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Weekly Letter 3.20.17

Dear Families:


The New York State ELA test is scheduled for March 28, 29 and 30 while the Math test is scheduled for May 2,3, and 4. These three day exams have been the source of much discussion and debate since the spring of 2012 when a standardized test went from being something schools, kids and parents put up with to something that some perceived to be a destructive force with many questioning its purpose and rationale.


On Thursday, March 23 at 5:00, Diane, Malika and I will be at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange for the final BNS presentation on standardized tests. If you feel that you do not yet understand what all the fuss about the state exams is, I strongly encourage you to come. The presentation is complete with sample test questions and a thorough review of standardized testing.  

Weekly Letter 3.13.17

Dear Families:


It is Monday, March 13th and so begins another week of performance based assessments, this time for our third grade children.  


On Friday I happened to go into Doug and Malika’s third grade classroom where I found everyone immersed in practicing the PBA process with small groups of children talking to teachers, paras, and a few volunteer parents.  Based on the hum of voices, it looked like these third grade children are ready to talk about what they learned about West Africa as well as their projects.  


Weekly Letter 3.6.17

Dear Families:


In Steve and Katherine's class, students learn every year about "the domino rule" in stories - something happens, and that makes something else happen. After a while, kids start noticing how this happens in real life too, and comment, "It's the domino rule!" We are thrilled to report to you the following story that follows the domino rule.


Weekly Letter 2.27.17

Dear Families:


Years ago, our fourth grade study of Native Americans, was taught in third grade.  In 2002, Carmen Fariña, then superintendent of District 15, instituted a District-wide Social Studies curriculum and suggested some changes to our program here at BNS. The 4th grade would now study the Lenape, along with colonial New York. The 3rd grade curriculum would be "Communities Around the World." Carmen's vision was 3 units: China, because of the rising importance of China in our world, Africa, because of the number of students of African heritage, and a 3rd region of the school's choosing based on their population.


Weekly Letter 2.15.17

Dear Families:


It is progress report season.  Some of you have already received a report while others will get one in the next few days.  Make no mistake about it, these are precious documents.  Many an hour went into their production and they reflect the teachers’ knowledge of your children, their observations and their educational assessment of academic progress. The reports vary in length from a page to many pages.  In fact, some will need to be read in more than one sitting.  


Weekly Letter 2.6.17

Dear Families:


The other day I was making my way to the art room to ask Paola if I could borrow some colored pencils to use with some of my fourth grade buddies, a group of girls with whom I get to draw once a week.  (Right now we have been studying the chickens.)  


En route, I got distracted.  I could hear fourth grade singing emanating from the auditorium and then there was this:


Weekly Letter 1.30.17

Dear Families:


Last Monday Amy Binin asked her pre-k class what their teddy bears had done at school while the children were home during the weekend.  Bruce shared, "My bear got out and joined the chickens.  It went into the chicken house.  He went and closed the door for the chickens so they wouldn't get cold."


Here's what other bears were up to that weekend:


Some were sneaking into backpacks.  Another had hopped out of its shoe pocket, found its owner's drawing and scribbled all over it.   That teddy bear then had to go to time out.  

Weekly Letter 1.23.17

Dear Families:


For some it was a busy weekend indeed.  And certainly, here at school has also been hectic.  We went from a town hall meeting on Friday in which our fifth grade government club shared their thinking about the change in presidential leadership to another stint in the auditorium this afternoon.  The purpose of this gathering was to give our fifth graders the chance to remember and celebrate our beloved Ayden Mendoza.  


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