Mr. Ackerman's Blog

A video from Veterans Day

November 14, 2017 · No Comments

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Summer Reading

August 9, 2017 · No Comments

The importance of reading outside of school is critical for students to develop their love of reading and knowledge about our world. Books can be “mirrors and windows” for readers to learn about others and themselves.

At Lane we have a summer reading program which is outlined here on our librarian’s site. Please take the time to review it with your child.

If the students need some inspiration, here are a few pics of Lane staff doing their summer reading.

Ms Herman and Ms Nolan in the mountains of Central America.

Ms Mickle reading near Niagra Falls

Ms Weinstein reading at the beach on the North Shore

Ms Smith reading in her backyard

Ms Villarroel on the Jersey beach

Ms Zavalick, Ms Curro and Ms Williams in Times Sqaure…reading of course

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Jessica Castelline- new Gr 5 teacher

July 25, 2017 · No Comments

Jessica Castelline has been hired as the new Gr 5 teacher, replacing Mrs Dick who retired last year.  She is going to be an excellent addition to our school community.

Here is a short Q and A with Jessica.

Why did you decide to become a teacher?

I love learning. I love the feeling of satisfaction after struggling through a problem for awhile and then figuring it out. I love teaching people to fall in love with learning. It is something I want to do every day of my life and a passion I want to share with kids. I grew up playing sports my entire life and thrive when I work and collaborate with other people toward a common goal. I want my students to wake up every morning excited to come to school, wanting to learn, and making connections daily. My dad was a principal for 19 years and I remember him coming home telling me stories when I was in elementary school and thinking I want to be like my dad…and here I am more than ten years later making my dreams come true!

What makes you excited about coming to the Lane School?

I get excited answering this question, because I am thrilled to be working at the Lane School. From the moment I walked in for my interview and talked to Mrs. Lua I could sense a special sense of community within the school, staff, and students. I remember her telling me about the chickens and gardens that the students take care of and I remember thinking how cool it is to have those opportunities at school. From that conversation on I have been more and more impressed by the sense of comradery, unique opportunities, and support that Lane provides for all their staff as well as their students. When I went on a tour of Lane with Mr. Ackerman students came up and talked to him and engaged in conversation, showing that the students feel a sense of comfort within the school, which I believe is vital to learning. The piece of Lane that I am most excited about is the opportunity to work alongside a close-knit and strong team of professionals who are all working together toward a common purpose: to positively develop and influence the lives of each student.

What is your fondest memory when you were in Gr 3-5 as a student?

My entire fifth grade year was by far the best memories I have. I loved my fifth grade teacher, and I am still in contact with her today. (I hope this becomes a reality for some of my students in the future.) However, my favorite memories from fifth grade were the “outside of the box” projects we got to do. There were two I remember in particular, one project was we had to create a slogan for our name and pretend we were running for President. I remember my slogan to this day… “Cast-a-line for Castelline”. I made fishing poles out of pipe cleaners and attaching a bell as the “bait” to the end of the fishing pole. The second project I remember was that we were given a HUGE white paper bag and we were told to make something out of it and research about it and give an oral speech about our topic of choice. It was a pretty vague project, but that’s what I loved about it, because we could use our imaginations and get creative. We got to research something we were each passionate about and share it with our classmates! I chose Mother Teresa. I researched her and made a whole robe and veil using blue duck tape. I may even have a picture of me in it practicing my presentation…oh and my older brother tried it on too J I loved having the freedom to be creative with such an ordinary object.

Tell us one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?

I grew up in Concord, Massachusetts, only about fifteen minutes away from Lane School. I commonly would go to Bedford Farms to get ice cream, as it is my favorite summer treat, and I played lacrosse and basketball in high school. I played against Bedford in both sports all four years! I continued on to Gordon College where I played lacrosse for four years, was a captain my senior year, and broke the college’s points scored record. Now to compensate for the competitive drive in me I take my fiancé’s CrossFit classes daily.

Any highlights from the summer so far?

My fiancé’s uncle has a house on Rattlesnake Island on Lake Winnipesauke in Gilford, NH that we go up to every summer. This summer we went up and did some of my favorite things including jet skiing, going on boat rides to get ice cream, deep dive in the middle of the lake, tubing, reading, taking the dog on a hike, and having a campfire. It was a perfect weekend. I am hoping to go up one more time before the end of the summer, as it is by far my favorite place to spend the summer!

