Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Happy Holidays!

Wishing you and your family a very happy holiday season,
and a Happy New Year! 
I hope that winter break is filled with family, friends, fun, and laughter. 
See you in 2016. 

Here are some highlights from today: 

Who doesn't love fuzzy socks?! 

School is more fun in PJs and fuzzy socks.
We even had some special guests, including LinLin the Panda and Teddy the dog. 

We filled a star with STARbucks. We watched Frosty and enjoyed a Popsicle to celebrate.  
Everyone is ready for the (used) book swap! 

Anjum reading her note from Dakota. 

Dakota reading his homemade card from Julia. 

Anjum giving the book she chose for Angelina 

Wow! Everyone did a great job choosing a book for their secret pal! 

Friday, December 18, 2015

That's a Wrap!

  • Winter break begins next Thursday. Wednesday is a full day of school.
  • The holiday book swap is on Wednesday, December 23rd. Please see previous post for more info.
  • Today was Benjamin Landry's last day at Memorial. We wish him the best of luck! 
  • Congratulations to Angelina, Lukesh, Amber, and Paul for being nominated for the Wall of Fame. Each of these students demonstrated tremendous bravery this week. 
  • Great job to fourth and fifth graders at the winter concert!

Math: We are working on Topic 6, which is all about multiplying decimals. We've been using money to talk about this concept. You can ask your child questions like, "If this loaf of bread costs $3.49, how much would 3 cost?"

Social Studies: Our explorer projects are finished! The students did a great job presenting them. 
Jessica did a great job presenting her project. 

Student took notes on their "explorer cards" as their classmates presented.

Arshiyah taught us a lot about Christopher Columbus! 

Science: We began our classification unit this week. Ask your child to sing the Five Traits song. We also did an activity demonstrating the complexity of a food web. Ask your child the difference between a food chain and a food web. 

Ava acted as the sun- the center of the food web. 

I got caught in the middle! 

Our wetland ecosystem- who consumes whom?! 

Reading: We are in the middle of Hatchet right now. We are identifying figurative language, themes, problems and solutions while reading this intense book. Ask your child what happened to Brian when he ate the "gut cherries." 

Writing: We are working on setting personal goals, as well as others around school, family and friends. The students are putting these goals into a piece of writing about the new year. 

Enjoy the weekend! 


Friday, December 11, 2015

Book Fair

    Dear parent(s)/guardian(s),

The whole school is excited about our upcoming Book Fair. An amazing selection of books will be in our library December 14th-18th! The latest and finest titles for kids can be found at the Book Fair, as well as books of interest to parents. The Book Fair is a great way to get everyone excited about reading. And, you can contribute books to your child's classroom library.

Your child will preview the books on: Tuesday, December 15th

Your child will have the opportunity to purchase books on:  Thursday, December 17th

You may come into the library from 8:00 a.m. until 2:45 p.m. during the entire week to purchase books. A limited supply of gift wrapping will be available as well.

If you would like to purchase books online, you may do so here:

Attached is a flyer to get a glimpse of some of the great books we have.

See you at the Book Fair,

Rachel V. Small
Teacher Librarian, Memorial Elementary School
(781) 273-7656

P.S. If you would like to volunteer at the Book Fair, please fill out this form:

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Holiday (used) book swap

Holiday used Book Swap

To celebrate the spirit of giving, our class will be having a book swap on Wednesday, December 23rd. Each child has randomly chosen another student to receive their book.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Take a look at the books you have at home that you are done reading (please do not purchase a book!).
  • Think about which book you think your person would enjoy.
  • Choose a book that you’ve read and that is in pretty good shape.
  • Wrap your gift or put it in a gift bag (let me know if you need help with this! I have plenty of wrapping paper)
  • Write them a thoughtful note on the inside cover, including a compliment to your friend. Remember that it needs to be an inside compliment! Also, explain why you chose this book for your friend. If you’d prefer to make a homemade card, that works too!
  • Bring in the gift on Wednesday, December 23rd.

I've shared a Google Doc with the students where they can fill in the type of book/topics they enjoy. 

Be sure to check that out when thinking about a book for your secret person! 

