Newsletter 15- 12/17/17

Weekly Highlights

This week we spent time working on narratives, and the stories we’ve created are amazing. Students planned out the beginning, middle, and end of their stories quickly and then had some craft instruction on a lead. We set these stories up so that they will be done by tomorrow afternoon (hopefully)!

We also started to test out a new spelling program in 5/6. We’re going to try this week and see how it goes, and right now the whole class is doing the same thing. We are hoping to move to small groups and/or individualized lists within the few weeks after winter break.

We talked in P3/Health/Pre-Teen Hygiene this week about crushes and managing feelings. We had a panel of local birth workers – a doula, a midwife, and a person from All Options Pregnancy Center come in and talk with us about their different roles in pregnancy. On Friday, we talked about some of the things that make up Human Sexuality and sorted these ideas into the categories of: closeness, health, identity, and violence. In partnerships, students tried to place behaviors/ideas/things into these categories and/or overlap them in categories. We had a few whole-class discussions – particularly around the words vulnerability and risk-taking.


Copied from the TPS Update: Our K – 5/6/7 classes will be attending Cardinal Stage Company’s production of “Peter Pan” on Thursday morning. This includes all students except for our 7/8 class. The discounted tickets are $6.50 each. If you have not yet sent in ticket money for your child/ren, please do so early in the week. As always, no student will miss out on this opportunity regardless of ability to pay. Let teachers know if you need confidential ticket support. And for families who are able to contribute to support attendance by other students, we are always grateful!

A project of 7/8 that we are participating in this week: 

Spirit week is coming! Your child can participate to build community and collect personal care items for the Shalom Center. We’ll collect any personal care items in our classroom in a large box. Items can include soaps, toiletries, socks, feminine hygiene products, disposable razors, and anything else you think someone experiencing homelessness or poverty might find beneficial. We’ll deliver the items before we go on break so that people can benefit from them right away.

Each day has a theme.
Monday: Dress Alike Day (Groups of students choose to dress in a similar style/fashion
Tuesday: Color War between grades: 8th-Blue; 7th-Red; 6th-Purple; 5th: Green
Wednesday: Pajama Day
Thursday: Throwback Thursday (choose an era from the past and dress for the time!)

We talked as a community about Dress Alike on Monday, and came up with some group possibilities – fancy dressing (suit, bowtie, etc.), Harry Potter, different shoes, animal prints, and camo.

We are getting so excited for our annual Variety Show, which will take place on Wednesday, December 20, from 8:30-10:30a at Rhino’s! All family members are invited to join us, but we ask you to please, please remember to be good neighbors and TPS community members by parking only in designated and approved locations. These locations include: the free overflow lot for the Convention Center, the free spaces at 3rd Street Park, and the 4th Street Parking Garage (free for the first 3 hours). You can also use the paid metered spots along Walnut. Please DO NOT PARK anywhere in the extended Rhino’s parking lot, or in the TPS lots behind our building or along the mural wall. Thanks!

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home:

  • What is respect/empathy? What does it look like, feel like, & sound like?
  • What are some of the social, cognitive, physical, and emotional changes of puberty? [this is on a google doc they did in classroom]
  • How did you do with the homework deadline [Friday 12/15]?

Newsletter 14- 12/10/17

Weekly Highlights

This week we focused on JOY in morning meeting. Students reflected on their favorite things to do, activities they would like to try, and the way they feel when they are happy. We took a lot of opportunities to be playful and silly, including our time on Friday when students drew a picture of themselves as an animal.

We went to the library to watch the 3/4 play – Willy Wonka.

We built in more work with commas – specifically looking at and learning about appositives. We finished up our friendly persuasive letter correspondences. We used a graphic organizer to plan out our arguments and supporting facts.


We will be attending  “Peter Pan” on Thursday, December 21.  We ask families with children attending the performance to please send in $6.50/child to the front desk or to the classroom teacher by December 15. No TPS child will miss the experience, regardless of ability to pay.

Snack Schedule:

Last names Allen-Crouch – 1/9, 2/5, 3/5, 4/16
Last names Daniels-Lawson – 1/15, 2/12, 3/26, 4/23
Last names Leinenbach-Port – 12/11, 1/22, 2/19, 4/2
Last names Pulley-Wright 12/18, 1/29, 2/26, 4/9

Questions to Ask Yourself at Home

  • What is a way you experience joy?
  • What did you learn about pregnancy & fetal development this week?
  • How did you connect facts (qualitative & quantitative) to your persuasive letters?
  • What is happening in your math group lately?

Newsletter 13 – 12/3/17

Weekly Highlights

This week we mostly focused on the curriculum through Middle Way House and our new Writers Workshop unit.

Our work with Middle Way House focused on a few different threads: gender, power & control, unhealthy/healthy relationships, and bystander intervention. Students learned and worked through much of this with our facilitator, Sam. They connected students with ways to get help for themselves or for a friend. We also learned about consent and the times in the 5th/6th grader’s life when we may need to get consent (hanging out, playing a rough game, hugging). A huge takeaway from the 5/6 teaching team was that our students have many, many questions about violence, relationships, and gender. The bulk of each 90 minute session was spent on the complex ways students are envisioning the world around them.

A summary, sent by Prevention Educator Sam, is below:

Question Themes We Heard This Week
  • violence at home and at school
  • stranger violence (shooting)
  • accountability (what to do if you’re causing harm)
  • suicide and self-harm
  • fear of reporting harm or not knowing who to report to
  • friendship (breaks and endings)
  • definitions or word meanings
  • gender stereotypes, gender identity, and sex

If you have any followup questions for TPS teachers, please email us and we can help.

In CPR, we have been studying trust. After defining what trust is and feels like, students reflected on the adults they have in their life that they feel they can trust. We also explored trust as a class, doing some activities to bring our own trust for one another, together.

Our writing work is a combo – we are learning to write persuasive letters as well as teaching conventions. Students are choosing two perspectives that disagree on an opinion. They are writing a friendly correspondence that justifies each position. We are also working in small groups to learn about commas.


We will be going to see Peter Pan on December 21st. Please send in $6.50 for your child to attend. No child will be excluded based on an inability to pay. Donations for others welcome. We’ll be collecting this money for the weeks leading up to Peter Pan. We are so excited to see this Cardinal Stage production.

Please send Ms. Kalei or have students bring in pictures of pets this week. We’ll be doing some work with animals and joy on Friday.

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home:

  • What was a takeaway for you from this week with Sam? (Students responded on Fresh Grade to three separate prompts related to Middle Way House, they may need to look at their portfolio to remind them).
  • What are the two perspectives you are writing about in Writers Workshop?
  • What is a situation in which you may need someone’s consent?
  • How can you intervene when you see bullying?