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Dawn and Kristin's Barton Dictionary

Barton Dictionary
by Dawn and Kristin
Here are some terms we wish someone had defined for us when we were new to Barton!  We’ll post the dictionary on our websites and keep adding to it as the year goes by.  Let us know if your hear something that needs to go into the dictionary.
Academic Choice-
A goal -centered lesson in which students are given a choice of how to learn and/or what to learn. A foundation of both Responsive Classroom and Open School.
AE the fairy
The start of some stories that help students remember phonics and spelling rules.  
All School Morning Meeting
Every three weeks or so the whole school gathers to sing and share special work. These start at 7:35, so it’s extra important to be in school on time or a little early.
Apology of Action
When we show we are truly sorry for a mistaken behavior with our actions, a good deed or some other concrete way.
Learning from an expert and then working in an authentic way alongside your teacher and the other apprentices.  An important model at Barton.
Author’s Tea
(See culminating event)  The class will take turns reading original writing for an audience of family members.  It takes about an hour, including the tea and snacks after!
B.E.E. Book
It means Bring Everything Everyday!  A binder that holds take-home reading, important info and homework.  This is new to 102 and 104- feedback is welcome.
Students at Barton go to the office on  the morning of their birthday and get a “happy birthday” ribbon.  In 102 and 104, we celebrate with a monthly party close to the last day of the month.  There will be songs and a birthday pencil.  We have phased out edible birthday treats, in accordance with district policy and the wishes of many of our families. Invitations for birthday parties should not be passed out at school unless the whole class is invited.
This is our second year with a blog.  We’ll be posting often. The blog will give you a look into daily life in the classroom.  Only students with permission to be included will be photographed for the blog.   Look at your class newsletter for the blog address.  
Book Clubs
Your child will get a choice of chapter books for you to read aloud at home.  We’ll have three rounds of book clubs this year, starting in September.
Book Club for Parents
This is a brand new group open to any Barton adult who would like to read parenting books together.  We have potluck supper and childcare.  Watch for news in the newsletter.

When a child is showing, in a small way, that he or she is losing self control or focus, the teacher says “Take a Break.”  The child moves to a chair in the classroom, sits, takes a few breaths and goes right back to work.  It is not a punishment-it’s a way to keep little behaviors from escalating in to big behaviors.  If your child says he had to take a break, a good parental response might be “Huh!  Did it help?”  Taking a break is sometimes known as a “positive time out.”
An older child who is your child’s fifth or sixth grade buddy.  We meet with our buddies to do work and little projects together.
Buddy Room
Sometimes your child will need a time out away from the class and will be sent to a buddy room.  The teacher will get your child shortly, and have a little chat about the mistaken behavior.  Dawn and Kristin are each other’s buddy rooms.
Stands for Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency and Expanding Vocabulary.  A way of setting reading goals for each student by conferencing individually and in small groups.
Stands for Cooperation, Assertion, Responsibility, Empathy and self-control, a set of social skills students (and all humans) need to learn and practice if they are to move forward academically and socially.

