An Interview with Ms. Carroll

Dear Families,

For this week’s newsletter, Oak and Anand interviewed Ms. Carroll, our school district’s English Language Specialist. Ms. Carroll coteaches with me for about 45 minutes every afternoon during reading and writing. Before we get to their interview though, I wanted to offer some important reminders:

  • Thursday 12/20 is the last day of school before Winter Break! School will resume on Monday 1/7.
  • Our Ugly Sweater competition is set for Wednesday. Students are encouraged to wear an ugly sweater! They don’t have to, but it’ll certainly be entertaining.
  • Next Tuesday is the last day to bring in any donations of nonperishable food or supplies. These donations will go toward helping local families in need this holiday season.
  • You should have received your child’s progress report by now. The major theme in the reading comments was that students are not reading enough at home. In order to grow as a reader, strengthen literacy skills, and prepare for middle school, students must be reading at home!!!! Remember to fill out the reading log AND return them on Monday morning. These are sent home at the end of every week. You can also fill out the online reading log (bookmark this page).

Lastly, we began the second half of our nonfiction reading unit today. Students selected a topic that is of interest to them that they want to learn more about. Examples of some topics included LeBron James, Cleopatra, battleships, and hippopotamuses. We created our Action Research Plans for how we’re going to learn more about this topic, which doesn’t just involve reading. I’m going to use Chase’s Action Research Plan as an example. He is interested in learning more about Damian Lillard, a player on the Portland Trailblazers basketball team. To learn more about Damian Lillard, Chase plans to do the following:

  1. Watch Trailblazers game and write down observations on how Lillard moves and plays the game.
  2. Look at Lillard’s statistics on or and compare them
  3. Read a book about Damian Lillard
  4. Survey people about Trailblazers’ games
  5. Interview Mr. Wallace about Lillard/Trailblazers

Students are bringing home a copy of their Action Research Plan to keep at home. This plan is a “to do” list containing steps students will take to learn more about the topic. Keep in mind that this is a work in progress. It’s normal at this stage in the research planning for some ideas to be hard to achieve like travel to Mars, interview Cleopatra, call LeBron, or go to Nepal. Reading for 30 minutes is an expectation for students, and over the weekend their reading should focus on following through with one, two, or three bullet points on their Action Research Plan! Chase is already excited to watch tomorrow night’s Trailblazer game with his brother and dad and he plans to write down some notes on how Lillard moves and plays the game. Even though it’s watching a game, it’s gathering research and it’s very meaningful! Please ask to see your child’s Action Research Plan so you can help them follow through with this expectation.

And now, it’s time for Anand and Oak’s interview with Ms. Carroll. Enjoy!

We interviewed Miss Carroll because she’s amazing (obviously) and also because She’s been teaching for 10 years and encountered 30 languages. She teaches because if you have immigrated to America, you’re learning English. “Writing, speaking and reading are the areas that if you’re trying to learn a new language you’re going to have the most challenges in” Ms.carroll quotes. She is in the the wild world of Miss Collins’s class the most, she goes into Miss Collins class for writing and for a 15-minute chunk of her reading so she in there twice a day everyday. So miss Collins gets 60 minutes with the most fabulous teacher. Her favorite subject to teach is history or science because it is with these topics that you can do Reading, if it can be all-encompassing, or art you teach all of those things when you teach those two topics and they’re very engaging for kids.

The languages besides English that she hears the most are Romanian, Russian, Spanish. she like all the different classes for a variety of reasons so she doesn’t really have a favorite. They’re all so different at different ages that it’s impossible to have a favorite like it’s really fun to teach kindergarteners and first-graders because they’re so excited about everything. It’s really fun to teach at fourth and fifth grade because their content is more interesting and they can do a lot better and higher quality and quantity but sometimes they’re not as excited as most kindergarteners.

Enjoy your weekend,

Mr. B

Vocab of the Week: sour, drift, permanently, anthem