Yellow Cluster (Grades 3-4)


Welcome to (Yellow Cluster) from Jessica Stewart and Denise Benjamin

In Yellow Cluster (grades 3-4, ages 8-10), the theme is We All Create: Designing Structures Helps Us to Make Sense of Our World. The Yellow Cluster Curriculum is design-based. The year begins with the designing and building of object costumes. Students learn about scale, measurement, geometry, structure, and building techniques as they enlarge a small object to a child-sized costume. Students use Media Blender, Keynote, Pages, the Internet, and other programs to support their understanding of three dimensional shapes and scale, as well as to document and enrich their curricular experiences. They then extend what they have learned to design a model city of the future on an actual scale model that represents the square-mile area around the school. The classroom structure reflects that of a city, with a mayor, assistant mayor and other class officers, four neighborhoods teams and six commission groups. Each commission becomes expert at one aspect of city planning, i.e., Human Resources, or Building and Safety. Neighborhood teams each design and build one fourth of the model city. Each child owns a parcel of land within the neighborhood area and is responsible for planning with his/ her team for what will be built there. Students earn salary from their commission jobs and then pay monthly rent on their piece of land. Town Hall meetings are held to decide what the students want and don’t want in their city and to present and resolve issues and problems. State curriculum standards are integrated within classroom projects to support, clarify and deepen the context for retention and future application of skills and concepts.

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Weekly News - May 24, 2019 (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on May 24 (last updated May 24)

May 24, 2019

Weekly News - May 17, 2019 (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on May 17 (last updated May 17)

May 17, 2019

Yellow Cluster t-shirts!  Don’t forget to place your order for a Yellow Cluster t-shirt or hoodie by midnight tonight.  We don’t have any way to place a late order, so once the online store closes, that’s it.  Here’s the link:

Lots of important info - please read! (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on May 10 (last updated May 10)

May 10, 2019

Thank you for a wonderful teacher appreciation week!  We so appreciated our morning coffee and treat cart, the two days of yummy lunches, the beautiful flowers, and the special notes the students wrote for us, along with all of the other little extras.  We hope you know that we also appreciate all of you and how much you support our classroom and school.  Open School is such a wonderful community!

Weekly News - May 3, 2019 (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on May 3 (last updated May 3)

May 3, 2019

If you haven’t filled out and sent in your child’s trip slip and other attached forms, please do so by Monday so that we can organize our rides and make sure we can get all of the students to and from the train station.  

Weekly News - lots of important info! (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on Apr 26 (last updated Apr 26)

April 26, 2019

There is a lot of important information in this week’s news, so please read it all.

You can still order a DVD of the parade.  Our amazing tech guru Steve filmed it for us and he does an amazing job, especially since his camera is connected to the microphones, so he gets really great sound.  It will also include a slideshow of each child wearing his/her costume.  DVDs are $15 each.  If you can’t find the form we sent home, just write down your child’s name and how many copies you want.  Cash or checks made payable to Friends of the Open School, please.

Weekly News - April 12, 2019 (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on Apr 12 (last updated Apr 12)

April 12, 2019

Object Parade Information:

Weekly News- lots of Object Parade Information! (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on Apr 5 (last updated Apr 5)

April 5, 2019

One School, One Book:  We’re having a great time sharing this book with everyone!  We hope you’re reading it and talking about it with your child.  Please email us pictures of you and your child (or just your child) reading the book so that we can share them in the Thursday assembly slideshows.

Weekly News - March 29, 2019 (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on Mar 29 (last updated Mar 29)

March 29, 2019

Help opportunitiesWe need you!  

Writing Support:  On Friday, May 5th and Monday, May 8th, we would love some help conferring with our student writers about their legends.  Your job would be to read the student’s legend with him/her and help him/her see where there are parts that might not be clear yet, or could benefit from being expanded or fixed in some way.  We’ll be working on this from 9:00-10:25 and 10:45- 12:15 on Friday, and all day on Monday

Weekly News - March 22, 2019 (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on Mar 22 (last updated Mar 22)

March 22, 2019

Thank you everyone for coming to conferences, helping out with conference activities and supervision, and being so supportive of us and your children.  We are so lucky to be a part of this wonderful community!

Weekly News - March 15, 2019 (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on Mar 15 (last updated Mar 15)

March 15, 2019

As we were at the author and illustrator visit this morning (which was great - ask your child about the vampire hippopotamus poem!), we didn’t have time to do weekly goals.  

Weekly News - March 8, 2019 (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on Mar 8 (last updated Mar 8)

March 8, 2019

Thank you to everyone who helped out with the Read-a-thon.   It was so wonderful and we know it could not happen with many hours of parental help.  If planning next year’s Read-a-thon sounds like something you would like to get involved in (it’s a big team effort and a lot of fun), they are looking for some new members of the committee, as many of the parents have students who are culminating.

Weekly News - March 1, 2019 (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on Mar 1 (last updated Mar 1)

March 1, 2019

Thank you to everyone who was a part of making this year’s Open School Day so wonderful.  From the incredible rotations to the delicious food to helping set up and clean up, Yellow Cluster had a amazing crew of parents and we are so grateful!  The kids had a lot of fun, as well as learned a lot, and we did, too.

