Elm Class Update

New York News Compass

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This week in the Elm Class (as told by Elm students)

We have new commitments like ignoring little problems.

We added new things in exploration like puppets in dramatic play.

We voted for a movie night and it is Lego Movie.

You can come to movie night on Saturday.

We are in groups in project time and answering questions about Brooklyn in the past.

We made a gigantic block structure.
We saw Dorian and we asked him about events in the past.

Middle schools also came to help.

New Year... New Comittments

As a learning community, the Elm class is starting the new year with a commitment to being our best selves. Each day we have been starting our day having a discussion about how we can be our best selves in different situations in our school days whether it is community gathering, our classroom, or when we have problems arise with friends. Feel free to talk more about how to be “your best self.”


This week in Math, the Elm class is focusing on using the strategies they have been learning for combining numbers and applying these skills to solving story problems.

We are using these steps to help us solve story problems:

  1. Picture it.
  2. Plan it.
  3. Solve it.
  4. Show it.
  5. Check it.

Next week we will using these same steps to solve subtraction problems and begin to see the relationship between addition and subtraction.

At home you could solve problems together about daily math situations such as eating, playing, or collecting items.


The Elm class started a new unit in reading workshop this week. We are focusing on getting to know the characters in the books we read. We noticed what the characters does, says, and what they like and dislike. We also got to know the characters by paying attention to their feelings and noticing how their feelings can change through the story.

Next week we will practice this work with our reading partners. We will introduce new characters to a partner and practice showing a characters feelings by changing our voices as we read.

At home, you can talk about characters together. Ask, "How does the character feel?" and "How do their feelings change?'. As you describe their feelings, look for descriptive words that accurately describe their feelings. Although the character may feel "happy" a more descriptive word could be, "content", "excited" or "overjoyed".

Project Time

During project time, the Elm and Pine classes have been working in mixed, small groups to study places and topics of interest in Brooklyn’s past: Prospect Park, Fort Greene, bridges, transportation and the Dutch. We used primary and secondary sources to find answers to our questions. We also interviewed a community member to ask about what he knew about Brooklyn’s past from his own life experience— a definite primary source! Next week the children will have the opportunity to do projects about these topics in Exploration. We will also go way back in Brooklyn’s history and start thinking about the first human inhabitants- the Lenape Native Americans.


This week we started writing personal narrative stories. Second graders began to generate ideas from their lives that feel memorable and special. We all have so many stories to share.

Next week we will start recording ideas for stories in a tiny notebook at school. We use these ideas to craft narratives by making a strong beginning to engage the reader, and stretching out a story across many pages.

At home, you can reflect on special everyday moments that could be a story, such as a funny event, or a memorable family tradition.

Workshop at the Museum of the City of New York

Friday, Jan. 15th, 10am-2:30pm

1220 5th Avenue

New York, NY

The Elm class will visit the City of the Museum of New York next Friday. We will learn more about how New York has changes through their MANNAHATTA: The Lenape and the Land workshop.

We would love to have family members join us on this trip. Please get in touch with us of you are interested.


This week we got back into our work in exploration center. Students made a fort in dramatic play, painted signs to care for the bathroom, and found new ways to construct wit magnatiles.

Second graders also used ALL the blocks to make a tall structure. We carefully deconstructed it at the end of the week to make space for new construction next week. Fortunately, we got some great photos of their creation.

Trip to the New Victory Theater

Thursday, Jan. 21st, 9am-1:30pm

209 West 42nd Street

New York, NY

The second grade will travel to the New Victory theater and see a performance of The Velveteen Rabbit.

We would love to have some family members join us for this trip. Please let us know if you are interested.