Newsletter 3 – 8/28/15

Carnival Booth Updates

Hello 5/6 families! My name is Shulana, and I am the class parent who is recruiting volunteers to staff our class game booths at the TPS Carnival on Saturday, September 19. Our class has been assigned 2 booths to staff throughout the day. I hope that you will consider signing up for one or multiple shifts to help make our carnival a huge success! Here is a Google Spreadsheet that you can use to sign up for a time slot ( Please search for the class/classes in which you have children, and select the time slot/s of your choice. Please make sure to also include your email address and cell phone number (if you have one) so that I can follow up with you as the date approaches. If the time slot you are most interested in has already been taken by another volunteer, feel free to sign up for this time slot with another class. The games will be all set up when you arrive at the Carnival. Please plan to find our class games, which will be next to one another, and clearly marked. I’ll be there to make sure you arrive for your time slot, and that you have everything you need. If you have any questions about volunteer opportunities, please feel free to email at or call me at 757-818-1833. Thanks so much for considering this gift of volunteer time for our school!

Carnival Basket Updates

Hello Class 5/6 Families! My name is Brandee Marksberry, and I am organizing our class auction basket for this year’s Carnival! The theme for our class this year is “Gardening Galore” !We are inviting families in our class to bring in new items that are connected to this theme to add to our auction baskets. The more interesting and diverse things we collect, the more our baskets will go for on the day of the auction! Below is a link to Amazon for some ideas, but this list is only just some ideas! Remember that purchasing your items through AmazonSmile (and having them delivered to your home to then drop off at the school) will also mean that TPS will also earn a percentage of your purchase as a cash donation to our school!

Please know that this is absolutely optional for our families – only families comfortable and able to participate should do so. Beginning this week we will have collection baskets in our classrooms for you to drop off your items. We will be collecting items Through Monday, September 14. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at


Field Day

Next Thursday, September 3, 2015, Students will be traveling to Yard Dog Farm (Ms. Sara’s house) for field day. They will need to bring sunscreen and a lunch. They may bring books, board games, towels, swimsuits, and an extra change of clothing. Students will need to let us know by September 2nd if they need a school lunch for field day.

Bradford Woods

We sent home Bradford Woods info on Thursday. Two of these items, the TPS Invoice/Payment Plan and the Participant Release Form/Medical Form,  need to be completed and returned to school as soon as possible.  The Gear list is yours to help with packing. Please let us know (after checking your child’s backpack) if you have not received this info!


In P3 this week, we launched our unit on Rivers! Mr. John came in to talk about his experiences teaching in Louisiana and gave us a timeline of the science behind this storm. We also worked with stream tables to model erosion and deposition, both with standard water sources and floods. Next week in CPR, we’ll be talking about Katrina, so we are encouraging kids to bring in articles, photos, news pieces, etc. that they hear about to discuss this national anniversary.


In stations this week, kids worked on the app Elevate (creating accounts), their hopes and dreams visual projects, and read an article about the California Drought.


In reading we maximized our reading time by improving on our systems and structures. We discussed reading conferences and are keeping up with reading logs. Most kids have finished book one on their reading paths and are on to book two. Next Tuesday, we will be traveling to the library to get a quick library orientation.


In writers we spent some time working on elaboration and crafting detail in leads and stories. About half of the students moved into typing instead of working in their notebooks.



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Newsletter 2 – 8/22/15

Scholastic Orders

Scholastic Orders are placed every few months by Ms. Kalei. You can order books online from scholastic any time and give us “credit” or “points” by entering LVRCJ as the class code. Students brought home book catalogs early in the week. This order will be placed on September 8th. We usually tend to order them on a credit card of one of our teachers, so cash is preferred if possible. Students who are unable to purchase books through Scholastic – be it financial or other – DO have a voice in how we use the points we gain by ordering. Student input is key in how texts are ordered for our class, and so if your child would like to be a part of the decision making when books are ordered, we absolutely invite them.

Bradford Woods

The 5/6 class will be going to Bradford Woods on September 9, 10, and 11th. We will be hosting an informational meeting next Wednesday, August 26th, from 6:15-7:15. If you have had students go to Bradford Woods in the past, you do not need to come to this meeting, but are certainly welcome. Kids are also welcome to attend. We will be meeting in the Voice (Ms. Cindy’s) room.

Family Info Night

Was a huge success! More than half the class was represented in our evening. If you couldn’t make it – here is the FAQ sheet we passed out as well as the Family Survey we ask you to fill out with current contact information.


This week  we started work on stations. Kids read short stories, logged into google drive on iPads, and solved analogy crossword puzzles.


In readers workshop this week students came up with reading paths. They set goals for the next three books they’ll be reading in a 3-4.5 week timeline. We will be going to the public library at the end of next week (hopefully) to pick up books we didn’t have available in class.


In writing, we’ve been working on writing leads. We’ve also been working on evoking emotion and creating a sense of wonder.

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home:

  • What agreements did you come up with as a class? How did you decide on agreements?
  • What were the different personalities you discussed in CPR? Were you an eagle, bear, lion, or deer?
  • How are you taking risks with your learning?


Newsletter 1 – 8/14/15

Family Information

We will have our family information night next Wednesday from 6:30-7:30! It will take place in the 5/6 classroom.

You can find out who your contact is for this year (many have changed since last year!) as well as our snack schedule on our General Information page.

Building Our Community

This week we did several team building CHALLENGES to help grow our community. We did a crepe paper group walk, blob tag, over and under relay.

We also worked on our hopes and dreams for reading, writing, math P3, and community. We’ve also asked kids to identify a hope or dream they have in terms of learning about themselves.

Kids narrowed our agreements down to nine statements. We will be moving forward in agreements work next week.

We used the language of “safety,” “risk,” and “danger” zones to identify how we feel in different situations.

We discussed a hierarchy of needs during lessons and how to identify “wants” and “needs.”

New Routines

We intend to discuss workshops in more depth at the family information night, but we’ve started a new schedule this year. You can find an image of the tentative 5/6 schedule below.

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Morning Meeting & CPR

One change kids have received very positively is our alternating Morning Meetings and CPRs. CPR, or Circle of Power and Respect is the 5-8 version of morning meeting, and it focuses on building metacognitive awareness of individual in relationship to community. We will have CPR three times a week in hopes and dreams groups and Morning Meeting as a whole class twice a week.  

Questions to Ask Your Child

  • What is something you learned that surprised you this week?
  • What is similar and different about your classroom this year from last year?
  • What is happening in the read aloud of El Deafo?
  • What is something that is in your risk zone? danger zone?
  • What team initiative helped you feel most welcome in the community?