Family Corner

Is YouTube Safe for Kids?

By: Dan Tynan

Edited by Mrs. Gascoyne

Kids today are glued to YouTube. It’s mostly innocent, but there’s also a dark side to YouTube you may be unaware of. As with the rest of the Internet, you can find adult content,  hate speech, and profanity on a massive scale. But the biggest difference is that YouTube allows kids to create and share videos as well as consume them.

In theory, you have to be at least 13 years old before you can upload videos. That’s the minimum age for creating a Google account, thanks to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. The reality, though, is quite different.

There are vast numbers of underage YouTubers uploading content. There are young children uploading videos of themselves unknowingly inviting creeps and bullies.  

One 12-year-old girl had 765,000 views and more than 13,000 comments, some of them creepy. Do you think her mother knows?

If your kids upload videos without your knowledge, they might reveal personal information to thousands of total strangers. They will certainly expose themselves to bullies and worse in that cesspool of human depravity known as YouTube comments.

Other concerns are about exposure to unwanted knowledge for your children.  There are people all around the world offering unwanted advice for children, often with a video style that appears to be child-friendly.  Just because it looks like your child is watching an innocent kids’ program on Youtube does not guarantee that the language and content is something you would welcome into their lives.

See the Parents’ Table in front of the office  for helpful tips for managing Youtube.


We look forward to November when we can share family traditions and explore traditions of other cultures.

The Kindergarteners are making books about what they know a lot about and we will continue to grow as authors and illustrators. Eric Carle is helping us use different materials for our illustrations. Did you know that Eric Carle wanted to be an author and illustrator when he was just 5 years old?

Our Kindergarteners think of themselves as many things: author, illustrator, mathematician, scientist…  and KIND!

First Grade

First grade is moving right along, I can’t believe it’s November already!  We are writing up a storm in Writer’s Workshop and working really hard to give lots of detail to our Small Moment stories.  We are wrapping up a unit on life cycles and living things where we learned about apples, pumpkins, and owls.  In November we will move into a social studies unit looking at our community and community helpers.  Stay tuned for more adventures from First Grade!

Second Grade

Second graders continue to amaze me!  After reading Cynthia Rylant’s story, The Relatives Came, we each began drafting a personal narrative about a time when relatives visited us or a time when we went visiting others.  Students are learning to include several elements in their stories such as an interesting beginning, events with details, and an ending that shows closure.  Some of us are even using dialogue in our text.  After we finish the draft and do some editing we will be typing up our stories and publishing them using Google Slides.

We are also looking ahead to our next science unit on the night sky.  We will study the phases of the moon, learn about constellations, and research animals that are active during the night.

Third Grade

In November, third grade is grateful, for our classroom, school, and friends. We are humming along with our daily routines in spelling, reading, writing, and math. Our science studies are focused on matter and energy. We are thinking about the water cycle as we watch the rain turn to snow outside our window. We plan to take a walk down the hill to the Lamoille River and complete the River Quest created by third graders a few years ago. In social studies we are thinking of our community and ways to show our gratitude for all the people who contribute to making Wolcott a great place to live and go to school. We are planning to make apple pies to share.

Fourth Grade

We had a great time on our field trip to Montpelier to tour the State House and the Vermont History Museum. The fourth graders represented our school well! With our study of Citizenship and Government wrapping up we are shifting to science. Over the next month we will be learning how to think like a scientist. We will try a variety of experiments, hypothesize results, display and interpret data. In literacy we continue to learn about the elements of narrative texts and are writing our own narratives. In math we are further developing our place value skills for larger multiplication problems. Feel free to stop by and check out our work with the Wall of Base Ten. I look forward to meeting with families during our November conferences.

Fifth Grade

Fifth graders have learned about several different Native Americans tribes.  Students learned about lifestyles, types of housing, famous events, etc. are all various parts of Native American tribes that.  They are starting on their book groups reading Ghost Horses and How I Became a Ghost.  As students read those books, they will understand even more what it was like to be a Native American.  Students will continue to study the four multiplication strategies and will then move on to adding and subtracting fractions.  Students are learning about the importance of the food chain through analyzing how animals have energy to move around.  We are looking forward to continuing more of the research for the informative paper and argument based research paper along with the many other learning things planned for the upcoming month.


Sixth Grade

In November, Sixth Graders will continue their fundraising efforts by selling chocolate bars and raffle tickets. Our popcorn sales were a success; we made about $1,200. We are well on our way to earning our trip to Nature’s Classroom. In math, we will be diving into a unit on ratios and rational numbers after completing their work on factors and multiples. In writing, students will continue to improve their persuasive writing skills. Our units on Native Americans and Colonization will be wrapping up in Literacy. Students have been researching, reading and discussing to learn more about this time in U.S. history. We are looking forward to meeting with families at our November student-led conferences.


In November, students in grades K-2 will continue to learn songs of the season. We are making a distinction between the different voices we use (speaking, singing, yelling & whispering) and when to use them. We are also playing percussion instruments and exploring music through movement.

Grades 3-5 are focused on composers and their music, music written for specific purposes, and how composers use the elements of music to tell stories without words.

Band students who have already played their instrument for one full year are getting ready for Band Day. This event brings together students from all six schools in OSSU for a full day of rehearsals. We then give a performance in the evening. The event will take place on November 14th at Hazen Union School. Doors open at 5:30PM and the concert begins at 6:00 PM. We hope families will join us for this very special event. It is free and open to the public.

Visual Arts

Cool Autumn greetings from the Art Room!

All students have been completing Eagle drawings for our whole-school design contest. More details to follow!

