December Newsletter

posted Dec 2, 2016, 12:06 PM by Becca Wood
December 2, 2016

Dear Parents and Friends,

“You have one month to finish the book of 2016. Make the last chapter a good one.” ~ Author Unknown

Our last day of school before the holiday break is Thursday, December 22nd. Classes resume on Tuesday, January 3rd 2017.

On Thursday, December 8th @ 1:10 PM
, the Yarmouth Police Department will guide our first Lock-Down drill this year. The students will hear me ask the teachers to secure their rooms and will then follow their teachers’ directions. Our second Lock-Down drill is scheduled for Friday, February 10th @ 11:10.

The Fourth Grade Winter Chorus Concert is Thursday, December 15th at 6:30 PM in the YES gym.

December 1st third graders treated us to an inspiring and uplifting school wide community meeting on optimism. A Mindset for Learning: Teaching the Traits of Joyful Independent Growth by Mraz and Hertz was the source behind this important message and I'm confident the authors would have been honored to see the students advocating the message of optimism. As parents you might enjoy this book as a resource.

Soon the students will need boots on a daily basis. Everyone needs shoes during the day in their classrooms, bathrooms and halls. Please send shoes with your children so boots can be left outside the classroom. Feel free to send an extra (old) pair of sneakers or hard-soled slippers to be left at school. Socks do not count as shoes as much as they try to convince me!

Many of you will attend classroom writing and reading celebrations this month Thank you for taking time from your busy schedules to be part of your children’s school lives. We are very proud of their effort and all they accomplish.

Yarmouth Community Services has a few openings in its K-4 Before School Program here at YES. If you are interested please call 846-2406 for more information.

We are very excited to announce that the following Yarmouth Education Foundation grants were awarded to YES:

Mathematics in Action II (Rachel Clark)

Dr. Mahesh Sharma, a former MIT mathematics professor and worldwide lecturer spent October 7th with K-4 educators sharing proven, efficient strategies and reasons behind mathematics instruction. YEF funded this engaging Professional Development Day. Dr. Sharma used Cuisenaire Rods to help educators improve instruction of foundational mathematical concepts.

Georges Cuisenaire, a Belgian primary school teacher, made a discovery years ago with his famous rods, which is now considered a vital component of teaching mathematics. He found that by making use of children's natural inclination to play, and giving them an appealing material which demonstrated the relationships on which mathematics is based, it was possible for them to all understand. Furthermore, the contextual features of size, shape, and color added meaning to each of these rods.

Cuisenaire Rods allow children to quickly see relationships in addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, and more. The students move away from knowing only rote procedures, to understanding number concepts.

The YEF grant allowed us to purchase Cuisenaire Rods for all 18 classrooms. (We shopped on cyber Monday!) THANK YOU YEF!!

Breakout EDU (Nicole Colfer, Chris Wentworth, Laura Wetmore, Kate Parkin & Karin Ney)
Unlike many traditional curricula or programs, Breakout EDU requires teams to solve interactive clues. During a typical Breakout challenge, students move around a classroom or set area, discussing possible solutions, asking questions, and thinking critically. The end goal of working toward unlocking the box is highly motivating for children and adults. There is an end result and a feeling of accomplishment once each lock and, then finally, a box is unlocked.

Teachers incorporating Breakout boxes into their lessons can create clues relating to specific curriculum areas such as science, geography, history, literature, and mathematics. Not every game ends with a successful conclusion and part of the activity is a reflection on the process of learning and perseverance.

Students will assume roles within the Breakout activities that help or hinder the process. This lends itself to teachable moments relating to: empathy, inclusion, patience, respect, leadership, participation and grit. These teachable moments complement our commitment to our Responsive Classroom philosophy and Yarmouth Core Values. THANK YOU YEF!!

Are you aware of Yarmouth Education Foundation’s Honor Program? You can make a donation in any amount to YEF in honor of a teacher, coach, mentor, Clipper Buddy, friend, relative, and/or anyone you would like to honor. That person will receive a certificate that he/she has been honored and YEF and Yarmouth schools benefit from your donation. It’s a perfect gift idea at this time of year.

I’m sure you are weary of my squawking about Lost and Found, however, there are some very nice items that will be donated during our December break if they are not claimed before our December break.

Please contact me with any questions and concerns you might have. I want to hear from you. Thank you for your continued support.

My Best to everyone for the Holiday Season and the New Year!


Betsy Lane