Weekly News - February 22, 2019 (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on Feb 22 (last updated Feb 22)

February 22, 2019

We are all really looking forward to Open School Day on Tuesday!  We’ve got a great line up of rotations for our students and have heard back from some of you about the food you will be contributing to the feast.  From what we know of, we don’t actually have enough food for all of the kids, so hopefully there is a lot of food coming that we don’t know about.  We also still need some people to help set up and clean up, too.  This is such an incredible day, so please stop by if you can!

Weekly News - February 15, 2019 (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on Feb 15 (last updated Feb 15)

February 15, 2019

Weekly News - February 8, 2019 (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on Feb 8 (last updated Feb 8)

February 8, 2019

Object help needed!  We’re working on objects all day on Monday and 2/3rds of the day on Friday and would love extra adult help.  If you can come any time from 9:00 - 10:25 on Monday, or 10:45 - 12:15, or 1:00 - 2:30 on Monday or Friday, we would really, really love the support.  We’re also getting more and more cardboard that needs to be cut, so please check in if you have time in the mornings (or any other time).  The students can’t put together their costumes until they are cut out, so please come and help us out!

Weekly News - February 1, 2019 (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on Feb 1 (last updated Feb 1)

February 1, 2019

Weekly News - January 25, 2019 (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on Jan 25 (last updated Jan 25)

January 25, 2019

We are so happy to be back at school, with our wonderful Yellow Cluster students!  We missed them so much while we were striking and are so happy to be back together.  We also really appreciated all of the different kinds of support we received, from hugs, to notes, to walking with us, and coming downtown.  It reinforced what a wonderful community Open School is.

Weekly News - December 7, 2018 (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on Dec 7 (last updated Dec 7)

December 7, 2018

Weekly News - November 30, 2018 (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on Nov 30 (last updated Nov 30)

November 30, 2018

Welcome back!  We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving break.  We’ve jumped right back to work and are having fun learning with your kids each day.  Thank you to everyone who helped supervise during conference week and for all of the wonderful book donations from the Book Fair.  They’ve been added to our library and many of them have already been checked out.

Weekly News - November 2, 2018 (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on Nov 2 (last updated Nov 2)

November 2, 2018

Thanks:  Thank you to everyone who made salt dough!  Our maps are made and drying so that we can paint them on Monday.  We even have so much extra dough that we’re going to use it for another upcoming project!

Weekly News - October 26, 2018 (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on Oct 26 (last updated Oct 26)

October 26, 2018

Trip Thanks:  Thank you to everyone who came on our trip!  We appreciate your help with driving and with keeping our students safe.  We couldn’t do it without you!

Weekly News - October 12, 2018 (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on Oct 12 (last updated Oct 12)

October 12, 2018

Weekly News - October 5, 2018 (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on Oct 5 (last updated Oct 5)

October 5, 2018

Weekly News - September 28, 2018 (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on Sep 30 (last updated Sep 30)

September 28, 2018

Thank you:  A  belated thank you to all of the wonderful parents who contributed money, food, and time to the teacher appreciation brunch last week.  Everything was delicious and much, much appreciated by us and all of our fellow teachers.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Weekly News - September 21, 2018 (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on Sep 21 (last updated Sep 21)

September 21, 2018

Weekly News - September 14, 2018 (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on Sep 14 (last updated Sep 14)

September 14, 2018

Site Committee Work Day:  The Site Committee is having a work day on Saturday, 9/15, and one of the plans for that day is to work on the area between Yellow and Silver.  We’re planning on transforming it into something beautiful that has connections to our curriculum, so we are so appreciative of the support of the Site Committee and the parents who come and help.  If you can come for any part of the day, we would really appreciate it.  Kids are welcome, too.  Please bring water and snacks, and remember to apply sunscreen and wear a hat.

Weekly News - September , 2018 (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on Sep 7 (last updated Sep 7)

September 7, 2018

Book Orders:  Thank you for placing your book orders!  We had some students tell us this morning that they wanted to place an order, but hadn’t yet.  We won’t be submitting the orders until Sunday, so you have until Sunday morning to place an order, if you haven’t yet and want to.  If your child can’t find the order sheets, they are available online as well.  Go to and use our code, GZX9X to be put into our class and then look for the digital flyer option.

Weekly News - August 31, 2018 (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on Aug 31 (last updated Aug 31)

August 31, 2018

Weekly News - August 24, 2018 (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on Aug 24 (last updated Aug 24)

August 24, 2018

Thanks to all of the amazing fundraising Friends of the Open School does, we were able to start our Specialists this week.  Our students have coach, art, and music on Wednesdays, and Garden and the library on Thursdays.  Please have your child wear PE appropriate clothes on Wednesdays and clothes that can get dirty on Thursdays.  On some Mondays we will also be doing yoga, so that’s another day to be aware of appropriate clothes then, too.  (So basically, save fancy clothes for Tuesdays and Fridays!)

Weekly News - August 17, 2018 (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on Aug 17 (last updated Aug 17)

August 17, 2018

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