Grade 3/4 Welcomes October with Peer Reading and Service Learning

Dear Families,

We have begun Peer Reading with the B-2’s pre-school class! It requires a lot of patience to read to a 2 year old who is really interested in so many things other than just the book and the class had to make some adjustments. It wasn’t just reading a story straight through and I was pleased to see them interact and try to get to know their new friends.

We also had a chance to present our dioramas to the 5th & 6th graders at a Middle School Meeting. I like to give the students as many opportunities as possible to present their own work; to stand up and demonstrate what they have created and to answer questions about it. It takes a lot of presence and courage, some have that naturally others need a little more practice.

I have also begun having the class use Reading Journals at home. They have a free reading book here at school and I would like them to read one at home as well. Reading with a parent or on their own is fine, again, practice is everything.  In Math we have moved on, for a bit, from Place Value and onto multiplication. We will be working with different ways of graphing and prime and composite numbers shortly.

Scholastic Book order forms went home this week. If you haven’t seen them yet, they are in the homework folders. You are under no obligation to order anything if you don’t want to. If you do choose to order, you can do it directly online yourself (all the info and order #info is in the letter) or send in a check for Scholastic to me and I will send it in. The deadline for the October order is Oct 22nd.

On Wednesday the morning was devoted to planning our Service Learning Project for the year ahead. We had a terrific discussion about the ills of the world and where our efforts might be best realized to their best effect. We have decided upon doing what we can to preserve the bird population as there are many simple actions we can do to help the birds. Hint: be prepared to start drinking shade-grown coffee and use some decals we will make that help to save birds from flying into windows.

Thanks to Maggie M. and Nicholas for our delicious apple cider donuts the other morning!

Some Important Upcoming Dates:

Monday, October 7 – Away Soccer game with IMS. PPU time at BCD is 6:00.

Wednesday, October 9th– No School Yom Kippur.

Thursday, October 1oth– Mountain Day- Hiking in Kennedy Park in the morning/weather permitting. Please have an eye out for the weather that day, fleeces might be needed and proper footwear. No sandals, please. (No bagels for snack that day).

Friday, October 11th – Grandparents Day. We are so looking forward to having grandparents and friends in our classroom that day. If grandparents are unable to come, we will match that student with another friend and their Grandparents. No one will be alone!

Monday, October 14 – No School. Indigenous Peoples Day.

Thursday, October 17th – Bagels for snack if ordered.

I’m really looking forward to Grandparents Day. They really bring out the best in the kids and it’s great for the students to share their classroom and all the work they are doing.

Great weekend to all,

Best, Katharine

p.s. the slide show below has a little bit of most things mentioned above plus some shots of a math card game that brought out the card sharks in us all.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Ump1jBuExbKWg7Mr7

 

 

 

By |2019-10-04T15:25:58-04:00October 4th, 2019|

2019-20 Grade 3/4 – So much depends upon…

Dear Parents,

Thank you all who were able to come to Back to School Night. I hope you got a little taste of the variety of materials we use, my curricular hopes and dreams as well those of the students.  We gave this some thought and they divided their Hopes and Dreams for the year ahead into academic goals and personal goals.  I told them I am confident they will all be able to achieve their goals, at least to some degree and I am.  Some included, “…learn how to read a map and how to draw a dog”, …”to  keep going even through tough times” “…to participate more with my good ideas in subjects in school”, ” to get better at soccer and to read more books” and one we all struggle with, “…to not get rude when I am angry.”

The slideshow attached will give you some idea of the different activities from this past week. Working in the garden with the Pre-Schoolers, presenting our dioramas to our classmates as well as the 1/2 graders, reading through a new Poetry packet and choosing a poem to work with next week, practicing using longitude and latitude to find different locations on a map and finally – Kayaking!! They had a perfect day for it and had a blast!

Portfolios went home today along with a sheet with some questions for them to choose from to answer about their work. Perhaps you could take some time and review the work with them and help them decide which one (s) to write a short reflection about. I know this is a challenging assignment, we will work on it as the year progresses but I think it is so important for them to start taking some ownership, pride, and responsibility for all the work they produce here at school. Self-reflection is an important first step in becoming independent and life-long learners.

We will start peer reading with the B-2 preschoolers next week but otherwise will follow our normal schedule. We will join the Lower School for Mountain Day ( our annual hike in Kennedy Park) the following week on Thursday, October 3rd and I will send more info about that as we get closer.

