December 20, 2011

Extra Change of Clothing

Please be sure that your child has a full set of extra clothing in a labeled zip-lock bag here at school. The nurse does not currently have extra clothing to loan out. I encourage the kids to keep this set of clothing in the bottom shelf of their mailbox area.

December 16, 2011

December PTO Notes

The PTO gave out $3618.78 for our FALL GRANTS. Grants included: Flat screen TV's for the office to better monitor the doors, new e-readers and e-books for the library, new books for the library, recess equipment, sheet music for the chorus programs, and a portable induction cooktop for FEED in-class cooking activities.
We voted to spend $500 to help fund a speaker in March who will work with students, teachers and parents doing a BULLYING WORKSHOP.
WANTED: There is a 2 YEAR SCHOOL BOARD OPENING. This will replace Mary Catherine Jones who is not running for re-election. If interested you would need to file and have 30 signatures by January 30. You can get forms from the town clerk and can call Mary Catherine Jones (985-9882) if you have any questions.
Winton teacher, Lisa Phelps and middle school counselor, Rachel Petraska, organized a FACULTY FOOD DRIVE that provided Thanksgiving meals to over 20 Shelburne families.
HOLIDAY COAT DRIVE is still going. They are still in need of coats and any winter gear - boots, hats, gloves, etc.
The PTO HOLIDAY FAIR was a great success as always! There was some talk of making it shorter next year (currently it goes from 9:30-1:30). Let us know if you have any thoughts on that.
At the Holiday Fair the PTO did silent Auctions of a family membership to The Edge and a donated book which brought in $785 that will go to the Angel Fund.
The SKAT LEGO ROBOTICS class traveled to Dartmouth College in November to participate in a LEGO Robotics tournament.
VISITING TEACHER FROM CHINA, Tao ye has been working with K-8 classes sharing lessons on Chinese culture, language, calligraphy, art and even eye massage.
Thanks to the Teaching from Space Office at Johnson Space Center, Allan Miller has real ANTARCTIC METEORITES & MOON ROCKS that he has been sharing with students in all K-8 classes.
On November 28 when we all had off, SCS faculty participated in a PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Day which included work on: curriculum mapping, defining goals for the School Action Plan, sharing curriculum work done over the summer and a meeting of the configuration committee.
On December 9 a team of 6 middle school teachers and our math and literacy coordinators attended a ONE DAY WORKSHOP ON BRAIN RESEARCH at Dartmouth College. They explored what recent neurophysiology discoveries mean in terms of designing our best classroom instruction.
Friday, 12/16 - Middle school dance
Thursday, 1/5 @7:30p - Jazz/Pop and Show Choir Concert
Friday, 1/6 - Red Barn fundraiser begins
Thursday, 1/12 @ 7p - School budget forum
Thursday, 1/19 @ 7p - 4/5 Chorus concert
Friday, 1/20 @6p - PTO International Potluck Dinner
Monday, 1/30 @ 6:30p - Youth Risk Behavior Survey dialogue with Margo Austin

Sharon Harkness, Wendy Hallock, Leslie Borrok and Courtney Tharpe for coordinating the wonderful Holiday Fair!
Kate Danforth for running the coat drive
Jan Thabault for organizing the holiday baskets
Everyone who helped on the grants committee
Everyone who helped and shopped at the Holiday Fair.

NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, January 12, 2012, 6:00pm
As always babysitting and pizza provided!

December 15, 2011

Story Bit: The Little Engine that Could

This week we read the story of The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper. The children were introduced to the words dingy, bellowed, and persevere. A large part of our discussions about the book were around the topic of perseverance.

Chinese Numbers

Today we had the privilege of having a visiting teacher from China come to our classroom to teach us Chinese characters and pronunciations for numbers 1-10. She showed a slideshow of her home town. Thank you Tao!

December 12, 2011

Moon Rocks

This morning the kids had a special surprise presentation from Mr. Allan Miller, our SCS 6-8 Principal. He brought in some rocks that came from the Moon to show our inspiring scientists. He has connections to NASA and the rocks are on loan to SCS for a little while. How cool! The discussion that followed in the classroom raised some very important questions that our class jotted down. We will invite Mr. Miller back in to answer some more of their questions. I am very proud of their observations and wonders! Great scientific minds already!

