General Information

Snack

Snack is supplied by you (our families) when possible! We request low sugar snacks (sugar is not included in the first five ingredients). We love having healthy snacks like cheese and produce. We ask that snacks do not include any peanuts or tree nuts because we do have students with food allergies. Snack needs to serve 54 students, which amounts to…four boxes of triscuits, three large bags of popcorn, three bags of pretzels or tortilla chips, 27 apples or bananas, 54 clementines or string cheeses, 6-7 containers of strawberries. No family is required to bring in snack. If your child has a food allergy, please send in a box or bag of something that they like and we will make sure they get a portion of it during snack time.

Last names Allen-Crouch – 8/14, 9/11

Last names Daniels-Lawson – 8/21, 9/18

Last names Leinenbach-Port – 8/28, 9/25

Last names Pulley-Wright 9/5, 10/2

Schedule

A copy of our schedule is below. Following are some brief descriptions of the kinds of things we do in the ⅚ class.

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  • Morning Meeting/Circle of Power & Respect (CPR) – every day students gather together to build a stronger community. Morning Meeting is the first structured part of the school day. Morning Meeting begins with music that signals it’s time to come to the carpet. After students sit down they greet one another, have the opportunity to share, play a community game and then review the message and agenda for the day. CPR happens with the Hopes and Dreams line groups and follows the same structure but is in smaller group settings. The ⅚ class studies topics in Morning Meeting and CPR as the year progresses, and often these come from student needs. For example, last year we did a unit on integrity in CPR/MM..
  • Math Workshop happens everyday for an hour and fifteen minutes. Students are members of math groups based on what is right for their needs as a math learner. We use a curriculum called Bridges for K-5.  The 6-8 classes use Connected Math and College Prep Math. Students will not necessarily have Mr. John, Ms. Rebecca or Ms. Kalei as their math teacher, but all math teachers coordinate student needs.
  • Literacy Block will alternate or host both – Readers and Writers Workshop
    • Readers Workshop happens four times a week. Students will sit together during a short lesson and then independently read, reflect & respond to a text. During independent reading, teachers have one-on-one conferences during this time to support individual student needs.   Readers Workshop units are based around genres. This year we will be studying a variety of fiction and nonfiction genres in reading. Students will have some opportunities to be in book clubs. Some students will meet in LLI groups during this time to have structured strategy-based reading work. We use a variety of tools, including the Benchmark Assessment System (BAS) and teacher evaluations of students within a conference setting, to determine a student’s progress.
    • Writers Workshops happen four times a week. Workshop units are organized by genre.  This year your child will get a chance to write a variety of fiction and nonfiction pieces.  At the beginning of workshop students sit together for a short lesson on a writing tool or authoring strategy. Following the lesson students spend time writing entries in their individual student notebook, revising drafts, editing or finishing writing pieces.. Like Readers Workshop, students have one-on-one conferences with an adult to support their writing as they are developing a piece. In writer’s workshop we go through the stages of pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, publishing, and celebration.
  • In our P3 Workshop students investigate a place, problem, and build a project around current/historical events and science. Often, P3 units come out of students authentic need to investigate something in their world. We use P3 as a time to investigate social studies and science content and do meaningful group work!
  • Lunch/Recess – Students eat together in the cafe or classroom.  We have a variety of student committees that use lunch as a time to explore topics and projects.  Lunch committees are often an opportunity for students to take the lead on an issue or project.  At recess the class is taken outside to 3rd Street Park where they have a variety of play options. A staff member often facilitates one large group game for students who choose to participate.
  • Arts – Students spend two sessions a week with Mr. Chris in performing arts and two sessions a week with Ms. Sara in visual arts. Mr. Chris and Ms. Sara also work with the class to connect arts to the P3, Reading, and Writing units.
  • Room Rescue is our cleanup time. Students are assigned class jobs that they hold for a week or two.
  • Passions will start several weeks into the school year. Students make selections about a passions class and are placed into a group. These are somewhat like “electives”.  The true nature of passions is for students to find activities that engage them and help them achieve a state of “flow,” that is – students do not necessarily notice the passing of time because they are so into what they are doing.
  • Stations – are usually short, 20-40 minute, focused work sessions that allow students to work on spelling, typing, independent reading, current events, technology workshops, etc.
  • Fresh Grade – is the app we use to build e-portfolios throughout the year. In ⅚, students contribute to these portfolios regularly. We dedicate time each week for children to add artifacts, assignments and reflections to their portfolios.  You will be shared on your child’s Fresh Grade portfolio so you can follow their progress through the year.
  • Number Corner – is a program from the Bridges math curriculum. We’ll be using the calendars to and activities to build mathematical fluency, awareness of patterns, and do some simple math practice.
  • Opening Moves from arrival at 7:45 until 8:00 children take care of logistical tasks, get ready for the day, finish work and respond to the morning message.

