Primary A Weekly Note

Dear Primary A Families,

It was a brief but productive week in Primary A.  We worked on finishing up lots of work that helped us be thoughtful about what we learned throughout the school year! This time of year is filled with wonderful reflections and memories that we will continue to share as we quickly approach the last week of school.  

During our Morning Meetings, we have stressed the importance of summer reading.  We talked about how much progress we have made this year.  We thought specifically about our growth in stamina, and also those needed strategies that help us think deeply about the books we read. We want to avoid the “summer slide” by reading all summer.

Remember that it is important to read with your child and have those delightful conversations about the books to stretch their thinking.  Students are able to practice all of the comprehension, accuracy, fluency, and expanding vocabulary strategies they learned this school year.  Students will be bringing home a summer reading list next week, with “good-fit” book suggestions. Along with the reading list will be a summer math packet that will give your child important practice in math skills and keep them sharp for next year! Please note that replacements will not be available over the summer; instead, you can find a more general reading list and math activities on the Student Page of the school website.  Look for opportunities to find math in everyday activities, and have fun with numbers, using measuring, shapes, patterns, telling time, and money!

We are wrapping up writing projects! We expressed our gratitude to Damien, our Schuylkill Center educator, by writing a class ode to him. We culminated our poetry writing unit with our "I Am From" poem. We are nearly finished writing our good copies, and these, along with an impressive stack of writing from the year, will be coming home to you early next week. We have stressed to students that writing can happen by choice at any time and can take many forms. Our class has taken to writing with enthusiasm!

Your child may enjoy writing on their own this summer. They might keep a journal about activities, create more poetry in various forms, write letters to friends and loved ones, do a little research, and write a nonfiction teaching book or a how-to book about something they know well. There are many grand choices they can make, and we hope they carry their excitement about writing through the summer and into the next school year!

Things to Know:

Wednesday, June 7, will be our final visit to The Schuylkill Center, so please be sure to dress your children appropriately and pack water bottles.

Please remember that students should have on appropriate footwear that allows them to run and play safely! They may not wear sandals or flip-flops to school.

Friday, June 9, is the last day of school. Dismissal will be at 11:30 a.m. in the yard. There is no ASEP that day. Please make sure to pick up your child on time; the building closes at 11:30 a.m.

Primary Unit students will only be part of the graduation ceremony for a few moments on Friday, singing a song to the graduates. Students need not dress up in special clothing for this, although they may if they’d like to.

In partnership,

Bernadette and Cinda

Primary A Weekly Note

Dear Primary A Families,

It was a short but busy week in Primary A.  We did lots of reading in small groups and independently. As we read, we continue to focus on all the strategies that make us better readers.  Take a moment to ask your child what reading strategies help them connect to the text or read more accurately. 

We used all of what we have learned in poetry (descriptive phrases, simile, metaphor) to consider our own lives and to write a poem about our own lives. We made lists of sensory images from home, including the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, feelings, and memories to write an “I Am From” poem. We sent home the odes to families, and hope you all enjoyed these tributes!    

We enjoyed another visit this week with Yolanda Wisher, poet laureate of the City of Philadelphia. She read excerpts from her first book (written when she was in elementary school) and read a poem from a book she published as an adult: Monk Eats an Afro. She told us how poems she wrote when she was little made her feel calm and safe and helped her figure out some things that were happening in her world. She ended her time with us by singing one of her original composition songs. What a treat!

In science we used the many facts about frogs and toads that we have learned and organized them into Venn diagrams to find similarities and differences between and among frogs and toads. We then took our small group work on this project and organized all of our facts into a class Venn diagram. We will decorate this diagram with our many drawings of frogs and toads, and then display these along with our Amphibian Odes as a culminating project to this wonderful study! 

 This week, ask me:

…. about Encuentro. What was my favorite part?

…. about the new read aloud, Jimmy the Pickpocket of the Palace by Donna Jo Napoli.  How is it connected to our last read aloud, The Prince of the Pond by Napoli? What am I reading at independent reading time or in my small group? 

…. about our measuring activities.  How can I add and subtract larger numbers using strategies I already know? (Gr.1)

…. about subtraction strategies for large numbers. What are ways to easily subtract? How can we keep track of place value as we subtract? (Gr. 2)

...about our visit to The Schyulkill Center. 

Things to Know:

We have two more visits to The Schyulkill Center this school year, so be sure to have your child equipped with water bottles and  dressed appropriately. 

The last day of school is on Friday, June 9, and dismissal is at 11:30 a.m.

If your child has a summer birthday and he or she would like to do an in-class birthday celebration, please email us to schedule a time.

Primary Unit teachers will be out in the yard on Wednesday and Friday mornings from 8:00 to 8:15 a.m., so if you would like to say hi or need to check in with us about anything, you are welcomed to do so at this time.

In partnership,

Bernadette and Cinda

Primary A Weekly Note

Dear Primary A Families,

It’s hard to believe that we just had our final Learning Celebration on Wednesday at The Schuylkill Center.  Although the heat met us out at The Center, the day ended up being such a delightful way for the students to familiarize you all with their outdoor classroom. We hope you enjoyed the time spent sharing lunch, hiking, and the presentation given by our Schuylkill Center educator, Damien. We have a couple more visits to The Center before the end of the school year, and we are looking forward to continuing our observations at the various ponds.  We are certain after Wednesday’s visit that we will see the ponds come alive with new life and amazing creatures!

We have completed our ode poetry writing and will soon be writing poetry about ourselves. Our last ode poem has been in appreciation for you, our families! We will soon be bringing home these odes for you to enjoy. We talked about the ways we can not only express appreciation for the subject of our ode, but also ways to incorporate questions we want to ask of our subject. We did discuss ways to link our questions to the things we appreciate, but just be aware that some of these questions may be a little surprising! We focused on earnest expressions of our opinions, and are still learning to organize thoughts, so be patient with the ways your children have expressed their thoughts about their families.

 This week, ask me:

...about Encuentro. What was my favorite part?

...what I am reading at independent reading time. What strategies am I using during my reading? 

….what graphs are and what can I Iearn from them? How is a bar graph different from a picture graph? What is my graphing question for my class? 

….what are some fractions that equal ½?  What does the top number in a fraction represent? What does the bottom number represent? (Gr. 2)

Things to Know:

Friday, May 26 and Monday, May 29: No school during the Memorial Day weekend

If your child has a summer birthday and he or she would like to do an in-class birthday celebration, please email us to schedule a time.