December 8, 2011

Charles' News: Welcome Baby Elias

The Journey team would like to announce that Charles has became a proud Daddy once again late last night. Little Elias is happy and healthy. How exciting!

December 7, 2011

Last Week's Out of This World Words

I forgot to post these for last week's story bit retellings. The vocabulary words for Stelluluna were: empathy, gasped, sultry.

Next week there will be three more that I will not forget to post;)

Classroom Update

Here is the breakdown of what we are doing right now in all academic areas:

Reading Workshop: Partner Reading, Building stamina for independent reading, Learning How to Choose Just Right Books, Assessments to prepare for upcoming Guided Reading Groups

Writing Workshop: Personal Narratives, sentence structure

Phonics: These are the last few weeks of lowercase letter review: v,w this week. The kids are also learning how to write more letters that they hear in larger words.

Math: Growing patterns, counting and comparing sets, adding and subtracting, money (the penny)

Theme: Family Traditions and Other Cultures (Next week we will have a visiting teacher from China come to our team on Thursday and Friday:))

Craft Fair Thank You

Thank you so much for the many people who helped make our table at the craft fair a huge success. By purchasing items and volunteering, it showed the kids what a caring community is about. We are trying to decide the best way to use this money for the kids. Thank you so much again!

November 30, 2011

A Little Culture

Here is a copy of an email that we received at school today about an upcoming event at the Champlain Valley Exposition this weekend! Wish I could take the kids on a field trip as it would be fun to do with our December theme work!

The Vermont International Festival will be held at the Champlain Valley Exposition, Route 15/Pearl Street, Essex Junction, Vermont. The Champlain Valley Expo has unlimited free parking, is on the CCTA bus line and is handicapped-accessible.

Friday to Sunday, December 2-4, 2011

Festival Hours
Friday, December 2 5 pm to 8 pm
Saturday, December 3 10 am to 6 pm
Sunday, December 4 10 am to 5 pm

Meet over 40 vendors offering reasonably-priced and unique handcrafts from around the world

Sample delicious and affordable ethnic cuisine
Enjoy multi-cultural music and dance
Discover the world at exhibits by the Japan-America Society of Vermont, UVM Asian Studies Outreach Program and many others
Meet new neighbors who have joined our community at the "New Americans, New Neighbors" Pavilion, a special feature presented by the Vermont Performing Arts League.

November 29, 2011

Family Traditions and Celebrations

The children took home a very important green sheet of paper explaining our December theme work. Please be sure to keep this paper as it gives your child's special share date. Thanks and I look forward to hearing about all of the different family traditions within our classroom community.

November 28, 2011

Flynn Center Field Trip

On Thursday, December 1st, our team will be going to the Flynn Center to see Carnival of Animals. We will leave on the bus at 9:15 and return for our normal lunch time at 11:30.

November 18, 2011

Healthy Snack Vehicles

Thank you so much to the volunteers and parents who donated to this very fun healthy snack today.

Craft Fair Volunteers Needed

Please consider helping our classroom and working at our team table for the SCS Craft fair on Saturday, December 3. The commitment is not a lot and you could have your child work with you at the table. It's a lot of fun.

Out of this World Words

Today the Corduroy story bit retelling sheets will go home with the kids. I also introduced some big vocabulary words to them that go along with the book. We are calling them "Out Of This World Words". They are posted in our room. My hope is that they will begin to use these words to expand their vocabulary. I told them that if they use these words in their Corduroy retellings, then I will give them one marble in our reward jar for each word used.

The "Out of this World Words" this week are:


November 16, 2011

A "Bit" of Confusion

I wanted to take a moment to clarify some confusion around our Story Bit activity. A few weeks back, the kids came home with a clear envelope that contained a retelling sheet and red pebble to go along with the story Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. The kids were supposed to keep those story bit envelopes somewhere safe at home with their red pebble inside. The idea is for them to collect several story bits throughout the school year and keep them as treasures in these envelopes. Hopefully, they will serve as memory pieces for the stories and they will be able to recall events of the stories by simply looking at the bit.

