PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

Coming Soon: The Post Office!

Dear Families,

We hope you are enjoying the warmer weather and beautiful flowers of spring. We had a wonderful trip to the Queens Museum last week, where the students experienced the Panorama of New York City and created miniature cities of their own design. We loved watching their creativity and attention to detail. Below are some pictures from the day.

This week in math, we will be continuing our exploration of money and equivalence. Students began the week by solving some math problems that involve money. The problems are designed to reinforce knowledge of coins (e.g. I have 2 dimes, 4 nickels, and 2 pennies. How much money do I have?) and to enable students to continue addition and subtraction work (e.g. Sam wants to buy a pencil for 82¢. He has 29¢. How much more does he need?). For additional practice at home, you can create problems based on real-world money situations that arise in your day-to-day life when you are out shopping or using money. Later in the week students will be introduced to a new money context, called “The World’s Smallest Candy Store”. This candy store only sells four types of candy. Our mathematicians will investigate all the possible candy combinations one could buy with 50¢. The mathematical ideas underlying the work include maintaining an equivalent amount by the use of exchange (in this context, you can exchange one of one type of candy for combinations of other types of candy), mentally using “money landmarks” to find the total, add multiples of fives and tens fluently, and maintaining organization with a problem that has multiple solutions. Students will continue to develop the mathematical skill of proving their thinking to others. The ability to communicate mathematically is ongoing work that we are continually circling back to.

In Social Studies, we have begun working on the Post Office! This week we talked about what we already know about mail and the US Postal Service. Then we looked at various company names and emblems and discussed the importance of a strong and catchy name and logo. Each student developed their own name, motto, and emblem for our BSI Post Office, and by the beginning of next week, we will vote on our choice for the 2017 Post Office. Stay tuned for the results!!

This week in Writer’s Workshop, we have begun to draft our Realistic Fiction stories. We have taken one of the seed ideas that we have written about and expanded that into a timeline. Once our timeline was finished we sifted through many realistic fiction books and noticed that all of the stories contained a problem and solution. We then looked at our timelines and focused in our our ‘illuminating moment’ or heart of the story. Our illuminating moments contained our problem and solution, and our students even noticed that the stories that we looked at taught us lessons that could help us in our lives. Be sure to ask your child how their draft is coming along.

In Reader’s Workshop we have begun to dive into poetry. We began by just looking at the question “What is Poetry?” We then read aloud some Shel Silverstein poems, such as “The Dirtiest Man Alive” and “Hug O War”. We even talked about how “Hug O War” can be tied into our Tribes agreements. The students are making links between different genres of writing to their everyday lives. It is amazing!

Just a few reminders: we will be celebrating our March and April birthdays on Friday, April 28th from 10:55-11:40. Emails have been sent out to the birthday families already. We are also planning our trip to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge on May 26th. We will have more information to follow. Another reminder, please do not send the ‘Fidget Toy Spinner’ into school. It is being used as a toy and distracting students.

Have a wonderful week!

Ms. Mathis and Ms. Anne