Newsletter 37 – 6/13/14

Welcome summer!


Revisiting Gender

Our PhD student friend, Ms. Jenna came in for a wrap-up of our gender unit. We talked about some of her findings and made a final gender collage, representing our thinking. We asked students to think about the question “How have my actions changed now that I’ve studied gender? If they haven’t, why?” We discussed how we determine gender and what we might do over the summer to make different decisions.


Closing our Community

This week we say goodbye to the community we’ve worked so beautifully in this year. We had several closing activities to bring our work to an end. Mr. Jim and Ms. Kalei had two conversations, one was a loving goodbye to our 5th graders – celebrating and thanking all the work they have done over their two years in this classroom. We also talked to rising 4th graders about next year – and how their 5th grade selves can be positive leaders in the classroom.

We also did an end of year affirmation piece where people were given the chance to silently affirm the goodness in everyone else. The teachers said prompts like “touch someone who is a leader” and “touch someone who has dreams they will achieve,” and kids in the center of the circle tapped those who were facing away from them.



On Wednesday, we had our Museum of Authentic work. With the work of over ten sub-committees, and a lot of pitch-in effort, we had a successful demonstration of all the incredible work we’ve done this year.

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End of Year Math Notes

Ms. Kalei’s group had a math packet- but it got lost. She will send a pdf of one in the next few days! Mr. Bryan’s group was also sent home with a math packet. For summer math resources, we recommend that students use Khan academy in learning specific skills that were “risky” for them this year.

Summer Reading

On Thursday, we discussed some options for summer reading. You can find some of our recommended summer titles here.

Until next year!


Newsletter 36 – 6/8/14


This week we have been preparing intensely for the Museum of Authentic Work (the MAW), which will take place on Wednesday! We were introduced to, selected, and have been immersed in work within sub-committees.

Maw Steering
Visual Arts
Fantasy Book Clubs
Classroom Organization
General Assembly
Fantasy Writing
Sharon Creech

Each MAW sub-committee will be in charge of making an interactive piece, an informative piece, and signage that ties to origins. Our MAW steering committee is a lunch/recess committee that has been meeting to plan the nuts and bolts of the MAW.

The mission of the MAW is to share and teach others through a summative celebration that showcases the best work of the 4-5 classroom.

The vision of the MAW is to create displays that are: visually interesting, interactive, informational, creative, fun, engaging, busy/packed, easy to understand, entertaining, big, active, hands-on, and thrilling.


NWEA testing is over for all but a handful now. Scores will be sent home with progress reports in June.


In writing we are working on short stories about characters we know. We had two lessons this week about slowing down the action and building suspense in small moment pieces. Students are working toward a publishing deadline of Wednesday.