Writing, Homework…and a Cool Video

Here is some news about our life in 5P these days.


To start the year, we’ve been writing some poetry.  I’ve found poetry is a good genre to start a year with because it causes the writer to focus on careful word choice and good description. And it’s short (unless you happen to be Ovid.) Finally, poetry helps us delve deeply into the nonliteral world of similes, metaphors, and analogies, all of which are terrific for stretching the brain.

We’ve published some of our writing on our Kidblog website. Ask your child to log on and you can read some of them. The Over-the-top Odes we wrote are really fun! Some even recorded themselves reading them. Hilarious.


We are learning to read carefully and deeply in reading class. We’ve been using a simple thinking strategy (a notice/wonder) chart to make our thinking visible. I’ve learned a lot from reading Harvard Project Zero’s work over the years.

We’re heading toward a deeper understanding of story elements (plot, character, central tension, …) as well as theme, always a difficult (but important) concept for young learners to understand.


I’m not a big fan of lots of homework, so you won’t find much coming home from me. No spelling lists. No worksheets. Instead, I want to free time up at home for your child to read. I’d love it if your child could read 20 minutes per night. While we try to read as much as we can at school, the days are packed. There is nothing better for the brain — for vocabulary development, for gaining knowledge about the world, even for building empathy towards others — than reading.

Cool Video from Science Class

And one final thing. Here’s a quick video from Science class today. We collected some biofilms, the slimy stuff that grows on things in the water, and put it under the microscope to see what the tiny parts of our creek ecosystem look like. Viola! Here’s some of what we saw.

We have a deeper understanding of just how much life we are surrounded by, and how cool that life is.

Ours sure is a grand ol’ planet.