Newsletter 8 – 9/30/18

Weekly Highlights

This week we wrapped up our unit on PUNK! On Friday, we encouraged students to “be themselves” in their attire to uphold what our main character in our read aloud talks about. It was incredible to see the vast array of new looks, and about half of our class who wore the same things they do everyday. We are grateful that kids shared themselves with the group.

As a part of celebrating punk day, kids wrote the soundtracks to their lives by creating a set of songs that describes everyday events. The titles are hilarious.

We also began a reflection on our first P3 unit to see how kids responded to the connections between punk and borders/boundaries/limits.

In CPR this week we focused on studying emotions. We talked about emotions beyond happy, mad, glad, and sad and got into the complex emotions as well as when we feel multiple things at once.


This week we don’t have school on Friday, because it’s conference day. Then we go on a two week fall break – can’t believe we’re already a fourth of the way through the year!

We will not be sending a homework assignment home this week.

We will celebrate zines after the break. This will allow time for us to duplicate them and work out all the copy errors we find. Please let us know if you’re interested in volunteering some time to make copies 🙂

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home

  • What were the song titles you created for your punk soundtrack?
  • (from CPR) – What is a time you noticed someone was upset? How did you help them?
  • This week you had choice time for the first time — what did you choose to do and why?
  • What are some of the goals you have for the rest of the year?

Newsletter 7 – 9/22/18

Weekly Highlights 

We spent the week cutting, collaging, manipulating text on a page, printing images, and creating our zines. We extended our deadline to next Friday, with class time on Monday and Tuesday. These pieces are great and we are so excited to celebrate them with you soon.

Book clubs are in full swing, some clubs will have their final meeting and others have two more!

We saw The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe as a play on Friday morning and then did some comparing/contrasting work with the beginning of the film Friday afternoon. Kids drew many parallels between setting and character, while noting that the historical context was more apparent in the movie.

In CPR this week, we started talking about listening, what it looks like, feels like, and sounds like.


We collected homework yesterday reflecting on the conversations you had with your kiddos at home. Please check in with your child on whether or not they completed this assignment, they can still turn it in on Monday.

We will send home another homework assignment on Monday!

We plan on having a Dress Up Punk day on Friday 9/28. We will go over guidelines for what this means in class, but all clothing must still adhere to the TPS dress code (which we have been discussing in connection to our read aloud!).

  • Snacks this week: Adams to Fish
  • Snacks next week: Gomez to McGranahan

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home

  • How are you making decisions with the layout of your zine?
  • What happened with the pencils this week? How are you taking care of your pencil?
  • What do Mrs. Hidalgo and MaLĂş have something in common?

Newsletter 6 – 9/15/18

Weekly Updates

This week we moved from writing our pieces to turning them into zines! A zine is a self-published magazine and is/was a part of the punk movement that we’re reading about in The First Rule of Punk (our read aloud). Kids are storyboarding, cutting, collaging, finding images, and pulling together these zines – the final touch will be their Art to Remember cover!

We also started our book club meetings. The theme of this round is for kids to build listening skills. Students brought ideas to the meeting, had a chance to share their ideas with the group, and then their group members repeated back and connected to what they heard.

We’ve been adding in some “mindfulness” to our post-recess transition. We’ve been using videos from Mind-Yeti to bring down our energy and be ready for IDR & Book Club Meetings.


  • We’ll be seeing The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe on Sept 21, 2018 at 10am. Please send in $6.50 for your child to attend. No child will be excluded based on an inability to pay and if anyone wants to cover an extra ticket (or portion thereof) – please feel free. These payments should come in as soon as possible!
  • We are carrying on a tradition of 5/6 – the pet wall. Please email us pictures or send in hard copies for us to add these members of your family to the wall outside our classroom.
  • Homework will come home tomorrow in blue folders. The assignment will involve kiddos talking/sharing with someone at home.

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home

  • What images/ideas do you have planned out for your zine?
  • What is MaLĂş learning in The First Rule of Punk about Selena?
  • How is the work of “listening” going in your book club?
  • How has advisory been going?

