Sunday, February 26, 2017

2/27-3/3 Week at a Glance

Monday, February 27 (Day 6)
- P.E. (last day of skating)
- Spanish

Tuesday, February 28 (Day 1)
- Spanish 
- Music
- Important American presentations: Katie, Wellstone, Ellis,
Akilah, Erin, Julia, Ollie and Jack

Wednesday, March 1 (Day 2)
- S.T.E.A.M.
- Spanish
- P.E.
- Important American presentations: Anna, Leo, Liv, Oliver, Anika, Zach, Alea and Mikey

Thursday, March 2
NO SCHOOL - LS Conferences, Noon - 8:00PM

Friday, March 3
NO SCHOOL - LS Conferences, 8:30AM - 4:00PM

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Service Note from Mrs. Z

Used Book Drive & Sale

Upper School students are collecting children's picture books, chapter books, Young Adult books, adult novels, non-fiction - everything!

Books will then be sold in the Middle School entrance over the two days of conferences on March 3 and 4. Every book will cost $1 and the proceeds will be used to support Reading Partners, a literacy tutoring organization.

Please bring in gently used books for the book sale. There will be donation boxes in every division through March 2.

Then come shop the sale! Pick up some books to read over Spring Break!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Group Presentations on Three Important Presidents

As you know, we are in the midst of the Important Americans social studies unit. While each student is working on their own individual Important American project (to be presented next Thursday or Friday), with President's Day coming up, they also recently worked together in groups learning about one of the following former Presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. 

They displayed real enthusiasm and teamwork as they read, researched and prepared to present on their President. The presentations were brief, but excellent, as well as good practice leading up to their own presentation. They impressed with me all they learned in a short amount of time! Ask your child what they learned about their President. :-)

Erin, Alea, Anna, Oliver and Leo researched our nation's first President: George Washington.
Ellis, Julia, Wellstone, Jack and Katie (we missed you, Zach!) presented on our nation's third President and an American Founding Father: Thomas Jefferson. 
Mikey, Ollie, Akilah, Liv and Anika presented on our 16th President: Abraham Lincoln. 

Week at a Glance

Monday, February 20 
No School - President's Day

Tuesday, February 21 (Day 2)
- S.T.E.A.M.
- Spanish
- P.E. 

Wednesday, February 22 (Day 3)
- P.E.
- Music
- Religion

Thursday, February 23 (Day 4)
- Chapel
- Art
- Spanish

Friday, February 24 (Day 5)
- Music
- P.E.

Looking Ahead:
- Monday, February 27: Last day of skating unit in P.E.
- Wednesday, March 1: Conference registration closes at 6PM
- Thursday, March 2: No School, Lower School Conferences, Noon-8PM
- Friday, March 3: No School, Lower School Conferences, 8:30AM-4PM

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you and your loved ones have had a wonderful day! 

This morning was a fun one for students in Room 16! We had fun exchanging and opening up valentines. This was followed by a grade-wide game of BINGO in the 1/2 Commons. The energy was high and as each number was about to be announced, a hush went over the Commons, hoping that that number would get them one step closer to BINGO! Several from our class won a prize out of the prize bucket. Recess immediately followed and many kids wanted to keep playing. :)

I didn't get a lot of pictures during the valentines exchange or BINGO, but thought I'd upload what I have. Enjoy!

My Heart is Full


Thank you for helping your child find photos to bring into school recently. It was for a writing project titled My Heart is Full. 

Earlier this week, students in Room 16 used these photos as inspiration for writing about what fills their heart. Why do they love what is featured in each photo? How does it fill their heart? Reading their writing samples made me smile and feel so proud of these young individuals. They know what is important and did a beautiful job expressing it! 

Swing by the room to take a look at why your child thinks those in his/her photos fill their heart. :)

Sunday, February 12, 2017

2/13-2/17 Week at a Glance

Monday, February 13 (Day 4)
* Mustang and Chess Club
- Chapel
- Art 
- Spanish

Tuesday, February 14 (Day 5)
* Non-Uniform Day - wear red, white and pink!
- Valentine's Day Party
- Mindufulness
- P.E.
(Possibly Music depending on if able to reschedule due to V-day party)

Wednesday, February 15 (Day 6)
- P.E.
- Spanish

Thursday, February 16 (Day 1)
- Spanish
- Music

Friday, February 17
NO SCHOOL - Faculty Workshop
* All-Day Childcare, space is limited to 35 current Breck LS students. Drop-ins will NOT be accepted due to supervision ratios. You will receive an email confirmation from Katie Peterson notifying you of program availability. The fee will be $50 and billed to your child's student account. Click here for more information and to register. Questions? Contact Katie Peterson.

