Paw Prints Newsletter

Unit Overview

Central Idea: The style and structure of leadership affect the way decisions are made.

Key concepts: Form, Function, connection

Related concepts: structure, role, government systems

Lines of Inquiry:

  • What makes a leader
  • How decisions are made
  • Different structures and styles of leadership

Our Learning So Far!

UOI/Language Arts/Social Studies

Assalam-Alaikum Parents,

This is the second newsletter for our current UOI, "How We Organize Ourselves".

Students have been busy in inquiry and activities to explore the central idea listed above. They have been exploring the key concepts of form, function, and connection and through the lines of inquiry.

ELA/Social Studies

Students have worked on the following:

  • The Daily 5 Strategies of Read-to-Self, Read-to-Someone, Work on Writing and Listen to Read. More details on Daily 5 is linked below.
  • Using the CAFE strategies of Check for Understanding and summarizing the text.
  • Determining the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text.
  • Writing informatively to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
  • Use context clues to determine the meaning of a word or phrase.
  • Identifying a primary or secondary source.
  • discussing the qualities of leadership and consider what qualities are most important for an effective leader.
  • identify the characteristics of a boss and a leader and discuss these characteristics in regards to what makes a great leader.
  • reflected on their own leadership qualities and indicated where they fall within a ranking of each quality.
  • identified various leadership qualities within video clips and discussed if the leaders are effective.

Next week, students will continue working on the summative assessment. Students will work on revising, editing, proofreading and publishing their informational paragraphs.

Daily 5 & Parent Pipelines

Our year is off to a great start and I am excited to share what the children will be working on during our literacy block this year.

The Daily Five is a way of structuring the reading block so every student is independently engaged in meaningful literacy tasks. These research-based tasks are ones that will have the biggest impact on student reading and writing achievement, as well as help foster children who love to read and write. Students receive explicit whole group instruction and then are given independent practice time to read and write independently while I provide focused, intense instruction to individuals and small groups of students.

When it is up and running smoothly, students will be engaged in the Daily Five, which are comprised of:

  • Read to Self
  • Work on Writing
  • Read to Someone
  • Listen to Reading
  • Word Work

There are very specific behavior expectations that go with each Daily 5 component. We have been spending our first weeks working intensely on building our reading and writing stamina, learning the behaviors of the Daily 5 and fostering our classroom community.

One thing you’ll notice that may be a change for you is a direct decrease in the number of worksheets your child brings home. While worksheets keep students busy, they don’t really result in the high level of learning I want for your child. Instead, your child will be taught to select “Good Fit Books” or books they can read, understand and are interested in, which they will read during Daily 5. They will be spending most of their time actually reading, which research supports as the number one way to improve reading. I anticipate the motivation and enjoyment of reading will skyrocket when this gift of choosing their own books is accompanied by extended practice and specific reading instruction for each individual child.

Research shows that good readers use a variety of strategies when successfully reading and comprehending a selection of text. I feel it is not only important to teach these strategies, but to post them as a reference for readers in the classroom. Our classroom has a Literacy CAFE Menu posted that contains strategies good readers use when reading. In class, we compared our Literacy CAFE Menu to a menu at a restaurant. We discussed how the food we order at a restaurant depends on the time of day, how hungry we are, and what we like to eat. This compares to our classroom CAFE menu because as readers we use the strategies we need at the time to help us successfully read and comprehend text.

CAFE is an acronym that stands for Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, and Expanding vocabulary. These become our goals and the strategies we use to be successful with our goals are posted below them. Each child has goals and strategies specific to his/her individual needs and therefore will get the direct instruction needed to move forward and become a successful reader.

As your child declares his/her goal and works on various strategies, I will be sending home a Parent Pipeline. The Parent Pipeline is a letter informing you of the strategy your child is working on and it provides suggestions for assisting your child at home. Please find a link to the Parent Pipeline below. I will link these Parent Pipelines throughout the year and invite you to support your child in his/her quest to become a better reader.

Check for Understanding


5th Grade

Students have been working on Module 1 Place Value and Decimal Fractions, specifically the following standards:

  • Reason concretely and pictorially using place value understanding to relate adjacent base ten units from millions to thousandths.
  • Reason abstractly using place value understanding to relate adjacent base ten units from millions to thousandths.
  • Use exponents to name place value units and explain patterns in the placement of the decimal point.
  • Use exponents to denote powers of 10 with application to metric conversions.
  • Name decimal fractions in expanded, unit, and word forms by applying place value reasoning.
  • Compare decimal fractions to the thousandths using like units to express comparisons with >, <, =.
  • Round a given decimal to any place using place value understanding and the vertical number line.
  • Add and subtract decimals using place value strategies and relate those strategies to a written method.

