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November 2016  


A Thankfully Busy Two Weeks in Room 10!

November 13, 2016


          Parent Teacher Conferences are Thursday and Friday November 17 & 18. Thank you to everyone for signing up for the conferences.   I look forward to seeing you all during your designated appointment time.   These are both 1:00 dismissal days, no snack needed.

          Native American Project I look forward to hearing from each child, tomorrow, with the foods they found were eaten during the first Thanksgiving celebration.

          Festivity Volunteers:   Thank you for everyone who has volunteered. Below is a list of parents that have signed up as well as any openings still waiting to be filled.

§  Dream catchers:   No supplies or experience required. Jessica Doyle and Darinka Djordjevic.

§  Native American games……….no volunteers as yet.   Tuesday November 22, 9:30-11:00.   I have 2 simple games; I need 3 parents to help teach small groups of Room 10 students the games.

§  The Feast………….Wednesday November 23, 11:00-12:30   Volunteers: Suzanne O’Connor, Elizabeth Minuer, Emily Cretella.


Watch for an email tomorrow with lists of foods and supplies needed for the Feast.



Thanks, Joan Verrillo

Janary 2017  



News from Room 10


Mrs. Verrillo’s     Class


January 3 2017







Happy New Year to you all; I hope your holidays were filled with memorable moments, good health and time with family. As we prepare to return to school on Tuesday I hope to outline some curriculum goals that will take us through the next 4-6 weeks of school.

Language Arts…. Our focus in both reading and writing will be on Non-fiction text.

When reading, children will:

§  identify the text features typically found in a non-fiction piece.

§  Identify the main topic and supporting facts.

§  Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners.

While writing, we will complete the How-To Book writing unit and move into Informational Writing. Children will:

·        Write informative texts in which they name a topic, supply some acts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.

·        They will participate in shared research and writing projects.

As always, please make your focus the notes sent after Guided Reading Groups. These are specific to your child’s abilities and specify skills, high frequency words, and strategies appropriate for your child to practice.


Phonics and Spelling……..Prior to break, all children took the latest Words Their Way assessment. The results of this assessment in conjunction with their writing during daily Writers Workshop have been used to determine the individual child’s current skill level in phonics/spelling. You will be receiving the next and appropriate word sort this week. As always, spend 10-15 minutes each night practicing these words with your child. Spelling tests take place every 5-7 school days. You will see the spelling test; expected 70% accuracy; before the next skill is sent home to practice.


New Vocabulary   We have referred to the student sight word vocabulary as High Frequency Words for quite some time. We will be now using the term SNAP Words. Honestly, this seems like a term the kids will embrace; they need to read it quickly and write it just as quickly “in a SNAP!”

SNAP word packets will be a focus during language art centers. When children bring these packets home, keep them. They contain booklets and poems that your child can read to you, this simple practice will provide your child reading fluency practice important to reading success.


January Assessments………..

          The month of January finds children participating in assessments in order to determine mid-year reading, writing and math skill levels.   Your next report card and conference cycle falls in March. Please look for notices providing you with your child’s specific assessment results in early February.

October 2016  


News from Room 10; Mrs. Verrillo’s K/1 I.D. Class


            The month of October is one of our busiest months! We have established our routines and completed all baseline assessments; we are now therefore ready to begin small group instruction in all academic areas.           Be sure to watch the notices and emails that announce activities such as Pumpkin Math and UNICEF Pumpkin Contest.   The school calendar should also be watched to ensure you are planning for No School days and early dismissals.


Reading instruction has thus far been primarily through the use of Readers Workshop.   This week we will also begin Guided Reading Groups; these groups have a small number of children with a similar instructional reading level. I will meet with one group each day during Language Arts Centers. Our lesson will provide instruction specific to the needs of that group.   Following Guided Reading I write a note to parents of children in the group outlining the day’s lesson. Watch the Communication Folder for your child’s notes; this is the easiest way to stay current with your child’s reading instruction.



