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Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of February 4, 2019

Dear Families,

I want to express my deep appreciation to Wanda (Pre-K), Jane (2nd/3rd), Dianne (K/1st) and Joanne (4th/5th) for sharing their assessment practices with families last Monday.  Each year, I ask teachers who represent a range, both in terms of ages taught and classroom configurations to present so that you can get to know them better and see that there are 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 next steps and allow us to know children well. They also shared the ways students reflect on their learning and work throughout the grades.   A parent videotaped the conversation and it will be available on the website soon. Former TNS students will talk about how TNS prepared them for the academic and social expectations in middle school on Wednesday, February 13th at 6PM.  Speaking of assessments, Narrative Reports go home Wednesday!

Mark your calendar:

  • All this week, TNS to Puerto Rico with Love will once again have a handmade pop-up store to raise money for families in need in Puerto Rico.

  • There is NO SCHOOL Tuesday in honor of the Lunar New Year.

  • Mid-year Narrative Reports go home Wednesday.

  • SLT will meet Thursday at 8 AM in Room 313. Agenda:

    • Library plans for next year

    • Information Literacy (technology in the classroom)

    • Literacy at TNS:  we will look at three documents Dyanthe has shared as potential resources for families

    • New Business

  • It’s “Popcorn Friday” this week!

  • Friday night is Movie Night at TNS!  We are screening “The Incredibles 2” from 5 - 8 PM.

Warmly,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of January 28, 2019

Dear Families,

At my Morning Hour last week, we read the article, “Reading In Kindergarten: Little to Gain and Much to Lose”.   It describes the ways in which experiential, play-based learning creates the foundation for print literacy.  It also sights research showing there is no evidence that children taught to read in kindergarten make long-term gains in their learning.  And while it is true that some children need extra support to learn to read, that kind of support is highly individualized and it is competent, skilled teachers who can best recognize whether a child needs specific support or is progressing more slowly and simply needs more time.  

Most public schools in NYC have traditional approaches to reading, writing and spelling.  Families choose TNS for our progressive approach (among other things) and one component of that is our developmental approach to reading: some children learn to read at 3 or 4, others not until 7 or later, and that range is quite normal.  Our goal is for all our children to become fluent readers who read with insight and passion.

We are working to create TNS literature to provide general guidelines about reading development in response to the desire for more information about decoding/comprehension strategies, book characteristics and how can families support their child at home.  Keep an eye out!

Mark your calendars:

  • What Does Assessment Look Like?  Monday morning after drop-off in the PTA Room, Wanda, Jane, Dianne and Joanne will share the ways they “measure” student growth and learning, make decisions about class instruction.  This is the first workshop in a series about assessment leading up to the NY State tests for 3rd - 5th grades.

  • Parent’s of Unique Kids Support Group meets twice this week: Tuesday morning at drop-off in Room 307 and again Thursday at 4:30PM in the Library.

  • SING is Wednesday at 8:45AM in the auditorium.    Please also join us for the bake sale in the lobby beforehand (also, this is a call for donated baked goods).

  • The Diversity Committee is hosting a potluck on Thursday from 5:30 - 7:30PM in Mara’s Room.

  • The Garden Committee meets Friday at drop-off in the small cafeteria.

  • Friday is a HALF-DAY!  Dismissal is at 11:45AM.  

Have a good week,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of January 21, 2019

Dear Families,

As we approach the mid-year point, most classes switch from science to Spanish and vice versa.  If your child has had Spanish with Mara, they will begin science with Emily and if they have had science, they will begin Spanish.  All classes continue to have physical education with Teddy! Classes change over the week of January 28th.

Next Monday, January 28th, teachers will share the ways they “measure” student growth and learning and make decisions about class instruction.  This is the first workshop in a series about assessment leading up to the NY State tests for 3rd - 5th grades. We will meet in the PTA Room at 8:35AM.  

