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Ms. Holloran's Writer's Corner

November 30, 2018

posted Dec 2, 2018, 2:49 PM by Christine Roman

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving break and are ready for the next four weeks of school before the Christmas vacation. Although this time brings excitement and changes to normal routines, we, at school, will continue to focus on academic rigor and student growth. Students should read each night and every night for at least 20-minutes. Students in grades K-2 should bring home nightly reading canvas bags. In the bags, for most students are both paper decodable books and picture/chapter books. Students need to read to you the paper books and as a family, you can read the picture/chapter books. Educational research has found that students that read for at least 20 minutes a night score academically better on tests throughout their schooling experience. Our students in grades 3-5 have more flexibility in their reading choices. However, it is still essential they are also reading 20 minutes each night. If your child is struggling to find the right genre or isn’t reading, please let his/her teacher know and our staff will help with some selections.

I want to share with you that my family met over Thanksgiving break and I will be out on FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act). My dad’s illness has progressed and needs 24/7 care. My mom has done an amazing job up to this point, however, he needs more care than she can provide. We are working on a long-term care plan.

Although I am not at school, I am confident in our faculty and staff. Things will continue on without a hitch! In addition, from the SAU office, Superintendent Buckley, Anne Holton (Student Services Coordinator) and Kim Sarfde (Curriculum Coordinator) are rotating time at our school.

Have a great weekend!

November 16, 2018

posted Nov 19, 2018, 5:28 AM by Christine Roman

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Wow! The weather this week has awakened my senses and honestly has made me a little grumpy! I cannot believe we are talking wind chill, accumulating snow and a snow day! I had to unpack my winter jacket, boots, woolen mittens, and a hat. “Jack Frost” has come too soon!

However, even if winter comes early, we are all hearty New Englanders after all and need to get prepared. If students arrive at school between 7:00 and 7:25 a.m., they head outside to get some fresh air and run around to wake up from a long bus ride. (Some of our students are on the bus for nearly a half hour.) Please have your child dress for playing outdoors (hats, mittens, winter coats, and boots). We go outside until the temperature, factoring in the wind chill, drops below ten degrees. Wearing layers is helpful because sometimes by lunch recess, it has warmed up enough for only a pullover or a jacket.

We are also entering cold and flu season. We are reminding students to wash their hands frequently with warm water. We talk about how coughing and sneezing into their elbows will keep “germs” from spraying out into the classroom. The children are being told not to share drinks or water bottles-another way “germs” are passed along. Moms and Dads - if your children are not feeling well and/or have a fever, keep them home and let them rest. (Remember our 24 hours expectation and district policies.) On a final note, it's important to exercise, eat healthy and drink plenty of water - good everyday habits that will help keep you from getting sick and make illness pass more quickly if you catch a bug.

I'm hoping we'll get one last warm spell before winter truly sets in. But, if we don't, please bundle up and let's stay healthy!

-Ann

November 2, 2018

posted Nov 5, 2018, 5:26 AM by Christine Roman

Dear Parents/Guardians,

It has been a rainy and dreary week! I have been struggling without the sun this week. An article I was reading caught my interest, and it got me thinking. It stated, “Every day we leave behind us, attitudes and feelings that have a powerful effect on those who “find” them. Perhaps we leave happiness, positive ideas and thoughts, kindness, and love. Or maybe we leave behind us bitterness, jealousy, unhappiness, hatred, and conflict.”

It made me reflect on my attitude and look back over things. Being in education is a precious thing. Your job performance influences the future leaders of the world. I believe that teaching is not a job, but a passion. We must believe that every student is worthy of our best every day. I believe that teaching is a gift and you must realize that your students will use the “presents” you give them for the rest of their lives.

Will those “presents” be kindness, perseverance, sportsmanship, empathy, ownership and confidence? Or will it be frustration, selfishness, and discouragement.

I believe we are role models. And we need to understand that our students are always watching! They are watching to see if we are prepared with our lessons, they are watching us interact with colleagues and they listen to our conversations while we are on playground duty. They want us to have clear expectations, be consistent with our discipline and challenge them academically. But they also want us to hear them when they are having a bad day and understand that they stayed up late last night going trick-a-treating.