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Burlington Food Pantry

Help Make a Difference and Donate to the Food Pantry

Memorial School is partnering with the Burlington Food Pantry this year to help support Burlington residents in need during the holiday season. We are looking for people to donate unexpired, non-perishable food. The Food Pantry is also looking for the following items for the Christmas/holiday bonus:

cake mix
cookie mix
holiday cookies
holiday candies


bars of soap
dish soap

Memorial 5th Grade Student Council will be collecting the items to donate to the Food Pantry. You can send items to school with your child to be put in a donation box in their classroom. Items will be collected through the month of December and brought to the Food Pantry on Monday December 21st.

Letter from Travis Roy

We wrote a letter to Travis Roy to follow up with the lesson that my father did with us. We are thankful that Travis took so much time answering our questions. Check out his reply!

Dear Neil, Cole, Fabiola, Julia, Paul, Tyler, Dakota, Amber, Jessica K., Lukesh, Barack, Angelina, Ava, Matthew, Jessica W., Samantha, Sujvalita, Benjamin, Arshiyah, and Ms. Conceison,

My apologies for not getting back to you sooner. I just got back from visiting my parents in Florida. I want to thank you for your letter. It's always fun to hear from students that learn about my story. Let me answer a few of your questions.

-How did it feel being on the ice when my accident happened?
It was the most surreal, awkward, weird moment of my life. It was strange lying on the ice, but not being able to feel the cold beneath me. It was also strange laying face down against the ice and not being able to lift my head up, not to mention move my arms or legs. It was like somebody was holding my head down and I couldn't do anything about it. Right away I knew I was paralyzed, which made me very sad, but I never cried or freaked out at all. In fact I was quite calm throughout the entire process of the medical staff getting me off the ice and into the ambulance.

-Do I still keep in touch with some of my friends from BU?
When I went back to BU after my accident, it was a very difficult time for me. Truthfully I didn't make many friends. I had some good acquaintances that I spent some time with, but I didn't have any close friends. Dan Ronan, one of my teammates and roommate before my injury, definitely tried to help me out and was there when I needed him. Chris Drury, who was one of my linemates the night of my injury and later went on to play in the NHL and the Olympics, was also pretty good to me. The truth was I wasn't very comfortable in my own skin and being paralyzed. It took me over five years to find my confidence and understand my life as a quadriplegic.

-How did this accident change my life mentally?
It made me realize that I'm a much stronger person than I thought I was. Every aspect of my day, and every interaction I have with the people around me, is very different from what it was before my accident. I'm proud of what I've accomplished and I am incredibly grateful for the support I've received from my family, friends, and strangers alike. At the same time I'm not as excited about life as I used to be. It was a lot more fun being a star athlete and working towards my goals. I like to say for the first 20 years of my life I had a "passion" to be the best that I could as hockey player, now I have a "purpose" to be the best as I can as a person and advocate for people with paralysis.

-How much of an effect did this accident have on me in a good way?
Since my accident, I've met amazing people and traveled to great places around the country. In some ways it has strengthened my relationship with my family and friends. As complicated as my day-to-day life is as far as getting bathed and dressed and other accessibility issues, what is important to me has become very clear. In fact even though I'm paralyzed, I often look around at my peers and realize I'm living a more satisfying life than many of them, even though they are able-bodied. A lot of this goes back to my 10 rules of life. My rules regarding friends, family, pride, love, respect, and not taking things for granted, are still incredibly important to me. In fact my life is saturated with these values and how they touched my life. I have so much love for the people that are important to me, and I feel that love reciprocated back to me. My work with the TRF is very fulfilling, and I'm proud of the people we've helped and look forward to the research we have been funding paying off, so that we can end paralysis as we know it.

-Did I consider myself a positive person before my accident?
Absolutely, I have always been an optimist. It has become clear to me that next to my family and friends, that my optimism is probably my most valuable assets. Life is so much easier, and karma flows more positively, when you have that optimistic attitude. I feel bad for people that struggle to find the positives in life, and actually enjoy being pessimists.

Thanks for your questions, they were great.

Warmest wishes,