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Dear Parents,

Fall is a busy time of year, with lots of fun happenings in and outside of school. Here are a few events just around the corner. Enjoy time with family and reading!

Screen-Free Week: Monday, November 14 – Friday, November 18

All MMS students, faculty, and families are challenged to participate in our Screen-Free Week (formerly TV-Turnoff Week)!

Fill out the pledge card attached to this letter and return to your teacher on or before Monday, November 14.  Students who successfully complete the challenge will receive a certificate and be entered in a drawing for a special prize.

Why Screen-Free Week?  Too much time spent watching television, playing video games, using phone apps, and other forms of entertainment media is linked to poor school performance, childhood obesity, attention issues and other health and social problems.  Can you believe that recent studies indicate an astonishing average of 32 hours of screen time A WEEK for preschoolers – and even more for older children?

But what will we do if we aren’t watching television or playing video games?

Here are just a few suggestions of things you can do on your own, and with friends and family:

Read ~ Draw a picture ~ Bake cookies ~ Write stories or poems ~ Make holiday gifts or decorations ~ Play board games.  Monopoly, anyone? ~ Climb a tree ~ Play outside ~ Clean out your closets ~ Go for a walk ~ Look at the stars ~ Visit a museum

What about e-readers?  What if I have homework on the computer? E-readers and homework are fine.  Just stay focused – don’t get distracted and start playing “Zombies vs Plants” or watching cat videos on Youtube!

Fall Book Fair:  Monday, November 28 – Friday, December 5

(setup Friday, November 21)  What better way to kick off your holiday shopping than with the Scholastic Fall Book Fair?  The fair will be right after Thanksgiving.  You can start shopping the online fair on Wednesday, November 23.  Check out our online fair site at !

Volunteers needed!  We will also need volunteers to help with setup the afternoon of Friday, November 21, in addition to volunteers during the fair itself.  If you’d like to help, you can sign up online at .

Happy Reading!

Ms. Jennifer

You can download the Pledge and this letter HERE.

Fourth Grade Novel Study

Dear Fourth Grade parents,

This week, we will begin a novel study of Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. This story for upper-elementary students is set in 1943 Nazi-occupied Denmark during World War II. Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen is best friends with Ellen Rosen, a Jewish girl. Will Annemarie find the strength and courage to save her best friend’s life?

Here is a review for parents:

As a piece of historical fiction, it is important that the students have some context. While we will not go into detail about the Holocaust, we will broadly discuss World War II, the Axis and Allies, Nazi occupation (specifically in Scandinavian countries), and the national response of King Christian X and the people of Denmark to rescue their Jewish population. We will read non-fiction articles, poetry, and picture books about the time, and the students will complete a webquest.

Our study will focus on the theme of courage, and what it means to be brave in different circumstances. The literary element on which we will focus is character, comparing and contrasting the characters as they grow and change throughout the novel. Students will be expected to read assigned chapters as homework and complete reading responses, so that they will be prepared for in-class discussion.

I have enough copies to give each student during our unit, so no need to purchase anything.
As I said, we will not discuss details about the Holocaust. However, as thoughtful upper-elementary students developing a deeper understanding of the world and their place in it, students may have questions they wish to discuss with you.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

All the best,
Ms. Jennifer Kuntz


Ms. Jennifer Kuntz
Media Specialist and
Elementary Language Arts

Ms. Jennifer Kuntz

Ms. Susan Hansen
Middle School Language Arts

Ms. Susan Hansen