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List of 3 news stories.

  • LREI // LS News 12/2/21

    Faith Hunter
    Dear families,

    There’s little I find more gratifying than when our families see for themselves how much their children have learned. Prior to winter break, we are inviting all of our first through fourth grade families to the Lower School to share in an important part of the learning process: a publishing party. Each student will proudly share a piece of their own writing, whether it’s a first-grade story about an “oops moment,” a second-grade identity poem as inspiration for how one might tell their own story, a third-grade paragraph about a newly learned natural habitat, or a fourth-grade expository essay on the Statue of Liberty. Seeing a parent or caregiver lean over their child’s shoulder while they read together, and listening to our students proudly point out the phrases they wrote themselves, are some of my favorite moments as an educator.


     
    The publishing party is a key component of our curriculum. In the Lower School, a significant part of writing instruction is teaching our students the writing process: planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. Each year, students take multiple pieces of writing through this process, developing more understanding, skills, and ownership at each step. Within each step, there are days and weeks of lessons, and within each grade, there are dozens of learning objectives. 

    When a piece of writing goes from being something that only the teacher will see to something the greater community will see, our students feel a sense of purpose and pride that motivates them to channel their energy into further improving their writing skills. The next time they plan through research, interviews, and brainstorms; draft by thinking about topic sentences, supporting details, and beginnings, middles, and ends; revise with better word choice, stronger introductions, and more figurative language; edit by referencing spelling and punctuation checklists, peer editing, and conferencing with their teachers; and publish using their neatest handwriting and very best illustrations, they will do so with even more enthusiasm because they know firsthand what it means to share their work with those they care about.

    Publishing is vital to our students' confidence, their sense of authorship, and their overall growth. I look forward to welcoming our families to this experience to make it as powerful as it can be. 

    Warm regards,
    Faith


  • Only a few weeks left

    Margaret Paul
    Dear Families,
     
    It seems impossible, but it is true–we only have 2 weeks until the end of the first trimester! Following on the heels of family conferences before the break last week, we are sending a few notes on how to support your student through the rest of the trimester, as well as prepare for Trimester 2.
     

    1. Many of you spoke in conferences about setting up 1 on 1 meetings with teachers. We know that some students resist this, but we know that this is the best way for students to work through any academic challenges they are experiencing. Please encourage your students to get these meetings set, and reach out to your student’s advisor if you need support.
    2. Doing hard things is . . . hard! Typically, students have projects, papers, and tests at the end of the trimester which can feel overwhelming. It can be helpful for students to have support in strategizing and planning how to tackle multiple projects at once. If they are resistant to help at home, encourage them to talk to their advisors who can connect them to the Learning Center team.
    3. There were also conversations during conferences about challenges in particular classes. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your student’s teacher with questions, to your grade-level dean, or to Allison and Margaret. We are all here to help your student navigate these relationships.
    4. REST. We are noticing that kids are arriving a bit later, and looking a bit more tired. We know that it is really hard to get teenagers to go to bed at a decent time, but you can tell them that we wrote to you–blame your nudging them to bed on us!
    5. Plan. Many families discussed trying to help their students get more engaged in trimester 2–here are some notes as you continue these conversations. We will be posting the trimester 2 X-Block schedule in the coming weeks. Students are allowed to change and add X-Blocks at the beginning of each trimester, so students should take a look at the options and make sure they sign up on time (a sign-up form will be sent soon). In addition, students can join the High School musical, which debuts in February (auditions will be announced soon), and they can continue to offer and/or join the student-led Y-Block programming after school.
    6. Service. And finally, please speak to your student about community service. We ask that students complete 6 community service events across the school year, and we prefer that they complete 2 in Trimester 1. Our Engage for Change community service team sends weekly email with volunteer options, and students should continue to volunteer at community organizations they are already connected to.
    As always, be in touch with your advisor, grade-level deans, or Allison and Margaret with your questions and needs as you support your high school student toward success.
     
     
     
     
  • LREI // LS News 11/11/21

    Faith Hunter
    Dear families,
     
    Recently, as we have continued to bring your children to learning experiences outside the classroom, I’ve been reflecting on the experience your children are having this fall. I have thought a lot about my own children’s first precious years of learning. I remember marveling at my sons’ natural curiosity about the world around them, their wonder in each novel moment, and the immediate craving to learn that accompanied each moment. A simple walk down the block would often lead to new words and expressions: “It’s a truck. Can you say truck?” “Look, that’s your favorite color. It’s purple.” A weekend of apple picking could fuel bathtime conversations and activities like coloring and block building for a week. 
     
    At LREI, our Lower School students have been learning outside the building almost every day over the last few weeks. They have hopped on school buses and ferries. They have visited farms, rivers, a Lenape village, and a botanical garden, as well as multiple monuments and art exhibitions. These experiences have fueled our young writers, artists, mathematicians, and researchers in a way that no textbook could ever rival. The result: our students are tapping into that natural love of learning we witnessed when we held them in our arms as toddlers.
     
    What does experiential learning look like in the Lower School? Kindergarten students using words like “colorful” and “gigantic” “creative” to describe their own drawings inspired by Yayoi Kusama’s art. Second graders creating maps that include Liberty Island and the Brooklyn Bridge to deepen their understanding of New York City’s geography. Fourth graders writing clear expository paragraphs about their trips to the Statue of Liberty, the reclining statue of liberty, and the Harriet Tubman statue, to demonstrate what they have learned about the history behind these monuments that surround us. 
     
    One of my favorite recent emails from a parent included this message: “My child does not normally love coming home and doing his written homework. After today’s class trip, he couldn’t have been more excited about doing his written homework. It was incredible to watch.”
     
    Click the image below for a slideshow of some of our students’ experiences:
     
     
    Warm Regards,
    Faith

     

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