Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Using Technology to Foster Friendships

At Green Meadow, we often have new students enroll who just moved to the U.S. from another country. Today, I had a 30 minute conversation with a new parent using an iphone. Neither of us could speak the other's language, yet we were able to answer each other's questions and form a positive connection using an app. 'Google Translate' allows you to type or speak into a microphone, then quickly translate it into the language of your choice. The app also has a camera feature that can read and translate documents. Below is a screenshot of how the app changed a PTO flyer into Portuguese. The wording popped up in English prior to being translated. Best of all, the google app is free!

I also discovered gmail has a feature in the upper right hand corner that allows you to select "translate message" from a drop down menu on desktops. It is located next to the reply button once an email message is open.

Arriving in a new country can be very isolating, often children are not invited on playdates or to birthday parties because it is hard for parents to coordinate plans with a language barrier.  I am sharing these free resources in the hope that Green Meadow families will use them to communicate and develop friendships with newcomers. In this global age, becoming friends with classmates from other countries can be such an enriching experience!
Gmail drop down link
Free Google App

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Mobil Math Gift

Sanjay Maraj, a Green Meadow graduate, presented a
check from his family's business. 
The Green Meadow School recently recieved a donation from Main Street Mobil gas station.  The $500 check will be used to purchase books to support our math program. Thanks to their generosity, each K-3 classroom will receive a copy of Fundamentals, a text full of game ideas to support mathematical fluency and reasoning. 

Bingo For Books

PTO Presidents, Ann Stachowicz and Tammy Kim,
standing in front of the new plaque.
Over 300 family members attended our annual 'Bingo For Books' event on March 22nd. Mike Mehigan, 3rd grade teacher, did a fabulous job as our emcee. He called out sight words, Dr. Suess books, and teacher names... then ran through the crowd giving students a chance to shout 'Bingo' into the microphone. A number of staff members and teenage volunteers checked bingo boards then sent winners to claim their prize. Every child went home with one or more new books thanks to Title One grant money.

In recognition of their efforts to fundraise and install a new sound system, a plaque honoring the PTO was installed in the cafeteria. Many families commented the new system made for a much more enjoyable evening.


I often get emails from parents inquiring how indoor/outdoor recess is decided. An equal number of parents seem to advocate for going out as staying in on days when the weather is unusually cold or wet. Therefore, I thought it might be helpful to share how the decision is made.

Since fresh air and excercise helps prepare students to learn, we try to send them outside whenever weather conditions allow.  To keep them indoors or out is always a challenging call to make. I consult the current temperature and wind chill factor via an app and thermometer, then compare it to the 'Child Care Weather Watch' chart which is used by most schools (see below). In general, we go outside if it is 20 degrees or above. The chart also takes into considerations times when the temperature is above 20, but wind chill makes it fall into the danger zone. For example, many days this year the actual temperature hoovered around 20, but windchill made it feel under 10 degrees.

Sometimes we have to take into consideration unexpected factors. For example, one wintery day this year freezing rain occurred overnight and the pavement was full ice. Given it resembled a skating rink, we did not want to risk having young children fall and obtain concussions from hitting the pavement. Another day, unusually heavy rain left huge puddles on 80% of the play area. After the first recess, we had so many children with wet socks and sneakers a decision was made to move the remaining recesses indoors. This year, it has been more difficult to go outside because we have a limited play area. We are still not able to use most of the playground area because newly planted grass will need to mature until late spring.

Coffee Chat on PBIS

Friday, April 6th, from 8:45am-9:45am there will be a parent coffee at Green Meadow. 
All caregivers are welcome to join us (note: this is an early release day for afternoon conferences).

Ann Rutherford, school counselor, and Catrina Crociani, parent representative, will provide an overview of PBIS and plans to implement it at Green Meadow. PBIS stands for 'Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports.'

Below are examples of two PBIS videos created by other schools. They were shown to Green Meadow students during recent grade levels. Since many students are visual learners, these videos were a fun way to reinforce bathroom expectations. 

Ask your child to explain the 'Rule of 2'. 
As a visual reminder, the sign below is posted in GMS bathrooms.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

SEPAC April Meeting

On Tuesday, April 3, the Maynard SEPAC hosts an Update on Special Education in Maynard from Carol Gahan, the Director of Student Services for Maynard Public Schools. She will discuss the current status of Maynard special education from the perspective of her first two years in the district. This is also an opportunity to ask questions about any aspect of the special education process. Come join us at Fowler Library at 7 p.m. We look forward to seeing you there. 

If you have questions, or to RSVP, please contact Karen Heath at or at 978-394-6183.

