) up to Keene State College to celebrate his 60th reunion. He graduated from KSC in 1958. He was president of his class and has been an active member of the Class of ’58 Scholarship Committee. They will have a class meeting at 8:30 a.m. and then meet some of their scholarship recipients. At noon, he will be a part of the parade of classes down Appian Way. Lunch will follow with his fellow “Golden Circle” members reminiscing about their time at KSC and their lives since moving on from college. I bet he will share stories with his Kappa Delta Phi fraternity brothers. Afte  lunch, we will take a tour of the college to see the improvements that have been done throughout the years. Another highlight of our day will be when we see my nephew (my Dad’s grandson), Ian, as he is attending KSC as a sophomore. We will make certain to take a picture of our three generations of KSC Owls on the steps of Huntress Hall. That location is special for our family as my Dad, myself (class of 1990), and Ian all had the experience of living in that “haunted” dorm. At the end of our day, we will stop at the bookstore and pick up a new shirt or coffee mug to show our continued KSC Pride!

On Sunday, I will be on one of the two teams from NASD taking part in the CADY Mini-Golf Tournament up in Lincoln, NH. We will head out for lunch and spend the afternoon competing for bragging rights for the year.

It will be a busy weekend, with limited rest, but the memories and laughter will make it all worthwhile.

Have a great weekend.
-Ann

September 7, 2018

posted Sep 9, 2018, 1:40 PM by Christine Roman

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We survived another hot week of school! Our school community persevered through the temperatures and enjoyed the cooler weather on Friday. Our school building was still hot on Friday, but we are hoping over the weekend things will cool down.

Besides having our students obtain the skills associated with the Common Core, our teachers and staff are working with our students on gaining knowledge and practice on “soft skills”. With our every changing world and really not knowing what jobs will be available when our elementary students graduate from high school and college, these “soft skills” will be essential in their future.

At school, we work with our students on taking risks, being kind and accepting the fact that we all make mistakes. Students need to be able to recognize that rigorous academic learning is not going to be easy or be quick. We also need to help them understand that learning takes practice and mistakes will happen. One of my classroom teachers had the saying, “When you make a mistake, you need to try again and not give up.” It is our hope that students will learn from their mistakes and know that learning is a process. I had a college professor who believed that “true learning” only results from a mistake. He never used the word "growth mindset" but he instilled that concept within us some 27 years ago.

Growth mindset and the character virtues of honesty, integrity, ownership, responsibility, and forgiveness are the foundations of a person’s character and future success. It is my hope that our students learn these important lessons right along with their academic achievement.

Have a great weekend.
Ann

August 31, 2018

posted Sep 3, 2018, 11:58 AM by Christine Roman

Dear Parents and Guardians,
Welcome to the 2018-19 school year! Although we had a few hot days (and maybe a few more next week), the staff and students have done an amazing job. Our students are reviewing our general school expectations and learning their classroom routines and rules. In addition, students are starting to show us what they know through different beginning-of-the-year assessments.

From the office here are some friendly reminders and helpful hints:
 Parents can start to drop off their children in the morning at 7:00 a.m. Please no earlier as we don’thave adult coverage and students can’t be in the building unattended.
 It is so important that parents check their child’s backpack each night for notices from the office, notes from the classroom teacher, homework/agendas, and nightly reading book bags.
 If you decide to send in cash to put on your child’s food account, please do so in an envelope with your child’s name on it. If you send in a larger bill and want it divided among accounts, please note that on the envelope.
 Faculty & staff district emails are set up with our first initial last name @ sau4.org. Some examples are: Ann Holloran--aholloran@sau4.org and Doreen Troup--dtroup@sau4.org. However, our school guidance counselor is tgagnon1@sau4.org.
 We have a school Facebook page, you can search NHCS-New Hampton Community School and follow us there.
 Our first PTO Meeting is Tuesday, September 11 at 7:30 a.m. Everyone is welcome to attend and we hope to see a great turnout.

 As cell phone numbers change or emergency contact information changes, please notify the office so that we can update our student information system.
 Mark your calendars:
o September 18—School Picture Day
o September 20—Book Fair 6:00-7:45 p.m. & Open House 6:30-7:30 p.m.
o October 4—Early Release—Students dismissed at noon
o October 5—No School—Teacher Workshop Day
o October 8—No School—Columbus Holiday

Our Mission Statement reads, “The students, staff and families of the New Hampton Community School believe that learning is a community journey. We strive for our students to be confident, respectful, engaging, life-long learners. We value our students’ strength of character, acts of achievement, individual responsibility, pursuit for excellence, and creative spirit. NHCS CARES!” We are so lucky to be on this journey with each and every student and his/her family! Please communicate often, provide thoughts and suggestions, celebrate the small accomplishments and let’s have an amazing year!

