Happy Mother’s Day!  


Round 2 of MCAS begins this week!  Check Ms. Finnegan’s recent Connect Ed message for the grade-by-grade schedule of dates.  


This year, May is a month that keeps on giving!  We have just concluded a most successful Book Fair.  Many thanks to all of the parent volunteers who helped Ms. Gallo-Toth throughout the week!


As mentioned last week, this year’s Music and Arts Week (May 23-27) will have a new twist.  We will be having professional artist Bren Bataclan be our “artist-in-residence” here at Runkle, where he will be working with students and producing a pair of murals in different parts of our school.   Bren is perhaps best known for his “Smile Movement,” which is dedicated to “spreading kindness and connecting people of diverse cultures and backgrounds through the serendipity of art.”  Take some time to learn more about Bren by visiting his website www.brenbataclan.com (http://www NULL.brenbataclan NULL.com).  This week and next, our Student Council and Bullying Prevention Coordinating Committee will be working together to develop an overriding theme for our murals.  On Monday, May 23, each of our grade clusters (K-2, 3-5, 6-8) will have their own meeting times with Bren, who will share his work, philosophy, and artistic technique.  He will then meet with a smaller group of students in the afternoon (approx 5 per grade, 45 in all) and will incorporate those students’ drawings into his work.  (Interested students will put their names in a hat and we will randomly draw 5 names per grade.)  Bren will then spend the remainder of the week, during school hours, sketching out and painting the murals.  Many thanks to the PTO for their help in making this happen!
Before Music and Arts Week, we have Math and Science Night this Friday!  On a related note, I recently tweeted out a fantastic article from a recent New York Times Magazine article entitled “The Minecraft Generation,” which describes the unbridled, ‘natural’ learning opportunities inherent in this experiential game.  The article gibed with many of my own beliefs of what a learning environment should look like.  The article describes Minecraft as “a world of trial-and-error and constant discovery, stuffed with byzantine secrets, obscure text commands and hidden recipes…Minecraft encourages kids to get under the hood, break things, fix them…It invites them to tinker.”  For those of you not yet following us on Twitter (@RunkleSchool), here is a link to the article:  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/17/magazine/the-minecraft-generation.html?_r=0 (http://www NULL.nytimes NULL.com/2016/04/17/magazine/the-minecraft-generation NULL.html?_r=0) 

Jim Stoddard

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