On Friday, their second story bit will be coming home. It will be a button for the story Corduroy. Please help your child to understand the importance of keeping these treasures for retelling purposes. With this week's story bit will be a retelling sheet that you should work with your child on and write down what your child remembers from the story. Send them back to school inside of the provided plastic bag by Tuesday.

Sorry for any confusion. I made a mistake and also bought clear folders for the Emergent Reader program! I already made a note not to do that again:)

November 15, 2011

Hand Washing Experts

Today Nurse Jocelyn came to talk with our team about how to keep themselves healthy. She read a funny book and they had a great discussion about hand washing, coughing into their "chicken wings", getting lots of sleep, eating the rainbow, and drinking lots of water. Tomorrow, if the weather cooperates, I plan to take the kids to the SCS track to walk together. I can't wait to do this with them.

Volunteers Needed

Journey Volunteers Needed
The SCS Holiday Craft Fair is on Saturday, December 3rd. If you are able to help sell items that the children have made at our team table, please consider signing up for a time to volunteer on our team Wiki. Sign up the same way you did for conferences. We need two parents in each time slot. To find the Wiki go to, then teams, then Journey Kindergarten, then Journey Team Craft Fair Volunteers. The following times are available. We look forward to seeing you there! Set Up: 8:45-9:30
12:30-1:45 (Includes very little Clean Up)

November 14, 2011

Classroom Fitness

I am looking for a couple of parents who would be interested in coming in during this month's "Happy Healthy You" unit to teach the kids fitness activities. This could include yoga, stretching, running, walking. The opportunities are endless. I would also like to get the class outside in this nice weather. Anyone interested in coming along on a hike? Email me at and we can arrange something special for the class.

November 11, 2011

Learning About Nutrition

This week the kids participated in several activities to discuss the importance of eating a well balanced diet. They learned about eating a variety of foods in moderation. They also learned about how the more colorful foods have more nutrients and vitamins to make them grow big and strong. Today I sent home a little guide for you to discuss with your child that has a wide variety of foods that fit into the "colors of the rainbow".

November 3, 2011

3-D Shape Museum

Our UVM student teacher did a very fun lesson today with the kids where they created 3-D shapes using marshmellows and toothpicks. It is displayed in the classroom in a "Shape Museum". What a blast!

October 31, 2011

Journey Doctor's Office is Now Open for Business

Open for business and still accepting donations. Thanks so much to all that have contributed so far. It is a huge hit.

End of the Community Unit Puppet Show

To end our unit on Our Community, the kids watched Mrs. Kendrick and I perform a puppet show that highlighted some local community helpers. It was an interactive performance and the kids loved reading the words with us.

Meet My Little Authors

Today I taught the kids how to create little books on their own. They listened to a story called Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk. In this story, a little mouse loves to write stories and hide them in the library for kids to find. Ask them about our "Meet the Author" box.

October 28, 2011

Conference Sign Up

Conferences are approaching very fast. Please be sure to sign up by going to our team webpage and following the links for our classroom conference sign up.

Plans for 10/31

Hey everyone! I bet you are gearing up for a very busy Halloween weekend. I wanted to send you a note to let you know that the kids should not bring costumes or Halloween candy to school on Monday. I am planning a very fun day that will include a fun, nutritious snack for Monday afternoon. I know they will be getting a lot of extra treats over the weekend and that evening. I will be making the day fun, special, and educational! Please be sure to keep the candy in the upcoming day out of their morning snack. Thanks for the help!

October 20, 2011

Popcorn Words

Yesterday I introduced the concept of "Popcorn Words" to the kids. There are 25 of these Kindergarten sight words. These words "pop" up often in books. The kids need to read them by the end of the year. I am sending home the list today. Please keep them in a safe spot and begin practicing them. Knowing how to spell these words is not a requirement but will help with early writing as well.

