December 3, 2017

What do the following have in common:  Respond.  Share the air.  Stay on topic.  Disagree kindly.  Ask excellent questions.  Control your voice level.  Include everyone.  Wait your turn to speak. 

Score yourself an "A" if you identified these as "meaningful discussion" indicators, and an "A+" if you knew these skills are key to success in Reading Clubs, common practice, in one form or another, throughout our classrooms. Visit a Reading Club and you'll likely be struck by how much children have to say (and say well), how little the teacher talks, if at all.  In grade 5, Ms. Wilson has been challenging--and coaching--students to discuss books entirely without her involvement.  In truth, Ms. Wilson is utterly "involved," but not in ways we typically equate with teaching.  Instead of leading a lesson in the front of the room, Ms. Wilson sets children free and silently observes as students read and think deeply together, using "talk moves" they've been honing over time.  I wish you could have heard one group's lilting Southern accents last Thursday as they read aloud from Because of Winn Dixie.  Or the trio of soft-spoken boys who took turns reading a tragic scene from Bridge to Terabithia.  Or the pregnant pauses, heavy with sadness, a girl expressed from The One and Only Ivan.  After the group read-alouds, students wrote and posed their own open-ended questions.  "What would you have done to Janice Avery?" The Terabithia boys devoted a good three minutes discussing the dubious merits of taking revenge on a villain -- while they shared the air, stayed on topic, and disagreed  kindly.  "Why would Jack pretend to be August’s friend?" A group of girls reading Wonder discussed nuances in relationships -- while including everyone, taking turns speaking, and (at times!) containing their excitement and decibel levels.

At ages 10 and 11, these children are mastering the art of civil discourse in a world sorely in need of it. They are thinking critically together about characters'--and hopefully their own--underlying motivations and needs, rather than making easy judgments. All on their own. (With thanks to Ms. Wilson and all our talented teachers who move students to greater and greater levels of independence.)

Morning Drop-Off: Safety First

Important reminder:  Please exercise patience and drive slowly in the drop-off circle.
Use the parking lot if you'd like extra time to say goodbye to a child, to talk with a fellow parent, or to get out of your car for any reason. Thank you for respecting everyone's need to safely deliver children to school and keep a move on to get to the next important thing. We appreciate your care and courtesy during this and other high-traffic times.

Ray School Art on Display
Calling one and all!  Our annual Art show is on display at the Mascoma Savings Bank in Hanover (across the street from CVS) throughout the month of December.  Carve out time to stop by and enjoy artwork created by each and every Ray School student beautifully displayed on all three levels of the bank building.

Trick-or-Treat Fundraiser a Success
Anoushka Alavilli, Hanover High School Senior, former Ray student and founder of HHS' UNICEF Club, arrived at Lake Sunapee Bank last Wednesday with two bags brimming with dollar bills, four bags bursting with coins, and a heart filled with gratitude for all of the Ray trick-or-treaters who raised money for UNICEF.  Grand total: $1630, which will go to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to help children in need around the world. Anoushka soon will transition club leadership over to other high school students who will carry on in the future.  
Thanks to all Ray students who participated!

Grade 3 Visits the Amazon

Last Tuesday the 3rd grade was treated to a presentation on the Flooded Forest of the Amazon by Eric Von Ammon.  Mr. Von Ammon served as a third grade teacher at the Ray School for 25 years before retiring in 2010.  Each year since, Mr. Von Ammon has returned to share the story of his experience in the incredible Amazon habitat.  The third graders especially enjoyed learning about the flora and fauna Mr. Von Ammon discovered on his travels.

Community Events/Interests
Click to learn about a host of local opportunities ranging from a Math Kangaroo competition to the Cubs Scouts Annual Holiday Sale (on 12/9) to upcoming kid-friendly performances.  This week we feature three sports offerings. 

Dartmouth College Volleyball Holiday Clinic for girls and boys beginner level, Grades 2-8, at Leede Arena on Dec. 18-20th from 2-4pm.  Click here for more details.

Learn to Play Hockey with Hanover Hockey Association
A second ice hockey session begins Saturday, December 16 and runs until Saturday, January 21. 
Registration required:  Hanoverhockey.org.  Questions? Email Coordinator Kristin LeRoy: kristinkgood@yahoo.com
  • WHO: Girls and boys ages 4-8 (by 12/31)
  • WHERE: Campion Rink
  • WHEN: Saturdays and Sundays, 8:10 - 9:10 am
Wednesdays at Whaleback:  Updates
Good news!  Bus transportation will be provided to Ray students who would like to spend six Wednesday afternoons skiing or snowboarding at Whaleback Mountain, January 3 - February 7.  This opportunity is open to all students, K-5.  Children will load the bus at dismissal, spend 1.5 hours on the mountain, either in lessons or free skiing/snowboarding (with parent permission and sign off).  The bus returns children to the Ray School at 5:15PM. Financial aid scholarships are available to cover program fees and/or equipment rentals. There will be a separate fee of approximately $30 total to cover the cost of bus transportation over the six weeks.  Two Hanover High School students will ride and serve as bus chaperones.  First come, first served for the bus which can accommodate 48 children in all.  Registration deadline:  December 15.   Click here for details and to register.

Ray School Calendar