Newsletter 22- 3/5/19

Weekly Highlights

Ms. Sydney (our student teacher) led is in some compelling work around finding the theme in books. After studying theme through picture books, students wrote “mini-stories” with an assigned theme in mind. Their pieces took just about 25 minutes and are amazing to read.

In Writers Workshop, we’ve begun writing argument essays related to ethics questions. Students have created a thesis and are working on building evidence to support it. Most kids are writing an essay on one of the following prompts:

  • Is ignorance bliss?
  • Is it okay to do the wrong thing for the right reasons?
  • Are reality, truth, and knowledge worth pursuing?

This has connected well to our unit on debate, in which we are learning the words claim, warrant, data, and impact. You probably saw these on last week’s homework, but kids have started to take notes in preparation for their mini-debates!


  • Book Club reading is ongoing. Make sure to check in with your child at home about their club reading. If your child is in LLI, they should have reading to bring home from their group as well.
  • For homework this week, students are being asked to write the introductory paragraph to their ethics essay. Here is a link to the assignment.
  • A tutoring flyer is attached – check it out!

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home

  • What SP.AR.s did you have last week?
  • What have you been talking about in CPR related to discrimination, equal treatment of genders at school, and bias?
  • What has been happening in The Giver? What do you think about a world where “Sameness” is the way things are?
  • How are you doing with the writing goal you set on SeeSaw?

Newsletter 21 – 2/26/19

Weekly Highlights

Last week we spent a lot of time focused on writing. Teachers asked students for the writing piece they most wanted feedback on, we graded them using Teachers’ College checklists, and handed them back last week. Kids used these checklists to set goals for the rest of their semester – which you can see on Seesaw. We also had kids go back into their pieces and revise if they felt like they could.

We launched into our debate work in P3, which started with SP.AR.s (Spontaneous Arguments). You’ll see the structure on the homework this week, but students had a great time presenting one minute improvised arguments to one another.

In Readers Workshop we launched book clubs and are starting our first meetings and reading assignments this week. All of the groups have consistent writing assignments, but the dates that pages & writing is due varies from group to group. This week, we are focusing on theories about our characters – thinking about personalities, inferences, behaviors, etc. that connect to our reading.

In Advisory last Friday, we started talking about the question “What does it mean to include people?” and reflected on the 5-8 dance and ways we may make choices. It was such a blast to see so many of our students at the dance and see the planning teams’ effort be such a success.


This week, we have a debate related assignment that students brought home yesterday. Here is the link in case you need a copy.

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home

  • What are you reading for Book Clubs, and what are your first impressions of the book?
  • What is happening in The Giver? How does it relate to The Truman Show?
  • Do you think that reality, truth, and knowledge are worth pursuing – even if they lead to unhappiness? Why or why not?
  • What is one of your goals for your writing life?