Primary teachers will be out in the yard on Wednesday and Friday mornings from 8:00 - 8:15, so if you would like to say hi, or need to check in with us about anything, you are welcomed to do so at this time.

In partnership,

Bernadette and Cinda

Primary A Weekly Notes

Dear Primary A Families,

This week started with a special guest teacher, our nurse Sara.  Sara taught a lesson about First Aid.  She began with activating prior knowledge about the two words, first and aid. Sara then explained the seven main steps to any first aid situation: Stay calm, Safety first, Know your surroundings, What’s wrong?, Call for help, Comfort, and Early intervention.  Ask your child about these seven steps for helping someone who is ill or had an accident.  After a short discussion about the main steps, Primary A students had a chance to apply what they learned by performing two short skits. They truly enjoyed the drama portion of the lesson, and it was clear how much they learned from just one lesson.  We would like to thank Nurse Sara for taking time out of her busy schedule to come and share her expertise about first aid. It was a great lesson!

This week in language arts we focused on independent and small group reading.  It is amazing to watch how much stamina Primary A students have built since the beginning of the school year. As we read to ourselves, we continued to use all the C-A-F-E  (Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, and Expanding vocabulary) strategies we are learning during reading lessons and small group meetings. This class loves books and enjoys reading! We continue to tell the students that in order to grow as a reader we have to read more!  Please remember to read with your child at home and have discussions about the books.

We also have taken to writing poetry with great enthusiasm. We have learned about the form of poetry called an ode. Odes speak directly to the subject often conveying affection, although an ode could be written that conveys a different emotion. Subjects could be ordinary places, people or things, but these things are lifted up to importance by writing about them. Like all poetry they include descriptive and figurative language. We wrote glorious odes to our subjects of science study, writing to toads, frogs, tadpoles, salamanders, and ponds. We skillfully incorporated our new science learning into our odes.

The Schuylkill Center Learning Celebration is next Wednesday!  We will gather at The Center at 11:00 a.m. and depart at 1:30 p.m. There is limited parking at The Center, so we encourage you to carpool with each other. Primary teachers will be stationed around The Schuylkill Center in order to get you to where you need to be when you arrive. Please email us by early Tuesday morning if you will not be joining us so we can be sure to have your child paired with a friend. Please look for a more detailed email coming soon.

This week, ask me:

  • about the amazing 3-A play we attended on Thursday afternoon. What did I learn? What was my favorite part?
  • about what I am reading independently.  What reading strategies do I use as I read? 
  • about our trip to The Academy of Natural Sciences.  What did I learn at the live animal show?  What was the Chorus of Colors all about?
  • how to share a pizza with 2, 3, or 4 people. What is a fraction?  Ask me about shape attributes, 2-D and 3-D. (Gr. 1)
  • how to estimate larger numbers by grouping into 10s and 100s, and how to consider the scope of the number 1,000. (Gr. 2)

Things to Know:

The rain date for the Schuylkill Center Learning Celebration will be on May 31 at the same time.

If your child has a summer birthday and he or she would like to do an in-class birthday celebration, please email us to schedule a time.

Primary Unit teachers will be out in the yard on Wednesday and Friday mornings from 8:00 - 8:15, so if you would like to say hi, or need to check in with us about anything, you are welcomed to do so at this time.

In partnership,

Bernadette and Cinda

Primary A Weekly Note

Dear Primary A Families,

Primary A had another fantastic week!  Reading this week involved learning more information about frogs and toads. We utilized one of the reading comprehension strategies in order to demonstrate our learning.  We worked in small groups to answer questions in order to think about the similarities and differences between frogs and toads. We gathered more amazing facts like the largest frog in the world is a goliath frog found in Western Africa and the smallest frog is as big as pencil point.  Other facts included why frogs do not freeze in the winter, three reasons many frogs are becoming endangered, and why frogs communicate.  Ask your child about the new and interesting things they learned. After a discussion about what we uncovered from our reading, we were off to complete a Venn diagram to compare and contrast the two amphibians. It gives  us such joy to see how much the students are learning. 

In poetry writing, each student picked their favorite line from their daffodil poem to contribute to our class daffodil poem. We sorted through the lines, grouped them in categories, and carefully worked to arrange them purposefully. It’s not easy to write a 25-person poem, but we pulled it off!  We have added to our menu of descriptive phrases by learning to write metaphors. We noticed that similes describe something as being like something else and that metaphors name something as a totally different thing. “A sun as hot as fire” is a simile, but “the sun is a fire” is a metaphor. We set up a “museum of interesting objects” and walked around writing metaphors for the objects, describing them as being something else. We had a lot of fun trying to guess which objects matched their metaphor!

We collected sensory images at The Schuylkill Center by observing life at Cattail Pond. We even got to observe a very surprised toad that ventured out of its hiding spot. Back in the classroom we added written details about the things we saw, heard, felt, and smelled at the pond. Next week we will use these descriptions to write another poem. 

 This week, ask me:

…. which one of these is a simile, and which is a metaphor?

“My cat is a fierce lion.”

“My cat is as fierce as a lion.”

…. to name some 3-D shapes.  What can 3-D shapes do that 2-D shapes cannot? How did we build cubes and pyramids with polydrons? (gr. 1)

…. How does repeated addition connect to multiplication?  What patterns occur when you count by threes on the hundreds grid? (gr. 2)

Things to Know:

Our class trip to the Academy of Natural Sciences is on May 10.

Mark your calendars for the final Primary Learning Celebration at The Schuylkill Center, Wednesday, May 17, with a rain date on May 31.

Primary Unit teachers will be out in the yard on Wednesday and Friday mornings from 8:00 - 8:15, so if you would like to say hi, or need to check in with us about anything, you are welcome to do so at this time.

In partnership,

Bernadette and Cinda

Primary A Weekly Note

Dear Primary A Families,

If we had to describe this week in Primary A, we would say it was a productive one!  In reading workshop we revisited the comprehension strategy, text-to-self.  This is when we think about our lives in connection to what we are reading.  We explored making these connections before, during, and after reading.  We modeled this with another funny Frog and Toad story, A Swim. We learned that when we make connections to ourselves, we should be asking ourselves questions that remind us about life events.  Ask your child what questions they should be asking themselves as they read books in order to connect to the text.  As your child reads at home, remember to ask them about all three text connections. This is a wonderful way to get them to think deeper about the books they are reading. 

