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2/20/11 Family Letter
Wednesday, March 2, 2011 10:30 AM


Greetings all,

By the end of the day Friday I needed a rest from school work - so here
I sit in my cabin in Wisconsin, a big storm brewing (already blowing in
Minneapolis I understand) and it's time for news and notes.

The week that was:

We started Monday with a terrific trip to the capitol for the DNR Legacy
Funds celebration.  The kids were treated royally and clearly
appreciated for their public involvement.  The commissioner provided the
class with Valentine cupcakes and Rep. Hornstein stopped in to
informally chat with them during lunch.  Because of their great
questions and comments he was prompted to say more than once, "Isn't
Barton great!"  I have to agree. After lunch the Historical Society
folks gave the class tours of the building.  Many thanks to Emmett
Mullin and to the chaperones who came along to help out.  Upon our
return to Barton we had time for the annual 204 Valentine "Eat Your
Heart Out" contest . Just ask - it involves jello squares, nibbling
finesse, and Cindy and Heather from the media center.

Tuesday we went to the Ordway for the Zydeco Concert.  It turned out to
be less of a musical experience than I'd hoped for unfortunately.  In
the afternoon we began work on portfolio organizing.

Wednesday we worked with our artist Emily on our collages and did
additional portfolio sharing preparation, and on Thursday the CLIMB
theater folks came to do a workshop in our classroom again on the topic
of bullying.  We are truly working to immerse the kids in talking about
and reflecting on this issue so as to empower them to make a difference
- for themselves and others, now and into their Uppers years.  We will
eventually be doing an art "show" and installations around the building
with our work.

I thank all of you for taking time to come and participate in the
portfolio sharing experience with your child.  I hope you felt it gave
you insight into what they are up to here in our classroom.  Please let
me know if anything you saw brought questions to your mind.

Friday - conferences again.

The week to come:  

Word Work:  Thursday afternoon I handed out a Word Work sheet that
carries over into this week.  The topic is our early 13 colonies. 
Unfortunately, the link I asked kids to explore DID work 2 weeks ago
when I checked it - but by last Thursday did not.  Please let them know
if they are working on this at home that any reputable site can provide
them with the same information.  The point is to read about and gather
interesting information about colonial life.

Reading:  Projects regarding their Newbery books are  in progress.  They
should be finished this week.

US History:  We are using National Geographic materials to learn about
the colonies and important historical figures of that time.  The point
is to learn what prompted folks to move to these places, how the natural
resources of the area would dictate elements of their growing economies,
and how their early self-governing systems helped to formulate our
eventual constitution.

We will work on our collages again with Emily.

Although I am a person who loves the learning that comes from
interacting with real life in real places (field trips) I will be glad
to be "home in 204" for a whole week.

Here is a link to the KARE 11 spot on our trip to the capitol last Monday.


Parents Night Out Barton Event:  March 4
for details.

Hopefully you are witnessing work on the "Good Question" homework
projects.  Topics should be firmed up by now.

And . . .  is this snowstorm providing you with wonder filled moments?