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Its springtime and everyone is happy to shed heavy winter coats and boots. At the Discovery School children are reading, solving math problems, writing, and planting. The PTO has provided money to have 5 more raised garden beds built and lovely, rich compost from Martin's farm has been delivered to fill them. Children have been outside filling beds, weeding, and planting.
This is a busy time of year academically. Children in grades 1 through 3 take district MAP test. These tests help determine children's strengths and weaknesses in English Language Arts and mathematics. Kindergarten children are taking a test called the DIBLES. This testing is done three times a year to show growth in sounds, putting words together and taking words apart. These skills help children when they are learning to read. The third grade students are also taking the math MCAS next week (May 15 and 16.)
Along with end of the year testing there are also many events that are coming up to celebrate the end of this year. All Discovery School children will be taking a trip to explore the different aspects of the Town Farm. Kindergarten classes are off to Northfield Mountain, first grade classes are going to Magic Wings, second grade classes are visiting the Bridge of Flowers and the Trolley Museum and the third grade classes are off to Sturbridge Village.
On Thursday, May 9, the school had the first spring concert. It started with the strings, children playing cello and violins. These children practice faithfully under the direction of Cecilia Berger and Jonathan Brennand. Next all three third grade classes came together and played three selections on their recorders. The children learned how to play the recorders with their music instructor, Mrs. Randi Humphrey. The event ended with two songs by our chorus teacher, Elizabeth Markofski. It is wonderful to have so much musical talent in this school.
Art is another part of this school and the hallways are filled with children's original works. Ms. Tina Clark has had the third grade students studying the life and works of Pablo Picasso. The have made masks using markers, hot glue, college materials and materials from their imagination. First grade has done Dot Art Impressionism or Pointillism. They focused on Seurat and his work. There is also a bulletin board of abstract parts and cubist work.
Another school year is almost at the end. We wish you all a safe and happy summer. For the students going on to fourth grade, we will miss you. To the students returning, we can’t wait to see you in the fall.
Building bridges: Four Corners students have been studying them; will perform skits, songs, dances tonight
By CHRIS SHORES
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
(Published in print: Wednesday, April 3, 2013)
2nd grade students form an Arch Bridge
Photographer Recorder/Paul Franz
2nd grade students form a simple beam bridge
Photographer Recorder/Paul Franz
GREENFIELD — For the past three months, students at the Discovery School at Four Corners have had a case of bridge fever.
They’ve gone out and looked at bridges, heard from a construction crew that builds them, created small bridges of their own and learned about figurative generational and community bridges.
Tonight, they’ll perform skits, songs and dances in a culminating performance of the unit — at the Greenfield Middle School at 6 p.m.
Some students will tell the story about a “Red Suspension Bridge” that once existed in Turners Falls. Another group will sing, in French and English, “Sur le Pont d’Avignon” — which tells of a dance on a famous medieval bridge in France.
“Our purpose when we do our themes ... is really trying to find a topic that engages children in a lot of ways,” said first-grade teacher Marianne Harcourt. “Kids have had a lot of fun building different types of bridges and experimenting what holds a bridge up.”
Each child in the 210-student school was charged with building a small bridge model, using materials of choice.
The students were visited by guest speakers from Northfield company Lane Construction. in January, and then took a tour of some Franklin County bridges a few weeks later.
They can now identify the parts of a bridge and the different styles that exist, said Harcourt.
But they also learned that the word “bridge” has more abstract definitions, as well.
A grandparents day in February bridged generations. Students showed their elder relatives what they were working on in school and were able to ask questions about what school and life was like generations ago.
A pen pal project between elementary schools, and service projects like a fundraising event after Hurricane Sandy, allowed students to form community bridges as well, school officials said.
2nd grade students with the model bridges they built as part of their study of bridges
Photographer Recorder/Paul Franz
2nd grade students form a suspension bridge
Photographer Recorder/Paul Franz
One way to build bridges is between generations. On Friday, February 15th the school will celebrate Grandparents Day. Grandparents or their representatives will be celebrated at our All School Meeting starting at 8:45. If your child does not have a grandparent and/or an honorary grandparent, your child will be paired with a class guest. Grandparents will go down to the classroom immediately after All School Meeting and are welcome to stay until lunch/recess time.
Some classes are building bridges between friends by celebrating Valentine’s Day in class at the end of the day.
