Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Feeling Thankful

Hello all!

In November, we focused on the theme of being thankful with our 3rd graders. We read "The Thankful Book" by Todd Parr and discussed what we are all thankful for in our own lives. The students made some incredibly thoughtful contributions to the discussion and many students shared the same things that they are thankful for. Some of these included: friends, family, pets, education, health, a free country, their homes, fresh food, and access to water. We discussed how many of the things we should be thankful for cannot be bought by money. Students worked on writing their lists on leaves which went onto a thankful tree on display in our main hallway. I am so proud of our students for thinking about ways in which we can be thankful during this season. Enjoy the picture below!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Hello PG family and friends!

Recently, Mr. Lyons and I presented our school-wide behavioral model (ASK) to students. With our new mascot being the owl, we were able to have Wendy from the Science Center pay us a visit to introduce students to one of their gorgeous owls. During this assembly, we also introduced the ASK model. ASK stands for the following:

A - Appropriate
S - Safe
K - Kind

The goal of the program is for students to always STOP and THINK to themselves ASK: Is it appropriate? Is it safe? Is it kind? We will showcase the model in various places this year so students can understand how it applies to our school community and beyond. We started with the hallway. ASK in the hallway looks and sounds like the following:

Appropriate hallway behavior is:
Quiet voice / voices off
Quiet wave
Calm body
Keep our hands to ourselves (not on another person’s body or work)

Safe hallway behavior is:
Walking feet
Staying in line
Looking forward
Following the adult’s directions
Walk on the right side of the hallway
Keep your hands, feet and objects to yourself

Kind hallway behavior is:
Quiet wave to a friend or teacher
Keep personal space between you and the person in front of you
Hold the door for a friend
Keep the hallways clean and tidy

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Ned Show!

Hi Pine Glen Families!

The NED Show Website Logo.png
We were lucky enough to have a school-wide assembly today put on by the NED show. The NED show is a character education program that emphasizes the message of N-Never Give up, E-Encourage Others and D-Do your best so we can be champions in school and in life. The show’s message was taught through storytelling and yo-yo tricks. The show was free to the school and is funded through a pay-it-forward program of selling yo-yos after the show. If we are able to sell the yo-yos at Pine Glen, we can pay it forward for the NED show to go to another school for free. If interested, they left me a number of yo-yos to sell: The Ned Yo ($8), Boomerang ($10) and the Cosmic Spin ($15). Please note: It is NOT required for your child to buy a yo-yo. You may buy one if interested!

For the following dates, I will have yo-yos for sale right before dismissal at the end of the day. You can send cash or a check made out to Pine Glen School to pay for the purchase. Please bring in the exact amount for the yo-yo your child may want to purchase.

Thursday 11/5
Friday 11/6
Monday 11/9
Thursday 11/12
Friday 11/13

Any questions? Contact me at Thank you!

If you would like more information, please visit:

Lauren Zanotti

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Bullying Prevention Month

Hi all!

October is bullying prevention month, and at Pine Glen, I've been doing many classroom lessons on what bullying is and what we can do as a community to stop it. Bullying looks different from one grade to the next, so I've been adapting lessons based on the grade.

In 2nd grade, we read the book "Bully B.E.A.N.S" by one of my favorite authors, Julia Cook. In the book, there is a bully named Bobbette who is always telling students what to do, what to say and where to go. She is especially mean to a boy named Winston. She forces Winston to do her homework for her, give her his lunch money and do other things for her. She threatens to "twist you into a pretzel" if you don't do what she asks. Students soon learn that Bobbette's older brother treats her the same way she treats others. They decide they need to stand up for themselves and Winston. One of the student's mothers suggest she use "bully beans" to empower herself to stand up to the bully. She says that when  they eat the magical jelly beans, they will be give her power to stand up to Bobbette. Some of the ways the book talks about standing up to her are: ignore her, walk away, say "Stop!" or "Back off!"or ask an adult for help. When the students eat their bully beans and stand up to Bobbette, she is not only shocked, but she does back off. This was a wonderful lesson to remind students what bullying IS and also what we CAN do about it. I gave them each a few Bingo counters and we pretended they were our "bully beans" that gave us courage and we practiced using the strategies we learned about in the story. They had a lot of fun!

