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Classroom Updates

Updated: Feb 5, 2019

Acorn Nursery News from Ms. Jan:

A special thank you to all of you for the wonderful vegetables for our stew.  All but a very few of the children are eating and enjoying the vegetables which is so nice to see.  I wanted you to know that we need vegetables every week.  If you can send one item from your refrigerator that you have extra, that would be great.  If you know that your child isn't trying the stew at all, maybe have them help with selecting the item that you send.  We had dinosaur pasta from Jackson and the children loved looking for and eating the dinosaurs.  Do they like corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, ask them what they would like to bring and let them bring that.  We have enjoyed seeing the children so excited to bring us what they have for the soup.  Also, if it's too much to send something every week, send a few for the whole month once like a small bag of carrots, potatoes, four onions, a whole celery, four squash or zucchini, etc.  We really appreciate your efforts to help us make this happen in the classroom for the children.  Wouldn't it be lovely if we can get them all to eat some vegetables by the end of the school year?

We are now in February, the month of love.  We have a new love circle and are preparing to celebrate Valentine's Day.  A few of you have expressed interest in bringing something on February 14 for our tea party at snack time, I was thinking some red fruit/fruits like strawberries, raspberries, some heart or Valentine cookies (they can be iced with some colored icing for this special day and homemade or bought from a store) some pancakes or strawberry bread or muffins and maybe some strawberry lemonade?  Let me know what you think and if you would like to bring something.  Remember to be working on 3 homemade Valentine's for each child's friends and one for each teacher, so 5 in all.  You can do more, even one for everyone which would be 16 if you want to and you start early.  This would be easier for some of our students than others, of course!

Ms. Diana's Jasmine Kindergarten Loom raised $1550 at auction! Click on the photo to read more about Starry Night

Jasmine Kindergarten News from Ms. Diana:

This week we’ve said goodbye to a long and busy January and welcomed February with a great accomplishment: Our Giant Loom was completed and auctioned live at the Starry Night event. The Loom was auctioned for a very generous $1550.00! This has brought many of us in tears!

A bouquet of thanks to all of you that had helped organize, prepare, and  participated to this amazing event! We are one of the most beautiful communities in New Orleans and I would like to personally acknowledge every single one of you for the dedication and the help you give to our school every day!

During this past week we’ve had daily visits from potential new students and their parents. Our children have been kind and tried their best to welcome the new friends, offering to help them discover our class, our activities and the toys. We continued the circle journeys and are looking forward now to February that will bring puppet shows, the festival of love and two birthday celebrations.

Magnolia Kindergarten News from Ms. Heidi:

We are officially at the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Folks call today Candlemas, and used to celebrate the day with special food and candle making for the next year. It’s also known as Groundhog Day, where we look toward the behavior of the groundhog to let us know how much winter we have left. Whether you enjoy cold weather or not, I think all of us are looking forward to longer, brighter days…

Thank you to everyone who supported our school by volunteering, planning, bidding, setting up, breaking down, attending, or taking any part in producing Starry Night last night! It was a beautiful and exciting night, and I really enjoyed getting some grownup time with you at such an elegant event.

I think there are still a few spaces left for our infamous Fairy Party that Frances, Will and I will be conjuring up in May…See me or Erin to sign up!

Have you sent in your shoe box, yet? Thanks to parents who have sent in multiple boxes. We are still lacking enough for each child, so please scrounge around your closets and see if you can spare a shoebox for our project. In fact, for the rest of the year, if you get new shoes, just feel free to send in your shoeboxes, and we can hand them back out to anyone who may have sacrificed a box to our cause, or we can keep them for next year.

Grade 1 News from Ms. Contento:

Last week in the main lesson we focused on word families and handwriting. I will continue to work with word families as we focus on reading. The reading class on Monday is going well. I had two volunteers yesterday who came in to help with reading groups. They are working with my emerging readers by playing various games that have to do with sounding out three letter words. These games will be played some mornings, instead of handwriting practice. Having volunteers allowed me to take the students who are already reading and set up a reading group. 

