PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

Week of Feb. 13, 2017

Dear Families,


We had a wonderful trip to the Tenement Museum on Monday. During the trip, we visited apartments from different time periods and learned about the families who lived there. Below are some photos from the day.

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This week in math, we finished up our work in the T-Shirt factory with an exploration of the traditional algorithm and how it works. This directly relates to the place value ideas we explored in the t-shirt factory: the ones place is the “loose t-shirts”, the tens place is the “rolls of ten”, and the hundreds place is the “boxes of 100”. When working with the algorithm at home, it may be useful for your child to keep referring to the T-Shirt Factory as he or she makes sense of the numbers. For example, with a problem like 356-238, your child might think of a story involving 356 t-shirts in the factory. An order comes in for 238 t-shirts. Your child might say: “I need 8 loose t-shirts for the order, but I only have 6! I need to take a roll. Now I have 4 rolls. When I unwrap the roll, I have 10 loose t-shirts, which makes 16 loose t-shirts in all. 16-8=8 loose t-shirts left. I need 3 rolls. I can take them from the 4 rolls, which means I have 1 roll left. And I need 2 boxes. I can take those from the 3 boxes. I have 1 box left. That means I have 118 t-shirts left!” Some children will quickly add the algorithm to their “toolbox” of strategies to use for addition and subtraction problems, and others will not be comfortable using it regularly at this point. In any case, our goal is for the children to look at the numbers first, and then choose a strategy that will enable them to solve efficiently, accurately, and with the least margin of error.

In Social Studies, we have been thinking about how New York City has changed over time. We focused on population, housing, and buildings. Our trips to the Wyckoff House, Old Stone House, and Tenement Museum helped us see first hand how housing in the city has changed, especially when we compare past homes to our current homes. When we return from break, we will begin to explore urban, suburban, and rural areas, with a focus on New York City as an urban area.


This week in Writing, we are immersing ourselves into realistic fiction texts. Today we focused on the outside of texts. Please talk with your students about somethings that they have noticed about texts.You can ask them:  What are somethings that were the same? What  were some things that were different? Why do they think this? We have also launched our word study unit. Students are receiving individualized sorts that will meet their needs.

This week in Reading, we are wrapping up “Jake Drake, Bully Buster”. We have learned how to think deeper about the text and notice and solve problems. By seeing problems through the character’s eyes we are able to make connections to our own lives. By learning how to do this, we are able to link some common bullying issues that Jake faced to our Tribes Agreements and Class Rules. Students are making real life connections to texts, which is amazing! Next we will be diving into a Realistic Fiction text called, “The Chalk Box Kid”.

Here are some pictures from our trip and working on our Word Study Sorts.

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Just a reminder, next week there is no school. We hope everyone has a great, relaxing and restful break.

Have a great week,

Ms. Mathis and Ms. Anne