We have an overnight camping experience every spring, in tents, with our first and second graders.  We rely on lots of parent help.  Lots more later!
Our special name for the space by the stairs at the end of the hall.  
The big auditorium-like space in the center of our school.
When a teacher sits by a student and listens to them read, looks at writing or math, or has a little chat about behaviors she has noticed.
Conference (Goal Setting)
A parent/ child/ teacher conference held outside of school hours to make plans for your child’s academic, social and expressive growth at school and at home.  Look for conferences in Fall and Winter.
Culminating Event
At the end of each unit we will celebrate our learning by inviting parents for some kid of a “workshare.”  It might be an author’s tea, a play, a song concert or a “fair.”  These events may include the display of projects done at home.
Daily 5
(See separate document) Read Alone, Read Together, Listen to books, Word Work and Work on writing- the five things you need to do each day if you want to be a good reader.
We learn deeply when we take the time to study something for a long time and learn all about it.  Concepts that are part of a deep study usually have a wide reach, and will help us understand other things too.
Sometimes kids need to explore a wide range of topics before they are ready to choose something to explore deeply.  
Stands for Elbow Elbow Knee Knee.  A good way to sit if you are reading together.
There is a Barton Parent Group on Facebook.  Read and contribute!
The district has a new policy on food that you can find on their website.  We are not to serve food in classrooms as incentives or for personal celebrations (birthdays).  We may serve food as part of our curriculum.  Dawn and Kristin serve small snacks at around 9:45 am, to keep our bodies going.  We may serve curriculum-related food as a part of a thematic unit.  Please let us know about allergies or other food-related issues.
Reading smoothly and quickly, while understanding the words and meaning.  Reading out loud is a good way to practice fluency.
Fountas and Pinnell
Two MAJOR reading gurus who devised a system of finding students’ reading levels and books to match.  If kids read books that are at the right level, “hard enough but not too hard,” they can progress quickly from nonreader to fluent reader!  CAUTION! Moving up in levels is just part of the work of becoming a good reader.  Reading levels are a tool, not a goal.  
Glen Shackleford is the assistant to the principal.  He handles issues on the bus, sometimes the playground, and is the guy who “comes running” if we ever have an emergency.  Glen is also very good at helping kids work through problem behaviors, especially those that affect the whole school.  He also helps kids with reading.
Good Fit Book
A book that your child can read alone with just a few mistakes, or a book that your child very, very interested in because of the topic.  Finding good fit books is part of our reading curriculum.
That’s what you are doing if you talk about kids, parents or teachers at Barton in a way that isn’t kind or productive. It’s human nature, but It’s hardly ever a good thing.  Talking directly to the person you have a problem with, or asking for help from Patrick, Dawn or Kristin to have that conversation together is the best path to solving problems and resolving conflicts peacefully.
Work like knitting, sewing, origami, weaving, etc.  This kind of work provides context and relevance for math work.  Handwork sets us up for work with pattern, number, space and data.  We’ll be doing some in school, and it’s good to do at home, too.
Ways to support your child learning at home.  See separate document.  This year it will come home in the BEE book.  We believe that a sane and happy family life takes priority over homework, and that kids learn a lot by participating in their family activities.  Homework should provide extra practice and help bridge home and school life.
Stands for Handwriting Without Tears, our handwriting curriculum.  It’s the best program out there if you want to learn to write neatly and efficiently.  This year Kristin will teach 1st graders and Dawn will teach 2nd graders.  
Integrated Curriculum
Our lessons and activities are organized around a central theme.  We connect reading, math, science, social studies to that theme.  Students learn the basics and how to apply them at the same time.  
Someone who is in training for a complex volunteer job.  Our webmaster will need an intern.  So will our chief cook at camp.  
The math series we use at Barton, along with other great resources.
Can be passed out at school if the whole class is invited.  See birthdays.
Just Right Lending Library
Books that have a letter level according to the Fountas and Pinnell approach.  They are very helpful for beginning and emergent readers. We have a special collection to send home for reading practice.  They will come home in the BEE book, and should be switched for more when needed.

Lake Day
A day long celebration of the year- all school, except for Kindergartners.  There is a program, a picnic, and lots of things to do.  It’s held at the Lake Harriet Bandshell and park.  
Lantern Walk
A special tradition.  We make some beautiful lanterns at school.  Then we pick an evening in October or November and meet at the Lyndale Farmstead “Bowl” to say goodbye to the light days of summer and welcome in the dark days of winter.  There’s a lantern procession, tasty snacks and singing.
Leadership Council
A parent/teacher organization that supports the school .  All are welcome to attend.  There is a process for becoming a voting member every spring.
Learning Targets
A focus for a lesson put into student language- “ I can sound out words when I write.”  “I can use tables and graphs to help me organize information.”
Leveled Books
Books that have a letter level according to the Fountas and Pinnell approach.  They are very helpful for beginning and emergent readers.
Logical Consequences
A way of responding to mistaken behavior that is respectful to the student, and related to the behavior, and realistic.  Part of the Responsive Classroom Approach.
Math Workshop
A title for our approach to teaching math.  We start with a lesson for everyone, including routines and some new info.  Then we go off in small groups to do some problem solving or practicing, with the teacher conferencing with individuals and small groups.  Finally, we get together to share work or tell about our mathematical thinking.
Mini math meeting.  The first part of a math lesson where we practice routines like telling time, counting money, finding missing numbers, etc.
Minnesota Reading Corps-
Students who need a little extra help with reading will work with Kris and Elena, who are provided by a grant from Target.  They have all kinds of ways to help give students a boost.
Morning Meeting
A daily ritual where we great one another, share about our lives, enjoy fun activities and read a morning message together.  Morning meeting meets students’ needs for significance, belonging and fun, provides practice time for social skills that lead to academic growth.
Morning Work
Some work students do as soon as they come to class, while we are waiting to start morning meeting.
Multiage Classrooms
We have two grades per class at Barton (sometimes three!)  There are lots of advantages- each child’s needs are met individually, older students show leadership and younger have role models.  Teachers get to know their students quickly and keep them for two years.  Multiage classrooms are usually part of the Open School Philosophy.  