The following links to Engage newsletters will give you some further insight into the type of math we have been working on.

Topic A:

Topic B:

Topic C:

Topic D:

6th Grade

Students have continued working on Module 1: Ratios and Unit Rates. In this module, students became familiar with:

  • ratio language (how to describe ratios) and notation (how to write ratios, e.g., 3:2 or 7 to 15).
  • how to identify equivalent ratios (e.g., 1:2, 2:4 and 4:8)
  • how to solve problems with ratio values.
  • how to represent equivalent ratios in various ways using ratio tables and tape diagrams.

During the remaining weeks of this unit, students will learn:

  • how to represent equivalent ratios using double number line diagrams, equations, and graphs on coordinate planes.
  • to study the additive and multiplicative patterns of the ratios presented in ratio tables.

For sample problems on the above and for tips on how to help at home, please read the attached "Parent Tips" sheets below:

Arabic, Quran, Islamic Studies (AQI)

In the AQI class, students have been learning about leadership in Islam. They learned about prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his companions (Abu-Bakr and Omar) May Allah bless them. It was a really good experience for my students to practice leadership in the school and observe the qualities of a good leader.

Students showed their independence when they discovered the qualities of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) from the Qur'an and Sunnah, and also the qualities of his friends. Students learned how to describe their qualities using the Arabic language based on the words they found in the Qur'an.

My 5th and 6th grades students are showing Enthusiasm while working on the Qur'an and they will be done reading the first Juzaa from the MUSHAF soon. They are working on the memorization based on their group levels.

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Visual Arts

In Art Class, students have been gearing up for their Summative project by completing a series of exercises in which they have learned how to use different line drawing techniques to convey a special emotional response. Through these exercises, students are experimenting with how lines can vary in quality, character and personality, and how based on the type of line is being used, a different message can be expressed with the work of art. More detailed information on our Summative project can be found on ManageBac. We hope you enjoy photos of our progress! :)
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For our first summative task of the year, students are creating an informative article regarding a historical leader. Each student chose a leader from history they were interested in to research. Students will use their research to present their knowledge in the form of 3 paragraphs presenting the person’s importance in history, leadership style this person best embodies and the impact the leader has had on history.

More details on the summative can be found on ManageBac.

Subject specific summatives in math are specific to grade level and can be found on ManageBac. ELA subject-specific summatives can also be found on ManageBac.

IB Learner Profile Passports

I would like to recognize the following students for exhibiting IB LP "Principled" for September by turning in their completed passports on time:

  • Khadija Sattar
  • Tasnem Ahmad
  • Asiya Khan
  • Samha Khan
  • Fatima Omer
  • Amina Alimu
  • Amina Walcott
  • Hanan Jazouli

The LP attribute for October is Inquirer.

Please encourage your child to keep track of their passports and fill it in regularly.

IB describes Inquirer as:

"We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research. We know how to learn independently and with others. We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life".

Completed passports are due on Tuesday, October 31, 2017.


  • Device use: It is important for students to bring in devices to school on a regular basis as explained during Back to School Night. Laptops are preferred, but Ipads are also an alternative. If your child uses an Ipad, please check to see if the Ipad needs an update or has memory. Some students have been having issues accessing certain websites, or getting access to some materials.
  • Tarbiyah Academy email accounts: Students should be using their new TA email addresses to communicate with teachers. Please remind your child to use their account and not personal accounts.
  • Some sites we use on a regular basis.

Students have created an account for all the following sites:

If your child uses an IPad for school, some of these sites have been glitchy on Safari. Using the app reduces this issue. Please check these sites with your child and, if possible, please download the app.

Jazakallah Khair

Upcoming Events

Tarbiyah Family Night Out

Sunday, Oct. 8th, 4pm

6181 Old Dobbin Lane

Columbia, MD

Come and support the school by eating at Chipotle. Just mention Tarbiyah Academy to have 50% of your purchase donated to the school.

Girls in Politics Camp United Nations

Saturday, Oct. 21st, 8am-5pm

525 New Jersey Avenue Northwest

Washington, DC

Camp United Nations for Girls is a leadership program that introduces girls ages 9 to 15 to the work of the United Nations. The program begins with a lesson on the history of the United Nations and its purpose. This is followed by an explanation of the structure, leadership and the rules of procedure of the United Nations starting with the General Assembly and subsidiary organs. Participants learn about the specific work undertaken in the United Nations’ boards, commissions, committees, councils and panels and working groups. Prior to convening the General Assembly, each participant will be assigned a country and guided through researching her country then writing a position paper