Ms. Poirier's Class

Norman E. Day School


Day  School has purchased DreamBox Learning’s Math Program, an online, Intelligent Adaptive Learning(tm) program that helps all students achieve better, faster math proficiency. Your student can access DreamBox Learning from any computer, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week using this link:  The DreamBox link is also available from our Math Game Sites on the right.
To access DreamBox on iPad, search for “DreamBox Math” in the App Store. Download DreamBox Math Green and DreamBox Math Blue to ensure your student has access to the full catalog of DreamBox Learning
Math lessons. When prompted in the app, use this School Code: 3aaq/y9rt

DreamBox is a great addition to the “at home” technology repertoire.  I can monitor student progress and adjust assignments as needed for each individual child.  It is truly adaptive and a great way to augment what is happening in the class.



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Exploding Volcanoes, Bamboo, The Constitution, and so much more!


We have SO much going on!  My apologies for bombarding you with updates but there are so many things happening!

Bamboo – If you Eat In or Tale Out at Bamboo in Westford today/tonight and mention the Day School fundraiser, they will donate 20% of your bill to the Playground fund!  Some of the teachers had sushi for lunch and my kids and I are headed to pick up dinner… No cooking for me today!  Please, visit Bamboo! 😉

Fundraisers…I cannot believe the sheer number of fundraisers that seem to be happening at Day School.  They are all for great reasons, but I understand that it can be expensive and a whole lot of noise.  Please contribute or participate when and if you can.  None of us can do everything!

TomorrowMath Test on Unit 2 for the kids! Today, kids got to choose activities to help them review for topics of their choice.  They did a great job and reported that the session was very helpful.  They are all prepared and I am certain will be hugely successful.

Also, they will be completing the Northeast end-of-unit check in…not assessment.  I am calling it a check-in because assessment sounds too formal and daunting.  Your kids have done an awesome job discussing the Northeast region, including it’s history, culture, geography, and economy.  We have had some amazing conversations on the freedoms of the Constitution, the building of a government, and the benefits and pitfalls of factory work in the mid 1800s.  They have done some great thinking and I am very proud of what they are taking away from this unit.  The check-in is a mere formality that will not determine their grade for the term.  They aren’t expected to memorize anything as this would not demonstrate learning…only their strength on memorizing.  The students will be using their books to look up and answer questions.  Being able to find the answer and double check the small stuff is a far better skill and will support their learning of the big concepts.  As for the open response questions, we will be writing this together as I want to model how to write a solid essay as we go.

Tuesday 10/31 – We have Living Lab in the morning!  The kids will be exploding volcanoes and completing puzzles of the earth’s plates.  While the volcanoes will not stain (just vinegar and baking soda), the kids will inevitably have crusty bits on clothes. Something to think about when choosing outfits Tuesday morning…

Halloween Party – Carla T., Isabella’s mom is coming in to help me do a craft with the kids.  She saved me!  Please remember to send your child in with a treat for the party!  They may bring whatever snack you and they agree on; they just can’t share.

For those new to the district, I am sorry but costumes are not allowed in school.  I may still wear my witch hat…


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October – Quick Update


Math Help – For those of you that would like help on tonight’s quadrilateral homework (Home Link 2.11), click Quadrilaterals or see the Math Corner!

Halloween Party Snack – Halloween is coming up fast! This year, due to a few allergies in the classroom and the Westford Food Guidelines, we will not be serving food at our Halloween celebration. Instead, we are requesting that each child bring in a special treat of their choosing…or yours!  This treat should absolutely be nut-free and a single serving size. Sorry, no sharing will be allowed.

Square 1 Art Fundraiser – Student’s are bringing home information for the Square 1 fundraiser to benefit the art department and the installation of the artist in residence program here at Day! In January, the Day School will be hosting Liz Van Saun with Kast Hill Studio as our first ever Artist-in-Residence.  With Liz’s help the Day School will  create a community mosaic project with the help of the entire student body, faculty, and staff!  Her gallery will be interactive and every student will have a role in all parts of the project.  More information will come home as the time nears, but the newest fundraiser is crucial to the success of this very engaging initiative!