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Carolyn Carr…New Special Education Teacher

July 25, 2017 · No Comments

Carolyn Carr is one of several new special education hires at Lane. We feel very fortunate to have found Carolyn in our hiring process. She will be working in Grade 4 next year.

Here is my interview with Carolyn to help you get to know her.

Why did you decide to become a teacher?

I decided to become a teacher when I worked at my high school’s preschool. The preschoolers love of exploration learning made me appreciate learning more. Now I want to help students who learn differently access the curriculum and build confidence in different areas. It is rewarding to see my students have a “lightbulb moment” after working hard on a concept.

What makes you excited about coming to the Lane School?

I felt a draw to Lane School the moment I walked in. From Ms. Lua and Ms. Ricci’s friendliness in the office to students saying “Good morning!” to me in the hallway. I am excited to join such a vibrant community in Bedford. Previously I was in a co-taught classroom in Newton, so I am excited to bring my knowledge of co-teaching, guided reading, literacy centers, growth mindset, and multi-sensory learning.

What is your fondest memory when you were in Gr 3-5 as a student?

My fondest memory in elementary school was when I won Best in Show in the school’s art show in the fourth grade. I won because I drew a realistic (for a cartoon) painting of Genie from the Aladdin. I spent a lot of time and effort on that painting, so I was happy to see my work be acknowledged in that way. As an educator, I realize the importance to acknowledge the accomplishments (no matter how small or big) of my students.

Tell us one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?

I am an Irish twin! My sister and I were born in the same calendar year, so we are the same age each month. When we were little my mom would get calls from camps saying that she put the wrong year down for my sister.

Any highlights from the summer so far?

This summer I was able to go down to the Cape a few times. I also spent a lot of time with friends and family.

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SAIL Teacher Q and A

July 25, 2017 · No Comments

We are very excited to welcome the SAIL program to the Lane School.  The Inclusive SAIL Program is designed to serve Bedford Public School students in grades K-12 with educational needs related to an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other related disabilities. Rachel Orlovsky will be our lead teacher for the program. Last year Rachel worked at the Davis School’s SAIL program.

Here is a short Q and A with Rachel.

Why did you decide to become a teacher?
Probably the most influential person in my desire to become a teacher was my mother. When I was young I would often go to work with her and spend time with her students. She taught a special education life skills program at a high school in New Jersey. She loved what she did and her students adored her. I remember realizing how instrumental she was in giving her students the tools and skills they needed to be successful in and out of school and I knew that I wanted to someday be in a profession as meaningful and fulfilling. During college, I began working at a hospital school for medically fragile children with severe physical and cognitive disabilities. When I started here it was for my Music Therapy practicum, however as I spent more time in the school I realized that I loved all aspects of the educational process. I ended up working at this school as a teaching assistant and eventually as a teacher. The students I met there taught me that all children have the potential to learn, grow and contribute their community. It didn’t take me long to realize that I wanted to dedicate my life to teaching and supporting the most unique and vulnerable learners.

What makes you excited about coming to the Lane School?
I am excited to come to Lane School because I have had the opportunity to witness the camaraderie and collaboration that exists there. Every person I’ve met so far has been welcoming, supportive and encouraging. The teachers and administrators in this school seem truly passionate about the success of their students and colleagues and I am looking forward to being a part of this kind of community.

What is your fondest memory when you were in Gr 3-5 as a student?
Although I loved my teachers in elementary school and have many fond memories of the projects we did and books we read, probably my fondest memory from this time was meeting my best friend. We met when we were 10 years old and have enjoyed 20+ years of friendship. Even though we now live in different states and lead different lives, we remain as close as we were when we were kids and I think that comes from forming a bond at this developmentally challenging age. We supported each other through the ups and downs of navigating the social dynamics of elementary and middle school and for that, I will always be grateful.

Tell us one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?
One thing people might be surprised to learn about me is that I am a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. I was really small for my age when I was younger and I was absolutely terrible at team sports but martial arts helped to build my physical coordination and my self-confidence at the same time.

Any highlights from the summer so far?

Some of my summer highlights so far include: spending time with my dogs and cats, reading on the beach, traveling to the Cape and spending time writing and playing music.

