Urban Prairie Waldorf School
Ms. Cather's Class
Weekly Update - November 22, 2019

We just concluded a really lovely Festival of Thanks assembly as a school! The 6th graders created a verse about how they are thankful for the Sun and shared it by reading in groups:

Your warmth gives us life and rules the four seasons: summer, autumn, winter, and spring. You illuminate our days and paint brilliant phases on the moon during our dark nights. You feed the trees and plants, which feed us all.We give thanks for our star, the Sun. Now our minds are one!

We sang together as well and watched the fourth graders’ play, “Stone Soup.” It was a wonderful way to send everyone off for the Thanksgiving holiday week!

At today’s shared meal, we enjoyed some lentil-vegetable soup and cornbread–made with the ingredients that everyone brought in (thank you!)– and had some time of togetherness with our color teams. The tables were adorned with the beautiful name plates that the 6th graders made. It was hard work, but we learned to work together and divide up the tasks so that we could finish the name plates on time.

Upcoming: Conferences!

I am so looking forward to our conversations at Parent-Teacher Conferences next week! Thank you all for signing up for time slots, and for making alternate arrangements if you can’t be there.
This year, as your 6th graders are now middle-schoolers, I invite them to come and be a part of the conversation!
Here’s how it will work:
1. We will have our regular, “adults-only” conference for for first 20 minutes of our scheduled time. Please consider the following guiding questions for our conversation:
  • What are a few great things you have been noticing about your child?
  • What do you perceive as the biggest challenges at home & at school right now?
  • What are your hopes for your child this year?
2. Then, for the last 10 minutes, we will invite your 6th grader into the room. I have asked them to be thinking about and ready to answer the following questions:
  • What is going well for you right now? What are you proud of this year so far?
  • What are some challenges you are experiencing?
  • What help and support do you need from the adults in your life right now?
  • What are your goals for this year?
If your child will not be able to be there in person due to arrangements that have already been made, then I understand.  However, if your child is able to come along, then please bring them! I think this will be an excellent opportunity to involve them in the conversation and invite their feedback as well.  I have prepped them for this, and assured them that there is nothing to be afraid of. I kindly ask that all 6th graders be available for our Spring conferences.


Morning Lesson

This week we concluded our Business Math block by doing more work with percents, and learning the stories of different businesses. We listened to excerpts from the NPR podcast “How I Built It,” where various entrepreneurs are interviewed, such as the ones who brought us Five Guys, Burt’s Bees, Evite, Dave’s Killer Bread, and Dippin’ Dots. The 6th graders were really interested in their stories.

This week, we also practiced procedures for different percentage problems: percent increase and decrease, and determining the percent of two numbers. It was difficult for the students to keep these procedures straight, so we made bookwork pages for how to do certain types of problems, and we practiced, practiced, practiced! We carried this work into math skills classes as well.

We ended the week with a Practice Test on Thursday and the Block Test today.


Skills Classes

In Language Arts skills this week, we read from Hidden Figures and responded to the text in class discussions and in writing. The students continued to take notes for their Solar System projects, and started to plan out what would be in their Travel Brochures. We will continue to work on these when we return from the break.

In Math Skills, we reinforced our Morning Lesson work on percentage problems. We also did some logic puzzles, which really captivated the class.

I have not assigned homework for this break, as I strongly believe that this time should be spent with family. Enjoy this time!