So when I wake up tomorrow, I will try to take 30 seconds to remember my actions leave an impression every day. At night when my head hits the pillow, I want those impressions to be on the positive end of the spectrum.

Have a great weekend and let's hope the sun comes out!
-Ann

October 26, 2018

posted Oct 28, 2018, 4:24 PM by Christine Roman

Dear Parents and Guardians,

What a busy week and looking at the calendar for the next few weeks, it doesn’t really slow down!

Spaghetti Dinner Thank-you
On behalf of all of us at NHCS, I wish to sincerely thank our current and past families, townspeople, businesses, and others for their generous support of our Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser held on October 23rd. It was a packed house in support of our teacher Ms. Conway, and LRGH’s Breast Health Program. Our profit of $1,124 will be split between Ms. Conway and LRGH. Pink decorations supplied by the NHCS PTO and appearance by Ms. Conway made the night extra special. I also want to express my gratitude for the amazing and dedicated faculty and staff at NHCS who organized and ran this event. Our motto of 

NHCS CARES was on full display.
Fire Prevention Friday
We had the fire alarms go off unexpectedly this morning at 6:55 a.m. and our faculty, staff, and students had to use some of our emergency management skills. Everyone showed great flexible thinking as students were dropped off and went into the Little Red School House with our faculty and staff. The NHFD gave the “all ok” around 7:25 a.m. Later in the morning, members of the NHFD went into our primary classrooms to talk about fire safety and demonstrated to the students what a fireperson would be wearing and what it would sound like if they had to come into their house to rescue someone. In the afternoon, the NHFD met with students in grades 3-5 to show a movie on fire safety and prevention.

Next week—Halloween Food Drive & Parade
We are collecting cans and non-perishable food items for the Halloween Food Drive. Please bring them into school by Wednesday. During our 1:15 parade, students will be loading the cans into Mrs. Bergholm’s spooky truck to be delivered to our local food pantry. A flyer went home in a previous newsletter outlining our costume expectations. Remember students will be getting dressed into their school appropriate costumes around 12:45 p.m. Each classroom will hold a very small party after our parade.

Veterans Day Assembly—November 8th—9:00 a.m.
We will host a Veterans Day assembly on Thursday, November 8 at 9:00 a.m. Our students will sing songs and read poems to honor and recognize the true heroes who have given so much to protect our freedom and country. Local veterans and their families are invited to attend the 45-minute program, followed by refreshments. Please contact the main office to RSVP for this event.

Parent-Teacher Conference—Night of November 8th and Morning of November 9th
Have you signed up for your conference yet? If not, please reach out to your child’s classroom teacher for a time slot. During this conference, teachers will be sharing assessment results and also discuss your child’s social and behavioral skills. There will be a lot of positive celebrations going on, so please join us for the opportunity to share the great news! Also remember no school for students on Friday, November 9th and Monday, November 12th.
Yikes! That is a lot! 

If you have any questions or concerns about these events, please don’t hesitate to give me a call. 

Have a great weekend!
- Ann

October 19, 2019

posted Oct 21, 2018, 12:47 PM by Christine Roman

Dear Parent and Guardians, 

You might have noticed that I wasn’t in school for the past few days. I have been down in Nashua caring for my dad to allow my mom to have a long weekend away. It is both fun and sad to spend time with my dad. His humor and one liners throughout the day makes me laugh. He pokes fun at my cooking and cleaning skills. I try to banter back and forth with him, but in the end, he usually cracks me up enough that I don’t have a comeback. Last night, we sat in the living room watching the Red Sox. During the game, we also reminisced about my playing baseball/softball all the way back to East Little League in Nashua, NH. We have so many great memories together! We also talked about his childhood of living near Boston and how he was able to sneak into Red Sox games. 

For all of those years he helped me, I now return the act by helping him. At times I see and feel him get embarrassed or frustrated, but I try to lighten the mood and we get it done. I remind him that I know he would do it if he could. I am writing this newsletter Friday afternoon at my childhood kitchen table, while he naps in his chair in the living room. In a little bit, I will wake him up and we will take a short walk down the street. We will not make it around the block like we were able to do last spring, but I know how lucky I am that we are still walking together here on earth. 

Have a great weekend and I will be back at school Monday morning!

-Ann

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

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