Mrs. Carroll’s Class: It Matters!

This week we continued to build on our understanding of the three states of matter: liquid, solid, and gas.  Hands on activities helped to illustrate how one state of matter can change to another: melting, freezing, or boiling. Water is the perfect example of states of matter to children because it can exists in all three different states. Our first experiment introduced a solid (ice cube) to liquid (water) change. Why the change? The children will tell you that when matter gains or loses heat it can change from one state to another, ice to water, water to ice, water to gas. In our second experiment the children not only got to find out how butter is made, but also saw a liquid turn into a solid. The children took turns shaking (agitating) cream until its fat molecules became shaken out of position and clumped together to form butter. We all enjoyed sampling the fruits of our labor spread on fresh bread.

Never underestimate your children’s interest in science and their ability to understand. In fact, ask them to illustrate how molecules in each of the three states move. I know you will all be amazed!

Make your week ‘MATTER.’

Cindy & Sharlene

Upper Elementary: Peabody Museum

On Wednesday we visited the Yale Peabody Museum in New Haven. Our day began with a presentation about Egypt. This included learning about the underworld, hieroglyphics, the great pyramids, and mummification. Afterwards we toured the museum and visited the hall of gems and minerals, dinosaurs, and the live animal exhibit. Several students enjoyed observing the live animals and being present during feeding time.

Lower Elementary: Math and Literacy

We’ve had a busy, productive, and wonderful week together.

There has been a lot of enthusiasm in the room about math this week! The children are hard at work solving big problems with the stamp game, bead frame, test tubes, and other materials. First, second, and third grade children all learned to use different materials to support their memorization of math tables. Some had lessons on the snake game while others learned to use cut combinations. Third year students have started learning about multiples and factors.

In Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop this week we have continued learning about reading and writing informational texts. The third year students learned to identify the topics and subtopics in a text as well as make a prediction on what the text would be about. Paralleling this reading work, in writing they learned to use topics and subtopics in their research writing.

World Language: Mrs. Doyle’s French Class!

In French class our Primary students have worked on learning colors!

This time it was yellow for pears! We also fill our bubble gum machine poster with stickers of the colors as we learn them. Today the students added yellow stickers to the inside of the bubble gum machine. This is done to make sure that every child has a turn at reinforcing the color by sticking bubble gums on the poster.

According to research, we acquire more vocabulary and grammar when we engage in meaningful ways with the language we are trying to learn. Reading is such an important key to unlocking fluency!  The Primary students enjoyed a story about different animals and we learned how to say their names in French. We continue playing our fishing games and singing songs in the target language.

Lots of fun for everyone of these children!


Middle School: Week in Review

It has been a chilly and busy week in middle school.

In math, the 8th years finished chapter five and are now moving on to learning various methods for solving systems of equations and inequalities.  They have already been introduced to solving systems by graphing.  After CTP5 testing, they will be introduced to solving systems of equations by substitution and elimination and will also learn applications of linear systems. The 7th years are almost finished with chapter 6 in their textbook but will have to wait until after CTP5 testing to take their cumulative test 5.  In the meantime, they are continuing to work on similar and congruent figures and will soon be introduced to probability and odds. Like the 7th years, 6th years will have to wait until after CTP5 testing to finish chapter 6.  They continue to work on percents; this includes solving percent problems using both equations and proportions.  In their remaining units, they will increase their ability to apply percents and find percent of change.

In all humanities classes this week, we worked on grammar topics: possessive nouns, independent and dependent clauses, and compound and complex sentences. In 6th and 7th year classes, we reviewed effective introductions for expository writing,  how to use parenthetical citations, and how to turn research into organized writing. Students will be drafting their research papers this weekend. 6th and 7th years also continued in their respective class novels: The Egypt Game and Facing the Lion. 6th years learned about Nefertiti and 7th years discussed cultural differences between the Maasai and American people. 8th years continued with their vocabulary unit and learned about Abraham Lincoln’s obstacles as he came to be elected President just prior to the Civil War. They also talked about the differing American views of the impending war.

