Classroom Updates

Acorn Nursery News from Ms. Jan:

I wanted to start by telling you how proud we are of the children and how wonderfully the class is doing.  This past week we stopped for a moment several times to acknowledge and take in all that is going well in the classroom.  After several weeks of repetition and imitation the children really know what we expect and are making us smile every day by doing what we do in the Nursery.  Things like sitting in the hall and taking off their shoes before going into the cubby room, sitting by their own shoes, putting their shoes on and waiting patiently for circle time, listening to their teachers, sitting down at the table and not getting up with food and waiting until they are called at dismissal are all things that happen mostly without being told by now.  This is all proof that repetition and hard work pay off and we are ecstatic with the progress.  Getting this down means we can move on to bigger and better projects, more fun for all.


We will be culminating our celebration of the season of Michaelmas this week in the classroom.  I have decided to do some things on Wednesday and on Friday for the children who don't attend on Friday.  In many classes Michaelmas is the celebration of Michael and the dragon and conquering the dragons in our own lives.  As adults this hits home for us but I prefer for Michaelmas to be a celebration of courage in the Nursery class with our tiniest students.  I will be telling a story with a puppet show this week called "George and the Apples."  In the story George sees an apple tree and reaches and reaches for the apples but cannot get an apple down.  On Michael's Day his father brings the ladder and helps George pick the red apples.  He washes the biggest apple and polishes it and takes it with loving care to the festival table for Michael's Day.  We will be cutting red apples in half so that we can see the star in the center of the apples and we will be having a special apple treat for snack that we will prepare so that the children can smell the apples cooking throughout the room.  Celebrating Michaelmas is one of my favorite festivals in the Nursery as I think of all the ways that the children, and you, have displayed courage already this school year.  To separate from mom or dad each morning takes courage, to make new friends, have stamina to stay at school until 12:50 or 2:50 takes courage, to be able to use your words to say "I don't like that" or "please stop" takes courage, and for all of you to trust us with your tiny children that are your worlds takes courage.  I know you join us in celebrating all of the courage in our class family.


Magnolia Kindergarten News from Ms. Heidi:

This week is that we are having out Michaelmas Celebration on Thursday, September 27th. Please join us after drop-off for our morning walk, followed by some community time in our play garden. You will bring your child to the classroom, return to the front yard where we will meet you. The children will be clad in the golden capes we dyed last week. It may take a few minutes, but we will be sure to meet you. Mae has sent out a sign-up sheet. Please bring a finger food. We will provide coffee, cream, and sugar. Siblings are invited. The celebration will probably last until 9:30. We’ll hold a goodbye circle and send you on your way.


Grade 1 News from Ms. Contento:

We had an exciting week in first grade! Students are learning how to write their numbers neatly. We are coming up with images that also represent the numbers. For instance, students drew a triangle for the number 3 and a square for the number 4. We finished 1-3 this past week and will continue with 4-6 this week. I have also been telling fairy tales from around the world. We are starting on our math circle this week with counting. 


Grade 2 News from Ms. Mullen:

This week we are continuing our work on short vowel sounds, strengthening handwriting, and writing longer sentences into main lesson books. I have already seen improvement in handwriting just over the past week and a half and the children seem so excited to use our special handwriting paper. They are memorizing animal poetry and songs to go along with our fables block and they are doing a wonderful job. Some seem to have our "Wolves" poem down! Ask them if they will recite it for you! We are also learning the folk song "The Fox," working on Michaelmas songs and lines, and memorizing some seasonal poetry. Ms. Leslie also lent us a shelf full of chapter books and the children were over the moon about it! Thank you, Ms. Leslie! 


Grade 3 / 4 News from Ms. Flores:

We had a good trip to Cherry Coffee this week. The children were excited to see, smell and have a tiny sip of the coffee. When we returned to school, the class reviews everything they learned about coffee and were particularly excited to learn that coffee begins as a cherry on a tree. A reminder that we are taking our field trip to Sugar Roots Farm on October 2nd. I will need parents to drive and chaperone for this trip. Please let me know if you are available. It does not seem like we will be able to have chickens, but the class will still participate in composting and gardening. 


In circle, we are busily preparing for our Michaelmas performance. The class did a beautiful job rehearsing on Friday. We have quite a theatrical group on our hands. :) While several of the fourth graders will be messengers, I asked for volunteers who would like to be farmers again this year due to the size difference in 3rd and 4th grade class. Several students were very excited to be farmers again this year.


We completed our liquid measurement block and made our final recipe of guacamole and salsa. As we began our farming block, I let the children know that our overnight farming trip is coming up and there was a lot of excitement and many, many questions. My sense is that some of the students have some anxiety around sleeping out in a totally new environment. We can discuss this more in our meeting, but it is not an unusual concern from children this age. I reminded them that our days would be filled with activities, fun and learning and that we would all be very tired at night. 


Grade 5 / 6 News from Ms. Nelson:

It was a great week, highlighted by our trip to the Hindu temple on Friday.  Not only were we unexpectedly met by three professors from UNO, but the students were beautifully behaved and showed their boundless curiosity for everything they saw around them.  The presenters were clearly thrilled to have the students there - in fact, one of the professors, Dr. Dave, donated money to buy the students lunch!  He is a physics professor, and said he would love to visit during our block on the subject.  After offering our gratitude, I let Dr. Dave know he was very welcome, and that we would use the money to purchase Indian food as part of our celebration of Diwali (the Hindu festival of lights) in November.  I was so proud of all my students!  Thanks again to all the parents who joined us in this wonderful trip.  Edris (Joi's mom) posted some amazing photos to the Parent's Council Facebook group page if you are interested in seeing them.


Grade 7 / 8 News from Mr. Pauzolis:

This week was a very busy one! We began with a bang: our field trip to the LOOP NOLA Challenge Course! This was a tremendous amount of fun, and I was so excited to see all of the kids working together and encouraging each other through all of these challenges. I noticed some real leadership qualities emerging as the day went on, which made me very, very proud of them. I have created a shared drive where I am collecting all of the photos taken, and when it is completed I will share it with all of you so that you may save them for your personal use, if you choose. Amy Marquis was kind enough to come by at the start of our trip to take some photos of everyone as well, and she has put them together in a slideshow. I cannot watch it without grinning widely. You can find it here: https://youtu.be/MnkjwSzyEIw

This week in academics, we completed our study of Benjamin Franklin's massive contributions to our understanding of electricity! We also discussed how he brought attention to his research in an especially clever way by pitting two rival French scientists against each other, which created what today we might term as an international 'viral' stir. We then began studying the electrification of rural America in the Depression era, and how Franklin Delano Roosevelt developed the Rural Electrification Administration. Its titular act created a unique job for agents (a largely female population, in fact!), who traveled Central America holding 'electric circuses' and encouraging the adoption of new-fangled electric appliances into the homes of farming families across the land! The actions of these agents was critical in spreading accessible electricity throughout the United States and helped tremendously in establishing our country as a worldwide Superpower! These jobs, along with the other directives of FDR's 'New Deal', were critical in launching the U.S. out of the Great Depression, and changed the landscape and future of our country immeasurably. We concluded by delving into the study of electrical conductivity and conductive metals! We discussed the electron-packed concept of batteries, and how they are filled with potential energy just waiting to be unleashed. We also began the study of circuits, and the concept of resistance within a circuit and what that could mean. We performed an exciting hands-on demonstration of this using a 9-volt battery and clouds of fine steel wool. Be sure to ask them what happened, and why! It was an AMAZING week!

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