Category Archives: Brisbin Crew

Welcome Brisbin Crew 2015!

Welcome to a new school year, Crew! Meeting our new team this week was so exciting; we conducted many team building activities, explored topics in math and expedition content, and began establishing our Crew norms. Students are energized and ready to learn, as well as begin building the strong foundation a Crew requires. Our future’s so bright!
Gold Dust and Gunsmoke Expedition:

This week we kicked off our Building Background Knowledge portion of the expedition by going on fieldwork that recreated the 3 routes prospectors took during the Gold Rush period. Students “struck gold,” dealt with fate cards, and began watching Charlie Chaplin’s “The Gold Rush” movie (which was filmed on Donner Pass!). Students have read and discussed primary documents from the onset of the gold rush to pique their interest in the expedition, and will participate in specific protocols to help them dissect the text and analyze the influence of these documents on the prospectors and their communities.


Students have begun to read By the Great Horn Spoon in a book club setting, and will embark on a new syllable study that includes words from the text to help them learn to decode and spell longer, more complex vocabulary. Students will bring these words home for two weeks, practicing the closed syllable rule in activities and work work activities, then be assessed on them. Students will also participate in a Book Tasting in which they will explore our crew library, and select a Good Fit Book in which they will write a formal Book Review. This book review will be presented in a Author’s Forum in October.

We are developing our Crew norms for writing and participating in writer’s workshops currently. Students have written in their Poetry Pensive during Sacred Writing Time, in narrative format, and have also shared their knowledge of structured paragraph writing. Our first formal written piece will be an informational piece on the 3 Navigational Routes.


Students are learning their math norms in their grade level crews, and have taken a pre-assessment on Unit 1. Students in both crews practice their numerical fluency by doing Mad Math Minutes each day before Number Corner (4th) and Problem of the Week (5). In learning the Cornell note-taking structure on a daily basis, students also gain a broader understanding of the concepts necessary for mastering upper elementary math.


The team building we have done thus far has shown a very strong sense of respect and empathy in this Crew. Ask them to share with you their favorite game! This week we will launch our HOW’s folders with the goal to achieve the HOW’s 100 by the next Progress Report.

Dates to Remember :

Strategic Plan Workshop: 9/10, 6pm – 7pm

Garden Party Work Day: 9/20, 9am – 1pm

Garden Party Work Day: 10/3, 9am – 1pm

SELS Summit Day: 10/16

Fall Family Photo Shoot: 10/17

Bear Walk (a-thon): 10/30

Gratitude Evening: 11/13,
6pm – 7:30pm

Celebration of Learning: 12/17, 5:30pm – 7:30pm

Labor Day: 9/7
Teacher Training: 10/5
Veteran’s Day: 11/11
Thanksgiving: 11/23 – 11/27
Winter Break: 12/21 – 1/1

11/2 – 11/6

PTC: 9/8 @ 2pm
Board: 9/14 @ 6pm
PTC: 9/29 @ 2pm
Board: 10/5 @ 6pm
PTC: 10/27 @ 2pm
Board: 11/2 @ 6pm
PTC: 11/17 @ 2pm
Board: 12/7 @ 6pm
PTC: 12/15 @ 2pm

Happy Fall!


Julie Brisbin

Drumroll, please…..Introducing, the Biosphere! Brisbin Crew News

And just like that, the Brisbin Crew slam-dunks their case study 1 book project; copies currently processing and will be issued to our class once in print.  Just ask your mighty crew member how much fun they had making these- their explanation will be accompanied by a smile.

You might just ask, well, what is their expedition about, Mrs. Brisbin?  I digress… Many moons ago my original SELS mac bit the dust.  Therefore, all passwords that I so conveniently saved onto my computer were also gone with the wind, including my account info.  Our speedy, tech guru came to my rescue immediately, but, alas, the monthly newsletter was back-burnered countless times until it was shameful, blah, blah.   To put it concisely, I am sorry! I promise to calendar in my newsletter articles so that they are as dependable as a Tahoe winter…. Continue reading Drumroll, please…..Introducing, the Biosphere! Brisbin Crew News