Some classes are celebrating Friendship Day on February 14th. Children will have a special snack and share things they appreciate about each other.
Classes have been busy building bridges. Children are building arch and beam bridges. Second graders are reading with partners to learn about famous bridges.
The third grade classes are building a bridge with high school science classes during the bridge units. High school science students will be teaching lessons focusing on animals found in New England.
Lane Construction Presents Bridges!
On January 15, three representatives from Lane Construction gave presentations about bridges, our winter theme. Sam, Wes and Pat talked about the history of bridges, different types of bridges and the materials used to build them, adapting the information to each grade level. They also told students the many steps required from planning to completion of a bridge project. Their talk was accompanied by slides of bridges from our area and some famous bridges. At the end of their presentation, they answered questions from students who were eager to learn more
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
(Recorder, Published in print: Wednesday, January 16, 2013)
GREENFIELD — A new student council at the Discovery School at Four Corners collected 200 items for local animal shelters and raised over $1,000 for Hurricane Sandy victims over the last month.
The two fundraisers were part of a desire to help the community during the holiday season, said Marianne Harcourt, a teacher and student council adviser.
The student council, made up of second- and third-graders, helped promote an animal shelter item collection drive for three weeks, said Harcourt.
The items — which included cat and dog food, toys, blankets, beds, leashes, grooming tools, paper towels, trash bags and cleaning supplies — were donated to the Dakin Humane Society of Pioneer Valley and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Regional Dog Control and Adoption Center in Turners Falls.
Then, during five recess days, 35 students participated in a “walk-athon,” raising $1,052 for Hurricane Sandy victims. Students got sponsors and pledges for each half-mile they walked, said Harcourt.
The money was sent to the Western Massachusetts Red Cross, she said.
It is always enjoyable to have a break but I am excited to be back. I hope everyone had time to relax and enjoy friends and family.
We have had some very cold days and many parents have called and asked how we decide if the children are going outside. Generally speaking, if it is 15 degrees or above (including wind chill) we take the children out. Please make sure your child is dressed warmly.
It is important to note that children are only able to play in the snow if they have boots and ski pants.
This month starts our new theme of Bridges. Children will learn about physical bridges, bridges between generations, and bridges between community members.
The student council, under Mrs. Harcourt has already begun one project bridging with the community, by collecting for area animal shelters.
In the next few weeks, Lane Construction will be coming to each grade level and presenting a slide show teaching about bridge construction.
The PTO is sponsoring a family movie night. Come in your PJ’s. Movie starts at 6 pm.
If School is Delayed
This is to let you know on days there is a delay, there is no breakfast served at school. There also is no morning program.
If school is delayed for two hours, school starts at 10:30. The school doors open at 10:15. Please make sure the doors are open before you drop your child off.
The school advertises school closings on the radio and on channels 4 and 5 on your television set. It will say Greenfield Schools on the site.
If you have any questions on this information, please call 772-1375
Donna E. Gleason, Principal
Touch Football and Soccer
The evolution of touch football and soccer during recess at The Discovery School at Four Corners is a wonderful picture of how, with guidance from adults, children can play a game that includes children of all abilities.
At the beginning of the year, it was obvious that children picking their own teams would choose lopsided teams, leaving the less athletically talented children either chosen last or not included at all. Instead, an adult lines the children up; shoulder to shoulder and evenly distributes both stronger and weaker players on both teams. As a result, the games are usually very close. If a player is dominant and does not pass to others, criticizes, or in any way demeans the play of another athlete, he or she is asked to leave the game for 5 minutes.
The rules for both games are intentionally simple, allowing for as much playing time at all positions. The competition in both games is hearty and fun. Occasionally situations occur when the rules are broken, students get overly eager to get the ball, or say something unkind to another player. These situations are dealt with promptly and play resumes with good sportsmanship.
On November 28, 2012 we had our 8th annual showcase. This showcase featured songs taught by our PTO sponsored artist-in-residence, Sarah Pirtle. Children performed several songs on how to get along with one another, how to solve problems, and how to respect each other’s differences. Buddy classes are formed by teachers at the beginning of the year and meet with each other several times during the year. The purpose is to help create a sense of community, foster friendships and develop respect at different grade levels. Kindergarten classes work with second grade classes and first grade classes work with third grade classes.
Our next showcase will be on April 3, 2013. This will mark the end of our ‘Bridges’ theme. This will take place at the Middle School to ensure seating for all. We will be sad not to have been able to use of little stage but excited to have seating for all.
