Week of December 2, 2019

grinding the apples takes muscles and it's fun!
pouring the cider we pressed, and of course, test tasting the apples and the cider too
From the Director 
Our first snow day and we're ready
It's our first snow day and we got dumped on. Hard to tell with all the drifting, but maybe 10 inches or more.  The sleds are ready, the shovels are out, and the hay bales line the way for the children's sledding run.  We are ready!

In the Village School tradition of getting physical exercise whenever possible, children who arrive early tomorrow, along with the staff, will help shovel the front and back entrance way. We believe in the value of good honest work, and rather than hire someone to shovel, we do our part.  I'll be working up a sweat (with others, as long as George doesn't beat me to it) before school's a great way to start the day.  The heart is pumping, the breathing is deep, and my head is clear.

With this first deep snow, the children will have a blast at recess.  There is so much to snowmen, shovel forts, pack down the sledding run and just tromp around.  They get plenty of exercise, including climbing back up the sledding hill. Their heads are clear too, after recess, ready to stretch their brains.

It's a great way to start December. Hang on for the ride, it's a fast month.


P.S.  Friends and relatives can get this enews weekly too.  Click here to sign them up, or send this link to them.

This week at the Village School 

Monday       8:30 a.m. All School Sing     Winter Gardens:  Plants:   add moss
Tuesday       entryway xc ski swap continues  drop off skis  pick up skis
Thursday     8:45 a.m.   3rd-4th Hades Day at yoga hall
Friday         Coffee order due


Updates    see the monthly calendar for more

Winter Gardens this week
We are aware of plant life, and add moss to our gardens. We'll have to dig in the snow to find moss!   We mist the moss daily to keep it alive and green.

Wednesday Dec. 11  After School ends at 1:30
so the whole staff can do First Aid and CPR training

Thursday Dec. 12  8:30 a.m. Parent Group Meeting
let's schmooze and catch up with one another

Wednesday Dec. 18th  8:30 a.m. 1st-6th Publishing Parties 
                                       11:00 a.m. All School Holiday Celebration

Children will sing their hearts outl.  Please clear out cubbies for the vacation break

Please put names on jackets, snow pants, rain pants & boots
A silver sharpie is great for names on boots or black backgrounds.
Do you order on Amazon?  Use AmazonSmile to benefit the school.     Every time you order, Amazon donates to the school.  Use this link to make sure you are always ordering on AmazonSmile.  Its the same Amazon, no extra charge, all your settings stay the same. Click here to enroll, it takes 30 seconds.   Once you are set up, click here to put the button on your browser.  

Get the lowest electricity rates and the Village School benefits too!   With Autopilot
National Grid (or whoever you have) is still your company, but your new supplier changes to the one with the lowest rate, and can change monthly if needed, to keep your rate low.   Questions?  or ready to sign up?  Call Matt at 413 834 8677  Click here for the video and more info    Get great rates on phone, cable too.  Works well for businesses too.

kids at recess, singing Shady Grove around a birch tree

Jeff Davis plays for the school

5th-6th making rhythms with found kitchen instruments 

November photos on the VS photo blog
October photos on the VS Photo Blog
September photos on the VS photo blog

Send this link to your friends and relatives, so they can get this enews too
preschool making cranberry sauce for our Thanksgiving baskets
painting our Thanksgiving baskets


The children took a lot of pride in their Thanksgiving baskets. They helped make cranberry/apple sauce, decorated their baskets and added pieces of birch bark to the outside.  They put shredded corn husks in the bottom of the baskets and chose gourds to accompany their sauce. Hope you enjoyed reading what the preschoolers were thankful for. Our food donations were combined with the other classrooms and were taken to the Orange Food Pantry where they were gladly received.

This week the children will learn the story of the Gingerbread Man. You may hear your child singing "Run, run as fast as you can, you can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man!"  Each child will roll out dough and make their own gingerbread boy or girl cookie. They will use raisins to decorate their cookie and will eat them for snack right from the oven.

Our Holiday Celebration is Wednesday, December 18th at 11:00.  The preschool will sing songs for parents and grandparents. They will be the first to sing, so please be on time.

Being outside is fun and important for the children. Please make sure your child is prepared for the cold weather. They need snow pants, insulated winter boots, winter coat, insulated waterproof mittens and a warm hat.  Make sure your child has a set of extra clothes in their cube including warm socks, underwear, long pants and long sleeve shirt. Children are always happiest when they see extra clothes from home when they need to change.
Kindergarten library time in the hallway- looking at the books we just picked
making play dough letters


This week for our Humans theme we continue with the book Me and My Amazing Body by Joan Sweeny, learning more about our muscles, blood, heart, and lungs. The class enjoyed making Thanksgiving banners last week, drawing and writing about three things they are thankful for. Ideas included my family, trees, a river, and the Earth. We also remembered to be thankful for each other and incorporated this into our morning greeting at circle time.

In writing we’re continuing writing true life stories of our choice. Topics include a trip to Florida, counting bricks, going to a lake, and a visit to a friend’s house.

Last week we sent home reading folders with a selection of leveled books. The parent letter enclosed informs you about your child’s reading day, when the folder should be returned each week.  Also included is an alphabet chart that can be used by children to help them recall their letter sounds.

We begin our Winter Gardens this week looking at the mineral and plant worlds. We’ll be outside collecting sand and rocks, and adding moss to the gardens later in the week.

