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,



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