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Friday, December 21, 2012

First Grade

December Has Been a Very Busy Month In First Grade!

We have completed a multi-disciplinary unit on animals and have begun a new one on communities. Our units always consist of lots of reading, writing, drawing, and discussion.  Science and Social Studies projects are also included.

Our math activities have centered on learning to tell time on an analog clock, count coins, and identify and extend number patterns.

The holidays are almost here! The children worked diligently to learn seasonal songs and poems. Their holiday show was a great success! All of the first graders looked wonderful! They sang with beautiful voices and recited their poems with expression.

As always, it is a pleasure and a privilege to work with our Cove first grade students!
We wish you all a very happy holiday season and a healthy new year!

~ Grade One Staff

Fourth Grade

Working together to achieve a goal.  That's what the fourth grade has been learning about during their reading block. The essential question for this section in our reading program is: What can teams accomplish?  The students have been reading stories that answer this question.  As a culminating activity to tie into the season, groups of fourth graders across the three classrooms teamed up to create beautiful winter murals.  We observed collaboration, imagination, and smiling faces.

 Happy Holidays from the Fourth Grade!
Mrs. Egan, Mrs. Gilligan, and Mrs. Zieff

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Educators of Cove School

Thankfully, the past few days have gone smoothly at our school. I wanted to take the opportunity to publicly acknowledge the educators and staff here. These amazing people have pulled together to create an environment of not only normalcy, but joy. These are human beings with big hearts and a true love of children. Rest assured in these troubled times, your children are in good hands.

I truly could not be more proud of them!
~Lisa Oliver, Cove Principal

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Dear Cove Community,

We are all heartbroken to hear of the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary. Out of respect and support we are encouraging staff members to wear the colors green and white on Monday. These are Sandy Hook's school colors. Children are welcome to participate, if as a parent you are comfortable and feel this is appropriate.

Please reference the links below for what psychologists are reporting as appropriate ways to help children understand violence.

Please copy and paste to your browser:

Lastly, please watch for a parent email via Connect Ed with additional information about our safety procedures at Cove.

With Sympathy for the Sandy Hook School Community,
Lisa Oliver
Cove Principal

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Free Books Online

The  Internet is a great source of free materials.  One often overlooked resource is the availability of free books that can be read on the computer, tablet or smart phone.  Most public libraries now offer limited downloading of books.  The following is a list of websites that offer free books for registering:

The commercial web sites and offer many free books.  In their search engine enter - free books.  Both require that you download their reader software.

These websites load their books in pdf files: over 1,000,000 books online - tends more to academic subjects includes links to Kindle and Nook downloads - millions of reader uploaded stories - one of the original eBook sites more than 40,000 books whose copyright has expired - classic books online - search by title or author - free limited to 5 downloads a month - paid subscription offers unlimited downloads - huge number of free books

Monday, December 10, 2012

Winter Celebration

Kindergarten Families
Please Join Us for a Celebration of Winter Warmth!

Date: December 20, 2012
Time: 1:15
Place: Cove School Library

The Kindergarten Children will perform a short show featuring a winter poem and songs.  

Refreshments will follow in the Kindergarten Classrooms. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Counselor’s Corner
By Ilene Conway, MSW
School Adjustment Counselor

How to Successfully Change Your Child’s Behavior: It’s Not Easy!
(Adapted from David Corcoran’s “An Overview of Applied Behavioral Analysis”)

Many parents ask themselves why their children engage in certain behaviors and the answer is a simple one. Behaviors happen because of what occurs immediately after. It is the consequence to the behavior that determines if the behavior will reoccur. A consequence is not a punishment it is a response or reaction a child receives or experiences as a result of his/her behavior

Many parents respond in a way that makes a child calm down(“giving in”) or keeps the child from experiencing a natural consequence, or allows a parent to sleep, or allows a parent to accomplish something (s)he needs to accomplish, or allows them to avoid dealing with a tantrum in that moment. Parents often chose the short-term solution which most often leads to an increase in problematic behaviors, rather than choosing the high demand behavioral intervention. It requires a great deal of time and energy to change behavior. In fact, children require a 7:1 ratio of positive reinforcers to negative reinforcers in order to change behavior.