In 4th grade, we had an in-depth discussion about the difference between teasing, a conflict, a mean moment and bullying. We discussed that there is a difference in power and there are different solutions to address each issue. We then watched a very powerful video on YouTube which showed a group of 6th grade students acting out a bullying situation. The video shows the impact of words on others, what a bystander is and how we can all help put a stop to bullying by being an "upstander" instead of a "bystander." An upstander doesn't just sit by when they notice bullying going on. They use a strategy to help the victim. They learned they can ignore the bully and ask the victim to play with them, they can speak up to the bully or they can ask an adult for help. Students did a great job contributing to this valuable discussion and seemed to really be impacted by the video. 

Lastly, I began discussing another form of bullying with 5th grade. We discussed what cyber-bullying and how it is different than other forms of bullying. We learned that it is done strictly through electronic means/devices. We also learned that it can happen 24/7 anywhere, it can happen anonymously and that it can be very hard for a cyber bully to get rid of their evidence. Some immediate solutions we learned about were to not engage with the bully, to block/report them, and that we can save evidence from the online bullying to show to an adult. We can report any form of online bullying to an adult at school, home or someone in the community (i.e. police). We also discussed ways to stay safe online. Students were very engaged and had some thoughtful contributions to the discussion.

If you would like to continue the discussion of staying safe online with your child, feel free to to look into Common Sense Media, a great resource for learning about online safety:

Until next time,
Ms. Z

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Another school year

Hi PG Families and Friends--

It's been a long time since I've posted here. It's been a wonderfully busy return to school and I am happy to say we're into the full swing of autumn. We've helped our new students settle into the routine and have welcomed back all of our familiar faces.

I have been able to visit many classrooms so far to do introductory lessons reminding students of my role and how I can be helpful. I've also been able to go into classrooms to teach and review the Life Skills curriculum in grades K-2. Mrs. Perry (School Psychologist) and I had a lot of fun reviewing Life Skill #2 which is: "When an adult gives you a direction, do it right away." We reminded 2nd graders that this should be done within 15-20 seconds, and that it's always okay to ask for help or clarity of directions. Since it was such a beautiful day, we invited the whole 2nd grade outside to work on listening skills and following the direction through a variety of tasks. Each student had a chance to follow a direction and give a direction to a peer. Examples were: "Twist 3 turns towards me" "Hop 2 x like a bunny towards Mrs. Perry"

We had a lot of fun and I hope we can have more classroom/grade-wide lessons outside as long as Mother Nature is cooperating.

Happy October!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Career day at PG

Hi PG families!

It's hard to believe but it's our last full day of school! A week ago we had our first annual Career Day here at Pine Glen. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is now encouraging educators to start talking about college and career awareness at all grade levels K-12. It is a great opportunity for students to begin thinking about possibilities for their own futures. We had a variety of volunteers attend our Career Day including: Burlington Fire Dept, Burlington Police Dept, a Preschool teacher, a representative from the Arlington Fire Dept, a Physician's Assistant, an Environmental Biologist, a Scientist, a Vet, a pet groomer, representatives from Century Bank, a pilot and our Principal, Mr. Lyons. We had a very successful event and all grades got to visit the tables and ask valuable questions. We look forward to making this an annual tradition at Pine Glen!

Enjoy the pictures below!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Summer Safety Tips

Hello PG families!

It's hard to believe summer is just around the corner! With only about 10.5 more school days in the year, many of our students are already thinking about summer vacation. Many students will attend camp, go on vacation and spend ample amounts of time outside playing with friends. I've been sharing some simple tips with students to ensure they have a fun and safe summer. Here are a few you can share to strike up a conversation with your little one about how they can be safe and still have fun:

Here are some wonderful Summer Safety tips from that you can reference when having these discussions:

Tick Bites

Ticks are responsible for a variety of illnesses including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. These diseases can be very serious. Learn ways to protect your family. Some suggestions include:
  • protective clothing (long sleeves, long pants, tucking pants into socks)
  • tick/bug repellant
  • insect repellant for pets
  • staying in the center of paths, keeping away from overgrown areas and not sitting directly on the ground
  • performing tick checks on all family members every day
  • being aware of signs/symptoms of tick-related illnesses
  • calling the doctor for any concerns and questions

Helmet Safety

  • An appropriate helmet must be worn whenever a child is “on wheels.” This means bicycles, scooters, skates, rollerblades, skateboards and more!
  • The helmet must fit properly.
  • Helmets can be life saving and can protect a child from serious injury.
  • Be sure the right type of helmet is being used. For example, a bike helmet needs to be used for biking.
  • Moms and dads should wear helmets as well.

