Beech Class

Week of March 14

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Coming up

  • THIS SATURDAY @ 5:30PM - the Compass Community Dance!
  • 3/25 (next Friday) - SCHOOL CLOSED
  • 3/29 - Family Study Celebration. Families welcome! Exact time TBD.
  • 3/31 and 4/1 - HALF DAYS for family conferences.
  • 4/8 - Field trip to Brooklyn Grange
  • 4/11 - Field trip to the Battery Urban Farm


  • Family Conferences - Sign up here!
  • Chaperone a field trip - Sign up here!
  • Share a family tradition Sign up here!

Family Study

This week, we continued family interviews and writing books! Ezra, Seobong, Ronnie, Minae, Sasha, Rowen, Vega, and Serenity shared about their families and we created books based on what we learned.

We also had our second week of family tradition shares. Here are some of the family traditions we learned about:

  • Singing a special song before eating: 1-2-3 eet smakeligk (Jagger's family)
  • Camping at Indian Lake and making s'mores (Patrick's family)
  • Eating baked apples for bed night snack (Rowen's family)
  • Playing the bass and eating Marmite toast (Nadia's family)
  • Learning and speaking Spanish (Guillermo's family)
  • Playing Monopoly Junior (Josie's family)
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This week we introduced a new exploration center--GarageBand! For the past several months, students have used the block area as a stage for rock shows, building elaborate sets and non-traditional and imagined instruments. It seemed like students might enjoy a different medium to explore their musical compositions. We borrowed an iPad from the main office and went to work! This center is still in a test phase. We will keep you posted on students' progress.


This week we launched a new nonfiction reading unit! First, students sorted our classroom library into fiction and nonfiction books. Then students spent the week exploring non-fiction literature. They practiced noticing all of the details on the page and pointing to interesting pictures and text. They also pretended to be TV news anchors and reported on what they learned from their books. They used the phrase, "This just in...!" to share with partners and the class.

At home: Talk about non-fiction books. What is going in the pictures? What can you learn/report on from the books?


We introduced a new writing tool this week--a green revision pen! Students shared their work with a partner. Then partners gave one compliment and asked one question or made one suggestion. With those questions and suggestions in mind, students revised their work using a green revision pen.

Children are getting better and better at taking notes during family interviews. Students continue to use pictures and/or words to take notes they can read back! We have 8 interviews to go!


This week we introduced number sentences using the symbols + and =. We practiced making and reading number sentences.

We also introduced a tricky story problem about some boxes of apples. Students learned that Madeleine and Rasha want to make an applesauce recipe that calls for five apples. They need a combination of red apples and green apples. Right now students are trying to figure out how many different ways they could fill a box with five apples while mixing red and green together. So far they have come up with:

  • 2 green and 3 red
  • 3 red and 2 green
  • 1 red and 4 green

Community Meetings

On occasion, the Beech Class will meet together to celebrate big news and/or address tricky problems that come up in our community. For the next month, we will include a section in the newsletter about these Community Meetings. We will share the language that we use in the classroom to address these tricky problems.

  • For closing circle, the class now gathers to share Wishes and Thankfuls. Ronnie's family introduced this tradition to us last week. Students share one thing in school that they are thankful for and one wish that they have for their classmates or the world.

Studio in a School

Students started a new clay project this week! They divided a lump of clay into three pieces. They formed those pieces into a sphere, a column, and a rectangular prism. Then they scored those three pieces and used slip to put them together. Next weeks students will add more clay and details to build the bust of a person or character they love.
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Music this week...

As an introduction to the GarageBand center, Rasha explained how artist Supaman created the song Prayer Loop Song.
Studio Enjoy: Supaman - 'Prayer Loop Song'