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Classroom Updates

Updated: Aug 26, 2018

Acorn Nursery News from Ms. Jan:

What a wonderful first week of school we had with the children.  There were a few tears the first two days but by the end of the week we find that our whole group of children are doing well.  My meter of how things are going lies within the children and their happiness at school.  From our experiences this week I am feeling good about the class.   We have been spending a good deal of time outside each day (at least an hour and a half).  On Wednesday we had a picnic outside for our snack with cold watermelon and cheese and crackers for all. We are seeing some really nice cooperative play and imaginative play already, we are so pleased.... We have a very special friend of our Nursery, our dear Mr. Ben Schenck, who is a musician father of two of our Grades students and a member of Panorama Jazz Band.  He comes to play a sing-a-long for/with us each week and it is a very special time for both the children and teachers alike.

Magnolia Kindergarten News from Ms. Heidi:

We made it through our first week! Congratulations to all of us! The first couple of weeks of school are HARD. I have heard from several of you that your child is regressing at home at this week or is becoming easily frustrated. That can be a common reaction to all the work they are doing at school each day. Although we have a few students who were with us last year, it is a new community for everyone this year. There is trust to build in the teachers and with their new friends, there is stamina to develop for getting through the day, there are new rhythms to learn for meals, using the bathroom, playtime, and rest time. Our circle and story may be more challenging than what they are used to. Just think of all the ways your child is learning to integrate into this experience we call Kindergarten! Aren’t you in awe of them and don’t you feel proud of what they are learning? Please surround them with your warm love and joy as you remember to appreciate their efforts and striving.

Grade 1 News from Ms. Contento:

This week I told the story of Snow White and Rose Red a Grimms fairy tale. As we reviewed the story in detail, I can confidently say that over half of my students participated in the discussion and summarization. This was a complicated story with many different scenarios and they remembered every detail. For those students who were reluctant to participate, I asked them specific questions, this showed me they understood some parts of the story. We then went on to draw a picture of the bear from the story and practice writing a capital “B”. Next week, we will go over the “B”, and write it into the main lesson book and move on to another fairy tale.

Next week I will tell Simeli Mountain. We will illustrate the letters “M” for mountain and “C” for a cave. As the children start to write these letters we go over the sound.  A student will naturally start to say all the words they know with the beginning sound of the letter I am introducing. For example, children were noticing all the things in our room that started with the letter “B.”

Grade 2 News from Ms. Mullen:

Another week in the books! Children are starting to get used to our new space and settle in. They are also getting used to school rules again and our room is calming down. :) In Main Lesson, children are beginning to explore place value along with their new pal from Numeria, Ms. Place Value, the architect. They learned about her worries about how to fit large families into houses on her block and how to make space for them. Then they began to practice using place value blocks (Ms. Place Value named the concept she discovered after herself of course) and exploring how after they reach the number nine, they have to move to a new place value house.  We are continuing to read The Slippery Slope with Ms. Mullen in Reading and Rest. Mr. Pauzolis is reading James and the Giant Peach during his Reading and Rest class. 

Grade 3 / 4 News from Ms. Flores:

On Monday, we completed our review with a look at linear measurement. From there, we began our study of liquid measurement. The class was introduced to gallons, pints, quarts and cups through an outdoor activity. We set up three stations and at each station a question was asked. Group 1 was asked, "how many quarts in a gallon?" Group 2 was asked, "how many pints in a quart?" And group 3, "how many cups are in a pint?" Each group was given smaller containers to fill with water and then pour into the larger container to answer their question. The class also learned a funny story to help them retain their new knowledge. Through mental math and our cooking work, we worked with simple liquid conversions as well. This week we made watermelon, basil and lime popsicles. Yum! The class was so excited to make something they could eat in class.

Grade 5 / 6 News from Ms. Nelson:

This week we reviewed angle measurement and construction, as well as our circle and angle vocabulary in preparation for the block quiz on Friday, August 31.  The class learned how to use their compass to divide the circle into 12 and 24 equal parts.  They then created increasingly complicated drawings that explored these divisions.  I am proud to report that all the students are showing better facility with the protractor and compass, as well as in their shading skills.  The story of the Pythia (Oracles of Delphi) as well as the life of Pythagoras, who is named after them, was recounted this week.  I placed particular emphasis on the Mathematekoi, the secret society of mathematicians and scientists that he created, which was open to women as well as men.

Grade 7 / 8 News from Mr. Pauzolis:

This week, we continued our discussion of the later Middle Ages! We discussed the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine, the Queen of Courtly Love. As we explored in class, this was a moniker that belied her true strengths as a savvy politician and one of the most powerful women in history. She would also give birth to Richard the Lionheart, who would go on to lead the 3rd Crusade. We also had the opportunity to study an important figure in both the medieval and the Islamic world: Saladin! Saladin was a leader who called for jihad (Holy War) against the Christian Crusaders. Though he began as an adversary, he transformed into a stunning example of chivalry and was eventually held aloft by the Christians as a figure worthy of emulation. We ended the week by introducing and discussing the Magna Carta, and the impact it would have later on America.


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