Newsletter 16 – 12/17/18

Weekly Highlights

Last week we spent a lot of time reading nonfiction pieces about genetics-related issues. We read about Dolly the Sheep and about GMOs in our food. In writers workshop we looked for the structure of topic sentence/supporting detail to build greater awareness in our own paragraph writing.

Connected to this reading/writing work, we have been going in depth with genetics in our science studies. This week we wrapped up work with Punnett Squares, watched a related episode of the Magic School Bus (they travel on the CRISPR express!), and watched the beginning of a NOVA documentary on identical twins.

In Reader’s Workshop, we’ve begun to read aloud The Giver. If you haven’t read it, it’s an amazing book that talks about a utopia/dystopia. Students are already making connections to the society the main character lives in, and the many rules, boundaries, limits, etc. that he encounters. We are talking a lot about using literal text to make inferences, and students have been writing down inferences they have in their own independent reading books. We are taking weekly (ish) trips to the library to continue to make sure kids are reading books of great interest and great challenge.

Announcements

  • For homework this week, students will be given a choice between working for 30 minutes outside of class on their creative writing pieces OR writing a kindness letter to someone in the school. Homework will be due on Thursday!
  • The whole school will be going to see Cardinal Stage’s production of Beauty & the Beast on December 20th at 10am. We are asking that families send in $6.50 for their child to attend this performance. No child  will be prevented from going based on an inability to pay. If you are able to contribute extra money to cover the cost of someone else, please send that in with your child.

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home

  • What is happening in The Giver ? Describe the character of Jonas.
  • What happened on The Magic School Bus episode you watched? What was and was not something the kids could “gene edit” ?
  • How do you think studying GMOs, CRISPR, and cloning relates to boundaries?
  • What is your creative writing piece about (this is something we started today!)?
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Newsletter 15 – 12/10/18

Weekly Highlights

We spent last week working in smaller CPR groups and continued with themes of interdependence. In these groups, 18 in size, with Heather, John, & Kalei, facilitating – students are talking about common ground and mutually beneficial relationships. We have also been working on mixing up who kids sit next to so that they are greeting and connecting with a variety of kiddos throughout the week.

In writers workshop, we finished up our work with interviewing a peer. Students have been closely studying the format of a paragraph, and that’s why it showed up in homework last week (and again this week!).

We went to see the 3/4 play – Alice in Wonderland – it was amazing.

We also started to extend some of our genetics understandings to work with Punnett Squares. We’ve been working to understand dominant and recessive genes. We’re excited about the places this study of science is going to take us in future P3 work. We’ve started to do some work with learning about the gene-edited babies in China, and students have been reflecting on what opinions they have of this scenario. Here is a short radio piece we listened to today. 

Announcements

  • Homework will be due on Thursday this week! We are really trying to help kids build the habit of getting it done before the weekend.
  • The whole school will be going to see Cardinal Stage’s production of Beauty & the Beast on December 20th at 10am. We are asking that families send in $6.50 for their child to attend this performance. No child  will be prevented from going based on an inability to pay. If you are able to contribute extra money to cover the cost of someone else, please send that in with your child.

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home

  • What did you learn in the process of interviewing and writing up paragraphs in Writers Workshop?
  • What do you think about the genetic editing article / podcast you engaged with?
  • How is IDR going? What books have you completed?

Newsletter 14 – 11/30/18

Weekly Highlights

This week we welcomed a new member to our 5/6 team – Ms. Teasa. Teasa joins us as a former 6th grade teacher in the Indianapolis Public Schools. We worked to welcome Teasa to our community by creating slides about ourselves and about TPS/the 5/6 class.

We had two celebrations of our zine work this week… one on Tuesday with the whole class during school and another on Wednesday night. We are so proud of this work! We’ve hung it up in our classroom, so you can stop by sometime and see it there if you can’t make our last “celebration” – more details below.

We did completed a science lab related to genetics and have had some experiences with learning about DNA!

Announcements

Art To Remember Orders are here! If you would like an early pick-up, before the items go home with students, you may come to the 3rd floor art room WEDNESDAY the 5th, from 4:00-5:15pm. All orders not picked up at this time will go home with your artists on Friday the 7th. If you would like me to hold items in the art room, for pick-up before the Variety Show on the 19th, let me know via email. If you have any other questions feel free to contact Ms. Sara at sirvine@theprojectschool.org

The whole school will be going to see Cardinal Stage’s production of Beauty & the Beast on December 20th at 10am. We are asking that families send in $6.50 for their child to attend this performance. No child  will be prevented from going based on an inability to pay. If you are able to contribute extra money to cover the cost of someone else, please send that in with your child.

Zines at the library! We will have our zines on display in the gallery space at MCPL Monday-Thursday next week. Come by and take a look/read. We’ll send home copies of zines the following week, so please leave them up and let them be seen!

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home

  • How did the celebration of your zines go? What went well? What went not as well?
  • What is happening in CPR?
  • You’ve been working on a short interview project, what are you learning about?
  • What book are you reading during IDR? Is it interesting? Is it challenging? What do you plan to read next?