February News

Monthly News




Thank your for your support during the strike. We appreciate the love and kind gestures throughout the work stoppage. We know this was a challenging week for you all and a disruption to your schedules. Thank you for the patience! We are so happy to be back and enjoying the rainy day INSIDE the classroom!


On Tuesday, February 26th, we will have our annual Open School Day. On this day, parents lead small groups of kids in a meaningful activity that celebrates a cultural or family tradition. The focus of the day is to celebrate the diverse histories, cultures, and families of the Open School. In the past, activities have been done such as making latkes, Kwanzaa puppets, pasta making, and learning about the tradition of Japanese tea. Any activity that is a special tradition in your family, celebrates your culture, or is otherwise meaningful to you is an excellent option! If you are interested and willing to help us out on this day, please let us know ASAP.

We will also have a huge multicultural feast on this day and we ask that ALL families contribute a savory dish (no dessert please) and come celebrate! You might start thinking about a favorite family dish to share. We will also need some help setting up and cleaning up the feast. Each year all the families send in the most amazing food and it is a great treat for everyone. Having this organized by some parents would make a big difference. This would include reheating some items, laying out the food, serving the students, and most importantly, cleaning up. Please let us know if you can help out. Preparation for the feast starts around 11am. Thanks in advance for your support (and yummy food donation)!


If your child would like to bring in Valentine’s cards for their classmates, please send them in on the morning of the 14th. They do not need to bring in cards, but if they choose to do so, they should have one for each child (48). They are actually easier to deliver if they are NOT labeled with kids’ names as they can just go down the row & put them in the bags, but that’s up to you! We’ll pass them out Thursday, February 14th.


We’re running low on baby wipes to clean the students’ hands before they get on the computers (Regular baby wipes please, NOT the Lysol ones, we have plenty of those for the tables). We would also love some recycled materials for building. The class is in the middle of planning and building their Rube Goldbergs and tubes, egg cartons, and any unique items that can be used to build would be greatly appreciated. We will also use these items for our inventions.

• ST MATH & Khan Academy – Please continue to have your child complete 40 minutes of ST Math or Khan Academy per week (10 minutes a day).


Our field trip has been rescheduled to Wed., Feb. 20th. We will send an email with a sign up genius link for chaperones next Friday, Feb. 8th at 7am.  


Upcoming Dates to Remember:

Thurs., Feb. 7th                       Governing Board at 5:30, Friends at 7:00

Sun., Feb. 10th                        Campus Beautification Day 9am – 1pm

Thurs., 2/14 – 3/7                    Read-a-thon

Mon., Feb. 18th                                No School - President’s Day

Wed., Feb. 20th                       Field Trip to UCLA School of Engineering

Tues., Feb. 26th                      Open School Day



We have started our Rube Goldberg unit! Rube Goldberg was a cartoonist famous for drawing complicated chain reactions to perform a very simple task. (His name is actually a noun in the dictionary now.) The students are using their engineering and simple machine knowledge to create an original Rube Goldberg. In cooperative groups of four, they are designing a five- step contraption to accomplish a simple task like putting toothpaste on the toothbrush. Their creations will be on display at the end of the year at our Invention Convention!

In math, we have jumped into multiplication. We are developing their conceptual understanding by building multiplication as equal groups, in arrays, and equal jumps along a number line. They are applying this understanding of multiplication to solving story problems! The class is also practicing their skip counting from 2 – 12 (which are the answers to multiplication facts they will ultimately need to know fluently) and solving unknown multiplication using repeated addition. At the same time, we’re beginning our investigations into area and perimeter. They designed their name in pixelated form and are now calculating the area and perimeter of each letter as well as the total area & perimeter of their name. When we ar edone they will be on display on the north closets. For the rest of February, we will continue exploring measuring with inches, feet, centimeters, and meters.

The class has been working on typing their narrative stories and will turn them into books. We also finished writing comics where the students used transition words to move through the story. We are now starting a short poetry unit where they will write a poem about themselves using Eloise Greenfield’s “Myself” as a model. We are reemphasizing the idea of “showing, not telling” by making thoughtful (poetic) word choices. We also introduced metaphors as another way to create a strong image in the reader’s mind. These poems will end up in Open Thoughts, the school anthology, which is distributed at the end of the year.

In Reader’s Workshop, we’re in the midst of our character unit. Next week the class will track their fictional characters’ journeys up and down the story mountain. (On the way up, the characters encounter problems. At the top of the mountain –the climax- the character is forced to deal with the problem, and the way down is how the character resolved the problem.) In the coming weeks, we’ll pay close attention to how a main character resolves their challenges/hurdles and discuss what lessons we learned alongside the characters. Finally, we’ll compare characters and contrast the lessons the various characters learn on their journeys.

We are wrapping up perseverance in our social/ emotional curriculum, Roots of Respect. The class embraced making mistakes and failing well. When we “fail well” we learn from our mistakes, accept that mistakes happen, and take responsibility for our mistakes and not blame others. This will tie in nicely to our next word: responsibility. Please encourage this at home by making your child responsible for their homework and other materials, including their own backpacks and lunches. (They can carry these items themselves!) 

Expiration Date: 
Jul 31