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Holly Scott Locker
2/16/17 4:42 PM
8/11/16 8:55 PM
8/8/16 6:52 PM
8/11/16 11:31 AM
2/16/17 4:44 PM
8/11/16 7:48 PM

Holly Scott

Welcome to Room 410!

WELCOME TO ROOM 410!                                                                                            

We hope you had a wonderful summer.

To begin our year, we would like to share a bit about ourselves as well as get some information from you about your children.

(If you would rather not read my rather wordy intro, please skip down to the note asking for information about your children. This is what is most important.)


Holly Scott and Deborah Christman


                                                                                                                                                                              August 15, 2018

Dear Parents,

Welcome to room 410. My name is Holly Scott and I will be your child’s teacher this year along with Deborah Christman. I have known Deborah for 15 years and am thrilled we can have this opportunity to team teach. The purpose of this note is to share with you a little about myself, our teaching, and also to request some information about your child. Some of you already know me, so forgive me for repeating certain information in this letter, but there are a few new things here, so I invite you to read on.


I can’t believe this is my fifteenth year teaching at Montair. Before teaching, I had a career as a pastry chef in New York, and at the Skywalker Ranch and Chez Panisse in California. Before that, many years ago, I was a banker on Wall Street and walked the Brooklyn Bridge every day to work. I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, went to college in Maine, lived and studied in Paris, and now live in Berkeley. I have two wonderful daughters, Emma, 26, and Harper, 23. Emma is in her second year of architectural graduate school, and Harper works in the art world in New York.


I have come to teaching, not only because I love children, but because I have a passion for learning and a curiosity in the world and how it functions. I come with energy, excitement, determination, patience and respect.  It is my intention to model these qualities to the children as I feel they are the qualities of a strong learner.


Above all, our goal is to support your children in becoming open-minded active thinkers, not passive receivers of information. This year we will be supporting them to become aware of HOW they think as learners not just WHAT they think. Beyond teaching the required skills and standards of fifth grade in language arts, mathematics, social studies and science, it is our goal to help your children become critical, creative and reflective thinkers in all areas.  To deepen and broaden their understanding in all subjects, we will provide them with tools to help them:


Slow down

look closely

ask questions

analyze problems

consider different viewpoints

build explanations and support them with evidence

capture the heart of a topic

construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others

uncover the complexity of issues

and take action in ways they can.


Also, at the heart of our work, is the belief that students need to develop a sense of citizenship. In class meetings, some of the questions we will explore are: What does it means to be a citizen? What is our responsibility to ourselves, to our community and to our world? What is a democracy? How can we create a more democratic classroom where all voices are heard and valued?  What does it mean to do “good work,” and how do the 3 E’s (ethics, engagement and excellence) play a role in “good work?”


Children need skills that are not only about personal achievement.  This is an important age for instilling character values. Ten and eleven year olds gain self-esteem and confidence from being contributing members of a community. In our classroom community they will continue to learn the value of collaboration, kindness and doing good deeds, as well as the satisfaction that comes with contribution, responsibility and agency.  It is my hope that through our community the children will develop a broader sense of themselves and their social capabilities, and that they will learn that social responsibility is just as important as personal achievement.


For the last five summers I have attended summer institutes at Project Zero. Project Zero is a research organization housed at Harvard’s Graduate School of education. Almost 50 years old it is recognized for its work on thinking and learning, creativity, and ethics across many disciplines. I just completed a two year fellowship where I have been doing action research with the students (inspired by Project Zero professors). If you are interested in hearing more, I would love to share the research that has inspired my teaching practice.


As you all know, Montair has made a commitment regarding technology. Each fifth grade student will have an electronic device to use in the classroom this year. The purpose of these is to enhance, or add to the education of our children. We are seeing that these devices can be a tool that, when used thoughtfully, can help students deepen understanding, engage more fully in the curriculum, access valuable sources, express themselves creatively, and collaborate with their peers locally and globally.  There will also be an emphasis on navigating and evaluating sites, internet safety and digital citizenship.  


