⅚ Newsletter -4/23

Weekly Highlights

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James and the Giant Peach was a huge success! After weeks of dedication to memorizing lines, designing and building sets, and practice practice practice, we got to see the fruit of all their labor! Well done, ⅚ students! You were awe inspiring. -With Love,  Your ⅚ Teachers!

  1. In P3 this week, we did some constructing. First, we diagrammed a web of harm with topics and categories based on student observations.Then, we learned about The Pyramid of Hate:

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Asma Jama, who is Somali-American, was eating in an Applebee’s restaurant. Another woman who heard Asma speaking Swahili and wearing a hijab demanded that she speak English or leave. When Asma told her she was a US citizen, the woman smashed her beer mug across her face, sending Asma to the hospital to get 17 stitches.

“My thoughts were, Man. That’s horrible.” -⅚ student

“I would think that is really mean. And it shouldn’t happen.” -⅚ student

At DePauw university last week, someone used giant rocks to spell out the n-word at a public nature park. This followed several other actions using the same language and violent phrases like “you must die.”

“I think that’s awful and I don’t understand what human would think that’s ok. And just. Why?!” -⅚ student

After reading through several scenarios this week that could be considered rooted in discrimination or hate, students determined where they felt these scenarios fell on the pyramid of hate. We learned that the base of The Pyramid of Hate is where attitudes of prejudice begin and at the top of the pyramid is acts of violence.

Next, students chose the topics they will each be presenting at our upcoming conference. The conference will be led by students and will center around the them of alternatives to harm. It is scheduled for the end of May. Stay tuned for more details!

  1. In Writers Workshop, we continued our work with interviews and had a few more groups of students interview guests. Enthusiasm is still really strong for this and we are really excited to see how this develops into the next writing piece. Thinking small about writing, each writing piece is made of many paragraphs. We started work on generating paragraphs and discussed the criteria of a good paragraph.
  2. We will continue ISTEP testing next week. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday we’ll be testing the whole large group of students in the morning. Small groups of students will test throughout the day. It is very helpful to know in advance if your student has a planned absence. Attendance is very important. If your student has an appointment that cannot be easily rescheduled, please email their line teacher in addition to Ms. Kristin so teachers can plan accordingly. If you have questions about your child’s specific schedule, feel free to email us!

Announcements:

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Thank you for sending in all the yummy cereal and breakfast items. The students were delighted to have so many choices for their cast party on Wednesday morning!

 

Thank you to all who sent in the pencils. We appreciate all you do!

We could use some mints (Like the individually wrapped Brach’s or Lifesaver’s brands) for ISTEP testing. And chewing gum. We have found that having gum and/or mints available during testing can boost concentration and focus.

SNACKS: We will be ISTEP testing Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. On those days in particular, it would be great to have more substantial snack items such as cheese or breakfast bars.

Snack schedule:
Last names Daniels-Lawson – 4/23, 5/21
Last names Leinenbach-Port – 4/30, 5/29
Last names Pulley-Wright  4/9, 5/7

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home:

  • What topic did you choose for the conference?
  • What do you know about conferences?
  • What inspired you from the James and The Giant Peach Performance?

 

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⅚ Newsletter -4/16

Weekly Highlights

There is so much excitement in the air these days…

Here’s what was overheard during our Interviews this week…(Writer’s Workshop):

“I would be happy to come and do this again. Anytime.”– from the director of the LGBTQ+ Culture Center on campus.

