Letter from Claire - Feb 1


February 1, 2016


Dear Families,

Broadway Loves MSC was a huge hit! The singing and dancing was spectacular and it felt as though we were watching on a Broadway stage. Thank you to all that came to the event and to the committee that made it so spectacular.


Thank you also to everyone who came to January “Chat with Claire.” We discussed Kindergarten recess, more physical movement during the school day, and snack. 


K Recess: Since we are co-located with two other schools, we share common spaces (gym, recess yard, cafeteria). Every year we negotiate the times for lunch, recess and gym. K teachers were offered two times for recess and they chose the 2:10 slot. All kindergarten classes have an opportunity to go out to the recess yard at 10:00. It is an open recess time for them to go to the yard. 


Physical Activity: We are assembling a research committee to look at more options for movement and physical activity during the day. Reach out to PTA presidents: Lisa and Brad at msc.copres@gmail.com if you are interested in leading the committee. 


We are revisiting our snack policy with our staff to ensure that snack is available for students to eat when they are hungry. 


Please come to our next “Chat with Claire” on February 23rd @ 6:00pm in the cafeteria. 


Please come to our Second Annual MSC Arts Festival Night!
The purpose of this festival is to highlight the arts at MSC and to support dialogue about the arts across grades, and across sectors of our school community.  

Family Night is on Thursday, February 4th from 4:30- 7 pm.

The schedule for the Family Arts Night follows:     

4:30-5:00 Registration and Welcome in the Auditorium

           5:00-5:20 Plenary Session in the Auditorium

           5:30-6:10 Workshop Session I

6:15-6:55 Workshop Session II


There will be roughly four different workshop offerings for each workshop session, spanning a variety of different arts areas and taught by our own arts educators.


It is a good time to take a moment and remind ourselves about slowing down when entering the building at arrival.  As we enter the elevators, remember that those who cannot use the stairs and give way so that everyone boards safely.  Let's be aware of others and our surroundings and, for those who can, please use the stairs.  Also, be mindful when walking through hallways.  Walk slowly.  Don't run.  Let’s work on this together so that arrival and dismissal, as well as rest of our days, are calm and pleasant. 


From the Classroom

Lindsey and Gerri, and Rachel’s first grades held their writing celebration of all about books. First graders were the experts and taught families about their non-fiction chapter books. Students wrote about MSC, Places, Animals, Sports, Kid Stuff, bunnies, Star Wars and much more.  They wrote many pages showing all they learned, including intricate diagrams and lots of research. 


I visited Kristin and Eunice’s 4th grade publishing celebration of their literary essays, which is written based on a fiction text that they’ve read. In Eunice’s class, students read portions of their literary essays aloud. They explained how they read short texts and created strong thesis statements.  In Kristin’s class students also shared their essay portfolios that included all the writing from the past couple of writing units: literary essay, persuasive and personal essay. 


In Madelene's 2/3 where the students shared with me the catapults they designed and build as a part of their Science units: simple machines, force and motion. They shared their original poster design on wheel and axle, screw, lever, and wedge inclined plane. They discussed force and motion as a push or pull and how it connects to catapult, the force that makes it move forward. They built catapult as an example of a simple machine that launches an object across the room.  Students are now going to build their own simple machines using found objects, which connects to their study of architecture which includes a trip the cathedral to look at medieval design. 


Our TC PD time with Megan was very useful and valuable.  In 3rd Grade, we thought about students who have made the most reading growth and why? We then looked at bands of book complexity and discussed using the bands of complexity as teaching points during conferences and small group work. We planned using the sequence small group planner. Megan modeled two small strategy groups: tricky words and fluency in the classroom. Students received a post-it at the end of the conference as a reminder of what was taught in the strategy group so students can then practice while reading their independent reading book. 


In 4th grade, we also thought about students who have made the most reading growth and why? Megan modeled a series of small group work in non-fiction and a mini lesson using the reading progressions on main idea. We will plan a day each week to have a marathon reading time for students to read fiction to increase stamina. 


In 5th grade, Megan modeled a mini lesson using the argumentative writers aim towards goal and techniques tools for argumentative writing. Megan also modeled a strategy group over the course of a couple of days for finding the big idea and writing a quick summary in partnerships when reading an informational text. At the end of the lab site, the small strategy group did a quick teach to the rest of the class as the share of the steps in writing a strong summary.  



K-5 classes distributed January progress reports this past week. There maybe a code glitch in your child's progress report for storytelling. They are being corrected soon. Once it is changed, you can access on NYC Schools Account for additional copies. We will let families know when the corrections have been made.


For grades 6-8, the second marking period for grades 6-8 ends Friday. All grades for 6-8, one copy of the STARS report cards will be printed and will be mailed home on Monday.   If you need additional copies, please access your NYC Schools Account.


If you need additional assistance with your NYC Schools Account, contact our Parent Coordinator, Maxine, at MWitherspoon2@schools.nyc.gov.