Newsletter 30 – 5/5/17

Voices of 5/6

This is your Voice of 5/6 update.  A small group of students met during lunch on Friday to comment on the events of the week and share highlights with families. The contributors for this week are James, Emily, Phoenix, and Katie.

In Readers we have been reading a lot of political articles.  We have been listening to podcasts too. We have been summarizing what we have read.  We made concept maps for our topic and individual articles.  Katie thinks it is the best unit yet.  We can write and listen or listen and read along with the articles.  

In Writers we are still working on our Zines.  Next week we will be publishing.  We have enjoyed making pages.  Some topics have included an affirmation about feeling good about myself,  a playlist of music to help me feel happy, a list of how to stay calm and a cartoon about a cat and a dog.  We are looking forward to choose final topics and publish.

In P3 we have been doing invitations about food.  We are exploring different sources related to our topics. Invitations topics include Meat, Bees, 3 Sisters, Food Labels, Seeds and Migrant Workers. We learned migrant workers are often victims of trafficking and assault.  The conditions in the migrant housing are very dangerous. Workers are afraid to report crimes.  In “Seeds” we learned that the food coloring Red 20 is used to make berries keep their color.  It makes berries look fresher longer but may hide that the berries have gone bad.

In performing arts we are learning about the 7-8 play “The Cradle Will Rock”. In the 1930’s people who got hurt on the job would lose their job.  Since thousands were unemployed the businesses could replace hurt workers.  The play was written thanks to a government arts program to support artists during the Depression.

In CPR we split into two different groups.  We have been working on “friendship” and “communication”.  We are looking forward to using what we learn to solve problems.  

Announcements

Info about school pictures! There will be pictures daily around 8:10 next week in the cafe. The schedule is as follows.

Monday– K, 4/5/6
Tuesday- 5/6
Wednesday- 3/4
Thursday- 1/2
Friday- 7/8

Please fill out this form with your plans for the curricular summit.

In 5/6 for the MAW – Museum of Authentic Work – we have the kids list the major units of study and themes they’d like to represent. With our CGTQ (Perspectives) incorporated in all of the MAW-related work, kids usually narrow the long list down to 8-10 exhibits they would like to create. We always have interactive elements to our exhibits as well as use a variety of physical props and architecture to make them interesting. In small teams of 4-7, kids work on these exhibits for 1-2ish weeks in preparation for the museum. We often go to several museums throughout May to really study what museums do to help their audience learn something new.

After we get a pulse on the units, we are hopeful that some of you – family members – may join us in developing these exhibits and taking them the extra mile. You’d have to have some flexibility and be able to come to school multiple days. It would be a bit of a commitment, but having your ideas and voices in the mix would be incredible. We’re hoping to pair family members with committees to help them think big, out of the box, and develop a great exhibit – as well as help build.

We have some super secret MAW-related plans brewing. We have an upcoming  trip to the Indy Children’s Museum on May 23rd to launch and link to the MAW. We are going to put kiddos on the task of exploring the museum and finding elements they hope to incorporate into their fabulous exhibits come June 13th. We’re hoping to collect $6 from each family (or more if you want to donate) to help with the cost of the trip. No child will be prevented from going on this trip due to an inability to pay. You can start sending in $6 on Monday please!

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home

  • What piece are you going to publish in the zine?
  • How have your ideas about news shifted since the start of this unit?
  • What have you learned about friendship/communication this week? Has any of it been applicable to situations that go on with you or with others at school? Have you been able to use or find times where strategies taught may be helpful?

 

Newsletter 29 – 4/30/17

Voices of 5/6

This is your Voice of 5/6 update.  A small group of students met during lunch on Friday to comment on the events of the week and share highlights with families. The contributors for this week are Elijah, Josie, Matthew, Katie, and Parker.

In Readers workshop we have been working on summarizing what we have read.  We are reading news articles that come from different sources.  Some of the groups have been listening to podcasts.  Topics include climate change, criminal justice, Syrian refugees, and President Trump.  We like the choices we were able to make.

In writers we have been talking about emotions and creating “Zine” pages.  A “Zine” is like a mini-book that is not officially published. It is a mix of art and text.  Each day we learn a new way make a “Zine” page.  We have done collage, comics, and a feelings profile.  We created our own coloring page with an affirmation.  It is pretty fun.  It helped us to express our feelings.

In performing arts we have been working on serious improv.  There were photos and the groups had to improv what happened after the photo was taken.  One of the pictures showed a policeman facing a protester.  We are having a lot of fun with this.

In P3 and Art we are planting plants. We are planting the “3 sisters”.  The 3 sisters are squash, beans and corn.  Native Americans  planted these crops because the corn makes a ladder for the beans and the beans and corn shade the squash.
In Invitations we made choices to learn about many things.  Invitations topics include Meat, Bees, 3 Sisters, Food Labels, Seeds and Migrant Workers. In the Bees group we are are learning how the hives are formed and how honey is made.  In 3 Sisters we learned about the “4th Sister” who nobody talks about.  In Meat we learned about “free range” and where our meat comes from.  We love invitations.

Announcements

Snack schedule is:

 

Week of 5/1 Families with the last names Kelley-Orth

Week of 5/8  Families with the last names  Osmon-Wisler

Week of 5/15 Families with the last names Ainslie-Daniels

Week of  5/22 Families with the last names Dimick-Jaynes

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home:

  • What has been your favorite zine activity and why?
  • How has your work as a news-reader been going? What have you learned about your topic?
  • What do you think of the student-led morning meetings? Have you gone yet? How are you feeling about your group’s meeting?
  • What stories have you read of your classmates?

Newsletter 28 – 4/20/17

Weekly Highlights

This week we spent some lovely time working on transplanting just 27 of our germinated baby plants. We also started to talk about some of our big questions for our Visual Arts/P3 Unit on food:

  • Where does my food come from?
  • Where do people get food in my community?
  • Why do some have enough food and others don’t?
  • Why do/don’t people eat meat?
  • How do plants grow?

We also converted all of our stories to PDFs and have been reading and reviewing each other’s work as a part of writers workshop. We’ll have a publishing party/celebration on Wednesday at 12:40 in the park (weather permitting). Kids will be able to come into class in the costume of their main character if they want. We’ll be presenting these ideas to kids on Monday.

Another piece of our week was talking about the difference between teasing and relational aggression. We’ve been noticing some issues, which were confirmed by data (some excerpts below) that kids are seeing unkind communication in school. We talked about crossing the line from helpful/good-natured to harmful.

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Kids were very open to these conversations and were somewhat surprised with what our anonymous survey found.

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Proposed ideas were to re-take the survey now that awareness has been raised. There were also questions about what kind of humor is/is not appropriate, which we’ll do some teaching with in coming weeks. We also intend to meet with kids in smaller groups to help them have conversations with their friends about what kinds of teasing cross the line for them.

Next week, we’ll be launching a new writing unit on Zines! We’ll be growing and transplanting more food lovelies! We’ll be getting back to our work with current events and news!

Announcements

We sent out an email earlier this week about needs for our plant unit. If you can help or need another copy of that email, let Kalei or Sara know!

Snack schedule is:

Week of 4/17  Families with the last names Ainslie-Daniels

Week of  4/24 Families with the last names Dimick-Jaynes

Week of 5/1 Families with the last names Kelley-Orth

Week of 5/8  Families with the last names  Osmon-Wisler

We’re working on coordinating a few museum trips in preparation for the MAW, and we’ll update you soon with details.

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home:

  • What questions and ideas did you raise about food during the World Cafe?
  • What did you think about the communication conversations? What surprised you?
  • How are you (and members of your class) going to approach one another differently?
  • How did the CPR you ran go?

 

Newsletter 27 – 4/16/17

 Voices of 5/6

This is your Voice of 5/6 update.  A small group of students met during lunch on Friday to comment on the events of the week and share highlights with families. The contributors for this week are Surya, Asher, Emily, Kaimi, Ella and Monet.

In arts we planted vegetables like beets and onions.  We are doing this to give back to the community.  The food we raise will be donated to the Food Bank.  Ms. Sara will be working with Ms. Kalei on our next P3 project on plants.  Also in arts we are still working on mazes and ABC books.  Some people have started working on optical illusions.

For our mock trial we are finishing our work on the plaintiff team and defense team.  We formed our questions that we will ask the witnesses (who are also students).  Our opening and closing statements are strong and we are excited to see who wins.

In writers we have been working on fantasy stories.  We drafted, revised and edited. Today we are finishing the stories.  We filled out editing checklists to make sure the stories followed the guidelines of the editing rules.

We started a new workshop called “Perceptions”.  We filled out two surveys-one on self esteem and one on how we feel about the school.  The surveys will help the teachers figure out what to work on.

This week we have been doing ISTEP practice.  We have been using computers to simulate/practice the tests.  We went over the computer tools and did practice questions.  We have done math, English/language arts, science (6th grade) and social studies (5th grade).

In CPR students have been planning and organizing morning meeting.  We planned greeting, share, message and an activity.  This will help us progress on our leadership skills.

Announcements

We are starting a P3 unit that is on GROWING food! We are going to focus on three main questions:

  • Where does my food come from?
  • Why do some have enough food and others don’t?
  • Where do I fit in?

We’re also working with the data we collected on self-esteem. Our next writing unit will be a study of zines in contribution to a whole class publication on belonging.

Snack Schedule – we finally need snack again!

Week of 4/17  Families with the last names Ainslie-Daniels

Week of  4/24 Families with the last names Dimick-Jaynes

Week of 5/1 Families with the last names Kelley-Orth

Week of 5/8  Families with the last names  Osmon-Wisler

Questions of 5/6

  • How are you feeling about round 2 of ISTEP?
  • Talk to me about the publication process – how did you feel about drafting? revising? editing? publishing?
  • What have you been thinking about the work on self-esteem in class?
  • What did you think of the mock trial?

Newsletter 26 – 4/9/17

Voices of 5/6

Here is your Voice of 5/6 update.  A small group of students met during lunch on Friday to comment on the events of the week and share highlights with families. The contributors for this week are Jakob, Kyle, Irene, Charlotte and Aidan.

In writers we’ve been moving through the revision part of our fantasy stories.  We have been going back through our stories and putting in and taking out parts.  It has been really productive.  A lot of people have gotten lots of work done.  The deadline for publishing is next Friday.

The Mock Trial is next Friday.  We have had two IU law students teaching us how a trial works.  They have taught us about being in a courtroom and conducting a trial.  The court case is about Herminie hitting Draco with a book because she thought he was going for his wand.  On Wednesday we got our parts for the trial.  Everyone seems excited and is looking forward to the mock trial.

In readers we have been taking sources from recent news.  We have been learning about “fake” news.  We have looked at how news sources are distributed across the political spectrum.

In arts we have been making ABC books and maxes.  In performing arts we have been working on singing songs from “The Music Man”.  We have been looking at different musicals and operas.

This week with Ms. Steph we talked about self-confidence.  We talked about how to respond when our confidence drops.  We worked on how to deal with tricky situations that make us doubt ourselves.  We tried a new strategy for when we feel stress.  We did squats and stretching and then a breathing exercise to calm us down.

Announcements

Our Mock Trial trip will be on Friday, April 14th. We will be walking to the law school around 1pm. The hopes and dreams line will conduct two separate trials – please let us know if you are interested in attending – there is limited space for families!

We will begin ISTEP round 2 a week from Monday. We’ll be testing every morning in that week, so please be sure to re-schedule any appointments you’ve made if that’s possible.

Calling all coloring books! We are starting a new project – creating a zine/coloring book of self-affirmations for kids to make, collect, collate, and have to build positive self-esteem. If you have a coloring book that you’ll let me make copies of, please send it in- you’ll get it back without any coloring 🙂

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home:

  • What is your role in the mock trial? What do you think will happen?
  • What are you learning about news and news sources?
  • How are you doing with the revision work – what kinds of changes have you made in your writing piece?
  • What was the poetry project this week? How did it go?
  • What is something this week you think you could have approached differently?

 

 

 

Newsletter 25 – 4/1/17

Voices of 5/6

A small group of students met during lunch on Friday to comment on the events of the week and share highlights with families. The contributors for this week are Fallon and Jasmine.

This week was our first week back from break. Our first week back was fun and interesting and we did a lot of hard work.

In writers we are still working on our fantasy pieces.  Some of us are done.  Our deadline is today (Friday) to finish our rough draft.  Next week we will revise our stories.  People are excited and anxious to know if they will finish their writing piece in time.  A lot of people enjoy writing fantasy stories.

In visual arts we are finishing our ABC books.  We are adding more to them to add detail.  Some of us are doing mazes.  In performing arts we are singing an Indian song called “Aazeem Hazzah”

On Thursday at recess everyone was having a grand time and then we got poured on.  People had to run to the line squealing and laughing.  Some people enjoyed the rain and others tried to get out of it.

Today we went to the IU improve opera at the MCPL. There was a bell that an audience member could ring.  They would say “I declare…” and then tell the actors what to do.  It was exhilarating to be able to tell adults what to do.

In readers we are focusing on non-fiction.  We are looking at articles to find the topic, subtopic and details.  We are learning to tell fake news from real news.

In P3 we are preparing for our Mock Trial on April 14.  We have been writing questions for the direct examination and the cross examination of the witnesses.  The depositions stated facts about the witnesses.

Announcements

The IU Books & Beyond Project invites you and your students to our annual Visions of Rwanda art exhibit, Tuesday, April 4th, any time from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the Hutton Honors College Great Room. This year the event will highlight the partnerships between IU students and local Bloomington elementary schools. Attendees will be able to view photographs taken by travelers to Rwanda; test their knowledge of Rwanda through interactive trivia; participate in a silent auction; and enjoy Rwandan snacks, coffee, and tea. Opening remarks by Dr. Cyanne Loyle will be made at 5:30 p.m.

Your child has been invited to attend the final dress rehearsal of IU Opera Theatre’s The Music Man next Thursday, April 6 at 7pm. It is a wonderful chance to see some of our country’s best young singers at NO COST! As this is an evening field trip outside of school hours, students should be dropped off at the Musical Arts Center (101 N. Jordan Ave) no later than 6:40pm. There is a circle drive right in front of the theatre, so families won’t have to park in the lot. You can simply drop your child off with a teacher who will sign them in. You will then need to return to pick them up there after the show ends around 9:45pm. If you have any questions or transportation issues, or if you might like to be one of our chaperones for the event, please let me know as soon as possible. The 7/8 journalism class would like to give you this survey to fill out, and help us create our newspaper. Please fill this out as soon as possible, thank you. Our mock trial is now scheduled for the afternoon of April 14th. We’ll send time details likely the week of.

The 7/8 journalism class would like to give you this survey to fill out, and help us create our newspaper. Please fill this out as soon as possible, thank you.

Our mock trial is now scheduled for the afternoon of April 14th. We’ll send time details likely the week of.

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home:

  • What is empathy & why is it important to you?
  • This week during morning meetings/perspectives workshop, you talked about disability – both those that are visible and those are not. What do you think of this work? How does it apply to you/your conversations?
  • In meditation, your class discussed your internal locus of control – how you are able to take responsibility. How did responsibility impact meeting the fantasy deadline?
  • Was your stamina different than before spring break? How/why?
  • What are you most excited for in revising and publishing your fantasy piece?

Newsletter 24 – 3/10/17

Weekly Highlights

Here is your Voice of 5/6 update.  A small group of students met during lunch on Friday to comment on the events of the week and share highlights with families. The contributors for this week are Ava, Kaimi, Mark, Anen, Fallon and Keller.

This week we have continued planning for the mock trial.  During our planning we started developing questions for the trial.  The defense team and prosecution team worked separately.  We learned what questions should be asked when you are in a trial.

We finished ISTEP this week.  We are relieved.  

This week we worked on invitations.  We are working on the engagement part of invitations.  People are making food ads, public service announcements, slideshows and designing machines to make candy.  People are enjoying invitations and are learning a lot.  People are feeling excited about finishing their projects.

In writing we continued working on our multiple perspective fantasy story.  Today we decided to continue with our collaborative story or our individual story.  The partner stories were written in collaboration.  We decided which story to continue with after looking at some questions like “Which story is furthest along?  Which story will hold your attention?  Which story will others enjoy more?” After break we will revise and finish the story we picked.

In visual arts we are working on the A-Z books.  In performing arts we watched our video of HONK.  We have been performing music from other cultures.  We have been working on syncopation.

We have changed how we do Room Rescue.  We now have 5 “zones”.  Each day a team cleans their zone and then can get their backpacks.  The zones are Library, Sink, Doc Cam, IPAD and Lockers.  The group thinks this works better.  It makes people actually clean more.

This week we started to talk about people with disabilities for Disability Awareness Month.  We watched a TED talk about how people with disabilities can be objectified.  There are posters in the school.
In morning meeting we are sitting with different partners.  The purpose is to make new friends and make new friend groups.

One thing we discussed this week and will build on after break is the difference between entitlement and agency. In our community, we’ve been noticing a lot of moments where kids may think they are being advocates for their own needs, when in reality they are just not following directions. We talked as a community about some of the situations in which we see this dynamic arise. Some examples:

  • Direction: “Sit in crewlines” [i.e. assigned spots for lessons]
    • Entitlement: Sitting where ever you want
    • Agency: Trying the assigned spot, consulting with an adult to see if a change can be made because you have a specific reason you’d like to sit somewhere else
  • Direction: “Read independently”
    • Entitlement: Drawing, writing, or doing something other than reading because you either don’t want to read or want to do something else more
    • Agency: Asking individually if it’s okay to work on something other than reading because you have to get it done. An example of this may be asking to work on the fantasy writing pieces that have a loose-first-draft deadline of Friday.

We also talked about how peers can communicate with one another in helping to resolve these kinds of dynamics. So instead of saying “hey that’s entitlement,” helping peers to recognize their behavior but also redirect to what they should be doing. Room rescue was brought up as an example of a time when students are noticing others simply not doing the work, and discussed how alternatively, they can remind one another to do the work and perhaps introduce a specific task or idea. The goal here is not to let go of the overarching work, but to be mindful of this and take care of the immediate needs.

These articles are always good ones to reference around this time of the year for me, so perhaps you’ll find them helpful too:

https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/the-twixt-twelve-year-old/

https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/the-electric-eleven-year-old/

Announcements

We don’t need snack for a while! Thank you for sending it in.

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home

  • What questions have been coming up for you in invitations?
  • How are the partners working for you in morning meeting? What new classmates have you learned about?
  • What are a wow and wonder you had after watching the “I Am Not Your Inspiration” Ted Talk?
  • What story are you choosing to work on after break?