PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

301’s Trip Tomorrow

Just a quick reminder: tomorrow is our trip to the Recycling Facility. If you’ve always wondered how the City deals with all those bags of mixed glass, metal, and plastic that we put out (I know I have), ask your child tomorrow night! We’ll be eating lunch while we’re on the trip, so unless you requested a school bag lunch, please be sure to send in a home lunch tomorrow.

In Math, this week we’ve continued our work in fractions, thinking about fractions that are part of a group (for example, 3/4 of a box of 24 Dunkin Munchkins) and also exploring fractions on a number line. Showing fractions on a double number line (which has one set of jumps above the line, such as fourths, and another set below, such as eighths) helps us think about relationships between different fractions, such as the fact that there are 2/4s inside every 1/2, and that 1/4 is half of 1/2. And of course we’ve been reviewing some questions from past State Math Tests, so that the students are familiar with the ways the Test tends to word questions.

In Writing, we’ve returned to our Writer’s Notebooks, trying out different kinds of entries and pushing ourselves to write with stamina and detail. Writer’s Notebooks are a good tool for helping a child explore his or her own voice as a writer, and after the ELA test, I wanted us to get back to writing with our own voices, and having a choice about what to write. I’ve emphasized to the children that it’s very important for them to come up with ideas they want to write about. One, learning to just sit down and write is an important skill, and two, when  children choose a topic themselves, they’re always more invested in writing about it. So if they ask you what they should write about, smile and suggest they look at the list of “What to do when you feel stuck” that should be in each child’s Notebook. Different writers develop their own ways of getting their minds and their pens moving, but that only happens when they have to. If you rescue them, they won’t learn it! When I feel stuck, I often look out a window and write about what I’m seeing, and what it makes me think about, or I go back and look at one of my lists, and choose something from one to write about.

Reminder: the State Math Test is next week, on Tuesday and Wednesday. There will be make-up days afterwards, so if your child is sick on a testing day, don’t hesitate to keep him or her home. And Tricia Ragone has been organizing an “End of Testing” celebration for our children on Wednesday after lunch; we’ll be taking them over to Seth Low playground, with ice pops for all! If you’d like to help chaperone, please reach out to Tricia. We’ve done this every year, and it’s wonderful to see the children’s unbridled joy as they run and play together. It even sounds like the weather may cooperate beautifully (fingers crossed)!