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Mrs. Doyle’s Class: Special Visitors

This week we had two special visitors.  On Tuesday, Officer Felicia, Officer Matt, and Aris from the Newtown Police Department spent some time teaching us how they all work together to keep us safe.  Aris is a two year old German Shepherd who is still in training and part of the Newtown K-9 unit.  He comes all the way from Slovakia. The children loved hearing that his favorite food is ice cream and that he lives at home with Officer Felicia.

On Wednesday, we learned who St. Nicholas was. St. Nicholas was a Bishop who inherited a lot of money from his family.  He was also a very gentle, kind man who lived by the virtues of personal generosity, charity towards those in need, and taking care of the young and the most vulnerable.  We learned that  St. Nicholas loved to perform random acts of kindness for those in need. Many people around the world celebrate St. Nicholas Day by leaving a pair of boots outside their door.  So, we left them outside our classroom door.  To our amazement, the boots were beautifully decorated and filled with candy canes the next morning.

Wishing you a warm and wonderful week!

Mrs. Doyle & Mrs. Lyga


Mrs. Hood’s Class: Jingle All the Way!

 

Winter holidays are used in our environment as a fun way to keep children engaged, encourage joy of learning, and help us to introduce the passage of time and seasons. Since they bring a sense of light and joyfulness to the long, dark winter months and create a sense of community, we welcome them wholeheartedly. The sound of jingle bells are everywhere in our environment. Your children love exploring the sounds of different size bells while spooning, tweezing, sorting, playing, singing, and dancing.

Some of the favorite works this week seemed to be dressing the snowman while practicing parts of the body vocabulary; the Menorah posting activity where children practiced colors, counting, and new words such as: star, Menorah, and candle; placing ornaments on our tiny Christmas tree and all the new seasonal practical life activities.

Cranberries were the seasonal food we introduced this week! Mrs. Wilson shared with us a fabulous cranberry sauce she made and let me tell you that all your children loved it!  Another 100% liked fruit for your list.

We can’t wait for our holiday celebration next week! Remember you are welcome to send your child in pajamas. Stay tuned for fun pictures!


Lower Elementary: We Are a Patchwork Quilt

We start every morning with a community gathering. During this time, the children are enjoying practicing the songs they’ve learned in music class for our upcoming holiday concert. Thank you, Ms. Kim, for sharing your beautiful piano accompaniments with our class!

On Tuesday, we had a four legged friend come to visit. Aris, a Newtown K9 came to show off a few tricks with Officer Felicia and Officer Matt. The children were thrilled to hear that he’s only two years old and has already caught two bank robbers! Thank you for your service, Officers Aris, Felicia, and Matt.

We are continuing to work hard as the holidays are fast approaching. In geometry, the first years had a blast listening to the “Love Story of the Lines” while learning about convergent, divergent and parallel lines. Then, they used the Box of Sticks to demonstrate their understanding. After learning about the common protractor last week, the second years are working on measuring angles with a common protractor. Last but not least, the third years enjoyed their supplementary angles lesson.


Middle School: Tying up the Trimester

Happy Friday! Another full week of middle school has come and gone. Trimester 1 has come to a close, and we will embrace new goals and lessons as we finish 2018. This week, we were lucky to have Officer Felicia from the Newtown Police Department visit with K-9, Aris, a sprightly, 2-year old German Shepherd. Demonstrations in apprehension and nosework were given as well as information on the process of acquiring and training a K-9 police dog. It is clear that the bond between Officer Felicia and her partner, Aris, is unbreakable.

This week in Humanities, 6th years began their unit on the Middle East and North Africa. They looked at the geography of the regions and began studying Mesopotamia. 7th years began their unit on Sub-Saharan Africa, also looking at the geography of the region including human geography and natural resources. 8th years began their unit on Black America, studying the origins of slavery in the colonies and the forming of classes with early legislation supporting both.

Math classes remained busy this week. The 8th years  just finished unit four, an introduction to functions.  The students learned how to represent functions using tables, equations, and graphs. They also learned how to find terms in arithmetic sequences. They will continue their work with linear functions as we begin unit five, which starts with slope and direct variation. 7th years also finished unit four covering factors, fractions and exponents. Students learned factoring monomials, finding common factors and common multiples, simplifying and comparing fractions, multiplying and dividing powers, and finally writing numbers in scientific notation. It was a full chapter! Next, they will begin chapter 5 learning rational numbers and equations. 6th years  have also completed unit four, covering equations and inequalities. The students learned how to solve one and two-step equations, and one and two-step inequalities. Unit four also included the graphing of inequalities. Next up are ratios, rates, and proportions!
In Science, 6th & 8th year students are working on identifying the formation of crystal structures based on the cooling process of magma. The seventh years are continuing their work and investigations on the periodic table of elements. Students are discovering how the arrangement of the periodic table of elements has come to be.
Enjoy the weekend!
**Two notes to parents: Please send your child/children in with water bottles for their daily drinks. We are trying not to use plastic, disposable cups in the classroom. 
Secondly, it is getting cold outside! Please make sure students come in with winter jackets and clothing that covers the legs. 
Thank you for your attention to this!

