Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Building Literacy At Home

Fostering literacy at home is more than filling our shelves with books.  It is engaging our children with all things written.  This short article highlights many ways you can nourish that literacy life at home.  Click here to enjoy the ideas.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Literacy Begins At Home

Since it's Family Literacy Month, I thought I'd share this great article about reading at home.
Click on the link for a few wonderful tips: Literacy Begins At Home.

Friday, October 28, 2016

A Week Focused on Literacy

This week McGovern celebrated literacy with the Family Literacy Night and the Read for the Record event.  

Our annual Family Literacy Night this year focused on "A Peek into Your Child's Classroom." Parents and children moved through five stations and witnessed teachers modeling a reading workshop lesson, a technology integration lesson, and a Fundations lesson. Families also enjoyed an interactive read aloud and sight word games together.  If you weren't able to attend, click here for a listing of resources.

On Thursday every classroom was treated to a reading of the book: The Bear Ate Your Sandwich, by Julia Sarcone-Roach, as part of Jumpstart's Read for the Record event.  This event seeks to break a world record of the most number of people reading the same book on the same day. Children were excited to hear the story being read by another classroom teacher.  It was a wonderful event for all!  Stayed tuned to see if we helped break that world record!

Family Literacy Night:


Read for the Record:

Friday, October 21, 2016

Reading in the "Edges"

I read this great article the other day about a barber that was encouraging his youngest clients to read while getting their haircut.  If the children chose to read a book to him he would give them a discount!  

Talk about a great idea.  

Donalyn Miller, author of the book The Book Whisperer, might call this practice reading in the "edges"  or squeezing in a few minutes of reading into times when you might not think of reading.  Donalyn suggests we have books with us at all times so we can read while waiting in the car, at the doctors, or even at the grocery store.  Those few minutes here and there can add to to many minutes of practicing their reading skills and behaviors.  After all children need 60 minutes of reading each day to grow in their reading ability.  

Where or when do you let your child read in the edge?   

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Science and Literacy

There is something about this time of year that brings out the writer in me: the colors in the sunsets and trees, the silhouette of the birds flying across the sky, and the sound of the geese honking their way south. Taking in these sites and sounds urge me to put pen to paper to write, to draw, and to capture the beauty of the world around me.
Today's post lists several resources to help you enjoy and grow with the seasonal changes to autumn with your child.  Enjoy!
Outdoor Explorations - Reading Rockets produced a great article on how to use the great outdoors in your own backyard to explore, build vocabulary and foster early scientific skills

10 Outdoor Literacy Ideas - wonderful list of fun literacy activities to enjoy outside

Linking Outdoor Learning to Literacy - Scholastic produced this super list of literacy ideas

Make Your own Nature Journal - scroll down to the bottom of the blog for directions on how to make a nature journal out of paper bags with built in pockets for collecting things!

And finally, check out the right side column for my virtual book shelf filled with fall titles!

Friday, September 23, 2016

First School Assembly of the Year

The children at McGovern School were treated to their first assembly of the year.  Today's assembly had three topics on the agenda: 1. To celebrate the numbers of books read by the McGovern School children this past summer (4,200 books!), 2.  To learn about being a good citizenship and how saying "I Can..." is important when making good decisions and 3. To talk about playground rules especially with our new playgroup equipment.  Below are a few photos showing the highlights of the assembly.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Avid Readers

Kindergarten Students are Avid Readers
Our kindergarten students have been working on becoming avid readers as part of the new reading units of study.  The students began the unit by discovering that an avid reader is someone who reads a lot, finds places to read everywhere, keeps a stack of books-in-waiting, can't stop reading, and really pays attention to the book.  Another part of being an avid reader is sharing our books with others, much like we do in our own book clubs. Students shared their books while in "reading playdates."  One of the ways children can share their books while on a reading playdate is by acting out the pages.  Below is a video showing a group of kindergartners role-playing a nonfiction book.  We are so proud of the progress the children have made this year!