Enjoy this beautiful weekend, sounds like a lot of you will visit the Apple Squeeze or just get to spend some time outside for these wonderful days of summer becoming fall.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/rSjPgXBpoJkgMvMZ9

 

 

Best, Katharine

By |2019-09-20T16:30:27-04:00September 20th, 2019|

Grade 3/4 off to a great start!

Dear Families,

We’ve had a busy and wonderful start to the year!

We’ve finished our Hopes and Dreams, both personal and academic, for the year ahead, created some class rules to help us achieve those dreams, reviewed the ideas behind Growth Mindset, started our Poetry Folders, filled in our continents/oceans maps, visited all our special classes at least once, and…managed to have some fun while doing it.

Our routines are becoming more familiar each day and I look to you for some help and support with that. Please remind your child to check their planner each night to help remember what may be due for the next day. I told them on the first day that the planner will be (one of ) their best friend this year. I will sign it at the end of each day after a short conference making sure everyone understands whatever assignments are entered.

As I plan ahead for our many projects, I want you to know that while I do believe in the importance of student voice and choice and the power that that autonomy can give to some, others will need more structure and I am prepared to step in when I sense the need.  One of the strengths of a multi-age classroom is that students can learn at their own rate. One of my many goals for the year is to create a learning family that is dynamic, flexible, challenging and accommodates all levels of learning.

If possible, before you drop off please tell your child how they are getting home that day; i.e., parent pick-up, afterschool program (p.m.), etc. If plans change during the day, just email me and copy Melissa Kruse in the office ([email protected]) or vice versa, so we can get them safely to the right place.

I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on Back-To-School night on September 18th and will be checking in by phone before then. Needless to say, if you have any concerns or questions, please email me directly.

Thank you for sending in inside shoes and a change of clothes, for some I know that is still on the list. I was so happy to hear that everyone was able to join the soccer team, it’s such a great opportunity at the end of these beautiful fall days ahead. It also helps strengthen the sense of family and belonging here at BCD. They all seemed pretty excited about it this morning.

I hope the photos (just click the September in 3/4 Grade link below)  below give you some sense of the work we’ve been doing already. They include some shots of our visit to the Distance Lab to work on the Four 4’s problem, filling in our continents maps, drafting our Hopes and Dreams, organizing our cubbies and a little Choice Time.

Have a great weekend,

Katharine

September in 3/4 Grade

By |2019-09-25T15:27:41-04:00September 6th, 2019|

Closing out the schoolyear with our last package of PenPal letters, sent + received!

Bonjour to all,

Today we have posted our final letters/drawings/ origami art to our friends in France, wishing them a bon été and telling them a little bit about what we will each be doing this summer.

It has been an enriching and heartwarming experience for us all, students and teacher alike! I am amazed to see the instant connection formed between these students, a true comradery, having never met nor spoken, and living an ocean away!

What has amazed me most is to see the spark in my student’s eyes and their eagerness to understand the letters that their French friends are writing, and to be able to write back to them. It has been a great motivator for our curriculum, to see the words and phrases put into use for basic communication.

It has also been enriching to learn more about the Montessori School of Uzès; what their school is like, what subjects they are studying in class, and to get to know their school pets (chickens): Abricot, Black and Grissette!

I also take pride in sharing information about our school. I included a copy of our 2018-19 yearbook with our envelope of letters shipping out today, to share a glimpse of what our school year at BCD looks like! The traditions and special events that we honor, the organized sports that are played here, and the field trips that are taken.

I look forward to continuing this PenPal exchange with the 4th and 5th graders next school year, and incorporating this project into other grade levels as well!

I’ve uploaded some new pictures to our BCD photo 2018-19 French @ BCD album! …

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Y8axH9vNz9NtJCs57

Bon weekend tout le monde!

Mme. Daire

 

 

By |2019-05-31T13:23:40-04:00May 31st, 2019|

Last chance for summer reading materials in French through Bayard-Milan!

Bonjour tout le monde,

Tomorrow, May 15th, I will have a table of sample materials from the French language publishing house, Bayard-Milan, on display for your consideration in the Learning Commons.

My hope is that parents and families of students of all ages at BCD will stop by during or after school to peruse the selections, and consider subscribing to a magazine for your child for some enriching summer reading in French!

From Pre-school through Gr.9, there is something for everyone!