Have a fantastic Friday and lovely long weekend!

A reminder to parents to fill out and send the first day packets to school with their child, if you haven’t already done so. Thank you.

The class of 2021 are hosting the Harlem Wizards on September 23, 2018 at 1:30PM, doors open at 12:30. Tickets may be purchased at BES, NMMS, TTCC, or Walker Farm. Tickets for students are $10.00 in advance and $12.00 at the door. You may also purchase on line at www.harlemwizards.com. Please see
attached flyer.

June 22, 2018

posted Jun 24, 2018, 6:30 AM by Christine Roman

It was a great year! Keep reading and have a happy relaxing summer!

Every year, our fourth and fifth graders participate in a writing/poster contest sponsored by Friends of the Gordon-Nash Library. There were many wonderful essays for the panel of judges to read through. Congratulations to all our young writers, who were recognized at Thursday’s assembly. First place honors went to: Fourth graders –Emma Goucher, Brody Huckins, Ceili Irving, Ava Kosakowski, Asher Murphy, Emma Yarnell, and Joshua York. Fifth graders – Mia DiFilippe, Nicholas Gilbert, Beau Jarvis, Tucker Magrauth, Carter Masterson, Caitlyn Mitchell and Hannah Pimentel. 

Information about the Summer Reading Program at New Hampton's Gordon-Nash Library is here https://goo.gl/DvAZmu, and includes a link to a poster about weekly programming for kids and families. You can also call the library at 744-8061 for more information. Continued reading through the summer has been shown to benefit children - and the Gordon-Nash makes it fun! 

On August 23, our kindergarten open house will be at 5:30 followed by Ms. Hollorans Ice Cream Social at 6:00. Hope to see you there.

June 15, 2018

posted Jun 18, 2018, 6:53 AM by Christine Roman

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Teachers are starting to talk with our students about the importance of reading over the summer months. I too have a list of summer reading books. Some of these books are required reading while others are more for my own personal growth.

The first book I have started reading is Marching Off The Map-Inspire Students to Navigate A Brand New World by Tim Elmore. This is a required book for all district faculty over the summer. I am about 60 pages into this interesting and thought-provoking read. Here are my takeaways so far:
  • Researcher, Neil Postman explains another challenge we face. He argues that childhood, as we’ve known it historically, is disappearing. Kids today are exposed to media (television, movies, news, entertainment, music) without boundaries. Thanks to technology, information streams into their lives 24/7 and often has no filter on it, even for young children.
  • Too many of our young are over-exposed to information far earlier than they’re ready, yet they are under-exposed to real life experiences far later than they’re ready. This causes them to appear mature, as if they know a lot, but too often it is artificial, not authentic.
  • We must help kids grasp new skills for the future world they’ll be living in, but also hold fast to old skills that never go out of style, such as integrity, discipline, and empathy. They’ll need both trending hard skills and traditional soft skills to succeed in life.
Another book I am looking forward to reading is UnSelfie by Michele Borba, Ed. D. Then I have another required reading Robert Marzano’s The New Art & Science of Teaching.

Some other things:
Happy Father’s Day to all of our dads, grandfathers, uncles, and anyone who covers the role of a dad for our students.

Monday is FIELD DAY! Students should come to school dressed for physical activity wearing sneakers and with sunscreen and bug spray already applied. It is also helpful for students to have water bottles. After field day we will have a picnic lunch.

Have a great weekend!
-Ann

June 8, 2018

posted Jun 11, 2018, 5:44 AM by Christine Roman

Dear Parents and Guardians, 

Each year, I hold end-of-the-year meetings with each staff member. In our meeting we cover four things: 
 Take time to celebrate 
 Discuss the challenges 
 Share ideas moving forward 
 Allow the opportunity for them to share with me what I can do better as a principal 

Each meeting is different and unique. I enjoy having these meetings because I always learn something new and it provides me with more topics to reflect upon and allows me to start thinking about “next year”. 

In one of my meetings yesterday, we were talking about our Friday newsletter and website. Here were some of our questions: 
 Do parents read our Friday newsletter? 
 Is it too long? Should we shorten it by not having so many articles….one from me, a classroom teacher and a specialist?  Is it informative? 
 Is it helpful? 
 Should we even do a Friday newsletter? 
 Should we go back to a hard copy along with a digital email copy? 
 Do people go to our website? 
 What do you use our website for? 
 Should we continue to maintain a website now that we have a Facebook page and Twitter?

 I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback! Please email me (aholloran@sau4.org) your answers to these questions or just your thoughts and opinions regarding our Friday newsletter and website. 

Have a great weekend and hope to see many of you tomorrow morning at the NHCS PTO’s Trail Challenge.
-Ann

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