“I really enjoyed this. I’m impressed that your students care about this and want to talk about prisons.”–from a board member of New Leaf New Life (organization that provides support to those in the incarcerated system)

“Can we keep going? Wait, there’s so much more I want to talk about!” –from a student

  1. In Writers Workshop, we distinguished between interview questions that are related to a person’s job or activist work and questions that are personal and relate to a person’s thoughts, beliefs, or memories.  Some students met with a guest (interviewee) and we held our first round of INTERVIEWS! Your children were professional, caring, engaged and just generally knocking it out of the ballpark!
  2. In P3, our CONFERENCE work took a bend towards recognizing how it feels to be shown gratitude. We worked on recording observations of traits and habits of others for which we are grateful and thanking them for being who they are. Each student is writing some form of a gratitude letter and anonymously giving it to another student. They are eager to receive these!
  3. Book clubs have had their second meeting! Agenda books are continuing from now until school ends as an organizational tool. They will be used to record the reading and writing assignments. If your child does Read Live, they will need to continue with it as their homework, and will not be doing the book club assignments.
    • Each week they’ll have two writing assignments due as well as reading.
    • Students are given time in class to begin working on their reading/writing assignments, but will likely need time outside of school to complete the work.
    • Last week, students checked in daily with their book club teachers to report how deadlines are being met. The assignment will be added to FreshGrade.

We will be starting ISTEP testing tomorrow. Monday and Thursday we’ll be testing the whole large group of students in the morning. Small groups of students will test throughout the day. It is very helpful to know in advance if your student has a planned absence. Attendance is very important. If your student has an appointment that cannot be easily rescheduled, please email their line teacher in addition to Ms. Kristin so teachers can plan accordingly. ISTEP testing begins April 16 and finishes when we’ve tested all the students.

If you have questions about your child’s specific schedule, feel free to email us!

 

Announcements:

1. No SCHOOL this Friday, April 20th (bad weather make-up day)

2. ⅚ Performance of James and the Giant Peach: THIS TUESDAY! April 17th at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Auditorium. 122 South Walnut Street Bloomington, IN 47404

  • 5:45pm (Hopes line arrives) and 6pm (Hopes line performs).
  • 7pm (Dreams line arrives–no earlier – the previous show will be going on) and 7:15pm (Dreams line performs)

On 4/16 and 4/17 we will be at the Waldron Arts Center to rehearse. Please contact the office on those days if you should need to pick up your child early, as we may be off campus rehearsing.

3. Cast Party/Cereal Celebration THIS Wednesday, April 18.

Please send in a box of cereal with your child.

We are looking forward to celebrating the hard work and dedication students are putting in to their shows. We are excited to have a cereal party Wednesday morning. We will provide bowls, spoons, and milk. We are asking families to provide the cereal! Just one box of any variety of cereal will do per family. For those with food restrictions: Teachers will provide dairy free milk and have some GF/Vegan alternatives on hand, but feel free to send in favorites if your child has dietary restrictions 🙂

4. We need more pencils. Any pencils that can be sent in would be greatly appreciated!

5. Books and Beyond 10 Year Celebration…Are you attending? Please RSVP here if you and your student author will attend (due to space limitations, please only RSVP for 1 student and 1 family member.)

6. We appreciate the healthy snacks! We strive to have snacks where sugar is not listed as the first five ingredients. We will be ISTEP testing Monday and Thursday and would love to have more substantial snack items such as cheese, breakfast bars, or bananas.

Snack schedule:
Last names Allen-Crouch – 4/16, 5/14
Last names Daniels-Lawson – 4/23, 5/21
Last names Leinenbach-Port – 4/30, 5/29
Last names Pulley-Wright  4/9, 5/7

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home:

  • What are you learning about speaking and listening during interviews?
  • What have you learned about about showing gratitude?
  • Which countries in North America are you curious about? What did you learn about land formations on North and South America?
  • How did you participate in your second book club meeting?