October 17, 2011

Calling all Doctors and Nurses

I would like to begin changing out our Dramatic play area from dress up/housekeeping to a Doctor's Office theme. I need some help with this. If you have any items that you think they would love to play with and you can spare, please send them in. I am looking for notepads, lab coats, ace bandages, stethoscopes, crutches, etc. They will love it!

Extra Change of Warm Clothing

Please be sure to send the kids to school with a new change of extra clothing. With the colder weather approaching very fast, I was finding that many kids still had summer clothing as their spare set. They should put their labeled, zip-lock bags in the bottom compartment of their cubby area. Thanks for your help.

October 14, 2011


The Hands On Nature topic today was about trees. The children listened to an informative puppet show, dressed me up like a tree, and enjoyed some activities outside between the raindrops.

Little Boy Blue

The children were busy working with their rhyming skills using the nursery rhyme Little Boy Blue today. After listening to the song, practicing the words using an overhead, and then making the book, the kids felt like readers and read to friends. We also made haystacks to eat out of chow mein noodles and butterscotch chips.

Foot Handshake

October 13, 2011

Note about Monday's Field Trip

On Monday we will be going to the Flynn Center to see Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. The bus will leave at 11:15 and return around 2:00. We are eating lunch in the classroom at 10:30. Please be sure to send in a snack as usual as well as a lunch/drink for Monday. We will not be going to the cafeteria for lunch.

Our Friendly Community

Today the students combined their creative minds with our theme work and writing. After reading, On the Town: A Community Adventure by Judith Caseley, I invited the kids to help create a bulletin board that included people, places,and things that make a community a pleasant place to live in. Here is what they did! FANTASTIC! Be sure to come in to see it.

October 12, 2011

Notes from October PTO Meeting

We voted on the 2011/2012 BUDGET and our BYLAWS and both were approved.
We have received $725 in DIRECT DONATIONS - thank you!
The INNISBROOK FUNDRAISER brought in $23,6000. Approximately half of that will go directly back to teams.
We were able to get approximately 50 businesses to buy ads in our SCHOOL DIRECTORY. This pays for the printing. Please remember to solicit these businesses who are listed in the back of the directory. The directory will be distributed by the end of this month
The HANNAFORD HELPS SCHOOLS program runs until December 3. If you shop at Hannaford please check for the Hannaford Helps Schools labels on foods which earn our school dollars. The coupons for the dollars you earn can be turned into the kiosk at the store or a box in the school office.
The GRANT COMMITTEE will be meeting on November 9 to give out our fall grants.
INSPIRATION PLAYGROUND was enjoyed by K-3rd graders this past month. Thanks to Joplin James for bringing it to our school. Many people asked if there was a way for our school to buy it.
All K-8 classes enjoyed making homemade salsa during the SCS FEED organized SALSA WEEK.
On September 28 every classroom participated in FIRE PREVENTION DAY. Thank you to the Shelburne Fire Dept. for their support on this.
All students 3-8 took NECAPS last week and this week. Students took exams in reading and math and 4th & 8th graders also took a writing exam. Science NECAPS for 4th & 8th grade will be held in April.
8th GRADE COMMUNITY SERVICE has begun with every 8th grader involved. Opportunities include working at The Arbors, at New Village Farm, at the Town Clerk's office and in the elementary school classrooms. Also during this time groups of students travel to the Shelburne Art Center for lessons in metals, woods or stained glass.
Teachers have been working with Colchester science teacher Heather Barron on DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION. This work will be going on through January. There was some discussion about having Heather do a workshop for parents sometime this year.
A group of teachers, Allegra and Allan will be spending 8 days this year observing and discussing MATH INSTRUCTION with the goal of moving every math class to a deeper level of learning and instruction. This work will eventually involve all math teachers.
A group of teachers, Allan and Allegra are working on our transition to the new COMMON CORE STANDARDS.

