Step-Up Activities

All students in grades K-4 “stepped-up” today to meet the team of teachers that will be at their grade level next fall.   At Winthrop this involves some staff moving into new roles and positions, so it was important for students to be able to match names and faces before receiving welcome letters in August!

  • Rising 5th graders met Mrs. Harris, Mrs. Lewis, and Mr. Yeaton
  • Rising 4th graders met Ms. Bruce, Ms. O’Brien, and Mrs. Ogiba
  • Rising 3rd graders met Ms. Bates, Ms. Hatch, and Mrs. Herook
  • Rising 2nd graders met Ms. Gorevitz, Ms. McElligott, and Mrs. Orlofski


  • Rising 1st graders met Ms. Hurwitz, Mrs. Twist, and Ms. Wilcox

All students were given information* to bring home about grade level supplies, and our almost 2nd-5th graders also received packets of information* regarding summer practice for literacy and math.  Having sat through each session, the resounding plea was for students to become more automatic with basic facts (addition and subtraction in the lower grades, and multiplication in the older grades!)  One teacher reminded students of their younger days when learning the alphabet.  The teacher asked the students to think about how hard they worked to recognize their letters, and how easily the alphabet comes to them now.   She then related that to practicing and becoming automatic with math facts!

Yesterday, children’s librarian Marianne Stanton presented to students and sent home information regarding summer reading, summer programming, and a suggested book list for Dream Big – Read!   The Melrose Public Library will not charge children this summer to replace any lost library card, and all were encouraged to visit Monday-Thursday from 10-8, or on Fridays from 10-5.  Books from the library are a great way to keep busy this summer, and an inexpensive way to reinforce learning and academics from the school year.

*All supply lists and summer packets will be posted on the Winthrop website within the next week.

The Great Book Swap of 2012

This year Field Day will also serve as the kick off for our summer reading push!  During a break in the games, activities, and performances, all students K-5 will be able to attend The Great Book Swap.   This new event will take place on the grassy area outside the main office, and will be run by Mrs. Herrera and some literacy loving volunteers!

The rules are quite simple – for every book a student donates (up to ten) he or she will be able to swap for the same amount of new reading material.  Students can bring in books from Monday through Wednesday, and there will be donation bags set up in each classroom.

Families with overflowing bookshelves or personal libraries may donate excess books (that is – over the 10 book student maximum) at the main office!  If we have enough “extra” donations, we’re anticipating every student will be able to go home with at least one new book to read over summer break, regardless of participation.

Just a reminder that field day is Thursday, June 7th.  All students who chose to participate in The Great Book Swap should have books to their classroom teacher by Wednesday, 6/6/12.

Further Book Swap 2012 Information

Walk to School Wednesday – 5/2/12

On Wednesday, May 2nd, Mass in Motion© and Chartwells School Dining Service, are encouraging Melrose elementary and middle school students to walk/bike to and from school in order to promote healthier lifestyles. Encouraging healthy changes in our everyday behavior will promote positive changes in our students, parents and community.

Did you know that students are encouraged to get 60 minutes of exercise daily? Just by walking to and from school with a parent can give students a chance to gain some exercise, fresh air and quality one-on-one time. This dedicated day is an opportunity for Melrose children to get even more active!

Are you ready for a breath of fresh air? Parents, this is a chance for some volunteerism while reducing some traffic congestion and pollution. If your student is old enough to walk to school without an adult please encourage them to walk with other students. Otherwise, please join your child if you can.

Chartwells will be rewarding participating adults with a hot cup of coffee and students with a healthy frozen juice treat when they arrive at school.  I hope to see you all out and about Wednesday morning!

End of the Year Crunch

I was working with the third grade teachers the other day when one of them asked how many weeks were left in the school year. The answer (9 weeks plus a day) came as a bit of a shock to us, even though we were all fully aware of the date!

There are many opportunities for families to join us at the end of the school year, but those functions also put stress on working parents as they are primarily scheduled during the day.  Also, with May 22nd as the final testing date for the May MCAS administration, and our lack of snow days this year, most of our end of the year events are crammed into a short few weeks.

I hope with this much advance notice families will be able to prioritize and attend whichever events are most important to you and your child(ren.)

  • Wed, 5/23 Ice Cream Social and Family Book Fair Night
  • Tues, 5/29 Academic Day
  • Thurs, 5/31 5th Grade Parent Info Night @ MMVMS – 7pm
  • Mon, 6/4 Spring Concerts
  • Thur, 6/7 Spirit Day
  • Mon, 6/11 Gr 5 Moving On Ceremony

All spring concerts will be held on the same day this year, however to accommodate families in the All Purpose Room we will continue the alphabetical split.  Students with last names beginning with A-L will perform at 8:30AM, and students with last names beginning with M-Z will perform at 10:00AM.  Each concert is anticipated to last approximately 45 min – 1 hour.

Tuesday, June 12th is the last day of school, and it is a full day.

Still thinking about the Science Fair!

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You may have missed our kindergarten presentations at the Science Fair on Wednesday (they were in the music room, across from the All-Purpose Room.)  If you didn’t get a chance to see them, you missed out on some interesting projects.  Winthrop had seven students in kindergarten participate, and one completed his along with his third grade brother.  Their work was well done, and truly representative of good science!


The past few weeks have proved informative at Winthrop!  Many students and classrooms participated in our “All-School Challenge” and learned about our namesake, John Winthrop.  Students were captivated by the amount of wives and children he had, but many also brought forth the political and religious reasons why he was an important figure in Massachusetts history.

The pictures show the main hallway bulletin board, a sample of the wealth of information found by Mrs. Ogiba’s class (they actually needed two sheets of chart paper), and the diligent work of a Winthrop fifth grader.

Our canvas portrait of John Winthrop – a gift from the class of 2004 – has found a new home in the main hallway and presides over our building as a true namesake!


In honor of John Winthrop’s 424th birthday I’ve challenged all students to do a bit of research this weekend to learn more about our school namesake!  Mrs. Z’s and Ms. Mazzei’s kindergarten classes got a jump-start and  kicked off the challenge last night, and were our resident experts today!

This is an optional task for students, but as a school community next week we’ll be collecting facts, sharing with other classes and grades, and creating a public display of all we’ve learned.

All students were given a bright orange reminder sheet (white handout in K) outlining the parameters.  Students in grades 3, 4, and 5 were asked to show responsibility and maturity in leaving the easy facts for our primary students, and truly researching unique, detailed, information about Governor Winthrop.  I know they’ll impress us!

Winthrop Holiday Bazaar

It’s been a great start to the annual Holiday Bazaar – students in Kindergarten and 1st grade have completed their shopping, and 2nd graders are just getting started!  The younger students have shopped with the help of their older “book buddies” and the amount of parent volunteers selling, manning the cash registers, and wrapping presents is awesome.  It’s a great day to be a student at Winthrop Elementary School!