Newsletter 25- 4/9

Weekly Highlights

What a great week it was getting back into our groove. Here’s what we did…

  1. In Writers Workshop, we listened to INTERVIEWS! NPR’s StoryCorps recorded an interview that featured one of our very own students! It was a delight for all of us to listen and learn about what types of questions are used in interviews. We also created a bar graph which displayed the results of a classroom poll that gathered data on which interview questions were most effective. Students selected the interview topic for which they are curious, passionate, or just want to learn more about.  Next, they’ll begin writing questions to ask a local activist who’s working to stand up to a particular injustice in our community. We’ll conduct a few interviews this week and some next week.
  2. In P3, our CONFERENCE work centered around defining violence.  Since our conference will be called Change Makers: Alternatives to Violence, it is important that students spend time thinking about which words are synonyms to violence and alternatively, the antonyms to violence.  This work will help us begin to narrow our focus into topics that are more relevant to our healthy relationships study, movements, gender, puberty, etc. Some possibilities might be:
    • How to do self-care at home
    • What is relational aggression?
    • Books & poems that address self-confidence
    • Your brain on Instagram – body image
  3. All book clubs have had their first meeting! Agenda books were used to record the reading and writing assignments. If your child does Read Live, they will need to continue with it as their homework, and will not be doing the book club assignments.
    • Each week they’ll have two writing assignments due as well as reading.
    • Students are given time in class to begin working on their reading/writing assignments, but will likely need time outside of school to complete the work.
    • Last week, students checked in daily with their book club teachers to report how deadlines are being met. The assignment has been added to FreshGrade.

We will be starting our next round of ISTEP testing soon. The practice session window is now open. It is very helpful to know in advance if your student has a planned absence. Attendance is very important. If your student has an appointment that cannot be easily rescheduled, please email their line teacher in addition to Ms. Kristin so teachers can plan accordingly. ISTEP testing begins April 19 and finishes when we’ve tested all the students.

Announcements

  • School Pictures are THIS WEEK – ⅚ will do photos in the morning on Thursday, April 12. Thursday, April 12. MAKE-UPS will be Friday, April 13 at 8:15.Sibling pictures are also available – if a K-4 student has a sibling in 5-8, the 5-8 student should dress for picture day on Tuesday, April 10.
  • Books and Beyond 10 Year Celebration: Wednesday April 18th 6:30-8:30 at the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. 7th St. Bloomington, IN 47405. Please RSVP here if you and your student author will attend (due to space limitations, please only RSVP for 1 student and 1 family member.)

Books and Beyon Newsletter

 

  • We need more pencils. We have not recovered from the great pencil shortage of February 2018, so any pencils that can be sent in would be greatly appreciated.
  • Just about 1 week until the ⅚ Performance of James and the Giant Peach! Performances will be: Tuesday April 17th at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Auditorium. Hopes line students need to arrive at 5:45 and their performance will be at 6pm. Dreams students need to arrive at 7 (and no earlier – the previous show will be going on) and they’ll perform at 7:15.  

Need costume information? We can resend the email from Mr. Chris upon request.  

On 4/16 and 4/17 we will be at the Waldron Arts Center to rehearse. Please contact the office on those days if you should need to pick up your child early, as we may be off campus rehearsing.

  • We appreciate the healthy snacks! We strive to have snacks where sugar is not listed as the first five ingredients.
  • Snack schedule:
    Last names Allen-Crouch – 4/16, 5/14
    Last names Daniels-Lawson – 4/23, 5/21
    Last names Leinenbach-Port – 4/30, 5/29
    Last names Pulley-Wright  4/9, 5/7

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home

  • What topic did you choose for your interview topic and why?
  • What have you learned about synonyms and antonyms? Which synonyms and antonyms to violence have left you intrigued?
  • Which countries in North America are you curious about? What did you learn about land formations on North and South America?
  • How did writing in your agenda book go for you? What has been your biggest realization about yourself and organization? (Feel free to look on FreshGrade for a post about this topic as well!)

 

Newsletter 24 – 4/2/17

Weekly Highlights

We enjoyed our first week back after break – even if it was cut a little short. We have three big things to tell you.