(Next time: What are Natural and Logical Consequences to Negative Behaviors)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Early Dismissal Dec 5th

A Gentle Reminder that Children will be Dismissed at Noon Due to Parent Teacher Conferences on December 5th

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Safety Concerns in the Circle

While dropping children off in the circle, we are asking that you please remain in your car, allow children to get out on the sidewalk, and refrain from passing other cars in the circle. 

Just as the bus puts up a stop sign while children are exiting, the same rules of safety apply to cars and trucks in the circle.

We greatly appreciate your cooperation as we want to keep all of your children safe.

Thank you : ) 

Fourth Grade News

Fourth grade students have been moving forward academically! In Reading Street we have focused on figuring out the author's purpose in a piece of literature and on the genre of fables.  Students have begun writing their own fables modeled after those they read!

Our focus in math this month has been multiplication.  We have been using many different strategies to help students learn and memorize their facts, including games, flash cards, partner activities, and timed tests.  As we move forward, it is critical that all students know their multiplication facts so that long division and fractions are easier to manage.

We have wrapped up our unit on the Northeast Region of the United States in Social Studies, and have just begun our study of the Southwest region.

We continue to focus on Responsive Classroom strategies to help create a feeling of community and purpose in each of our classrooms.

Mrs. Egan, Mrs. Gilligan and Mrs. Zieff love teaching fourth grade and feel the year is successful so far!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wishing all of the Cove Community a Very Happy Thanksgiving!!

I am Sincerely Honored and Thankful to be the Principal of the Cove School!

~Lisa Oliver

Cove Kindergarten

 The Kindergarten classes have been hard at work!!! We have learned just about all of our letter-keyword-sounds through the Wilson Fundations Program. They have demonstrated a great ability to apply these skills to their reading and writing – VERY EXCITING!!!

Just as the 1st grade has, we have also finished our first unit of Reading Street. The kids really seem to enjoy the books!!

We have also started seeing our 5th grade book buddies once a month. Two of the 5th grade classes and the kindergarten classes come together to read books and complete activities related to literacy.  It has been so fun to watch them all bond and cooperate together.

Although it hasn’t been fun to lose an hour of our daytime light, it was a great experience for the kids to physically see with their eyes what the time change results in! We have also been documenting what the season changes look like – especially with the plants and the trees.

Voting, Thanksgiving and community helpers have been the main focus of our social studies this month. It’s hard to believe that we are going to be learning about all the different winter celebrations and how people and animals need to prepare themselves for the cold winter months!!! Didn’t we just start school? We can’t be almost December already!! J  Keep a lookout for information about our Kindergarten celebration of Winter Warmth which will be held Thursday, December 20th at 1.

The Kindergarten students have been experimenting with various supplies to enhance their understanding of numbers 0-19 (including the use of tens frames, dominoes, 1:1 correspondence activities, etc.). We have also experimented with pan balances and weight, higher/lower numbers, shapes, estimation. We have even started exploring addition.

            Phew! We have been busy!!!! Now, it’s time to take some rest and be thankful that we have such great kids in our classrooms.

 We hope you have a restful Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fine Arts: The First Thanksgiving

The Third Grade Pilgrims have been very busy in Art and Music class this month. Mrs. Lally (Cove art teacher) and Mrs. McDonough (Cove music teacher) created an integrated unit studying “The First Thanksgiving” through music, drama and art projects. Highlights included performance of a mini musical entitled “Pilgrims,” making original pilgrim costumes, acting out the Mayflower trip and the creation of replicas of the original Mayflower sailing boat. Below are pictures of the children performing and singing in costume as well as students posing with the “Mayflower creations.” 

Ms. DeCourcy’s , Ms. Kelley’s and Ms MacPherson’s classes performing the mini musical “Pilgrims.”

Ms. Foley’s, Ms. MacPherson’s and Mrs. Sweeney’s class posing with their Mayflower replicas.