Newsletter 5 – 9/10/18

Weekly Highlights

In Readers Workshop, we started book clubs. The titles that kids are reading are:

  • Hatchet
  • El Deafo
  • Aru Shah and the End of Time
  • Jake & Lily
  • Out of My Mind
  • The Jumbies
  • Bloomability
  • Save Me a Seat

Though they will not have extensive writing, we will be using protocols during book club discussions that kids will need to be prepared for. Their assignment is likely to look something like this, and they’ll have time in class to complete it.

Screen Shot 2018-09-06 at 7.18.09 AM

Writers Workshop – We’ve finished up our revisions, checklists, and partner feedback. Students spent last week making sure that each kind of elaboration is in each of their pieces. This week we’re moving onto zines!

In Community/P3 we’ve been continuing our study of punk and rules. We are also working on some photo projects to show off who we are. These will hopefully be up in our classroom in the coming week.


We’ll be seeing The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe on Sept 21, 2018 Matinee. Please send in $6.50 for your child to attend. No child will be excluded based on an inability to pay and if anyone wants to cover an extra ticket (or portion thereof) – please feel free!

Blue Homework folders haven’t made a reappearance yet. We’ll be sending something hopefully by the end of this week!

  • Snacks this week:Parker to Roussos
  • Snacks next week: Searcy to Wright

John & Kalei will be sending out conference notifications soon – we are starting conferences in the next week.

Questions to Ask

  • How are you feeling about the possible agreements “Be Yourself” and “Consider others” ?
  • What are you looking forward to with book clubs? How has your past experience been with them?
  • What are you most interested in with creating your zine in Writers Workshop?

Newsletter 3 – 8/27/18

P3 & Arts Integration

We have been working on a study of rules. Our read aloud The First Rule of Punk has led our main character to face up to her new school’s dress code. We talked about implicit (hidden) and explicit (visible) rules in our school and Bloomington community. We also took a look at TPS’s dress code.

Writers Workshop

We had a soft deadline of Friday for students to submit their first two personal narratives. In our unit, they’ll be compiling at least four stories that center around a theme. Their Art to Remember piece will be the cover of a booklet they’ll create in the coming weeks.


We have been building stamina during our reading time in the afternoon by doing Independent Daily Reading (IDR). This week, students will select their first choices for book clubs, which will begin later this week.


Today, students will bring home the permission slip for the filming event that will happen tomorrow. You’ll find it in the blue folders that we give out to kids. We’ll be sending out a longer letter on our approach to homework in 5/6 this year.

5/6 Celebration

This Friday, August 31, we’ll be having a celebration for students at school. Please meet us in the parking lot at 6:45 for us to take your kiddos for a few hours to enjoy some snacks and a movie in the 5/6 classroom. This will be an event for 5/6 students only.

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home

-Where did you go during the arts integration time and what rules did you observe?
-What is your passions? How has it been going ?
-What is the theme of your stories? How are you feeling about writing them?
-What do you feel you’ve learned about members in your community?

Newsletter 33 – 6/10/18

Weekly Highlights

We were so impressed at the work our students did at our student led conference, Silence is Violence: A Conference on Healthier Relationships, at the library last week. Some students led workshops that taught strategies and skills to groups of fellow students and families to help them create equality in our world. Others created zines, animations, slide shows, and cartoons that taught ways to promote kindness and caring. Thank you to ALL who helped our students do this work.

This week, students are transforming our room into museum exhibits for our annual MAW – Museum of Authentic Work. We look forward to seeing you there!


Museum of Authentic Work (MAW) – Please join us TUESDAY, JUNE 12, at one of our Family and Community visiting times:



Book Swap – We’d like to try out 5/6’s first ever Book Swap! This WEDNESDAY, the last day of school, we are going to have an event where kids can take home a set amount of books that have been donated. This will provide them with some summer reading opportunities as well as a way us all to potentially do some cleaning. And that’s where you come in – we are asking families to do some sprucing and cleaning up of your at-home bookshelves – checking to see if there are any titles that can be donated and be used by someone else. Please send these books in any time in the next weeks and contact Kalei with any questions.

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home:

  • What topic did you teach about at the library (or what did you create)?
  • How did others respond to your presentation or display?
  • What exhibit are you working on for the MAW?
  • How do you feel (generally) about the end of the school year in the classroom?
  • What will you miss about school this summer? What will you not miss?
  • What do you hope continues next year?