Winter Break Ends

We have completed our first days back at school after winter break.  I think we all felt the return came a bit premature, but it did feel good to get back in the routine.  

The kids were eager to read each other’s novels, written in November, that were sequestered until now for revising.   Their focus and sincerity of purpose were evident in the silence of the room.   Each student should have a published work by the end of the month.

Thanks to all of you, parents, for reading to your children, providing them with books to read at home, and modeling reading and writing in your own life!



Peace Plays

Today the students impressed us with their Peace Plays!  As the kids practice, it is hard to imagine the wonderful production that will evolve from the madness of creation involving 30+ ten-year-olds.  But they do it.  They pull it off.  Soft, timid voices during rehearsals are projected into the audience.  Restless bodies are brought under control as they “stay in character”.  Chatting off stage goes silent, allowing the audience to focus on classmates on stage.  They succeed, when it’s all on them, they do it.

Fifth graders are at the cusp of no longer being little kids and entering the tweens, just a step away from the teens.  They thrive on their growing independence and maturity.  It can be hard to let them go.  Today, they were released onto the stage in a very public expression of their independence.  Their ideas and words and actions in full view.  They took the trust, the opportunity, and made us all proud.  

Peace Plays

Tomorrow, Tuesday, December 18 the fifth and sixth graders will perform their Peace Plays in the school theater.  The timing for our Peace Plays feels more poignant following the tragedy in Connecticut.  We hope you can join us at the 10:00 am performance by the morning ELA classes or the 2:00pm performance by the afternoon ELA classes.

“Our Hearts Are Broken Today”

Having only heard snippets of the events at Sandy Hook after I arrived at Marcy, I didn’t learn more until returning to my own home this evening. I made no mention of it to the students in my care. Words escape me now. I spent extra intentional time tonight with my own two kids as I know many of you did too. Online resources that you might find helpful in discussing the tragic events of this day, can be found here and here. A pdf from the National Association of School Psychologists on talking to kids about violence can be found here.

Choose Kind.



Books to Match Diverse Young Readers (from the NY Times)

This multi-media feature came out today (click here to view). Even though the first sentence mentions second through fourth graders, several of the titles are actually geared toward middle grade readers. Another article touches on the lack of Latino characters in fiction (click here for the complete article) for young readers. Enjoy!read

Literacy Night & Notable Children’s Books from the NY Times

Just another quick reminder that tonight is Literacy Night at Marcy from 6:00 – 7:30.

Also the New York Times published their Notable Children’s Books List of 2012 last Sunday. While I knew a number of them, some were new to me. You can see the list here.

Final Call for NaNoWriMo!

Tenacious authors and supportive care givers! The end is within sight! Tonight is your final night for writing and/or making that effort to achieve your word count goals. From your teacher’s perspective, it’s been an amazing journey to witness the creativity and stamina you authors have exhibited. We can’t wait to cull (or gather, collect) your novels.

Quarter 2 Social Studies Quiz tomorrow!

Help your student study for tomorrows quiz by clicking here.

Click on the 1st link on the left side for Geography of the U.S. – that covers materials for the quiz.


From – “Lice aren’t dangerous and they don’t spread disease, but they are contagious and downright annoying.”
Marcy Open staff received an email today from our school nurse, Andrea Seebach. 
I’ve copied the most pertinent information to pass along to families/care givers;
This is taken from Hennepin County Epidemiology Update letter:
Hennepin County recommends that a child with head lice be
excluded from childcare, school, and activities until their first
head lice treatment is completed and no live lice are seen. Nits
are not considered live lice. While “head checks” in schools, or
mass screenings of classrooms or entire schools for head lice,
and “no nit” policies are used by some schools, they are not
recommended by the American Academy of Pediatricsor the
National Association of School Nursesand have not been
shown to be cost effective or a particularly useful prevention
strategy. Studies have shown that children with head lice are no
more infectious on the day of diagnosis than they had been prior
to the discovery of an infestation.10 This supports the practice
that students do not need to immediately be sent home when a
head lice infestation is noted. Rather the child’s parent/guardian
should be notified of the infestation and the child dismissed at the
end of the school day. The child should be advised to avoid
head-to-head contact with other students on the day of
A more practical and effective approach to head lice prevention
in schools is to provide informational materials to parents to
educate themselves and their children and to recommend that
parents periodically check their child’s head for lice.11,12
Andrea Seebach, Licensed School Nurse, Minneapolis Public Schools
      Anishinabe and Sullivan Schools, Mon, Wed, Thurs, 612-668-4990
      Marcy Open School, Tues and Friday, 612-668-1045

Thank You Veterans!

“Today, a proud nation expresses our gratitude. But we do so mindful that no ceremony or parade, no hug or handshake is enough to truly honor that service. For that, we must do more. For that, we must commit – this day and every day – to serving you as well as you’ve served us,” Obama said, speaking to the commitments Americans, and their government, have to veterans.

From an article published November 11, 2012 in the LA Times.