December News

Monthly News

12/ 6/19

Welcome back! We hope your Thanksgiving break was restful and full of family time. We are grateful for our supportive and enthusiastic families! We greatly appreciate you all being on time for your child’s conference and for working in partnership with us to continue the growth of your child!


Math Night – Tues. 12/10 6:00 – 7:30

Holiday Program – Wed., Dec. 18th 8:45am, 11:00, & 1:10pm

Orange’s Winter Party – Fri., Dec. 20th 9:00 – 10:15am

Last Day of Instruction in 2019 – Dec. 20th

First Day of Instruction in 2020 – Jan. 13th

No School – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Jan. 20th

Governing Council Meeting - Jan. 23th at 5:30pm

Friend’s Meeting – Jan. 23rd at 7pm

Minimum Day – Fri., Jan. 31st   


MATH NIGHT – Math, Fun and Family!! Next Tuesday, 12/10 we are having the 1st ever Math Night! Come join us and play math games with your family. See you there!


Please ask to see your child’s orange homework folder. The goals set at the conferences will be placed in the front cover by the end of next week. Periodically, please ask your child how they are doing in making progress towards their goals!


‘Tis the season to give back! We are working with the Department of Public Social Services to donate toys to children in need. The Toy Loan Program provides a free toy-lending service to the children of Los Angeles County. Through their 50-plus centers, Toy Loan provides a safe place to play and helps to develop a sense of self-worth through a merit system that rewards the responsible borrowing of toys. Toy Loan targets lower-income communities, where children often lack access to basic skill-building toys, which are an essential part of a child’s development. 

We are accepting the following items:

New or gently-used books
New or gently-used, unbroken, complete toys (no violent themes, no play guns/knives)
New stuffed animals or dolls
Video games and consoles

Let's show our students the power of giving back (while cleaning out those closets and toy bins)! Collection bins will be located in the office and the library.


The Open School’s Holiday program will be at 8:45am, 11:00am, & 1:10pm on Wednesday, December 18th.  The last performance will be the shortest as it does not include choir or the orchestra. On this day, please have your child wear an outfit with dark bottoms and solid (as little writing or designs as possible), bright, jewel-toned tops. (Do your best to approximate it – no need to buy new clothes!)


Orange Cluster will have a fun Winter Party on Fri., Dec 20th from 9 – 10:15am. Come on by! If you would like to help, please look for an email/ SignUp Genius coming soon.  


On Tuesday, February 25th, we will have our annual Open Culture 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, cornucopias, 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)!



• READER’S WORKSHOP: We hope you are noticing an increased level of enjoyment of reading in your child we sure are seeing it in school! After the Thanksgiving break, we’ve continued to work on the tricky skill of identifying the main idea and details of a nonfiction article. We still need to review how to synthesize all the information and pull out the most important part. We’ve discussed looking at the title and subheadings for clues and asking ourselves, “What does the author want us to know after reading this article?” Then we identify the details and determine whether all the specific facts fit under that main idea. We are making progress but we need more practice. When we get back in January, we are going to begin our unit on characters.

• WRITER’S WORKSHOP: The students are finishing their personal narratives. Once the final draft is complete, they will then turn their story into a book. It will be on display at our cultural museum at the end of the year. Next in Writer’s Workshop, the class will be comparing their life to that of an ancestor’s. They will interview a grandparent or great aunt or uncle to learn about their lives as second or third graders. Once the interview is complete, they will then compare how their life is similar to and different from their relative. We will need your support for this project. We will send more information after Winter Break.

• SCIENCE/SOCIAL STUDIES: We are in the midst of our science units! The Patriots and Diplomats are learning the physics of nature. So far they’ve experimented with the forces of gravity, balance, air resistance and most recently motion. Next week we’ll continue with rolling and then we’ll move into sound and vibration. In the afternoons on the last week before winter break and the first week back in January, we’ll begin to build cultural toys incorporating these principles of physics. I will need lots of hands! If you like working with kids and building with recycled materials, I’d love your help! I’ll send an email out the week prior with specific times and dates.   

The Ambassador and Envoys are studying earth materials. So far, they have compared the earth’s structure to an apple and a rock to a cookie. They are learning different tests geologists use to identify different minerals and rocks.

• HOMEWORK: If you are checking over your child’s homework, please look for the following: complete sentences and correct spelling of all words that are printed on the paper and any Word Wall Words (flashcards A – E) that have been sent home. These are “must haves” in all our writing now. Hopefully, the Word Wall cards are kept in a convenient location during homework time and studied on a regular basis. Keep an eye out for more words!

• MATH: In math, we’re continuing with our Trades, Jumps, and Stops unit laying the foundation for early algebra skills. The students have been evaluating and making equivalent expressions. They are using the commutative and associative properties (although they won’t call it this), “canceling,” substitution and compensation strategies to understand equivalence. Next we’ll use the double number line to evaluate equivalent expressions. 

• We continue to work on our Ages and Timelines unit. They have learned about a boy, Carlos, and his family. They were tasked to figure out how old the various family members were when Carlos was born and in how many years it will take for Carlos to be the same as his family members. They started to see patterns and understand the connection between addition and subtraction. They also saw that no matter the age of each person, the differences between their age and Carlos’ would always remain the same. This is an important big idea for the class to understand.

• At conferences, the subject of math packets came up a couple of times. To clarify, we work on skill-based math packets (based on a child’s performance on a skill inventory) once a week in class. On Mondays, between recess and lunch, the children work in their math packets as well as meet individually with the teacher, practice facts and are assessed on their fact knowledge. If your child (or you), would like to spend more time working in their math packets, they may! They may bring them home any or every day to do more work. However, each page must be checked and initialed by an adult (to make sure they aren’t going on when they don’t understand something) and the packet must be returned to class the next day. It cannot stay at home.

• Please continue to work on ST Math at home. If you want to finish the year curriculum by May and get to the fun challenge levels, you should be close to 50% through the curriculum by the time we get back from winter break. Take advantage of your 3 weeks at winter break to get ahead! As one student says, “Can I do more?” Yes, absolutely!

The website below has games for practicing the math facts.

Here are a few apps that may be fun as well: Sushi Monster, Timez Attack (multiplication), and Math vs. Zombies

Expiration Date: 
Jul 31