Category Archives: Brisbin Crew

Brisbin Crew News-November 1

Happy November 1st!  

Thank you to all who attended and contributed to the Bear Walk- it was a huge success.  Envelopes are coming in with the hard-earned money students raised for their Crews by walking around our track.  In the Brisbin Crew alone we have collected $200.00 already!  Students had a great time coming up with a wish list for their classroom and the items they requested will be purchased as soon as grand totals are released.  Thank you again for your efforts.

Students are wrapping up the first case study,  The Adventurers this week.  Building a tri-fold brochure as their project final, students are following a project proposal complete with learning targets that measure their learning.  In the brochure, students are expected to meet the learning target “I can describe various routes prospectors took when  migrating to California,” by researching the three routes and writing an informational piece based on their research.  Included in the brochure is a map of California that indicates mining sites, area of the “Mother Lode,” Sacramento, San Francisco, and Coloma.  Students also are researching the reasoning and motives behind why Prospectors took the routes they did (their second learning target) by choosing an opinion piece from a menu.  To cover learning our state facts, students are also creating a page on California State facts and the American River.  
At the completion of the brochure, students will then kick off the next case study:  ‘The Outliers,” in which we will analyze key figures from the Gold Rush time period who capitalized on the prospectors themselves.  

Daily 3:
Students are continuing their work with the Daily 3 by Working on Writing, Spelling and Word Word, and Reading to Themselves.  Conferencing happens in a regular basis in both classrooms, and our Reading Specialists and ELD Specialists, as well as our RSP Support come in regularly.  Our Reader’s Workshop allows students to use anchor texts as models in learning their reading strategies.  If you ask your student which strategy they are working on, they can explain in detail how they use these strategies to help them become a better reader.  Students also participate in a Writer’s Workshop in which they use anchor texts and Author’s Chair, as well as the Peer Review model to hone in their writing skills.  Spelling words are assigned every other week, and the assessment happens every other Friday.  Please note that the root of the word provided will be or can be changed (via suffix or prefix, singular or plural) on the assessment to determine a students fluency and familiarity of the word.  Students in the Brisbin Crew are working on daily conventions and grammar in their one-inch binder, and are also continuing their proficiency in grammar/ conventions by participating in a weekly Conventions Workshop.

5th Graders are exploring the connections between math and art this week by analyzing paintings, woven pieces, music, and poetry exemplars.  We are also learning how apply appropriate strategies in solving multiplication problems- whether to use the standard algorithm or the array model.  Students continue to do a daily Mad Math Minute, Daily Sponge, Daily Cornell Notes to support their lesson, and homework.  Generally, on Fridays we take a mini-assessment to track their learning.  

Our design principle the month is Service and Compassion.  It is vital to our character program to ensure that our students understand that doing good for others with no return builds strong character.  Doing something for the betterment of the community is a positive for all.  Please try to ensure your child practices these actions at home and in the greater Truckee community.  


Brisbin Crew News May 14, 2013


The Brisbin Crew is working hard on their second Case Study:  The Asian Clam Invasion.  Students are exploring the impacts of Corbicula fluminea on the Lake Tahoe ecosystem through research of the periodic table (specifically nitrogen and phosphorous), and learning about the functions and systems of the asian clam.  Working on their final product, a play titled “Pirates of the Big Blue:  Greenbeard’s Curse,” students are integrating their knowledge through written pieces and art throughout the production.  Currently, students are creating an advertisement and information page to construct a life-size periodic table to be posted outside the classroom. Also, students will kick off a mini poetry examination by writing their own poem and designing a collage.  


Students are still following the Daily 5 structure after testing, and will have a final DRA and/or Progress Monitoring assessment by the end of the year.  During the Daily 5, students choose a good fit book and respond to their reading in their ISN’s.  Also, the Brisbin Crew has been examining figurative language by crafting a “Metaphor of the Week” which is assessed and graded.  Exemplars are placed on the Metaphor of the Week board to share with others.  Ms. Lobo has come in and is working on a P.E.O.P.L.E project with our crew by tracing their profile and painting with watercolor.  Students will then add their own life “maxim” or metaphor to the piece.  They are looking spectacular!


Students will wrap up their hard preparation for Star Testing by taking their state tests in math this week.  Afterwards, students in 5th grade will wrap up their Positive and Negative Integer project.  The final units of study for 5th graders will be on Probability, and a mini case-study on music and math titled “MathMusicians.”


5th grade students are preparing for their big Passages presentation to be held on June 11 and 12.  The 5th graders present on 3 exemplars from math, language arts, and expedition, and explain the process by which they completed these assignments.  This is a wonderful celebration of learning, and parents are encouraged to attend.

Dates to Remember:

May 20- fieldwork – climbing and water testing

May 24- McIver Dairy event and unveiling of our interpretive sign!

May 27- Memorial Day- no school

June 6- Celebration of Learning

June 10-June 11- Climbing fieldwork overnight

June 11-12- Passages