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 (florey@fr.com) or by phone (612-532-1378). 

February 24, 2017 News

The children will be able to participate in the Third Grade Book Swap tomorrow afternoon.  They can bring as many books as they wish to donate, and will receive up to 5 tickets to “purchase” new-to-them books. 

The children and I will prepare for conferences next week.  The children will take part in some self-reflecting on their progress so far in third grade.  Like in October, your children will “run the show.”  Conference registration for all families began this morning.  Please let me know if you need assistance. 

We will have one more skating session in PE on Monday.  Feel free to come skate with your children (you must wear a helmet).  

Curriculum Highlights:
The children continue to practice their multiplication and division facts (x2, x3, x4, x5, and x10).  Next week, we will dive into x6.  The class was able to peruse owl books and take notes on which Minnesota owl each child would like to study.  Next week, they will make their final selections and I will put them into parliaments (a group of owls).  Before spring break, we will also dissect owl pellets. 

Reminder: there is no school for children next Thursday and Friday due to conferences.  There is childcare on Thursday from 8:30-3:30pm; please check with Katie Peterson about availability.  
Thursday, February 16, 2017

February 16, 2017 News

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Your children enjoyed seeing their surprise on the door this morning!  Thank you for taking the time to make a “Love Note” for your special child.  We “mailed” our valentines to each other, which was great fun!  At our Valentine celebration, we played some games with conversation hearts, enjoyed ice cream floats, “Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown,” and each other’s company.  We missed all our friends who were not here, so we decided to leave up the Love Notes until next week so everyone can see them.

The weather has been quite strange for mid-February, hasn’t it?  The snow has melted on the playground and signs of spring will soon appear.  Until then, we’ll continue to wear our snow gear outside (especially given how wet and muddy the playground is!).  Snow gear will come home to launder, as the majority of it is all brown from the mud. 

In math this week, we have been studying the relationship between multiplication and division.  We are creating a booklet for all of the fact families, complete with showing groups and arrays for each fact. 

We were going to select our Minnesota owl to study, but with so many kids absent, we decided to postpone until next week (hopefully).

The second Word Masters “challenge” is next Tuesday!  There will be no Word Study next week due to the long weekend. 

For the past two weeks, we have been discussing Random Acts of Kindness.  I have given a "challenge" almost every day.  Ask your child what some of the challenges have been.  Tomorrow (February 17th) is the National Random Acts of Kindness Day, so perhaps your family can find a way to celebrate!  Click here for some ideas.  

We will continue to skate next week in PE class on Wednesday and Thursday.

We will have a Third Grade Book Swap next Friday, February 24th from 2-3pm.  At that time, students should bring in any gently read books that they are finished reading and with which they would be willing to part.  The books we collect will be categorized and placed in our Commons.  The children who donate books will receive one ticket per book donated (up to 5 tickets).  They will then be able to select a "new-to-them" book from those we collected.  

Another repeat: Conferences are just around the corner!  I am very excited to have the opportunity to share with you all that your child has accomplished thus far in third grade.  We will also be able to discuss the next steps and what we hope to accomplish during the rest of the school year.  It would be great to have your child present if (s)he is available. 
Friday, February 10, 2017

February 10, 2017 News

We have been keeping busy in third grade this week!  In our STEAM class, we are building furniture for our stuffed animals.  The children learned how to use a handsaw to cut their wood pieces.  They had to make their cut list and measure out their pieces before cutting the wood.  Be sure to ask your child about his/her piece of furniture!  Pictures will be up on the Photos section soon!

We will continue to skate in PE class next week on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. 

Reminder: it is a red, white, and pink non-uniform day next Tuesday, February 14 in celebration of Valentine’s Day.  We will celebrate in the classroom from 2-3pm with ice cream floats and a variety of other fun activities.
 
Repeat from last week: On Friday, February 17th, Breck is offering childcare for Lower School students from 8-3:30pm.  This is a faculty workshop day.  Space is limited to 35 students and there is more registration information on the Breck Bulletin Board (or contact Katie Peterson).   

Another repeat: Conferences are just around the corner!  I am very excited to have the opportunity to share with you all that your child has accomplished thus far in third grade.  We will also be able to discuss the next steps and what we hope to accomplish during the rest of the school year.  It would be great to have your child present if (s)he is available. 

