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Classroom Updates

Updated: Oct 10, 2018

Magnolia Kindergarten News from Ms. Heidi:

It will be a short and festive week. On Friday, we will have a special goodbye ceremony for Ms. Olivia. It’s hard to believe that her time with us is just about over. Friday will be her last day. It would be so wonderful if each child could bring her a special picture or small token of thanks on Friday. Please set aside a little time before now and Friday to spend with your child, making a card or talking about how you can thank her and wish her well. She has been a delightful and helpful addition to our class. It’s going to be hard to let her go. I will collect the children’s gifts on Friday, and we’ll give them to Olivia later in the day during our goodbye circle.

We will be taking a class picture with Olivia on Wednesday, which I will print up and frame for her. I think she will always remember our little ones. Last this past Friday, Olivia made a special cake with a small group of children. She is going to make it again this Friday. It is a cake that she loved when she was a little girl and she remembers making it with her mother. It filled the classroom with a delicious smell as it baked, and we all ate up every crumb. I have promised to make a copy of the recipe for everyone.

Grade 1 News from Ms. Contento:

This our last week of the first of many math blocks. We finished entering the numbers 6,7, and 8 into their main lesson books this week. They are also practicing on a daily basis all the letters and numbers we have learned up until now. Students received their counting stones this week in their own pouch. Using these stones as the math manipulatives, students will learn to add, subtract, multiply, and divide. I started a number story that will be an ongoing story throughout the year. The students reacted with great excitement as they listened and participated in this experience. At home, you could find manipulatives such as acorns or shells and have your children count them. We are also working on counting forwards and backward. Next week we will do skip counting activities during circle. They are learning new poems and songs next week for the circle as well. In their main lesson book, we will include 9 and 10 next week. I will continue to tell fairy tales from around the world.

Our first grades students are working hard to remember to raise their hands and wait to be called upon, stay quiet during the main lesson, sit in their chairs the right way. Now their new goal is to transition to other activities without creating chaos. I am incorporating songs and procedures for transitions, but this is a work in progress. On Friday we had one of the most productive main lessons of the year. I could see all of my students striving to be well behaved and cooperative. We have had many class discussions about how to act in all classes. Students spoke up about how they want to learn in Music class and they get aggravated with their classmates who cause disruptions in class. We as their teachers know that they are learning how to be students in the grades and are very proud of their progress. 

Grade 3 / 4 News from Ms. Flores:

The class did an absolute beautiful job with the play, pronouncing each line clear and loud! I was really impressed by their boldness and excitement.  

On Tuesday, we had a wonderful trip to Sugar Roots Farm. The class learned all about sustainable farming practices being implemented on this farm through composting, organic farming and humane animal practices. And, everyone was of course quite taken by all the cute animals living happily on the farm. The class had the opportunity to use and to learn what a compost toilet is. Many, including myself, were surprised to see how clean and easy it is to use this method. The class also learned that Sugar Roots Farm has partnered with the New Orleans Public Libraries to collect their food scraps to add to the food compost on the farm. At school, we kicked off our campus wide compost program. All third graders and any new students are in charge of running this program as the current fourth graders ran it last year.

The rest of the week we spent talking about and working with corn, and the students heard the Iroquois folk story about corn. Our discussions focused on what the uses of corn are, how it is the largest grain grown in the USA. The class created art and writings in their main lesson books around the conversations. 

Grade 5 / 6 News from Ms. Nelson:

This week we concluded with many origin stories - the Greek creation, the rise of Cronus and the Titans, and ultimately, the rise of Zeus and the Olympians.  We learned about the birth and growth of Hephaestus, the smith god, Athena, goddess of wisdom, as well as a similar story for Leto's twins, Apollo and Artemis.  The class also learned of the creation of first man, then woman in the form of the beautiful (and curious) Pandora.  On Friday, the class took their second block quiz, which consisted of matching questions, along with sequence of the story questions and a few short answer questions.  A fes students still need to take the quiz, so they will probably be returned and discussed on Thursday.  On Wednesday, we will move on to Physics!

Grade 7 / 8 News from Mr. Pauzolis:

Last week began with our Physics test, covering electricity, circuits, Nikola Tesla, Benjamin Franklin and more! The children had to prepare by taking part in a mandatory study group. The first time we did study groups they were allowed to choose the members of their group and for some, the results were less than stellar. This time, they weren't permitted to choose their study partners and every group was semi-randomly determined. The result? Almost everyone thought it was much better and very effective!

After our test, the week continued with our new Geometry block. In this block we are studying the history of the five Platonic solids and how they are made. We began with an understanding of polygons, polyhedra and both the philosophical and mathematical origins of the Platonic solids. This led up to the creation of their their first three-dimensional platonic solid: the four-sided tetrahedron!

The class also joined Ms. Kasia on a trip to the symphony. I am very thankful to everyone who helped make this trip a reality!

Finally, we wrapped up last week with our pumpkin carving activity with the 1st Grade. A HUGE thank you to every single person who donated pumpkins to our class for Friday! I cannot tell you how touched I was at how sweet and gentle your children were with these little ones, yet again. Our 7th and 8th Graders welcomed them warmly to our classroom and immediately paired off and set to work on the pumpkins, designing faces and carving them out together. We then gathered all of the pillows together in a soft pile for story-time (and some of your children WERE the pillows, embracing the 1st Graders in their arms protectively!) as I launched into a tale for them all. I would like to especially thank Nate for doing such a TREMENDOUS job (without being prompted at all!) of cleaning up the messy pumpkin guts. The sink and surfaces were spic-and-span, and I was seriously impressed at his initiative and attention to detail! Also, super-special thanks to Shane, who was kind enough to teach us all how to roast pumpkin seeds in the microwave and then made enough for the whole class to snack on and share! I simply could not have been prouder of the kids, and the activity was really a smashing success. Please let them know what a phenomenal job they did!

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