The samples on display will be organized by level and age, and include a plethora of themes, styles, and layouts. Please check out the link below for more information on the different magazines offered, per age.

http://monde.bayard-milan.com/parents/quel-magazine-pour-quel-age/

What is Bayard-Milan?  … “We are journalists, graphic designers, early childhood education professionals, employees or freelancers … for forty years we have chosen to put our readers at the center of our editorial thinking. Listening to them, understanding them, astonishing them, nourishing them with inspirational works and accompanying them at each stage of their lives.”

Here’s a short excerpt on the mission of Bayard-Milan:

“More than anything, today as for yesterday, we have a duty of promoting enchantment in the younger generation. And in this particular situation where our magazines are not the voice of parents or teachers, but of caring accomplices, we can highlight the positive force that exists in everyone and in the many situations one encounters in life. And when you have the chance to live through words, thanks to talented creators, characters who can embody all their life experiences, it’s as if we invent small lights that will mark the lives of children and which they are will remember for a long time.” 

Please carve out a few minutes tomorrow to check out the selection of Foreign Language materials in the Learning Commons, for all grade levels and interests!

Best,

Mme. Daire

P.s for all inquiries concerning subscriptions, please refer directly to the US agent for Bayard-Milan ;

Ms. Catherine LAMY

[email protected]

*Orders are not placed through BCD.

http://monde.bayard-milan.com/#

 

Merci beaucoup!

By |2019-05-14T14:11:59-04:00May 14th, 2019|

Boston Museum of Science Trip 2019

Dear Families,

I’m so glad to hear from many of you how much you’ve enjoyed the movie of our trip. I confess to watching it more than once myself. Also attached are some additional stills from the trip, but I moved most of the better ones into the movie. I will add that the class was at their best, their behavior to each to each other, to their chaperones and to everyone we crossed paths with was commendable.

As you know, this last month of school is extremely busy and I’m working hard to keep the work, routines, and expectations foremost in our minds along with the many fun and extra activities sprinkled in our days.

I would like to invite you to view the classes final Create-A-State projects on Friday the 31st before the Spring Concert. I know a lot of you are back and forth to school often this month, and I thought that might be easier than yet another trip. The concert begins at 1:30, so I’d like to invite you to come a bit earlier and we will have our presentations in the Learning Commons at 12:30. 

Please let me know if you cannot attend. The projects will be going home that day, so I’m sure you can get a repeat performance at home if necessary.

Field and Fun Day activities have been selected and that will be a full Day of fun indeed. I will remind you as we get closer, but sunscreen/hats/water and towels are necessary.

Upcoming Dates :

Wed., May 15th, 1:00 – 4th grade to Chocolate Springs

Friday, May 24th – (early start to Spirit Week)- Twins Day

Monday, May 27 – Memorial Day – No school

Tuesday, May 28th- Crazy hair and hat day

Wednesday, May 29th – Fun and Field Day

Thursday, May 30 – Dress your Best Day

Friday, May 31 – Rainbow Day (4th grade color TBD) / Create-A-State Presentation/Spring Concert

Friday, June 7- Last Day of Classes / Picnic

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms!!!

 

Best, Katharine

https://photos.app.goo.gl/k2UyAuY1BhD2oa5r7  

 

https://photos.app.goo.gl/xE2TTebYs2U1tkAN8

 

 

By |2019-05-10T15:05:47-04:00May 10th, 2019|

4th Grade Poetry Slam/ April 2019

Dear Families,

“You’ve been slammed” the class announced as we surprised different classes with poetry recitations yesterday and today in honor of National Poetry Month. Tomorrow we’re surprising the Administrative offices, shhhhh!

In Social Studies the class is totally engaged in our final Create-A-State project. All of the physical maps have been completed and now we are on to road maps, regions and products and downtown maps. Landmarks, histories, and flags will follow and some may have time to produce a travel brochure as well.

This class has done a great job of converting our knowledge of factions over to decimals in Math class. We also did some measuring with yardsticks, rulers, and tape measures of each other and various other classroom items.  I like to save the Geometry unit for the end of the year and we will be starting that next week.

The class has gotten much more comfortable with our ELA reading book, Locomotion and the packet that goes along with it. The packet calls for using detailed evidence from the text to explain their answers which connects with all the work we have done this year on how to find the main idea in what we read and how to determine what are supporting details. Thorough reading comprehension includes not just remembering and understanding what you’ve read but identifying which statements support your understanding. They are becoming quite adept at providing evidence and explaining their point of view.

