March 1, 2018


square graphic of a beaker along side a microscope, plant and 4 science test tubes with green background

Science at Island Avenue School

Dear Island Avenue Families,

March is Science Month at Island Avenue School, and our parent volunteers have planned an exciting array of science-related programs and activities for our children (For more information about Science Month, check-out the PTO Science Month Newsletter  IAS PTO website.  Our teachers are also knee-deep in Science this month, guiding hands-on learning in every grade-level: 


Grade K

During March, our kindergarten classes are studying the world around them. With the help of Julie Ainsworth from Bauer Park, kindergartners have tapped the sugar maples on our playground, and they're beginning to notice a connection between the outdoor temperature and the amount of sap collected.  As the weather begins to change, kindergartners will monitor Island's trees for signs of spring.  They'll also build on their earlier study of polar bears in the Arctic, as they learn about bird adaptations.

TRY THIS: Take a walk with your child to observe early signs of spring. Notice how things change as the temperature gets warmer.


Grade 1

First graders are exploring forces and motion this month. Through a series of hands-on experiences, they'll investigate pushes and pulls, and they'll begin to notice how force connects to strength and direction.  Students will also learn about gravity, friction, and inertia, as they use classroom materials to build catapults, ramps, and tracks.

TRY THIS: Help your child become an engineer! Use boards, blocks, and foam tubing to create ramps and tracks for toy cars and other objects.


Grade 2

Students in second grade have been investigating the water cycle, creating condensation with two cups, hot water, and an ice cube. They've also made precipitation that rains down from a cloud of shaving cream!  Building on these experiences, second graders will begin exploring the effects of wind, water, and ice on the Earth. By the end of the month, students will be ready to take what they've learned and create a plan to reduce beach erosion.  

TRY THIS: Use a paintbrush and plain water to paint a picture on a piece of construction paper and then leave it in the sun.  What happens?  Why?


Grade 3

This month, third graders are continuing their study of plant and animal adaptations. Having researched physical and behavioral adaptations of specific animals, the students will begin to explore food webs and the delicate balance in nature. Then they'll use what they've learned to create persuasive arguments about specific species and habitats.

TRY THIS: : When you and your child are outdoors, take time to observe the plants and animals around you. Then ask: What physical features and behaviors help these survive?


Grade 4

Throughout March, fourth graders are building on their understanding of local resources, as they learn about weather patterns and natural disasters. Then they'll write persuasive letters that address the essential question "How do our actions and choices impact the world around us?" Students will reflect on the importance of protecting local resources against weather-related damage, invasive species, and other threats to the environment. 

TRY THIS: Take a hike with your child and look for signs of erosion, which becomes more apparent as the snow begins to melt.


As we move from winter to spring,  I hope you and your child are able to explore all the beauty – and science! -- that surround us.



Doreen O'Leary



Work hard.

Be kind.

Make a difference.

Island Avenue School



March 2
Crazy Mismatch Day
Dr. Seuss' B-Day


March 29

 PTO Science Night

5:45 K-2 and 6:45 3-4


Island Avenue Elementary School

20 Island Avenue • Madison, CT 06443 • (203) 245-6450

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