Friday, May 13, 2016


Over eighty McGovern School students participated in the math calendar challenge that took place during the month of April.  
Congratulations to all who took part in the calendar activities, especially those that completed an activity each of the thirty days. Today we chose one winner from each grade level to receive a fun math read aloud.

And the winners are: 

Preschool: Nate Dorr
Kindergarten: Mason Fisher
First Grade: Jack Connolly

Friday, April 15, 2016

April is Poetry Month at McGovern School

April is National Poetry Month...

and at McGovern School we are celebrating with style.  

Each morning a group of students recite or sing a new poem or song. The poems and songs have been either written by a class or by a published poet.  

Recited poems are then posted on the big chart in the hallway so that children can go back and read the poem while walking through the hallways. Our poems have been varied in topics with words about frogs, recess, spring and school.  

We love the creativity of poetry month as it gives us all an opportunity to spread our wings and listen to and write in a new genre.  

Reading poetry at home can be a great way to mix it up for a few days.  I have updated my Reading Shelf on the right side to reflect a few great poetry books.  Give reading poetry a try this vacation week.  It's fun, easy and quick paced!  

Friday, April 8, 2016

Big Day at McGovern

It was a big day at McGovern with Johnny the K teaching children about diversity, friendship and respect.  And the children showed Johnny the K their very best assembly behavior during the 45 minute presentation.  The students are indeed shining stars!


the kindergarten children earned their second star on the citizenship wall!

We have much to celebrate at the "I can" school!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Everyday Leader Program

The students at McGovern School were treated to a wonderful program yesterday focused on being leaders each and every day, and not just in school, but also at home, in sports and in their community.  The program, sponsored by McDonald's, highlighted the importance of LEAD. 

Listen:  Listening at all times 
Example: Being a good example 
Actions: Being responsible for your actions 
Do: Doing your best even when no one is looking!

At the end of the assembly Mrs. Yanuskiewicz helped perform a trick to magically create a certificate of leadership for the entire McGovern School.  

McGovern School is the "I Can" school so earning this award is no surprise!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Family Math Night - Directions and More

Last night's Family Game Night was a huge success with over 150 families in attendance.

We hope you were able to get a few new ideas for bringing math into your home in an easy and fun manner.
Below are the directions to the centers that each family rotated through on Wednesday night.  

Enjoy, and have fun thinking about math together!

Preschool and Kindergarten Activities: 

  • Counting and creating with Legos  
    • roll the dice, take that number of Legos and build a creation. Continue and compare two creations using words like taller, wider etc...
  • iPad Monster Squeeze
  • Weight Watchers 
    • Hold two objects in your hands thinking about which is heavier.  Then weigh.  Was your prediction right?
Gr 1:

  • BINGO:
  • Measuring with Legos
    • Pick up a Lego and measure various objects such as your hand, a book, the table with the Lego.  Record and compare lengths. 
  • iPad Addition Top it  
  • Salute
  • Pico, Fermi, Bagel 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Family Math Night

McGovern School will be hosting their annual Family Math Night on Wednesday, March 23, 2016.   There will be two sessions, one for families of preschool and kindergarten aged children from 5:30-6:15 pm and a second session for families of first grade children from 6:45-7:30 pm.  

This year we will once again set up a variety of centers filled with activities to stretch everyone's mathematical thinking.  

We hope you can make this great family night of fun and numbers!

Check back here next week for photos and game directions from the evening.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Dr. Seuss' Birthday

March 2nd marked the 102nd birthday of the beloved Dr. Seuss.  The McGovern School children celebrated with zany Dr. Seuss like activities including a reading of his first published book:  And To Think I Saw it On Mulberry Street.  The book tells the story of a boy with a grand imagination and wild sense of story.  

                                                                                                          Image cortesy of:

Dr. Seuss inspires many of us to think about being creative and silly.  And in our busy, structured lives it is easy to overlook this important but much needed skill.
Here are a few ways you can help foster imagination and a creative spirit. 

