Newsletter 9 – 10/31/16

Weekly Highlights

Families, last week we spent time opening up some new Units of Study and finishing up some of the old! Much of our focus this week was on P3 and our new Readers/Writers unit.

In P3 we talked a LOT about the Electoral College. Using an article on Scholastic, students read and learned about the process of United States elections. We then played a simulation where the dreams were the “blue party” and the hopes were the “red party.” As line groups, they had to decide where to put their resources as they raced to 270 electoral votes. This simulation emphasized the importance of the battleground states in the campaign process. This week, we look forward to Mr. Scott guest teaching about some of the major candidates and issues in the election.

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In Writers workshop we launched a study of Media Literacy. We talked about the top ten advertising techniques seen in printed ads and found examples of each one. We talked about the purpose of different techniques and how they make an impact on us as consumers. We discussed being critical consumers and this relates to our work in readers workshop – a new unit of study on research reading. Eventually, the reading unit and writing unit will become research-based argument pieces, but right now we’re talking about them separately. The research work has centered around getting into the author’s shoes and explaining their perspective on an issue. As a whole class, we’re studying body image and advertising – and kids are experiencing a variety of texts on the subject. If you have other resources to add, send them our way. More photos here. 

Of course, field day was a highlight and most of you at this point (if not now then by your conference time) will be able to see the picture of your kiddo post-field day, though the muddiness was not captured fully as we had them scrape their shoes.


Homework this week is about transition words. You can find more here.

Skate night is tomorrow!

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home

  • What did you learn last week about advertising?
  • How is a president elected (or tell me about the electoral college)? What are battleground states?
  • What is the Books and Beyond project?


Newsletter 8 – 10/2/16

Weekly Highlights

Families, this week was packed with commas, book club meetings, and work with the thirteen colonies. You may say a theme of our week was communication – the kind we do with our own writing, the historical perspectives of when communication did/didn’t work effectively, and our own communication with one another.

We spent a lot of this week digging deeper into work with the pre-American Revolution era. Our study has focused on the relationship between the colonists and King George, but we’ve looked at multiple perspectives within this relationship. In P3 this week we focused on comparing religion, economy, and government in the thirteen colonies and found the differences between them. We also met in our book clubs during Readers Workshop to dig into historical inferences we’d made about life in colonial times.

In meeting and CPR, we’ve been talking about the many ways that we communicate with one another. We are working to figure out how communication – beyond the verbal – is understood in peer relationships. We’ve talked about how people communicate without speaking to one another, the power of body language, as well as the tone of voice. We’re going to keep doing this work next week too.


Skate night is on Tuesday, October 4th!

Conference letters went home last Monday/Tuesday – please make sure to communicate with us about your time preferences or if you need an additional copy of our schedules.

We do not have school on Friday, October 7th to accommodate conferences. Fall break starts the following Monday.

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home

  • What kinds of communication did you discuss in meeting/CPR this week?
  • How did the colonists and King George’s perspective differ?
  • What was your first book club meeting like?