Sunday Scoop 01/12/20

Group in NYC

Happy New Year!

The AES class of 2020 ventured to the Big Apple on Monday morning. They rolled out of the school parking lot at an early hour to get to the city for a day of learning and adventure. Traffic was in their favor throughout the day as they were able to arrive at each destination in time and even return home one hour earlier than anticipated.

The United Nations was their first stop. Once they all proceeded through security, they met their tour guides. The students were shown the many great halls of the UN and told of the important decisions that are made in each room. The guides were able to share many valuable pieces of information such as which country contributed to the decor of each room. The guides were enthusiastic about the 6th grader’s interest and encouraged them to be active in making change because they truly are the future.

The Tenement Museum was the next stop of the day and it proved to be equally informative. Students were split into small groups and presented with various tasks to provide them with an understanding of the decisions immigrants were faced with when they first came to the United States. They were then challenged to take on the role of news reporters during the 1860’s and enter a reproduction of a tenement apartment. The students were immersed in the experience as they spoke to a woman portraying the life of an immigrant living in the tenements of NYC.

The last stop was Rockefeller Center where the students were able to view the famous Christmas tree before it was scheduled to be be taken down the following day. Viewing the tree, skating rink, LEGO store, NBC studio, tall buildings and, of course, all the people was certainly an experience for our small-town students. After getting some dinner, the students boarded the bus and headed back to Andover reflecting on a great day in the big city.
Our 6th graders started 2020 in New York City.

Smiling students in NYCGroup outside UNGroup inside UNGrade 6 in NYCIce skating rink nycstudents in front of rink nycRockafeller centerstudents at FAO schwarz

¿Qué pasa en la clase de español?

(What’s Happening in Spanish Class?)
¡Felíz Año Nuevo! (Happy New Year!)
In Spanish class, our main theme has been the changing weather and seasons and the traditions associated with the winter holidays.
In 2nd/3rd grade, we learned body parts using our favorite snowman, Olaf, as our subject. “Olaf tiene (has) una boca, una naríz, dos ojos, el pelo, dos brazos y dos manos. ¡Olaf NO TIENE unas orejas!”

Olaf drawing and labels

la boca=a mouth, la naríz=a nose, dos ojos=two eyes, dos brazos=two arms, dos manos= two hands, unas orejas= ears.
In 4th and 5th grade, we learned weather expressions using gestures to help us remember them.To practice our new vocabulary, we played “matamosca” (the fly swatter) game. As one student yells out a weather expression,two students at a time compete to hit the right one first.

In 6th grade, by practicing a “weather report” dialogue, we compared weather in Andover to weather in San José, Costa Rica.

In all grades, we touched upon the traditions associated with La Navidad (Christmas) and El Dia de Los Tres Reyes (Three Kings Day) which will be celebrated on Monday, January 6th. We talked about the parade that will take place in Hartford on Monday, with real camels included.

camel rides

Kids in Hartford (who do not have school on that day) can take a camel ride at the end of the parade in Pope Park after the procession goes down Park Street.
Traditions vary from family to family and country to country, but we know many children from Puerto Rican families put a box of hay (for the camels) under their bed on January 5th hoping to wake up to gifts in the box brought by the three kings. Kids in México often put their shoes outdoors on the patio hoping for gifts from the kings as well.

grass in a shoe boxthree kings items

These traditions reminded many of the kids of a similar activity they did right here at school in Andover. They put out their “wooden” shoes and when they returned from lunch, the shoes were filled with goodies! We were also reminded of our tradition of putting up stockings and leaving food and drinks for Santa and the reindeers on Christmas Eve.
Mexican families have another fun tradition... They serve “la rosca” or King’s Cake. A small plastic baby is baked into “la rosca”. The person who gets the baby in their piece is said to have GOOD LUCK for a whole year!

kings cake

I’ve asked our kids to ask parents who work in Hartford to let us know what they know about the Three Kings parade. I’ve also asked children from our school who celebrate Three Kings to share details of their family traditions next Tuesday.

What’s Happening in the Library Media Center?

Preschool students have been learning classic stories and fairy tales. In the library, we have read different versions of some classic tales like Red Riding Hood, Gingerbread Man Loose At Christmas and Goldilocks and three Dinosaurs.

kids in library

January is the month of empathy so Kindergarten and 1st grade students have been listening to stories about empathy. This week they heard I Am Human by Peter Reynolds. This book tries to help kids understand that we all are humans who make mistakes, but we can all try our best to show empathy and compassion to help each other.

kids reading in library

Before the holiday break, we took a break from reading the The Witches to do a comparison of The Christmas Carol. We discussed how this classic story has been adapted to many versions on film and in other books.

three students reading

As we move into the 2nd trimester, across grade levels the writing units have changed from narrative to informational. Research is an essential part of informative writing, Throughout the semester I will be working with teachers and students to help them build their informational literacy skills. These skills include note taking strategies, understanding text features to find valuable information, evaluating sources, and much more.

two students comparing bookstwo students researching books


Students participating in math enrichment have recently finished studying various types of math puzzles. After becoming experts at solving the puzzles, students were challenged to create their own. Their finished puzzles are located on a bulletin board outside of the cafeteria. Try your hand at solving the two puzzles below.
Rian’s multiplication square is solved by determining what each variable represents. Gigi’s Kakooma puzzle is solved by finding the sum of two digits in each box, transferring it to the center and then completing the center puzzle the same way.

math bulletin boardmath projectKakooma math puzzle

The Silver Sneaker Award

The two students receiving the Silver Sneaker Awards this week for Empathy are Audrey in Ms. Webber’s class and Addy in Mrs. Bech’s class.

Both Audrey and Addy are class leaders who strive to do their best! They both have positive attitudes towards school and are always willing to help a friend. These two girls also help their teachers, often without needing to be asked. They show empathy and kindness to others. Both Audrey and Addy make good choices everyday. They "shine" with kindness and demonstrate empathy. They don’t just think of themselves, but they consider how others are feeling and work hard to make sure their peers know that their feelings matter. Way to go girls!! Keep up the excellent work and leadership!!!

empathysilver sneaker winner

Reminders from the Office

Please remember to notify the OFFICE directly by phone or email if your child/children are going to be absent from school.

Also, as the end of the day can often be very hectic in the main office, please send in a note or email if you are going to change your child’s dismissal arrangements for the day. Last-minute phone calls often cause confusion at dismissal. We would like to avoid these calls if possible, except when unforeseen circumstances arise or in cases of emergency. Thank you for your understanding.

Friday, January 17 is Super Hero Day!

The Winter Concert is scheduled for Wednesday, January 29th at 7:00 PM.