Newsletter 15 – 12/18/15

Weekly Highlights

This week we worked on finishing up several unit projects. In Ancient Civilizations work, students finished stations work or they worked on a project of their own creation. We had many kids opt to build one of the architectural wonders of the ancient world.

In writers workshop, one group finished writing essays on whether or not we should have homework. Another group worked to further their consultation of sources and stated claims that were supported with reasons.

On Friday we saw Mary Poppins at the Buskirk Chumley and had some of the best seats in the house. Students sang along with the cheerful lyrics.

We finished our read aloud of Rats! We’ve been having some great conversations about these fabulous rodents.

We’ve been talking a lot about documentation projects in class. Kids contributed to our Argument Writing display – please come in after winter break to take a look!

Please rehearse songs from our upcoming play (January 26th) by singing along with these tracks over break.

Newsletter 14 – 12/11/15

Weekly Highlights

Eric Robinson joined us this week to give a presentation on Greece & Rome. His work at IU is closely tied to our current unit of study and kids were incredibly excited to hear him talk about his travels and answer some compelling questions.

In writing/reading (LITERACY) this week, we split into two groups to focus on argument essay. One group focused deeply on structure of paragraphs in persuasive writing and took on the issue of whether or not homework should be in schools. The other group spent time browsing topics for research and is focusing on nonfiction comprehension, synthesis, and note-taking.

New documentation of our learning is springing up around our classroom after an inspiring staff meeting lead by Ms. Doriet. We are working on helping kids make connections to their learning by putting up some displays. We also spent some time discussing what other projects they could imagine. The overhead library committee will be working on some displays related to literacy and a handful of students are going to start documenting the process of the play.

Questions to ask your child:

  • What is your claim in literacy workshop? What are your reasons?
  • What stations have you logged in the ancient civilizations work?
  • How has play rehearsal been going – what scenes/songs do you need to practice more?

Just a last  note that we appreciate all the support you send us, the articles you send our way to read, the moments that you stop by and say hi in the mornings and afternoons, and all that you do for your child to have them ready for the day.

Newsletter 13 – 12/7/15

Weekly Highlights

The big thing of this past week was our launch of study on Egypt, Greece, and Rome! We started the week with a timeline walk, where students walked along the b-line trail, each step representing ten years of history. After taking many steps, we got to the ancient civilizations we’re studying over the next few weeks. The unit is mostly done through stations study, students are independently taking on stations work and learning about government, religion, art, architecture, daily life, and military.

We also launched a mini-study of persuasive/argumentative writing. After a lively debate between Mr. Jim and Ms. Kalei, students chose to write a pro/con essay on screens at inside recess OR changing the school lunch vendor.

Book clubs ended and some groups did some project work if they had time.

We had some IU students come in and do a presentation on biodiversity and language diversity.

We’re in smaller writing groups this week focusing our research work. We will send home homework tomorrow!