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1/26/2015 Newsletter and Homework
Monday, January 26, 2015 9:25 PM

Dear Families,  

Today we officially begin the second half of the school year!  It seems that already everyone has grown a few inches and has gained unexpected confidence and mastery in some area.  It’s always a fruitful time in room 102, and I am looking forward to settling in to a new unit of study with our creative and eager learners.  

A World of Beauty

At the end of his book The Basic School, Dr. Ernest Boyer quotes Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s message for young people:

“Let them remember that there is a meaning beyond absurdity. Let them be sure that every little deed counts, that every word has power, and that we can- everyone- do our share to redeem the world in spite of all absurdities and all frustrations and all disappointments. And above all, remember that the meaning of life is to build a life as if it were a work of art.”

As we dive into our study of our response to the aesthetic, we’ll think about what art is, and what artists do.  We love the idea of building our lives as works of art too, and want to include the art of being peaceful, the art of being a friend, and the art of self-regulation in our work this winter.  Art is more than free expression- it’s about learning new skills that allow the artist to make choices.  Here are the key questions that will provide focus for A World of Beauty:

*What is art?

*How can we read, write, and do math like artists?

*How does art help us connect to ourselves and the world?

Authors as Mentors

As part of A World of Beauty we will study the work of Angela Johnson, Ezra Jack Keats,

Donald Crews and Joann Ryder.  We’ll start by writing about our own “small moments,” stretching them into stories, and then exploring the techniques that our mentor authors use.  


We will continue our work with adding and subtracting numbers big and small. We’ll add geometry to our lessons  as we study two and three dimensional shapes as math work and as elements of art.  

Field Trip

We will see Snowflake at the Children’s Theater on Thursday, October 29.  Most of you have permission slips in- I’ll send a new one if you missed it!


Thanks, Kristin


Spelling Words





















Homework Choices

*Read every day!  Look for words you don’t know and talk about them with a family member.

*Write spelling words in fancy letters, like and artist.  

Play sparkle to practice spelling.  Use

*Look around your house.  Find artwork on display.

*Make some art to display in your house. Be sure to sign it.

*Make a list of “small moments that might make good stories.  

*Go to a play, concert, gallery or museum with your family.  Look at all of the ways to be an artist!

*Do your own thing.

*Play outside and enjoy our beautiful weather.  Make a snow  sculpture.  Take a picture and email it!  

*Go to the winter carnival and see the ice sculptures.