News From the Gym….and Mrs. Sugerman

Here’s what has been happening the past 6 weeks with

Pre K in the Gym….(Jan and Feb)


  • continued to experiment with the equipment during “free play”
  • continued to work on soccer skills by knocking over pins or kicking a ball through a goal
  • continued to work on dribbling a basketball
  • played four corners using some of our “rubber critters” in the gym
  • played “switch” quickly becoming a class favorite
  • enjoyed using our new foam pogo sticks


Here’s what has been happening the past 6 weeks with

Kindergarten and 1st grade in the Gym….(Jan and Feb)


  • completed the basketball unit with an activity called “the three ring basketball circus” a made up activity….which included shooting from the stage so the basket is only 4 feet high, dribbling around the gym with a basketball, and shooting at a normal height basketball hoop with a foam ball
  • were introduced to the game of pillo polo (floor hockey played with foam sticks and balls)
    1. they learned about the parts of a stick
    2. they learned how to hold a stick
    3. they were given many opportunities to shoot the ball through a number of goals
    4. they were able to be the goalie
  • played crab soccer (similar to soccer, played on the floor, students crawl to the ball)
  • were introduced to speed stacking cups where they learned about up stacking and down stacking and had fun making a very large pyramid using all the speed stacking cups


Here’s what has been happening the past 6 weeks with

Grades 2-5 in the Gym….(Jan and Feb)

The only focus was on all phases of pillo polo (floor hockey played with foam sticks and balls)


  • practiced skills necessary to play pillo polo including: stick handling, passing, wrist shots, slap shots, one-timers, backhand shots, playing goalie…and much more
  • played pillo polo games every class
  • learned several strategies for the offense and defense
  • had the opportunity to play all positions to get exposure to both offense, defense, and goalie
  • were able to choose what position they would play for an entire game (4th and 5th students)

Be sure to ask your student(s) about all the activity in the Gym!

What? A “Poisonous Spider” party in the library!

Miss Earth (teacher) Lives! 3rd grade library classes with K.White, librarian


Seven Spiders Spinning (The Hamlet Chronicles) by Gregory Maguire

Recognize the author’s name? Yes, it’s THE Gregory Maguire, the author of The Wicked Years, a four-book series including Wicked, Son of a Witch, A Lion Among Men, and Out of Oz—all New York Times bestsellers. Wicked: The Musical is based on these books.

Maguire’s novels are revisionist retellings of children’s stories (such as L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz into Wicked)! He was a professor and co-director at the Simmons College Center for the Study of Children’s Literature from 1979-1985. In 1987, he co-founded Children’s Literature New England. (HarperCollins)wicked

“What happens when seven deadly Siberian Snow Spiders from before the dawn of time invade a contemporary classroom in rural Vermont? Bedlam, and one of the funniest, creepiest, ickiest middle-grade books ever written! ‘Demon spiders, lover spiders, greedy spiders, sensitive spiders—they all go on heroic quests that get entangled in classroom rivalries and local soap operas. . . . Everything is part of the comic brew, from the nightly news and Spidergate to Dracula, The Wizard of Oz, Charlotte’s Web and Little Miss Muffet. A fast, delightfully entertaining romp.”
Notable Children’s Books of 1995 (ALA)

P2050018 P2050020

As we finished the last page, we gathered to discuss this delightful book  over treats that relate to the story. Students reviewed the story and shared their favorite parts. Fortunately, since the book is part of a series (The Hamlet Chronicles), they can continue to read about Miss Earth and her class. Each student had various roles to perform. They loved the dramatic play and really got involved with their parts. Dramatic play helps students understand the characters and story as well as adding fun to library classes. In addition, we loved singing and acting out the “scary” songs included in the story!


 SevenSpidersSpinning seven spin3 seven spin 2

Novels can help teach research skills. For example, when reading Seven Spiders Spinning we:

  • Used map and geography skills to research Scandinavia, Russia, Greenland, Iceland, Canada, Vermont and Massachusetts
  • Used encyclopedias and other resources to learn about Vikings and spiders
  • Reviewed literary genres and learned about epic poems

Library-January Adventures-Karolyn White, Librarian

Grades PreK-K

Winter Time! Mitten Time!

What is a mitten? How are mittens made?  Mitten tales include “Three Little Kittens” by Galdone and Pinkney. Did you know that “Three Little Kittens” is attributed to Eliza Lee Cabot Follen (1787-1860), a Bostonian Sunday school teacher and abolitionist? Check out an online copy of “The Wonderful History of the Three Little Kittens Who Lost their Mittens” published in 1856 from Boston Public Library! http://bit.ly/1Bp8Edw In addition, I am demonstrating knitting!

mitten-gussetthree kittens galthree-little-kitten pink

Grade 1

What? Messy Rooms Fit for Pigs!