1. Tell stories - Mix things up at bedtime or anytime and enjoy creating made up funny stories.  Take a common experience and twist and turn it to create a new version! Most of all have fun and laugh!

2.  Make art - use paint, crayons, markers or whatever suits your fancy.

3. Use natural or generic materials - Who doesn't love a big box to carets a fort or space ship?

4. Foster a Sense of Inner Space - foster a sense of creation instead of consumption.  

For more specific ideas head over to:

Friday, February 26, 2016

Author Paul Czajak Visits McGovern

Author Paul Czajak visited McGovern School on Thursday February 25th to share his books and his love of writing with the students.  Children eagerly listened to Mr. Czajak read two of his original stories: Seaver the Weaver and Monster Needs His Sleep.  Mr. Czajak also shared his message of never giving up on a dream as he spoke about getting an F on a paper in college, and told to get a tutor.  Paul, however continued on and through perseverance and learning about becoming an author, he eventually published a book. Author Czajak reminded the children that a story takes time to write, edit and rewrite.  The children left the assembly recharged and ready to continue writing their own stories in class and at home.  

To learn more about Paul Czajak and his books go to: 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Learning and Kind Deeds Meet

Celebration was aplenty at McGovern School with 100's Day, Valentine's Day and the day before February vacation all intersecting!  And amidst all that excitement our students managed to be mindful of those less fortunate with a 100's days can drive netting 708 cans of food all to benefit the Medway Food Pantry! The teachers on the math committee thought this project would be a wonderful way to combine 100's day with learning about those less fortunate.  Classes were asked to devise various ways to organize and count their non-perishables.  Some classes made tallies as the products came in, others placed the cans on a large 100's chart, and still others made piles of 5 and 10 cans.  Counting and recounting the 708 items made for a worthwhile learning experience for our students in many ways. We are proud! 

Monday, February 1, 2016

PJ Read Aloud

The third annual PJ Read Aloud was a ROARING success as children and parents were delighted by the storytelling, magical talents of Steve Aveson at a packed cafeteria last Thursday evening.  Steve mesmerized the children with his ability to make the stories in print come to life.  Look at these faces of pure delight:

Listening with great attention

Can we have your autograph?
Showing off his magic skills
How to tell family stories

Our hands can be a puppet
The evening began with a brief slide show for the parents outlining ways to encourage literacy at home.  You can see this slide show below.

Friday, January 22, 2016


Earlier this week I listened to the forecasts of possible snowstorms. My mind went back to snow days when my children were little and we were all hunkered in safe and cozy enjoying warmth and comfort.  One way we fostered this feeling in our home was to bring on the comfort. This is difficult with little ones around but it can be possible. We started by making a stew. We all helped chop the ingredients, dumped them in the pot and then we snuggled close to read a few great books while the aromas filled the house. Occasionally I would make homemade playdough. The recipe I used required cooking.  Yes, it was an additional chore, but the sensation of kneading warm dough brought additional comfort to us all. (Click here for recipe With our busy lifestyles and our crazy schedules bringing on this type of comfort helped to recharge our batteries and created memories to talk about for years to come.

How do you bring comfort into your home during these cold winter months?  Check out the list of good winter books to read on my Shelfari in the right column of the blog.

Don't  forget our PJ Read Aloud is next week,
 Thursday January 28, 2016 at 6pm at
McGovern School Cafeteria.
Wear those comfortable PJs!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Caldecott Winners Named

The Caldecott Awards for most distinguished American picture book for 2016 were awarded this week.  The bright gold medal that is emblazoned on the cover of books usually attract the attention of our children. I hope to get to the bookstore this weekend to check out these winning books!



Saturday, January 9, 2016

Third Annual PJ Read Aloud

The third annual PJ Read Aloud has been set for Thursday January 28th.  Steve Aveson will once again join us with his enthusiastic read alouds and lively storytelling. Mark your calendars now and get ready for an evening of pure reading joy! More details to follow.
Check out these pictures from previous years!