We have further developed our daffodil poems, and they are beautiful! After writing descriptive words and phrases about the daffodils in separate boxes, we cut them apart and arranged and re-arranged them in various configurations, experimenting with simile, alliteration, imagery, and rhythm.  Once we had an arrangement that was pleasing to our ears, we then wrote good copies of our new poems and illustrated them. We found that the poetry was like thinking about the lyrics and melody of our favorite song.

In science, we took a closer look at one type of amphibian, the toad.  We read a few pages of two nonfiction books, Frogs, Toads, and Turtles by Diane L.Burns and Frogs and Toads by Bobbie Kalman, to gather facts. We learned that toads are frogs but frogs are not toads, and that the lumps on a toad’s skin is called tubercles.  Ask your child what other fun facts they learned about toads.

At The Schuylkill Center, we were so excited to walk through the water in a pond to search for macroinvertebrates, which is a term used for invertebrates that are large enough to be captured in nets. We learned that these creatures have exoskeletons, which are hard coverings on the outsides of their bodies, rather than having internal skeletons as we do. This body type allows them to live in streams with rocks and moving water without sustaining damage from being jostled around. As we used nets to carefully look for any macroinvertebrates, we caught fly larvae, water scorpions, and, to our surprise, an adult crayfish!  The crayfish was exciting, as it was large enough to examine easily.  Our feet got soaked, and we got muddy; however, it was truly another delightful day at The Schuylkill Center. 

 This week, ask me:

…..about our new read-aloud, The Prince of the Pond by Donna Jo Napoli. 

…..to explain the attributes of any flat shape (closed or not, sides, vertices, and faces). What is a polygon? What 2-dimensional shapes fit under the category of quadrilateral?  (Gr. 1)

…..why it is important to choose the right measuring tool for the thing you want to measure. What tool should you choose to measure the length of your bedroom? How about the circumference of a sandwich? The length of a pencil? Why? (Gr. 2)

Things to Know:

Our class trip to the Academy of Natural Sciences is Wednesday, May 10.

Mark your calendars for the final Primary Learning Celebration at The Schuylkill Center,
on May 17, with a rain date on May 31.

Primary Unit teachers will be out in the yard on Wednesday and Friday mornings from 8:00 to 8:15 a.m., so if you would like to say hi, or need to check in with us about anything, you are welcomed to do so at this time.

In partnership,

Bernadette and Cinda

Primary A Weekly Note

Dear Primary A Families,

This week we were off and running in reading workshop with a discussion about making connections.  We learned that when we connect to the books we are reading, there are three different types of connections.  They are text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world.  When an event in a story reminds us of something in our lives, we can make a text-to-self connection, and when we think about another book, we can make a text-to-text connection. We decided the one that is most challenging to make is a text-to-world connection because they are usually things associated with world events.  We practiced this new comprehension strategy by reading aloud a Frog and Toad story titled Cookies. The students were eager to make text connections, especially ones centered around themselves, text-to-self.  Ask your child how they connected to the story and remember to have them make these important connections to the books they read at home with you.

We kicked off our new writing unit on poetry this week.  We began with a fun scavenger hunt that had us searching for clues on sticky notes to figure out the new topic.  As we gathered all the clues about poetry, we created an anchor chart with many descriptions and examples of what poetry could be.  We began our poetry writing with a List Poem.  We read two List Poems, one by Eloise Greenfield titled "Mama," and "Sound of Water" by Mary O’Neil.  Students were able to choose a subject that was important to them and create one word lists or phrases that connected to their subjects.  Some of those topics were family, friends, and pets. 

As we continued our poetry study, we took some time to discuss the importance of observing things in order to give vivid descriptions when writing poetry. We carefully observed some beautiful daffodils and sketched them first in pencil and then in color in order to gather visual impressions. We will use the visual information to help us compile descriptive words and phrases for our poetry writing. In order to better understand the genre, we also read aloud Emily by Michael Bedard, which has a wonderful description of what poetry can be. We are approaching poetry in non-rhyming form as a way to focus on use of words that give the reader imagery. 

Primary A students are always excited about learning and playing at The Schuylkill Center. This week we had a wonderful lesson taught by Damien, one of The Center's educators.  The lesson was focused on the life cycle of a frog. Ask your child about the stages of a frog’s life. We also learned some important facts about frogs and how they survive on land and in water. The second part of the lesson continued at Cattail Pond, where we used small bowls and nets to scoop some pond water samples to observe.  There was some great excitement around this activity. Students were eager to take close looks at the water and what might be inside. The lesson ended with Damien sharing some pond dwellers, like tadpoles, an American Toad (not living), dragonfly, and a mayfly. The students not only enjoyed the lesson, but they learned a lot and we look forward to more engaging lessons at The Schuylkill Center. 

 This week, ask me:

…. about Encuentro this morning. 

…..about our new read aloud, The Prince of the Pond by Donna Jo Napoli. Who are the characters? What is Pin’s problem?

Things to Know:

  • The Student Council is having a pretzel sale on Monday April 17. They are $1 a pretzel (mustard will be provided). The pretzels are from Center City Soft Pretzel Company, which is an all-natural soft pretzel company. The facility is nut-free, dairy-free, and kosher certified. The pretzels are only made from three ingredients: flour, yeast, and water.
  • There will be no school for students on April 21; it is an in-service day for teachers.
  • Move-Up Night for incoming first and third graders will be on April 27. 
  • Mark your calendars for the final Primary Learning Celebration at The Schuylkill Center, on May 17.
  • Primary teachers will be out in the yard on Wednesday and Friday mornings from 8:00 - 8:15, so if you would like to say hi, or need to check in with us about anything, you are welcomed to do so at this time.

In partnership,

Bernadette and Cinda

Primary A Weekly Note

Dear Primary A Families,

It was wonderful to welcome the Primary A students back from spring break.  Wow, they seemed to have grown so much in just a week! We heard all about their vacations and the fun things they did with you all.  We got to share this information through our greeting, What’s the News, during Morning Meeting and also through journaling.  It is always nice to hear what and where the students spend their time when they are away from school.   