November Preschool News

We are in the middle of our FRIENDS unit. The children are talking about friendship, how to be a good friend, and different ways to resolve conflicts with friends. Through the Story Time books, the children are hearing about the importance of being truthful, helping friends, enjoying special times together, and getting along. Our first book was “The Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza)” by Philemon Sturges; this story was linked to our theme by showing that friends often ask one another for help. In “Matthew and Tilly” by Rebecca C. Jones, we heard how friends sometimes get angry with each other, but good friends make up. In “Dandelion” by Don Freeman, the children learned that when we are among friends we can just be ourselves because friends like us just the way we are. Our last book will be “Hooray, a PiƱata!” by Elisa Kleven, ; this story shows that friends care about each other’s feelings and try to help each other solve their problems.

In the spirit of working together and solving problems, we have turned out Dramatic Play areas into Pizza Shops and Grocery Stores. The children have had lots of fun taking orders, making pizza, and working the cash register. They explored pizza dough, painted pizzas, made a classroom Friendship Book, and shopped at their classroom grocery store. At home, parents can show children their shopping lists and name the items they will be buying. Families can also help their children understand that written words have meaning by reading store signs, street signs, and discussing what they mean. It has been an exciting month for us and we look forward to more exciting times.

Cove Preschool Teachers and Paraprofessionals

Monday, November 19, 2012

First Grade News

First grade students are almost finished with their first Reading Street unit, and they are looking forward to beginning a new unit on communities after Thanksgiving.  During literacy time, the children have been busy learning to read sentences with fluency, and to write sentences correctly. They have also been working hard to improve their ability to read and spell sight words,  short vowel words, and words containing digraphs such as th, ch and sh.  

Many math activities in first grade have focused on identifying and counting collections of coins, telling time to the hour, and practicing skip counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s.

Although we have been busy learning about the history of Thanksgiving and discussing the many things that we are thankful for, first grade teachers want to remind parents that the December  holidays will be here soon! Please look for more information regarding a special holiday performance in the coming weeks!  

Happy Thanksgiving!  -The First Grade Team

Cove Veggie Bar is Open!

Veggie Bar Options

Students may enjoy veggies as a side (included with the purchase of a school lunch

Vegetables can be purchased as a school lunch, served with lettuce, protein, grain and dairy

A third option is to purchase veggies as a side via a la carte for $0.75

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fifth Grade Student Council

The Cove School Student Council is off to a fantastic start! Our Council is comprised of almost 50 students from all three classes. The students have been busy volunteering at school-wide events and getting ready for our first Community Meeting, which will be held on Friday November 16. The theme of our meeting is promoting a “culture of excellence” at Cove. The students have been working on creating posters and a presentation that will define this concept for their fellow students. 

 Each month we will continue to recognize our Star Students. Star Students are chosen by their classroom teachers because of their demonstration of traits which exemplify a “culture of excellence”.

 The Student Council is also sponsoring a Thanksgiving food drive to benefit Beverly Bootstraps. You may drop your donations off in the lobby until Monday November, 19. Thank you for all of your help and support!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Please Help in the Circle

I am respectfully asking that all parents follow the traffic procedures in the circle. This is to ensure safety of all children. : ) 

This includes not passing other cars, getting out of your car, or letting children out on the opposite side of the sidewalk. Please refrain from beeping your horn at fellow parents.

We are working hard to keep children safe and move the line as quickly and safely as we can.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation - Lisa Oliver

Beverly Bootstraps

Beverly Bootstraps HOLIDAY FOOD DRIVE November 13-19th. 

Bootstraps is looking for donations of holiday food items such as stuffing mix, sweet potatoes/yams cranberry sauce, apple juice, gravy, chicken broth, olives, canned nuts, and cake/bread mix. 
 Please bring items to Cove School. 
 Contact Mrs. Scherer or Ms. MacLean for more information.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Third Grade News

With the speedy approach of Thanksgiving, third graders are looking forward to learning about the Pilgrims’ challenging journey to America, their vital friendship with Squanto, and the hardships and events that led to the first Thanksgiving. We’ll be using our reading comprehension skills, such as sequencing and comparing and contrasting as we read “Squanto: Friend of the Pilgrims.” Mrs. Lally and Mrs. McDonough have also coordinated their third grade art and music projects around this historic time in American history. 
Stay tuned for pictures!
In science, we will continue studying the three states of matter. We will learn how states of matter change as we do simple investigations to observe evaporation, condensation, freezing and melting. In math, we will continue reviewing fact families, learning strategies for solving word problems, and exploring new addition and subtraction algorithms.

