Friends and Field Trips

Dear Families,

As many of you may know, Lori Getz was here last week. Not only did she spend some time with the parents (see link below if you were unable to attend) but also, she spent some time with the fifth grade class. As a follow up we asked the children what their takeaways were. For the most part children seemed interested in and/or worried about having devises in their rooms, which may be affecting their sleep patterns. Although I don’t believe this was Lori’s intended takeaway, it is important to recognize kids are feeling concerned. A few kids even mentioned they’ve removed their phones from their rooms. For what its worth, I did too.

Lori’s message was more about teaching children about technology and what happens to information they share such that they can make choices to use it appropriately. Some points are as follows:

  • Most social media websites require kids be 13.
  • By age 18 (exactly 5 years after they’ve signed up for a social media account) all information they’ve shared through social media will be in the public domain, including a map of where they live and have lived.
  • When using social media or texting, its important to ask, “Am I willing to lose control of this information?”
  • When trying to figure out if too much time has been spent on a screen, ask the following questions:
  1. Is there something else I need to be doing right now?
  2. How much time have I spent sitting still today?
  3. How is my posture and my ergonomic health?
  4. Is my behavior working for my family?

In this age of technology, I think it important we rethink our own habits and ways we use technology. It’s necessary for children have an understanding about what happens to information when being put on the Internet such that they make appropriate decisions in order to protects themselves and others.

Below is a link to the parent talk from last week.

Our field trip last week was a success as well. Thank you so much to those who were able to deliver and pick up. Our experiments were guided by the question, How does matter change and flow through the environment. Later, discussions lead to a talk about the difference between physical and chemical changes in matter. Below are some images from the trip:


Middle school information night is tomorrow evening from 6-8pm. Please come and see for yourself how our exceptional middle school prepares adolescents to succeed in high school and beyond. Don’t miss this once-a-year event! Come hear from the talented middle school team of teachers, meet our students, and hear from alumni. Childcare is available at $5 per child.

Finally, Bill and I held a fifth grade town meeting to revisit our class charters. We found that our charters and the RULER program are being used n many positive ways. Children are asking those sitting alone to play, and children are using the Meta Moment to cool down when frustrated or angry. As a group we also noted areas where the charter may be needed. There was some concern around exclusion at the lunch tables. In order to help everybody feel included, we’ve asked fifth grade to mix it up during lunch and sit with different people. We hope children see this as an opportunity to get to know other children rather than a punishment. Most of them do. Here are a few pictures of the first day.