Friday, April 28, 2017

April 28, 2017 News

The weather seems to be on a yo-yo, doesn’t it?  Hopefully, we will have more spring-like weather next week!

We enjoyed a fabulous Chapel this morning, led by Breck’s Native students.  Wyatt and Niya danced, showed off their regalia, and spoke about their ancestry.  Kudos to you both!  They also helped put up the Weston family tipi, which is located on the Chapel Green. 

We will continue to swim in PE class next week on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Our last Word Masters challenge will be on Monday.  Your children have been busy studying analogies and all the vocabulary words, as some of the words from the first two lists may appear on this third challenge.

We will have three more spelling word sorts.  After that, the students will be involved in a few end-of-the-year assessments, as well as other activities that do not involve word study homework.

We continue to practice long division in math.  We learned how to do this algorithm without remainders.  Next week, we will practice with remainders. 

Did your child tell you who (s)he is studying for their notable Minnesotan project?  We began our research this week and plan to have a “wax museum” as a culminating project.  We would like to invite you to our Doggy DJ Wax Museum on Friday, May 12th at 2:30pm.  Your child will have an opportunity to dress up in costume as their person and share “their” life story with you. 

This week in Reader’s Workshop, we began reading The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo.  We will discuss internal and external character traits of Edward Tulane, the main character, as well as other important characters.  We will build on our knowledge on how to build theories about characters and we will discuss how characters can change over time.  This book allows us to practice many reading comprehension strategies.  The children have been enthralled with the book so far.  You could hear a pin drop as I read the first two chapters aloud!  I love that your children love listening to stories and books. 

Thank you for your help and support of the Minnesota Amazing Race destination project.  You are cordially invited to the “release party” on Wednesday, May 31st at 1:30pm in the Theater.  The movie will be about an hour.  Immediately following the movie, we will head back to the classroom for the children to recap their year with you!  They can share their Portfolios, various projects, and have your help packing up materials.  Please plan to bring a sturdy bag with handles.  J  
Sunday, April 23, 2017

April 20, 2017 News

Your children did a wonderful job with the ERB standardized tests.  I think they are relieved to have them under their belt now.

Minnesota Amazing Race projects are due on Monday!  Please email me the video or send it in with your child on a flash drive.  Let me know if you need help or an extension. 

We began our second swimming unit in PE this week.  We will swim next week every day except Wednesday. 

Our last Word Masters challenge is on Monday, May 1st.  The children absolutely love practicing on Quizlet Live with the vocabulary words.  I feel like they are pros already! 

Curricular highlights

We began our long division math chapter this week.  We are also learning about division with remainders.  We practiced with cubes and smaller equations (i.e. 12/5 or 35/4).  We will continue this work next week.

The children have either finished their Minnesota owl PowerPoint or are almost done.  They have really enjoyed learning about this program.  We are also writing paragraphs about our owl research, too.  Once we are done, we will move into our map unit.  
Thursday, April 13, 2017

April 13, 2017 News

What a busy week!  We have enjoyed playing outside without our snow gear, despite that white stuff that flew into town earlier this week! 

Thank you for your help and support of the Minnesota Amazing Race destination project.  I have received several video clips.  I will be compiling them into one movie.  We plan to have a “movie release” party in late May (date TBA).  I am working on securing the theater!  Projects are due Monday, April 24th.

Our last Word Masters challenge is on Monday, May 1st.  The children absolutely love practicing on Quizlet Live with the vocabulary words.  I feel like they are pros already! 

We will swim again in PE beginning next Thursday, April 20th.  Your child will need to bring in their bag on or before that date.  As before, your child can decide if (s)he wants to hang their swim gear on our lockers or bring it home each night to dry.  Discuss what works best for your family. 

This week, Mrs. Heurung introduced Gratitude Journals to the children.  On Wednesday, they should have brought home their journal along with a letter from Mrs. Heurung.  We will be developing a habit or practice of gratitude for the next month as part of our Mindfulness program. 

Next week, the children will take the practice ERB standardized tests.  We spent some time this week discussing good test-taking strategies, along with practicing how to take a test online.  As Cathy Preissing mentioned in her letter, this is simply practice for the children.  We will have five tests and they are all scheduled for the mornings next week.  The different tests are Verbal Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, Writing Mechanics, and two sections of Math.  I am sure your child will tell you all about it! 

Curricular highlights

We are almost done with our longer multiplication chapter.  Your children are becoming quite good at multiplying with regrouping.  We spent a lot of time looking at the place value behind the algorithm.  Our next chapter will be long division!  You can help your child at home by practicing the basic facts (i.e. 7x8, 24/3, 9x4, etc.). 

