Oak Room Newsletter

Week of December 7, 2015

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This week, as told by the Oaks:

We didn't have exploration because we are behind on Math from the Maples. Tomorrow we are going to the Whitney and Pascale says we have to eat a big, big breakfast. Maybe tonight or tomorrow night we can write a letter to the co-directors saying why we want exploration.

We went on a field trip to the Whitney Museum. We got to use wikki stix. We got to have an extra, extra long recess because we usually have it from 1:30-2:00 but we got to lunch late and had recess until 2:45. We had a new music teacher for these two weeks and his name is Alex. We had snack right before the field trip. We got these little kids game book things and we got a ticket to the Whitney so it could be free. We made a sculpture with wikki stix.

Carmen did a read aloud. In Community Gathering Sara came back. We didn't get to have math even though math was on the schedule because our exploration was so long. At recess we had toys and we got separated into groups. In project time we did non living.

On the schedule it didn't say that we were going outside three times but we did. We made totem poles in exploration. We started a new thing where blocks and dramatic play go for one whole week. We went on this walk to triangle park.

Some of us took a really long time to come to the other line at recess because people in the other class weren't listening to Alex. It was the last day for people who were in dramatic play and blocks. We took a field trip-ish thing to Fort Green Park and a lot of people were tired because we had to walk so much.

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Whitney Museum Trip

The Oaks had an AMAZING time at the Whitney museum, looking at and talking about Frank Stella's art. Thank you to all the chaperones that helped out!

Upcoming Field Trips to the American Museum of Natural History

We will visit the Museum of Natural History twice in January as part of our non-fiction work in reading and writing, as well as our study on systems. On January 8th we will visit the Secret World Inside You exhibit . On January 29th we will visit a permanent exhibition that the Oak class will vote on. We are seeking FOUR chaperones for each trip. Please email Pascale at pascale@brooklyncompass.org if you are interested. We will be taking a school bus for both trips, leaving approximately at 9AM and returning in time for lunch by 1PM at the latest.


We had an amazing week of exploration! The block and dramatic play centers had the same people in them for a whole week. In blocks the Oaks created a whole city. In dramatic play they created a house and turned into a family. We also had a totem pole center that was inspired by a read aloud of the book The Raven. In the art center people made necklaces and fortune tellers.

How does a living system meet its needs?

We started this week with the question: What does it mean to be non-living? The Oaks wrote down their ideas and shared with each other. Some friends thought it meant if you were not breathing, others thought of objects that they know are not living, such as trucks or rocks. We then went on a walk around the neighborhood to observe non-living things and spent some time drawing and recording. We starting thinking about what a system is. We read the book "I Am a Leaf" and used the words and illustrations to dissect and break down what we think a system is. We learned that a system is two or more parts interacting with or helping each other.
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This week we continued to analyze and name Nicola Davies' craft moves. We made a chart of all the different craft moves we have found in her books and then narrowed it down to 5 that we want to focus on and try in our own writing. Next week we will begin to focus on one move at a time, to really explore why Nicola Davies uses these moves and how we can use them in our own writing.

At home: A few Oaks have been noticing craft moves in their books at home and writing them down. This is awesome!!

In reading workshop we practiced reading smooth and lively with expression to help us understand what we are reading about. When we get to really, really hard words we don't just give up--we try everything that we know! All the Oaks received mini-charts with good habits for solving words. We also learned how to "crash" parts of words together to read them.

At home: Continue reading with your child at home. The Oaks are really excited about this non-fiction unit! If you go to the library or book shopping, look for non-fiction books that will teach them more about things they are curious about.


In math this week we played a new game together called "Today's Number." The Oaks have to ask greater than/less than questions while looking at a number line to figure out what today's number is. After they figure out the number, we think of everything we know about that number.

We continued our work with story problems in addition and subtraction. The Oaks were given several story problems at a time and had to figure out whether to use addition or subtraction and record their work.

At home please continue to give your child addition and subtraction story problems to solve.

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Contact Information

Feel free to email us anytime. Pascale can be reached at pascale@brooklyncompass.org and Lorna can be reached at lorna@brooklyncompass.org.