Language Art Centers   While I am busy providing instruction to a Reading Group the other children are working in small groups practicing reading and writing skills, once again these are skills specific to their instructional needs. They rotate through Centers one per day; Library, Writing, Poetry, Words, and Big Books & Computer. We have had some instruction with regard to the expectations for working in these Centers. Everyone is excited for fun and success!


Writing Instruction is a daily part of our day. We begin with a 10 Minute Mini Lesson. Children then have sustained writing for 30 minutes. I will conference with children individually and in small groups. I also have small group lessons for those needing instruction in a common area.   Our current unit is Narrative writing. My next newsletter will be more specific to the writing unit itself. For now, look for stories written or spoken, to have a beginning, middle and end.   Characters should also have names. Writing should reflect appropriate use of upper case letters and words spelled phonetically.



Words Their Way is our spelling and phonics program. Students in my room work in small groups for 25 minutes per day. I meet with one to two groups each day to introduce a new skill. On this day, you also receive a copy of the skill sheet with practice spelling words. There is no need to return the work to school. It is sent home as a way to communicate your child’s newest learning in spelling and phonics.   It is also my hope that families can spend some time each day practicing.

            Five to seven school days after the skill is introduced, the children take a spelling test. A score of 70% or better is needed to move to the next skill. This simply means that the children accurately apply the new skill and any previously taught skills.   (at times the words may include the use of a blend for diagraph not yet instructed. Accuracy here is not necessary) I understand that today’s explanation may not be fully clear; I promise as you live with the program clarity comes too.

            I give families the 5-7 day time line because at times assemblies or special events prevent our having Words Their Way practice. Sometimes it’s my observation that a group needs more time before assessing the skill.   Just keep practicing until a new skill sheet and successful spelling test come home in the Communication Folder.

September 21, 2016  



          How time flies!   Fourteen days and counting.   Thus far your children have spent their     time establishing routines and expectations for all parts of the day.


·       Readers and writers workshop


·       Recess and lunch


·       All 5 specials


·       Arrival and departure


·       Classroom meetings


·       Math which if you are a grade 1     student is in a new classroom. For     kindergarten we welcome 10 students into our space for an hour each day


·       PBIS coin reward systems


·       Bucket Filler classroom     expectations and rewards


·       Buses


These     days and the time spent establishing the respectful, responsible and safe     class environment are crucial to the academic success of all our students.


Our time has also allowed us time to take Baseline     Assessments. These assessments will     allow us to begin individual and small group instruction in all academic     areas. Expect to see communication     specific to your child’s instruction in reading, phonics and math within     the week.


September 2, 2016  



Two     very busy days!








                                                                                                                               September 2, 2016

Dear Room 10 Families;

            We have had two great days in Room 10.   I am sure you have had very tired children at the end of the day.

            We have spent these two days establishing basic daily routines and getting to know each other.   We have learned the expectations in the classroom, hallways, cafeteria and bus. We practiced fire drill and lockdown procedures. These routines and procedures are a primary focus the first several weeks of school.

            If your child had notebooks, pencil cases or supplies sent from home you will see that they have been returned. We are fortunate to have all basic supplies provided by the District; I like to begin the year with everyone having the same items for daily use.

            We have a snack each day, at about 9:30. Remember that there are no nut products allowed in the classrooms.   Some suggested food items include: fruit, go-gurt, or cheese and crackers. Snack is a 10 minute time block in our day, sending something healthy and easily eaten helps children enjoy this independent time.

            I like to use email for whole class communications whenever possible. If you could please send me an email at, I will save your email address and develop this year’s group contact list. Grade 1 families please send an email again this year; I find it’s most accurate to start over each year.   It’s fine to send emails for multiple addresses; it is my intent to make communicating as easy as possible.

            If there are changes to your dismissal arrangements, send a note in the School to Home folder.

Dates to remember:

·         No school Monday September 5….Labor Day

·         Open House for parents…..Monday September 12…6:30pm


Please feel free to let me know if there are any questions.

Joan Verrillo

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