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Let’s Welcome Ms Curran (Gr 5 Special Education)

July 18, 2017 · No Comments

We are excited to welcome Katie Curran, our new Grade 5 Special Education teacher. Katie recently worked as a high school science teacher.

Why did you decide to become a teacher?

I had fantastic teachers growing up and have always loved to share my interest in science with others. I went to college in Maine where I got to help with science day at an elementary school through activities like geocaching and plant dissections. When I was younger, I always enjoyed classroom work most when I could help others. I found explaining math helped me learn and I kept doing it as a tutor in high school, teaching assistant in college, and now as a teacher.

What makes you excited about coming to the Lane School?

I am really excited to meet all of the students, staff, and chickens at the Lane School. I am looking forward to hearing about Project Adventure from all of my fifth graders!

What is your fondest memory when you were in Gr 3-5 as a student?

My favorite memory in fifth grade was reading Tuck Everlasting. We read aloud in small groups and I became engrossed in the story as well as larger questions about life.

Tell us one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?

I grew up right next door in Concord so my favorite ice cream is purple cow chip from Bedford Farms.

Any highlights from the summer so far?

I chaperoned a camping trip in Maine and everyone finished the hike without any falls as the name Tumbledown might suggest !

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Interview with new Special Education Administrator

July 17, 2017 · No Comments

As some of you may know, Luann Foley retired last December from the Special Education Administrator position at Lane. We were fortunate to have Sarah Orlov take over the job for the remainder of the school year. However, Sarah has recently accepted a promotion in a district closer to her home. Although multiple changes can be difficult for a school, here at Lane we take great pride in ensuring smooth transitions for staff, students and families. With this in mind, we are very excited to announce Michelle Dellavalle will be coming over to the Lane School from Bedford High School to be our long term Special Education Administrator.  Michelle brings lots of well-rounded experience to the position. I know parents will appreciate her support in making sure students with disabilities are successful at Lane.

Here is a short “Q and A” with Michelle to introduce her to the Lane community.

Why did you decide to become a teacher?

I officially decided to become a teacher after accepting a part-time job while in college as a long-term substitute teacher in an alternative learning program in Amherst. This was my first introduction to the world of special education and I knew right away that it was my career path. It made me realize that I had always been interested in this population- from a job in high school reading to a blind elderly woman to babysitting a family friend who had cerebral palsy to my interest in our 5th grade curriculum, Understanding Disabilities. I have always had a fondness for working with people with unique differences but hadn’t known much about Special Education. Although it was too late to change my undergraduate major from Psychology to education (though I tried!), I planned to pursue Special Education for my Master’s degree.

What makes you excited about coming to the Lane School?

I am excited to see Bedford from a new perspective! I have been in the district for ten years at JGMS and then BHS. I am excited to come to Lane to be a part of the work that goes into building our students’ foundational skills. I am also really looking forward to field day!

What is your fondest memory when you were in Gr 3-5 as a student?

I think that my fondest memory from grades 3-5 was the Understanding Disabilities curriculum that I mentioned in the first question. As 5th graders, we were exposed to people with a variety of different disabilities and participated in activities designed to help us to experience life as a person with a disability. I have no doubt that this helped me gain empathy and understanding for those with differences.

Tell us one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?

People are often surprised to learn that I lived in Las Vegas! After living in California and looking for a new adventure, my husband and I moved to Nevada where I finished my Master’s degree and worked at a high school in the Clark County School district. Although a wonderful and unique experience, we happily moved back to Mass in 2007.

Any highlights from the summer so far?

At the end of June, we traveled to Asheville, North Carolina to visit family. We ate BBQ, hiked and toured the Biltmore mansion. What a great way to kick off the summer!

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Field Day Video

June 11, 2017 · No Comments

A great day with our third and fourth graders for Field Day 2017. Enjoy the video!

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Staff showing some “talent”

April 8, 2017 · No Comments

In honor of the Grade 5 Talent Show, here is our staff showing their stuff….

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Grade 4 Online Testing

February 6, 2017 · No Comments

In April-May, all Grade 4 students will take the MCAS test online. This will pose and interesting challenge since this is the first wide-scale administration of online testing we have ever done at Lane. Below is a short video I created to help you understand the testing experience for the students for the English Language Arts section.

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