Letter from Claire - Feb 13

Dear Families,


We had a large turnout for our Curriculum Workshop evening sessions. It was informative evening where our experts, the teachers spoke about: homework, how MSC’s middle school prepares students for high school and beyond, Science in the Greenhouse, Understanding reading levels, early childhood Math and Common Core Math- Engage NY. Big thanks to Susan Gargiulo and school leadership team for planning this important event and all the family volunteers. Big shout out to Elizabeth R, Stephanie D, Nicki, Shakira, Karen, Nicole M, Gerri, Lindsey, Alice Jessica, and Hilary for volunteering their time to lead such an informative evening.


Please come to PTA meeting and Chat with Claire on Tuesday, February 14th @ 5:30 in the auditorium.


We are rescheduling Kindergarten Chat with Claire part 2 on March 2nd @ 8:45 in the cafeteria. This is a follow-up meeting regarding recess, and we will be updating our Volunteer Guidelines to ensure that anyone who volunteers is aware of the regulations in place that serve to keep our students safe.


At the Teachers College principal conference, one of the speakers Donalyn Miller spoke about how Access to Books Is a Game Changer. In her popular book, The Book Whisperer, Donalyn reflects on her journey to become a reading teacher and describes how she inspires and motivates her middle school students to read 40 or more books a year. Check out: www.slideshare.net/donalynm Voice and Choice Fostering Reading Ownership. Access means that everyone can find something accessible to them to expand their choices.


From the Classroom

Microsoft and national association for environmental education NAAEE with NYSW (New York Sunworks) are highlighting our greenhouse sustainability science program as part of a national storytelling project highlight ways people can connect to environmental education. The Microsoft project team filmed our students while working in the greenhouse. We will share when you can see the final video or when it goes live nationally.


Nancy for hosted a Math Socratic Circles Inter-visitation for teachers. Some of the highlights included:

* High student engagement

* Student-led discussions

* Self-assessment/peer assessments

* Critical thinking and active listening 


After the lesson, teachers had a chance to ask Nancy and her students questions about the Socratic Circle experience in Math.  

·      Students liked the Socratic circles better than a math congress because they didn't have to wait to talk

·      Nancy adopted the practice of using Socratic circles Observation Sheets from Kelly who uses them in Readers Workshop

·      Many students experienced "a-ha" moments while listening to classmates talk about different math strategies' successes and failures



100th day of school celebration is Friday, February 17th (we added a day because of the snow day).



6-8 report cards were mailed home this past week.


Enjoy the break!