PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

4th Grade and 1st Grade Buddies

Dear Fourth Grade Parents,

Last week we met with our first grade buddies again.  This time we were “reading buddies!” The first graders practiced reading to our fourth graders.  The fourth graders shared their favorite picture books.  It was really great seeing the older kids really take care of the first graders.  “Helping” them sound out words or even practice inferences.  The younger students really brought out the goodness in our older kids.

When they were working I thought of this quote.  I am reminded that John Dewey says learning should be child centered, rooted in personal experience.  What a great way to have our 4th graders at the center of teaching the younger kids.  They really loved it.  It was quite lovely.


There is a really thought provoking article about the benefits of inquiry learning in the New Yorker.  John Dewey believed Here is the link if you would like to read it.  I am reminded by the work of inquiry and project based learning fit in our school.  Creating a classroom where power is shared and meaning is constructed by students not totally instilled from the teacher.  I am also heartened by the idea that we are creating a world that will someway mimic the society in which we live.





  • We will have a Holiday Party for both 401 and 401 on Tuesday December 19th.  401 will be at 10:10 AM and 402 will be at 10:55 AM.  We hope to share some of our commentaries with you while tasting and sharing traditional holiday treats!
  • I will not be assigning HW this week or the following week.  No HW check on Wednesday December 20th or January 3rd.
  • We have been reading books about a wide array of Holiday Traditions.  Here are some of the titles. We decorated the class with a variety of holiday decorations. (I know Eid takes place at different times this year, but I included decorations for it too.)  In January, we will celebrate and decorate for the Chinese New Year!

-The Tale of Three Trees:A Traditional Folktale

-Night of the Moon: A Muslim Holiday Story

-Hanukkah with Mazel

-Joy To The World, written by Tomie De Paola

-Rashad’s Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr

-On Hanukkah

-Under the Ramadan Moon