Pedestrian Safety

  • Teach children to walk, not run, across the street.
  • Children should cross only with an adult or an older, responsible child.
  • Whenever crossing the street, try to make eye contact with any drivers nearby, to be sure they see you.
  • Teach children to avoid running out from between parked cars.
  • Use sidewalks whenever possible.
  • Always hold your child’s hand near any moving or parked vehicles.
  • Adults always need to set a good example!

Water Safety

    Adult supervision is of paramount importance. Parents need to focus on their children 100% of the time. No distractions!
  • Practice “touch supervision” (a term used by the American Academy of Pediatrics). This means that at all times, the supervising adult is within an arm’s length of the child being watched, when near or in the water.
  • Remember, no child or adult is “drown proof.”
  • Keep in mind that children can drown in many different water sources including: bathtubs, toilets, buckets, baby pools, backyard swimming pools, community pools, streams, creeks, lakes, rivers, oceans and other places.

Sun Protection

  • Avoid sun exposure during peak sun hours (10 AM – 6 PM).
  • Wear protective clothing and a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses (with 99-100% UV protection).
  • Sunscreen is a must (on sunny and cloudy days)! Look for products with UVA and UVB protection and an SPF of at least 15 (according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Association of Dermatology).
  • Sunscreen should be applied liberally 30 minutes before going out in the sun, and reapplied every two hours or sooner if swimming, sweating or toweling off.
  • Look for shade whenever possible.

Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac

  • It’s the oil from the leaves of these plants that cause the potential allergic reaction.
  • Consider wearing protective clothing to help decrease the amount of exposed skin.
  • Learn how to recognize what poison ivy, oak and sumac look like, so that they can be avoided.
  • Avoid bushy, overgrown areas and places which may contain these plants. Try to stay on paths.

Summer First Aid Kit

  • Every family should have at least one first aid kit at home which is well stocked and readily accessible.
  • It’s also helpful to keep a first aid kit in the car and one to bring on trips.
  • Kids get lots of cuts and scrapes during the warm summer months, so it’s nice to be prepared.
  • Don’t forget to restock the kit once an item has been used.
  • Be sure to keep a list of emergency numbers where they are easy to find. This list should include: emergency medical services (911), the doctor’s number, the dentist’s number, poison control, a number where mom and/or dad can be reached and any other important phone numbers.

Dehydration and Heat-Related Illnesses

  • Keeping well hydrated is very important.
  • Children (and adults) must remember to drink.
  • Do not wait until a child says he is thirsty before offering fluids. At this point, he is already dehydrated, so be sure to provide plenty of fluids before going outside, while out in the heat and afterwards.
  • Playing in the hot summer sun means lots of fluid losses, so avoid strenuous activity during peak sun hours (10 am- 6 pm). Look for shade and take lots of breaks.
  • Seek medical attention immediately for any signs of heat-related illness.


  • Never let children near the grill. Remember, it can remain very hot even after it is no longer being used.
  • Be sure to check the internal temperature of foods on the grill, to be sure everything has been cooked appropriately.
  • If picnicking outdoors, avoid leaving out foods that require refrigeration and/or foods that can quickly spoil
Stay safe and have an enjoyable summer!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

My Mouth is a Volcano!

Today, I was able to spend some time in Ms. Anderson's 2nd grade classroom. We talked about interrupting and how it makes others feel when we do it. In the story, a young boy named Louis struggles with interrupting others. When Louis interrupts, he says it is his "volcano erupting" and that his "important words HAVE to come out!" When Louis has an opportunity to present in front of his class, he is interrupted by other students who are blurting out. He feels hurt and upset by this. His mother reminds him that "they might have volcanoes in their mouths too." Louis learns some strategies to keep his words in when he feels his volcano erupting: biting down, breathing in, and waiting his turn. Ms. Anderson's class came up with other strategies as well: having a quiet hand, taking deep breaths, sharing the words with someone else, and doing something to entertain themselves while they wait. We also discussed situations where it may be okay to interrupt the adults, such as: if someone is hurt, if there is a dangerous situation, etc.

