October 20, 2017

Dear Ray Community, 

Grade 2 teachers approached me in August with a "Project-Based Learning (PBL)" proposal. It won immediate approval. As you may be aware, PBL isn't simply "making something" or "doing an activity." PBL is a systematic teaching method with distinct, essential elements. Students are pulled through the curriculum by a meaningful question to explore, an engaging real-world problem to solve, or a challenge to design or create something. Learning is relevant and connected to larger intellectual inquiry; i.e., the antithesis of a (stand-alone) worksheet. 21st century skills are central: critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, communication. Students are given voice and choice, asked to revise and reflect, and present their work to a public audience, honing public speaking skills, celebrating ingenuity, and opening themselves to constructive feedback.

Gr 2 teachers and students have identified a problem: the need for a more accessible, useable learning space outside the 2nd grade rooms. In response, students are creating table-stool-desks which can assume various shapes and configurations for brainstorming, drawing, writing, buddy reading, eating, you name it.  Children own every stage of the project. They're writing persuasive essays to the Principal and PTO, drawing outdoor classroom “dream maps” (see photos), identifying needed tools and materials, and calculating related costs.  Students soon will join in collaborative teams to build, photograph and document the process.  They plan to share progress updates using Seesaw digital technology and on a project blog. Note the interdisciplinary nature of PBL: as in the real world, disciplines intertwine: Science, Engineering, Literacy and Math. Our broader community is playing a part too. The PTO is supporting the cost of materials and Home Depot is making a contribution toward the lumber and paint. Estimated completion date:  Before snowfall!



outdoor classroom designs MARTIGN.jpg

International Potluck Dinner 
Calling all Ray families!  Please join us on Thursday, October 26 from 5:30-7:30pm in the Ray School Music room for our International Potluck Dinner.  This celebratory social event is a great way to meet our international families and enjoy foods from different countries.  Please bring a dish to share from your homeland (or ancestral homelands).  Plates, plasticware, cups and water are provided by our PTO.  Please RSVP to Kristin Olmstead, ESOL teacher at the Ray School: kristin.olmstead@rayschool.org.  

5th Grade Fundraiser (click for poster
Beginning October 30th, we will be selling tickets for our 5th grade movie fundraiser.  This year's movie is Cars 3, and tickets cost $5.00.  Proceeds benefit the 5th grade scholarship and activity fund.  The movie will be screened on Saturday, November 11th.  Doors open at the Nugget Theater at 10:30am and the movie starts at 10:45am.  Tickets will be sold in the entryways, including the front lobby as children enter in the morning (7:50-8:00am) and at dismissal (2:45-2:50pm).  Cash is preferable.  You also can purchase tickets at the theater the day of the movie.  All students should be accompanied by an adult.  We look forward to seeing you at the movies!

Lost and Found!
Is your child missing that new or old favorite jacket?  Did a lunch bag suddenly go missing?  How about sneakers or a pair of boots?  Be sure periodically to swing by the Ray "Lost & Found" located in the gymnasium hallway.  Zoom in on this photo, taken today, to see if anything looks familiar.  

Student Flu Clinic
The student flu clinic will be held, in school, on Thursday, October 26th. Consent forms were sent home, in backpacks, on Friday, October 13th. If you would like your child to receive a flu vaccination at school please complete the consent form and return it to school by Monday, October 23rd. If your child has already had the flu vaccine, simply disregard the consent form. No student will receive a flu vaccination without a signed consent form.  You can print this form if needed.  Frequently Asked Questions

PTO Spirit Wear Sale
Purchase your very own "The Ray School" t-shirt and/or sweatshirt and display your school spirit all about town!  This PTO fundraiser supports great happenings for students and teachers.  Order forms were sent home last week.  (If you missed the hard copy, here's a link to the order form.)  Please return your order and payment by Monday, October 23rd.  We will deliver "spirit wear" to classrooms for children to bring home unless you note on the form that you'd like to pick up your  in the office.  Contact Beth DeSimone at bethdesimone@gmail.com with any questions.

Community Events/Interests
Click to learn about a host of local opportunities ranging from contemporary dance to paper mache to upcoming kid-friendly performances.  Most weeks we will highlight one or more community events of timely importance.  We feature three events this week... 

10/22: Northern Stage Youth Ensemble Studio (YES):  Brown Girl Dreaming

The YES Fall Community Engagement Project--inspired by the the Vermont READS book of the year, Brown Girl Dreaming--is winning enthusiastic state-wide recognition.  Northern Stage has added a free performance of this project at the Barrette Center for the Arts this Sunday, October 22 at 7:00 PM. No advanced reservations are required for this performance.

10/21:  Community Arts Open Studio (CAOS) at AVA Gallery in Lebanon.  CAOS is a weekly workshop where children with caregivers make their own self-directed art projects using AVA’s diverse assortment of art supplies. CAOS meets in AVA’s Children’s Studio between 11am-4pm on Saturdays throughout the school year.  Participation in CAOS costs $5, whether you drop in for an hour or the entire day, and is great fun for everyone! Leave with a drawing, painting, or sculpture of your own. 

10/21:  Rusty Berrings Skatepark Day

This Saturday, 10/21, from 1-5PM, come celebrate the opening of the Rusty Berrings Skatepark in memory of Tyler S. Kirschner.  Enjoy free hamburgers, hotdogs, pizza, ice-cream. Live Music. Free and all welcome.  5 Glen Road West Lebanon, NH

Ray School Calendar

Visit the Ray School homepage for our complete (constantly updating) calendar.

Ray School Calendar