Math update: this week, faculty spent two days in meetings with our math consultant, Cassy Turner.  She met with grade level teams to talk about our successes with our new program, Math in Focus, and helped us to look ahead as we plan our continued implementation.  It was good to hear her affirm how we are teaching math in our classrooms, and how engaged our students are with new vocabulary and problem-solving strategies.  One thing we heard loud & clear was to make sure our students are “fluent” with their math facts.  So, continue to practice these at home.  Monday night, approximately 35 parents attended Cassy’s "boot camp".  As one parent commented, "I need to be in school again to learn math this way."  Much of the session was "hands-on" for parents.  Peg Bailey took notes from Cassy’s presentation and they are attached here.  They can also be found on the Helpful Info section of the blog.

“Parenting Quiet Kids” ~ this is a complimentary online course for parents of 3 to 9 year olds offered exclusively to the Breck School community.  The handout can be found on the Helpful Info section of the blog or click here. 

Curricular highlights
Multiplication and divisionoh my!  The children have had lots of fun practicing facts this week.  They were very excited to get started with this chapter.  We did a quick fact check and will make some flash cards for those facts we are working on remembering. 

We continue to read general owl information and take notes.  We are learning so much about owls and raptors!  Next week, we will choose the owl we want to study and start some research. 

Don’t forget that our second Word Masters “meet” is Tuesday, February 21st. 
Thursday, February 2, 2017

February 2, 2017 News

I can’t believe it’s already February!  I always feel like the days go so quickly beginning in January.

All 3rd graders will jump their hearts out tomorrow afternoon from 2:15-3pm.  You are more than welcome to come join us in the Anderson Gym.  It is a non-uniform day for the children.  They are encouraged to wear red or pink in honor of hearts or anything “Super Hero” themed.  Our Lower School goal is raise at least $7,000.

The class has enjoyed hosting Miss Park these last two weeks.  Of course, they are sad to see her go, but have learned many things about Korean culture.  Yesterday, we learned how to say “Happy New Year” in Korean and the traditions around that time of year.  The children practiced bowing to each other, as well as played a game with Korean money (think Monopoly money!). 

On Monday, February 6th, from 6:30-8pm, Cassy Turner will present her “Singapore Math Boot Camp” for parents in the Middle School Dining Room.  Ms. Turner will be here on Monday and Tuesday meeting with Lower School faculty.    

We will skate again next week, beginning on Wednesday.  Please help your child remember to bring in his/her skating bag, complete with helmet, ice skates, and skate guards.  Feel free to come help tie skates at the ice arena if your schedule allows!

Our Valentine celebration will take place on Tuesday, February 14th.  We will exchange Valentines, enjoy a tasty treat, and celebrate our friendships.  Our class party will be in the afternoon, from 2-3pm. 

On Friday, February 17th, Breck is offering childcare for Lower School students from 8-3:30pm.  This is a faculty workshop day.  Space is limited to 35 students and there is more registration information on the Breck Bulletin Board (or contact Katie Peterson).   

Conferences are just around the corner!  I am very excited to have the opportunity to share with you all that your child has accomplished thus far in third grade.  We will also be able to discuss the next steps and what we hope to accomplish during the rest of the school year.  It would be great to have your child present if (s)he is available. 

Curricular highlights
Hopefully, your child has shown you the book project for the month of February.  Some children have told me what book they are reading for the project.  I hope you have had a chance to decide how and when to read the book.  This project is due on March 6th (or before if you finish the book before that).  As the directions state, if parents want to come in to present with their child, we will arrange a time that is convenient around your schedule.  More information to follow as the date gets closer.  Let me know if you have any questions. 

In math this week, we began studying multiplication and division.  Multiplication is repeated addition, so we have been looking at problems in that way.  We will continue to work with multiplication and division across the next few weeks. 

The children were very excited to have the Raptor Center come visit on Monday.  Mr. Mike brought a red-tailed hawk, an American kestrel, a great horned owl, and a bald eagle.  We learned so many new facts about raptors.  This event was a wonderful introduction for our Minnesota owl study.  This week, we also read some information about owls and are learning how to take notes.  On the horizon, the children will be able to choose an owl to study and research. 

Don’t forget that our second Word Masters “meet” is Tuesday, February 21st.