This week started with the excitement of our new unit of study in science, Frogs and Toads. We were lucky to have gorgeous weather for our return to The Schuylkill Center. We found four different ponds and saw lots of exciting signs of spring.  We will revisit some of these ponds during subsequent trips. This week we focused on the Fire Pond, a place we visited last fall. This week we looked for seasonal changes and signs of life. We drew and labeled pictures and wrote some of our observations. We were careful to stay quiet as we worked so as not to scare away wildlife. We are bringing our unit of study into art, as well, drawing frogs and toads in art class. 

In reading workshop, we discussed and learned how to organize our thoughts about similarities and differences. We started the lesson with brainstorming the differences between Philadelphia and another place we have visited. We also learned that when we contrast people, places, or things, we are telling their differences, and when we compare them, we are looking at their similarities. Then, we compared and contrasted two students in our class, Charlie and Amaya. We gathered all their similarities and differences using a Venn diagram to keep our thoughts organized. We were sure to focus on their physical attributes, as well as their personalities.  It was so much fun to think about the two students in this manner. The students were then off to practice the strategy. Their task was to compare and contrast the two main  characters from our read-alouds, Gooney Bird and Pippi Longstocking

We had a mindfulness lesson in which we made settling jars to prepare us for the wonderful observations we will be doing at The Schuylkill Center.  We will use these jars as tools to help us get calm. We thought of various uses for the jars, for both social and academic tasks. Our growing skills of observation will be important in our upcoming unit of study in writing, as well as in our observations in science. Ask your child about how the jars made them feel as they shook it and observed the liquid begin to settle.

Some children were interested in making settling jars at home. Here is the simple recipe: Take a small jar, approximately 6 - 8 oz., and fill it about ¾ of the way with warm water. Fill the rest of the way with liquid glycerin (available at some pharmacies), 2-3 tiny drops of liquid soap, a little food coloring, and and a couple of pinches of glitter. Tightly screw on the lid, shake the jar, and watch until everything settles.

This week, ask me:

…. what I journaled about my spring break

…. what I wrote as an alternate endings to Each KIndness by Jacqueline Woodson

Things to Know:

Primary Unit teachers will be out in the yard on Wednesday and Friday mornings from 8:00 - 8:15, so if you would like to say hi, or need to check in with us about anything, you are welcomed to do so at this time.

There will be no school for students on April 21; it is an in-service day for teachers.

Mark your calendars for the final Primary Learning Celebration. It will be on May 17, with a rain date on May 21, at The Schuylkill Center.

In partnership,

Bernadette and Cinda

Primary A Weekly Note

Dear Primary A Families,

This was a short week but we made every moment count by being super productive in Primary A.  We did lots of reading and writing. In reading workshop we learned about Author’s Purpose for writing.  There are three reasons an author writes: to persuade, to inform, and to entertain (P-I-E). After that there was a mini lesson that had the students sorting some familiar books into the three reasons for writing.  The students also enjoyed the portion of the lesson where they read short passages in partnerships to identify what the author’s purpose for writing was. Be sure to ask your child about P-I-E and add this comprehension strategy to the list of questions that fuel those rich book discussions.

This week we discussed our favorite genre of writing. There were many students who enjoyed nonfiction writing and some who liked to write stories.  Ask your child what type of writing they enjoy to write the most.  We had some time to free write and illustrate how we pictured our beloved character Pippi. Take a moment to ask about the adjectives we brainstormed for Pippi using our pictures.

Thanks to all of you who participated in Reach Out and Read, the Primary Unit made $3,358.05 for the charity. It feels so good to be involved in such a wonderful program that helps children have access to great books. 

Finally, our short week ended with an amazing concert.  The Primary Unit did a fantastic job sharing what they have been learning in chorus class. Their performance highlights the exceptionality of the  music and movement teachers here at TPS! 

We look forward to seeing you all on Thursday or Friday at Parent/Teacher Conferences and look forward to welcoming your children back on April 3.  

Things to Know:

Primary teachers will be out in the yard on Wednesday and Friday mornings from 8:00-8:15, so if you would like to say hi, or need to check in with us about anything, you are welcomed to do so at this time.

Have a great break,

Bernadette and Cinda

Primary A Weekly Note

Dear Primary A Families,

This week started off with a special guest whose occupation connects directly to our neighborhood study. Charlie and Holden’s grandfather came in to talk to us about being an architect. He discussed the aspects of his job and asked the students questions about the buildings they observed each day in Philadelphia. It was great to hear the questions the students had for him as they began to connect what they already knew about buildings and neighborhoods.

We have been bursting with pride when showing off our neighborhood study during our Open House times this week. Thank you to those families who have come in this week to view our carefully constructed neighborhoods and to read our little books about our own neighborhoods, as well as those about community workers.  You also got to see our classroom maps, read our nonfiction teaching books, and see our collection of nonfiction research materials.  It made us feel great to show off our hard work!

In writing we have focused this week on writing self-reflections about ways we have grown in our work this year, and our preferences about ways we work best. We have examined the aspects of our reading, writing, math, and theme work that we are proud of. We will share our self reflections with you in conferences next week as a way for your children to offer their perspectives on their own learning and work. 

This week, ask me:

...about the end of that amazing read aloud, Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren.  What was my favorite part of the book? Would I recommend the book to someone else to read? Why?

…. What do the terms “face" and “edge” mean in the context of three dimensional geographic shapes? What are some ways to make math story problems interesting, challenging, and fun? (gr. 2)

...all about my number line work. How do I add or subtract on the number line. How can I count by 10, starting at any number? (gr.1)

Things to Know:

The sponsor from Reach Out and Read will be coming to collect the money we raised on Monday, March 20.  If you still have money, please be sure to send it in by then.

The Primary Unit Chorus Concert date has changed to Wednesday, March 22, at 9:00 a.m., but we will not be inviting families to visit our classrooms before or after the concert. Our Open Houses took the place of those visiting times.

If you haven’t yet signed up for the spring parent/teacher conferences on March 23 and 24, please check the Doodle poll and pick a time for us to meet with you.

Primary teachers will be out in the yard on Wednesday and Friday mornings from 8:00-8:15, so if you would like to say hi or need to check in with us about anything, you are welcomed to do so at this time.

Have a great weekend,

Bernadette and Cinda

Primary A Weekly Note

Dear Primary A Families,

Primary A students are excited to welcome you to our Open Houses next week. They will start Monday morning and run through Wednesday morning from 7:55 - 8:15 a.m. Remember this takes the place of our Learning Celebration.  This is a way for us to offer more times for you to come and see all the amazing projects we have been working on.  The students were sincerely invested in completing their neighborhood project tasks, along with their nonfiction research writing. They are looking forward to sharing their learning and exceptional work with you!

