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Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of February 10, 2020

Dear Families,

Our librarian, Cheryl was recently quoted in the article, Reading Levels Unfairly Label Learners, Say Critics. And Then There’s the Research.  It describes why school library collections should not be organized by reading levels.  At TNS, reading levels are only one tool teachers use when guiding children to choose books. During a year, a child will read books that are too easy, just right, and too hard.  For example, a child who is interested in animals may be so motivated by that interest to read a book on animals that is at a higher level. Likewise, many strong readers also are drawn to graphic novels.  In fact, graphic novels are among the highest-circulating items in our library. 

Last year, families had a lot of questions about reading instruction at TNS. In response, our School Leadership Team (SLT) created a document for families that describes our philosophy and approach to reading and learning to read.  You can find in on our website in “Documents”.  It’s called, “Your Child’s Pathway to Learning to Read at TNS.”  If you have any questions about it or your child’s reading development, please let me or your classroom teacher(s) know.

This Week at TNS….

  • The Diversity Committee meets on Tuesday at drop-off in the PTA Room.

  • The Grants Committee meets on Tuesday at drop-off in the small cafeteria.

  • The PTA General Meeting is on Thursday at 8:30 AM in the PTA Room.

Looking Ahead

  • Midwinter Break is February 17th - 21st.  

Have a wonderful break.  We’ll see you on Monday, February 24.

Warmly,

Dyanthe

News & Announcements

PTA Weekly Newsletter, February 10, 2020

It’s Love Your Library Week! So don’t forget to return those overdue books :) Are you interested in a French after school club? Read all about it in this week’s newsletter!

TNS PTA Newsletter - 2-10-2020

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of February 3, 2020

Dear Families,

Thank you, Erin, Dianne, Grace, and Alexis for sharing their assessment practices with families last Monday.  Each year, I ask different teachers who represent a range, both in terms of ages taught and classroom configurations, to share their experiences, so that families can get to know them better and see the consistent practices across classes and grades.  Teachers spoke about how formal assessments, looking at student work, the role of observation and working alongside children inform the next steps and allow us to know children well. They shared the many ways students reflect on their learning and work throughout the grades.  They discussed how Project/Work Time informs our work with children in ways that formal teacher-directed tasks and assessments do not. This is the first forum in a series co-sponsored by TNS and the Advocacy Committee leading up to the NY State tests. I hope you can join us for future conversations.  

This week at TNS...

  • It’s a new semester!  If your child has had Spanish with Mara, they will begin science with Emily and if they have had science, they will begin Spanish. 

  • P.E. with Teddy moves to the upstairs gym for the month.

  • SLT will meet Thursday at 8 AM in Room 314.  All are welcome!

  • Narrative Reports go home Thursday.

Looking Ahead...

  • Midwinter Break is February 17th - 21st.  

Have a great week,

Dyanthe

--

tnsny.org

DSpielberg@schools.nyc.gov

Preferred pronouns: she, her, hers

News & Announcements

PTA Weekly Newsletter, February 3, 2020

Stay up to speed with library events and auction happenings plus check out the New York International Film Festival and earn cash for our school! Read more!

TNS Newsletter 2-3-2020

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of January 27, 2020

Dear Families,

There was a small group at my Morning Hour last week, but we had a rich conversation about play grounded in the article Play: The Foundation of Children’s Learning.  In addition to talking about navigating play with our own children, we talked about the many structures TNS has in place that support play in and outside of school.  One of the big ideas that emerged is that meaningful play takes time. One parent who joined our school this year, shared how much more time his son has to play after school because he has much less homework to complete each day.  I explained that 2 years ago when we reconfigured our grade bands, we also made recess longer for our older students. 2nd and 3rd graders have 50 minutes of recess and our 4th and 5th graders have 25 minutes of recess every day and three additional “morning recesses” with their class.  While there are often structured games like soccer, four square, and tag, they are organized by the children (with adults stepping in when necessary). Children of all ages engage in rich imaginative play of their own making during recess. The other day, while supervising 2nd/3rd grade recess, one child came up to give me a hug and then meowed happily away.  While I have observed that more conflicts emerge with a longer recess, it is an opportunity for children to learn to build skills for resolution including being able to communicate, compromise, collaborate and adjust. Finally, we connected Project Time and Work Time to play.  This is a favorite period in the school day when children have choice and agency about what they do, the materials they use and who they work with. 

Please join me and teachers for a discussion about what assessment look like at TNS on Tuesday after drop-off in the PTA Room.  Teachers share the ways they “measure” student growth and learning, make decisions about class instruction, and the place state testing plays in instruction and curriculum.  This is the first workshop in a series about assessment and learning leading up to the NY State tests for 3rd - 5th grades and is co-sponsored by the Advocacy Committee.

Finally, while of course graffiti is a no-no, this made me smile:

  

This Week at TNS…

  • There is no school for our Pre-K students on Wednesday.  

  • The Garden Committee meets on Wednesday after drop-off in the small cafeteria.

  • The PTA is having Movie Night at 5:30 PM on Friday.

Looking Ahead...

  • Narrative Reports go home Thursday, February 6.

  • Midwinter Break is February 17th - 21st.

I love this school, too.

Have a great week,

Dyanthe

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