Oink! Oink! We are enjoying stories about pigs moving in and making or adding to messy rooms! Talk about funny! Our stories have involved predictions, math problems and room organization ideas. First graders will design  kid’s rooms with places for “everything.”

messy1 pigs aplenty pigsty

Grade 2

Off to the Last Frontier-Alaska

We will learn about research skills as we travel to the awesome state of Alaska! Students are divided into 3 groups, each named by a dog sled breed. Using map skills, we learned about the geography of Alaska along with its history and main resources. Currently, we are enjoying learning about dog sled racing-purposes, equipment and dogs. As mushers, we are learning dog sled commands and no, mush is not the command to go,  it is HIKE!

alaska 3 alaksa 2 alaska 1

Grade 3

Who Was Martin Luther King?

Martin Luther King-Childhood: Who were his family members? Where did they live? How did he do in school and sports? What did he like to do?

Using several books and materials, third graders tried to get an understanding of what  Martin was like as a kid. In addition, they learned about the “Jim Crow” laws and how they affected the lives of African Americans.

Martins-big-words_zps524f007b king1 king many

Grades 4 and 5

Martin Luther King-Faith Ringgold, author and artist

The library has some 30 books about Martin Luther King, which have been on display as well as educational posters. Students are encouraged to view and discuss these materials. I read a moving, serious book, My Dream of Martin Luther King written by the esteemed African America writer and artist, Faith Ringgold. (At a library convention, I was fortunate to meet and talk with Faith, who signed some books for our school.) Faith Ringgold tells and paints the story of a dream about Martin Luther King that notes his childhood, adult life and his assassination: “This time we had come to mourn Martin Luther King’s death by trading in bags containing our prejudice, hate, ignorance, violence, and fear for the slain hero’s dream. We emptied the bags onto a great pile, and as the last bag was dumped, the pile exploded into a fire so bright that it lit up the whole world. There, emblazoned across the sky, were the words: EVERY GOOD THING STARTS WITH A DREAM.” Students reenacted this powerful scene by carrying mock paper bags into a pile and discussing the above quote. For more info about Faith Ringgold and her books: http://www.faithringgold.com/

kingF FaithRinggoldfaith hands


News From the Gym….

Here’s what has been happening with the Pre-K in the Gym….


  • continued to learn to share and respect the equipment and each other while playing together during “free play”
  • enjoyed listening and dancing to music while shaking pom poms enjoyed keeping time using colored lummi sticks and student made drums to bang on (They used whatever balls were out and placed them in donuts to keep they from rolling.)  Very creative!
  • learned the game called “4 corners” (A Mrs. Sugerman made up activity.)
  • kicked balls as if they were playing soccer during an activity called donut bowling and also soccer bowling  (Another Mrs. Sugerman made up activity.)
  • started to learn about dribbling a basketball with actual basketballs
  • Be sure to ask them about their time in the Gym!


Here’s what has been happening with the Kindergarten and First Grade  in the Gym….

For November and December our main focus was on soccer and basketball.


Students continued to participate in skill building activities for soccer such as:

  • dribble and kick
  • kick and chase
  • lifting the ball when trying to score
  • kicking at rubber penguins and pins
  • 5 on 5 shooting on goalies (Each student had a chance to be the goalie and kicker.)
  • Played a modified game of soccer (One team wore yellow pinnies.  It was quite exciting!)


Students participated in skill building activities for basketball such as:

  • dribbling…with eyes closed and while moving forward and backward
  • shooting…with their choice of soft foam balls or real basketballs
  • passing…practiced bounce passes
  • Students had plenty of time to work on their skills and get one on one help if needed.

We will continue skills building in basketball when we return in January.

Besides soccer and basketball we also played fruit basket and 4 corners for Hannukah.


Here’s what has been happening with  Grades 2-5 in the Gym….

For November and December our main focus was on soccer and basketball.


Students continued to participate in skill building activities for soccer such as:

  • when to pass and when to shoot
  • when to stop a ball and when to kick it immediately
  • how to make effective passes
  • what to do when you accept a pass but you are turned the wrong way
  • what to do in certain game situations…these occur during our modified games when I will stop the game for important teaching moments


Students participated in skill building activities for basketball such as:

  • dribbling relays…weaving between cones while dribbling and down court dribble and shoot
  • shooting relays…21, 5-3-1, around the world Mrs. Sugerman style, dice basketball and more ( made up activities.)
  • passing with partners and Mrs. Sugerman…bounce pass, chest pass, baseball pass
  • running backwards to play defense

Several students in 4th and 5th chose to play in a modified game right before vacation.




