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2/1/11 Family Letter
Wednesday, March 2, 2011 10:25 AM


Dear Families,

Please excuse the tardiness of this update – I was at the Science Museum
on Friday and not at Barton to take care of this.

The week that was:

US History and Word Work both focused on early European explorers; who
they were, where they came from, their motives for traveling, and the
impacts they had on the Americas.  They learned that most explorers
wanted to find a new route to Asia, to find riches for themselves and
their sponsors, and to claim land.  Ask your child who they think had
some of the most important impacts – either positive or negative.

Many of the students did a very fine job writing “historical” ship’s log
entries.  They worked hard to make them look like authentic artifacts
written several hundred years ago.  Ask how your child chose to work  on
this project.

Reading:  Continued work on the Newbery books.

Most kids also progressed to the final watercolor paintings we’d started
preparing for the week before.

This week:

Word Work:  As previously mentioned we have begun our bullying studies.
Word Work connects with this study. 

Today we saw a presentation by Climb Theater (here at school) called
“The Bystander” to introduce the group to our bullying studies.  Tuesday
we begin work with an artist who will come to our room 5 times over the
next month to help the kids express their thinking on bullying through art.

US History:  Later in the week we will investigate several of the
earliest English settlements in North America to look for comparisons/
contrasts and to learn some of the important historical figures.

Geography:  On Friday an organization called Earth Adventures will be
visiting Barton with their Earth Balloon program.  This is a large
inflatable globe(the whole class will fit inside)  and their mission is
to help kids better understand the geography and geology of the earth. 
We will prepare for their visit with several studies into landforms
across our country and investigations into latitude and longitude.

Reading:  More Newbery reading.

Upcoming:  (Have no fear of the “grass growing under our feet” here in
204 . . .)

2/4 Earth Balloon visit to Barton Open School

2/7 To the Convention Center for the Physics Circus
2/10 Historical Perspectives play (at Barton) "Helen Keller"

2/11  "Mean" play at Youth Performance Company/Howard Conn Theater

2/14  To the Capitol for a special DNR presentation regarding the
presentation of the Legacy Plan to the legislature – lunch and a capitol
tour also (our special invitation to this is a late breaking development
– more details as I get them worked out)

2/16  Zydeco Music presentation at the Ordway
2/17  Please carve out time to come to our early morning Portfolio Share
2/18  Second conference day

Needed: If you happen to be out at your favorite discount store we are
nearly out of disinfectant wipes - they are a pretty vital supply here
as we have no water in 204.