In between all the project work this week, we made time to do some group and independent reading.  We continued to focus on story elements, specifically looking at problems and solutions.  We shared a few of these tricky problems that characters try to solve in the variety of books we are reading in our guided reading groups and book clubs.  The students were engaged during the discussion and eager to share their thoughts.  As you read with your child at home, don’t forget to ask about the story elements (setting, characters, and problem/solution). Turning these story elements into questions are a wonderful way to start a discussion about the books they are reading at home. It also helps students to think beyond the text and begin to make connections by comparing their own experiences with problems and solutions. 

In writing workshop we finished our nonfiction teaching books and began to illustrate some important ideas. Some of us decided to add other elements of nonfiction writing, such as a table of contents, glossary, introduction, or index. They were so proud of their work.  This nonfiction work also helped guide us as we read and wrote some facts about community helpers.  Although all of the community helpers were people we were familiar with, we approached this learning using our prior knowledge to help us learn some new and interesting facts about them.  We focused on learning more about police officers, doctors, nurses, teachers, crossing guards, firefighters, chefs, and waiters/waitresses. We are impressed by the continued growth in and enthusiasm around writing in Primary A.  

This week, ask me:

… about my neighborhood project. Who was in my group?  What community worker did I learn some new information about?  Why are they important to our neighborhoods?

… about a problem and solution in a book I am reading.  What reading strategies am I using or learning to use? 

… what I did during Activity Time this week. 

Things to Know:

The Primary Unit Chorus will still be performing on Friday, 3/17, at 9:00 a.m., but we will not be inviting families to visit our classrooms before or after the concert. Our Open Houses are taking the place of those visiting times.

The sponsor from, Reach Out and Read will be coming to collect the money we raised on Monday, March 20.  If you still have money, please be sure to send it in by then.

Primary Unit teachers will be out in the yard on Wednesday and Friday mornings from 8:00-8:15 a.m., so if you would like to say hi or need to check in with us about anything, you are welcomed to do so at this time.

If you haven’t yet signed up for the spring parent/teacher conferences on March 23 and 24, please check the Doodle poll and pick a time for us to meet with you.

In partnership,

Bernadette and Cinda

Primary A Weekly Note

Dear Primary A Families,

As we enter the month of March, Primary A students are working hard on several projects!

In reading workshop we focused on an important story element: problem/solution.  We began our discussion with activating our prior knowledge about problems and how they are solved.  The students shared many problems, particularly with their pets.  Some of these problems were solved and some are still problems that need further thought.  Other problems were centered around friendships and fairness in play.  The Primary A students clearly understood that problems can be solved with some clear thinking or just some common sense.  After our discussion we read aloud Lilly’s Big Day by Kevin Henkes, who also wrote one of Primary A’s favorite books, Chrysanthemum. In this very funny book, the main character had a few problems that needed to be solved.  Ask your child what Lilly’s problems were and how they were solved.

We are wrapping up the research for our nonfiction teaching books.  We are now ready to publish our books by copying the text into our best handwriting, using correct spelling, and illustrating.  This has been a challenging project, and we can’t wait to show off our work!  We will have these ready to show those of you who come to our Primary A Open Houses, March 13-15, from 7:55 - 8:15 a.m.

We have continued to work enthusiastically on our theme study of neighborhoods.  We are finishing our individual books about our own neighborhoods that highlight features we love best.  We are beginning to create group brochures about our imaginary classroom neighborhoods, which boast of the special features we have assigned our areas.  We are working in groups to describe these features in glowing ways, as if we were convincing people to come live there.

This week, ask me:

… about Family Groups. What did we do?

… What’s happening in our amazing read aloud, Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren?  

… What am I reading? What strategies am I using during independent reading? What am I learning in my small reading group?

Things to Know:

The Primary Unit Chorus will be performing on Friday, 3/17, at 9:00 a.m., but we will not be inviting families to visit our classrooms before or after the concert. 

If you haven’t signed up for the spring parent/teacher conferences on March 23rd and 24th, please see the email that was sent home a few days ago with a Doodle sign-up  poll and pick a time for us to meet with you .

Junior Unit B is having their pretzel sale on Monday, March 6th. The pretzels will be $1.00 each, and mustard will be 25¢. The pretzels are from Center City Soft Pretzel Company, an all-natural company whose facility is nut-free, dairy-free, and kosher certified. The pretzels are only made from three ingredients: flour, yeast, and water.

Have a restful weekend,

Cinda and Bernadette

Primary A Weekly Note

Dear Primary A Families,

As the February days move swiftly by, Primary A students continue to build a classroom filled with a love for learning.  It is hard to believe that we just celebrated the 100th Day of School on Wednesday.

We enjoyed a variety of activities as we cycled through the Primary Unit classrooms. In Primary A, we decided to write 100 thank-you notes to Philadelphia police officers. We explained that this is a direct connection to our neighborhood study because police officers protect us and keep our neighborhoods safe daily. In Primary B, the students made 100 sandwiches for people experiencing homelessness. In Primary C, students stacked 100 cups for pennies to donate. Finally, the primary students got in some fun exercising while counting and organizing pennies in Primary D. We really enjoy taking time to celebrate as a team, and the 100th Day is a great opportunity for the students in the Primary Unit to learn and have fun together. It is especially special when our learning is connected to community appreciation and service!

In reading workshop we continued to focus our energy on how nonfiction books teach us factual information about various topics. This week we read aloud a portion of the book Tigers by Laura Marsh. This book had many of the nonfiction text features we have been learning about.  The students really enjoyed the lifelike photographs featured in the book. We used the book to connect to our nonfiction writing by working together to brainstorm subheadings for the big topic or main idea, tigers. We completed a graphic organizer that helped us align the facts we learned with the subtopic we decided to focus on. This whole group practice led us into using the graphic organizer in our own nonfiction books.  Students continued to work on their nonfiction writing by creating subtopics for their subject and then adding facts.  We have been learning to take factual information from text and express it in our own words -- very challenging!

Our theme work continues to be engaging.  We have made final choices of the resources we will include in our own classroom neighborhoods. This was challenging because we were limited to six resources each. We discussed ways to share. An example of this was the idea that one neighborhood that had no hair salon could rely on “traveling” to another neighborhood to use that service.  We also distinguished between goods and services and applied these definitions to our neighborhood resources.