Looking Ahead: 
- Monday, February 20 - No School, President's Day
- Tuesday, February 21 - Conference sign-up for families with three or more children
- Thursday, February 23 - Conference sign-up for all families 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Information on the Quiet Revolution

Parents - Please see below for an opportunity that you might want be interested in. 

Parent Quiet Kids - Complimentary online course for parents of 3 to 9 year olds offered exclusively to Breck Schools community (see link below for more information):

A Note from Mrs. Bailey re: Math Boot Camp


This week, we have spent two days in meetings with our math consultant, Cassy Turner.  She met with grade level teams to talk about our successes with our new program, Math In Focus - and to help us look ahead as we plan our continued implementation.  It was good to hear her affirm how we're teaching math in our classrooms, and how engaged our students are with new vocabulary and problem-solving strategies.  One thing we heard loud & clear was to make sure our students are 'fluent' with their math facts.  So, continue to practice these at home.  On Monday night, approximately 35 parents attend "boot camp."  As one parent commented, "I need to be in school again to learn math this way." Much of last night's session was "hands-on" for parents . . . here are notes taken by Peg Bailey from Cassy's presentation (also see two handouts of model drawings):

Singapore Math In Focus
Boot Camp for Parents
February 2017

Presenter:     Cassy Turner, consultant and trainer

Big Ideas in Singapore Math:
Number Sense:  our goal for students is to develop a deep understanding of number
Making Connections:  we want students to see connections between mathematical ideas
Visualization:  mental models help students see the math
Metacognition:  we want to give students opportunities to “think about my thinking . . . .”
Communication:  How do I communicate and share my understanding?

For our youngest learners, they learn to tell a number story about a picture.  They learn to apply the concept of number bonds.  Students use manipulatives to understand math.  Math In Focus moves from concrete to pictorial to abstract. 

Strategies our students learn:
·      Make a ten
·      Using a tens frame
·      Make the next ten 

Where we start . . . 67 + 5  leads to a vertical algorithm  67

Language of Math In Focus - parents will likely hear:
·      Decomposing – breaking numbers apart to make an easier equation
·      Subitizing - You can see a quantity and know the number without counting.
·      Regrouping/Renaming – trading ones for a ten, tens for a hundred, etc.

Bar Modeling – an essential strategy (visual representation) in Singapore Math In Focus
·      Drawing a picture to represent a problem increases understanding
·      Bar models support students in 3/4th grades to understand fractions
·      Bar models introduce students to the structure of algebraic thinking

·      Part-whole models (adding or subtracting parts to make a whole) – students are introduced to this in the early grades

Examples of problems:  Helen has 14 breadsticks. Her friend has 17.  How may do they have altogether?  - Or - There are 21 fish in a bowl. Fifteen are from students. The rest are from the school.  How many are from the school?

·      Comparison models  (How many more or fewer is one quantity compared to another?) Example of a problem: Grant buys 345 fruit bars. Ken buys 230 more fruit bars than Grant.  How many fruit bars does Ken buy?

Parents worked on creating a bar model for this problem:

A farmer has in his pasture 63 farm animals consisting of cows, goats, and sheep.  There are twice as many goats as cows, and twice as many sheep as goats; how many has he of each sort? 
The bar models show we know the relationship
between goats and cows is 2:1.  This can be represented as 1 bar for cows and 2 bars for goats.  We know the relationship between sheep and goats is 2:1.  Therefore, there are 4 bars for sheep.  We know the total is 63 animals and we have 7 bars.  Therefore, 63 divided by 7 = 9.  If each bar represents 9, then we have 9 cows, 18 goats, and 36 sheep, which is 63 in all.)
This year, we are teaching computation to mastery – a foundation needed for the next grade’s work.  This year, some of the concepts are being picked up in science (such as measurement).  By the end of next year, students should be ‘caught up’ with the program, since this year we ‘backfilled’ some concepts and vocabulary since the program is new to all.

