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11/18.2013 Newsletter and Homework
Monday, November 25, 2013 10:30 AM

Dear Families,

It was so nice to have Marie take over the day-to-day teaching while I spent individual time with each student, listening to reading, chatting, setting up projects and pouring over their work.  As I watched Marie teach and the students learn, I experienced a feeling of deep gratitude that I have the privilege of being a part of the early years of so many fine young people.  

On Friday I left school early to take part in the Dare 2 B Real retreat with about 20 uppers and Patrick, Holly, Trish, Lisa, Matt, Brandon, Anthony Galloway from WMEP and Tessa, (Amber’s student teacher.) Dare 2 B Real is one of the student leadership groups at Barton.  The kids in the group are working to find ways to address issues of race in our school, explore how they are affected by individual and institutional racism, and practice “real talk” about this very delicate topic.  As part of our school’s Equity Team, I thought I should know more about the Dare 2 B Real group, support Lisa, the advisor, and be an extra pair of hands if needed, especially since room 102 was in such good hands with Marie.  

I can’t even begin to describe the experience.  I participated in the activities along with the students.  Several were my first and second graders just a little while ago.  Their depth, complexity and sincerity were astounding.  Each student and adult worked to face their fears, engage in deep learning, and expand their thinking.  There were feats of great strength and great tenderness.  We ended the night with a simulation of the Undergraund Railroad, where we supported one another through a very physically and emotionally rigorous journey.  

So- now it’s back to real life, where I’m the full time teacher, and Marie is transitioning out of room 102.  (I have a feeling we’ll keep in touch.)  I’m thinking about my learning, and what it all means as the teacher of young children.  I know that it’s hard to talk about race, and I know even more strongly that it’s vital to do it, and different with young children.  Building our strong senses of identity, pride in who we are and where we came from, celebrating differences and human commonalities are all ways we let our light shine in first and second grade and forever.

Thanks to Patrick, Holly, Brandon, Lisa, and Trish, who guide our Equity work at Barton every day.  The continuing support of our parent community, whose strong belief in equity and social justice makes everything possible, is deeply felt every day.  Thanks for that, too.  

Last Week and This Week

Marie took us to Thailand, where we shared the tradition of Loy Krathong.  We made our hopes for the world, and put them on the Shining River of Light.  This week we will learn about harvest celebrations, starting with Molly’s Pilgrim, a story that addresses race, religion, immigration, and the origins of Thanksgiving and Sukkot.

Stone Soup

On Tuesday, November 26, from 11:30-12:30, we will have our annunal Stone Soup lunch.  Students will prepare vegetable soup to serve to their family members.  It’s one of our favorite days of the year.  We have been saving two garden pumpkins to add the the mix!  It should be the best soup ever.  I hope that all parents can join us for a delicious meal and empower your children by letting them serve you.  Thanks!  Kristin and Marie


Spelling Words





















Homework Ideas

*Is immigration part of your family story?  Talk with your family about how your ancestors came to Minneapolis Minnesota.  Share any day this week. Bring an artifact to help you.

*Do you celebrate Thanksgiving?- what are some of your special family tradtions?

* Lowercase b and d are tricky to tell apart.  Look at a newspaper or magazine and highlight bs and ds in different colors.

*Practice subtraction with the pages provided.  

*Play “Roll to 50!”  (directions in BEE book.

*Write a letter of recommendation for Marie.  Tell about her strengths as a teacher.

*Let your light shine!  Do chores inside or outside your house.  

*Practice your spelling words in fall colors.


*Do your own thing.