Friday, January 19, 2018

Friday, January 19th

Hi folks!  This week has flown by!  Thanks to Danah and Ron for helping out on the Stock Show field trip.  As an animal lover I was in heaven, and kids had a blast, too.

        Since we've returned from winter break we have started several new learning topics.  We pulled out our goals that we set before conferences, and checked in on how we are doing on them.  We have been writing some short creative writing stories, and are creating our own version of The Book of Bad Ideas.  Next week we will pick a short story draft to take through the publishing process.

       During our reading block, we have been focusing on the thinking strategy of monitoring for meaning.  We have started a new read-aloud, Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt.  During the read aloud we have been monitoring for meaning, and discussing the elements of plot.  We will use a plot diagram to help us publish our creative writing stories.

      In fourth grade math, we are wrapping up our division unit.  I have also been sprinkling in geometry lesson throughout January.  In fifth grade math,  students are working on exponents and multiplying decimals, and two digit multiplication.  Next, they will be working on long division and division with decimals.

      During our inquiry time, we have begin a short unit on geography.  This will lead into a history unit on the American Revolution, starting in February.

       Regarding our spring trip, we currently have enough parent volunteers to support us.  In fact, we have too many.  We apologize if you were interested in joining us on this trip, but can't.  The cost of this trip is pretty high, and that is already with the IA team pulling out a significant amount of money from our trip fund to reduce the cost for students.  In the fall we will go camping again, and need all the help we can get.  So if you can't join us for the spring trip, you are definitely invited on our fall camping trip next year.

Have a great weekend,


Thursday, January 18, 2018

IA Spring Trip

IA Spring Trip!

January 12, 2018

Dear IA Families,
The IA team has exciting news about our spring trip!  May 7-9, we will be traveling to
Quaker Ridge Camp in Woodland Park.  Quaker Ridge offers more amenities than a
group campground.  We will be receiving cooked meals, staying in bunk houses, and
have access to an indoor meeting space.  We still plan on hiking and exploring the area,
just as we would if we were tent camping.
Because lodging and meals are provided, the cost of this trip will be $115.00 per student.
We understand this is an increase from the fall camping trip and wanted to give
families ample time to plan for this cost.  Parent helpers will also look different for this
trip.  We will need a limited number of parents to come  with us and each parent who
accompanies use, will need to pay $50.00.  Please let your child’s advisor know as soon
as possible if you would like to join us.
We love our group camping experiences and are planning on continuing this Open
School outdoor tradition.  We have been searching for a unique and special experience
IA students could have every couple of years.  We hope Quaker Ridge is this place, and
know students will be as excited as we are!
Please feel free to contact your child’s advisor with any questions,
Thank you,
Liz, Bryan and Kristie

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Stock Show Field Trip Next Week

Hello IA families,

We are excited to announce that the IA will be visiting the National Western Stock show next Wednesday, January 17th!  This opportunity just became available and is a free field trip to students.  

We need multiple parent volunteers to make this an amazing day!  Please let your child's adviser know by THIS Friday, January 12, if you are able to come and drive students.  

We will be leaving school around 9:15 am on the 17th.  Students will need a sack lunch and water, as well as good walking shoes.  We will leave the stock show grounds around 12:30, and be back to school by 1:00.

We hope you can join us!

Liz, Bryan and Kristie

Friday, November 10, 2017

Peace Night, Family Day, Conferences

Hi folks.  Sorry I haven't communicated earlier.  I returned last week with much to do to catch up with my kids, their work, and my team, and I've been trying frantically to do al of the above.  There's a couple of big things coming up.

First, tonight is the performance of the IA play Rumplestiltskin, Private Eye.  The performance will be in the theater at 6pm.

Second, next Thursday is Peace Night from 6pm to 7:30pm.  We will be sharing our personal narrative publishings, and our personal flags and descriptions.

Third, on Friday, November 17th( the day before Thanksgiving break), we will be getting together with our family group, Connie's advising in the Pre-Walkabout, and Chris's advising in the Walkabout.  We will be doing some community service in the school, some fun activities together, and have a pot luck meal.  We are trying to keep it simple, so our theme for the meal is Soups, Sandwiches, and Salads.  There is a sign-up sheet on the door to my classroom.  Please discuss this with your child, and sign up(or have them sign up) for one.  Families are welcome to join us!  We will be eating around 11:30, and will be in the hallway between the library and elevator on the second floor.

Finally, fall conferences.  I'd like to go through the same preparatory process with kids for conferences that I usually go through.  I think its a valuable process in helping kids self reflect on their successes and challenges from their year so far.  My plan is to hold conferences the week of November 27th -December 1st.  I plan on getting a sub one day(yet to be determined), and hold conferences throughout the day while school is in session.  Any conferences that can't fit into that day will be held after school that week or at families' convenience.  I'll be flexible to meet your needs.



Monday, October 16, 2017

Bryan's Update

Hi folks.  I just want to give a update on how I'm doing and when I expect to be back.  First off, thanks to all of the thoughts of care and concern.  I really do appreciate it.

I am definitely starting to feel better, and have started some light exercise,  along with a lot of rest.  At this point I fully expect to be return after two more weeks, which was the original plan.  I hope to return on October 30th.  Remember, we won't have conferences at the end of this week.  I will send out a plan and schedule shortly after I return to work.  Please still support the book fair this week!  They always have an outstanding and varied selection.



Tuesday, October 10, 2017

DMNS Field Trip

Hi Folks!  The IA is still looking for drivers for Thursday's field trip to the Museum of Nature and Science.  If you can be a driver, please contact Kristie Edwards at if you can help out!



Sunday, October 1, 2017

Health Update

Dear Open School community,

I want to let you know about a health issue I’m dealing with.  About two weeks ago I started experiencing pain in my leg, which over time, got worse.  Last week I sought medical advice, and was diagnosed with a blot clot.  While this issue is treatable and should be temporary, I will be missing a period of work while I am recovering.
Currently, I estimate to be out four weeks.  Though I know this is not ideal, I am very pleased with the coverage plan while I am gone.  Kelsey McGuckin, a past Open School advisor, will be filling in for me.  Some kids already know Kelsey well, and she knows our program.  I will be working with Kelsey to create the curriculum that will be provided, and will meet with her regularly.  
This will also affect conferences.  I will not be holding conferences on the regularly scheduled dates: October 19th and 20th.  I will create a conference schedule when I return to work, and still have a fall conference for each student.  

Thanks for your understanding and support,

Bryan Zavada