- School Starts at 8:30
- Breakfast is served at 8:00
- Children cannot be on the playground prior to 8:15.
- School ends at 2:55
- To report an absence call 772-1375
Please scroll to the bottom of this page to see our handbook which has information on many topics.
School calendar for 2012-13
What's Happening @ the Discovery School?
Caps for Kids
On Friday, October, 26th our school will again participate in the Wear Your Cap to School Program sponsored by Caps for Kids. The money raised through this program helps to provide celebrity autographed caps to children who lose their hair as a result of their medical treatment during their battles with cancer.
These caps give children a psychological boost while diverting their attention away from their challenges for a little while. Each year 12,000 children are diagnosed with cancer in the United States. In participating in the Caps for Kids program we are hoping to teach our children here at school that we are part of a bigger community and encourage empathy for others.
The Four Corners School Renovation Project
In 2011, the Massachusetts School Building Authority’s Green Repair Program (GRP) gave the Town of Greenfield the opportunity to make necessary renovations, repairs and/or replacement of the roofs, doors and window system, and the boilers at the Four Corners Elementary to keep the school in good and efficient working order.
Simultaneously, the Town of Greenfield approved Energy Management Services (EMS) to be provided at the Four Corners School which assists building owners in developing energy conscious and financially efficient facilities with upgrades to roof top unit ventilators, energy recovery controls, and electrical systems.
The coordination and combination of these two programs - GRP and EMS - at the Four Corners School has allowed the Town of Greenfield to fully maximize the return on their investment, provide much needed repairs, improvements and upgrades to the school and guarantee a savings of $85,575 per year!
During 2012 the following has occurred at the Four Corners School:
Replacement of existing 9,460 sq ft of roofing.
Replacement of exterior windows including replacement of the sealant around the exterior windows in the 1990 addition. Selective brick veneer repair and steel lintel replacements. Replacement of the existing boiler system including circulating pumps, installation of a new expansion tank, acid neutralizing system, DDC control system, and associated piping.
Guided by the EMS, phase included replacement of the classroom ventilators and associated appurtenances and hot water distribution piping in conjunction with the conversion of Phase II steam boiler system to a hot water boiler system.
Work on the Green Repair Project reached substantial completion in September the new boilers were fired up and ready to use by Monday October 15, 2012. Throughout October the final touches will be put on the Energy Management System portion of the project.
Kindergarten Apple Picking
Last week all three kindergarten classes boarded a bus and headed for Pine Hill Orchards for a morning of apple picking. We were excited to discover that our trip included much more than expected. First we got a tour of the apple processing area where we saw apples being moved along a conveyer belt where they were rinsed, brushed to a polish, sorted by size and finally looked at by workers to make sure they were bruise free. We were then taken into a refrigerator nearly as big as our classroom to see where apples and cider were stored before shipping. By then, everyone was ready for a snack and we enjoyed warm cider doughnuts and fresh cold cider. With the snack in our bellies we boarded a wagon and took a ride though the orchards where we saw apples of all different colors and sizes. The excitement grew as our host demonstrated how to twist and pull the apples from the tree and finally it was time to pick. Some children walked from tree to tree selectively picking the best apples they could see, others filled their bags much more quickly but all had a good time. Inspired from the excitement, all three classes have been weaving apple activities into the class including an apple tasting graph activity, and many apple counting and sorting games.
Staff for 2012-2013
Building Monitor-Ms. Wadleigh
Nurse- Mrs. Brechanser
|Physical Education-Ms. Russell
|Technology Mrs. Cronen-Townsend
||Cooperative Games-Rick Charpentier
||World Culture-Mrs. Domkholer
||Special Education-Mrs. Bouthillette
|Title 1-Mrs. Martin
|ELL-Ms. Mary Ellen Bricker
Custodian-Mr. Dennis Phillips (days)
Mr. Chris Phillips (evenings)
Cafeteria – Ms. Peramba and Ms. Casterline
THE DISCOVERY SCHOOL AT FOUR CORNERS-HANDBOOK INFORMATION 2012-13 (pdf)
INFORMATION ABOUT THE RESPONSIVE CLASSROOM APPROACH AT THE DISCOVERY SCHOOL (pdf)
Discovery School @ Four Corners-Year in Review (2011-12)
Discovery School @ Four Corners-Year in Review (2010-11)