We wrapped up our Minnesota owl research and now the children are working on their final projects.  All children chose to do a PowerPoint presentation.  As you can imagine, they are highly motivated and engaged with this technology tool, changing the theme and adding in transitions.  I keep reminding them that the facts they include are most important.  J

On the horizon we will study maps and the geographical features of Minnesota.  
Thursday, April 6, 2017

April 7, 2017 News

Happy April!  I hope you all enjoyed some quality time with your child, whether you traveled or not, over spring break.  Our class seemed eager to return and get back into the swing of things.  Hopefully, everyone can get outside this weekend to experience the wonderful weather! 

Your child’s Minnesota Amazing Race destination project is due Monday, April 24th.  You can send in the video clip in on a flash drive, or email it to me (if it’s not too large of a file).  Let me know if you have any questions.  I will be compiling all the videos into one class movie.  We will have a “movie release” party in May (date TBA). 

Your child should have brought home the 3rd (and final) WordMasters list before spring break.  Our last challenge “meet” will take place on Monday, May 1st.  There is a link to the Quizlet site on our class blog (on the right hand side, under the Language Arts section).  Your children have enjoyed practicing the words using that fun site.  As a reminder, words from the first two lists may appear on this last test, so children should still study those words, too. 

Curriculum highlights: We are multiplying with greater numbers now!  Ask your child how to solve the problem 4x60 (or something similar).  Next week, we will practice multiplying larger numbers with and without regrouping (i.e. 37x6).    
We are busy researching our Minnesota owl.  This research will then allow us to practice our paragraph writing.  The children will determine how they want to present their research.  Stay tuned for more details!  

Birthday Wishes Collection

Birthday Wishes
April 6-21

We are collecting birthday celebration supplies for our local food shelf.  Families who use our local food shelf often are unable to buy extra items that make a birthday special, like

Cake Mix & Frosting, Candles, Rice, Noodles, Cookie Mix, Pizza Crust mix,
Paper Plates & Cups. 

Gluten-free, Kosher and Halal items are often needed by families as well. 

If you would like to donate, please bring items to school April 6-21.  Thanks!
Friday, March 17, 2017

March 17, 2017 News

The reading projects were absolutely outstanding!  Thank you for doing this (hopefully) fun project with your child and taking time out of your schedule.  One family commented that they plan to read another book together over Spring Break! 

This week, we continued our multiplication and division study of the facts 6-9.  When we return from spring break, we will do a quick review of what we have learned so far in multiplication and division and then begin the next chapter, which involves these concepts with larger numbers (i.e. 39x6).  On the blog, in the Helpful Info section, there is a document titled “Spring Break Multiplication Games.”  This document has a few games and resources for the children to practice their multiplication facts. 

We will continue to research our Minnesota owls after we return from spring break.  The children are eager to research on the computers after beginning with books the “old-fashioned way.” 

P.E. update: we will be in the Fieldhouse when we return from break, but then our next swimming unit will begin on April 20th. 

On the horizon for the week of April 17th are the practice ERB tests.  A letter will be coming home soon from Mrs. Preissing regarding these practice tests.  When we return from break, we will practice for these tests.  The children will go through the Tutorial to help them get acquainted to the format (all online).  For those of you with older children, you may remember the ERB tests.  In third grade, it is simply for practice to allow the children to experience taking a test online and to familiarize themselves with the format. 

Don’t forget that the Minnesota Amazing Race project is due Monday, April 24th.  If you need another copy of the directions, please refer to the link on the “Helpful Info” section on our class blog.  You can send in the video clip in on a flash drive, or email it to me (if it’s not too large of a file).  I will put them all together in one larger movie for our viewing pleasure.  More details to come!

Finally, enjoy spring break with your children.  Whether you are traveling or staying around town, I hope the break brings you all peace and rest!
Thursday, February 23, 2017

Community Service Opportunities

Opportunity #1 ~
Used Book Drive & Sale
Upper School students are collecting kids picture books, chapter books, YA books, adult novels, non-fiction - everything! Books will then be sold in the Middle School entrance over the two days of conferences on March 3 and 4. Every book will cost $1 and the proceeds will be used to support Reading Partners, a literacy tutoring organization.

Please bring in gently used books for the book sale. There will be donation boxes in every division through March 2. Then come shop the sale! Pick up some books to read over spring break!  

Opportunity #2 ~ Family Service at First Nations Kitchen
On Sunday, March 5 Breck School is hosting, preparing and serving the Sunday meal at First Nations Kitchen. First Nations’ Kitchen is a ministry of All Saints’ Episcopal Indian Mission in Minneapolis and has been serving healthy, organic, traditional indigenous food in a welcoming, family environment every Sunday evening since November 2, 2008.  While all are welcome at the table, FNK serves primarily indigenous people in the Twin Cities, particularly residents of nearby Little Earth of the United Tribes, the largest indigenous urban housing community in the U.S.

The commitment is roughly two hours on Sunday, March 5.  There are different jobs taking place at different times during the day.  We will work with your family to find a job/time slot that works.  This is a wonderful opportunity to strengthen our community through direct service.

Upper School parent Michael Florey is coordinating the effort.  If you are interested in helping, please let Michael know by email ( or by phone (612-532-1378).