Category Archives: Seaborg Crew

MinBorg Crew Nov. 2015

Expedition: We’re chugging along (ha!) with the T.C.R.R. expedition. They’ve been working hard on multiple projects including, note-taking from non-fiction text, creating a timeline of the building of the Transcontinental Railroad, making an artistic diorama identifying the main events, and writing a letter from the perspective of the Chinese railroad worker. They are becoming serious experts about the T.C.R.R. Ask them to tell you all about it; they’re sure to impress!

After Thanksgiving break, we will be transitioning into writing and performing Chautauquas from some of the most influential people from the early railroad days. They will need your help practicing at home to prepare for Celebration of Learning. More info to come soon.

Questions to ask your child:
-What was it like for Chinese workers building the railroad?
-Who had the “Crazy Idea” and what was it?
-Do you think the RR workers were paid and treated fairly?

Crew News:

MinBorg Crew Reunites! Ms. Minczeski is back and thrilled to be at SELS Monday through Thursday mornings, and to be in the presence of the 2nd and 3rd graders. She has enjoyed seeing those familiar 3rd-grade faces and getting to know the 2nd graders. Thank you all for addressing emails to both crew leaders in the effort to keep both teachers up to date on all communication.

New Independent Study Routine: We now have independent study forms online to print from home! Hooray! If your child needs 1-2 days of I.S., we will direct you to our crew page on the SELS website. There you will find the three forms you need to print and complete at home. Of course, if you are unable to print at home we’d be happy to send it home when your child returns. If you are planning on missing multiple days, please check in with us and we’ll plan accordingly with you. Being a project based learning school means that many of the classroom assignments are worked on over multiple days. Your child may need to make up more than what is posted online when he or she returns. Thanks, Matt Pekarek and Sunmie Wasson, for getting this up and running online!

Library: We will be walking to the library every three weeks, including tomorrow afternoon. Please remind your child to bring their library books to school to renew or return. If your child’s account has any kind of fee, they will not be allowed to check any books out! Also, please do not send late fee money to school; It becomes a logistical nightmare. Thanks to Dawn Neustel, the Pakareks, and Nick McDaniel for walking with us!

Arts for the Schools: Both ⅔ crews will be walking over to Truckee High School this Friday to see our very own Megan, Maris and Dela perform in ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Sierra Nevada Dance. Please remind your child of proper etiquette at a performance; we will also be discussing this at school. We’ll be cheering for you girls! *We have some extra tickets if you’d like to join us from 9:15-11:30ish. Please email me directly. First come, first serve.

Harvest of the Month: Last month, Cassie Hebel came in and made a delicious rosemary potato dish. She playfully showed them how to make the yummy dish and discussed all of the benefits of eating potatoes. This week Yvette Durant-Bender is coming in for the students to taste pomegranate. Encourage your child to taste the new food each month.

Book Bags: Please help your child take inventory on their book bag every MONDAY NIGHT! That way, if a book is missing you will not be held responsible for it. Just send an email or note if something is not missing. Please do it again on THURSDAY NIGHT before returning to school. Remember, these bags are rotated through the whole class and if your child doesn’t return it, another child pays the price.

A big THANK YOU to our new classroom volunteers! We really appreciate the help. They’ve been helping with all sorts of things for us: working with small groups, copying, laminating, filing, etc. Thanks to Maria Snideman, Matt and Kirsten Pekarek, SunMie and Brian Wasson, and Dan and Sonja Martin.

Important Dates:
Thurs. 11/19: Walk to Library
Fri. 11/20: Walk to Truckee High for Ballet Performance
11/23-11/27: Thanksgiving Break- NO SCHOOL
Wed. 12/9: Minimum Day-1 pm Dismissal
Thurs. 12/17: Celebration of Learning 6-7:30
12/21-1/1: Winter Break

News & Updates from the Seaborg Crew



The Minborg Crew is crusin right along with our new “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” expedition. Although we have just scratched the surface, their knowledge on the topic is impressive. Already they can identify challenges that were faced when building the T.C.R.R. and how some of them were overcome.


Next week is very busy with fieldwork tightly focused on our expedition. Tuesday both 2/3 crews will be meeting an expert up at the Donner Summit snowsheds to discuss the construction of them and issues they faced while using them.

Then on Thursday morning we depart on the Amtrak from downtown Truckee for our overnight adventure to Sacramento. Instead of rehashing all of the important details, please refer to the purple packet that was sent home last week. IT IS OUTLINED WITH VERY IMPORTANT INFO. PLEASE READ CAREFULLY! If you need another copy please ask.   Additionally, if you are unable to drop your child off at he train station at 8:45 a.m. please coordinate with other 2/3 families or me. I’d be happy to pick students up if needed.

On FW days, please remember:

  • Large sack lunch
  • Backpack
  • Water bottle
  • Good walking shoes
  • Layered clothing
  • SELS shirt (more coming soon if you need one!)

Expedition questions to ask your child:

  1. What were some of the obstacles faced when building the railroad?
  2. How did people get from coast to coast before the T.C.R.R. was built?
  3. How are you feeling about the upcoming overnight?

Crew News:

Family Homework: I hope you have enjoyed the show start to homework this year. The themed book bags (a brand new collection purchased with grant money from Excellence in Education funds) are nearly ready.   Justine, Diane, multiple parents and I have spent hours preparing the bags to go home. Special thanks to: Amanda Smith, Shauna Ronzone, Nikki Dean and Carrie Hunter for helping create engaging activities to accompany the books. Once we are in the routine of book bags, Justine and I will start sending reading strategy tasks to reinforce what we are working on in the classroom. Each bag will have a binder with an overview of the book bag system and activity instructions.   If a question about book bags arises, please ask! We are still working out kinks, as it is a fairly new system.

*If we have a parent who likes to sew, we have a few bags that need minor repairs! No sewing machine necessary. Let me know!


Still waiting for a few to fill in the contact info: 2015-2016 MinBorg Conact Info

Please Help your child remember to put their name on homework, etc. Our “No Name Board” is overflowing and I don’t have time to be a handwriting detective! 😉

Important Dates:


  • Garden Party Work Day: 10/3, 9am-1pm
  • No School : 10/5
  • Donner Summit FW-10/6, 9:30-2:30
  • Amtrak to Sac./Overnight- 10/8-10/9
  • Fall Family Dance: 10/9, 6pm-8pm
  • Fall Family Photo Shoot: 10/11, 9am-5pm @ Cottonwood
  • SELS Summit Day: 10/16
  • Bear Walk (a-thon): 10/30
  • Gratitude Evening: 11/13, 6pm-8pm
  • Celebration of Learning: 12/17, 5:30pm-7:30pm

Veteran’s Day: 11/11
Thanksgiving: 11/23-11/27
Winter Break: 12/21-1/1