May 25, 2018

Dear Families,

Students are leading the way at Muddy Brook

Unicycle Team
Our Muddy Brook Unicycle Team will ride in the Stockbrdige Memorial Day parade in honor of those who have sacrificed their lives for our country on Monday. All participants meet at 11:30 am at the Stockbridge Town Offices. Parents and family members are welcome to walk with our unicyclists.

Composting at Muddy Brook 
Thanks to fourth graders in Ms. Cosel's class all of Muddy Brook composts vegetable and fruit waste now. We purchased an Earth Cube which can handle up to 50 pounds of waste each day. It sits near the high school greenhouse.

Our Muddy Brook compost protocol is:
1) Each grade level selects compost managers daily or weekly (up to 4) to stand up at the end of lunch and supervise compost being dumped into the buckets on the table in the cafeteria. This job also includes managing the classroom buckets which can be dumped into the cafeteria buckets or into the Earth Cube directly.
2) The whole school lunch compost is dumped into the Earth Cube at the end of 4th grade lunch by 4th grade compost managers with para supervision daily and covered with wood chips. 
3) 4th grade team and/or school composting leaders will supervise weekly temperature checks, mixing compost, and checking for compost readiness.

Third Graders are Starting A Book Club
This is a message from Ava Tournas-Hardt and Patrick Quirk, Founders of the Muddy Brook Book Club:

Dear Parents,

We think you would like to know that third grade has started a book club. Students are invited to come to the library at 8:00 in the morning before school. The club is for third graders. We hope your child will enjoy it! We will start with Magnus Chase by Rick Riordan.

Finally please note upcoming field trips and concerts. We look forward to seeing you!

Mary Berle, Principal

Monday, 5/28
No School - Memorial Day 

Tuesday, 5/29
8-8:30am - Spanish Club 
9:45-10:40am - Rehearsal for PK, EK & K 
1:20-2:15pm - Rehearsal for grades 1&2 
6:30-7:30pm - Parent/Student meetings for students entering 5th Grade at MVM

Wednesday, 5/30 
8-8:30am - Chess Club
9-9:45am - Rehearsal for grades 1 and 2
9:45-10:40am - Rehearsal for grades PK, EK and K 
5-7pm - Project Connection Open House 

Thursday 5/31
4th Grade Field Trip to the CT Science Center
9:45-10:40am - Dress Rehearsal for grades 1 and 2 
10:45-11:40am - Dress Rehearsal for grades PK, EK and K 
12:30-1:30pm - Spring Concert with PK, EK and K 
2-3pm - Spring Concert with grades 1 and 2 

Friday, 6/1
8-8:30am - Unicycle 
9-11am - 1st Grade Field Trip to High Lawn Farm 
10-2:15pm - Grade 4 Step Up Day at MVM

June 6                         2nd Grade Field Trip to Jacob's Pillow
June 7                         Spring Concert for 3rd & 4th Grades 1:15pm
June 11                       All School MBE Chess Tournament Participants Recognition 9:15am
June 12                       Story of Mumbet with 3rd Grade (Warner/Guerrero)
June 12                       2nd Grade Bartholomew's Cobble Field Trip (Finnerty/Walto)
June 13                       2nd Grade Bartholomew's Cobble Field Trip (Annand/Lupiani)
June 13                       Story of Mumbet with 3rd Grade (Flynn/Silk)
June 14                       Safety Day
June 18                       Field Day
June 19                       Field Day
June 20                       4th Grade Moving Up Ceremony; 5:30pm
June 22                       Last Day of School; Half Day, Noon Dismissal

Hello Muddy Brook Families:

