Yellow Cluster (Grades 3-4)

Welcome to (Yellow Cluster) from Denise Benjamin and Lauren Hail

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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, with the main focus being planning, designing, and building a small-scale model city set 100 years in the future and based on the area around the school.

The classroom structure reflects that of a city, with a mayor, assistant mayor and other class officers, four neighborhood teams and six commission groups. Each commission becomes expert at one aspect of city planning, i.e., Human Resources, or Building and Safety and plans what needs to be built to fulfill their responsibilities. Each neighborhood team designs and builds one fourth of the model city, with each student renting their own parcel of land and placing his/her buildings on it. Students earn a salary from their commission jobs and then pay monthly rent on their piece of land. We hold Town Hall meetings during which the students decide what they want and don’t want in their city and resolve issues and problems.

Our building experiences begin 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.  They then wear their costumes in a musical revue that shares information about some of the history learned that year.  Once they have learned how to build big, they can apply what they have learned to building small - our city.

The state curriculum standards are integrated within our classroom projects to support, clarify and deepen the context for retention and future application of skills and concepts.  The science topics connect in multiple ways to the students’ city experiences.  Students also use a variety of technology applications to document, enrich, and extend their curricular experiences. 

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Weekly Update - September 28, 2020 (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on Sep 28 (last updated Sep 28)

Our next drop off / pick up of books and materials is going to be this Friday, October 2nd from 2:30 - 3:30.  Please put the guided writing activity that the students will be doing on Tuesday, as well as any books that were borrowed that have been read already, in the bag to give us.  Please let us know if you can’t make it and we will arrange an alternative pick up or delivery by a parent volunteer.  We will be passing out the following:

Weekly update - September 20, 2020 (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on Sep 20 (last updated Sep 20)

IMPORTANTOn Thursday, we will be changing our zoom codes and only making the links available through Schoology.   We have been told that our zoom links need to only be available in Schoology for the safety of our students.  We will be talking to them about this and showing them what they need to do to use the links this week before we make the change.  Having zoom links readily available opens up the possibility of zoom bombing, and having the students log in from behind the protective wall of Schoology adds an additional layer of protection.  We

Thank you! (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on Sep 16 (last updated Sep 16)

Our Donors Choose project is already fully funded!  Wow.  We're overwhelmed.  Thank you all so much.

Denise and Lauren

Donors Choose Project (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on Sep 16 (last updated Sep 16)

Hi everyone,

Weekly News - September 13, 2020 (Article)

Submitted by Yellow Teacher on Sep 13 (last updated Sep 13)

Thank you to everyone who was able to make it to pick up materials and books on Friday.  If you weren’t able to make it, your child’s bag is sitting in the main office and you can come get it whenever you can.  Please bring the bag we gave you before, but empty, to trade for the full one so we have a bag for your child for the next pickup.

A couple of things about the stuff in the bag:

Monday, Sept. 7 update (Article)

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

Hi everyone,

Here are some highlights about what is happening in this coming week.  This isn’t a complete list of activities or assignments, though, just things we wanted to highlight.

Student Council election applications / speeches are due on Tuesday.  The election will be Thursday morning.  The application was posted in our google stream.

Reading: We’re continuing to look at stories about people’s names and thinking about various elements of the stories.  This will move into us doing research and some writing about our own names.

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