Third Grade Teachers: Jenn DeCourcy, Erin Foley, Madonna Kelley, Erin Sweeney

Can You Help?

Once again, the fifth grade is collecting new and slightly used items for the Inn Between shelter in Peabody. We have been doing this for several years, and the people at the shelter have really come to rely on the generosity of the Cove School community. All donations can be sent to the school between now and Friday, December 7th.  A notice will be going home outlining the specific needs of the families who are currently in the shelter, however all donations are welcome. 

 Gift cards to local stores such as Target, Walmart, and CVS are especially helpful. 

Thanks in advance for your generosity and support!

Step It Up!

For the past 4 weeks the fifth grade has participated in a city-wide program through our local Y called, “Step It Up”. Every 5th grader in the city was given a pedometer and sheets to track how many steps they took every day. They had to record HOW they got those steps (recess, soccer, hiking, walking around the house) and total up their numbers each week. The school with the most steps wins the coveted “Step It Up Cup”. After spending a year at Centerville, the cup is coming back to Cove! Congratulations to Cove School’s class of 2013 for accumulating 7,961,752 steps over 4 weeks! A special congratulations goes to Mrs. Dunleavy’s class for being the top step earners in the whole city!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Crazy Hair Day!!!

Friday November 9th
$1 Donation (send via backpack)

Cove Crazy Days will be held once a month during the school year.  Funds collected will be deposited into the PTO's general fund to support events and programs.  If funds are no needed for any given month, they will be donated to a good cause, to be determined by the PTO Executive Board or by vote at PTO meetings.

Thank you for your contribution to Cove PTO!!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

PTO News

Election Day Bake Sale - November 6th

We're thinking BIG this year! In addition to baked goods we're looking for donations of cooked foods to go: chilies, meatballs, and lasagna, yogurt and fruit parfaits, quiches, sandwiches, etc.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner food ~ anything goes!

Drop off baked goods Monday 11/5 or Tuesday 11/6: drop off cooked foods Tuesday 11/6

100% of the proceeds go directly to the children of Cove School.  We also need volunteers to work the sale.  Team up with friends for sales shifts or to cover child care.

Contact Carol Nearis at  Thank you!!!

Fall Fundraiser!

We are looking for volunteers to help us on Wednesday, November 14th from 9:30am-2pm. 
We are expecting to take delivery of the Fall Fundraiser items that day. Any hours you can give us would be GREATLY appreciated! We are thrilled to report that Cove did over $20,000.00 in sales which leaves us with over $10,000.00 in profit! Thank you for all of your HARD work! 
Please email Nancy Stanley at to volunteer your time.  

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Learning in First Grade

First graders have begun a unit on Animals Tame and Wild. We will be studying how people and animals are important to one another by reading, singing and writing. Students are expanding their oral vocabulary and learning words such as: responsibility, shelter and needs.

We are also working very hard learning to read, write and spell short vowel words. During Fundations time, students are using dry erase boards and magnetic tiles to practice their skills. Students are learning to write basic sentences.

We are trying to instill a love of reading so please be sure to read every night with your child. Stop by the Beverly Public Library or look for the new Bookmobile if you need books to enjoy together. 

 Happy Reading!   
~The First Grade Team

Friday, October 26, 2012

Grade Three News!!

September and October was filled with fun and learning!  Students met new children and teachers.  We focused on routines and expectations, modeled behavior, and social interactions.  Students learned new games to play at recess and learned many ways to greet each other and feel great about themselves. They also learned ways to be kind, helpful, citizens.

After discussions, readings and exemplars, students wrote their Hopes and Dreams for the year and are focusing on how to achieve their goals.  They also have been having fun reading and writing spooky, fall stories & poems.  In Mathematics, students jumped into place value, telling time, counting money, and reviewing patterns and routines. In Science, students are discovering great things about Matter, both with their new Science Specialist, Mrs. Spreen and in class.  Students are also getting the “Big Picture” by figuring out where they are in the world in Social Studies.