Friday, October 14 - Middle school dance to benefit victims of Irene.
Tuesday, October 25, 6:30-8p - UA Curriculum Night
Tuesday, October 25, 2p-8p - Innisbrook pick-up
Walking Wednesdays - Every Wednesday in October.
FREE Webinar on INTERNET SAFETY BASICS FOR PARENTS. Sponsored by e-Vermont it will be held on 10/19, 6p-6:30 OR 10/26, 6p-6:30.
Holiday Fair Coordinator - someone to work with current coordinators to train for next year.
Do you have any great ideas for stories about things going on at SCS? Please contact Lin Stone ( at the Shelburne News. She would like to write weekly pieces on what's going on at our school but needs ideas.

Special Visitor

Today our class had a special visit from Jen Bostwick who works for the Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She spoke to the kids about what it is like to have trouble hearing. The children learned about the parts of their ears, various reasons why people might have trouble hearing, and how to be sure that everyone in our classroom can hear when they talk/share.

October 7, 2011

Kindergarten Writing and Reading

The past few weeks the children have been making lots of books to put in their book boxes that they can read on their own. The letter books that have been made so far are for t,f,b,m,and n. When we practice letters and sounds in Kindergarten, we also incorporate handwriting skills as well as phonics. There is a wide variety of ability levels within a Kindergarten classroom. Putting the pieces together so that everyone is learning is a tricky puzzle, but it is all coming together now as I know the kids' academic levels from baseline assessments completed in September.

Other song or nursery rhyme books that have been made for their book boxes are The Five Little Pumpkins, The Itsy Bitsy Spider, and next week they will work on Little Miss Muffet. Not only are the children practicing reading and writing rhymes with these books, but they are also learning how to track the words with a 1-1 match. They will begin identifying Kindergarten Sight Words within these poems starting next week. I also use these poems/songs to practice beginning reading comprehension and fluency. The children get to act these poems out-an activity that is a hit with my group of performers this year.

This week we began our formal Reading and Writing Workshops. Be sure to ask your child what a workshop looks like, sounds like, and feels like in our classroom.

Fire Safety Photos

September 27, 2011

What's Happening in Our Classroom

Our class has been hard at work with getting to know each other. The last Totally Terrific Children will have a chance to be honored someday in the next 5 days. We have loved looking at the photos and hearing about what each child enjoys. This activity is enhanced with the name study celebrations and the connections to phonological awareness activities.

Here is a breakdown of our studies for the month of September:

Social Studies Theme Work: All About Us, Totally Terrific Child

Literacy:Totally Terrific Child, establishing a reading and writing community, beginning phonological skills, baseline literacy assessments,

Math: Establishing math workplaces and math workshops, math assessments, naming/sorting/graphing 2-D shapes, counting and comparing sets using 10-Frames, numeral recognition and writing, reading a calendar, sorting

Ready Readers

Today half of the class worked with me on this phonological awareness activity while the other half went to the Imagination Playground. The groups will switch tomorrow so your child may take this activity home then. After reading lots of books about what it looks like to be a BEST SELF learner in Kindergarten, the entire class brainstormed some simple sentences on what Kindergarten students do at school. We wrote them on sentence strips and then counted the number of words and cut the sentences apart. The kids put the sentences back together based on their word memory. In the small group, they are given various sentences to cut apart, mix up, and put back together. They glued the sentences in proper word order then illustrated.

Froggy Friend

This little lady was hopping down our hallway. Lucy, the bus driver and Pre-School Para-educator, showed us that her white neck marks her as a girl. I learned something new yesterday!

September 16, 2011

Notes From September PTO Meeting


We have received $575 in direct donations - thank you!

We will be funding new sand for the volleyball court which was upgraded this summer.

The PTO will be discussing a capital improvement plan for the year and how to spend our money. Anyone interested in this please contact Randy Sweeney or Alice Brown.

HANNAFORD HELPS SCHOOLS program goes from 9/4 - 12/3. If you shop at Hannaford check out the tags in the store indicating which brands are included in the program. Buy 4 of any product and earn dollars for our school. This is a huge fundraiser for us every year!

