Tuesday, May 30, 2017

State Fair and Computers!

Hi Everyone,

Please plan on taking home all of the state fair things tomorrow after the fair!  Thanks for all of your work!

Also, students will leave computers at school beginning tomorrow and PLEASE return the cords, too.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Lower School Library News!

This summer our Lower School Library will not have summer hours because of a bit of renovation that will be going on.  Mrs. Jones, our librarian have a volunteer opportunity...

Volunteer Opportunity: Mrs Jones needs willing volunteers to help tidy and pack up the library in advance of the summer renovation project. Please email emily.jones@breckschool.org if interested.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Important Announcements!

April 25, 2017

Dear Parents,

Next week is a week filled with activities, a trip, and 3 non-uniform days!!

Tuesday, May 2 - 8:45- 12:00 Riverboat Trip - dress warmly and for the weather

Wednesday, May 3, - Community Meeting - wear CARE shirt

Friday, May 5, - Wacky Dress Day (school appropriate clothing, please)

If you have any questions, please let me know!


Kim Schafer

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Change in date for WordMasters and Earth Day information

Our WordMasters Test has been changed to Friday, April 28th!

Earth Day Marches

April 22, 2017 Earth Day

Two important marches are scheduled for Earth Day this year. The Breck US, MS, and LS are working to organize students and families to attend 1 or both. Below is some basic information for Breck LS students/families.

Kids Climate March

When/Where: This Earth Day, April 22nd, kids will take to the streets and march for climate justice! Meet at the Science Museum of Minnesota, 120 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul. The march gathers at 9:30 am, and then at 10:15am participants will start to proceed toward Cathedral Hill Park to meet up with the March for Science. Then both marches will continue to the MN State Capitol.

Why:  Because young people know climate change is real.
They know it is human caused.
They know their future is at stake.
They are insistent that our leadership take action.
And they are not interested in excuses.

March for Science

When/Where:  Arrive at Cathedral Hill Park in St. Paul by 10:30am. The march will leave the park at 11:00am and head to the MN State Capitol.  If you just wish to participate in the rally at the State Capitol, that will begin at noon.

Why:  Science guides nearly every aspect of our lives and it is critical that political leaders and policymakers support scientific research and incorporate science into their decision making.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

ERB Schedule and a note from Mrs. Z.


Our ERBs are next week, Monday-Thursday.  A good night's sleep and a good breakfast help the mental stamina this unique situation needs.  The children have been practicing an appropriate amount of time and have gotten a look at the practice ERBs.  Here are the times of the tests:

Monday: 8:45-9:45  and  1:30-2:10

Tuesday: 9:00-9:45  and  1:20-2:00

Wednesday: 9:00-9:45  and 1:30-2:10

Thursday: 9:30-10:20  and 11:10-11:40

While these tests do matter, there is no need to put undue pressure on the students.  That they do their best is all we can ask.  Let me know if you have any questions.

Here's a note from Mrs. Z., too:
Birthday Wishes
April 6-21

We are collecting birthday celebration supplies for our local food shelf.  Families who use our local food shelf often are unable to buy extra items
that make a birthday special,like
Cake Mix & Frosting, Candles, Rice, Noodles, Cookie Mix, Pizza Crust mix,
Paper Plates & Cups. Gluten-free, Kosher and Halal items are often needed by families as well. 

If you would like to donate,
please bring items to school April 6-21.  Thanks!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

April News!

Two major happenings right after Spring Break:

  • Skating begins on Monday, April 3rd!
  • Community Meeting on Thursday, April 6th!  We will be presenting Courage and all of the students have a line or two.  You are welcome to join us.  The meeting will begin promptly at 8:40!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Notes from Mrs. Zosel

Family Service Opportunity:

 On Sunday, March 5 Breck School is hosting, preparing and serving the Sunday meal at First Nations Kitchen. First Nations’ Kitchen is a ministry of All Saints’ Episcopal Indian Mission in Minneapolis and has been serving healthy, organic, traditional indigenous food in a welcoming, family environment every Sunday evening since November 2, 2008.  While all are welcome at the table, FNK serves primarily indigenous people in the Twin Cities, particularly residents of nearby Little Earth of the United Tribes, the largest indigenous urban housing community in the U.S.

The commitment is roughly two hours on Sunday, March 5.  There are different jobs taking place at different times during the day.  We will work with your family to find a job/time slot that works.  This is a wonderful opportunity to strengthen our community through direct service.

Upper School parent Michael Florey is coordinating the effort.  If you are interested in helping, please let Michael know by email (florey@fr.com) or by phone (612-532-1378).   

