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!
I attended part of Science Friday in 1H last week. The students were working on a culminating activity for the first investigation in FOSS Air & Weather. After learning a ton about air, its properties, and what happens when its pressured, the students were launching air balloon “rockets” on tracks set up around the room. Their excitement was contagious! But even more impressive were their explanations as I sat and spoke with each group. I look forward to going back later in the unit and seeing how things have progressed.
This summer every classroom was fitted with a SMART Board, and elementary teachers across the district have had the opportunity for training with the district technology integration specialist, Mark Kelsey. These trainings were a hit … Sold out! Standing room only! … and teachers are excited to get back into school with new ways to promote learning and engage students.
Last year each grade level piloted a FOSS (Full Option Science System) unit and this year we will have full integration of FOSS, in conjunction with our newly aligned science standards. The shift in our science curriculum transitions students from reading about science to actually doing science! This hands-on approach requires higher level thinking skills through an inquiry based approach to science topics.
A dedicated group of Melrose health and wellness providers worked last spring, along with district administrators, teachers, and parents, and chose Health Promotion Wave for a new comprehensive Health program. Aligned to both the national and state standards, the Winthrop is excited to be the pilot elementary school for this new curriculum.
As an elementary school we are always focused on literacy and math and this year will be no different. As we are in science, in reading, writing, and math we will be working to focus on deeper conceptual understandings with problem solving and critical thinking skills.
Almost more importantly that any of the material items, or curriculum improvements, are the new and returning staff members who will be at Winthrop:
- Ms. Liz Bates will be a new co-teacher working in 2nd grade this year.
- Ms. Kim Dello Russo will be the new art teacher as Ms. Benski has moved over to the high school. Ms. Dello Russo will be at the Winthrop on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays and at Horace Mann on other days.
- Ms. Susan Mayo is a paraprofessional who is returning to the Winthrop from the Franklin Early Childhood Center. She will be working in 2nd grade.
- There will also be a new Educational Team Facilitator, a new special education teacher (MSN), and a substitute guidance counselor (until November.) Check back soon for more information on those positions!
In addition to all the incoming kindergartners, we also will be welcoming close to ten new students and families in grades 1-5 when school opens. Please join me in helping them to become part of the Winthrop!