  1. In Writers Workshop, we are studying INTERVIEWS! Students are eagerly learning about note taking and interviewing skills as we discuss where these interviews will go. Since they’ve pursued lots of topics  through Invitations, we will be having them select from a heap of issues related to social justice. Additionally, we’ll be focusing these issues on LOCAL activism and activists.
  2. In P3, we are moving into a CONFERENCE! We will be hosting a conference the week of May 16-18 – we’re not solid on which specific date. Our conference will be called Change Makers: Alternatives to Violence. Every student will lead a workshop, in which something related to our theme is taught and engaged with. (Families who had kids in our room during LYLS – the structure will be similar, though the content will be more specific). We will focus on topics that are more relevant to our healthy relationships study, movements, gender, puberty, etc. Kids will not focus on physical and/or gun violence. We’ll be asking kids to seek alternatives… some possibilities might be:
    • How to do self-care at home
    • What is relational aggression?
    • Books & poems that address self-confidence
    • Your brain on Instagram – body image
  3. Students have been assigned book clubs and agenda books. If your child does Read Live, they will need to continue with it as their homework, and will not be doing the book club assignments.
    • Each week they’ll have two writing assignments due as well as reading
    • They will have some time in class to complete these assignments, but will need to do work outside of school.
    • Each morning, they will check in with their book club teacher to determine if their reading deadlines are being met.
    • Agenda Books: All students have been given an agenda book that they’ll be recording assignments in daily. There will be a poster in the room as well as a master copy of their agenda book that they’ll replicate in their books during the dismissal time. You will see writing in their agenda books every day!
    • Additionally, these agenda books will need to come home and to school every day. We’re hoping they find cozy lodgings in backpacks 😉

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Announcements

James and the Giant Peach costume information went home last Monday – be sure you were able to access that email/attachment.  The show will be on April 17th!

Hopes students need to arrive at 5:45 and their performance will be at 6

Dreams students need to arrive at 7 (and no earlier – the previous show will be going on) and they’ll perform at 7:15

Performances will be at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Auditorium

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home:

  • What was the three block method (of note-taking) and how did you use it with Ms. Rebecca’s stories?
  • What did you learn about conferences? What are the roles of participants and presenters?
  • What countries in South America have you studied so far?

Newsletter 23 – 3/9/18

Weekly Highlights

We had a great week – we started working on a community project, a classroom almanac.

We had our final geography quiz, and were amazed with kids’ reaching their goals! Most kids were able to take a photo of their quiz and put it on Fresh Grade, and we will follow up with a post after break.

We also spent a tremendous amount of time writing two perspective poems. These poems were focused on bullying-related situations that have come up in our classroom as well as some from other schools. Considering that two distinct characters with unique & empathetic perspectives needed to be heard, students spent 2 workshop sessions crafting their poetry.

Lastly, we worked on a timeline related to Black History. Students read through a timeline with some teacher support and reflected on 6-10 events using the words: justice, power, empowerment, and access. We used a clip from Cars 3 to frame some ideas related to oppression and privilege.

Announcements

You can find the James and the Giant Peach music here. We are going to ask that for “homework” over spring break, kids finish memorizing their lines & lyrics – we will have about 3 weeks until show time when we get back.

5/6 show, “James and the Giant Peach”- Tuesday, April 17 at 6pm (Hopes line) and 7:15pm (Dreams line) at the Ivy-Tech Waldron stage.

Snack schedule:

Last names Allen-Crouch – 4/16, 5/14
Last names Daniels-Lawson – 3/26, 4/23
Last names Leinenbach-Port – 4/2, 4/30
Last names Pulley-Wright  4/9, 5/7

Please remember that you can order from scholastic to support our next round of book clubs!!!

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home

  • How did you feel about the process and your progress on the Africa country quiz?
  • What can you share with me about Black History?
  • What was the poem you wrote that you felt most proud of?
  • What did your peers & classmates say your strengths were? What do you think your strengths are?

Newsletter 22 – 3/3/18

Weekly Highlights

Families… THANK YOU!! Our students were showered with gum, mints, and snacks this week. It helped them (and us) make the most of our testing experience. Most students have finished this first round of tests, which focused on writing responses to reading, math, and social studies (5th) or science (6th) prompts. While these tests changed our normal schedule this week, students were focused and did their best. We are excited to return to a more normal schedule next week. Students who still have to finish a test will do so early next week.

