April 13, 2018

How our brains love questions!  Especially open-ended ones.  Units of study are driven by them.  What did Native American cultures look like before exploration?... How did the Native Americans' view of "man" in the world differ from that of the Europeans'?...  How were/are Native American traditions passed to new generations?... How does Native American culture influence your life today?...  Why and how are the Native Americans of today trying to recapture their roots?...  These "essential questions" drove a six-week-long study of Native Americans in the 4th grade.  At last night's culminating festival, students offered up answer upon answer--in the form of storytelling, topographical models, tribal/regional maps, compelling written research, handmade shields and masks, and chanting and drumming focused on the Earth Mother and our stewardship to her.  Thanks to our Grade 4 teachers, Music teacher Carolyn Keck and Art teacher Tina Nadeau for collaborating on yet another Ray trademark "enduring experience" intended to anchor learning for a lifetime! 


Meet and Greet: Carolyn Keck
Carolyn joined the Ray School after February break as a long-term substitute Music teacher.  She's doing an outstanding job!  Carolyn has jumped in full force to teach grade-level music classes, direct our three choruses, integrate music into the 4th grade Native American Festival, and teach dances to our 2nd graders in preparation for Colonial Days.  A little about Carolyn... She was a professional violinist and played in the Mexico City Philharmonic for several years.  Carolyn began her music teaching career building strings programs in Williamstown MA and Monrovia CA.  She returned to the Upper Valley where she developed her skills at a general music teacher, including at our sister school Marion Cross where she served for 13 years.  Fun fact:  Carolyn performed as "Madame La Marquise" in an authentic French street theater in Paris for a summer.  This was one of the most transformative times of her life.  Ask Carolyn about this experience when you're next in the building!

Brook Trout Release

An update from Bob Stone, Grade 5 teacher: On Thursday, 5th grade students released the eastern brook trout fry into Camp Brook. Each student safely walked down with a cup of trout and chose a spot to release the fish.  If all goes well, the 150 or so trout will go on to live happy, healthy lives and grow an inch or so each year.  Maybe, in a few years, you might even catch a brookie yourself if you’re fishing near Storrs Pond!


2018/19 Enrollment
Earlier this week, you should have received an email to fill out a survey to let us know if your child(ren) will be returning in the fall.  If you haven't filled it out yet, please take a few moments to do so now.  This information is vital for our lengthy placement process.  Even if you have a child in 5th grade, please complete the survey as it is beneficial to the middle school placement process.  Here's a link to the survey.

Thursday, May 31:  RMS Transition Presentation & Tour
Parents of 5th graders:  You are cordially invited to a presentation by 6th grade teachers about 6th grade at Richmond Middle School on 5/31 from 6-7 PM in the RMS auditorium.  Following the presentation and Q & A, School Counselors John LaCrosse and Liz Powers will lead middle school tours for interested parents.

Meadow Night in Grade 1
Another interdisciplinary celebration of learning, this time in first grade! On Thursday evening, Mrs. Jarecki's students showcased their study of the meadow, incorporating literacy, art, music, Spanish and technology.  The project, a long-standing one at Ray, introduces children to research skills, the elements of non-fiction books, the "rules of writing," and more.  Take a bow, 1st graders!  You've earned a standing ovation. 


Art Feature:  Grade 5 Animal Masterpieces

Have you had the chance to view the amazing 5th grade watercolor animal masterpieces that hang in our hallways? Art teacher Robin Henry explains the secret behind our young artists' success: “I show students the way, but they know their animals so well, that’s half the battle of creating a masterpiece. Children get so attached to their animals, they're almost like endearing pets. Students own the animals, through their research, their writing, their art.” Practically speaking… Mrs. Henry has a bank of animal reference photos and gave each student four choices.  Students chose favorite photos, created rough pencil drafts, then divided paper into quadrants to plot out the distinct sections of the photograph.  According to Mrs. Henry, “The rough draft reinforced students’ muscle memory of the animal contours.” Students then re-sketched their animals in a larger scale and followed a step-by-step process:  1) add background washes, 2) add washes for the animal colors, and 3) add details: did I get the whiskers right? How about the fur, the eyes, the wrinkles, the mouth? Students devoted about seven hours worth of effort into their paintings.  It paid off!

Spring Safety- Ticks and Helmets!
For two weeks after April vacation, students in grades 3-5 will be going outside to play capture the flag in the woods and meadow behind the school. Students have reviewed the proper attire to wear for tick prevention (long socks, light colored clothing) and they will be given time to do their own tick checks at the end of every physical education class. Find more information on tick borne diseases on the CDC website.  We hope talking about ticks and practicing tick checks in PE class will propel family conversations and good health practices.

Please check the date and condition of your child's bike/scooter/inline skate helmets.  Find information on bike safety on the healthykids.org website.  In need of a helmet?  Email clare.brauch@rayschool.org who can outfit your child with a brand new one. Thank you to the Hanover bike/pedestrian committee for working with Ms. Brauch to get new helmets donated for those in need.  Mark your calendars for the bike rodeo on Sunday, May 6 from noon until 2pm in the Ray School parking lot. New this year, we have added middle-school-appropriate challenges, so bring your bikes, helmets and elementary- and middle school-aged children to this free bike safety event.  Let's make sure everyone's bikes and helmets are ready for walk/bike to school day on Wednesday, May 9!

Community Events/Interests
(1) STEM Robotix: WMUR TV Segment
A few months ago Randy Witwick, who runs the STEM Robotix program in Hanover, was approached by WMUR to participate in a segment on STEM Education in NH. The segment featured a range of robotics work that Randy is doing with children, including the creation of MegaBots.  The TV crew interviewed Randy and also "miked up" several of his students, including current and former Ray students. Click here to see them on screen. The segment aired on Thursday, April 5th: NH Chronicle, 7pm on WMUR-9.

(2) Green Up Day
Please help keep our Hanover community clean.  Sign up here and choose the area you wish to green up on Saturday, May 5th.  flyer

(3) Saturday, 4/14:  32nd Annual Neuroscience Day at Dartmouth.  

Neuroscience Day highlights neuroscience research at Dartmouth with expert talks, a poster session, a panel discussion, and a keynote lecture.  This year’s theme is "Mind & Machine," and features a keynote talk by Dr. Rosalind Picard from MIT. 

Ray School Calendar