Community Forum

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Celebrating World Down Syndrome Day

On March 21st, GMS students and staff members donned crazy mix matched socks to raise awareness for the inclusion and well being of people with Down Syndrome. The socks were a reminder to celebrate diversity while remembering 'we are more alike than different.' The idea was suggested by Alyssa Gwordz, a member of the Maynard High School student goverment.       #rockyoursocks

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

PTO Gift of Sound!

Nance Messina, gr. 2 teacher, tried out the new sound
system at an all school assembly on Dr. Suess's birthday.

Over February vacation, the GMS PTO arranged for a new state of the art AV sound system to be professionally installed in the cafeteria at Green Meadow! A proper AV system has been lacking at GM for years, making it difficult to hear during presentations and performances. The PTO identified this need last year, and worked diligently to purchase and arrange installation of a system that would meet our needs now and in years to come. The gift will be used for open houses, school concerts, all school assemblies, and many other events.

We are grateful to the PTO Board for facilitating many fundraising events to fund this gift. Throughout the year, the PTO donates to a number of enrichment activities, including these March/April inhouse programs: 

Kindergarten- Curious Creatures 
2nd Grade-  Discovery Museum & Windows on Wildlife 
1st Grade- Discovery Museum 
3rd Grade- Paul Revere House 

Thank you to all the GMS families who donate their time and funds to enrich our school!!

Cradles to Crayons Service Project

A collection box will be in the GMS school lobby until April 6th to support a service project facilitated by a Fowler student. Below is his letter explaining what items are needed.

K Writers & Artists

These are some of the beautiful works hanging on the walls in our kindergarten classrooms. As you can see, the students have a variety of interests and each child develops his/her skills at their own pace. We have many amazing writers and artists at GMS!

Curious Kids & Creatures

Kindergarten students were captivated by a visit from ‘Curious Creatures’. The presenter showed a variety of animals while sharing educational facts about their habitats and characteristics. Students were able to touch a 75 year old turtle, a rabbit, a bearded dragon, a skunk, and several other animals.

This event was sponsored by our PTO- thanks to funds raised by GMS families!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Screenagers March 28th

Please watch this important video, a preview to an event sponored by our PTOs.

The potential impact of digital technologies on a child's developing brains is a concerned shared by many in the medical and educational community. Over the last decade, there has been a spike in anxiety and behavioral disorders. Many families are impacted by the devestating effects of gaming addictions on children and parents. I urge parents to educate themselves to the risks, be cognizant of screen use in your home, and reach out for help if needed. I believe this is a significant issue that will greatly impact society in the upcoming years. Thank you to our PTO's for sponsoring this event!

The event is free. Please RSVP to ensure adequate seatingScreenager RSVP

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Choose Kind

On Valentine's Day, a number of GMS staff and students wore 'Choose Kind' Teeshirts. 

Since this logo fits in so nicely with our core values to be "Kind, Safe, Learners", our PTO found a local vendor who agreed to offer similar shirts for only $5. Order forms for the teeshirts will be going home via backpacks.  On March 31st, our school is planning to have a "Kindness Day" in which everyone will be encouraged to wear something to promote kindness. To include everyone, those without teeshirts will be given emblems with a logo to add to their attire.

Rock your Socks March 21st

Alyssa Gwozdz, a senior at Maynard High School and member of the student government, sent me the above flyer. She invited us to join other schools in creating awareness for the inclusion and well being of people with Down Syndrome by participating in “Rock Your Socks Day” on March 21st.  On that day, GMS students and staff are invited to wear their craziest mismatched socks to represent that we are more alike then different.  

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

MEF March 4th "The Taste"

A message from MEF~

The Maynard Education Foundation (MEF) is excited to host the 16th Annual "The Taste" on Sunday, March 4, 2017, 4 PM to 7 PM at the Maynard Lodge of Elks, 34 Powdermill Road, Maynard.  Restaurants will be serving appetizer, entree and dessert delicacies from 4-6 PM; entertainment will continue until 7 PM.

Every year, this is a “not to be missed” event, with the general public being encouraged to come and enjoy exceptional samples of food specialties from local food establishments in the Maynard, Acton, Stow, Concord, Hudson and Marlboro area. There will be a cash bar, entertainment by local sensation Jae Mannion and raffle/silent auction prizes.  Tickets are available in advance for $30/adult, $10 children ages 5-12 and free for children 4 and under by calling 978-938-4262 or at Middlesex Savings Bank, 17 Nason Street, Maynard or by visiting any of the three Maynard public schools. Tickets may also be purchased by going to MEF’s website Tickets will be available on a first come first serve basis at the door for $35/each.