Natural Learning Cycle
1.  Setting goals   2.  Gathering info, experimentation and practice   
3.   assessment and reflection .  Setting new goals,etc.
The wise teacher and parent plans their teaching in ways that honor the natural learning cycle.  Think about when your toddler learned to climb the stairs.  That was the natural learning cycle in action!
Observational Drawing
Often part of science, writing or other activities.  We teach students to look carefully at the lines and shapes that make up an object, and to make a slow, careful, scientific drawing.  Different that the sweet imaginative drawings kids make up on their own.
Old Class/New Class Party
A celebration to say good bye to students who are going to third grade, welcome new first graders, and enjoy our first get together at the end of the summer.  It’s at Kristin’s house the last Sunday before the teachers return to school.  Hope you can make it- it’s a lifetime invitation!
Mini courses that are offered twice a year, usually once a week for five or six weeks.  Students sign up for their choice of option.  When they are older, they can choose to teach an option.
Our awesome new principal.  We appreciate his intuition, his wisdom, and his energy, among many other things.  AKA Dr. Patrick Duffy.
A collection of significant student work that shows progress over time. The portfolio is an important assessment tool.  You will see your child’s work at the end of each theme.
Portfolio Sharing
An event in which children and parents take a systematic look through the portfolio so far.  Usually happens prior to a goal setting conference and at the end of the year.
The way to get good at something. Reading, math, behavior- they all take lots of practice.
Private Conversations-
We know what they are-  when you have to share a concern, sticky situation, etc.  in order to solve some kind of problem.  If you need to have one, call or Email to set up a time.
A homework project usually takes a few weeks to plan and complete and will need parent support in the early years.  We assign to projects each year and have a “fair” to show them off to the school.  There will be lots of guidance about the projects.
Quiet Place
Another name for the “take a break chair.”  What we all need when we are losing focus or self-control.  A minute in our quiet place can be very helpful.
Readers’ Workshop
A title to describe our approach to reading.  Begins with a whole group lesson, moves to individual conferences or small group work where kids work on targeted reading tasks, ends with a work-share.  
Read Naturally
A set of leveled stories with which students can read along using the computer and some headphones.  Awesome for kids who need repeated practice and work on fluency.
Responsive Classroom
Our approach to behavior management, academic choice and attending to our school community is based on Responsive Classroom. See separate document.   Learn more at
Our organics recycling program!  It’s where we sort our trash.  Ask your kids or refer to the posted directions.  We have saved TONS of trash in the past four years.  
Part of morning meeting.  Students share thoughts, experiences, ideas verbally.  It is not the same as show and tell.  Objects from home are usually not part of sharing.  The goal of sharing is to practice important social rituals and get to know one another on a deeper level.
Speaker raises a hand and waits for quiet.
“Show five”A verbal addition to the signal.
SPEND is a way we organize our math learning around Minnesota State math standards.  S.P.E.N.D. stands for Space, Pattern, Explaining, Number, Data.  We plan math projects around each of these areas, and create games and activities that address each one.  Students get a “balanced math diet” that leads to deep, focused math learning that has context and relevance.  You won’t find it on google- It’s Dawn and Kristin’s way of making sense of the math standards, and we haven’t written our book yet.
One of the goals of the Daily Five reading approach-  students need to build stamina in their ability to read independently.  The idea extends to other areas as well.
Something urgent but possibly trivial that Dawn or Kristin feels needs to be attended to and won’t let go of until there is resolution.  This dictionary was an example of a “taco” Kristin had.
A sense of Urgency is part of what helps students develop their ability to read, write and do math.  The best sense of urgency is the kind that happens after a success-  kids feel great about their work, and want to do it again, but even better next time!  Urgency is not the same as competition or racing to get your work done quickly.
If you tell us something in confidence (vent) we put it in our “vault” and don’t pass it on.  It’s a nice tool to keep in mind if you need to stop some gossip in its tracks.
The person who actually manages and loads things onto our class websites.  The teachers in 102 and 104 depend on parent volunteers for that job.
Weekend News
Our weekly writing assignment where students draw and write about a “small moment” from their weekends.
Words Their Way
 Students sort words based on the patterns they see. The work starts with learning initial consonant sounds, and progresses until students are sorting words based on greek and latin roots!  We give regular assessments that help us choose the right word sort for your child.
Writers Workshop
A title for our approach to writing.  We start with a lesson, move to individual work while the teachers conference with students and end with a “workshare.” Our writer’s workshop is based on Lucy Calkin’s Units of Study for Writers.
It’s the reflecting,assessing part of the natural learning cycle.  Students share finished work or work in progress with the class.  Sometimes the work is displayed, sometimes put in the portfolio.  Students become proficient in describing their process or their thinking.  After the workshare, they may set new goals for their next piece of work.
The place to look for pictures of school events, newsletters, homework, and forms and documents that have come home but you might have lost.  Thanks to our webmasters for all the work!