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News and Notes 9-09-11
Tuesday, September 27, 2011 1:10 PM


Greetings on a lovely Friday afternoon,


Word Work: The class learned how to follow the routine of working on one part of their assignment each day and being ready to turn the work into the appropriate spot on Thursday.  The topic was the FISH philosophy ideas – essentially how to think and work positively and cooperatively in Room 204.  Ask one way your child practiced “Choose your attitude” this week.


Reading:  The students chose books, set a schedule for their groups, and spent quality quiet time practicing their reading skills.  This week we focused on the strategy of being consciously aware of THINKING while reading by making connections and leaving “tracks of your thinking” on sticky notes.  Ask about the title they chose for the week, who is reading the same book as them, and what kinds of connections they’ve been able to make with the story so far.  We ran out of time to get to the National Geographic magazine this week as I’d planned.


Me-Museum sharing:  We enjoyed learning a multitude of interesting things about 204 class members while sharing Me-Museums.  This is a great way for kids to make connections with each other and their interests.  We have a wealth of remarkable folks in our midst every day.


Science:  We practiced careful observation each day by working on observational drawing through directed drawing practices. 


The class came up with their agreed upon class agreements to make 204 the best it can be everyday.  Ask about “Show your awesomeness!”


Your child has completed an art project using the letters in their first name – your job will be to spot their work when you next visit 204.


We started preparation on the annual Hopes and Dreams for this School Year project today with a book entitled “The Big Orange Splot”.  This set the class up for completion of the project next week.


I sent home the TACO (Take A Child Outside) slip on Thur.  Please return ASAP.


The week to come:


Word Work:  This coming Thursday folks from the Bell Museum of Natural History at the U of M will be coming to teach the class the virtues of the lowly honeybee – and even to extract honey with them right here in class.  (This is a surprise for the kids, I haven’t told them yet.)  Their Word Work will connect to vocabulary and concepts needed to better understand bees.


Reading:  We will continue with book groups and practicing a variety of good reader strategies throughout the week in response to their reading selections.


Science:  This week they will practice more careful observation with honeybee anatomy and fall plants.


Writing:  We will practice a type of poetry fashioned after one of my favorite local poets, John Caddy.  He taught me about “Morning Earth” poetry and I will, in turn, teach your children.  Essentially this is about careful observation of the natural world around you and skillfully using words to express what you see and wonder about through poetry.


I will begin after school goal setting conferences with families and students this next week.  Attached to this email you were supposed to find a pdf of times and dates open during September.   Technology failed me in the transfer of this info from home to here and so I will need to redo it at home again this weekend and send it out from there. There will be additional times in October (calendar to come later) as well as the all school conference date (school off for children) set for Oct. 19.  Please think about what works best for your family (afternoons or the day off) and be sure to sign up soon.   I will work on a first come, first serve basis with requests.


Thursday afternoon we will have time for our first visit with our little buddies in 102.   I’ve heard lots of positive anticipation for this event.



9/15:  U of M Bee program

9/30:  Middles Zoo trip

Mid Sept. through Mid Oct.:  Ongoing goal setting conferences

Week of Oct. 24:  first  YMCA swimming rotation for 204 – 3 days


Enjoy a wonder-filled weekend.



Kathy Scoggin
Barton Open School

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.  It is
the source of all true art and science."
 - Albert Einstein