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Classroom Updates

Updated: Feb 21, 2019

Acorn Nursery News from Ms. Jan:

What a wonderful celebration of love we had all week last week!  Thank you so much to so many of you that helped to make our week so special!  We had heart strawberry and watermelon shish kabobs, mixed berries, strawberry muffins, beautifully decorated delicious cookies.  We were able to spread the love (and treats) over the week and still have some special things for this week.  And Valentine's!  Thank you all for helping the children to make such creative and beautiful cards for their teachers and friends.  I wanted you to know that each special envelope was made from your child's own painting so they are very special keepsakes.  Ms. Emery and I enjoyed our Valentine's very much and all of the gifts of bath salts, flowers, soaps and cards made us feel very loved.  We thank you all for your sweet gifts.  It was so fun to help the children make Valentine's for you and their siblings and special people.  It's fun to see them enjoy giving as well as getting.

Jasmine Kindergarten News from Ms. Diana:

The week had passed quickly, with all the preparations and crafts for Valentine’s Day and for the two birthdays we’ve celebrated on Thursday and Friday. Thank you for the treats and for the beautiful Valentines; you made us feel  loved and appreciated!

The story this week was The Three Billy Goats Gruff, a beloved fairytale that we acted out. Most children have had the chance to be in the play and I will continue telling this story next week. Ms. Diana has edited the play so there are no gruesome images being acted out; we also creatively added characters for more children to be included in the play.

Magnolia Kindergarten News from Ms. Heidi:

Last week flew by, with our preparation for and enjoyment of our lovely valentine party and birthday celebration, and ending with an active Forest Kindergarten Day. Often, when there is a holiday or special event, children react with excitement, opposition, weepiness, or even hilarity…

We definitely saw all these emotions last week, and I’m wondering if you experienced any of them at home. I think that ending a special week with a day spent outdoors was a great way for the children to find their way back to equilibrium. Be prepared to see more up and down emotions as we head into Mardi Gras parades…

If your life has consistently felt like a roller coaster for the past few months and your child is at least five, it may be that your child is going through the Six/Seven-Year-Old Change. Just as two-year-old children must defy us by telling us “no,”  and teenagers must take foolish risks, our five and six year old children also go through an important stage in their development as human beings. In this stage, they might regress with tantrums, question your authority, weep uncontrollably, complain of loneliness, or be afraid to come to school. Some parents feel like they are parenting toddlers again, while others feel like they are getting a peek into adolescence. In fact, this stage is also known as a “mini-adolescence,” and can be characterized by talking back to adults, eye rolling, or hands placed on hips while arguing. Some of you have come to me for advice on getting through this stage, so we are going to revisit this topic on our upcoming parent night. My hope is that by learning why this is a challenging time for your child, you will be better able to compassionately support them  through a confusing time.

Grade 1 News from Ms. Contento:

I am so proud of my students for working hard in all their classes. I saw so many students this week go out of their way to help others and show kindness. They are showing all of their teachers' respect by following directions, raising their hands, and staying focused on the lesson. Of course, they are forgetting once in a while, but I can see many of them are trying hard to meet their goals.

During the main lesson this week we had fun with the new aspect of the math stories that include the math gnomes. Plus, Minus, Times, and Divide are now active characters in the ongoing math stories. They are learning the corresponding symbols and terms as well. 

This coming week I will continue with these stories and have them add the equations and pictures to their main lesson book. I will also tell stories of real-life experiences where we add, subtract, multiply and divide. In this way, they will see how useful math is in our everyday lives. We will also write the even and odd numbers in their main lesson books, as well as their 3’s, 5’s, and 10’s. Most of my class are saying these number patterns on a daily basis. 

Grade 2 News from Ms. Mullen:

For our morning phonics this week we focused on doing words. We discussed the present and past tense and will discuss the future tense this week. We are just dipping our toes in these concepts for the time being. In our math block, the children heard stories of a clever coyote and drew the 2s skip counting in circle form and the 2 times table. We talked more about place value to the hundred thousands, practiced carrying and borrowing with 6-digit numbers, and just touched on the beginnings of vertical multiplication. 

Grades 3 / 4 News from Ms. Brown:

Grades 5 / 6 News from Ms. Nelson:

MAIN LESSON: GEOLOGY - This week we learned about the most FABULOUS of metamorphic rocks, the diamond, including its physical properties, and its relative value in a variety of cultures from around the world.  We then transitioned to volcanoes, as the class learned about the different types, and explored various famous examples such as Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Vesuvius.  I read a first person account of the eruption of the latter to the class through several letters written by Pliny the Younger to the historian Tacitus.  Gripping stuff, even several thousand years later!  We also learned about earthquakes, the reasons why they occur, and their relative strength. In addition to the new material, we did a thorough review of past material and wrote together about the first life on Earth and fossil fuels.  As I mentioned at our parent meeting, I have dropped all but one of the individual writing assignments in the block to accommodate for the fact that so many students missed so much.  I had special meetings during our Extra Main classes to work with the students who needed support with the individual writing on tectonic plate movement.  At this point, all students have let me know that they are clear on the assignment and the material that they need to write.

Grades 7 / 8 News from Mr. Pauzolis:

As we celebrate Black History Month and continue to learn about the accomplishments and struggles of so many amazing African-American men and women in this country, I count myself deeply lucky to live in such a culturally rich city as New Orleans. If you visit our campus, please be sure to take some time to admire the beautiful and astoundingly thoughtful artwork created by the students that decorates our hallways created in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose birthday we celebrated recently. Friday, we held an awesome, carefully-curated book sale with an astounding variety of books for all ages, all either written and created by talented African-American authors and artists or featuring African-American characters or historical figures and their hard-won accomplishments.

As we continue to celebrate the obstacles and triumphs of so many strong, brave, intelligent, creative, and successful people, I urge us all to examine the very fabric of our city, which is a rich tapestry woven of diverse and fascinating threads. If you need some inspiration for events or activities in honor of Black History Month, please visit the links below to find some truly worthwhile ideas right in our own neighborhoods that you can share with your families and children. There are some timely listings just for February, but also a treasure-trove of museums and places to visit and learn throughout the year. If you have something you'd like to share, please do! We should never, ever stop learning about each other, cultivating empathy and love for one another, and growing and sharing our perspectives on the world and all of the many people in it. The knowledge is right there, waiting for you to reach for it.


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