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News and Notes Email - Jan 8, 2010


The week that was:  We entered into 2010 with a huge emphasis on "power reading" everyday to prepare for our author visit next week.   The book they've been reading, "The $66 Summer",  is set in rural Alabama in the 1950's and centers around the devastating effects of discrimination. They've focused on learning vocabulary that would help them understand the times and the story better and the development of characterization by the author.  There is lots for you to talk about with your child regarding this piece.  The first line of the book is, "My mother always told me my father was a liar, but I didn't believe her until that day when I found out he had lied about telling me the truth." Just asking about the reason for that beginning line will be an interesting conversation starter.  Also, please ask about the characters and their relationships, and about questions that have come to mind while they were reading.  Some of them cannot wait to finish it until next week and will finish at home this weekend (except for those few who finished today) and everyone else will finish on Mon. and Tues.

Swimming was fun as usual.

We enjoyed learning about the December homework projects - and doing lots of taste testing.

The week to come:

Word Work - back after a three week break!  The topic connects to the work we'll be doing in our MN history studies and will focus on the Dakota and their cultural traditions, especially storytelling. After listening to several Dakota tales the kids will also be required to choose one to learn and tell by heart.  The Dakota oral tradition was their primary way of instructing their children and teach about their culture and life skills.  Did you know that it is actually only appropriate to teach about this in the winter as storytelling in the Dakota tradition is confined to when snow covers the ground?

MN History - The Dakota - the oral tradition, their semi-migratory lifestyle, change of life with the seasons, and cultural traditions.

Reading:  Completing "The $66 Summer" and doing additional response to reading through writing.

Tuesday we take our trip to the U of M for the Physics Circus - field trip slips are due by Mon. please.

1/12  Physics Circus at U of M
1/13 Visiting author, John Armistead - you are welcome to join us in the Commoms at 12:45 for this
1/20  Visiting artist - Aki from the MN Center for the Book Arts - this is the first in a series of visits she'll make to 204 and connects to the contemporary arts study Meri and I are doing with the Walker Art Center
1/29  Field trip to the Walker

Conferences:  Friday 1/22 is the one day we have the remainder of the year set-aside for Goal Setting conference review. I have attached a schedule. Please fill out and return as you are able. I will offer after school times throughout Feb. in order to fit everyone's needs.

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