What”s been happening in the Gym?

Here’s what Pre K has been up to in the Gym…

Firstly they have learned how to come into the gym, sit down and wait for instructions. This is a very important part of coming to the gym and being ready to listen.  We have also talked about how to be respectful of the equipment and each other in the gym.  Be sure to ask you child about their experience in Gym.

So far this year Pre K has:

  • played “sharks and minnows” (a controlled game of tag)
  • run laps in the gym
  • played “switch” ( A made of game of mine and a crowd favorite.)
  • played on the equipment on our playground and learned how to be safe outside
  • played “soccer bowling” (Another made up game of mine.)
  • danced to music and used pom poms to keep the beat
  • learned what a relay race is and participated in simple relay races
  • learned how to sort different types of balls we use


Here’s what Kindergarten and First Grade have been up to in the Gym…

Firstly we reviewed how to come into the gym, sit down and wait for instructions. Every class starts with a warm up activity….usually running laps.  Then we work on skills followed by a game or free play.  Oftentimes students will continue to practice what was taught or reviewed during a class.

So far this year Kindergarten and First Grade have:

  • played “switch” ( A made of game of mine and a crowd favorite.)
  • participated in simple relay races
  • played a game called “spud”
  • learned some of the particulars of kickball (For instances, what to do after you kick the ball or what to do after you catch the ball.)  We simulated game situations and in the spring we hope to play a real game of kickball.
  • played “fruit basket” (Using the fall Jewish holidays students exchange spaces in the gym and try not to be the one left without a space.)
  • played “crab soccer”
  • been recently learning the skills necessary to play soccer (like stopping the ball, kicking, dribbling a ball, kick and chase and more)

Be sure to ask you child about their experience in Gym.


Here’s what Second Grade through Fifth Grade have been up to in the Gym…

Firstly we reviewed how to come into the gym, sit down and wait for instructions. Every class starts with a warm up activity….usually running laps.  Then we work on skills usually followed by a game and occasionally some free play. During free time many students will continue to practice what was taught or reviewed during a class.  We usually spend about 6 weeks learning about a sport.

So far this year Second through Fifth Grade have:

  • played several types of games that have to do with bases (kickball, handball, wiffle ball, tennis baseball, and foam ball)  All these games have the same basic rules. Students are also learning about tagging up, force outs and running the bases.
  • played “crab soccer”
  • recently been learning the skills necessary to play soccer (like stopping the ball, different styles of kicking, kicking with and without a goalie, dribbling a ball, passing to a teammate, being a goalie and more)

Be sure to ask you child about their experience in Gym.




Summer Reading Program 2014

Welcome Back Everyone!

Students have been happily sharing their summer “reads“ during library classes and writing brief book reviews to post on Amazon. Although the summer reading assignments were optional, I was delighted that some student did the assignments. We had a great time listening to their presentations. A 3rd grader created a very entertaining newspaper about a non-fictional book. There were summaries, sales talks, art work and videos! Thank you for all your efforts and keep reading!

The summer reading program material is posted on the website: community page and the library blog www.jcdsri.com. The blog contains more booklists and other resources. In addition, check out booklists, summer activities, kid-friendly summer recipes and more on our Pinterest site http://www.pinterest.com/jcdsri/.

Visit the PJ Library website https://www.pjlibrary.org/ for great Jewish books for kids and sign up for preschool Hebrew books at http://www.pjlibrary.org/about-pj-library/sifriyat-pijama-bamerica.aspx

Dear JCDS Families,

Welcome to our summer celebration of books, the JCDSRI Summer Reading Program! The intent of our summer reading program is to promote reading skills. Research studies have demonstrated that students who participate in a summer reading program are more likely to read at their grade level or above than nonparticipating students and those reading above grade level are more likely to retain those skills into the next school year. (Evaluation and Training Institute). While an increase in reading promotes reading abilities and other skills, we want our students to experience the joys that reading brings through marvelous characters and adventures. Books introduce us to friends we will have for life. Reading is FUN!
We are asking students to read at least five books from our booklists. Hopefully, they will read many books.

Each student in incoming grades 1-5 receives a summer reading program folder containing:

(1.) A suggested booklist of various levels and interests.

(2.) An individualized guided reading booklist with books at your child’s current reading level is included in folder for incoming grades 2-4

(3) Book assignments-optional

The lists are sent to the following public libraries: Rochambeau, Cranston,  East Providence, Johnston, Lincoln, Pawtucket  and the following bookstores: Books on the Square and Barnes and Noble in Warwick.

The summer reading program is coordinated by Karolyn White, librarian. kwhite@jcdsri.com

 We wish you a happy, healthy summer and wonderful reading adventures!