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October Update


It’s mid October and we are clicking away on all cylinders!  Here are a few of the things keeping us busy in 115!

Language Arts – We continue with reading and writing non fiction.  The students have finished Who Is J.K. Rowling? and Who Was Louis Armstrong? in our listening center.  Next up: Who Was Roald Dahl?  In guided groups, we have been reading about volcanoes, earthquakes, and plate tectonics; this corresponds nicely with our science unit!  In writing, the students have been extensively researching a historical figure of their choice.  Once research is complete, each student will be writing a “documentary script” and developing their very own “movie” about their historical person.

Math – We are mid way through Unit 2 and have been able to get a few days of guided math up and running!  We have covered all things multiplication: factors, multiples, prime, composite.  We tackled area and perimeter and are now working on multiplicative comparisons.  Just a reminder that if your student encounters more than a little difficulty with the homework, I want to hear about it. Please email me. A few students still need to bring back the unit 1 assessment with your signature.  If you haven’t seen it yet, please ask your child.

Science – We have wrapped up the slow earth changes portion of our unit and are jumping into volcanoes…figuratively 😉  This is always a naturally engaging topic so I am thrilled to reach this portion of the unit.

Social Studies – We are in the middle of the Northeast Unit.  We have traveled to places like Mount Washington to talk geography, The Erie Canal to talk economy, and Plymouth to talk history.  The kids struggled to keep their minds on social studies as we discussed the concept of mass production during our visit to Hershey, PA and the Hershey Chocolate factory.  We were all glad to go to lunch after watching Hershey Kisses being made!

Halloween Party – Our Halloween party will be on Oct. 31 at 1:40-2:20.  Due in part to the allergies in the classroom, food will not be provided at our class parties.  Students are invited to bring in a special snack, of their choice (or yours) to be enjoyed during the party.  As for crafts and activities: I am a terrible planner and haven’t contacted any volunteers!  If anyone would like to come in and run a craft with the crowd, please let me know.  Also, I do have ideas and would be willing to put any volunteers to work!

One School, One Book – If your student hasn’t told you about this new and exciting initiative, please see my last post (below.)  If we can get this program off the ground, it would be an awesome community builder.

Recess – We will continue to go out for recess as the weather gets colder.  Please encourage your son or daughter to layer up or wear a warm jacket!

And if you happen to be at the store and would like to donate paper goods to our class, we are always in need of tissues and paper towels.  Also, it is come to my attention that the stomach bug has crept into the Day School…we are always looking for non-chlorine based wipes (or other safe cleaners that can disinfect.)  We are trying to make sure we clean common surfaces every day.  Thanks for your help!

Thank you for reading until the end!



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Party Cash ;)


Classroom Party Fund – If you haven’t contributed to our party/craft fund and would still like to, please do!  If you have, THANK YOU! Right now, about 2/3 of the class has given $10 each.  This money is a huge help in funding some of the fun activities we will do at each of our parties.  This is unrelated to the PTO Halloween Party/Tickets (Though it’s awesome and worth attending ;). I know we seem to be asking for a lot of money lately; thank you for helping when you can.

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One Book, One School!


If you didn’t see the flier come home, you need to hear about this awesome initiative being launched by our literacy department!  The teachers have voted and very soon every child at the Day School will be united in reading the same book!  The book is top secret until the big Cobra Council reveal.  Even the staff doesn’t know which book won the vote.  When the book is announced, every Day School person will be reading and participating in activities and events surrounding the book.  It is a fantastic way to build up our community, increase our minutes of reading, and just plain foster a love of reading.  It is a huge book club and we are all members!  Making sure every student has a book is crucial, so we are asking for your help.  If you are able and willing to donate $10 to the One Book, One School event, it would be much appreciated.  We cannot run this program unless we can make sure every child gets a brand new book!  To donate, please send $10 (though I am sure they’d accept any donation) into school with your child, marked with their name and the title “One Book, One School.”  Stay tuned for the reveal!

