Roderick School Blog

Thanks for visiting the Roderick Elementary School Blog! Blogging is a great way to share some of the exciting things happening in our school with families and the greater school community. The Blog will be updated weekly with pictures and news from the school. Come back and visit often!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Roderick Review Week 9 (10/26/15 - 10/30/15)

Extra!  Extra!  Read All About it!
Our 5th/6th Grade Student Council officially met for the first time this year on Wednesday, October 28, 2015.  Thanks to the leadership of our representatives and the guidance of our Student Council advisors, Ms. DeTrolio and Ms. Downing, we held our first Student Council Sponsored Spirit Day on Thursday, October 29, 2015.  Roderick School community members were invited to wear their favorite Patriots gear or red, white, and blue, to support our local NFL team yesterday, and MANY joined in the fun!  Stay tuned for more information from our Student Council in the weeks to come!

Roderick School Moments

On Sunday, many students, families, and WPS community members came out to participate in one of the three runs as part of the Halloween Hustle and others came to cheer on the runners. All proceeds from the Halloween Hustle will go towards the new Delaney playground!  Thank you to everyone who came to support this special event!

Fourth graders are starting their
landmark research projects and are using Google drive to work collaboratively with a peer.

Fourth graders here are presenting their mystery book reports and interviewing classmates about the characters, setting, problem, and solution in the stories.  (They are also eager to tell you what their favorite part of the book was as well and how they knew it was a mystery.)

Fifth graders are reviewing all they know about combining numbers with decimals.

While other fifth grade scientists are working as a group to put their posters together as expert geologists ready to share what they know about igneous and metamorphic samples or the rock cycle,

 Some sixth graders are keeping up with current events, providing a summary of what they learned from a current article, reflecting upon its importance, and then presenting it on the "news."

Ms. Lopez has been introducing how the Library is organized and introduced "The Big Ten" categories of the Dewey Decimal System so that students know where to find the areas of non-fiction they are looking for.

On Friday afternoon, 4th graders shared their original creations during the annual Pumpkin Parade!

Don't forget!  It is time to "FALL BACK" and turn your clocks back one hour this weekend!  (Daylight Savings Time officially ends at 2:00 a.m. on November 1, 2015)

Friday, October 23, 2015

Roderick Review Week 8 (10/19/15 - 10/23/15)

What do you know about Instagram?

Instagram is a social network service similar to Facebook and Twitter.  What makes Instagram different is that it is used to simply share pictures with others easily.  It is easy to set up an account and there are options to have a public or private account.

The posted minimum age for Instagram users is thirteen.  When children in grades 4-6 have access to Instagram and other social media without supervision and education about how to use the app responsibly, it can make students vulnerable.  Pictures can be uploaded and shared instantly and they can be searched easily if others know the user name.

If you and your child have an Instagram account together, here are some helpful guidelines you can use to protect your child:

*Create a private account.
*Select a pseudonym and discourage your child from using his or her real first or last name.
*Select a password that contains a mixture of letter, numbers, and symbols and be sure that it does not contain a real word.
*Do not use a photo of your child for the profile and instead choose an icon depicting a favorite interest or hobby such as a picture of a soccer ball or a treble clef if she is a musician.
*Turn off the photo map so that those that view the pictures do not know possible locations.

For more information visit:

 Watercolors, watercolors everywhere! (Sixth graders in art!)

Under the direction of Ms. Lovely, students study a photograph carefully and create their own watercolor shades.  By concentrating on the variations in color and texture in the photograph and experimenting with color mixing and different techniques with the paintbrushes, students are recreating works of art with watercolors.  Take a look at what some sixth graders worked on this week!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Roderick Review Week 7 (10/12/15-10/16/15)

This week, we welcomed back our sixth grade adventurers!  I am including a few pictures from the Bournedale experience to give you just a small glimpse into the special experience this week-long excursion provides.

Each morning began with a hearty breakfast in the dining hall overlooking the water.

After breakfast, Patrick, the Camp Bournedale director would ask for a few of the students to review the study group assignments for the day.

When I visited on Wednesday, I was lucky enough to join these two study groups to go on the Lobster Tales boat!

Our tour guide showed us how the lobster trap works and helped us to identify male and female lobsters and crabs.

Students were able to hold sand crabs, spider crabs, lobsters, and hermit crabs as our guide removed them from the lobster trap.

Though some of the spider crabs were pretty large and looked a little intimidating, students eagerly held them and observed them closely.

Here students are looking at a tautog or black fish as they are commonly called, similar to cod.

 After the excursions and experiments in the morning, students had some time for recreation and either were on the field, going for a walk together, playing basketball, and even fishing on this particular beautiful day as the evanescent summer passes.

After lunch, students explored how the variations in air pressure can cause unexpected things to happen.

During this experiment, students explored surface tension and saw how water molecules will be attracted to other water molecules.  In this particular picture, students are then "breaking" the surface tension,

While students are in their study groups for a portion of each day in the mornings and the afternoons, there were also plenty of opportunities to come together as a whole sixth grade class.

This group is literally, jumping for joy to be at Camp Bournedale!  (Thank you to photographer, Ms. Haughey for capturing this action shot!)

Friday, October 9, 2015

Roderick Review Week 6 (10/5/15-10/9/15)

This week's topic?  Our new Wellness Policy!

