Newsletter 7 – 10/1/17

Weekly Highlights

We were so happy to see many of our families at our Bradford Woods & Writing celebration on Monday. Thank you for joining us at Bryan Park for so much fun together.

This week we spent quite a bit of time with our new technology. We set up typing club accounts, worked a lot on FreshGrade, learned all about our new Google Classroom, and took on several independent technology work sessions. Students were quick to generate a list of “dos” and “don’ts” for tech use.

We are wrapping up our first reading unit, which was really building our reading stamina and focus, as well as pushing ourselves into the risk zone as readers. We are excited to move into our first round of book clubs very soon.

Habits have also been an underlying focus of the teaching team this week. We’ve been working with your children to make sure they are ready to go for each workshop, making efficient transitions, and remembering all the materials they need. We did a Multiple Intelligences inventory and will be using this data to make adjustments after Fall Break.


  • Conference signups are live – you can find Mr. John’s (hopes) signup here and Ms. Kalei’s (dreams) signup here. Ms. Rebecca will be attending conferences from both lines.
  • We are asking for donations of books for our first round of book clubs. If you are able to purchase a book or two for us, or send us a gift card so that we are able to purchase books, please let Ms. Kalei ( know.
  • The snack schedule has been updated on the general info page, and copied below.

Last names Allen-Crouch – 8/14, 9/11, 10/23, 11/27
Last names Daniels-Lawson – 8/21, 9/18, 10/30, 12/4
Last names Leinenbach-Port – 8/28, 9/25, 11/6, 12/11
Last names Pulley-Wright 9/5, 10/2, 11/13, 12/18

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home

  • What did you think of the writing feedback your teachers gave you? What are your strengths and goals as a writer?
  • How did your first week with the Chromebooks go?
  • What connections did you see between the different experiences of hurricanes people have had over the past 10 years?

Newsletter 6 – 9/24/17

Weekly Highlights

This week we went to Bradford Woods! We had such a fun time with many many memories to share with you. Our trail groups focused on lessons around: benthic macro invertebrates, outdoor survival shelter/skills [including building a fire], nighttime adaptations of animals, how different rocks are formed, and how to leave no trace.

Another big part of our Bradford Woods experience was learning about YUK! — or food waste. Make sure to ask your child how their tables worked to reduce food waste in the dining hall.

We also spent a lot time thinking about connections – what the connections were between ourselves and our natural environment, the connections to the Bradford Woods staff, to TPS students, to our habits, etc. While incredibly exhausting, the experience left many students feeling different about the world than they did just three days before.


  • We have been experiencing a lot of tardies in 5/6 – 19 children were tardy at least once in the last two weeks! Please make sure your child is here by 8:00am to get all the things done in the morning that help them prepare for the day.
  • Our Bradford Woods and Personal Narrative celebration is in Bryan Park tomorrow. Please see the letter pasted below for more details and what we need families to bring.
  • We will start using our new (!!!) Chromebooks this week. Kids are very excited about having 1:1 functional technology in our classroom.
  • Homework got passed out on Friday – it will be due on October 5th — the paper says September 8th, which would be a very difficult deadline to meet without a time machine.

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home

  • How did you feel about learning outdoors? What did you learn?
  • What kinds of creatures, trees, and ideas did you encounter while at Bradford Woods ?
  • Why does the presence of certain animals tell you about water quality?
  • What are helpful things for a camper to have if they are staying overnight outdoors for multiple days?
  • How do different animals adapt to night time?

Invitation to Celebration

Dear ⅚ families,

We are having a celebration at Bryan Park. This celebration is for our Bradfordwoods  trip and to celebrate our personal narrative writing pieces. Our celebration is this Monday, the 25th of September, between 6pm to 7:30pm.

You can stop by anytime in between 6pm and 7:30pm. We will meet on the big field on the south-west-side of the park.  At this celebration we will be playing Bradford Woods style Capture The Flag, having s’mores, singing songs from Bradford Woods, arts and crafts, and showing our Bradford Woods journal and our writing pieces.

If you have any of the following that you could bring Monday, please contact Ms.Kalei, Mr. John, or Ms. Rebecca. :

  • Fold out tables
  • Pop up tents
  • S’more roasting sticks
  • Chocolate (for s’mores)
  • Your child (you don’t have to contact ms.Kalei about this one)

If you come please make sure your child is wearing his/hers Bradfordwoods T-shirts.

From the ⅚ friends!

Newsletter 5 – 9/11/17

Weekly Highlights

We began editing in writers workshop – adding commas, adverbs, adjectives, and peer reading our drafts for spelling and grammar. We will be publishing this week. We’ll have a celebration of these writing pieces as well as Bradford Woods in general on 9/25 at 6pm in Bryan Park!

In reading, we have been talking about what readers do with punctuation and formatting in a text. We’ve been talking about all caps, italics, spacing, ellipses, parentheses, and so much more.

In P3 we have been investigating light, energy, and doing some incredible work with THE SUN.

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Our Bradford Woods trip is up and coming on September 18th (a week from today!). Please make sure you check out the gear list and let us know if you have questions of what/how to pack.

Homework was due last Friday, September 8th. We plan to send out another homework bingo that will be due on September 29th. Following that, will be a four week bingo (two five in a rows) that will occur over fall break as well.

