203 Blog Update (4.0)

MCAAuthor Kate Messner wrote an open letter to kids on test day that she posted on her blog on Monday, April 15th. We couldn’t have said it any better, so we include the link here.  We’ve got two more days of MCA testing coming up, science will be tested on Monday, April 29 and math is scheduled for Friday, May 3.  MAP testing will take place mid-May.

In Bridges, both groups are working on flushing out scenes for the plays they have chosen. The performance for all Bridges groups is Monday, May 13 at the Children’s Theatre. Students need to be at the theatre by 4:30. The show begins at 6pm. Rides to the theatre and dinner are NOT provided.

audiobooksWe also wanted to include a link to FREE audio books that will be made available in the weeks to come. Click here, to go to audiobooksync.com. Every Thursday during the sumer, beginning May 30th,  they provide two free audio books (one current title, one “classic”).  From Shakespeare and Martin Luther King, Jr. to Maggie Stiefvater and Patricia McCormick, you’ll find something for that road trip or any lazy day of summer (summer is on the way!).

Social Studies Quiz

Social_StudiesStudents have been asking for the link to help them study for quizzes at home, so I’ll publish it again. Click here to access the site. We’re taking the quiz for chapter 12 this Thursday.

Educate the Mind and the Heart

selWhen you have two minutes, we encourage you to click here, to view a short video from the Dalai Lama Centre on Educating the Heart.


Field Trip

ImageWe will be taking the fifth and sixth grades to see Jackie & Me at the Children’s Theater on Tuesday, March 26.  We have been reading the book in advance of attending the show.  The books were given to each student as a gift from the Children’s Theater.  Even those readers not generally attracted to sports themed books are enjoying the story!  

The book takes us back to 1947 to experience Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in professional baseball.  The story is told from the perspective of a young white boy from present day who is transported back in time as an african-american boy to 1947 New York.  His experience in the past and transformation upon his ultimate return is at the heart of the story.

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Screen Shot 2013-02-25 at 2.43.04 PM  Parent teacher conferences are Thursday, beginning at 3:30 and ending at 7:30, and Friday, beginning at 7:30 a.m. and ending at 3:30 in the afternoon.  The conferences will be held with Nina Smith, our math specialist, and Julie or Nati, our ELA teachers.  Each conference will take place for 10 minutes.  We will review MAP scores, classwork and review learning goals.

Your child should bring home a slip with your specific day and time today.  If you have not yet signed up for a time, there are still times available on Friday.  Contact us via note or email and we will schedule a time for you.

Reading MAP Test Rescheduled

Tomorrow’s reading MAP test for 5th graders has been rescheduled for Wednesday, February 6th, due to technical issues. Friday’s math MAP is still on, barring any lengthy resolutions to the issues that were present today.Image


ALAawardsThe American Library Association (ALA) announced winners of their Youth Media Awards this morning from Seattle. These awards include the Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, and Coretta Scott King Book Awards. Newbery:CaldecottWe tweeted a couple of the winners today; Katherine Applegate for, The One and Only Ivan (Newbery) and Jon Klassen for, This is Not My Hat (Caldecott). As a knitter, I feel compelled to mention that another one of Jon Klassen’s book, Extra Yarn, received a Caldecott Honor. Extra YarnHonorYet another book, “Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon,”written by Steve Sheinkin, has been named the 2013 winner of the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. During the afternoon ELA’s Peace Play rehearsals, this book made an appearance in the class so interested readers could add to their schema surrounding the story of Sadako.Bomb


Just came across this, and thought I’d share with you. For those of you watching Downton Abbey, a fun article on what a writer can learn from watching this Masterpiece production.

So, you wrote a novel…now what?!

keep_calmIn ELA we’ve been hard at work revisiting, revising and now this week, editing the novels we wrote back in November as a part of NaNoWriMo! As we approach the completion of this project with the closure of January, we wanted to let families know that you’ll be able to view the novels on February 8, during our portfolio morning, from 8 – 9am. Please keep in mind, these novels will not be “perfect”, rather they will exhibit the process of your student’s foray in to the experience of crafting their own novel.  The revising, and editing is completely your student’s and their collaborating peer’s own.  We’ve provided the mini-lessons and explicit instruction on setting, paragraphing and editing in class.


Free Rice is a website you’ll want to check out.  Click here to view it. One ELA class has been introduced to it so far (the other class will also have an opportunity to explore it later this week) and as the date for our Winter MAP testing approaches  (reading will be on Thursday, January 31 and math on Friday, February 1), you might consider allowing your student an allotment of time to use it at home. You can choose from a variety of subjects (we like vocabulary and grammar) and you can also adjust the level of difficulty. For every correct answer, 10 grains of rice are donated to the World Food Programme. While that is not a lot, as a class last week, we’d accumulated 10,000 grains (we had fun discussing how much rice we thought that was). You don’t need to register for an account unless you’d like to keep track of how many grains of rice you donate over repeated visits to the website.

Happy Dr. Martin Luther King Day!