Lines & Teachers in 5/6 

Ms. Rebecca  – Rebecca graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Elementary Education. She is delighted to expand her role in the TPS community having been a parent for a number of years and being involved now as a classroom teacher. Her children attend TPS and she is grateful for the many perspectives and learning opportunities offered here. Together with her husband and three children, she enjoys going on adventures and dancing in the living room. She loves to cook the food her family grows, sing, dance, write, read, and forest-bathe.

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Mr. John – Mr. John is beyond excited to be teaching in 5/6 this year. He has always been a secret admirer of what students learn and experience in 5/6. Mr. John brings with him a love and passion of all things science. His latest experiments involve raising chickens and keeping deer out of his garden. He is endlessly experimenting with successfully raising his own 4 kids.

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Mr. Jim – Jim came to Bloomington as an IU freshman a long time ago. He started in environmental education and then became a classroom teacher. Jim has been an elementary teacher, a school leader and a teacher trainer. He happily joined the TPS faculty in 2013. Jim is passionate about finding joy in the classroom and co-creating a place that meets the needs of all students. Teaching at TPS brings him great joy. He loves to talk, with those willing to listen, about teaching, learning and TPS.   Jim is supported in all these things by his family: spouse Erika, son Johnathan and Frisket (the cat).

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Mr. Devlon – Devlon has been in Bloomington since 2014. Since then, he has learned a lot about the beauty of a striving and supportive community. With his degree in Music Production and a love for art, Devlon feels right at home at TPS. Outside of TPS, he enjoys composing music, drums, roller blading, video games, cooking, learning Japanese/Spanish and so much more. He is supported in ALL these things by his lovely wife Wendy, daughters Kory and Peyton, and his two kitties Nemo and Fifi. Feel free to talk to him about anything at any time. Just know that conversations about his family can get really corny and mushy really quick. Consider yourselves warned!

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Ms. Kalei – Ms. Kalei has been in Bloomington and teaching at TPS for going on SIX years. She lives with her partner Karlie and cat Cricket, and they all like to go for walks in Bryan Park. Lately, they’ve been really digging the game Ticket to Ride, Cricket participates by chewing on the trains.

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Students are either on the HOPES line or DREAMS line. Hopes students’ primary contact will be with Mr. John (jsearcy@theprojectschool.org) and Ms. Rebecca (rtimmons@theprojectschool.ort). and Dreams students’ primary contact is Ms. Kalei (ksabaratnam@theprojectschool.org). When you have something to communicate that impacts your child, please let all of us know.

Typically the Hopes and Dreams will have arts, some CPR meetings, and independent work time separately. Most instruction happens as a whole class.  We will spend a lot of time all together, especially at the beginning of the year.

Hopes
John/Rebecca
Dreams
Kalei
AJ Aidan
Allie B. Asher
Brianna
Dean Cooper
Ella
Grayson Elijah R
James Elora
Jasmine
Juli Gavin
Kaden Josie
Kaimi Juan
Karlito Kaiava
Kira Karen
Leo Katie
Lincoln Keller
Mac Maddie
Mayah Makya
Mindy Matthew
Nathan Noah L.
Noah C Noah W
Orlando Phin
Parker Samuel M.
Sam R Sydney
Sami Tori
Veronica Weston
Willa Zadyn
Zoey R. Zoe W.