Here is some important information for the end of the year. Our final orchestra concert will be on Thursday June 7th at 1:00 in the afternoon. The orchestra will perform first followed by the Band, the Chorus and a wonderful Musical program that the 3rd and 4th graders have been working on both in school and out.  You don’t want to miss it.
After June 7th, there will be no more string lessons. Students may keep their instruments over the summer.  This is important for students to continue to practice so that they don’t forget their skills already learned.  It will make starting in the fall easier with less review.. Also, if you are renting an instrument from Gerry’s Music all the money you have put through rental goes towards purchasing an instrument.  If the instrument is returned, the contract is broken and you have to start Up again, losing and equity you have paid. Student may size up to a larger instrument at no charge for summer use. I will be more than glad to recommend a new size.
The summer might be a perfect time to think about lessons for your child Without the stress of other school work, those lazy days of summer might be just the thing to really dig in deeper with string skills.  Let me know if you are interested and I can suggest a number of private teachers in the area.
Finally, I am so very proud of the progress your children have made on their string instrument. From tuning their own instrument, to playing solo, to even playing melody and harmony, I have seen such growth in all of our string students.  This growth and independence will translate to other aspects of their school years. Thank you for your help and support. If you have any questions or concerns, please email me at
Juraye Moran
It’s that time again!   Wow the year flew by!   Please see pertinent information below regarding each specific concert per grade level.   We look forward to seeing you soon!
GRADES Pre-K, EK, K:  THURSDAY, MAY 31st at 12:30pm
The dress is black bottoms and white tops.  Our concert theme is songs with NAMES in them!
GRADES 1 and 2:   THURSDAY, MAY 31 at 2:00pm
Grade 1 Dress is Black bottoms and white tops
Grade 2 WALTO AND FINNERTY:  White tops and Black bottoms
Grade 2 Annand and Lupiani:  Anything you would play baseball in…uniforms, team clothing, gym clothes, sweats, etc.
Our concert theme is BASEBALL!!!
GRADES 3 and 4:   THURSDAY, JUNE 7th at 1:15
Orchestra, Chorus, Band and General Music are involved
Dress is Black bottoms and white tops for all ensembles, then black tops for general music (last year students wore the white on top of the black for less change issues)  If needed, students may just wear all black.

Mrs. Chirichella
Mrs. Moran
Ms. Reiner

Hello Families of Muddy Brook!

The 3rd/4th Grade Choruses have been working hard to prepare for our final concert at the end of the year on Thursday, June 7th at 1:15 PM! Each chorus is preparing three different songs of different styles. We have been learning about the history and context behind each song, and really working on important musical elements such as rhythm, dynamics, and stylistic elements such as fermatas. The young singers are becoming more comfortable singing out and singing expressively. This coming concert is going to be a good one - see you there!

Sunhwa Reiner, Choral Director

JUNE 2018


Greetings Muddy Brook Families and Friends!

During the month of May we completed our end of year Fitnessgram testing which measures cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength
and endurance, and flexibility. 

As for the younger students, May activities consisted of stations involving striking with implements/ body parts (badminton, pillow hockey,
volleyball, soccer, etc.).

For the month of June we will be focusing on cooperative activities,
relays, and small team games. 

Field Day is coming!!!!!

On Monday, June 18th we will have Field Day for grades PK-2.  3rd and 4th grades will have their Field Day on Tuesday, June 19th.  Our theme this year is Superheroes.  Feel free to wear your favorite superhero attire.

Flyers will be sent home reminding students wear sneakers, bring a water bottle with their names on it , a hat,  sunscreen (applied at home) as well as a change of clothes if needed (for the water games).

If you would like to volunteer for any part of our Field Day, please email us at or

Thank you and have a wonderful (and active) summer!

Mrs. Soule & Mrs. Pleu



We’re wrapping up the year in MBLibrary.  Students in all grades are showing so much of what they’ve learned.  Kids are talking about their books, sharing their knowledge, thinking about genres, discussing points of view, showing curiosity, and demonstrating  reading skills.
Matching books to children is much of what MBLibrary is all about.  People who love to read have found books that excite them… and books don’t just leap into one’s hands! It takes getting to know each of our students, getting to know their families, knowing the full collection we have to offer and filling it with great books, knowing our curriculum in all grades and exciting kids with what books can teach them.  
At this time of year I would ask that families work hard at finding any misplaced books that are overdue, or contact me to discuss the books that are signed out.  We share these library books with our entire student body and want them to be available for everyone.  As summer approaches it’s time to organize the collection for next year.
And for the summer…. READ, READ, READ.  Visit the outstanding libraries in our area and participate in the summer reading programs they offer.  Make sure to keep reading to and with your kids everyday.  Make it a habit they’ll never forget.  Carry books with you wherever you go! 

See you in September!

Mrs. Melville, Librarian



Dear Muddy Brook Parents:

I wanted to take this opportunity to share about the art that will be on display throughout the building during the concerts. 

The art show has multiple themes this year connecting to the musical selections when possible.  The first floor classes of Pre-k, Early k and Kindergarten created ceramic flowers that are on display through the window in the hosta garden (2nd floor hall).  The children designed their flowers, made them out of earth clay, and then glazed the ceramic.  

In the first floor hallway, students created a co-operative garden mural.  
Kindergarten artists painted replicas of their flowers.  Mrs. Hagen’s class made butterflies for the mural.  Mrs. Scarbro’s artists created colorful insects.  Mrs. Topham’s class made caterpillars crawling in the grass.  It was fun to bring science, art and music together for these projects! 