PRICE CHOPPER TOOLS FOR SCHOOLS: If you have a Price Chopper card and shop there you can register for our school. Each time you shop there and scan your card, our school earns dollars. If you enrolled in the program prior to August 2010 you need to re-enroll. go to Our school code is 15260.

Highlights of Principals Report:
• Lots of work and improvements were done in the school over the summer including replacement of boilers, asbestos removal, carpet replacement and computer replacements.
• The SCS administration was recognized by the VT Dept. of Ed for outstanding leadership in support of a culture of wellness in our school.
• New Staff: Emily Vigneault - 3rd grade, Katie McGrain - 4th grade, Caril Lilly - 7th grade art, Margo Austin - CY Connecting Youth SAP
• A new Skills4Life period has been created for middle school students. This time will be dedicated to teaching health and wellness and will be taught by Jocelyn Bouyea, Rachel Petraska, Margo Austin, Alan Mihan, Georgene Grover, Allan Miller and core teachers.
• Middle school sports - 45 students on cross-country, 44 in boys soccer, 22 in girls soccer and 35 in girls field hockey.


Innisbrook Gift Wrap Fundraiser begins 9/14 and ends on 9/28
Walking Wednesdays - Every Wednesday in October. Meet at the town green starting at 7:30 and walk to school!
Newberry Cup Bake Sale - October 15
Innisbrook Distribution - October 25
UA Curriculum Night - October 25

Help Wanted
Newberry Bake Sale - Bakers and helpers
Innisbrook distribution - on 10/25
Everybody Wins Mentoring Program - This program connects you with a child that you will read with each Tuesday during their lunch. Interested? Contact Kathy Twombly at 985-1189 or
Pierson Library Booksale - Helpers need to set-up on 10/6 and 10/7, help with sale on 10/8 and 10/9 and packing up on 10/9. Interested? Contact Cathy Townsend at 985-5094 or

Thank Yous to:
• Rita Daley and Teresa Shuptrine for our PTO bulletin board
• Sarah Vincent and all the Teacher's Breakfast chefs
• First Day Greeters
• Ginger Williamson and Zynnia Seidita for coordinating Innisbrook
• Leslie Borrok, Betty Winget and Lisa Merrill for the SCS Directory
• Directory Ad helpers
• Everyone who filled out a volunteer form!

Questions? Want to get involved?

Contact: Randy Sweeney or Alice Brown
985-8190 985-4918

Imagination Playground

September 13, 2011


Cooperation, teamwork, patience! They were all "Best Selves" making salsa with our volunteers today.

September 12, 2011

Learning Letter Sounds

Please be sure to ask your child to read Learning Letter Sounds to you tomorrow night. We have been singing this song together for the past week and it is time for them to share it at home. This song teaches letters and sounds to those who need that instruction and also lends itself to the reading process and vocabulary development for those who are already reading. Please have your child use a finger to track under the words and letters as they read. Happy reading and singing!

News and Announcements

Today the class began their journey to becoming phonological thinkers. We used News and Announcements to point out parts of writing: letters vs. words, spacing between words, and comprehending the message. What an amazing group of readers and writers!

September 9, 2011

November Conference Sign Ups

Please be sure to take some time to sign up for November conferences. It will be here before you know it. All you have to do is go to our team webpage on the SCS website. On the left hand column you will see "Hazen November Conference Sign Up". Just click on that and it will take you to my page. Follow the directions and be sure to write your time into your own scheduling book.

Totally Terrific Child

In the coming weeks, your child will be honored for a day as our "Totally Terrific Child". This activity gets each child sharing about themselves and the class learning more about our community of learners. They get to use their homework timelines and photos to guide our conversations about them. Each child will take home a book that the class works on together that incorporates handwriting, phonics, phonemic awareness, and comprehension skills.

First Hands On Nature

Today the class enjoyed their first Hands On Nature lesson from three classroom volunteers. The topic was Metamorphosis. They enjoyed a puppet show that gave basic information about the four stages that insects go through: egg, larva, pupa,and adult. They became scientists and used their observation skills to look for insects in small groups. Then they did a metamorphosis relay race. Ask your child what stage they ate crackers in.