PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

Book Baggies Go Home This Week

Reading Workshop

This week your child will begin bringing home a cloth bag full of books from our classroom. Please find a quiet place, free from distractions, and have your child read one or two books to you.  The bag and books needs to be returned to school the next day.  Please create a routine at home to insure that all the books get safely returned to school everyday.  If books are not returned daily, or are lost or damaged, your child will not be allowed to bring classroom books home.

When reading with your child, if you notice your child getting stuck on a word, here are several strategies you can suggest to help with the the word.

  • Look at the picture.
  • Look at the first letter.
  • Break the word into smaller parts.
  • Ask, “What would make sense?”
  • Go back to the beginning of the sentence and try reading it again.  
  • Skip the word and come back to it.

Often times it takes a combination of several strategies to figure out the word. If your child is still stuck, just tell him/her the word and continue reading.

Here is the link to the questions you can ask your child about the he/she is reading.  This is the resource that was discussed during curriculum night.

Help with Reading

Math Workshop

In math students solved a problem about the number 10.  Using the story of bunches of balloons for a birthday party students had to find all possible combinations of 10 using two numbers. (e.g. 5+5, 3+7). 10 is a very important number in mathematics, for our entire number system is based on groups of 10.  We want students to be fluent in combinations of 10.  

Here is a Magic Triangle Puzzle for your child to try at home to practice adding numbers to 10.


Knowing combinations of 10 can be extended to combinations of 20.  I can think of 20 as two groups of 10.  Here is a second Magic Triangle Puzzle working with 20.


A tip for both puzzles:  Cut out the numbers on the bottom or write them on separate slips of paper so you child can move them around and try them in different spots without having to erase.

Social Studies

Our fall unit of social studies is about Families.  We began the unit by looking at who is in families.  We read a book and learned that families can be big or small, and can be made up of many different kinds of people.  Students then thought about who is in their families and created their own family trees.


We are continuing to learn about the three states of matter. Last week we focused on solids.  We recorded our observations about a collection of solids and named different properties that they had.  Students thought about color, size, shape, texture and material.  Some students used their sense of hearing to compare the sounds the solids made when dropped on the tables.  There was also some smelling and feeling going on but no tasting!