Used Book Drive & Sale
Upper School students are collecting kids picture books, chapter books, YA books, adult novels, non-fiction - everything! Books will then be sold in the Middle School entrance over the two days of conferences on March 3 and 4. Every book will cost $1 and the proceeds will be used to support Reading Partners, a literacy tutoring organization.

Please bring in gently used books for the book sale. There will be donation boxes in every division through March 2. Then come shop the sale! Pick up some books to read over spring break!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Science is electrifying!

Our class, along with Ms. Nelson's class, had a lot of fun learning about the Van de Graff Generator and electricity. Mr. Wright, from our Upper School, came down and did some demonstrations for us. You might say it was shocking!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Resources for math and the Quiet Revolution

Here are some important resources from our Monday night Math Bootcamp and Mrs. Murphy's study of the Quiet Revolution:

Parent Quiet Kids - Complimentary online course for parents of 3 to 9 year olds offered exclusively to Breck Schools community:

Singapore Math In Focus
Boot Camp for Parents
February 2017

Presenter:     Cassy Turner, consultant and trainer

Big Ideas in Singapore Math:
Number Sense:  our goal for students is to develop a deep understanding of number
Making Connections:  we want students to see connections between mathematical ideas
Visualization:  mental models help students see the math
Metacognition:  we want to give students opportunities to “think about my thinking . . . .”
Communication:  How do I communicate and share my understanding?

For our youngest learners, they learn to tell a number story about a picture.  They learn to apply the concept of number bonds.  Students use manipulatives to understand math.  Math In Focus moves from concrete to pictorial to abstract. 

Strategies our students learn:
·      Make a ten
·      Using a tens frame
·      Make the next ten 
Where we start . . . 67 + 5  leads to a vertical algorithm  67

Language of Math In Focus - parents will likely hear:
·      Decomposing – breaking numbers apart to make an easier equation
·      Subitizing - You can see a quantity and know the number without counting.
·      Regrouping/Renaming – trading ones for a ten, tens for a hundred, etc.

Bar Modeling – an essential strategy (visual representation) in Singapore Math In Focus
·      Drawing a picture to represent a problem increases understanding
·      Bar models support students in 3/4th grades to understand fractions
·      Bar models introduce students to the structure of algebraic thinking

·      Part-whole models (adding or subtracting parts to make a whole) – students are introduced to this in the early grades
Examples of problems:  Helen has 14 breadsticks. Her friend has 17.  How may do they have altogether?  - Or - There are 21 fish in a bowl. Fifteen are from students. The rest are from the school.  How many are from the school?

·      Comparison models  (How many more or fewer is one quantity compared to another?) Example of a problem: Grant buys 345 fruit bars. Ken buys 230 more fruit bars than Grant.  How many fruit bars does Ken buy?

Parents worked on creating a bar model for this problem:

Description: Macintosh HD:Users:pegbailey:Desktop:IMG_1114.JPGA farmer has in his pasture 63 farm animals consisting of cows, goats, and sheep.  There are twice as many goats as cows, and twice as many sheep as goats; how many has he of each sort? 
The bar models show we know the relationship
between goats and cows is 2:1.  This can be represented as 1 bar for cows and 2 bars for goats.  We know the relationship between sheep and goats is 2:1.  Therefore, there are 4 bars for sheep.  We know the total is 63 animals and we have 7 bars.  Therefore, 63 divided by 7 = 9.  If each bar represents 9, then we have 9 cows, 18 goats, and 36 sheep, which is 63 in all.)
This year, we are teaching computation to mastery – a foundation needed for the next grade’s work.  This year, some of the concepts are being picked up in science (such as measurement).  By the end of next year, students should be ‘caught up’ with the program, since this year we ‘backfilled’ some concepts and vocabulary since the program is new to all.

By the end of 1st grade, we want students to know their addition/subtraction facts by memory.
By the end of 3rd grade, we want students to know their multiplication facts by memory.
Parents are encouraged to play games and practice basic math facts.

We may want our children to get the right answer, but we also want them to know why it is the right answer.
Mathematical problem solving is central to mathematics learning. It involves the acquisition and application of mathematics concepts and skills in a wide range of situations, including non-routine, open-ended and real-world problems.

Thinkingblocks.com – website and iPad

Xyla and Yabu iPad app

Friday, February 3, 2017

February Notes

Here are few notes about upcoming events:

Valentine’s Day, February 14, we will have a red, white, and pink day!

On Friday, February 17 (workshop day), we will be offering childcare for LS students from 8:00am-3:30pm.  Space is limited to 35 students.  Look for more registration information on the Breck Bulletin Board.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Meet Ms. Kim!

Meet Ms. Kim our immensely talented student teacher from Korea!