By the end of 1st grade, we want students to know their addition/subtraction facts by memory.
By the end of 3rd grade, we want students to know their multiplication facts by memory.
Parents are encouraged to play games and practice basic math facts.

We may want our children to get the right answer, but we also want them to know why it is the right answer.

Mathematical problem solving is central to mathematics learning. It involves the acquisition and application of mathematics concepts and skills in a wide range of situations, including non-routine, open-ended and real-world problems.

Resources: – website and iPad
Xyla and Yabu iPad app

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Learning Update

Reading/Social Studies: 
Students are learning about Americans that have had a considerable impact in our nation's history. So far we have learned about MLK, Jr., Rosa Parks and Harriet Tubman, with more to come at a whole class, small group and individual level. 

While reading and learning more about these important individuals, students will be taught how to determine importance. That not all words, sentences or paragraphs are considered equal and that some carry more weight than others. This learning will help them as they soon pick an Important American they will focus their research on. 

We are in the midst of Chapter 6: Multiplication Tables of 2, 5 and 10. So far, students have learned that counting by 2s, as easy as this is, can help them when solving multiplication equations. Next up, counting by 5s and then 10s. 

Room 16 has enjoyed informative writing, specifically focusing on learning to write about science. The first part of this unit had students experimenting with toy cars and ramps. They thought about what their BIG QUESTION and HYPOTHESIS was and then wrote up their PROCEDURE (what materials do you need, what is your experiment's set-up and then step-by-step what to do to carry out the experiment). Only after all this was complete were they able to begin their experiment (they learned that scientists don't just jump into experiments, but need to spend time writing these items beforehand). They ran several TRIALS and then wrote a CONCLUSION. In addition, they learned how FORCE and MOTION were involved. The excitement is high as we head into  the next experiment: catapults! 

2/6-2/10 Week at a Glance

Monday, February 6 (Day 5)
*Mustang and Chess Club
- Music
- Mindfulness
- P.E.

* Math Boot Camp for Parents, 6:30-8:00 (Locations:
MS Library, MS Dining Room)

Tuesday, February 7 (Day 6)
- All School Chapel
- P.E.
- Spanish

Wednesday, February 8 (Day 1)
- Spanish
- Music

Thursday, February 9 (Day 2)
- S.T.E.A.M.
- Spanish
- P.E. (Skating begins - bring skating bag)

Friday, February 10 (Day 3)
- P.E.
- Music

Looking Ahead:
- Tuesday, February 14: Valentine's Day Party and
Non-Uniform Day (wear pink, red or white)

- Friday, February 17: No School, Faculty Workshop. Childcare is offered for Lower School students from 8:00am - 3:30pm. Space is limited to 35 students. Look for more registration information on the Breck Bulletin Board.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Math Update!

Recently students in Room 16 have been learning how to multiply by 2s. They are very familiar with counting by 2s, however, this particular lesson connected how counting by 2s can help them solve multiplication problems. Students know that in a multiplication problem the first number represents the number of groups and the second number represents the number of items in each group. 

After a whole group lesson, I asked them to come up with their own multiplication story problem. Each problem would include: two numbers (one for the group and one for the items in each group), a picture and a multiplication sentence. They could work on their own or with a partner. 

They had to know their problem well enough to explain their thinking because I told them that the next day, they'd be teaching their classmates. The following day, all students presented their story problem to the class and their classmates had to solve. The kids were empowered, engaged and excited to share what they had done! How cute are they?! :)

STEAM Project!

Last week we partnered up with Mrs. Marshall's class to do a STEAM activity. The STEAM unit with Mrs. Simonson motivates and excites kids on a whole new academic level! They can't wait for Day 2 because of the learning taking place in the STEAM room!! Mrs. Marshall and I thought it'd be fun to get our two classes together to create a 3D snowflake. We read a story about Snowflake Bentley (the first known photographer of snowflakes) to set the stage and then told the kids they would be making their own snowflake. We talked about how snowflakes are symmetrical and with very little additional instruction (intentional), the kids set off! Before we knew it, the time was up and their snowflakes were very impressive!