Newsletter 19 – 1/26/14


Hello. It was just a few weeks ago when we got off of break. I wish it was still here. In a few weeks we will  start working on our play HONK!  It isn’t as exciting as last year but it still is really exciting.  Recently we walked to the courthouse to celebrate MLK day. We sang three songs Peace Like a River, We Shall Overcome, and Singabahambayo. We also studied child activists and talked about what ‘big ideas’ we’d resolve to live this year, including: hope, peace, community, love, happiness, etc. We walked through the snow to make a big peace sign.

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Q:What do you call a fake noodle?

Writers Workshop

We are doing a unit on American History.  Today some of us were organizing our research notes. Our research notes are about the books we are reading. Some people were using highlighters to highlight the different facts that would go into the different paragraphs. We were sorted into different groups that study different topics, and then write an essay on that topic.  The topics include:

  • George Washington

  • The Constitution

  •  Ben Franklin

  • The Declaration of Independence

  • Early Presidents

  • Early Personalities

  • Paul Revere


In P3 we finished up our gender projects – presentations/viewings TBD. Some of the posters are already hanging in the hallway outside of our classroom – be sure to stop by. We took a post-assessment on gender – and it had the exact same questions as the first one did. Some examples were: “Are boys and girls equal?; What does the term gender mean?; How should we think about gender?” On Friday we did a quick geography lesson, focusing specifically on the locations of the 50 states. 


Readers Workshop 

Because of all of the delay hullabaloo our readers workshop days got a little hectic! We worked on making connections with a text (text-self, text-text, text-world, text-media). Using Bloom’s taxonomy, we talked about evaluative and analytically based questions. Book clubs met one time this week, and their last meetings will be on Monday and Tuesday. 

Math Workshop

This week Ms. Kalei’s group discussed area, and using the rectangle, found out how to find area of a right triangle. We talked about a ton of geometric vocabulary – symmetry (rotational and reflective), angle measures, polygon, vertices, lines, line segments, perpendicular, parallel. Mr. Jim’s group continued our work on geometry.  We have been creating geometric shapes by using coordinate points.  We have also been looking at shapes for their mathematical properties.  We have been looking at various angles, parallel and perpendicular sides and congruent shapes.  Next week we will work on reflected and rotated shapes.

Below: We have been introducing a bunch of new games and greetings in Morning Meeting. Below you’ll see the line greeting and the finger puppet greeting.


Newsletter 18 – 1/20/13


Our first week back was marked by increasing stamina and new community building games. Kids enjoyed playing a game called Cat and Mouse/Mouse Trap – be suer to ask your child about the rules. 

Writers Workshop

We have begun a new unit on research essays. Kids previewed and selected topics and were assigned groups. The topics center on the American Revolution era of U.S. History. We are eager to start taking notes and building up to a long form research essay. 

Readers Workshop

In Readers Workshop, we are in swing with Sharon Creech part two. Book clubs have met one time. We are using Bloom’s taxonomy to drive all the questions. We’ve talked about Levels 1-4 and students are responsible for generating questions in their homework packets. 


In P3 this week we are doing end of unit projects for our Gender unit! We have asked kids to pick a subtopic and discuss the present state and predicted state in the future. In partnerships, kids are making posters of their topic now and in 2125. The original project was inspired by The Future of San Francisco Project. Kids picked from technology, toys, fashion, advertising, being a gender, and of course, some student-generated ideas. 


We are getting back into the swing of things in math. In Ms. Kalei’s math group, we closed up a long unit on division and will be starting our unit on Geometry. In Mr. Jim’s math group we are using geoboards to talk about shapes and angles. Kids are doing some early istep prep in their math practice folders.  Continue reading

Newsletter 17 – 1/11/14

Welcome Back!


In readers, we are deepening our study of Sharon Creech. We selected new book club books this week. We will be reading Walk Two Moons, Love That Dog/Hate That Cat, Granny Torrelli Makes Soup, Bloomability, Absolutely Normal Chaos, and Chasing Redbird. We will be zooming in on Bloom’s Taxonomy as a lens for deep, deep questioning. 


We just had one day of Writers Workshop this week and learned about Haiku and Cinquain poetry. We discussed parts of speech and syllables. 


Mr. Jim’s math group went over a post assessment of probability, data use, and graphing. We’re going to start our unit on geometry next week, looking at angles and geometric shapes. In Ms. Kalei’s & Ms. Pam’s groups we did a number corner checkup for January to see our progress so far. Students worked on division, multiplication, decimals, rounding, and estimation. 


We had a session of invitations this week, working on a set of focused topics. We will be closing up this unit next week and moving onto a study of civics and government.