In the slideshow (link below) there are some shots of the class receiving their most recent issue of the Penguin Press. This paper is their creation and has become quite anticipated each week. Also included are some shots of our recent session with the Wise Bodies program. How does a flower reproduce? How many different parts are involved and what do they look like? These are some of the questions we considered and learned about.

As part of our Service Learning unit, we will be visiting Chocolate Springs in Lenox on Wednesday, May 15. Senor Silva and I will drive the class in the school vans. The class has already asked me if they can bring money to make a purchase. I am asking that each child brings no more than $10, if any, and I am hoping that Mr. Needleman might treat us to a small goody as well. The process of how cocoa pods become the delicious chocolate we all know and love is one of the more complex ones and a great example of the many steps of the food chain.

We will continue working on learning how to read food labels and what to look for as well as preparing a presentation of what we have been studying all year about the Food Supply Chain.

We are planning to leave on Thursday at 1:00 for our trip to the Boston Museum of Science which allows us to eat lunch at school and have some recess time as well before the long drive. We will still make a bathroom stop on the Pike on the way. I think most questions have been answered in class but if you still have any last minute concerns, please don’t hesitate to email or call. I will send as many photos as possible back to school and Ms. Hedidnger will get them out to you as soon as she can.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Jts3qTCNSS5HPzAa9

We will be back in time for dismissal on Friday, if we are any later, I will contact school asap. Last year the timing worked out perfectly, here’s hoping for the same this year.

Best, Katharine

By |2019-04-30T13:00:02-04:00April 30th, 2019|

Please vote for our Grades 7 and 8 French students!

Dear families and friends of BCD,

There’s one week remaining to vote for our Upper School French students!

Our 7th or 8th-grade classes are in the running to win $ 1,000 for the ‘Prix du Public’ award through the Centre de la Francophonie des Amériques Slame tes Accents challenge!

Last month, the 7th and 8th-grade classes each submitted a video which met the requirements of the slam competition (length of the video, vocabulary, and content.) The themes that each of our classes chose to promote in their poetry include unity, respect, and acceptance.

Voting for the ‘Prix du Public’ award began on April 15 and nearly 29,000 votes were received during the first week of voting!

Please help us to increase our chances of winning by inviting your family, friends, colleagues, etc. to vote for BCD and to encourage the hard work that our students have put forth in meeting the challenge of creating their personalized ‘Slam’ in French!

The video that receives the most votes in the 12-14 age group will be declared the winner and that class will win a $ 1,000 grant (Canadian dollars) to use towards an educational event. S’il vous plait, spread the word and vote for our students!

Here are the details to vote:

The voting period is April 15, 2019 at 10:00 am (EDT) on April 30, 2019 at 11:59 pm (EDT);
1 vote per day, per IP address and per category is allowed;
The voting platform makes it possible to share each video on different social networks. It will be possible to share your video to the maximum!

Our 7th and 8th-grade French students video projects can be found in the ‘Catégorie de 12 à 14 ans’ (web address included below) … among dozens of videos submitted by students from countries all over the world! Canada, USA, Mexico, Haiti, Costa Rica, Brazil, Peru and Colombia just to name a few…

http://www.francophoniedesameriques.com/slame/presentation-des-videos/

On behalf of our dedicated and dynamic students and myself, merci beaucoup for your support!

Best,

Madame Daire

 

 

By |2019-04-24T09:22:31-04:00April 23rd, 2019|

Welcome April

Dear Families,

The 3rd trimester is up and running!

In Social Studies we have begun to incorporate all we have learned about map skills into our Create-A-State projects. Each student has created their own state and will construct a physical map, a road map, a landmark map, a downtown map, a map of regions and products and finally a history and a flag. We will invite you all to see the finished work later in May.

In Math class, we are continuing to practice simplifying fractions and finding equivalent fractions. We are also measuring with yardsticks and rulers and figuring out what all those little lines on the ruler really mean. Are we as tall as our arm span? Would I measure this table with a yardstick or a ruler?

In ELA we have finished up The Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson. The timelines projects came in today. Everyone shared their work and were duly proud of it. We have begun our final book of the year, Locomotion by Jacquline Woodson.

As you can see from classroom photos taken throughout the year, we use a combination of collaborative and independent learning in all our classes. I believe students need skills in both working in a team, and solving problems independently. Part of my job is to determine when to use each of these strategies and give them opportunities for both. Social Studies is often a great time to work cooperatively with atlases, answering questions about landforms, determining latitudes, labeling rivers and adding cardinal points. Opportunities abound in ELA and Math classes as well.

