APRIL 16, 2020
Dear Baker Families, 

In this remote celebration of Teacher Appreciation week, I have been thinking about this question: What is the DNA of Baker that is manifesting itself in the virtual context? Our mission to champion a progressive education has been distilled - and we are seeing amazing examples of meaningful, caring, experiential, connected learning as we round out our fourth week of e-Learning. Gratitude to our amazing, creative teachers who are doing this amazing work together with our students. 

Here are just a few things hanging in the e-learning hallways:

  • Preschool kiddos shared a video Show and Tell for their classmates. Some shared things they’ve built, others things they know how to do, and others shared special people (or pets) in their life! There is even a demonstration for how to ride a horse! 

  • First grade students have become ornithologists and are learning about how birds meet their needs to survive. Last week, they learned about the external body parts of birds and how bird's beaks have adapted to meet their needs. They are also becoming bird counters from their living room windows. Children have been inspired in their play to build nests or create bird feeders at home.

  • Second graders share their fables in a writing workshop with their classmates and teachers - taking their protocols for responding to student work virtually! Within each fable, a smaller creature helps a larger creature. In The Whale and the Shrimp, the tiny shrimp performs dentistry on the whale's sore tooth; in the Tiger and the Parakeet two birds help a hungry tiger by pecking through a nutshell.

  • Third graders have learned about the design process, building techniques, and also famous architects like Ray & Charles Eames, Julia Morgan and Frank Lloyd Wright. Today, they are learning about Landscape Architecture. Their final project will be to redesign a Chicago Bungalow, inside and out. See student work examples.

  • How to Bathe Your Tortoise is one of the fourth graders videos teaching a very important skill. The class is creating videos teaching their classmates how to do something (and showing their mastery of writing steps/directions). 

  • 5th graders are putting their study of fractions to good use! Each student found an entree & dessert and scaled the ingredient list to make exactly 2 servings for every family member. Many students then actually cooked their meals for their families.
  • Inspired by their discussions of Rules by Cynthia Lord in Language Arts, 5th graders are engaged in the design thinking process (empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test) to create new inventions or programming, building enhancements, and/or service projects to address the issues they identify related to disability & accessibility at Baker. 
  • Middle schoolers are all creating a Science Show (think Bill Nye the Science Guy) as a way to share out their science learnings about their chosen area of science inquiry. Stay tuned for the viewing date! 

  • The 8th graders have been working on creating resumes for Chris McCandless from Into the Wild. Using the FlipGrid platform, which allows students to respond to a video by creating their own video, Mr. Bingaman is asking students an interview question as if they are actually Chris McCandless applying for the position they are seeking. Check out Mr. Bingaman’s video here

And that is just the half of it. More amazing details to come. We’ll plan to keep you updated on the ways that the Baker curriculum is manifesting during e-learning days. 

Be well, 
Carly Andrews
Head of School
Baker Partners with Northwestern's DTC Students
Northwestern students taking the Design Thinking and Communication (DTC) course are currently working on a prototype of a Mobile Cart for Making & Designing for Baker students. This group of students is working on this project remotely and Zoomed into the project launch call from China, Taiwan, Ohio, California and the Chicago area. The Mobile Cart will be in action in our next academic year!
Fabrication Lab Unveiled at Baker Benefit 2020
It is exciting to have this project with NU students so closely following the unveiling of our Fabrication Lab, next to the Art Studio, at the Baker Benefit 2020. Because of a generous donor, we have been able to extend the ways our students can solve design problems in the new lab and have created additional space in the previous Tech Lab to be used for Robotics. We were also able to upgrade our hardware by purchasing a class set of MacBooks and iPads as well as new iMacs. The Digital Storytelling suite was renovated allowing new opportuities for electonic music classes as well as the launch of the K-8 Collaborative podcast. We sure do look forward to getting back inside the building to enjoy these new spaces and so we can continue to develop our design engineering program!
Math Book Club for MS Student, Parents & Staff
Join the Math Book Club with Ms. Frank and Mr. Leesch!

Book: Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. 

Meeting Frequency: Once per week

Reading & Discussion: We read a chapter a week and have virtual meetings to talk about the themes that emerge, the things that surprised us, and how we can extend ideas from the reading to other topics. We hope the book club with help students discover unexpected connections between math and the real world, and perhaps develop the curiosity to explore everyday topics through a mathematical lens. 

Since each chapter stands alone, book club members aren’t obligated to read the entire book or attend all meetings. 

Interested in Joining? We would love to hear more voices at our next meeting, so anyone interested in joining should reach out to Ms. Frank or Mr. Leesch

Book Availability: The book is available on audible and a digital copy can be checked out free of charge at most libraries.
FREE "Drop-In" Virtual After School Activities
Note: All ages are welcome to participate, but the ages listed are recommended.
Classes run 3:30 - 4:15 and are in session NOW so join this week if you would like!

Class Schedule
Tuesdays - Yoga with Yoga with Ms. Nichola (PK - 3) 
Wednesdays - Story and Circle Time with Ms. Hannah (PK - K)
Thursdays - Music and Dance Hour with Ms. Buehler (PK - 3)
Fridays - Weekly Activity Challenge with Mr. Meyer (1- 5)

Participation Instructions
  • All Baker students have been invited (through Google Classroom) to a new classroom called Remote ASAs. Click ACCEPT invitation if you wish to participate.

  • You will then see details for each ASA. On the day and time of the class, simply click the appropriate Zoom link.

  • Just like e-learning, your child will enter the waiting room for the instructor to admit into the class. Please be sure your child's name is listed so the instructor can safely allow participants in.

Note: You do NOT need to pre-register or attend every class. Simply drop-in, using the Zoom links in the Remote ASA Google Classroom, on the days your child wishes to participate.

Spread the Word - Admissions Webinar Chat

Earth Day Virtual Event for Parents

Punch 9 for Harold Washington Event - Tomorrow!
What: Punch 9 for Harold Washington screening and talk-back with producer, Julie Englander

When: Friday, April 17 @ 8:00 p.m.

Where : Zoom

Who: Baker parents (middle school students or
older are welcome too)

How: Register here .

The documentary is about Harold Washington, Chicago's first African-American mayor. We will screen about an hour of the film and then Julie will answer questions about this film and documentary filmmaking more generally. Tickets are $25 (per household) and proceeds will continue to support fundraising efforts to meet Baker's benefit goal. All participants will receive a link to join the event via email .
Baker Community Members in the News
Tiffany Rampey's neighbor, Chef Q, featured for her generous meal deliveries. The article features cards made by the Rampey kids (pictured right).

Michelle Rogers and her daughters were featured in an ABC-7 News Story about Mudlark.

Baker's Podcast, K-8 Collaborative, featured as part of the NAIS Sharing Solutions.
Instagram Spirit Day Tomorrow - Pajamas

Let's have a little fun on Instagram!
We will post a new prompt each Thursday in the bulletin and on Instagram. Be sure to tag us:


If you aren't on Instagram but want to participate, email photos to Rachel Yantis.

Our prompt for tomorrow, April 17, is PAJAMA DAY!
Student Photo of the Week
by Cam, Grade 6