Wednesday, December 13, 2017

News Tidbits

There will not be an official blog entry this week.  Here are the newsy tidbits:
  • Thursday is the Holiday Program!  Semi-dressy attire and kids should come to the classroom no earlier than 6:15pm.
  • Friday is a non-uniform day and the Lower School Code-In.
  • Our Third Grade Holiday Party is next Tuesday, December 19th from 8:50-10:00am.  It is also a non-uniform day.
  • Be sure to check the Lost and Found items displayed in front of Gym C!  
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!  

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Update from Mrs. Zosel

Our Lower School Winter Wear Collection has been extended through Monday, December 18th.  Donations will be delivered to Jefferson School in Minneapolis, where one out of every five students is unsure where they may be spending the night.  Thank you for your generous gifts of new and gently used winter wear.  Boots, jackets, gloves, mittens, and snow pants for ages 5-10 are the most needed items. 
Friday, December 8, 2017

December 8, 2017 News

WOW!!!  What incredible scores on this week’s Word Masters challenge!  Your children seemed so proud of themselves.  They had an incredible time practicing the words with “Quizlet Live.”  What a motivating game to help study the words!  Be sure to ask your child how to play the game.  Our next “meet” will take place on February 26th.  Some of the vocabulary words from the first list may appear on the second and third meets, so children should continue to practice the words.  The second list of words are coming home today.  Like with the first set of words, we will practice 2-3 each night to help break up the task of learning the new vocabulary words.  This process will begin after we return from winter break.  The new Quizlet site will be up later today on the blog.

We have been busy bees working on a variety of writing projects.  The children were eager to take a couple of weeks and work on their own creative writing.  Most are writing fiction stories, and they have enjoyed the time to write freely.  We are also learning what makes a good paragraph.  Ask your child about the components of a paragraph (topic sentence, supporting details, conclusion).  See if they can remember what colors we are matching them to on a stoplight, or a train. 

The last word sort before Winter Break will come home today.  The quiz will be next Friday, December 15th.

In math, we are wrapping up our Bar Modeling chapter.  This is a challenging chapter, but an important one.  We will use these skills moving forward as we solve real-world problems with multiplication and division (and fractions later in the year).  Next week, we will finish up the chapter, take an assessment, and then have some fun coding.  After Winter Break, we will begin our Multiplication and Division chapter. 

Next Thursday, December 14th, is the annual Holiday Program in the Chapel.  The program for the whole Lower School community (Pre-4) will begin at 6:30pm.  Children should dress in semi-dressy attire and arrive to the classroom no earlier than 6:15pm.  ALSO, if you wouldn’t mind helping your child clean out his/her locker before or after the program, that would be wonderful!  Children can leave their winter gear (for recess), but everything else non-essential should go home.   

Speaking of winter gearthe temperature sure has dropped outside this week!  I think we were all in shock on Tuesday as the blustery winds almost carried us away!  Now is a great time to make sure your child has all his/her winter gear available each day.  This includes: winter coat, snow pants, snow boots, hat, mittens or gloves, and anything else to keep your child warm.  We haven’t had much snow yet, but it’s only a matter of time, right? 

Next Friday, December 15th, is a non-uniform day.  It is also our Lower School Code-In. 

Our Holiday Party is coming up on Tuesday, December 19th, from 8:50-10:00am.  Like Halloween, all third grade classrooms will be open for business and the children can visit each room.  This is a non-uniform day for everyone. 

Lost and Found items will be set out on tables in front of Gym C next week.   Please ask your children to check for their lost belongings before winter break.  Feel free to come take a peek, too! 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

December 1, 2017 News

I hope you had a restful and memorable Thanksgiving holiday!  The children enjoyed Grandparents and Special Friends Day with their guests last week.  They seemed proud to share Breck with these special guests.  Be sure to check out the pictures on the Photos page.

I know it hasn’t felt like winter lately, but please help your child to dress appropriately for outdoor recess (winter boots, snow pantswhen the snow does come, mittens/gloves, hat). 

In Writer’s Workshop, we are learning about paragraphs!  We will use colors to help us distinguish the different parts of a paragraph.  Our knowledge of paragraphs will allow us to practice informational writing when we return from winter break. 

We will have two more Word Study word sorts (including the one that was sent home today) before winter break.

We began our bar modeling chapter in Math this week.  We have learned that a bar model is a strategy to help us solve problems.  The children are putting their addition and subtraction knowledge into place as they solve real-world story problems.  We will finish this chapter before winter break.  One last note about math facts: please continue to encourage your child to practice his/her math facts.  It is so important that the children are fluent with their facts, particularly addition and subtraction.  After winter break, we will begin our multiplication and division chapters, and the children will need to start practicing those to become fluent.  

