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November 2, 2018

Dear Families,

I had the pleasure of attending some math classes this week, and what I saw was impressive. I continue to be excited seeing students learning about the WHY, and not just the HOW, behind math algorithms and processes. 

The Common Core State Standards not only have standards in mathematics for every grade, but also what we consider to be habits of mind for mathematicians. We call them the Standards of Mathematical Practice. They include:

  • Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  • Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
  • Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
  • Model with mathematics.
  • Use appropriate tools strategically.
  • Attend to precision.
  • Look for and make use of structure.
  • Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning. 

For student-friendly language, check out this resource

In classrooms this week, I saw teachers engaging with students, and students engaging with each other, using phrases like:  

  • “How do you know that?”
  • “I agree because…”
  • “I can prove it by….”
  • “What strategy did you use?” 
  • “How did you get your answer?” 

These prompts for math discourse can also be used at home as you review homework or classwork with your child. Rather than a focus on the correct answer, consider a focus on math discourse. 

Finally, you will notice that near the bottom of this week’s Rays of Sunshine there is a Math Corner that highlights the Rekenrek, a math tool that is used in many of our classrooms. We will periodically feature a math corner in our Rays of Sunshine. I hope you learn something new! 



Lauren Amrhein




Noon Dismissals Next Week

As a reminder, next Tuesday and Thursday are noon dismissal days (Ray School only) for conferences. 

Lunch on Noon Dismissal Days

On Tuesday and Thursday next week, we will not have salad bar due to the early releases. The bag lunch being offered for main lunch is bagel and sunbutter.  

PTO Box Tops

This week we mailed in $305.70 worth of Box Tops. That's 3057 box tops! Please continue to clip and turn in your Box Tops throughout the year. Our next submission will be in the spring. Thank you, Jen Hutchins and the PTO, for your help with this. 

Late Arrivals

We continue to struggle with excessive tardiness. Please note that next week we will be sending out notification letters if children have 6 or more tardies at this point in the year (tardiness on approximately 15% of the school days to date). We realize that sometimes there are unexpected changes, but the number of students coming in late is still very high. If you have specific challenges or concerns that perhaps we could assist with, do reach out. 

Otherwise, please try to arrive early. There are very few cars arriving between 7:40 and 7:50, with a marked increase between 7:50-8:05. Adult monitors are present on the playground for supervision beginning at 7:40a.m., and arriving early will prevent unnecessary stress for your family and your child.

4th Grade Museum of the Strange and Supernatural

Our fourth graders participated in the annual Museum of the Strange and Supernatural this week. Check out the projects below, and stop by our library to see more on display for the next few weeks. 

Haven Helpers

Congratulations to Grade 5 for collecting 242lbs of food that was delivered to the Upper Valley Haven yesterday. For the month of November, Grade 1 will be our Haven Helpers. The requested items are for Thanksgiving: cranberry sauce, gravy, stuffing, instant potatoes, yams, pie filling, and pie crusts.  Please remember to donate only non-perishable items and avoid glass containers. A bin is always in the front lobby for general collecting. Thanks for your support of this program. 

Math Corner 


The Rekenrek: A Tool for Thinking Mathematically

Developed in the Netherlands, the Rekenrek, which translates to arithmetic rack, has emerged as a widely used model in early elementary classrooms throughout the United States. The Rekenrek is a powerful math tool that supports the natural development of number sense in young learners.

The design of this visual, tactile model includes rows of five red beads and five white beads. The benchmarks of 5 and 10 are essential to the base ten number system. Because two fives make up one ten, students must know how numbers relate to five and ten. The physical nature of the Rekenrek provides students meaningful experiences with numbers, which help them see and build understanding about number relationships, first for numbers 1-20 and later for numbers 1-100. It also allows them to create mental images of numbers, visualizing them as collections of objects in a group. 

Working with the Rekenrek helps students hone their ability to subitize, which can be thought of as the quick recognition of quantities by how the quantities are grouped, rather than needing to count all individual elements. Consistent use of this dynamic math model over time promotes the development of rich number sense and fosters the acquisition of sophisticated number strategies based on number relationships.



District Transportation Page

Ray Cafe Webpage 

District Calendar

November Calendar



Local Interest

Upcoming Movie with a Scientist

Join Lightning Soccer Club!

LSC, a Norwich based non-profit, is now accepting K-12 enrollment for winter programming. This winter LSC is offering skill building clinics for youth aged 3 to 10 and team training sessions for youth aged 11 to 19. Clinics and training sessions are held indoor at Kimball Union Academy. For more information visit the LSC website.  www.uvlightning.org

Ford Sayre Annual Ski and Equipment Sale 

Sunday November 4, 2018 from 12:00-2:00pm at the Richmond Middle School Gym; Consignment Friday, 6-7:30 and Saturday 9:00-11:00. Check us out at www.FordSayre.org

Christmas Market with a Difference

Saturday, Nov 3, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at Church of Christ at Dartmouth College. The church is transformed into a Market including jewelry, apparel, toys, children’s clothing, textiles, baskets, bags, ornaments, home decor, cards, specialty food and more. Take a break from shopping in the Christmas Market Cafe serving delicious soups and baked goods, also available to-go. For more information on the organizations and the market visit us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ChristmasMarketWithADifference/  or our website www.ccdcucc.org/christmas-market-with-a-difference

Whales & Tales

A special event in the HHS auditorium - Thursday, November 8th from 6:30-8 p.m. Dr. Iain Kerr, CEO of the Ocean Alliance, will be sharing stories and footage from his whale research expeditions around the world. The Ocean Alliance recently helped develop a specialized drone to help monitor whale health, called a SnotBot, which has revolutionized international research and conservation efforts. Come check out a SnotBot in person and see the incredible photos taken from a bird's eye view. You'll be amazed at how much information researchers can gather in a single flight! FREE and open to all- great for all ages, so bring the whole family! Refreshments starting at 6:30; presentation begins at 7 with a brief Q&A to follow.