Before we start a new project I am often asked, “Can we work together?” Yesterday, we had an interesting discussion about the pros and cons of working collaboratively. Here are some of the comments: ” If you give someone the answer then they’ll never know it themselves for a quiz”, “Sometimes it’s helpful to work with someone else because they can show you a new way or a strategy for figuring something out you would never have thought of”, ” Sometimes you can give hints, or just guide them”, “It’s fun”, ” I like to work alone because sometimes I work at a slower pace” and “I like it when we come up with different answers and compare what you did.” It helped me explain to them why sometimes it works and sometimes, it doesn’t!

Finally, there a few snaps from last week when the class was receiving the first copy of The Penguin Press. In case you don’t know, that is our new in-house newspaper. In-house, in that it is totally written, edited and created by the class. I’m just the copier and that’s fine with me! If you haven’t seen a copy, just ask. It’s worth a read.

Finally, in backpacks tomorrow (Friday) I will be sending home the final paperwork/forms that have to be signed and returned for the trip to the Boston Museum of Science. If they could come back on Tuesday, that would be helpful.

Thanks to Dan and Angelica for a fabulous Taco Tuesday Lunch Bunch!

Have a great weekend,

Katharine

To view photos in Google Photo, click this link:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/cZb8Zs5HYF4Cpo5C7

By |2019-04-12T12:55:58-04:00April 12th, 2019|

Mois de la Francophonie in full swing at BCD!

Good afternoon all,

Before we part ways for Spring break, I wanted to share a brief update on what the different classes in the French curriculum here at BCD have been up to lately.

From poetry writing and presentations, cooking demo’s, PenPal exchanges, cultural and geographically themed projects, and learning songs, French students of all ages at BCD have been busy abeilles! (bees)

The 7th and 8th-grade French classes are now putting the finishing touches on their Slam Poetry videos – for submission to the Slame Tes Accents! international competition proposed through the organization, Francophonie des Amériques. The students were challenged to create a poem as a class and choose how they wanted to Slam their poem, employing the pre-requisite vocabulary and meeting other requirements for the contest. The 7th grader chose a theme of ‘unity through different accents’ and ‘self-confidence’ under the umbrella of the international French-language community. Their project was filmed in a casual, walk-through style in the Learning Commons.

For their part, the 8th-grade class embraced a ‘high-tech’ approach, using a drone, filmed outside, and with voice-over audio. Their message is aimed at the importance of recognizing the shared community of the French-speaking community around the world, no matter skin color, orientation, religion, current events or other cultural facets.

I’m very proud of the energy, enthusiasm and quality of work that these students brought to their projects. The organization will announce the winners in April.

For more information about the contest, please visit : http://www.francophoniedesameriques.com/slame/

 

The 6th graders took a cultural microscope to the different regions of France, each choosing a region of the Hexagon and shining the spotlight on and outlining notable facts for each. If you are looking for any fun + tasty recipes to try over the Spring break, have a look at their posters for guidance! 

Our 4th and 5th graders have prepared their third round of letters to their friends in France. It has been an incredible experience to see the connection grow between these classes on both sides of the Atlantic as the school year has evolved. This project strengthens not only vocabulary use, sentence structure, talking about oneself, asking questions and letter writing, but more importantly, it brings the ‘human element’ into our French language learning experience. The children have been able to establish a relationship with their PenPals and with the Ecole Montessori d’Uzès since September; learning more about ‘a day in the life’ of their pen-friends, both personally and academically. Through these letters, here are some of our takeaways : we were all saddened to hear of the tragic deaths by fox of two of their school chickens, Le Chef and Flash, 🙁 we were intrigued to learn of shared interests in Harry Potter books and favorite flavors of ice cream, and felt a general curiosity and interest about the importance of the celebration of Carnevale in France.

I welcome you all to visit the French classroom in Ryan 22 to see our PenPal board, read the letters and see the beautiful drawings done by our PenPal friends.

Our Kindergarten and grades 1-2 friends are starting to prepare for the performance of a classic French song at the Spring concert. More on that to come!!

Best wishes to everyone for a safe and fun Spring vacation.

Bien cordialement,

Mme. Daire

P.s.. check out the BCD photo album to see some pictures of our continued adventures in French!

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Y8axH9vNz9NtJCs57

By |2019-03-15T12:43:41-04:00March 15th, 2019|