Dear Lower School Families,
It has been a pleasure to be a part of the transition into this new school year and to spend time with the classes. Each room is bursting with hopes for the school year, questions and ideas as they tackle new concepts, and appreciation for the connections they are building within their new communities.
At the beginning of the year, teachers work to establish routines in the classroom. In your visits to the classrooms, you may have noticed one such important routine on the daily schedule, Morning Meeting. Though they take a variety of forms depending on the age of the students, each student in the Lower School experiences this daily meeting. Despite its rather banal name, the Morning Meeting represents a major foundation in the building of a successful classroom community and is a key component of the Responsive Classroom approach. Responsive Classroom, developed by the Northeast Foundation for Children (NEFC), is an evidence-based approach
to education that focuses on the strong relationship between academic success and social-emotional learning.
In The Morning Meeting Book, Roxann Kriete writes:
“Teachers have long known and researchers are now confirming that social skills are not just something to be taught so that children behave well enough to get on with the real business of schooling. Rather, they are inextricably intertwined with cognitive growth and intellectual progress. A person who can listen well, who can frame a good question, and has the assertiveness to pose it, who can examine a situation from a number of perspectives will be a strong learner. All those skills-skills essential to academic achievement- must be modeled, experienced, practiced, extended, and refined in the context of social interaction. Morning Meeting is a forum in which all that happens. It is not an add-on, something extra to make time for, but rather an integral part of the day’s planning and curriculum.”
The Morning Meeting sets the tone for the day, communicating to each community member that their voice is important, that their ideas shape the learning in the room, and that being able to work together is just as valuable as the content that is learned in any given lesson. In Morning Meeting, the students greet each other, share about important topics in their own lives and from the world around them, engage in activities that allow them to connect community building with curricular content, and develop language and literacy skills as they read from the daily message. During curriculum night, you will have the opportunity to hear more about how Morning Meeting is experienced by the students in their particular class. For now, as you check in with your child about their day, be sure to ask about these important moments. (Click here
learn more about the Responsive Classroom approach.)
Please remember to mark your calendars for the upcoming curriculum evenings, Thursday, October 4, for Second-Fourth grades, and Thursday, October 11, for Fours-First grades. Both will begin at 6:00 pm, in the auditorium. This year, the Afterschool Program will be running an Afterschool Extension on October 4th (Second-Fourth Grade) and October 11th (Fours-First Grade) for Curriculum Night. The program will run from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. Afterschool teachers will be with students and will offer a wide range of open art and physical activities. Pizza will be provided for all students. This service is $20 per child for the evening, paid in cash at drop off. Siblings are $10. All school aged students are welcome. Email Denzel at (email@example.com) if you have any questions. Below are the RSVP deadlines for each of the curriculum evenings. You must respond by the deadline in order to secure a spot. Sign up here
Please RSVP for the October 4th date by October 1st.
Please RSVP for the October 11th date by October 8th.
Important Upcoming Dates
Fri, Sept 21: Fourth Grade Farm Trip Information Session
Tues, Sept 25-Wed, Sept 26: Lower School/Middle School Photo Day
Thurs, Sept 27: Third Grade Farm Trip Information Session
Thurs, Oct 4: LS Parent Rep Meeting
Thurs, Oct 4: Second-Fourth Grade Curriculum Night (6:00-8:00 pm)
Fri, Oct 5: Professional Day- School Closed for Students
Mon, Oct 8: School Closed for Fall Weekend
Tues, Oct 9-Fri Oct 12: Dan & Wing Mai Visit Hawthorne Valley Farm
Thurs, Oct 11: Fours-First Grade Curriculum Night (6:00-8:00 pm)
Kriete, R. (2002) The Morning Meeting Book, Northeast Foundation for Children, Inc.