We are all looking forward to what is ahead!  We will be ending the month with “Pumpkin Day” where students will use math skills to measure, estimate,  and weigh their pumpkins. They will also learn facts about pumpkins through reading and writing and get the chance to use their imagination to create uniquely decorated pumpkins.

  - Grade Three Teachers: Jennifer DeCourcy, Erin Foley, Madonna Kelley, Erin Sweeney

Reciprocal Teaching in Fourth Grade

Fourth grade students and teachers are working with reading specialists from the Bay State Reading Initiative to implement reciprocal teaching strategies in the classrooms.   During small group reading sessions, students will be taking turns assuming the role of the teacher and leading dialogues about what they have read.  They will use strategies that encourage them to think about their own thought process during reading, help them learn to monitor their own comprehension as they read, and teach them to ask questions during reading to make the text more comprehensible.  Reciprocal teaching is a wonderful way for students to take ownership over their learning!  

News from the Health Office

Greetings to all from the health office. We are off to a great start this year, and I have enjoyed the plentiful opportunities for meeting both students, parents and guardians. I encourage you to stop by and introduce yourself if you are visiting the Cove School, as it is lovely making the connection with families.

September and October have been months of getting up to speed with state requirements and updating immunizations, physical exams and health records. Please let us know if your child has any new allergies, medications or other medical issues during the school year so that we may provide the best care to your children.

Mandated Vision and Hearing Screening:
All students in kindergarten through third grade have now been screened for vision and hearing. If your child had difficulty with any of the vision screenings (near vision, far, and stereopsis, or “binocular depth perception”), referrals are currently being mailed to the student’s home. Rescreening of children who had difficulty with the hearing exam will be rescreened in two weeks and referrals sent as needed at that time (often a cold or congestion will give us a failing hearing screening that clears within a couple of weeks.)

We will be screening fourth and fifth graders for vision in the next two weeks.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions at all.

Also, a big thank you for the clothes that have been donated. We are all set with plenty of shirts and pants for children who may need a change mid day.

Lastly, a gentle reminder to review the Elementary Handbook if you have questions about an illness in your child and are wondering if they should stay home. Always feel free to call!

Mimi Benedict

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hello From the Music Room!

 We are quite busy with all things musical.  Our veteran fifth graders can tell you about Bach, Mozart and Brahms even while we sing a variety of folk songs and learn European folk dances.  Casting for the fifth grade play starts soon.   This year, the play is "Bebop with Aesop" featuring  five well-known fables in a humorous setting. Included in the play is catchy blues, pop and rock songs. The performance date is Wednesday evening, March 20 at 6:30.  More details to follow. Stay tuned...

Spirituals are ringing from the music room in grade four as we lay the foundation for studying the history of jazz.  It's all about beginning note reading as the third graders prepare to receive their recorders.  These boys and girls will be playing Beethoven before long!  Apple picking and pumpkins are Autumn themes for the first and second graders and we will soon be performing  "The Black Cat Song," but not before the students have learned quarter, half and eighth notes which make up the song.  Kindergarten students are busy with singing and movement games and are experts at keeping the beat.  All students are learning a varied body of folk songs as part of our "musical cultural literacy." Dancing and movement is also a part of each class for every grade.   

Grades One and Two will perform the holiday assembly this year. Mark your calendars for Wednesday, December 19 at 9:00 in the Cove School cafeteria/hall.  Thank you all for the privilege of working with your children.  

Their excitement and love of music is simply a delight!  

Laurie McDonough, Cove School Music Teacher

Running Club Reminder

Gentle Reminder for Grades 3-5

Monday, October 22nd is the last day to register for Running Club
Checks for 25.00 can made out to Cove PTO 

The first Running Club is Wednesday, October 24th: 2:00 - 3:00

Please email Kelly Anderson with any questions: 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Second Grade is Loving Nature!

Second graders are just finishing their unit on exploring nature. One story they read to go with this theme was Henry and Mudge Camping Under the Stars. Teachers are incorporating writing into this unit as well.  Presently, students are writing their own nature stories. Luckily, we have a phenomenal children's garden here at Cove, which was the perfect place to explore nature!

Please enjoy the pictures of your children in the garden. : )