Principal's Desk

Burr Elementary School

February 7, 2020

Dear Burr Families,

We had a great One Book, One School kickoff assembly on Monday. The book we are reading this year is called A Boy Called Bat by Elaina Arnold. For Monday, February 10th, we would ask that you read chapters 6 and 7 with your children this weekend. It's a great book, so snuggle up and enjoy it.

Students have already read chapters 1-5 in school this week. Before reading chapters 6 and 7, ask your children to retell and/or summarize the first five chapters of the book for you. Below are chapter 6 and 7 summaries, key vocabulary, and discussion questions. We would encourage you to talk about the book including the characters, problems, and themes in the story.

As part of our assembly, we introduced our school wide One Book, One School theme - You are made better by helping others. Also, the main character in the story is autistic. Each class talked a bit this week about autism and what it means.

Also, we would love to have a photograph of you and your child reading the book at home. Please send in photos to the office, and we will hang them up as part of a PTA bulletin board celebrating the book.

Chapter 6 - Skunk Lunch

In this chapter, Bat learns all about feeding the baby skunk. He even gets a chance to do it himself. Bat quickly falls in love with the baby skunk and makes a “silent promise that he’d figure out a way to keep him.”

Vocabulary: Formula p. 30/31, Syringe p. 31, Plunger p.33

Discussion Question: Explain what the author may want us to realize when she shares this thought that Bat is having: “ bothered Bat that he wasn’t invited, and that there wasn’t a house he was invited to visit that Janie didn’t get to go?”

Chapter 7 - Every-Other Fridays

Every other Friday, Bat and Janie spend the weekend at his dad’s apartment. Bat usually feels uncomfortable at his dad’s but this weekend, he is feeling even more so. He does not want to be separated from the baby skunk.

Vocabulary: Itchy p. 36, “Get all worked up” p. 37, Vet tech p. 37

Discussion Question: The author uses some language like, “itchy,” and “like my skin’s on too tight,” to describe how Bat feels about Every-Other Fridays. Talk about how those words describe Bat’s feelings.

February kicks off our one month Kindness Challenge. This week students brought home a Kindness Challenge form to complete. It's filled with twelve fun challenges that promote kindness. Please encourage your child to complete it and return it to the office by February 28th. There are directions on the top of it - which include students having their teacher or parent sign off on each challenge as they get completed. We will hold a special drawing at the end of February for students who turn in completed forms. Here is a link to the form. (Your child also brought one home in hard copy.) Kindness Challenge

Have a great weekend!


Writing work

Current and Upcoming Writing Units of Study

K- Writing for Readers

1- Writing Narrative Fiction

2- Writing Narrative Nonfiction

3- Changing the World - Opinion Writing

4-Literary Essay (Argument Writing)

5- Memoir

Branches - We are looking for a parent to help us put together our Branches Literary Magazine this year. Every year, students in grades 3-5 submit a favorite piece of writing to be published in Branches. The PTA then publishes this writing as part of a school wide literary magazine that also includes art work. It is truly a gift and a wonderful showcase for our student's writing. The magazine (it's more like a book) is distributed to students and teachers in grades 3-5 in late May/June.

You do not need to be a writer or editor to help us. In fact, the skills that would be most helpful is someone strong at design and layout. We could even have some of our students work with you to help design the layout of the magazine. If you are interested, please e-mail me at This is a great opportunity to support our school.

Family Handbook

I have included a link to our family handbook. It contains practical information about our school as well as links to many district resources.

2019-2020 Family Handbook

lost and found

Please have your child claim their clothes. Every 6-8 weeks, we donate what's left to Goodwill and/or shelters. I would also suggest discussing taking care of clothes with your children. It's a good opportunity to talk about responsibility, and your expectations for how they manage their belongings. In elementary school, students should be responsible for getting their clothes to and from home to school.

Behavior handbook

Below is a link to our Behavior handbook. Please reference it for more information about our expectations for students at school.

Behavior Handbook 2019-2020

Upcoming Dates

Tuesday, February 11 - Grade 5 Winter Orchestra and Chorus Concert - 7:00 PM

Thursday, February 13 - Early Dismissal at 1:40

Thursday, February 13 - STAR Reports Available in Infinite Campus

Friday, February 14 and Monday, February 17 - No School, President's Weekend