Laser Cutting in 2nd Grade

 

Students in 2nd grade received a lesson today on positive space and negative space. Our in-house laser cutter, The Glowforge, has an awesome feature called tracing. What this means is this: you can turn a drawing into a physical object!

 

Steps;
1. Create a drawing or sketch on paper using a black marker *CONTRAST IS IMPORTANT*

2. Place the drawing inside the Glowforge laser cutter

3. Choose Trace on the web based software (this takes a picture of your sketch)

4. Choose the negative space that you want to cut away

5. Remove drawing from Glowforge and replace with material- in this case we choose Draftwood, which is easy to paint and color.

6. Press the glowing button on the machine

7. Watch and wait!

 

The lesson we started with was to create our names as solid pieces. One student also created an illustration which I scaled down and cut AND engraved. I can’t wait to see what these makers do next!


Mrs. Carroll’s Class: A Sea of Rugs

 

The love of ones environment is the secret of social evolution.-Maria Montessori

Retrieving a mat, picking it up carefully, finding the ideal space to work, and rolling it out provides an opportunity to practice gross motor skills and body consciousness. Everything that gets placed on the mat thereafter becomes the responsibility (and privilege) of the child working on that mat.

Montessori work mats delineate a work space as the child’s own and sets an intention to “work”.  Not only does the child know that their lesson is exclusive to them (unless they invite someone to join them on their mat), they also have the responsibility to put their materials away when they are finished before they roll up their mat, and signal the end of their work session.

Our floors have been a sea of rugs!  Your children are skillfully maneuvering themselves throughout the environment, careful not to disturb a friend’s work.  I continue to be amazed at their growing control and respect for both friends and the environment.

Until next week,

Cindy & Sharlene


Ms. Kayser’s Class: Thankful

This month has been filled with so many amazing experiences! From the visiting firefighters, to our STARlab field trip, and Thanksgiving just last week, it has been non stop excitement. The most amazing part of all this is that your children still had the most beautiful focus and drive within the classroom. Although there were so many other things going on, they still were able to come into our quiet sanctuary and get lost within the works on the shelves. They are continuing to grow each and every day and are proving, now more than ever, that their curiosity and love for learning is able to persevere through the excitement happening around them!

In the classroom this month we have been studying North America in geography! The children absolutely adore learning about the continent that they live on, and are eager to explore everything there is to know about it. We have been learning about the people of North America, the animals that inhabit North America, and even got to weave our own Native American rugs! Mrs. Reid taught the children the history behind rug weaving and then gave the children the opportunity to create their own; it was a beautifully done project that had the children completely absorbed!

On another note, we hope that you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving last week. It is such a blessed time because  it gives us a chance to sit back and really think about the things in our lives that we are thankful for. Ms. Alli and I agree that, aside from being thankful for our families and friends, we are truly so thankful to have each and every one of your children in our lives. We took time in class to talk to the children about what they are thankful for before our Thanksgiving celebration and wrote them on their turkey headbands! We hope you enjoyed them as much as we did, some definitely put a huge smile on our faces!

All the best,

Ms. Kayser and Ms. Alli


Fun Holiday Warm-Up Games & Floor Hockey

 

In Physical Education class, students participate in warm-up games prior to the class activities.  Warm-up games this month were:  “Pluck the Turkey,” “Happy Thanksgiving,” “Happy Holidays,” and “Grinch Tag.” In the game “Pluck the Turkey,” students try to pluck as many turkey tails as they can.  If a tail is plucked, the student can come see Mrs. Pascarella for another tail.   In the game “Happy Thanksgiving” and “Happy Holidays” students have to pick a food or object that is associated with that holiday.  Students line up on one end of the gym and one tagger is in the middle.   For example, when the tagger (the caller) calls out “are there any turkeys?”  Those that chose to be turkeys would then try to run to the other side of the gym without getting tagged.  If tagged, he or she will join the tagger in the middle.  The game goes on until there are one or two students left that have not been tagged.  In “Grinch Tag,” all run around as elves preparing gifts for the holidays.  The Grinch is holding a green ball and tries to tag the elves with the ball and stop them from making presents.  Two students (Mr. and Mrs Claus) are holding a red ball and help the elves that are frozen to get back into the game and start running again.  In The purpose of these warm-up games are for students to work on their cardiovascular endurance, loco-motor skills, and prepare their bodies for activity so that they are less prone to injury.

Students in Kindergarten through fifth grade started a floor hockey unit this month.  The Floor hockey skills of dribbling, passing, and shooting were introduced.  To practice dribbling, we engage in an activity called “Walk Your Dog,”  Dribble Knockout, Dribble Relay, Keep-away, Knock the Pin, Steal the Bacon, and Sideline Hockey.  We practice these hockey skills in order to help students develop hand-eye coordination, agility, balance, and group cooperation.  At the end of each class, students participated in sideline hockey.  Sideline hockey is a game where only two to three students from each team come out to the court while the rest of their teammates are on the sideline and can help make passes.  Small sided games allows for students to be more actively participating in team games.