In art we are working on our self-portrait project, adding color to our ink pen outlines.In phonics we are practicing reading color words and building and writing high frequency words such as the, and, and it.

In math we are beginning a new Investigations unit Collect, Count, and Measure and are measuring and comparing shoe lengths. On Friday afternoons we join in the K-6th hiking. We have seen many changes this fall. We often end the hikes with children circling up and sharing what they’ve noticed on the way.
1st-2nd making cookie dough- it will bake into 'metamorphic rock', but taste way better
we put lots of vegetables on the pizza  (representing layers of sedimentary rock)

1st-2nd Grade 

Despite the chilly weather last week, the children had a blast cutting and pressing apples to make cider. The result was delicious!   Thank you for all the donations for the Orange Food Pantry. Our class filled two boxes with food.

Before the break we wrapped up our letter writing mini unit. Look for the letters in your mailboxes this week.

In conjunction with theme we are learning about writing non-fiction by creating books that teach our readers information on a topic. We’ll use all we have learned about maps and map making as our first topic. The first steps will be to compile all we have learned and organize it into subtopics. Then we’ll plan our books.

We had an exciting, and edible, science class last week. We created pizza layered with toppings and prepared desserts that involved many ingredients. We asked the class what the food had to do with our current exploration of rocks and many of them made the connection right away. The layers on the pizza represented sedimentary rock. The heated dessert ingredients changed and created something new, just like the metamorphic rocks we looked at.

The first grade math group is beginning a new number sense unit. We’ll expand our understanding of addition and subtraction, working with larger quantities and learning about place value.

Last week we began creating our winter gardens. We added a thin layer of sand that represents the rock and mineral layer of the earth. This week we will add moss to represent plant life.

Please join us for our Theme Share on Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 8:30 a.m., followed by the Holiday Celebration at 11:00.
3rd-4th beginning our masks for Hades Day
working on Hades Day scripts

3rd-4th Grade

We have busy weeks ahead of us.  The children will only have math and reading for homework over the next couple of weeks.  This will give them some extra time to work on their secret gifts.  This week we add moss to our winter gardens.  The moss represents the plant world and adds some lovely green to the gardens.

In theme, we are preparing for our Hades presentation.   The scripts are written.  The children will practice reading them this week, will pick out costumes and make final adjustments.  We’ll see you Thursday morning at 8:45 in Hades. 

Last week, the children listened to the stories of Theseus and the Minotaur and Perseus.  We are focusing on stories that tell how constellations came to be, so that the children will have familiarity with some of the constellations they’ll see at the planetarium next week, on Tuesday, December 10th.  We leave school at 8:45 a.m. and return by 3:30 p.m.

The children finished the first drafts of their short stories.  They edited them, read them to a partner and made any changes needed and are ready to be rewritten.  They had many productive writing sessions and will begin writing their second drafts.  Come hear their creations on the morning of December 18th at our Publishing Party.

The 4th graders will work with quadrilaterals and triangles and learn about different sized angles.  They will look at familiar shapes and determine whether or not they are quadrilaterals.  They’ll also compose quadrilaterals out of smaller shapes.  This week, the children will receive division cards and work on figuring out which division facts they know and which ones they have to work on.

In reading we’ll work on ways to connect to text.  The three ways that the children will practice connecting are:  text to self, text to text and text to world (which includes other people).  A good way for children to think about this is to start a sentence with, “This reminds me of. .. ...”

5th 6th loading Leanne's car with food for the Orange Food Pantry
making apple cider the old fashioned way

5th-6th Grade

Last week the class watched the movie version of Shane and unanimously decided that the novel was better.  We paused from time to time so that the children could write notes about the movie, and the following day they wrote short essays comparing it with the book.  Although the children conceded that it told the same basic story, they were upset – and sometimes outraged – by the way the movie glossed over most of the subtleties they had noticed in the text.

Specifically, almost everyone felt that the personal relationships had been either ignored or merely sketched in, and that the themes individual students were considering for their book reports were underplayed.  It was interesting to see how strongly the children defended the novel, and how much detail they brought to support their comments, all of which augurs well for the reports they will be writing during the next two weeks.

On the Monday before Thanksgiving we had the draw for the secret gift-giving exchange we will be having on the last Tuesday before the holiday.   Each student will be making a gift for the classmate whose name she or he drew from the ‘hat’.  The idea is that everyone should think about what their particular person likes, and bear that in mind when designing their gift.

We are also proceeding with the assembly of each student’s winter garden, and this week the children are collecting moss to put into their gardens as a representation of plant life.  A few students have still not brought in the pie plates for the gardens, so please make sure you child brings a plate in as soon as possible.

The 6th grade math group is now deep into a unit on fractions, titled Let’s Be Rational.  We have discussed what rational numbers are and, having reviewed and practiced the addition and subtraction of fractions, we are now moving on to multiplication and division.
still jumping through hoops
first snowman of the season!    To be continued this week on a much larger scale.....
The Village School is an independent school serving children in preschool, kindergarten, and grades 1-6, in north central Massachusetts, offering a unique curriculum based on challenging hands-on academics, direct contact with the natural world, and kindness.  For more information, or to set up a visit,
call our Director, Rise Richardson at 978 249 3505
or email her at
Thank you for giving to the Annual Fund 
Your Support Keeps the School Thriving
Copyright © 2019 The Village School, All rights reserved.

Call us at 978-249-3505

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp