Monday, June 24, 2019

SUMMER!!!!!!!!!!!

Hello Friends,

First, I'd like to say thank you for a wonderful year. Your children were such a gift to have in class and I thank you for sharing them and supporting our class and school.

Please be in touch if you need anything over the summer such as resources, books, or anything else. In the meantime, remember:

Read Good Books!

Go Outside and Play with Friends and Family!

Repeat!

Also, if you need a place to get started for apps, please check out:

Epic Books

Razkids

Summer Reading in a Box

For book resources and summer reading challenges, please go your own Kellogg Hubbard Library. They have a huge library of books for kids, knowledgeable staff and great programs running all summer.

Hope to see you around!

~B


Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Montshire, PLPs and Plays

Hey Families,

What an amazing weekend of beautiful weather! I hope you have been able to be productive and enjoy the outdoors despite our roller coaster weather! Luckily, we have had really good luck being able to get out for recess!

The All School Spring Concert is Wednesday,  June 5th at 6:00pm. Have the kids get here a bit early. There will be an intermission after K-2 go. At that time, we will be releasing kids to their families and you can head on home or stay. It's up to you!

As a reminder, we are going to the Montshire Museum this Friday, the 31st of May. We'll be leaving in the morning and coming back before buses. If you need information about the trip or another permission slip, please let me know and I'll send one home.

Our first and second graders will be going to U-32 on June 12th to get books that 7th graders have made for them. It is a great tradition that goes back some 25 years. The kids always have such a great experience and we are glad to be participating.

Our PLPs (Personal Learning Projects) are going great! Kids are working on building their books, which they have done a ton of research and work on. There are many kids who are going to be moving on to their posters before long. We'll have a presentation before the end of school, date to be determined.

We are working hard on our plays, too. Some kids are in a number of plays, some fewer. They will all be working on backgrounds and props. They should not be spending money on costumes. They can bring things from home to use in their plays (within reason). Our play presentation will be Tuesday, June 11th at 10:30 and 2:00. Feel free to come and see either (or both!).

We got to plant our squash for the garden here at school, which is super exciting! I can't wait to see what the summer months bring! Thanks to Talitha and the rest of the garden crew for continuing this great tradition.

I think that's about it for now!

Best,

Ben

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Field Trips, 4 Winds, PLPs...

Hello Friends,

I hope that you all had a great break and that you are enjoying the start to snow-free ground! Things in our room are certainly picking up!

We have 2 field trips coming up! One is next week, May 7th, and we are going to the Flynn to see our make-up play from our canceled trip this past winter. We will be seeing "Me, Jane" and we are looking forward to it.

Find a link to the book here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dN0FwIKjlOk

Find a link to the play here: https://www.flynncenter.org/education/student-matinees/details.html?perf_no=15790&prefix=SMM19J

Field trip permission slips are being sent home today. Please get these back as soon as possible. If you have further questions, please be in touch. Parents must drive themselves and if you want to join us, you will need to buy your own ticket. We simply do not have enough tickets for staff and parents. We have encouraged kids to consider dressing up to go along with the theater experience. It's always a blast to see them all gussied up!

Our second field trip will be to the Montshire museum on May 31st. We will be sending home information in the coming weeks.

We had a great 4-Winds on Tuesday on deer. Despite the weather, we got some good fresh-air time in the morning and got some time to run around. We got to examine a pelt, look at antlers, look at how high (8ft!) and how long (25ft!) they can jump, and lots of other information. It is such a wonderful opportunity for kids to learn about the natural world around them. Thanks to Katy and Rachel for volunteering their time and working with us!

Our PLPs have started with great enthusiasm! When we read off the topics last week so that the kids could hear what others were doing, the list was staggering in its diversity. The kids are working hard on reading some tough stuff and are doing a great job helping one another. We are working on the skills of making sure that the questions we are asking regarding our topic are broad enough, note taking, and organization. It's always such a fun time of year!

Please be in touch if you have any questions, celebrations or concerns.

~B

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Sugaring, The Big 4, Conferences

Hello Families,

I hope you have been enjoying the wonderful spring weather! We have been working hard on a number of skills here at school.

We will be making trips to the sugar house a regular part of our upcoming weeks. We will be collecting and boiling. I'm not sure who is more excited, me or the kids!

We will wrap up our persuasive writing this week and be transitioning into our works on our Personal Learning Projects (PLPs) for the rest of the year. We will be tying in our information writing to our projects. The projects will be made up of a formal writing piece, a poster and a model of some kind. We will be working on these for the remainder of the year.

Our literacy times have been filled with some great book shares by kids, kids doing their independent reading, meeting with individuals and small groups on reading and working on their own personal writing. Their volume and complexity of work is growing. An important note: This week on one of our morning messages the kids were asked by a classmate to write down what they read over the weekend. Many of the kids stated that they didn’t read anything. It’s always worth the reminder that it is important that kids are doing some reading everyday. I can’t stress the importance enough both in them learning a life skill as well as making sure they are getting opportunities to practice what we are working on in class. If you need any books, please let me know. We have a classroom library that the kids are welcome to sign out books from any time.

We’ve been talking a lot about our Big 4 at school. This is a time of the year when there is some cabin fever going on and the options for play have been relying heavily on imaginary play. While this is age appropriate and perfectly typical, we have run up against some physical rough housing that has crossed the line on what is acceptable and tolerable here at school (using objects, like sticks, for instance as well as unsafe bodies). I encourage you to talk further about this with your child as it makes sense.

We have had a few class meetings where We revisited our Big 4, especially “Make Safe Choices”. These talks with the kids are always so reassuring because there were a number of kids who knew that things might be getting crazy and knew they should have let an adult know, but didn’t. They felt responsible and was a perfect segue into discussions about being “upstanders”. I always wish we had cameras in these moments because they are powerful and I believe we as adults have a lot to learn from them in terms of honesty, integrity and forthrightness.

We also have parent conferences coming up! I always look forward to touching base about the great growth your child is making. Here is the link to sign up:

Again, my most sincere thanks to our amazing 4 Winds volunteers. Their efforts bring as needed element of science into our class and I can’t thank them enough for enriching our day. There was lots of tracking going on for days afterwards....

I think that’s about it. Please let me know if you have any questions, concerns or celebrations any time.

Enjoy the sugaring!

~B

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

All School Meeting, Winter Wellness, etc.

Hello, families!

I hope this finds you all well. What a late start to the day today! It's a good thing that we were able to get out and enjoy it together!

We have an All-School Meeting tomorrow, I hope you can all make it. The kids will be presenting some of the things that are going on in our classroom. Also, Valentine's Day is tomorrow. Please, no snacks or treats. However, if kids want to being in cards, they may. The only rule is that they need to go out to everyone.

Speaking along the lines of kindness, we talked as a class about being sure to be sensitive about talking about birthdays, play dates and sleepovers at school. I know that this is a tricky topic to handle, but supporting the message that the tone of sharing plans is important. your support is appreciated. 

We are working on a persuasive writing piece to Ms. Toth regarding getting a climbing wall at our school. They will be starting their own writing pieces next week using a graphic organizer and then diving into the convincing. I can't wait to see how they try to convince you all with their various ideas.

Please be in touch with any questions, comments and celebrations!

Best,

Ben

Class list for Valentines:

Ayden, Stella, Anthony, Rowan, Kora, Landon, Wolfie, Eli, Eli (yes, there are two Eli's!), Anna, Wrenn Anneliese, Emma, Lorelei, Yael, Lucian, Gage, Harper, Sena, Connor.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Winter Wellness, Construction and Kindness

Hello Friends!

I hope this finds you all well. We are continuing to thaw out and survive the indoor recesses... That said, I hope you have all gotten to experience this magical winter weather.

We will be starting Winter Wellness next Friday. Your child should come home with the paperwork yesterday. My apologies for not getting it out on Friday, I was not able to do it as I was doing reading assessments with students throughout Friday afternoon. We will be starting Next Friday afternoon, the 25th and going every Friday until February break. Be get in touch with Ms. Toth if you have questions about joining us, should you want to.

We have opened our Construction Zone an the kids have been trained on using various handsaws while cutting cardboard. We have received our first work order from two classrooms for 25 1'x1' cardboard squares. We have a number of really helpful friends. I will be teaching the kids more about measuring in the coming weeks. This will be building to the work or wood construction at some point later on. I am so proud of how hard and seriously they are working.

We were bummed to not go to the Flynn last week due to the road conditions. That said, we made it a great day and I hope they felt the same. We are looking at possible programs at the Flynn that we could check out later in the Spring. We'll keep you updated as we go forward.

We have started our School Kindness unit again where we focus on being kind and recognizing kindness from others. The kids have been writing some really sweet letters to other kids, many of whom are not in their grade cluster.

In writing, we have finished our stories and will be moving into some non-fiction writing. Prepare to be persuaded! We have also been super productive in literacy. Kids are reading, writing and even starting a newspaper. We are beginning to do some audio books as well to add some new flavor to the mix.

All in all, a great start to the new year!

~B

Friday, November 30, 2018

Fictional Writing, Artist in Residence and Parent Conferences

Hello, friends!

It was wonderful to touch base for conferences. It is always such a great pleasure to discuss your children and their progress in the many skills they are developing. If you still need to schedule a conference, let me know. I can schedule times after school and before school most days.

We have been starting our work on story writing. The kids are developing characters for their stories and they are really something. They are working on three main characters to build their story off of. The idea is that the details about their characters will lead them to the main idea of their stories. An example is a character that one student developed that is a dragon that has a hole in its wing. This detail alone is intriguing and one that may lend itself to developing the plot and backstory that led to it. Ask your child about the characters they are thinking of!

In literacy I have continued to work with kid on their reading in small groups and individually. We have talked a lot about thinking about the story as they are reading and asking themselves if they understand what is happening. If they don't, that is the cue to go back and read what happened again. I am also encouraging the kids to try different genres as well (fiction vs. non fiction, for example). They are all working so hard and making lots of great progress.

We are so lucky to have Marv Klassen-Landis as this years Artist and Residence at our school. He will be working on story-telling with our kiddos and the kids will be having him for 5 sessions during the two weeks before the holiday break. If there is a time when the kids will be presenting their work, I'll be sure to send it your way. 

Speaking of getting close to the holiday break, we will be doing our annual Solstice party on the afternoon of the 21st. We will be doing our celebration from 12:30-1:45. More details will be coming in the coming days. We will be centering our work for the solstice around kindness and giving.

Last, here a link to a great site for some online reading resources. They have a huge online library of books that kids really enjoy. They are having a great sale right now that might be a great gift for the holidays!

https://www.getepic.com/

As always, be in touch with any questions, concerns or celebrations.

 Best,

Ben