This week, ask me:

  • about Encuentro this morning. What did I learn about science and scientists?
  • about the play, A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare. What was my favorite part?
  • what’s happening in our amazing read aloud, Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren.  
  • what I am reading. What strategies am I using during independent reading? What am I learning in my small reading group?

Things to Know:

Rather than having a one-day event, we will be holding "open houses" in our classrooms on Monday, 3/13; Tuesday, 3/14; and Wednesday, 3/15, from 7:55 - 8:15 a.m. You do not need to sign up for a particular date or even let us know when you're coming -- just show up with your child, and he or she will take care of the rest!

The Primary Unit Chorus will still be performing on Friday, 3/17, at 9:00 a.m., but we will not be inviting families to visit our classrooms before or after the concert. 

Keep your eyes out for the Doodle poll to sign up for the spring parent/teacher conferences on March 23rd and 24th.

In partnership,

Bernadette and Cinda

Primary A Weekly Note

Dear Primary A Families,

Our week may have been one day short, but it was bursting with exciting learning and fun activities!  Valentine’s Day was a special day of giving and receiving caring messages from friends. The students were so happy to get cards, pencils, and little items from their teachers and peers.  They filled the heart pouches they made with all their wishes for a happy Valentine’s Day.  This day was also marked on the calendars as amazing because we had our annual talent show.  There were a few performers from Primary A who shared their wonderful talents.  The show was a mix of singers, dancers, card players, football players, joke tellers, and drum players, to name a few.  It goes without saying, this is one of the best days at TPS! 

In writing, we took time to focus on nonfiction books in our classroom library.  In small groups, we went through bins of books to sort them.  The students used their prior knowledge of topics to make categories that made sense to them.  We later came back together to discuss the ways the topics related to each other, so that we could combine smaller topics into larger categories.  Some examples of the categories we came up with were creatures, places, weather, and food.  Students are now going to pick a topic to write a teaching book about. 

Our neighborhood study this week started with us thinking about those important cardinal directions: north, south, east, and west.  We used the directions to answer questions that had us traveling on a bus to school. Students used the compass rose to explain which direction to take in order to get to the school building on the neighborhood map. As we moved into thinking about our neighborhood city, we began using stickie notes to place the resources or items we chose for each of our sections on a large piece of paper.  Then the real fun began, when we had to consider where these resources should be placed in order to be beneficial to our entire city.  Primary A students were learning how to compromise for the greater good.  We also watched as some students used their voices to advocate for why their neighborhood did not want to give up a certain resource.  As we continue this important work of helping students understand the complex aspects of neighborhoods, we will continue to help them make connections and stretch their thinking about resources and the importance of access to them.

This week, ask me:

… What’s Pippi up to in our amazing read aloud, Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren?  

… What am I reading? What strategies am I using during independent reading? What am I learning in my small reading group?

...What resources did my group think were important to our neighborhood? How did we compromise during our neighborhood study? 

.... Which talent show performances did I enjoy? 

Things to Know:

2/21:  Reach Out and Read will be coming to an end on February 21, so please be sure to get your money and forms in before the due date.

Rather than having a one-day event, we will be holding "open houses" in our classrooms on Monday, 3/13, Tuesday, 3/14, and Wednesday, 3/15, from 7:55 - 8:15 a.m. You do not need to sign up for a particular date or even let us know when you're coming -- just show up with your child, and he or she will take care of the rest!

The Primary Unit Chorus will still be performing on Friday, 3/17, at 9:00 a.m., but we will not be inviting families to visit our classrooms before or after the concert. 

Enjoy the longer weekend,

Bernadette and Cinda

Primary A Weekly Note

Dear Primary A Families,

Wow, February is off to a great start! In reading, we continued to focus on story elements, namely examining character traits.  We discussed how the characters we meet in books can be described by their actions and their words. In order to support our description of a character, we also said we need to use evidence from the text.  We learned that the words we use to describe characters are called adjectives. 

To model and practice identifying character traits, we read a funny book titled Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester. The main character Tacky is a cleverly odd but lovable penguin that had the Primary A students giggling while visualizing his silly behaviors. As we began to describe Tacky, we continued to ask “Why?” about our opinions. This encouraged the students to use examples from the story to support their opinions about him. Please take time to talk about characters with your child as they read at home. This is another important way to help students demonstrate their comprehension, which helps them continue their growth as readers.

This week our theme work had us working cooperatively to do some decision making. As we continue to think critically about neighborhoods, we worked to decide what a neighborhood would need in order to be a productive place for everyone to live. Our classroom is divided into five sections: north, south, center, east, and west.  The students are grouped and assigned to one of these prospective areas of the classroom, where they will be creating a neighborhood. 

This week we revisited our list of things we thought made an area a neighborhood.  Our task was to decide how many of those features would be needed in our city classroom. Some of things we identified as being useful neighborhood features included stores, police stations, post offices, schools, libraries, and parks.  It was fascinating to watch the students debate and consider input from others as we discussed these neighborhood features.  We made certain to bring out some compelling arguments that had the students moving beyond themselves and considering the needs of others in a neighborhood. 

A great example of this was when many students thought they needed one library in the whole city.  We discussed how libraries may be the only way some kids have access to good books.  As we talked about this, it became clear that the students understood that we do not all have the same access to resources that seem so attainable. As we continue to explore and challenge our thoughts about neighborhoods, we will be examining community helpers and their connection to the functioning of our surroundings.

This week, ask me:

* what Pippi is up to in our amazing read-aloud, Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren. What character traits would I use to describe Pippi?  Why? 

* how I have added to my nonfiction writing this week.  What did I write about? How did the third grade's published nonfiction booklets help inspire my own writing?

* about Encuentro.

* about the math games, Number in My Pocket and Fifty Bust. What is the February calendar all about? How did we use unifix cubes to show equivalent names for numbers? What does it mean if shapes are congruent? (Gr. 1 math)

* how we used information about 1991 Olympics world record long jumper Mike Powell (who jumped an amazing 29 ft, 5 in) in our math work.  How are we using jumps on number lines to compute efficiently?  (Gr. 2 math)

Things to Know:

February 14:  Please remember that we ask that there is no candy or treats given out during Valentine’s Day.  We know the students like to give cards. Please be sure if your child is giving Valentine’s Day cards, they have one for every student in the class. 