Technology is here to stay and can add a lot to the educational experience. Yet we also know our children learn in many different ways.  They have many developmental needs at this age and need to learn different types of skills (that are not on the computer). It is important you know that the emphasis in the classroom will always be on developing passionate readers and writers, critical thinkers, creative problem solvers, collaborative workers, and compassionate community members. Our children benefit from being exposed to the world around them, and we try to provide them with an academic curriculum that is balanced and supported by technology, field trips, the visual arts, music, theater and sports.


Fifth grade is a busy year, and we expect much from your children academically and socially. We hope to work with you and them to achieve just the right balance of support and autonomy that will ensure success for your child. We would like to encourage you to come to us with any questions or observations you have about your child regarding what is happening in class. 


We have a sincere interest in getting to know each individual child. We believe good teaching involves getting to know your children well so that we can build an academic environment that suits their specific learning needs.  Any information you can give us about your child regarding interest, strengths, areas needing strengthening, personal learning style, and social skills would be a tremendous help. If there are circumstances in your home that may affect your child’s work and social life at school, it is especially important that we know about them. Of course all information about your child will be held confidentially. I have attached a list of questions for you to use if you would like.  If you can, please write me a letter or e-mail and send it to me by the end of the week.


We look forward to seeing you at Back To School Night on Thursday, August 16, at 6:00, in the classroom (410). There, we will share information about the class curriculum, field trips, and other special events. Please come ready to sign permission slips!


That same night, from 6:00 to 7:00 in the MPR, There will be a presentation given by Exploring New Horizons Outdoor School. They will provide information as well as answer questions about the outdoor school program.

If you have any questions prior to the evening or throughout the year, please feel free to email me at or . I will respond to my personal email more promptly than the school email. Deborah Christman’s email is




Holly Scott



Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year.  My name is Deborah Christman, and I am the .20 (one day a week, more or less) job share with my friend Holly Scott. I am looking forward to working with your child. Fifth grade has such a great curriculum and fifth graders have so much to say. Plus…they get my jokes.


I have taught since 1975 in three different districts.  Every year I learn new things to improve my skill set, and the class “personality” is never the same.  Consequently, I have never been bored. Exhausted, yes. Bored, never.


I retired a few years ago, but I kept volunteering to help kids garden, subbing and job-sharing the ATP class last year. When Ms. Scott asked if I would like to do another job share, I didn’t need to think too long. She and I both have similar values about the tenor of a classroom – high expectations, civil behavior, strong relationships.  Importantly, we both enjoy a good sense of humor.  I think it will be a good partnership that will add value to the school year for your child.


Personally, I have three kids, three degrees, and three certificates, but only one amazing husband. I have three major interests too: landscapes/gardening; sewing; and art.  


I am looking forward to meeting your child next week. Normally, I will teach on Mondays, but this week I will meet the class on Monday and then teach on Friday. The schedule will vary as the holidays sometimes land on Mondays and as our lives take surprising turns. There is a three-week period where I will be back east in October. Other than that, it will be Mondays and subbing for Ms. Scott when needed.


I look forward to meeting all of you!




Deborah Christman




Letter About Your Child Questions


When you write your email or letter to me, please include the following:

I prefer email, but handwritten is fine.,


1. Name of child


2.  As your child enters fifth grade what would you say his/her strengths are?

     Hobbies and interests as well


3.  In what areas would extra support, encouragement or guidance help your children?


4.  How would you describe your child’s work habits and organizational skills?


5.  Please add any special concerns-academic, social or personal-you would like to tell me or remind me of.


Current Assignments

Math: Practice Test , Module 5. p. 115-116

We are nearing the end of this module. Think hard about each question on the lesson homework and the practice test. We have only two lessons to go and then you will take the test. 

Assigned: 01/14/19 Category: Assignment Points: 0 Due: 01/28/19

Argument and advocacy- The Great Debate January 28!

Find some more juicy bits of evidence and "unpack" them (explain why this fact is important to your thesis) for the debate. 

Assigned: 01/14/19 Category: Assignment Points: 0 Due: 01/28/19