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Classroom Updates

Updated: Oct 30, 2018

Acorn Nursery News from Ms. Jan:

We have had another fun-filled, busy week in the Acorn Nursery.  The children continue to be energized and excited in anticipation of Halloween.  They love telling us what they're going to dress up as.  On Wednesday our back yard was a lake from the Tuesday rains so we took the opportunity to put our walking endurance to the test.  Many of you got to see us assign spots on the rope and begin our neighborhood walk in search of pumpkins.  The children were so into it that we walked four blocks then turned and walked four more blocks, then four blocks back to Peniston and four last blocks back to school, a total of 16 blocks in all!  We have become really good at walking and observing while keeping our hands to ourselves as we look.  We saw a witch's feet up in the air in a garden (her body was underground).  The children thought that was so funny!  We also saw many scarecrows, skeletons, Jack-o-lanterns, pumpkins and other fun Halloween decorations. We added pumpkin to our pancakes this week which made them very festive.  The children loved the orange pumpkins and they were enjoyed by every single child.  We have a lot going on this week also with our grandparents and special friends visiting on Monday and our Halloween celebration on Wednesday.  I have been in touch with a surprise visitor that will be stopping by the classroom on Tuesday after school to leave a special Halloween surprise.  Shhh, this is a surprise for the children, I'm sure you will hear about it from them when you come on Halloween.  I will be telling them a special Halloween story this week called "The Little Orange House."  More about the story next week.

Jasmine Kindergarten News from Ms. Diana:

Every week brings a wealth of activities in Jasmine Kindergarten and the past few days have been no exception. We started on Monday with trough cleaning and prepared our room for the Grandparents/Special friends Day. We baked bread, cooked Stone Soup, finger-knitted long chains of colorful wool for the Giant Loom in the classroom and practiced our Lantern songs. On the day of the special event we have received the grandparents and special friends with refreshments prepared by the children, and presented one of our circle journeys. 

Magnolia Kindergarten News from Ms. Heidi:

Some of the highlights from last week were juicing satsumas; making lovely necklaces of glass beads and special shells that Gemma brought back from the beach for us; enjoying “Stone Soup” as a puppet show; splashing in the deep puddles of the Thursday downpour; and taking the chalk and scoot bikes out to the parking lot across from Martin’s on a beautiful blustery Friday morning. We also introduced the children to what to do when there is a “Big Wind” warning. That is our child-friendly code for a tornado warning. We had to seek shelter in our main hallway on Thursday, when we received a tornado warning at about 9:00. The children followed directions quickly, and we only had to shelter for about 15 minutes. On Friday, in the parking lot, we also practiced running to the teacher without asking questions when I blew the whistle. Although we don’t give details to the children, we are preparing them how to react trustingly to emergency directions of all kinds.

Grade 1 News from Ms. Contento:

Grandparents day was spectacular! My students recited a poem beautifully and sang a song for the grandparents and special friends. They all got a chance to come into the classroom for a number story and to view the Main Lesson books. I could not be more proud of my students for all their hard work!

We are continuing to add new letters and drawings into the Main Lesson books this week. Students are doing a wonderful job at retelling the stories and creating their Main Lesson pages. 

Grade 2 News from Ms. Mulen:

In main lesson the children have continued to work with carrying in with two and three digit addition. They have caught on so quickly, even though it is a difficult concept! They are also working hard on completing making their flash cards and memorizing different sets of multiplication. Once they memorize them they can check with me to see if they know them by heart and when they do they earn a star for that set! Our goal is to get to twelve (but it doesn't have to be by the end of this year! Phew!) 

We will be having a small party on Wednesday morning after main lesson. Children will have a small treat, paint pumpkins (which the children should bring either tomorrow or Wednesday), and get their faces painted by Ms. Anais! It is so kind of her to share her talents with us and we are so grateful. If you have any issues with your child's face or hand being painted, please let me know. At the end of the day we will also complete a spider web created by the 7th and 8th grade class. 

Grade 3 / 4 News from Ms. Flores:

The class nearly completed their study of farming with a look at the millet grain and a review of our farming trip. On Monday, we will complete a writing about the trip before moving into our fibers block. Through our writing exercises, we are increasing our focus on capitalization and punctuation rules. In our circle work, we have been working on our 8's times tables and moving along with some new poems and songs. 

On Friday, the class did a lovely job performing for their grandparents and special friends. I was so impressed by the musical aspect particularly. It is clear that the fourth graders have taken on the new challenge of working with string instruments with excitement and seriousness. And the two third graders present did such a great job with their recorders - so brave!

Grade 5 / 6 News from Ms. Nelson:

This week we concluded our big centerpiece experiment with static electricity.  The students were given an opportunity to analyze the data they collected in their groups before we worked together to craft final Conclusion statements for their books.  The other big topics this week were magnetic lines of force, the relationship between magnetism and electricity, and sound.  With regard to the last topic, we learned that, in some ways, sound moves in a similar fashion to other physical forces.  We also explored the importance of vibration in the creation of sound, and drew a connection between the behavior of a Chladni Plate (a metal plate with sand on in that had a violin bow drawn across its edge) and the way sound works.  Students learned that sound could be propagated (spread widely), refracted (change direction), reflected (return to the original source), or attenuated (gradually lose power and stop).  I think we were all surprised to learn how much ground we had covered when we started to review for the cumulative block quiz on Tuesday.  Students should review their daily notes taken in class, as well as the material they have put in their main lesson books.  A more thorough review will take place tomorrow. 

Grade 7 / 8 News from Mr. Pauzolis:

This week we focused on catching up with a lot of the work that has been overdue for quite some time. I'm happy to report we've actually started to pull ahead and many of the children are either caught up or getting rather close. All in all, it was very productive time well-spent! I have considered the amount of work I have given this year and I recognize that it has been quite a lot. I will make sure their future work in not of such an overwhelming and constant nature, but I do want to commend all of the holdren for working so diligently on all of their assignments!

We have also begun our Renaissance and Elizabethan history block. We began by having an overview of what the Renaissance was, and we recalled together how the Renaissance came to be. I then spoke about some of the things will be covering, including art, architecture and a new openness towards learning. 

Finally, the children performed Shakespeare's Saint Crispin's Day speech from ‘Henry V’ on Grandparents & Special Friends Day! Unfortunately, I fell ill on Thursday. By Friday morning, I came to help them prepare but had almost entirely lost my voice. Despite this, I'm happy to report they did an amazing job! I was *very* proud of them, and you should all congratulate them on their performance! Special thanks to Emery for introducing the piece to the audience in my place. Public speaking is not easy (especially at this age!), but he handled it like a champ! 


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