The Neighborhood School to Puerto Rico with Love Association is excited to announce that they will once again have a handmade pop-up store to raise money for families in need in Puerto Rico.  If you like to make handmade items or you know someone who does, please help by donating one or more items. The sale will be the week of February 4-8.  Popular items include Valentine cards, anytime greeting cards, hand-knit or hand-crocheted items, pins, barrettes or headbands, soap, candles, paper or fabric flowers, tote bags of all different sizes, sachets of all types, beaded jewelry, etc and so forth.  Please email dianne@tnsny.org for more information.  Thank you!

Mark your calendars:

  • Please come to my Morning Hour Wednesday at 8:35 AM in the PTA Room.  We will continue to talk about literacy at TNS.  

  • The Lice Treatment Center will do a school-wide lice check Thursday morning.

  • The Diversity Committee potluck is POSTPONED to Thursday, January 31 from 6 - 7:30PM.  Childcare  will be provided.

In spite of the cold yesterday, I noticed that it was still light at 5PM and I remembered that we are month past the Solstice and the days are only getting longer.  : )

Warmly,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of January 14, 2019

Dear Families,

During the month of January, teachers are hard at work in the evenings and on the weekends writing narrative reports.  Narrative reports tell the story of a child as a learner. In addition to check-lists and continuums to help families understand how their child is doing, teachers write descriptions filled with precise detail that reveal a child’s interests, strengths and areas for growth.  As I read over your children’s reports, I am struck by how each one paints a distinct picture of each child. Reports go home Monday, February 4.

Mark your calendars:

  • This year, the PTA is partnering with TNS family owned restaurants to fundraise for TNS.  Families come together for a night out and restaurants donate 20% of sales from the evening back to the PTA. This month’s event is at Bricia Italian Restaurant at 79 Clinton Street Tuesday, from 4 - 10PM.

  • Our PTA General Meeting is Thursday at 8:35 in the PTA Room.

Agenda:

  1. Principal updates

  2. Treasurer’s report

  3. Enrichment updates

    1. BioBus

    2. Farm Trip

    3. Wellness in the Schools Event

    4. Earth Day/ECO event

  4. Events updates

    1. Holiday Fair

    2. Auction update

    3. Bricia Restaurant Night is Tues 1/15

    4. Next Movie Night is scheduled for Fri Feb 8

  5. Committee updates

  • The ECO Committee meets Friday at drop-off in the small cafeteria.

  • Wanda, Dara, Dianne & Shaquawn, Caroline & Grace, Matt, Alexis & Corinthia and Erin go ice skating this Friday!   Remember to check-out our skate swap in the PTA room (left-hand side).  You can drop off a pair of skates your child has outgrown and/or pick up a pair that fits.  Open to all!

Have a great week,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of January 7, 2019

Dear Families,

We believe that children learn best through first-hand experiences with people, materials and places; that is why trips are such an important part of our school’s curriculum.  Some trips, like ice skating may not be so much about content learning, but about giving children opportunities to have different kinds of life experiences.  Many of our children learn to ice skate by going on these trips twice each year.  This Friday, Hannah, Catlin, Shaniqua & Chelsea, Lindsey & Olivia, Jane and Joanne & Sofia’s classes go skating.  Remember to check-out our skate swap in the PTA room (left-hand side).  You can drop off a pair of skates your child has outgrown and/or pick up a pair that fits.  Open to all!

Wellness in the Schools (WITS) cooking lab is coming to TNS and Star Academy this week.  WITS is a national nonprofit that partners with schools to teach kids healthy habits to learn

and live better.  Students will be learning about beans and making hummus together.

Lastly,  it’s flu season.  To help keep our community as healthy as possible, never send your child to school with fever.  Please also remember that in order to return to school, your child must be must be fever-free for 24 hours (“fever-free means” without the help of Tylenol, Motrin, etc.).  Thank you!

Mark your calendars:

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

  • The Wellness Committee meets Wednesday at drop-off in the small cafeteria.

  • The Diversity Committee meets Thursday at drop-off in the small cafeteria.

Have a great week,

Dyanthe

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