October 30, 2016

 

October 30, 2016

 

Dear Parents,

 

Thank you to all the parents who helped at and contributed to our Fall Harvest Party. It was a great success and I know that the children loved every minute of it. When I returned from taking the children to the buses, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The entire room was back to normal, all clean and ready to go. Because of all your help, I even had energy to work out when I left. Yes, it takes a village! Now if we can all get through Monday, when they’re anticipating the candy and Tuesday, when they have consumed the candy, we’ll be all set to go.

 

And now my Wax Museum novel begins, the first chapter of many. Although it is only November, it is time to get ready for this fabulous event.  I know I talked about this fantastic project at Curriculum Night, but since some of you were not there, I would like to give you an overview of what is involved in seeing this project to fruition. I first heard about the Wax Museum when I was visiting my son in California. His friend, a fourth grade teacher showed me pictures of the Wax Museum that had just occurred in her room. I loved the concept and of course, my first thoughts were that six and seven year olds could never undertake such a project. Well, I thought and thought about it and being one to never under estimate my students, I decided to go ahead with it., with a little trepidation have to say that it was probably the most exciting project I have ever done in all my years of teaching. So now the Wax Museum is a mainstay of my curriculum. 

 

Beginning on Monday, November 7th I am asking each parent to come to my class and help your child pick out a biography of a history maker. I will have two tubs of books in front of my room  so there will be lots to choose from. Your child may want to portray a famous person even if there is not a book in the tub about him/her. If that occurs, I will try to get the book from the media center or the family will need to go to the public library or use the internet. Keep in mind that this famous person has had to make an impact on history and not be a sports figure like Michael Jordan or an entertainer like Prince,  I will have a class list by the tubs so if I am not there, please write down your child’s selection. I will not lock my door this first week of selection, so if you are picking up your child from Minneapolis Kids and I have left for the day, please select the famous person, take the book and write the choice on the class list by the tubs which will be by my morning meeting table when you first enter the room.  Please have your child read this book about his/her favorite person or if the book is too difficult, I ask that you read it to your child. I will be sending home a report form home on Friday, November 11th  that needs to be filled out by Friday, November 18th. It asks for example “three important facts about this person”.  I will then give your child  two note cards and a copy of this form so that the information can be transferred onto the card for use during the program.  One of the note cards will be kept at home for practice and one will be kept in school so we can practice in the room. More information about the note cards will be given in a future letter. Please don’t return the book until all the projects involving the Wax Museum have been completed as you might need to refer to the book for other things in the future, such as costume.

 

Please keep in mind when selecting the book with your child  that the day of the performance, your child will be coming in costume as that famous person. Moreover, you and your child will need to select a frozen position or stance that is indicative of that person. So what will be performance look like, you ask? On Friday, January 13th your child will come to school dressed as his/her famous person. At about 9:20 we will be going down to the gym to get into position.  We will make a big square around the perimeter of the gym. The parents, grandparents, etc. will not be invited into the gym until every child is in his/her frozen position. When that occurs, the doors will be opened for you to view our Wax Museum. Each child will be wearing a button that says, “Push Here”. Once a child’s button is “pressed”, he/she will get out of the frozen position, tell about his/her character and then go right back into position. During the past, most of the children have memorized the information, but it is fine if your child would like to use a note card. We will be spending lots of time in December and the beginning of January practicing so that your child will be very comfortable telling about his/her selected person. I know that the Wax Museum will ‘blow you away”. The children put their whole hearts and souls into it and completely stay in character. They will not talk to the people pressing their buttons; they will only relate their information. You will be amazed. It is a performance that I am so proud of but one that will not work without your help. I am confident that all of my children will become their famous person on January 13h. If you have any questions, please e-mail me. If you and your child have definitely decided on the famous person that he/she will portray, you may e-mail me this information and I will record that name next to your child’s name on my class list.

 

Since each year I am always trying “to up my game” depending on the academic abilities of my students, a few years ago I decided that we will take our Wax Museum one step further. I would like your child (with your help of course) to make some kind of visual of your child’s famous person. This can be a tri fold poster with some pictures and information about the person. But there are other ways to represent this person. For example if your child is Georgia O’Keeffe, he/she  may choose to paint a picture in the style of the artist. If your child’s famous person is an inventor, he/she may choose to build a replica of this invention. If your child chooses Laura Engels Wilder she may decide to build a log cabin. I hope this doesn’t seem like an overwhelming task to you. I know that each of the children in my class are capable of doing a wonderful job on their projects. These projects will be exhibited in the gym the day of our Wax Museum so that the “whole world” can enjoy looking at them and learning from them.  

 

Just one more thing...The other day I was thinking of the selection process and I thought I would unofficially open up this process on Friday, 

November 4th. Since it is a work day for teachers, I will be in my room most of the time, so if you would like to come to school with your child and make the selection, this totally works for me.

 

So after hearing about all this “stuff”, I hope you aren’t too overwhelmed. Trust me I will be giving you more specific information about every step involved in this project. I just wanted to give you an overview of what is involved, so that you and your child can make a careful selection of the famous person. 

 

Since it is such a short week, we will not be having new spelling words. I will only be giving homework Tuesday night. I told the children that since I’m so kind and thoughtful (have to butter myself up), I will not be giving homework Monday night since I want them to have fun trick or treating. You wouldn’t believe the response. Many of them said they wanted homework and they could do it at dinner time. Did that touch my heart or what.

 

By now you must have drank an entire cup of coffee while reading Chapter One in the Wax Museum saga. Thank you for all your attention to the myriad of details.

 

Enjoy tomorrow night. I will be trick or treating with my two grandchildren who live here. Hopefully I won’t be too sugar high on Tuesday...that chocolate, so tempting.

 

Best,

Joyce