Newsletter 18 – 1/26/18

Weekly Highlights

This week we worked on three major projects and focused a lot on turning in work. Make sure you are able to access your child’s Fresh Grade portfolio (we can re-send invitations if you need them) so that you can track what they are/aren’t turning in as well.

Many students got to work on the drafts for their Books & Beyond stories. We have a variety of pieces all following the theme of “firsts:” loosing a tooth, making a friend, going to the playground, etc. Students identified themselves as primary authors or illustrators and the authors focused on drafting.

Primary illustrators worked to finish their biography busts, which you will start to see in the hallways toward the end of the week. Students used a graphic organizer to collect facts, quotes, and a symbol to represent their biography subject. Next week, we’ll reverse roles, so the illustrators will be working on creating the drawings that go with their stories and authors will complete biography projects.

Our last big piece this week was working on our invitations. We’ve been studying a variety of topics through invitations, all connected to the theme of “movements.” Invitations is an inquiry-based model, where students are given a variety of resources to deepen their context, foster their curiosity through conversations with their peers. Since this experience is so much based on the groups discussions, it’s really difficult to summarize all the incredible work that has been going on. Here are a few things that were shared with the whole class:

  • “As we were studying [women’s rights], it was sad to see how protesting has happened but there are still issues and every time there is change there is still so much that has to change…”
  • “I wondered about what people would think if they traveled from the past. I wonder what people in the future think about us right now.”
  • “We read about child labor. There was a kid who worked in a coal mine all day and made something like 75 cents a week. He was five.”
  • “There was an AIDS crisis. The government didn’t respond at first but I am not sure why.”
  • “There is so much plastic floating in the ocean.”
  • “We didn’t realize how much genocide is still happening. It seemed like something that had happened in the past but it is still going on today.”
  • “We looked at maps and found that the closer a country is to the equator, the more likely they are to have child labor happening.”


We have updated our virtual learning plans. In the case that we have more snow days, ice days, inclement weather days, etc., you can find our plans here. We will send home paper copies this week.

Our homework structure will be the same as last week. On Monday, your child will be assigned two short stories and a writing assignment to complete about one. The reading and writing pieces will be due on Friday.

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home:

  •  What invitations have you been participating in?
  • What is a thick question you have been pursuing during invitations time? What is something you’ve learned?
  • What role do you have for your Books & Beyond story? What work did you do this week?

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