February 17 & 20: No School

February 21:  Reach Out and Read will be coming to an end, so please be sure to get your money and forms in before the due date.

Rather than having a one-day event, we will be holding "open houses" in our classrooms on Monday, 3/13, Tuesday, 3/14, and Wednesday, 3/15, 7:55 - 8:15 a.m. You do not need to sign up for a particular date or even let us know when you're coming -- just show up with your child, and he or she will take care of the rest!

The Primary Unit Chorus will be performing on Friday, 3/17, at 9:00 a.m., but we will not be inviting families to visit our classrooms before or after the concert. 

Enjoy the weekend,

Cinda and Bernadette

Primary A Weekly Note

Dear Primary A Families,

In Primary A, we paused to revisit our Community Agreements.  We discussed the importance of carrying these agreements to every classroom we attend.  In order to be sure we were truly and consistently attentive, we came up with some important guidelines that will help us follow our agreements and get the most from our instructional times:

  1. Pick a “smart spot” at all times;
  2. Listen to directions;
  3. Follow those directions!

This week in reading workshop we worked together to discuss story elements.  We are beginning to examine story elements to help us build deeper understanding of the stories we read.  We read a book, Katie Woo Has the Flu by Fran Manushkin. This book was well received, since we can all connect to being sick.  As we read the book, we continued to use visualization to create pictures in our minds.  After reading, we made lots of text-to-self connections and moved into discussing the story elements, including characters, setting, problem/solution, beginning, middle, and end.  We also spent time reading independently and in small groups to continue our amazing growth in reading. It is wonderful to see Primary A students be actively engaged during reading workshop.

We had such fun discussing neighborhoods as we dove deeper into our theme study this week. We brainstormed the various ways we define neighborhoods. We decided neighborhoods were places where we could live in communities of families and friends, where we could get our needs met (shelter, water, food), a place where we could grow up, and a place where we could have fun. We then created a list of the types of things found in neighborhoods, such as parks, streets, different types of stores, and many other neighborhood features.  Please help your child continue to notice what makes your neighborhood a welcoming home for your family. The Neighborhood Information sheet homework that your child brought home this week was due today. If your child has not yet brought it in, please encourage them to bring it Monday! We will use this information in our study.

 This week, ask me:

  • what Pippi is up to in our amazing read-aloud, Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren. 
  • about my Family Circle activity.
  • who is in my neighborhood project group and about our first task. 
  • about strategies for adding and subtracting.  What are some key questions that help me decide if I should add or subtract? What is the math game, Tower Race? (Gr. 1 math)
  • what an addend is.  How can we add equal addends efficiently? (Gr. 2 math)                   

Things to Know:

  • Junior Unit B is hosting an ongoing fundraiser to buy the products they need to care for their classroom hamster; they will be selling pretzels from Center City Soft Pretzel Company, an all-natural soft pretzel company. The facility is nut-free, dairy-free, and kosher certified. The pretzels are only made from three ingredients: flour, yeast, and water. Every other Monday, JU-B will sell pretzels to raise enough money to buy the products they need to care for their hamster. The pretzels will be $1.00 each, and mustard will be 25¢. Look for posters around the school and a note in the Progressive EDge that will contain the dates they are selling pretzels. This will begin for Primary Unit this coming week, so make sure your child brings in money if he/she would like a pretzel.
  • Rather than having a one-day learning celebration event, we will be holding "open houses" in our classrooms on Monday, 3/13, Tuesday, 3/14, and Wednesday, 3/15, from 7:55 - 8:15 a.m. You do not need to sign up for a particular date or even let us know when you're coming -- just show up with your child, and he or she will take care of the rest!
  • The Primary Unit Chorus will still be performing on Friday, 3/17, at 9:00 a.m., but we will not be inviting families to visit our classrooms before or after the concert. 
  • We are sending work home with your child -- please take a look!  These papers represent a portion of the good work your children have done so far this year.

Have a restful weekend,

Cinda and Bernadette

Primary A Weekly Note

Dear Primary A Families,

It has been a busy and full week!  In reading workshop we read a nonfiction book, Owls by Mary R. Dunn, to model the accuracy strategies we are learning to use daily. We practiced chunking words to read them, stretching out words slowly, and using our “eagle eye” to look for picture clues.  We introduced a new strategy, “skip it, and hop back.”  This strategy allows the reader to skip an unknown word, read to end of the sentence, and then go back to reread to figure it out.  The beautiful photographs and interesting facts about owls in this book kept the students actively engaged. We also continued to work in groups to discuss books and read independently to build stamina.

This week in writing we continued our nonfiction unit with writing “How-To” books. We gave instructions for activities we think we do well. As we began to share our writing, we took some questions from each other that helped us give directions with more clarity.  In order to connect to our writing this week, we also worked on sequencing a book, Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London. Students had lots of fun retelling the events of this funny story.  Some students also worked on a sequence activity that had them sequencing everyday activities.  This exercise included how to brush your teeth, how to make a sandwich, how to plant flowers, or how to pop popcorn. This was a nice connection to our “How-To” books.

As we continue to expand our thoughts about neighborhoods, we learned the cardinal directions, north, south, east, and west.  The class was abuzz about the directional signs on the walls in Primary A. We used the directions to begin a conversation about maps and what we use them for. The students then used what they learned and their prior knowledge about mapping to draw a map of the classroom.  We mapped using our bird’s eye view. These maps really captured the important aspects of our classroom. As we continue our theme unit, we will be brainstorming the important and interesting things in our neighborhoods.  This list will help us take a critical look at neighborhood needs.

Things to Know:

In an effort to be mindful of families' busy schedules, the Primary Unit is changing the date and format of our March learning celebration. Rather than having a one-day event, we will be holding "open houses" in our classrooms on Monday, 3/13; Tuesday, 3/14; and Wednesday, 3/15, from 7:55 - 8:15 a.m. You do not need to sign up for a particular date or even let us know when you're coming -- just show up with your child, and he or she will take care of the rest! If you are unable to stop by during these dates and times, reach out to us and we will find a time that works.

The Primary Unit Chorus will still be performing on Friday, 3/17, at 9:00 a.m., but we will not be inviting families to visit our classrooms before or after the concert. We realize this means we are asking you to join us for two events in one week, but we are hopeful that the timing, flexibility, and informality of the open houses will make it easier for more families to attend both.

