October 2, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Fall is here, which is always an enjoyable time of the year. The cooler weather gives everyone a little pep in their step, and the earlier sunsets provide lots of extra time for curling up with a good book at home. Reading with your child is a proven way to promote early literacy. One of the most important things you can do to prepare your child for his/her future is helping to make sure that your child is reading on grade level by third grade. You can influence your child’s success in school by making reading a daily routine in your home. Research shows that students who read at least 20 minutes per day score in the 90th percentile on standardized tests. What can you do to support your child with reading? Read at home with your child daily (at least 20 minutes) with books they enjoy. Some ways to do this:
Read out loud to your child.
Listen to your child read.
When you are listening to your child read, and something doesn’t make sense or sound correct, ask them to go back and try again.
If they are stuck on a word, please feel free to just tell them the word.
If they don’t understand a word, give them a child friendly explanation to help them better understand the story.
Echo read (you read a line, then they repeat).
Read together at the same time.
Talk to your child about the books you are reading by asking your child to share what they remember about what they heard you read.
Talk about their favorite parts.
Talk about what they have learned.
Talk about how the pictures in the book connect to the words on the page.
Help connect the reading to your child’s life or other books they’ve read.
We know that your support is critical to your student’s success. It is our hope that all children will have plenty of books available for at home reading, so they become proficient lifelong readers. Please let us know if you need more books for at home reading with your child and we will be happy to send more home.
Safety in the Parking Lot!
The morning “drop off” time before school and 12:30 “pick up” time after school has students and parents negotiating a very busy parking lot. PLEASE DRIVE SLOWLY AND CAUTIOUSLY and put the safety of our students first. The drop off lane is a “kiss and go lane”, please pull all the way forward, stay in your car, give them a kiss and a hug, send them out to the sidewalk and keep the line moving. We would like the line to move quickly so parents with other morning commitments can get through the line efficiently. If you want to get out of the car please park. Also, remember to save the parking spaces labeled handicapped for those with the appropriate legal designation.
Daily Symptom Check
The Portland Public Schools uses the SchoolMessenger system (SMS) to deliver important information about events, school closings, safety alerts and the Daily Symptom Check via phone calls and emails. It also can send the Daily Symptom Check straight to your mobile phone. However, you must “opt in” to get text messages. Parents will need to check their children for COVID-19 symptoms each day, just clicking on the easy free app on their phones to let us know they have done so and our child is safe to attend school.. Staff also must check for symptoms daily. What are those symptoms? See the list in PPS Health and Safety Protocols section of the School Reopening site on the district website. That section and the Frequently Asked Questions have a lot of other helpful information, such as what kind of masks are acceptable – no gaiters!
Hybrid Schedule Extended
Since school reopened, we have continued to focus on maintaining a safe and healthy environment for staff and students. The vast majority of our students have done an amazing job complying with mask wearing and social distancing There is nothing “normal” about the ways we have had to adjust, individually or as a school, except for the fact that we continue to make our way through difficult times by supporting each other in any way we can. As you may have read in a letter from Superintendent Botana last week, Portland Public Schools has decided NOT to bring pre-K through grade 5 students back full time this month. There are concerns that transitioning to a different scenario in which twice as many students are in our schools each day would greatly increase staff and student risk. Plus, it would be difficult to have students be six feet from each other while eating, as state health and safety protocols dictate. The challenges are likely to prevent us from bringing students back full time for the foreseeable future. Portland Public Schools has worked with community partners to provide safe and nurturing places for students to learn during their remote days and also after school. There are still some slots available. Go to the PPS Community Partnerships page on the PPS website to sign up.
Ms. Cassie Cooper is our fantastic new music teacher at Talbot this year. She is primarily working with grades Pre-K, K and 2 for the first trimester. In Pre-K, students have been exploring what it means to listen. They have also explored the idea that a steady beat of music is like a heartbeat through dancing, playing egg shakers, and playing drums. A favorite activity has been moving to the beat in a game called "Giants and Fairies" where students move to the beat in character.
Kindergarten music students have been exploring the idea that the steady beat of music is like a heartbeat. They have danced and played drums to the steady beat. Kindergarten students have also used our outdoor music classroom to learn to sing the songs "Here We Go Riding our Ponies" and the "This is My Trunk" a song about how Apple trees change through the seasons. Their favorite activity has been riding their imaginary ponies to the beat of the song.
In 2nd grade music, we have been solidifying our understanding of steady beat. Students have been demonstrating the steady beat with movement, body percussion, and while playing drums and xylophone bars with correct technique! A favorite activity of students has been learning to play "Uptown Funk."
News from the Library
Right now, our wonderful Library Ed Tech, Mrs. Doane visits 1st, 3rd, and 5th grade classrooms. In addition to checking out books, Mrs. Doane treats students to a variety of stories and sometimes even a few podcasts. Here are the highlights:
In first grade, we've learned about book care and are starting to learn about the parts of a book and fiction vs. nonfiction. So far, we have focused on books about kindness and adjusting to the new school year, including All Are Welcome Here by Alexandra Penfold and The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson. For learning book care, we read A Perfectly Messed-up Story by Patrick McDonnell and The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Robinson Jeffers.
For grades 3 and 5, we are learning how to use Destiny Discover to request books from our library. Soon, we will be teaching students how to use Portland Public Library resources, such as their PPL To-go program and their SEED program, which will allow students to access eBooks at no cost. 5th graders are also going to learn about this year's Maine Student book awards! So far, we have read: Of Thee I Sing by Barack Obama; Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson; The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors by Drew Daywalt; I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debby Levy; and more.
With Indigenous People's Day on the horizon, we will also be reading books by indigenous authors or about indigenous people. We are very excited that we will soon be sharing We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom, which focuses on water sovereignty and its relationship to the tribes. It's a brand new book with a beautiful message!
We are so fortunate to have Mr. Noah Kerrigan as our in person PE teacher this year, working with students in grades K, 1 and 3. Our main focus in PE right now is helping kids get moving, safely interact with one another, and have fun! We're doing this in a variety of ways including exercise games, running, and building skills in various sports like soccer and basketball. We're emphasizing participation and effort over everything else. It's my belief that if we can instill a love of sport and a fondness for exercise in kids at a young age, they'll carry this with them throughout their lives.
Just a friendly reminder that there will be no school pictures taken this fall due to Covid-19. If possible, we hope to be able to schedule school pictures for the spring.
Friday, October 9 : No School
Monday, October 12: No School (Indigenous People’s Day)
Saturday, October 17: Drive Thru PumpkinFest! 10:00-2:00
Ann Hanna, Principal