The last few classes/weeks, we have been creating a still life drawing based on viewing gourds which were grown in my garden. The kids enjoy looking at the crazy shapes & literally holding nature in their hands. The lesson consisted of viewing & sketching at least 3 different gourds, starting with pencil. Next came adding shadows & learning to draw realistically. Finally, kids colored these with mixed-media; consisting of colored pencils & crayons, choosing realistic colors.

We are always exploring art terms during class. This is the time of year where students renew their investigations using art vocabulary terms such as: life-size, shape, form, details, 3-D on a 2-D plane, & so on. Students have oral & written “quizzes” to assess their learning. They are all wonderful learners, each in their own way.

Next, students created a background with watercolor paints & learned about contrast, color blending, & the art method of using the wax resist method. These works of art will be proudly displayed at our school. You will be able to see them in the hallways as well as at our first artshow & concert.

Lastly, integrating literacy has proven to be amazing! Using a simple poetry concept allows all students to become an expert of sorts in creative writing. Poems will be displayed with the final artwork. This lesson has been a great learning experience for all!


STEAM is starting to chug along.  Kindy through Second Grade are almost done their tech skills proficiencies and are looking forward to building challenges in November and December. Third Grade has really taken the challenge of mastering their technology proficiencies and will continue building their own websites to capture their education for this year.  Late November will see them begin to work with electricity, from circuits to electrical devices.

I want to thank all of the parents for their patience in working out the accounts for TinkerCAD.  TinkerCAD has officially changed their position and I now have the ability to make & manage the student’s accounts, much like all of the other online services that we use here.  Many of you have received e-mails from TinkerCAD (AutoDesk) and you have a choice.  You may either sign up with TinkerCAD which will allow you to look in on your student’s work and monitor their online use or you may just continue to allow me to monitor their accounts.  If your student really starts using TinkerCAD at home, you may want to look into signing up with TinkerCAD.

Fourth through Sixth Grade has already begun their 3-D design units and are in full swing.  They will be making tools and creating sculptures during November and December so keep an eye out.

Physical Education

What has been going on in Phys Ed?

K-2 Grade

  • Locomotor skills (skipping, hopping, jumping, leaping)
  • Fitness & Flexibility (Warm Ups- stretching, laps)
  • Soccer Unit
  • Group Games (parachute, tag)
  • Throwing skills (over/underhand)
  • Teamwork & Cooperation
  • Hand eye coordination (scarves, bean bags)
  • Music and Movement

3-6 Grade

  • Soccer Unit
  • Team building & Cooperation
  • Fleeing & Dodging
  • Catching & Throwing
  • Fitness & Flexibility (Warm Ups- circuit, whole group, laps, stretching)
  • Group Games (Socketball, Star Wars, Tails)

Coming up next:

Basketball, Jump Rope & Floor Hockey


From Immunizations & Infectious Diseases: An Informed Parent's Guide (Copyright © 2006 American Academy of Pediatrics)

How many times have you and your child/student washed your hands today?

As early as possible, get your child into the habit of washing her hands often and thoroughly. All day long, your child is exposed to bacteria and viruses—when touching a playmate, sharing toys, or petting the cat. Once her hands pick up these germs, she can quickly infect herself by rubbing her eyes, touching her nose or even placing her fingers in her mouth. The whole process can happen in seconds, and cause an infection that can last for days, weeks, or even longer.

Steps to Proper Hand Washing

So what does a thorough hand washing involve? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following steps:  

REACH AfterSchool

It is finally turning cold, but the archers are still excited!  We’ve only had one rainy day we have not done archery, and hopefully, the decent weather will hold out for the next four weeks! Not only has archery been going, we have been working on the play with our Theater Group!  The play will be on November 20th at 5pm.  It is about 20 minutes, and we would like to invite you all to come and see our amazing performance.

Art has been going strong also!  Nature Art is using all the foliage and nature that has fallen to make some brilliant pieces that are displayed in our lobby!  Our Media and Literature class are working with the Halloween theme to create exceptional bats, leaves, and jack-o-lanterns!

A special shout out to those 6th graders in our Thursday program.  When we had to remain inside due to rain, the 6th graders took a leadership role as coaches for a wiffle ball game that all of our Thursday students played!!  What Fun!!!!

Soccer season has ended and I know there are a few soccer players and coaches who are sad.  Thanks to all the parents who allowed their students to participate, were patient with me, and helped out this season.  Even more, thanks to the numerous coaches who took on the volunteer role at practices and games!  What an accomplishment!

Basketball sign-ups have gone out to keep those athletes in the family happy. This year’s team breakdown is: 2/3/4 boys, 2/3/4 girls, and 5th/6th co-ed.  Practice will begin after November 26th.  More information will be coming to you soon through email.  

Registration for winter session, which begins on November 26th, will go out November 1st.  There are many options open to our students for the winter session.  Keep an eye out for more information!

Mrs. Williams Reading Nook

The Children’s Literacy Foundation (Clif) has some excellent information and tips for sharing books with kids and helping your child develop strong literacy skills.  Check out some of the videos at:

If you have a chance, stop by the WES Multipurpose room bulletin board and see if your child was “Caught Reading”!

Glee Merritt Kelly Community Library

The Scholastic Book Fair is back in town!  Starting next week, students will be able to take part in the book fair.  There are books for all ages of student reader including popular reads and some hard to get books. Keep an eye out for more information to come.

Our annual community Fondue Night is on the 15th.  Come dip in on the fun!  Mommy and Me Bracelet Making will be December 1st (dad’s are also welcome.) There will be a materials fee for this event. Then comes the gingerbread house event later in December.

Calendar of Upcoming Events


Scholastic Book Fair


Wolcott Parent’s Organization First Meeting @ 5:30


WES School Board Meeting @6PM


Parent Teacher Conferences (No School)


Band Day (and concert @ 6PM) see the music article


November Recess


End of the First Trimester



Early Release


Winter Break