All proceeds benefit MEF's grant programs for teachers, students, and administrators.

As you may recall, "The Taste" is MEF's largest annual fundraiser that benefits our grant program. MEF has been thrilled to award the following grants this year:

Rita MurphyTelescope Kits and Solar Viewing Glasses for MHS Astronomy Class$498.30
Mark Sinopoli12 VEX IQ Robots$3,957.31
Nate ThomasSTEAM kits and materials$1,090.00
John OgdenChess Board and Clocks/Timers for MHS Chess Club$250.00
John OgdenParticipation in the New England High School Emmy Awards$200.00
Brenda SullivanArchery equipment for Physical Education classes$2,100.00
John OgdenPrinter and materials for MHS Photography students$550.14
Kindergarten TeamStory Grammar Markers and Materials to aid students with storytelling$900.25
Kindergarten TeamLakeshore Real World STEM Challenge Kit,
Lakeshore STEM Early Learning Kit, and Lakeshore STEM Science Station.
Michelle PetersenMaterials for Chill Zone$1,854.05
Mark MyersExtreme Science Assembly at Fowler School$1,275.00
Dr. GerardiLEADERSHIP GRANT:  Sponsorship of "Maynard & Massachusetts Leading the Nation Senior Project Business and Community Luncheon"$1,000.00
Denise Hatch (On behalf of the 6, 7, 8th ELA Team)Attend the Mass. Reading Association conference$1,000.00
Nicholas DeCastro on behalf of 8 MHS StudentsParticipation in the Mass. Association of Student Councils (MASC) Spring Conference$1,260.00
Denise Hatch Key Comprehension Routine Course for 25 teachers at the Fowler School$2,500.00
Jennifer FiorettiParticipate in Wilson Language Training$1,000.00

Thank you for your ongoing support! As always, please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions about MEF.

Fiona Nauseda
The Maynard Education Foundation (MEF)
978.938.4262 (cell)

SEPAC March 5th Workshop for Families

A message form Maynard SEPAC ~
A workshop on Basic Rights in Special Education: Monday, March 5 at 6:30 p.m., at the Ephraim Curtis Middle School Library 22 Pratts Mill Road, Sudbury (enter through the front of the school). 
A presenter from the Federation for Children with Special Needs will conduct the workshop, designed to provide families with an introduction to their rights and responsibilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) and Massachusetts Special Education Law. The workshop is designed to help parents learn to be effective partners with their child’s school to decide their child’s eligibility for special education, and to plan, make decisions, and monitor their child’s progress in school. Federation workshops are free and open to the public. Hosted by the Sudbury SEPAC
Co-sponsored by the Maynard SEPAC: Come be informed! 
Contact Karen Heath at or 978-394-6183 with questions.

High School Disney Show

Disney's smash hit 'The Little Mermaid' will be put on by the students of Maynard High School.  Tickets are now on sale and available at the ticket booth and online.  Please see details below on how to purchase your tickets.  This is sure to be a best selling show with sellouts galore.

Ticket booth Hours: (tickets will be sold outside of the MHS auditorium)
Monday: 5-7
Wednesday: 2-4 & 5-7
Friday: 5-7

To purchase tickets online go to​

Show Dates:
March 17th, at 7
March 18th, at 2
March 23rd, at 7
March 24th, at 7
March 25th, at 2

This show will be truly magical--please plan on joining in the fun!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Substitute Opportunitites

The district has openings for daily substitutes to cover teacher and para absences.  These positions are per diem, at the daily rate of $75 ($80 after 30 days.). Applications available online via the link below, and in the school building main offices.  Three references, fingerprints, and criminal record check (CORI) required.  Preference given to candidates with teaching or childcare experience.
Link to Maynard District Website

Monday, February 5, 2018

Predictions Inspired by Phil

Mrs. Lawton's Gr. 1 Predictions 
February 2nd~

"Ground Hog's Day" provided a great opportunity to learn about seasons, predictions, graphing, and how legends get started. These pictures show some of the activities Paxutoney Phil inspired among Green Meadow students in grades Prek-2.

Kindergartner in Spanish Immersion says Yes!
Ground Hog's Day, by K student
2 Preschoolers predicted Yes
9 Preschoolers predicted No

100 Day Food Drive

Hundred Day Food Drive
In celebration of 100 Day and our Core Values, 
all second graders are collecting food items to donate to the Maynard Food Pantry.
It is our hope to collect “Hundreds” of non-perishable food items 
to display on the shelf by the GM library, then donate to the Maynard Food Pantry! 
Second Graders are “Kind, Safe, Leaners!”