Poetry has been our other big focus. We are so amazed by the poetry that your children are creating! Early in the week we talked about emotions and how they guide us in poetry. Kids were asked to write a poem about an emotion without naming the emotion. We talked about four styles that they can use during this unit – free verse, narrative poetry, haiku, and odes. On Thursday, students were given a photo from 2016-2018 tied to movements/justice. They were asked to write two poems from two perspectives (or a two perspective poem) each with different emotional qualities. On Friday, kids posted their favorite poem so far to Fresh Grade. All of their poems are in a google doc attached to their profile in google classroom if you hope to read more.

Announcements

Africa Country Quiz – This Wednesday!
Our final quiz of all the African countries is this Wednesday.  After two trial quizzes, students worked with a teacher to set a CHALLENGING goal. They’ve been working hard in class to stretch their brains.  Memorizing isn’t something we ask students to do often, but we think it’s an important skill and, more importantly, it’s helping them be better citizens of the world. While not all students will memorize where every African country is, they DO know what those countries are, so when they hear about them elsewhere, will know what part of the world to add to their thinking.
Please consider ordering through Scholastic Clubs for our class. Even though other online retailers take a lot less time, when you order from Scholastic, our class gets points and we are able to spend them on new books. While we rely on our local library and individual grants to supply our classroom with diverse and relevant texts, sometimes we need to get a whole bunch of the same thing and that’s when Scholastic comes in handy. We will be placing an order over Spring Break, and you can check out our wish list too! Our online ordering code is: LVRCJ
This week for homework, we are going to ask that students read for two hours and write a summary (on Fresh Grade or on paper) that shares the gist of what they read.

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home:

  • Which ISTEP+ was your most/least favorite?
  • What hobby did you you share with the class last week in CPR (morning meeting)?
  • Who was Audrey Faye Hendricks? (She was one of the children arrested during the Birmingham Children’s March. She was only 9! We learned about her this week from one of our Black History Month Read Alouds.)
  • How are you feeling about the poetry unit so far?

Newsletter 21 – 2/23/18

Weekly Highlights

This week we did some work getting ready for ISTEP+ testing. We took most of our practice tests as a big group as well as students that test individually & in smaller groups. We will begin actual ISTEP testing on Monday. Here are a few things to keep in mind with testing:

  • Establish an early bedtime routine, to ensure your child/children receives at least 8 hours of sleep each night.
  • Remove distractions from their bedroom to ensure they have an uninterrupted sleep.
  • We are completing the “constructed response” section of ISTEP.  This section of the exam will ask students to respond to open-ended questions.
  • Make sure your child eats a healthy breakfast before school.
  • Be positive about the test! Don’t put undue pressure on your child’s performance.
  • Reassure your child, let them know that they just need to do their best.
  • Any appointments that are scheduled in the mornings are likely to impact student testing and makeups. If you have an appointment that you are unable to cancel, please let us know as soon as possible.
  • There are 3 subjects tested per each grade and 4 sections -ELA (2 sections), Math, and Social Studies/Science (5th/6th)

We used the image of a pie chart to talk about how to plan out the testing sessions. All of our testing this year is online, so we familiarized ourselves with the testing screen, buttons, etc.

To balance the structure of ISTEP, we worked on our Invitations topics during our P3 time. We also worked on a launching experience for our new writing unit.

Announcements

We are in need of gum (sugar free), mints (lifesavers, preferably) and pencils. The mints/gum are for ISTEP testing sessions. Pencils, we have somehow run out of! If you are able to bring any of these items in, please let Ms. Kalei know!

We sent homework bingo home with kids on Monday. We are hoping they will bring it back by March 2. We also have a geography quiz scheduled for the week of March 5th. Your child has set their own goals for this quiz, and most have their first quiz grades posted on Fresh Grade.

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home:

  • On Friday, you completed a challenge during your Fresh Grade time – what was it? [cuing words: drawing a picture, robots]
  • How did you feel about the pie-chart structure for ISTEP – do you think you’ll use it? How will it be helpful?
  • What is an injustice you’ve found in your Invitations study? How was power involved?