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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No More Poems Author Visit! Orders due March 1st (Article)

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

We are thrilled to welcome an author / illustrator duet on March 15th.  Rhett Miller (author) and Dan Santat (illustrator) are coming to talk about their new book No More Poems.  This is a book of mostly funny poems, sort of like Shel Silverstein’s. 

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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