Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Lower Elementary Newsletter - December 18, 2015


Dear RiverRun Families,

            For the past two weeks we’ve been sharing Christmas holiday stories with the children. The Middle Schoolers came to our room and read The Baker’s Dozen; a Dutch holiday folktale about the origin of the baker’s dozen. They also made St. Nicholas Cookies for us, yummy! Tatiana read Baboushka and the Three Kings. In this story an old lady takes on the role similar to our Santa Clouse as she follows the Three Kings in search of the “Child”. I read The Littlest Angel, a tale about a four year old in heaven who found the perfect gift for the baby Jesus. His gift is not the shiniest, but the most thoughtful gift. His gift was chosen by God and became the Star of Bethlehem. On Tuesday the 22nd we will have another drill where we walk to the Dominican Retreat Center, our designated safe place to go should we not be able to come back into Agudat Achim in an emergency. When there, we will are going to see the Tomie De Paola mural, a community treasure. If you would like to join us please meet us at the front entrance at 9:15. The community has continued to work on their Tomie DePaola autobiographical snapshots of their lives. The Upper El has been working with our First Years and our Elders have been working with the Primary children on this writing project. In music class Diana has been exposing the children to composer Claude Debussy and in P.E. the children are wrapping up their basketball unit.

We wish you all a joyous and healthy New Year,
 Amy, Tatiana, and Rachel

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Upper Elementary Newsletter - December 11, 2015

 December 11, 2015
Dear Families,
        This week was very eventful. The elders from the Upper Elementary went shopping for Taco Tuesday on Monday at Shop Rite. The Elders had to find out how many ounces of cheese, refried beans, tomatoes etc.were needed per taco.  And, on Tuesday we had Taco Tuesday for the first time. We think the school enjoyed the tacos very much. Now if you’re asking me, the tacos were delicious. 
Last week we went down to the Primary Class and Lower Elementary and read Tommie dePaola books to our partners. This week we are writing biographical stories for the Primary class. On Wednesday we went down and sat with our partners to get some story worthy information. We are hoping to get the stories done by next week so we can start illustrating.
            And last of all, next Monday is Parent Education night. We are going to be reading some of the fluency projects and our compare and contrast essays.  Debbie will also explain some of the writing strategies that we are practicing to improve our writing skills.  There will also be an opportunity to gather in the Handlemann Room for card making and snacks.

Yours truly,
Emma and Architects

Important dates:
Monday, December 14, 2015                                 Parent Education night, 3:15 p.m.
December 2016                                                     Visit to RE4ORM ARCHITECTURE, Schenectady             
January 5, 6, 7, 2016                                              STEAM Program: Explorations in Engineering
                                                                                K’NEX for Alternative Energy
January 26, 2016                                                    Tour of NYS Capitol, Art Collection,                                                                              meet Assembly member Phil Steck
                                                                                    & Senator Hugh Farley               

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Lower Elementary Newsletter - December 11, 2015

Dear RiverRun Families,

This week our Elders were working with the children from the Primary Class writing autobiographies, continuing the celebration of Tomie de Poala month as his books often recount his own experiences. The Upper elementary students provided guidance with this endeavor. Next week the Upper Elementary will be working with our First Years writing autobiographies as the rest of the class works independently writing theirs. Taco Tuesday was a big hit! The children can’t wait for next month’s fiesta. Thank you to the RiverRun Community Counsel for bringing our community together in such a fun and tasty way. The First Years were introduced this week to the adjective. This completes the Noun Family. They were also introduced to compound words. It is nice to watch the First Years begin to work independently, making choices of works to do and learning to manage their time. Our Second Years are using the Bead Frame to work on static and dynamic subtraction and the Elders are practicing word problems requiring their multiplication and division skills. We look forward to seeing you on Monday for Parent-Child Afternoon . Check your child’s folder for a list of works they would like to show you.

Best Wishes,
Amy, Tatiana, and Rachel

Primary Newsletter - December 11, 2015

Hello Families,                                                                                                December 11, 2015

The holidays are here! We had a wonderful visit from Middle School students for St. Nicholas Day, with ginger cookies and a good story. Thank you!! We’re also enjoying reading Hanukkah stories, working with the menorah, dreidels, and making latkes. They’ve been a big hit, mostly with applesauce, yum! After reading aloud Tomie dePaolo’s The Art Lesson, a brief autobiography (from when he was about 5 years old), the children met up with their elementary partners to share ideas on writing a short autobiography. It’s fun and another opportunity to work with the school’s elders! Number work and afternoon handwriting have also been part of the week, along with frequent creative endeavors in art, with inset drawings, and story writing. Also, Taco Tuesday is a success in Primary, with such comments as “I love these!” and disappointment to learn it is only scheduled once per month. Thank you, to the student RRCC! This warmer weather has us all having fun outside, around and on the playgrounds. Having found an intact orange just behind the playground, we continue our observations of plant debris left outside over time. Congratulations to Adelaide’s family. She is now a big sister to her new baby sister, Scarlett Helen! Cyndy is away now until January. It’s great Fatima can join us until the holiday school break. Monday, come see us and our building project at Parent-Child Afternoon (at your time, 3:15 or 4:15) ! May your week ahead be filled with restful moments at this busy time of year. Peace and take care,

