Urban Prairie Waldorf School
Miss Avellone's Class
Weekly Update - September 6, 2019

Dear Fifth Grade family,

We’re off to a great start! Botany is our first topic of fifth grade. This past week they learned about the typical development of the archetypal plant, from seed back to seed. We discussed the various forces of soil, water, sun, and air needed to accomplish this, and the ways in which they work on the plant. They also learned the basic functions each part of the plant does to serve the whole. Fun science-y words from this week included cotyledon, calyx, photosynthesis, and conservatory. We have been working in the orchard every morning, caring for the trees. On Wednesday we also had our first Botany skills class, where each student observed and sketched a single leaf as accurately as possible. Botany is an amazing subject for fifth graders, with aspects showing up in other blocks through the entire year. You’ll hear more about how I’ll teach botany in the weeks and months to come.


Homework for this week (due next Thursday): Where the Mountain Meets the Moon – Chapters 3 and 4

As I mentioned in the email before school, there are outside-of-class reading expectations this year. I will be including the assignment in the weekly update every week. Though students sometimes may have an opportunity to read during the school day, it will mostly be an at-home task. It is great if students read independently. However, I also encourage you to have them read aloud to you once in awhile, even if it is just a paragraph. They have been told that if you ask them to read to you, they must say yes! For those who are still developing their reading skills, parents/guardians may help read. Perhaps you switch off, with the student reading a paragraph and then you reading a paragraph. Please help all students remember NOT to read past the assignment stopping point – no reading ahead!

Reminder to bring instruments for orchestra on Monday.


Our first expedition will be next Friday, September 12 to the Garfield Park Conservatory. Every student needs a Ventra card (if you load it with $20, you’ll be good for the year), packed snack and lunch, water bottle, and a backpack to carry all of that. Be on the lookout for a permission slips email from Sophie.

We need 3 chaperones to join us for the day (8:30-3:15). Please email me if you’re interested.


No Sweets: Please do not send any sweets, desserts, or juices in snacks and lunches. There is already added sugar hiding in many food items, and the extra sugar rush and crash does not provide the optimal learning environment. 

Room Parents: We still need at least one more room parent to join Bettina. Email me if you’re interested.

Community Connection Delegate: Our class needs one delegate to represent us with Community Connection (previously Parent Council). 


  • Picture Day, September 18.
  • Festival of Courage, Saturday, September 28, 3:00-6:00pm. The fifth grade are the dragon tamers in the pageant this year. Attendance is needed. Please arrive by 2:50. 
  • Adult Club – Parent/Guardian Evening, Thursday, October  3, 7:00pm **DATE CHANGE** We will mostly be previewing the year. If you have any subjects you’d like to discuss, please let me know.