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. 
Thursday, November 2, 2017

November 3, 2017 News

The children had fun at the parade and party on Monday.  They were able to play Bingo, play other games, dance, and enjoy ice cream sundaes.  Thank you to Joanna Curry, Karla Rosenman, Reena Jackson, Jamie Lampe, and Adam Maki for helping to make it a fun morning!  There are some pictures on the Photo page of our blog.

We had a wonderful local author visit at our Community Meeting on Tuesday.  Shelly Boyum-Breen shared her love of sports and writing with us.  She currently has four books out and is working on 13 more!  We also learned about our next C.A.R.E. theme of Resiliency.  We will spend the next few weeks discussing what this means and what it looks like. 

In Math, we began our new learning groups for Chapters 3 and 4.  We will study addition and subtraction up to 10,000, including the vertical algorithm for these operations.  Your children are excited to write their problems vertically!

In Writer’s Workshop, we discussed how to edit and revise our work.  We also looked at checklists to help us during these processes.  Next week, the children will choose their personal narrative small moment story that they want to publish. 

We continue to work on our birding skills.  The children are learning so much about the birds that will come to our feeders.  Feederwatch begins on November 11th (next Saturday), so our official recording will begin the week of November 13th.

Grandparents and Special Friends Day is just around the corner on Wednesday, November 22nd.  If a grandparent is not able 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. 

I recently read an article about making mistakes and how they create learning.  The article is titled, “Why Mistakes Matter in Creating a Path for Learning” and you can read it here.  
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Breck Scares Hunger Update

Update re: Breck Scares Hunger. Thank you to all you have helped in any capacity so far!

54.7% of our student body have signed up to participate so far....BUT less than 15% have brought in food. 

Good news: there's still time! Food collection will go through FridayNov ember 3rd....7:45-8:30am at MS/US doors. Bus riders can bring donations on the bus.  Thank you for your generous support of this important effort to respond to hunger in our community!💥🍽
Friday, October 27, 2017

October 27, 2017 News

Thank you to Ryan Gilbertson and Emily Ryks for accompanying us to Fort Snelling today.  We learned so much at the fort.  Be sure to ask your child what (s)he learned.  You may want to prompt them about our different stations: Dred and Harriet Scott, the hospital, the blacksmith, the first school, the Indian agent office, and Colonel Snelling’s house to name a few.  We also took a B’Dote walk through the state park.  Ask your child what (s)he learned on that walk (and what “B’Dote” means)!

The weather has changed!  Please help your child check the weather before school.  Now that the temperature has dropped, your child will need proper outdoor gear (jacket, hat, mittens/gloves, and snow pants when the snow starts to stick).  Thank you in advance!

Next week, we will brush up on our birding skills as we practice for FeederWatch.  Our station will be right outside our classroom window.  A couple weeks ago, we prepared by visiting the All About Birds website and learned how we can identify birds using four categories: size and shape, color patterns, behavior, and habitat.  The children have been busy learning Minnesota birds.  They are having fun with a bird identification activity book where they have colored the bird and researched different facts.  We will take some time to practice recognizing common MN birds that we may see at our feeders.  We will look at identification cards and interact with different bird pictures on the SmartBoard. 

We continue to discuss our Word Master words.  I am impressed with how well they have a handle on the definitions.  They are really practicing!  Soon, we will do a “Demonstration Analogy” page from the Word Masters company.  You may see these practice pages come home, too.  The class also learned how to play Quizlet Live! with our words.  It is a new favorite game!

We wrapped up our Mental Math unit in Math and will move onto addition and subtraction (to 10,000) next week.

Halloween is next Tuesday!  Your child should come dressed in his/her costume and the parade and sing-a-long (in the Anderson Gym) will begin at 8:40am.  We will have our third grade party after the sing-a-long, from approximately 9:45-10:45am.  If your child would like to bring in a change of clothes, that is totally fine!

Next Wednesday, November 1st is a CARE shirt non-uniform day.  Our next CARE theme is Resiliency!  

From Mrs. Jones: Shelly Bean the Sports Queen books can be ordered (with personalized autographs!) through Monday at www.shellybeanthesportsqueen.comUse the code BRECK17.
Tuesday, October 24, 2017

From Mrs. Zosel

Breck Scares Hunger!  Students in Grades 1-4 will be bringing home a card this week that will help them participate in our All School Food Drive.  We are asking students to consider asking a friend or neighbor to donate canned or boxed food that we will then deliver to community partners.  Donations can be delivered to school Sunday, October 29, or before school Monday, October 30 through Wednesday, November 1

All-School Chapel: Tuesday, November 7
Next month in honor of All Saints' Day, our All-School Chapel will include a small tribute remembering people within or connected to our community who have passed away. 

If you would like a loved one remembered, email Alexis Kent with his or her name, their connection to Breck and a photograph. Please submit the name(s) and photograph(s) by Friday, November 3rd to

Thank you!
Thursday, October 19, 2017

October 20, 2017 News

Thank you to Adam Maki and Melanie Theissen for accompanying us on our field trip to Gibbs Farm.  The children learned so much about the Dakota people and the pioneers.  Did you know that a buffalo bladder was used as a drinking vessel?  Did you know that the Dakota women owned the tipi and they were responsible for setting it up and taking it down?  Did you know that the youngest child was in charge of emptying out the chamber pots each morning?  These are just a few facts we learned.  Be sure to ask your child what (s)he learned at Gibbs!  Pictures from this wonderful trip are on the Photos page of our blog. 

In math, we are learning lots of mental addition and subtraction strategies.  These include the “over-adding” and “over-subtracting” strategies, as well as the more traditional “add the tens and then add the ones” (or conversely, “subtract the tens and then subtract the ones”).  We will also brush up our rounding skills next week (rounding to the nearest ten and nearest hundred).  The children have commented that solving problems with the mental math strategies are “hard, but fun.”  I’ll take that as a win!

We continue to write small moments in Writer’s Workshop.  Soon, we will choose one “seed story” and go through the steps to publishing, which include editing and revising.  The children will be able to publish their own stories on the computers!  This week, we also used our mentor text (Come On, Rain! by Karen Hesse) to further our discussion about being a storyteller instead of a reporter when we write. 

To gear up for Feederwatch, we have been discussing a variety of ways to identify birds by watching the Inside Birding videos produced by the Cornel Lab of Ornithology.  Your children were diligent to watch these videos, taking copious notes.  (The videos can be found on our class blog if the children want to watch them again.)  We have also been working on our Bird ID books, where we are learning how to take notes about the birds we will see at our feeders.

Next Thursday, October 26th we will travel to Fort Snelling all day as a continuation of our study of the history of Minnesota.  This is a non-uniform day for the children (dress in layers and wear comfortable walking shoes). 

Don’t forget that the natural dyeing project is due on Monday!