Maureen, Jess, Rachel and Cyndy

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Upper Elementary Newsletter - December, 4 2015

December 4, 2015
Dear Families,

            The RiverRun Community Council is having a Tomie dePaola month throughout December.  To introduce his stories and illustrations to the primary and lower elementary classes, we each had a one- on-one story time with our partner. Throughout the rest of December, we will meet about once a week with our partners to help them create one of their very own Tomie DePaola stories. We also have been finishing up and typing our compare and contrast essays for our parent education night on December 14. Debbie worked with each of us on revisions and to make sure our grammar and spelling is correct.
Emma and Abi sent out Taco Tuesday ingredient\permission slips and have gotten a great response. Almost everyone wants a taco! GO TEAM TACO! J
We have been practicing our fluency in writing about once a week. We practice our fluency by getting a topic from Debbie, such as, “Your biggest fear is… (or) The color blue reminds me of…  Then we each have to try and write a whole page about the topic while being timed. When everyone is done, you have a chance to read your fluency page if you’d like. When we did the topic of what your biggest fear is, we got into a really in-depth conversation about being home alone and being afraid of the dark. We barely noticed it was time to go home.

Abi and Architects
If you haven’t already, please take a look at this week’s Montessori at Home!

Important dates:
December 2015                                                     Visit to RE4ORM ARCHITECTURE, Schenectady
December 14, 2015                                                Parent Education     3:15p.m.             
January 5, 6, 7, 2016                                              STEAM Program: Explorations in Engineering
                                                                                K’NEX for Alternative Energy
January 26, 2016                                                    Tour of NYS Capitol, Art Collection, Meet         

                                                                                Assembly member Phil Steck & Senator Hugh Farley               

Lower Elementary Newsletter - December 4, 2015


Dear RiverRun Families,

              This week in our class a group of five children started to read their first novel for Readers’ Workshop. They are reading The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt. Together we named the characters and analyzed their personalities, discussed the setting, looked up challenging vocabulary and predicted what may happen next. Science demonstrations for this week were on gravity. Using a container, sand, ping pong balls, metal, and human force (see the picture below) we shook a container and watched the balls rise and the metal sink. Next, we observed hot water dyed red, rise when introduced to cold water. Our First Years completed the lesson on the political map of Oceana. Upon completion they will be set home. The Middles and Elders were introduced to our large biome map used to learn the waterways, mountains and deserts of Australia. Some of the First Years where introduced to the multiplication bead board and our Elders are using the checkerboard to do more complex multiplication problems. The Middles are now using bead bars to work on their multiplication facts. Rachel gathered the children for their next art project. Martha Sutro leant us a Tapa Cloth. These cloths are made from flattened bark. They originate from the islands of the Pacific Ocean like New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. They are used as gifts or as clothing for ceremonies. The children learned the custom to making the designs. Ask them about it! They will be making their own type of Tapa on cloth rather than bark. The RiverRun Community Council is putting forth their Taco Tuesday initiative. The menu was sent home in your child’s folder. We look forward to this community gathering. They also acted upon the Tomie de Paola Month initiative. They read Tomie de Paolo books to the community in groups of two, engaging their children by asking questions and comparing different books he wrote and illustrated. Later this month they will be leading art projects.

For those families celebrating Chanukah, enjoy your first night!
Have a great weekend, Amy, Tatiana, & Rachel

Primary Newsletter - December 4, 2015

Hello Families,                                                                                                           December 4, 2015

After making our stone soup and feasting together, we continue with other cooperative projects, as building extensions with the pink tower and brown stairs, taking care of our classroom and plants (dusting, sweeping up, leaf cleaning), and the afternoon building work.  Using consensus, the student RiverRun Community Council (RRCC) decided on a Tomie dePaolo December.  Upper and lower elementary students partnered with primary children, reading aloud to them Thursday.  What fun to work with the older students and there’s more next week too!  Consider another RRCC idea, Taco Tuesday!  Evsen and Lila, Daphne’s mom and baby sister, joined us Friday.  We could see what Lila can do and is learning, how to be gentle with a baby, what she eats, etc.  Thank you for your visit Evsen and Lila; we enjoyed our time with you!  As it’s colder now, thanks also for providing your child’s boots, mittens, and hat for recess.   

Happy Hanukkah, to those who are celebrating.  Peace be with you all. 

Maureen, Jess, Rachel and Cyndy