As many of you may recall, there is a new procedure for the Wrentham Public Schools for the 2015-2016 school year.  Recently, there have been some questions about why we are making some changes to a few of our traditions such as the Thanksgiving Feast in fourth grade or why celebrations with food are being discouraged in favor of non-food celebrations.  I encourage everyone to read the short summary below created by the members of the Wellness Committee and approved by the School Committee earlier this year:

Wellness Policy Implementation Procedure, 2015-2016

The Wellness Committee of Wrentham Public Schools is comprised of district and school administrators, school nurses, classroom teachers, PE teachers, students’ families, and members of the community. The purpose of the Wellness Committee is to review and recommend to the School Committee policies and procedures that promote student health, protect students with food allergies, and are consistent with federal and state laws. Please contact your building principal or nurse if you have any questions about the Wellness Policy Implementation Procedure outlined below.

·         Foods and beverages that are offered to all students (not individual snacks or lunches brought from home)  must meet the following criteria as outlined by Massachusetts General Law c 111 223 “An Act Relative to School Nutrition”:
o   Water, low-fat milk, and 8 ounces of 100% juice
o   Fresh fruit and vegetables
o   Snacks made of at least 51% whole grain, 200 calories or fewer per serving, and pre-packaged
o   No artificial sweeteners or trans fats

·         The principal and school nurse will approve the foods offered to all students at least 2 weeks prior to the event with the WPS Wellness Policy Food Event Request Form. Accommodations will be made to ensure all students can participate safely in classroom events that involve food.

·         Foods and beverages will not be used in the classroom as rewards or incentives.

·         Students are not permitted to share their food with other students.

Parents are encouraged to contact the school nurse or principal if they have any questions or feedback about the Wellness Policy Implementation Procedure. The Wellness Committee meets throughout the school year to update the Wellness Policy Implementation Procedure. Please let your nurse or principal know what works well and what we can improve.

This new implementation plan means that we need to change some traditions such as bringing in cupcakes for the class for birthdays or bringing in bags of candy to share.  In addition to needing to adhere to the nutritional requirements, we want school to be safe for everyone and for some students, exposure to certain allergens can be life-threatening.  Therefore, even though the offers to share snacks with one another are well-intended and generous, students may hear those supervising at snack and lunchtime reminding them that they cannot share food.  

We will still be able to share in meaningful celebrations within our school community even without some of the traditional edible treats.  In fact, by removing the "treat" element from the celebrations, the larger value is exposed such as school pride, achievement, accomplishment, strength of character, appreciation for one another, and so much more.  
For those with questions about the plan for this year, you are welcome to contact Dr. Beauchaine or our nurse, Mrs. Cashman.

NEXT WEEK...Delaney and Roderick Parents are invited to join the principals at the first Principal Coffee event for the year on Friday, October 16th in the Vogel Auditorium at 8:30 a.m.  During this time, we will be sharing a summary of the Spring 2015 MCAS results for students in grades 3-6.  We hope to see many of you there!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Roderick Review Week 5 (9/28/15 - 10/2/15)

Parent Meetings - Thank you to those who attended the Grade 6 Parent meeting last Tuesday evening!  If you were not able to attend, but would like to share with me what you feel has been working well at Roderick School in the past as well as what we may want to look at to enhance the Roderick experience, please feel free to contact me this coming week.  Next week, I will be holding forums for grade 5 parents and grade 4 parents.  (Please read your email for more information.)  Again, I would like to reiterate how helpful it is for me to have this time to hear from parents and I look forward to learning more this coming week as well!

World Smile Day!
Today, the Roderick School community celebrated World Smile Day, a day to focus on doing acts of kindness for one another and going the extra mile! In addition, all throughout the day today there were bursts of sunshine turning this dreary rainy day into a celebration of all that is good within each one of us.  Compliments, holding the door for one another, helping someone carrying a heavy load, picking up items that dropped, asking someone to join in are all examples of the acts of kindness I saw today. 

Students and staff participated in showing their positive, giving spirit by wearing yellow today!

 There is a song called the Ballad of Harvey Ball (The Smiley Face Song), that tells the story of Harvey Ball, the creator of the famous "smiley face" who was born and raised in Worcester, MA.  The lyrics explain the following:

"The moral of this story is to help the world to smile.
You do an act of kindness; you go the extra mile.
What you do comes back to you in a just a little while,
'Cause goodness is contagious and it's never out of style."

These are good reminders not only for the first Friday in October, but everyday.  Remembering these words will help us to live out our core values of respect and responsibility.  Many students also brought in goods to reach out beyond themselves and donate to the Wrentham Food Pantry, helping those within our Wrentham community.  Thank you to Mrs. Marazzi's fourth grade class for collecting the goods and our parent volunteers for delivering the items to the Food Pantry! 

More Roderick Acts of Kindness Coming...
We will be participating in the annual New England Patriots Charitable Foundation's Winter Coat Drive.  In cooperation with Cradles to Crayons, the foundation is hoping to fulfill approximately 32,500 requests this year!

From October 1st through November 1st, we will be collecting new and gently used coats, mittens, gloves, and NEW hats.  There are collection bins located in the entrances of both the Roderick and Delaney Schools. 

Classroom Visits This Week:
6H...Students were learning about the different parts of a fish and labeling diagrams to help them during their studies at Camp Bournedale.

6D...Students rotated to different literacy centers continuing their study of Old Yeller, reading A Dog's Life, and reviewing the different genres of writing (narrative and expository) in preparation for their writing assignments in conjunction with their upcoming Bournedale adventure.

5K...students were deeply invested in their small book groups, working cooperatively to read the various texts gleaning additional information from the text about weather, the atmosphere, and the instruments that help us learn more.  During this time, students worked together to come up with a collective understanding of what they had learned.

4Y...Students were "reading like writers" and identifying how the author of Winn Dixie, Kate DiCamillo, was able to create such vivid descriptions in just one paragraph of something that can be so hard to define-"war."  Analyzing the author's craft as they are reading will help to strengthen the students' writing as well.