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home:

  • Last week you set up your Fresh Grade account. How do you think being on tech in 5/6 went for you? What about for the class as a whole?
  • What is going on in the read aloud Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere? How can you make connections to what is happening with Hurricane Harvey & Irma?
  • How are you feeling about editing your first writing piece this school year?
  • What do you need to help you feel prepared to go to Bradford Woods?

Newsletter 4- 9/4/17

Weekly Highlights

In P3 we studied light! Prisms! Rainbows! And the moon! Kids have been really excited about the experimental aspects of our science work right now but are starting to connect to some bigger problems in our world. We spent quite a bit of time this week discussing Hurricane Harvey and the scientific reasons behind it. We also started a read aloud – Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere which is about a young girl in New Orleans when Katrina hits. We are making lots of connections.

In writers workshop, we are revising personal narrative pieces. We worked on revising internal and external description and our leads.

In readers workshop, we picked new novels up on Thursday/Friday. We talked about finding books that are just right, and part of that is student interest! Most students have finalized a choice to carry through the next two weeks.

We are going to have a publishing party / time to celebrate Bradford Woods on Monday the 25th at 6:00 in Bryan Park. The actual location within the park is TBD. We’ll have writing pieces there if you want to browse, some pieces we make with our trail groups after returning from BW, and most importantly – some opportunities to join in the games and songs we learn at Bradford Woods.


Questions to Ask Your Child at Home:

  • What book did you pick in the readers workshop unit?
  • How are you doing on your homework?
  • How has your study of The Planets in performing arts connected to P3 work?
  • How have the lunch arrangements changed? How are you feeling about that?

Newsletter 3 – 8/28/17

Weekly Highlights

We had a TOTALLY AWESOME TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE last Monday. We spent the day doing special eclipse-related activities, reading myths, lore & tradition around solar eclipses, and watching live footage online.

We introduced our CGT for the year – CONNECTIONS – as well as the associated questions. We’ve been working on making, building, and questioning connections regularly.

We taught and practiced the Take a Break structure. When kids need to take a break from what they are doing -based on a teacher’s determination or their own, they have several spaces in the classroom to go. Here is an article from Responsive Classroom that talks about Take a Break from a teacher perspective.


  • Information about Bradford Woods went home on Friday via email.
  • Homework started today in 5/6. Over the next two weeks, students have a variety of assignments they can try for homework, and their goal will be to complete five. They’ll record what they do on a sheet and turn that in on September 8th. You can find a pdf of the assignment online and we have many extra hard copies in the classroom.
  • Bradford Woods paperwork will go home in the next two days. We’ll need these pieces back no later than September 6th.

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home:

  • You wrote a first draft this week – what was that process like? What small moment story were you telling and why?
  • What has been the most successful part of your school days so far?
  • What has having morning meeting in a small group (CPR) been like? What have you learned about your classmates?

Newsletter 2 – 8/19/17

Weekly Highlights

This week we came together as a community to form our agreements! We used a word cloud that showed the different needs students in our classroom have to achieve their hopes and dreams.


After several days of brainstorming and consensus making, we decided on these:

  • Create a calm, peaceful environment.
  • Show kindness, respect, and support.
  • Push yourself in the risk zone.  Nicknamed: “Pushky”

We also jumpstarted our personal narrative unit. On Tuesday, we did our big memory museum to jog some ideas. We read some popular personal narratives and used them to make connections. We ended the week by writing short summaries of stories we’d like to explore.

In P3, we checked out the junior ranger eclipse packet – created by Bill Nye & the National Parks. We used a thumbtack and an index card to create a pinhole sun viewer.

Some language we’ve referenced in class that you may need at home:

  • agreements: classroom rules, created by students
  • hopes & dreams: the goals children set for themselves academically and in the community
  • crewlines: assigned lesson seats
  • work spots: independent work places (mostly assigned)
  • IDR: independent daily reading, a quiet reading time when students simply read a book they are interested in
  • flow: a state of being/feeling in which time doesn’t occur to the person because they are so engaged in what they are doing


–Please remember to check out our snack schedule on our General Info page
–Our Family Survey is still live – please fill it out if you haven’t already
–If your child will be absent for the day/part of the day on Monday to see the eclipse, please let us know.

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home

  • What were some of the activities you did in morning meeting this week? How did they help the community?
  • What have you been reading during IDR? Stamina pushed to about 30 minutes this week, how have you stayed focused?
  • This week there was a focus on individuals sharing, both in morning meeting and in writing. Did you share? Why/why not? What did you learn about others?

Newsletter 1 – 8/11/17

Weekly Highlights


We spent the week building our community. We did some work to identify who the individuals in our community are, reflecting on shared interests, as well as identifying our hopes and dreams for the year.

Some of the basics about 5/6 can be found on our “General Information” page, including how to get in touch with us, snack schedule, the general schedule, etc.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask. We will typically send more information about our week in our newsletter, but since the page above is a long read, we figured it would be enough for now.


  • TPS pool party is on August 25th at Bryan Park Pool
  • Fill out our family survey to let us know some more about your child.
  • We have an assignment kids need to complete by Tuesday in order to launch our writers unit. Please help your child bring their mementos in!

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home

  • What did you learn about trajectory this week? How did your “goal launching” go?
  • What are some of the ways the 5/6 community is coming together?
  • When you reflected on safety, risk, and danger zones – what did you put in your risk zone? danger?
  • What read alouds have you done and what did you think about them?