Newsletter 9 – 10/30/17

Weekly Highlights

We have started a quick-turn-around research paper on natural disasters. Students are studying natural disasters that could impact Bloomington as well as who is most vulnerable in our community. We have been doing notes in our notebooks to capture important details.

We also began book clubs in our afternoons. Our book club theme is “The Storm Is Coming…” We began the week by talking about deadlines and our book club meetings. Each of the students in our class worked on a personalized schedule to meet the book club deadlines set by their group. We will have two homework assignments this week for readers to complete, one on the beginning of the plot and the other on character. In our writing about reading, we’ll be working on answers that show comprehension but also use our higher level thinking skills to cite evidence as we build inferences.


  • Art to Remember is due on Wednesday – PLEASE send it back in ASAP!
  • Book Club work is the only homework (other than math) this week. Please know your child has time in class to complete this as well.
  • We are so very excited to share with you the opportunity we have to take our 3-8th grade students to see the movie Wonder on Friday, November 17. This is a movie adaptation of the amazing book Wonder by RJ Palacio. The book and the movie fit so well with the work we do everyday at TPS. Many students have read this book themselves or had this book as a class read aloud at some point in the past few years. What is even more exciting is that we will be going on opening day and viewing the movie before any of the regular show times begin!
    The cost will be $6.00 per student.  Every child will attend the movie, regardless of ability to pay. If you can send an additional donation, beyond the cost of your child’s ticket, that will be greatly appreciated.
    There will be NO concessions offered at our special viewing. Please do not send additional money for snacks/concessions with your child.

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home

  • What natural disaster have you been studying? What do people need to be prepared for this kind of disaster? How does this disaster occur?
  • What are your first impressions of your book club book?
  • What’s something that friends and classmates have in common? What is something that is different about friends and classmates?

Newsletter 8 – 10/6/17

Weekly Highlights

It’s hard to believe we are already at the Fall Break mark!

This week, our class spent a lot of time focused on independent work stamina. We had several big assignments that students worked on – an on-demand revision in writing, a reading response for our first reading unit, and new book club choices. Students were so focused during these work sessions — we are definitely in the swing of things in workshops.

In P3 we worked on replicating and understanding more of what happened during Hurricane Katrina. Our read aloud, Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere follows a young girl in NoLa during the storm. In P3, we used stream tables to simulate the normal water cycle, a flood, and then our final experiment was to attempt to control a flood. Students designed levees, filtering systems, special housing, etc. to prevent homes and trees from being destroyed. Our read aloud is perfectly aligning to these experiments as our main character Armani has just been hit by the worst of the storm, her family currently seeking refuge in their attic.


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Please check out a birthday invite from Weston here! 

We had a homework assignment due yesterday (October 5th, 2017). We did not send home anything for Fall Break! If you can help your child to find some reading time, we’d appreciate that greatly.

Please sign up for conferences if you haven’t already. Conference signups are live – you can find Mr. John’s (hopes) signup here and Ms. Kalei’s (dreams) signup here. Ms. Rebecca will be attending conferences from both lines.

Fresh Grade portfolios will be shared with you sometime during/ just after break. If you get a link inviting you to Fresh Grade – please don’t archive it, follow the link to see your child’s portfolio.

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home:

  • How do hurricanes/floods/etc impact an environment?
  • What books are you interested in book club choices? (If you’d like to preview the books yourselves, you can have your kiddos show you their “classroom” on google and preview the pdfs)
  • What do you think you are doing really well with so far this school year?
  • What’s a goal you have for yourself after Fall Break?

Newsletter 7 – 10/1/17

Weekly Highlights

We were so happy to see many of our families at our Bradford Woods & Writing celebration on Monday. Thank you for joining us at Bryan Park for so much fun together.

This week we spent quite a bit of time with our new technology. We set up typing club accounts, worked a lot on FreshGrade, learned all about our new Google Classroom, and took on several independent technology work sessions. Students were quick to generate a list of “dos” and “don’ts” for tech use.

We are wrapping up our first reading unit, which was really building our reading stamina and focus, as well as pushing ourselves into the risk zone as readers. We are excited to move into our first round of book clubs very soon.

Habits have also been an underlying focus of the teaching team this week. We’ve been working with your children to make sure they are ready to go for each workshop, making efficient transitions, and remembering all the materials they need. We did a Multiple Intelligences inventory and will be using this data to make adjustments after Fall Break.


  • Conference signups are live – you can find Mr. John’s (hopes) signup here and Ms. Kalei’s (dreams) signup here. Ms. Rebecca will be attending conferences from both lines.
  • We are asking for donations of books for our first round of book clubs. If you are able to purchase a book or two for us, or send us a gift card so that we are able to purchase books, please let Ms. Kalei ( know.
  • The snack schedule has been updated on the general info page, and copied below.

Last names Allen-Crouch – 8/14, 9/11, 10/23, 11/27
Last names Daniels-Lawson – 8/21, 9/18, 10/30, 12/4
Last names Leinenbach-Port – 8/28, 9/25, 11/6, 12/11
Last names Pulley-Wright 9/5, 10/2, 11/13, 12/18

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home

  • What did you think of the writing feedback your teachers gave you? What are your strengths and goals as a writer?
  • How did your first week with the Chromebooks go?
  • What connections did you see between the different experiences of hurricanes people have had over the past 10 years?