By now you should have received the information about Reach Out and Read and the sponsor sheet. If you have not, and your child would like to participate, please send us a quick email so that we can send another form home.

Friday, February 3, is Crazy Hat, Hair, & Pajama Day. Students and teachers can wear crazy hairdos, weird hats, and comfy pjs. (No slippers, please.)

Monday, February 6: Soft pretzel sale in Primary Unit. Stay tuned for more details.

  This week, ask me:

  • What’s Pippi up to in our amazing read aloud, Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren? 
  • about my “How-To book(s).  What does it mean to sequence something? What about my sequence activity?
  • about my classroom map.  What are the four cardinal directions? What part of Philadelphia do I live in?  What important, interesting, and enjoyable things are in my neighborhood? 
  • about the masterful storytelling by Charlotte Blake Alston. To find out more information, go to charlotteblakealston.com 

In partnership,

Bernadette and Cinda

Primary A Weekly Note

Dear Primary A Families,

This has been another productive week! We began our week in reading workshop revisiting nonfiction text features. We discussed the features using an anchor chart that explicitly explained each one in detail, along with pictures. We were then off to do a scavenger hunt using classroom nonfiction books. Students worked cooperatively in pairs to identify and record the text features on a graphic organizer. It was a delight to watch the students dive into this fun but challenging work. We gathered to reflect on our partnering and the good work we did. It is so refreshing to listen to our students discuss how to make working together in pairs a great learning experience for everyone. 

In writing, we began to choose activities that we know how to do so well that we could describe the steps to take to accomplish the tasks. We will soon write “How to…” books. It’s a challenge to figure out the initial steps needed to describe a task well enough for a novice to follow. We had fun gathering initial ideas and trying to imagine actually carrying out some of our ideas. We will continue to work on this writing project next week, increasing our abilities to write with clarity and specificity.

We also made wishes for what we would like to change in the world if we could, and wrote them on sticky notes to display in the hallway, along with those of other classes in the school. We were inspired by the beautiful mural painted by our own Aurora’s mother, Kaleema. It displays the Gandhi quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” and is painted with beautiful lotus blossoms. We discussed the meaning of the phrase, cited our own wishes, and talked about what it meant to “be change.” Come see this wonderful display in the hallway outside of our classroom.

This week, ask me:

  • about our read aloud, Pippi Longstocking. What activity did we work on that connected to our neighborhood theme? (Hint...Visualization!)
  • what things I really appreciate about my neighborhood.
  • how memorizing and using my doubles canhelp me add numbers more efficiently. What did I notice about doubling and halving a number? (Gr. 1) 
  • how tall I am in unifix cubes. What are some things I need to do to measure accurately? (Gr. 2)

Things to Know:  Look out for a letter about our service-learning project, Reach Out and Read. The students will be coming home with the information today in their book bags.

Have a restful weekend,

Cinda and Bernadette

Primary A Weekly Note

Dear Primary A Families,

It has been another productive week filled with fun learning in Primary A.  This week in reading we continued to work on improving our reading by using and adding to our reading strategies during reading workshop.  We also began to  think about nonfiction books and how they differ from fiction books.  We took a close look at and discussed nonfiction text features.  A few of those features included the table of contents, photographs, labels, captions, and the glossary. After using a text, The Life Cycle of a Butterfly by Bobbie Kalman, to highlight nonfiction characteristics, we paired up to read some similar books to look for the text features.  As we gathered back together, it was clear that Primary A students were tuned in during their partner reading.  They were able to share so many facts using specific text features of the books they read and glanced through.

In writing, we began our first (hopefully of many!) nonfiction books.  We chose an area of expertise, such as football, animals, swimming, babies, dinosaurs, etc., and started writing facts we knew.  In this first booklet we are concentrating on using a teaching voice, as opposed to the storytelling voice we used in our small moments writing. We are making sure to write a different interesting fact on each page, and then going back to write details about each fact. As we continue to write nonfiction we will add new skills to our writing!  

To continue our discussions around our neighborhood theme, we took a neighborhood walk. This was a wonderful way to get us thinking about what makes up a city neighborhood. As we walked, our task was to just observe.  We had lots of questions and connections to the things we saw.  When we returned to school, we took some time to write down and illustrate a few things we observed. As we continue with our neighborhood study, we will begin to think about how the things in a community are important to our daily lives.

Stay tuned for a service learning project called Reach Out and Read.  We will get you more information soon about this project to raise money for families who don’t have access to books. We will ask students to read in order to help raise money for this worthy cause. In the past we have participated in this project as an element of our work around Martin Luther King Jr Day of Service. The Reach Out and Read project will last for a month, and it will give us a chance to raise funds for books and keep track of the many books we read!  We will fill in details soon about this exciting project.  Please know that there are several ways to participate. If your family decides to contribute to the project by keeping track of the pages of books read or whole books read instead of contributing financially, we will welcome your support.  Keep an eye out for details coming your way soon!

Things to Know: No school Friday or Monday (January 13 and 16)

Enjoy the long weekend,

Cinda and Bernadette

Primary A Weekly Note

Dear Primary A Families,

Welcome back and Happy New Year!  Primary A students returned to school excited to see their friends and teachers. During our Morning Meetings, we discussed pushing our "restart" engines in order to begin our school life again.  We took time to revisit our Community Agreements and discussed how important they are to help us show our “best selves” to everyone each and every day.  

In reading workshop we took some time to first have a discussion to remind ourselves about what reading to self during guided reading looks like and sounds like. We said it is important to find a “smart spot,” read “good fit” books, and use strategies when we are reading independently.  We agreed that the reason we do these things is to become “better readers.”  We then jumped back into reading workshop like we never had time off. We also started our new read aloud, Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren. We did a before-reading activity to build excitement for the book.  We made some predictions using the funny picture on the cover of the book. 

In writing we took on brief writing projects. The first day back we described our wonderful winter break activities. The next day we revisited our hopes and dreams from the beginning of the year and wrote new goals for ourselves for the remainder of the year.  We also picked one or two of the published small moment narratives that a classmate wrote, read them carefully, and wrote a compliment for the “famous Pr A author.” We know that the specific comments made about our writing will help us grow as authors.

This week, ask me:

  • about Family Circles;
  • about our new read-aloud, Pippi Longstocking;
  • to think about how I can make my neighborhood better.  What types of things do I see in my neighborhood?  What makes it my home?

Have a restful weekend,

Cinda and Bernadette