Physical Education in January

Physical Education Newsletter~

Winter is in full swing, but that has not slowed the level of activity in the Green Meadow gym. During the month of January, students have been learning about all sorts of creatures that inhabit the Earth during fun aerobic games.  Students learned about amphibians during the jumping game Frogs Across the Pond.  During the tagging game Exterminator, students learned about ants and other insects.  Dinosaur Extinction gave students a chance to play a cooperative aerobic game while learning about dinosaurs.  Please remember to send students to school with sneakers on their PE day.  Stay warm,
Mr. M

Trash to Treasure

A peek inside preschool~

Recently, the theme for the week in preschool was ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’. Activities focused on what happens to trash after it’s thrown away. Preschoolers explored the concept of reducing, reusing and recycling. They answered the questions: ‘What do people throw away?’, ‘Where does trash go?’, ‘How can we reuse junk?’ and ‘How can we create less trash?’  

As you can see from these photos, they made some pretty amazing creations from recycled materials

Friday, February 2, 2018

Information about the FLU

Influenza Update: A message from the Health Services Department~

According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Weekly Influenza Update for
January 26, 2018, influenza-like illness (ILI *) activity is increasing, consistent with other parts of the United States.
*ILI is defined as a fever above 100.0 in addition to either cough or sore throat.

To keep influenza-like activity from spreading in the school community it is important to keep your sick child at home when he or she has symptoms of the flu. Use this form to determine whether your child should attend school and when they can return.

Lastly, please remember to call your school’s absentee line everyday that you keep your child home. Try to be as specific with his or her illness as possible, i.e. “home sick with fever of ___ and cough” or “home with an ear infection”, “strep infection”, “pneumonia” or “home for a fever-free day”. This will help the school nurses identify clusters of illness and prompt preventative measures.
For more information about flu prevention, please review these previously shared documents:
Please click on the following link/Fact Sheet pertaining to influenza.

This cute video was shown to our first graders during a recent assembly on bathroom expectations. We discussed the importance of properly washing hands to avoid the spread of germs.

Monday, January 29, 2018

"Every Child Deserves A Red Carpet"

The Beacon Villager wrote a nice story about the warm, welcome children receive when they step off the bus at the Green Meadow School!  It started with one teacher volunteering to greet the bus, and evolved to a group of children lining a red carpet sharing smiles and high fives... Positive Energy is contagious!!  To read the article, follow this link: News Article

Positive Energy Bus

Several times a year, staff members from our "Respectful Schools Committee" preform a skit based on a book promoting friendship and kindness. On Thursday, 1/25/18, students in grades K-3 enjoyed a school-wide assembly featuring the Energy Bus for Kids by Jon Gordon. 

As Ms. Wallace and Mr. Morelli read the book aloud, other staff members acted out the story of a young boy who encounters Joy, a charismatic bus driver. She gives the boy 5 tips on how to become a happier person. She tells him to create a 'positive vision' and intentionally spread kindness and love to others. Smiling, saying 'thank you', and other acts of kindness create positive energy. That energy spreads and, like a magnet, attracts positivity back to us. Below is a close up of the book page listing the 5 rules which were projected on a screen throughout the assembly. Every K-3 class received a copy of the book and a poster of the 5 rules for their classroom.  

GMS Faculty Members have also been reading an adult version of the book, The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy. After writing this short fable, Jon Gordon became a highly sought after motivational speaker for major sports teams and fortune 500 companies. Below are some links to youtube videos about the Energy Bus.

Short overview of the book told by a 5th grader:

A teacher reading the Energy Bus for Kids book:

Animated overview of the adult Energy Bus:

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Prompt & Safe Arrivals

 ~Three quick reminders for a smooth morning arrival~
Four minutes into the first lesson of the day.

Students in grades K-3, should try to arrive at school between 8:15 and 8:25am. This gives them a few minutes to socialize and transition to the classroom for an 8:30am start. Please keep in mind, arriving even a few minutes late is disruptive to the entire class since the teacher must stop instruction to greet and fill the tardy child in on anything they missed. Quite a number of children are habitually arriving after 8:30am. If mornings are a struggle for your family, feel free to reach out to our counseling staff for advice.

As you can see from this picture of the staff parking lot, by 8:25am every space was taken. Because parking is so limited, we ask that visitors and families use Crowe Park. If dropping off for Excel please do not park in the lot after 7:30 when staff begin to arrive. (I often park at Crowe Park because these spaces are so small car doors get dinged -and the distance is about the same.)

Car riders have the option of parking in Crowe Park and walking up, or pulling your vehicle to the curb within the white lines and unloading. Please do not drop off closer to the building since it creates a safety issue with the buses and preschool vans.