National Liberty Museum

212 visited the National Liberty Museum to deepen our understanding of discrimination. We were inspired by global and everyday heroes and upstanders, and contemplated how discrimination and freedom are connected. When looking at the beautiful Chihuly flame, 212 recognized that glass is a wonderful metaphor for liberty- both are fragile and need to be cared for!
This month, we are inviting several community partners to come in and expand our understanding of discrimination. Stay tuned!

Happenings in 212

Watching the light bulbs go off (literally and figuratively) make it an exciting time to be in 212!

We began our circuit investigation in science. Within 15 minutes, every group figured out how to light a light bulb with wires and a D cell. Tomorrow we will debrief and figure out what exactly was happening during the investigation.

We are sharing stories of rad American women during morning meeting.

We started a new read aloud called The Boy in the Back of the Class, a story about a refugee boy living in England.

Ask your children to share with you their realistic fiction writing pieces. 212 has spent the last month living with their characters and we are preparing to publish this week!

Today we created a human number line and graphed equivalent fractions. These mathematicians are mastering comparing and ordering fractions!

Have a great weekend!

Happenings in 212

What a great week!

We met with our kindergarten buddies and exchanged Valentine’s. We were so impressed with hearing our buddies read so beautifully! It is such a joy watching these relationships grow! We also created cards for one another. Every student wrote down the positive ways each student contributes to our class. I am continually amazed by the community these kids create with one another 🙂
We showed off our conceptual understanding of fractions with candy hearts, and analyzed the poem “What If There Were No Black People?” in ELA. The students are building upon Mauricette’s poem by adding additional stanzas. We also watched the brilliant short film Hair Love.

Have a wonderful long weekend!

Visit from Inspector Johnson

Every year, we invite community partners in to help us learn more about our service learning topic. Last week, Inspector Johnson, Officer Halle and Officer Simpson from the Philadelphia Police Department came in to share their experiences with discrimination.
The kids were interested in learning about the root causes of discrimination. Officer Simpson told us that not understanding culture of communities is one cause of discrimination in the police department. Inspector Johnson shared how the Philadelphia Police Department is engaging its officers in anti- bias training to address this. Inspector Johnson also shared his personal experiences with discrimination growing up as a black boy in West Philadelphia. We were all very inspired by their stories and happy to gain a new lens when thinking about discrimination.

The kids were also very interested in learning how police dogs are trained, and what the different sounds a police car makes mean 🙂

Happenings in 212

Very exciting news… Ms. Sine, our amazing student teacher from West Chester University, is back for the Spring semester! We are so lucky to have her. She is an incredible educator! She led our electromagnetism experiment today. We are living by her mantra “the only difference between messing around and science is writing it down!”

Students have taken over leading Morning Meeting! Jasper was our first student leader. After a Spanish greeting and book share, he started our day off with a class favorite, silent ball.

212 started thinking about their first Genius Hour investigation. Ask your child what ideas they are exploring, and stay tuned for more self directed learning!

I look forward to catching up with families at conferences this week!

Ms. Merlini

Culinary Literacy Center/ Central Library Trip

We had a great trip to the Central Library on the Parkway! We visited the Music department where we considered the nostalgic elements of food and music while creating our own beats. (Did you know you can rent instruments from the Free Library for three weeks- just like a book. All you need is a library card!) We then headed to the Rare Books Department, where we learned about the fascinating history of making books. We spent the afternoon at the beautiful Culinary Literacy Center, and 212 prepared delicious vegetarian burritos we shares together at communal tables. Thank you so much to all the chaperones who joined us!



The students have chosen! The Great Debate

Today, students debated whether we should focus on bullying, racial profiling, anti-semitism, habitat destruction/poaching or homelessness for our service learning topic for the year. After weeks of preparation, the students were ready to convince the class that their issue was the one that needed our attention now.

I was moved by these scholars’ professionalism, research and presentations. They all used very effective and powerful persuasive techniques! Some groups appealed to emotions by using pictures of hurt animals, while others used startling statistics, such as how many kids are homeless in Philadelphia. I am sure if someone walked in, they would not believe they were only in a 4th grade classroom 🙂

The debaters made connections, and discovered a common theme of discrimination ran through many of the topics. After compromises were made, we were able to get 100 percent consensus around the topic of discrimination!

Looking forward to diving deep into this issue this year.

Peace Week

212 joined people in cities, communities, and villages worldwide by celebrating International Day of Peace (September 21) in diverse and meaningful ways throughout the month of September. We created a peace table in our Zen Den, a space used by the children to encourage conflict resolution through peaceful and respectful communication. When used for conflict resolution, it encourages children to talk about what’s on their mind and gives them a specific place and method to achieve an agreeable solution. Shout out to Ms. Poulos, the counselor, who came in to speak with us about the Peace Corner and for some awesome role playing. We also had our first Restorative Peace Circle, which is like an extended morning meeting. The goal is to build a safe, strong, and positive class community where everyone feels welcome and ready to learn.
We listened to a presentation on the science of kindness, and had a special visit from Ms. Hantman, who gave a thought provoking presentation on “Resisting the Reactive!” As a closure, we created Peace poems and pictures of what peace means to us to decorate our Zen Den.
Our classroom community is growing strong- a place where lots of deep learning will happen!

First Week in 212

We are off to a wonderful start in 212! This week, the class created “Our Ways of Being” and articulated goals for the year. We began getting to know one another and creating our community!

Today, the students took part in a STEAM challenge: The Marshmallow Project. They had the opportunity to experience what it’s like to build together. Students had to synthesize what they learned quickly to create new designs, and demonstrate resilience in the face of challenges!

Check out photos of this along with the kids experimenting with flexible seating and math games. Have a great weekend!


Hello! Ni Hao! Hola! Bonjour!

Dear 4th Grade Families,

Welcome to the 2019-20 school year! My name is Meg Merlini, and I am your child’s teacher for Fourth Grade. This will be my eighth year at McCall, and I couldn’t be more excited to start this journey with you!

Your child will engage in many new and exciting things this year! My mission is to create a welcoming environment and to provide high-quality instruction so that your child can grow academically, socially and emotionally.

Please check out the ABCs of 212. Take some time to go over these school policies and procedures (more information will given at Back-to-School Night.) I look forward to meeting you soon!

Sincerely,
Ms. Merlini
4th Grade Teacher
McCall School
mmerlini@philasd.org
Mmerlini.edublogs.org
215-351-7350