Communicating with the ⅚ Teachers

We check email every day – several times. We will respond to email but often email does not get checked until after students have been dismissed.  Mr. John’s email is jsearcy@theprojectschool.org, Ms. Rebecca is rtimmons@theprojectschool.org and Ms. Kalei’s is ksabaratnam@theprojectschool.org. Urgent information, like a change in after school plans, needs to be communicated with the front office to assure the message gets delivered in a timely manner.  You can also contact us on personal phones. Ms. Kalei’s number is 704-604-1694, and Mr. John’s is 812-327-3788 and Ms. Rebecca’s is 469-396-7907. If you have a question or need to share information please send us a text or send a note in with your child(ren). We will share a weekly newsletter with important announcements and information about our work together over the weekend. If you need to meet with us, we are available whenever you need us to be. Please let us know. You are always welcome in the classroom!

Scholastic Online Orders

We always appreciate if you are willing to order your books through Scholastic (https://clubs.scholastic.com) using our online code: LVRCJ. We’ll let you know through the newsletter when we are submitting orders, and your orders earn our classroom library points to buy books.

Online Accounts

Early into the year students will start working on Google Drive (a free platform to create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and images). The Project School has an account for each student, which we’ll help them set-up in the first six weeks. They are responsible for knowing their password! These are the accounts they will use for word processing in school, not personal email/gmail accounts. Email access is not enabled for the Project School google accounts in 5/6.

Typing Club – https://projectschool.typingclub.com/ – is a website we will use several times a week to practice fluency with typing. Kids are welcome and encouraged, but absolutely NOT required to practice typing club at home. These usernames and passwords will be available to you in the first six weeks below.

Buzzmath & Khan Academy – Some math groups will use Buzzmath and Khan Academy to review math skills. Students may use these accounts at home if they choose. They will not be required.

Attendance

Attendance is taken at 8:00am every day. When students arrive and put their backpacks away, their next step is to check off their names on our attendance lists. Teachers will call out the names of any absent students (those without a check) at 8:00am. If you have a question about your child’s attendance, information is available through the parent portal on powerschool.

Homework

At TPS, we believe that homework:

  • Reinforces understanding and provides extra practice on material that has already been covered at school and can be completed independently (differentiated)
  • Provides a connection from what is happening in the classroom to home
  • Age-appropriately builds life skills of responsibility, organization, time management, healthy habits
  • Helps prepare students for life beyond TPS
  • Flexible deadlines will honor the variety of student schedules (activities and family time)
  • Is accessible to all students regardless of resources available at home

General TPS Homework Guidelines:

  • Your child may receive Language Arts and/or Math homework each week
    • LLI homework counts as 20 minutes of reading
    • Math homework–8th will work to having math work due the next day
  • Teachers will review homework and return when applicable. Often, homework is kept to be used for a variety of purposes for your child and the classroom.
  • We will provide tools for students to plan their workload (Ex. monthly planner)
  • Homework will usually be given with several days to complete as works for families (Ex. assign Monday, due Friday with a grace period until the following Monday, but building in some transitional time for 8th grade to assign one day, due the next);
  • Homework should not become a battle at home; please communicate with teachers if it becomes an issue.
  • We have steps for when homework isn’t completed/turned which include developmentally appropriate interventions including problem solving conferences, check-ins, time and space provided during the day.

⅚ Specific Homework

  • Math homework will be assigned by your child’s math teacher.
  • Reading homework – students need to read at least two hours (120 minutes) a week. Sometimes they will have specific books to read for book clubs, but this will be the exception, not the rule. If a student is in LLI, their work from LLI counts as reading homework. To document their reading homework, your child will turn in a bookmark each week that lists the texts they read. We will start homework in our second or third week and give more specifics to kids then.
  • Writing homework – will be on an as needed basis. Often writing work needs to be finished at home to meet a publishing deadline.  Sometimes we want kids to practice a skill (like writing leads to a story) and we may assign this type of work as homework.  Writing work will still follow the assigned Monday, due Friday schedule.

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