Archive for September, 2015

All About Me

Written by AngieB. Posted in Nursery

What do 3 year olds like to talk about the most? You probably guessed it: themselves! So, why not start October letting them do what they like to do best. This unit will help the children get to know themselves better, as well as their peers and teachers. We will be talking about our bodies, senses, emotions, feelings, hygiene, families and much more.

The students will celebrate their individuality and learn about similarities and differences. We will build those important beginning of the year skills and create a sense of family in the classroom. Among many other things, we will build a family tree that will incorporate all of the student’s families. We are excited to learn more about each other!


MAP Testing Make-Ups

Written by Paul Fulce. Posted in MS/HS Principal


If your child was absent during our Fall MAP testing week, we will call them from class during the week of October 12 to complete the tests, so that we have accurate data and can best support your student’s learning.  Please see the counselor with any questions.

PSAT Coming Soon for Grades 10 and 11

Written by Paul Fulce. Posted in MS/HS Principal



On October 14, our Grade 10 and 11 students will be taking the PSAT with millions of other students around the world.  PSAT is a great primer for the SAT (and even the ACT). In the United States alone, more than 3.4 million high school students (mostly juniors and sophomores) take this nationwide multiple-choice test every year as a way to measure their anticipated scores on the SAT and ACT.


The PSAT is the qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship.  This means that some of the highest scoring students may win scholarship money.  Click here to get all the information about both the PSAT and National Merit Scholarship.


Written by Makiko M. Posted in 3rd Grade, ES Counselor



We will be kicking off our year with our first monthly Elementary School Assembly on Friday, October 2 .  Our third graders will be leading our assembly at 9:00 AM in the BFIS Auditorium.  The theme of this month’s assembly is “COMMUNITY”. 

I per començar…

Written by Jefa Mercade. Posted in 5th Grade Català

Vam encetar  el curs  projectant un esquext del  programa televisiu “Caçadors de paraules”  que tracta  sobre  la dificultat d’aprendre el català com a segona llengua. L’objectiu d’aquesta activitat és encoratjar als nostres alumnes en l’aprenentatge i la pràctica del català. Aquesta activitat ens va permetre fer  una mica de debat per donar la seva opinio així com també expressar-se oralment.  En la primera unitat vam  llegir un text narratiu en veu alta per aconseguir una  bona entonació i fluidesa lectora. A partir de la lectura podem treballar mitjançant exercicis pràctics  la seva comprensió, ampliem vocabulari, identifiquem  les diferents parts d’un text ( introducció, nus i desenllaç ) . En aquesta unitat també  hem repassat i après conceptes ortogràgics i gramaticals com : les majúscules, el subjecte, el predicat i els seus nuclis.  A l’acabar la unitat es demana als alumnes que escriguin una narració   per tal d’adquirir consciència de les  propies capacitats i ser capaços d’autoavaluar-se tenint en compte  tots els conceptes treballats i apresos 20150929_094323(1).

Addition and subtraction strategies: flexible thinkers can make the problem easier!

Written by ValerieW. Posted in 2nd Grade


Dear Parents,

We are almost done with our first module in math, sums and differences to 100. This is actually a concept we will be visiting and revisiting all throughout the year!  Mastery in this topic is not expected till the end of the year. In this first module the children have been working hard learning some new strategies for addition and subtraction that are a natural continuation to those they learned in first grade.

Many addition or subtraction problems require no new strategies on the part of the children;  they can clearly use their knowledge of basic facts to know, for instance, that 25 – 3 = 2, taking ones away from the ones.  They can see that 30 + 30 = 60, adding tens to tens.  No sweat!

Other types of problems require more work, and to do so we have been teaching the students different strategies.  A goal for us in second grade, as indeed it is in all grades, is for our students to be flexible thinkers in math.  In order to do so, they need knowledge of more than one approach or strategy for problem solving.  If children have that flexibility in math, they will be able to easily choose the most appropriate strategy for any problem they encounter,  and they will also be able to double check their work.

With this flexibility in mind, the children have worked on the following strategies in this module, which involve making the problems easier, by using our knowledge of basic facts:

Addition: Make a 10 with quick tens, and Make a ten with number bonds

SubtractionTake out 10 with quick tens, and Take out 10 with number bonds.


Make a 10 with quick tens 

39 + 4 = _____

a. Make 39 with quick tens:

1a 1

b. Now, add 4 X’s.  (We use a different shape, here X’s, to make a visual difference between the addends.)  Make a ten with the first X you put down, by putting that X above the 9 ones (the circles).  The rest of the X’s will go to the right:


c. We add up 1, 2, 3, 4 tens, plus 3 ones.  The answer is 43.

40 + 3 = 43

39 + 4 = 43

Make a ten with number bonds

39 + 4 = _____


a. We look at the addend 4, and think how we can split it up and add part to 39 to make the next (multiple of) 10, which is 40.  40 is an easy number to add.

2a 1

b. If I add 39 + 1, I have 40. So I break up 4 in a number bond of 1 + 3.


c. I add 39 + 1, which equals 40. Now I just have to add the last part of the equation, which is 3.  40 + 3 = 43.

2c 1

In the above example of 39 + 4 using quick tens, we can see that the 4 X’s have also been split apart in the same manner as they have here in the number bond (1 + 3).


Take out 10 with quick tens

a.      Make 35 with quick tens:


b.    Often, we can take ones from ones, and tens from tens.  Here we can’t, as the 9 is bigger than the 5 ones in 35.

I need to change one of my tens to ten ones, so that I can subtract 9 from it.


c.    Now I can take away 9 easily, all at once with a line.


d.    When I count what’s left, I have 26.   35 – 9 = 26

Take out 10 with number bonds.

a.  The 9 in the ones is bigger than the 5 in 35. I take out a 10 from 35, so that I am able to subtract 9.  I make a number bond.  I know that 10 + 25 = 35, so I know what numbers to put in the number bond.  (We  have the children write this 10 in RED, and place it to the right, for closer proximity to the 9 which we’ll soon subtract from it.)


b.  Now I can subtract. 10 – 9 = 1. (In the above example of subtraction with quick tens, we also took away nine ones from the group of 10, all together with a single line.)

10 – 9 = 1

c. Now I need to add up the 1 and the 25.

25 + 1 = 26

As noted before, we don’t expect mastery of addition and subtraction within 100 until the end of the year!   There is lots of time for exploration and practice.  Soon we hope  the children will add these and other strategies to their “math tool box” which will help them become more flexible thinkers and problem solvers.

The Second Grade Team