Students are asked to ask themselves the following questions to decide whether it is an appropriate time to interrupt:
1. Is someone in danger?
2. Is someone hurt?
3. Did I try to solve the problem on my own?
4. Am I minding my own business?

This book was a fantastic tool to use with the 2nd graders and they truly enjoyed sharing their own thoughts on the subject. Another great day of learning here at PG!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Girl Power!

This spring, we were lucky enough to collaborate with the Burlington Youth and Family Services program to start a chapter of the Fit Girls program here at Pine Glen. The Fit Girls program emphasizes growth in self-esteem and positivity through the activity of running. For six weeks, Coaches Jess and Channing led 15 4th and 5th graders through running and training exercises to prepare for the Kick In for Kids 5k in Woburn. The girls completed the 5K this past Sunday and ran their hearts out! The girls will also be completing a community service/beautification project here at Pine Glen to spruce up the front of our school building by planting some flowers. Through the program, the girls became aware of their own strengths: athleticism, perseverance, fitness, commitment and pride. We are so proud of them for this accomplishment and are excited that the program will return to Pine Glen in the fall. Congratulations, girls!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Career Day at Pine Glen!

                                   download (2).jpg
Career Day
Pine Glen Elementary School
1 Pine Glen Way, Burlington, MA

Monday, June 15, 2015

Presenters Needed:

Outside Presenters: Outside presenters with a vehicle: You will speak with different groups of children from grades K-5 every 10-15 minutes from 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM.

Inside Presenters: You will speak to a different group of children every 15 minutes. The children will rotate through the various rooms from 10:00 AM to 1:30 PM.

We will need all presenters to arrive by 8:45 AM to set up.

Come and join in on a great time and share your career with our students! We would love having you!

Interested? Contact Lauren Zanotti, School Counselor
Pine Glen Elementary School
781-270-1715 or
Fill out this form and return to Lauren Zanotti, School Counselor if you would like to present:

Presenters Name: _________________________________
Career Title: ________________________________
Phone Number: _____________________________
Please check one of the following:
___ Outside presenter with a vehicle available 9:00-10:00 am
___ Inside presenter 10:00-1:30 pm
____ I can only present for a specific time period (Please list the hours you are available).

Comments (special set up, equipment needed, etc):

Monday, April 13, 2015

Personal Space Camp

Good Afternoon, PG families!

The sunshine today is such a welcome return to a new week at school. It's so uplifting to see bright classrooms, students running around out back and arriving home while it's still light out. Today, I wrapped up lessons in the Kindergarten classrooms about personal space. To frame this discussion, we read the book "Personal Space Camp" by Julia Cook as a class.

In the story, the main character, Louis, has trouble with maintaining personal space with his classmates. Louis is a self-proclaimed "outer space expert" and loves showing his peers how gravity works and how comets and satellites can crash into one another. Louis often forgets the importance of personal space and ends up crashing into his peers, interrupting his teacher and making others feel uncomfortable around him. He is sent to "Personal Space Camp" in the Principal's office. Louis quickly learns that he is not being sent to "outer space camp" but "personal space camp," where he will learn how much space he needs to give others, what a comfort bubble is and how our comfort bubble can become bigger or smaller depending on the situation. In the end, he becomes a "personal space expert."

Students discussed how our bubbles can be smaller with family and friends and bigger with strangers and new situations. They also practiced personal space by using a hula hoop to understand how big their bubble should be at school. For a fun challenge, we tried to fit 4-5 kindergartners in each hula hoop and students were able to see what happens when we invade others' personal space bubbles (i.e. we feel squished, lose our balance, feel uncomfortable, etc.). All the K students had a lot of fun learning about personal space and why it is important to practice at school.

Have a great last week before break!

Ms. Z

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Reminder to PG Families!

Come join us this Saturday for the Pine Glen Carnival!!  Festivities start 9am and continue until 2pm

Games!  Inflatables!  Prizes!  Cake Walk!  Raffle!