6th grade Earth Science students are exploring the layers of Earth’s interior and the driving force behind tectonic plates. Students have conducted experiments demonstrating both convection (transfer of heat) and sea-floor spreading. 7th grade students conducted laboratory experiments demonstrating ionic bonding. These experiments consisted of students testing the electrical conductivity between tap and distilled water with and without ionic compounds present. 8th grade students are constructing wind turbines to show alternative sources of energy other than fossil fuels, which are estimated to run out within 200 years based on current uses. The 8th grade is currently studying a unit titled, Resources and Energy. Within this unit, students are learning the risks/rewards to using fossil fuels in addition to alternative energy resources such as solar, hydroelectric, and geothermal practices.

**Please ensure your child/children come to school with a water bottle as well as winter clothing, including covered skin and winter jackets.

Have a great weekend!

Mrs. Thomas: Language, Language, Language!

We’ve added some new language materials to the environment and the children are loving them! We have “Go Together” cards that require the children to make associations between two pictured objects. Currently, we have a bar of soap and a towel, a bird and a bird’s nest filled with eggs, and a bowl of ice cream and a spoon. All six cards are in a basket together and the children pair them accordingly. We had a group lesson on why these items are related to only one other card in the basket and not to the others. We pretended to wash our bodies with soap in pretend showers and giggled as we lathered up, rinsed off, and then needed to dry ourselves with pretend spoons, etc., until we got to the picture of the towel, which they all began to realize made the most sense.

Another language activity is the picture-to-object work. Right now, we have a small toy red eyed tree frog, a pig, and a toucan that correlate to real-life pictures of these animals. It is fun to watch the children match these toy representations to pictures and to hear them name these objects during our three-period lessons.

We also have some wooden shapes in a checkered mystery bag that the children like to explore. Right now we pull each object out one at a time, feel them in our hands, and notice the edges, corners, and curves of each item. Then we name them: rectangular prism, sphere, cone, and cube. Once the children have a solid understanding of the item names and how they feel, we will try identifying them by just feeling them in the bag!

Mrs. Doyle’s Class: Really Cool Reptiles

We are now ready to move from our study of mammals to reptiles. Building on the knowledge that each class of animals has different characteristics to help us distinguish which class they belong to, we introduce these unique characteristics and learn how to correctly classify animals.

We learned that reptiles:

  • Are cold-blooded.  Therefore, a reptile’s body reacts to the temperature of its surrounding.
  • They are covered in scales.  Reptiles do not have hair or fur.  Their scales help to protect their body.
  • They are vertebrates so they have a backbone.
  • Most of them lay eggs on land.  They also have very strong instincts, so from birth they need to be able to survive independently.
  • They breathe air and have lungs.

Some animals that belong to the reptile class are snakes, alligators, crocodiles, turtles, and lizards.

As we introduce a different science concept, we also gently weave the topic into the other areas of the classroom.  For example, we introduced turtle scrubbing in the classroom.  In math, the  counters and manipulative used will be reptiles.  This is a great springboard for discussions to take part in all day long.

Have a wonderful week!

Michelle & Sonja

Ms. Kayser’s Class: The World is at Our Fingertips


Our classroom travels the world every day exploring new places and people across the globe. The children love to hear about the ways that people around the world differ from them, and find joy in the similarities that we all share.

This month in the classroom, we have been exploring the continent of Asia. Out of all the continents that we have learned about, Asia is largest! The children have gotten to learn about the different countries of Asia and the people that inhabit them, as well as all of the animals they can find throughout those countries.

Exploring the beauty of the culture is always an insightful experience for both the children and ourselves. In art this week, Mrs. Reid created a beautiful project for the children that allowed them to create their own calligraphy scrolls! The kindergartners chose a specific Chinese character to replicate and then drew a picture to symbolize their chosen character. The three and four year old friends in the classroom recreated cherry blossom trees on their scrolls. Overall, both groups got hands-on experience working with this ancient tradition, and created the most unique artwork to display throughout our school’s hallways.

Take some time to stop by our primary wing, as well as the administrative wing to look at all of your children’s hard work!

Ms. Kayser and Ms. Alli