Newsletter 3 – 8/28/17

Weekly Highlights

We had a TOTALLY AWESOME TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE last Monday. We spent the day doing special eclipse-related activities, reading myths, lore & tradition around solar eclipses, and watching live footage online.

We introduced our CGT for the year – CONNECTIONS – as well as the associated questions. We’ve been working on making, building, and questioning connections regularly.

We taught and practiced the Take a Break structure. When kids need to take a break from what they are doing -based on a teacher’s determination or their own, they have several spaces in the classroom to go. Here is an article from Responsive Classroom that talks about Take a Break from a teacher perspective.


  • Information about Bradford Woods went home on Friday via email.
  • Homework started today in 5/6. Over the next two weeks, students have a variety of assignments they can try for homework, and their goal will be to complete five. They’ll record what they do on a sheet and turn that in on September 8th. You can find a pdf of the assignment online and we have many extra hard copies in the classroom.
  • Bradford Woods paperwork will go home in the next two days. We’ll need these pieces back no later than September 6th.

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home:

  • You wrote a first draft this week – what was that process like? What small moment story were you telling and why?
  • What has been the most successful part of your school days so far?
  • What has having morning meeting in a small group (CPR) been like? What have you learned about your classmates?

Newsletter 2 – 8/19/17

Weekly Highlights

This week we came together as a community to form our agreements! We used a word cloud that showed the different needs students in our classroom have to achieve their hopes and dreams.


After several days of brainstorming and consensus making, we decided on these:

  • Create a calm, peaceful environment.
  • Show kindness, respect, and support.
  • Push yourself in the risk zone. ¬†Nicknamed: “Pushky”

We also jumpstarted our personal narrative unit. On Tuesday, we did our big memory museum to jog some ideas. We read some popular personal narratives and used them to make connections. We ended the week by writing short summaries of stories we’d like to explore.

In P3, we checked out the junior ranger eclipse packet – created by Bill Nye & the National Parks. We used a thumbtack and an index card to create a pinhole sun viewer.

Some language we’ve referenced in class that you may need at home:

  • agreements: classroom rules, created by students
  • hopes & dreams: the goals children set for themselves academically and in the community
  • crewlines: assigned lesson seats
  • work spots: independent work places (mostly assigned)
  • IDR: independent daily reading, a quiet reading time when students simply read a book they are interested in
  • flow: a state of being/feeling in which time doesn’t occur to the person because they are so engaged in what they are doing


–Please remember to check out our snack schedule on our General Info page
–Our Family Survey is still live – please fill it out if you haven’t already
–If your child will be absent for the day/part of the day on Monday to see the eclipse, please let us know.

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home

  • What were some of the activities you did in morning meeting this week? How did they help the community?
  • What have you been reading during IDR? Stamina pushed to about 30 minutes this week, how have you stayed focused?
  • This week there was a focus on individuals sharing, both in morning meeting and in writing. Did you share? Why/why not? What did you learn about others?

Newsletter 1 – 8/11/17

Weekly Highlights


We spent the week building our community. We did some work to identify who the individuals in our community are, reflecting on shared interests, as well as identifying our hopes and dreams for the year.

Some of the basics about 5/6 can be found on our “General Information” page, including how to get in touch with us, snack schedule, the general schedule, etc.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask. We will typically send more information about our week in our newsletter, but since the page above is a long read, we figured it would be enough for now.


  • TPS pool party is on August 25th at Bryan Park Pool
  • Fill out our family survey to let us know some more about your child.
  • We have an assignment kids need to complete by Tuesday in order to launch our writers unit. Please help your child bring their mementos in!

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home

  • What did you learn about trajectory this week? How did your “goal launching” go?
  • What are some of the ways the 5/6 community is coming together?
  • When you reflected on safety, risk, and danger zones – what did you put in your risk zone? danger?
  • What read alouds have you done and what did you think about them?