The RE/MAX balloon will be at the school from 9am - 11am (weather permitting)

Silent Auction - Boston Red Sox Package -- 4 tickets, 5/3, New York Yankees, credentials to batting practice, run the bases, personal visit with Wally the Green Monster and more!!

Class Baskets include --- "Kid Zone", "Family Fun", "Keep Active", "Diva For A Day", "Run & Build", Legos - Boy, Legos - Girl, Lottery Tickets, Fitness, Scooters and much, MUCH more!  Thanks to all classes & teachers that participated!
For more information check out

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Test-taking Strategies

Hi PG parents!

I know our 3rd, 4th and 5th graders are 3 days into their first round of PARCC testing for this year. Around testing time, students can start to feel some stress or anxiety over what will be on the test or what is expected of them. Of course, we want them to do their best, but we also want them to be AT their best so they can put in an optimal performance.

I was lucky enough to do test-taking Bingo in Mrs. Lynch's 3rd grade classroom. Bingo is always an enjoyable game and when we can tie a lesson or strategy into it at the same time, everybody wins! This particular version of Test-taking Bingo was purchased from Teachers Pay Teachers and gave a variety of strategies for students to consider when taking a subject area test or a larger state assessment such as the PARCC.

Some of the strategies we discussed from the game are listed below:

1. Eat a good breakfast.
2. Don't rush!
3. Answer all of the questions.
4. Reread your answer.
5. Read all the directions carefully.
6. Skip hard questions until the end.
7. Keep track of important dates.
8. Wear comfy clothes!
9. Take 3 deep breaths,
10. Get a good night's sleep.
11. Create a study routine.
12. Stay organized.
13. See your teacher for extra help.

There were many more we discussed and learned about but those were some of the most helpful we discussed! What do you do to help prepare your child for a testing situation? Are there any key pieces of advice you share with your children?

Good luck, PG students!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Staying Happy and Healthy this Winter

Hello PG families:

As I write this, we're into our second snow day off due to the winter storm Juno. I imagine your little ones are anxious to return to school and get back into a routine of sorts. Hopefully, they've also enjoyed some time to play in the snow!

Winter can seem long, and even endless at times. It's the time of year where we are more prone to getting sick and families may be stuck indoors due to inclement weather. The CDC puts out a helpful list of hints to keep kids happy and healthy during the long winter season. Enjoy the list and keep yourselves and the little ones safe, happy and healthy through these long winter months!

1. Wash your hands often! Coughs/germs are abound in winter.
2. Manage stress. Have a balanced approach to work, home and play for the whole family.
3. Dress yourself and your little ones in plenty of layers so they can enjoy their time outside without fear of being too cold!
4. Plan fun indoor activities to keep your kids busy and active during the winter. Local libraries and museums often have fun, low-cost or free events for students and families in the winter.
5. Encourage healthy eating and good sleep hygiene! A great way to encourage healthy eating during the winter is to visit a local farmers market or grocery store and plan a cooking project with your kids. Give them roles/jobs to assist in making the meal and enjoy it together as you talk about your day. After dinner, have some low-key activities planned such as reading books together or watching a family movie. Have everyone get to bed at a decent hour at the same time. Liken it to hibernating like a bear! :)

In the meantime, be well!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Following Directions @ Pine Glen!

Hello PG family and friends!

It's been a busy couple of weeks since returning from break. Students have had to dive right back into academics, routines and rituals. Reinforcing these routines and rituals is important and something we continually practice as educators to help our students stay on track to be successful in and out of school.

One of the ways in which we reinforce expectations with our K-5 students is through teaching Dr. Hanley's Life Skills. These skills tell and show students what is expected of them in school and how they can be successful. In the Kindergarten classrooms this week, we focused on the following skills:

1. When a teacher calls your name, you stop what you are doing, look at the teacher, and say, "Yes."
2. When a teacher gives you an instruction, you follow it right away.

Students watched a PBS movie ( that follows kindergartners following directions on the bus and school and we had a discussion about the different instructions we have to follow at home, school and out in the community in order to be safe and know what is happening.

There are many ways to make discussions and activities about following directions both educational and fun. There are many links to videos online, books you can read and games to play (Simon Says is a great one!) to help in reinforcing both the idea and action of following directions.

In the meantime, be well!