I started the math block on Monday. Through imagination and using manipulatives, we will continue working with the four processes: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, helping us gain a working knowledge of their symbols including processes in verbal and written sentence forms. We will continue counting by 2’s, 5’s, 10’s and learn to count by 3's, 4's, to deepen our feeling of qualities of numbers. The students will learn to write down arithmetic problems. We begin with concrete qualities of numbers and by working with the properties of movement, counting and calculating, the first graders arrive at a real experience of mathematics whereby calculating simple mental arithmetic in narrative form. 

Grade 2 News from Ms. Mullen:

We have continued discussing syllables and syllabication this week. We discussed bossy r syllables (syllables that contain ar, er, ir, or, ur) and began discussing some rules for where to split words into syllables. We discussed and practiced the difference between words that are broken up as v/cv where the first vowel is a long, and vc/v where the first vowel is a short. Understanding this concept can assist with sounding out words.

I am looking for a parent volunteer for our reading group that we are beginning in February. This class is during our 3rd block (1:25-2:15) on Fridays. You would simply sit with a group and read along while they take turns reading aloud, assisting as needed. You will also write down words that are a struggle for them so I can incorporate them in activities later. We will also be adding a third extra main to our schedule so that writing and reading have their own dedicated weekly classes. The writing extra main will be Mondays from 11:50-12:40.  Also, to kick off reading groups, I would like to begin sending home a reading log that also includes 10 minutes of math work. For the reading log, I would like students to be working on a book that is a comfortable struggle. This would mean that they can read most of the words on the page, but have to work through a few. Something that isn't a breeze, but isn't too frustrating. They are welcome to borrow readers from our school to bring home as well. For math, we play a few games that would be fun at home, but I also welcome anything you come up with! I can send home some photo copies of math games later this week.

Grades 3 / 4 News from Ms. Brown:

Last week, in the 3rd and 4th grade class we began the first Norse Mythology block.  Most of my free time last week was spent trying to complete the classroom's chalkboard drawing.  I am hoping to finish tomorrow and will try and include a picture of it in next weeks email.  The visual representation on the board, creates an image for the students to reflect on and work with as they sort through the many representations of good and evil and classic archetypes, that are being presented within the myths.  Archetypes that they may find self-reflective.  I was able to present the students with two myths, both of which Loki created mischief and was deceitful.  

Since this is another Language Arts block, we will be continuing with a number of the lessons we worked with during our Hebrew Stories block.  It is my goal to create a better understanding of consistent verb tense usage within a composition and sentence structure.  I am asking all fourth grade students to write their own summaries in cursive throughout this block.  The students who have just entered the school, may have not been taught handwriting, so as extra work for the next couple of weeks, I will be having them practice and send them home with handwriting sheets.  As the students write their summaries, I can better gauge what it is that they need to work on.  It was clear after reading a number of the rough drafts last week, that I need to spend time reviewing proper capitalization usage, and a lesson on homophones would be beneficial, specifically: there, their and they're. 

Norse Mythology, like most cultural myths, has such a rich offering to draw from.  We were able to stay within the themes presented throughout the myths, and created mighty paintings of viking ships in Painting class, as well as worked with some Norse knots in Form Drawing.  I will start this week by presenting the students with the Norse runes and alphabet. I look forward to diving into these ancient stories with the class for the next couple of weeks!

Grades 5 / 6 News from Ms. Nelson:

MAIN LESSON: GEOLOGY - This week we came down to earth literally by exploring scientists' current understanding of the formation of our planet.  We then talked about the layers of the earth and their composition.  We concluded the week by speaking about tectonic plates and their movement over the Earth's surface, or crust.  We started to talk about the rock cycle and how rocks formed.  The first group introduced were sedimentary rocks.  Students honed their observational skills by taking notes on twelve different rock samples.  We will later analyze them and put them into categories.  A highlight this week were the beautiful rocks that the students brought in and showed their classmates.  I had no idea there were so many budding geologists already in our midst!


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