Our first Word Masters “meet” is on Monday.  We have spent a lot of time practicing our vocabulary words and analogies.  Your child will be able to bring home the test next week after we review it in class.   

The children have been eager to count the birds at our feeders for Feederwatch!  Koen even spotted a winter wren this morning!

In our study of Minnesota, we have been discussing logging and the impact that had on Minnesota’s white pine forests.  We traveled back in time to the mid-late 19th century.   

On Thursday, December 14th, we will celebrate the holiday season with the annual Holiday Program.  The program for the whole Lower School community (Pre-4) will begin at 6:30pm.  Children should dress in semi-dressy attire and arrive to the classroom no earlier than 6:15pm.   

Friday, December 15th, is a non-uniform day for everyone.  We will also have a Code-In from 8:30-9:30am. 

Upcoming partyon Tuesday, December 19th, we will have our Holiday Party from 8:50-10:00am.  Like Halloween, all third grade classrooms will be open for business and the children can visit each room.  This is a non-uniform day for everyone. 

Winter Break will begin at the end of the day on December 19th and school resumes on Wednesday, January 3rd.
Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Winter Wear Donations

Breck Lower School is collecting Warm Winter Wear for children experiencing homelessness.  Needed items include coats, jackets, snow pants, boots, gloves and mittens for ages 5-10.  Donations can be new or gently used.  Donations can be delivered to classrooms or to our "Service Shelf" located near the Middle/Lower School entrance through December 13th.  Thank you for sharing!
Thursday, November 16, 2017

November 17, 2017 News

We are still in the midst of publishing in Writer’s Workshop.  The goal is to have the finished products done next week to share with our guests.  The published books will come home for your child to share with you, too.  Next stop on our writing journey…paragraph writing!

Has your child told you about his/her Mystery Book Club?  We have been learning about detectives and what makes up the mystery genre.  We are learning important vocabulary words that go along with mysteries (detective, witness, suspect, red herring just to name a few).  We have learned that clues are really important, too.  We will wrap up our current books next week.  After Thanksgiving, your children will have an opportunity to read another mystery book with a partner/group of their choosing. 

We have spent this week subtracting with regrouping in math.  Your children are awesome at subtraction!  They are very proficient at subtracting (and adding) these numbers into the thousands.  Some of your children (depending on their math learning group) used the place value chart to help solidify place value skills.  We will wrap up this unit before we leave for the Thanksgiving holiday.  When school resumes, we will be focusing on bar modeling with addition and subtraction story problems. 

Feederwatch began this week!  Everyone was excited to identify the birds at our feeders.  We will continue doing this for the rest of the school year!

Next week, we will celebrate our grandparents and special guests.  Wednesday’s activities are sure to be fun for students and their grandparents or special guests.  I look forward to meeting your family members and friends!  Since next week is a short one, there will be no blog update (but I will post pictures after Wednesday’s event).  I hope you all have a very happy Thanksgiving and safe travels. 

Lastly…don’t forget that our first Word Masters “challenge meet” is Monday, December 4th.  We continue to practice with analogies at school.  You can help your child by continuing to study the 25 vocabulary words and their meanings.  
Friday, November 10, 2017

November 10, 2017 News

We celebrated two important historical dates in class this week.  The 42nd anniversary of the disappearance of the Edmund Fitzgerald is on Friday, November 10th.  We read the story, The Edmund Fitzgerald: Song of the Bell by Kathy-Jo Wargin and watched actual news footage from 1975.  You can listen to the song by Gordon Lightfoot here.  We also celebrated Veterans Day by learning about the history of the holiday from the History Channel.  We did some reading comprehension activities to go along with this special day. 

Curriculum highlights: In Writer’s Workshop, we have been editing our work and will learn about different kinds of leads that writers use.  We will try our hand at writing our own different leads and we will begin publishing next week.  We will also edit again, as the children are learning that writers do not just edit once.  Feeder Watch also begins next week!  We have been preparing by playing a Bird ID game on Kahoot and recording birds we see on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Bird Cam.  We are looking forward to recording the birds we will see at our feeders. 

In Math, most of the learning groups took the chapter assessment for addition and are moving onto subtraction.  The children have been excited to solve the problems with the vertical algorithm.  We were able to have great conversations about our mistakes and reflect on them as well.  We made plans for future assignments.  Lastly, we decided that reading the directions is important. 

Repeat from last week: Grandparents and Special Friends Day is just around the corner on Wednesday, November 22nd.  If a grandparent is unable to come, your child can invite a special adult friend (aunt, uncle, neighbor, godparent, etc.)  This is a regular uniform day for Lower School students, and there will be no Extended Day, with dismissal at noon.  Your child and guest do have the opportunity to ride the bus home.  All registration is done online this year.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.