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Looking for Glacial Movement?


Click on the Science section to see the videos of glaciers moving and causing a whole lot of weathering, erosion, and deposition!

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Sept. 25 Update


Spelling – As you may have seen, we have begun our spelling study in class.  Each week, your son or daughter will be completing classroom activities to work with the week’s spelling pattern.  At home, your child will be expected to study their weekly words.  The words will be written in their binder and the spelling quiz will be held each Friday.  If your child would like guidance in studying, they may choose to do some of the following activities:

  • Make Flashcards
  • Have someone quiz them at home
  • Write a creative story by including their spelling words
  • Make a collage
  • Type their words and have each word be in a different font
  • Write their words 3 times each in blue (marker, colored pencil etc…)
  • Write a sentence for each spelling word
  • Write them in ABC order

Your child’s weekly list will consist of words that follow the week’s spelling pattern, 4th or 5th grade high frequency words, and any words that were incorrect on a previous test.

Picture Day(s) – This Thursday, 9/28 is picture day! This is the day for individual and class pictures. To order, send in the order form sent home 2 weeks ago or go to the picture site and enter Picture Day ID: OB017110Q0.  On October 6 we will be having the all school picture.  Order forms were sent home today.

Homework – By now, your child is coming home with the full gamut of homework!  A nightly math worksheet, a nightly math log (online or on paper), a weekly reading log, and studying for the Friday spelling quiz.  Please help your son or daughter get into this routine by helping them “remember” each of these parts.

Party $ – This year, we will have 3 classroom parties: Halloween, Holiday, and Valentine’s Day.  In order to defray the cost of the craft and activity materials for these parties, I am asking for a donation of $10 from each family.  These donations would be very helpful!  Thank you!

Math – This week we will be wrapping up the first math unit of 4th grade.  The unit assessment will be on Thursday.  Here is a quick snapshot of the concepts already covered or scheduled to be covered in the next few days: place value, rounding, expanded notation, estimating, addition and subtraction review, geometry (lines, lines segments, rays, angles, triangles, quadrilaterals, and perimeter of rectangles.)

Language Arts – I am excited to say that reading is now completely up and running!  We are in the midst of our nonfiction unit and will be meeting in small groups to determine main idea and text structure in nonfiction.  In writing, we are also exploring nonfiction!  We will be reading biographies and writing reports from our research.

Social Studies – Our map skills unit is behind us and we will be moving on to studying the Northeast!

Science – The Earth’s Changing Surface unit moves from weathering and erosion to earthquakes and volcanoes!

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Domino Challenge


This morning, in our meeting, we watched a shortened version of the following video.  We were all so impressed with the amount of effort that went into this feat!  The imagination, problem solving, and sheer time involved is just so admirable.  The kids wanted me to post this so they could share it with you!

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Online Math Logs on ipad/iphone/itouch


Though it requires a few steps, Math Facts Pro (our online math logs) can be completed on an ipad, iphone, or itouch.  For kids that have their own devices or for those that want to be able to hand off their phone to their child at his sister’s soccer practice so he may get homework done, this may be a good option!

Go to the app store and download “Puffin Academy.”  This app has a purple background with a picture of a puffin:


Once Puffin is downloaded, go into the app.  (There is no Math Facts Pro app available, but Puffin houses a version that does the job.)  Once in Puffin, click the “Puffin Academy Portal,” a square on the top left of that little desktop:


Search for Math Facts Pro.  If you scroll down a bit you will see the blue circle symbol for Math Facts Pro.  Click it, then click “install.”

Once installed, the Math Facts Pro will be accessible only through this Puffin app.  From here, students can use their regular login information.

It is an extra step but allows the students to use the touchpad to answer rather than the mouse, which they definitely like better.  If you have questions, let me know.  I can try to answer them!

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