First graders’ have been working on their terrific box town for many months.  Students connected to their classroom study of community by designing and building dream houses, stores, public buildings and other businesses.  Our box town has antiques, book stores, art galleries, a movie theater and a pizza shop!  Artists sculpted figures to populate their town out of ceramic.  It was a challenge to make sturdy, standing figures and paint all the tiny details.  You may spot animal families, self-portraits, a mailman, and even a couple ninjas.  The perseverance, diligence, problem solving and artistic fun that each child brought to this work was fantastic.  These pieces were made with play in mind and can go home after the concert.

Second graders were commissioned to create an artwork loosely reflecting the baseball concert theme.  They started with a pentagon home plate and discussed the importance of home base in baseball.  Students thought deeply about their personal home base, their interests and their passions.  All of their artwork shows the artists best thought, skill, and care.  Please take some time to read their thoughtful artist statements and learn about the artists through their work.

Third graders share their illustrations and stories from the Norman Rockwell Museum for our Muddy Brook Community.  The students worked diligently to share their personal best work through a moment in time from their fables in their drawings.  The third graders’ coil pottery is also on display, and can go home with families after the concert.

Fourth graders share personal works of their choice with you in their neighborhood.  Students made art showing their best skill, thought and effort.  Their art and artist statement show their ability to solve problems and share ideas as artists.  Any 3 dimensional work can go home after the concert.

4th and 3rd grade students worked together to create the coat Mr. Hassmer wears in their choral performance.  The artists wove the fabric for the coat from many colors and textures.  For many weeks you could find students taking turns weaving the fabric in the art studio.  Once the weavings were complete students worked together to sew and quilt the coat.  It truly is a work of art that shows what this creative community of learners can do.

Artfully yours, Ms. Benton

Greetings from the Technology Lab:

We have continued to be very busy in technology, while the school year is coming rapidly to a close.  It has been an exciting year exploring new tech tools, working with the Chromebooks, and transforming classroom projects with the use of technology.  The new ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) standards have guided this years technology instruction. These standards; Empowered Learner, Digital Citizen, Knowledge Constructor, Innovative Designer, Computational Thinker, Creative Communicator, and Global Collaborator are designed to transform learning and the learning process.  The ISTE standards provide a path of empowerment for student voice and a guide for teachers to effectively integrate technology into the curriculum, for these digital age learners. We have all taken a giant step on this journey.
Second Grade: The second grade classes have started learning the process of researching a topic, beginning with searching the San Diego Zoo website, collecting information, and then writing.  They have built their Wild Selves and will explain their creations using information they have learned about different animals.  Next they will explore the Encyclopedia Britannica as they research their ancestry for their classroom project. Thus, fostering their sense of curiosity and wonder, tinkering, developing their ability to find relevant information, make connections, and seek new learning experiences. Learning the power of the internet.
Third Grade: The third grade classes have started learning to program using Scratch. They are creating animations and will be learning how to share creations with others. Coding builds qualities like perseverance and organization and helps students with math, writing, creativity, and resiliency.  They will then end the year finishing digital citizenship activities on digital safety and privacy. Being a digital citizen means knowing what is appropriate and responsible use of technology, thus preparing students for a society full of technology with its benefits and challenges. 
Fourth Grade: Fourth grade has been focused on thinking creatively, reasoning systematically with computational thinking, and working collaboratively. They are using Scratch to further their programming skills by programming their own interactive stories and will explore more areas of animation. They have also flexed their problem solving muscles with Lego Robotics.  They are learning to master basic and some more advanced programming and hardware and data logging functions.  Exciting stuff!
As I look back over the past school year I am impressed with the progres all students have made. They have embraced the challenges presented and showed me how they can meet and exceed my expectations.  I am looking forward to next year and eager to see how we can continue on this journey of technology integration and transformational learning.
Enjoy the Summer!

Roger Burr

In the month of June,  every Monday will be GIRL'S CHESS DAY.

Currently, boys outnumber girls on the Muddy Brook chess team. On Mondays this June, we will hold GIRL'S CHESS DAYS. Boys are invited to come on these days, but the focus will be to invite and support girls to learn and play chess. All girls and especially girls who are curious about learning chess, but haven't joined the club yet, are warmly invited. 

As always, girls can come who are experienced players. Beginners are also especially invited. Parents are welcome as well.

Wednesdays in June will be regular Chess Club days.
BHRSD does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, sex, gender, gender identity,
religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or homelessness.

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Muddy Brook Regional Elementary School · 318 Monument Valley Road · Great Barrington, MA 01230 · USA

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