February, 2021

We are excited for our theme this semester: Nature and the Great Outdoors.  You will see lots of trees, rocks, grasses, flowers, etc. on the stage.  Some of the plays are: The Gruffalo, The Selfish Giant, The Great Kapok Tree, Fred the Skunk, The Circus Ship, and It’s Bigfoot.  All plays have been cast and we are now working on blocking (movement).  It’s never too soon to start memorizing lines and thinking about costumes!  We are also managing to play a few drama games too, such as: Why Are You Late?, Jumping Beans, and Child Swapper.  We REALLY hope to be back at Rex for our performances whether with a live audience or not.  Our new and improved auditorium is waiting for us!  Fingers crossed!







K-1st Grade Writing

In kindergarten we are having fun learning how to read and write color words and write simple sentences with Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes and Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons. These fun read aloud books are also perfect for those beginning readers to read along with you. Next time you are in the library be sure to check out some Pete the Cat books. The students have been enjoying those as much as the Jan Brett books from January. During the next few weeks we also will be talking about rhyming words and word families. This will be in connection with Dr. Seuss’ Birthday on March 2nd. The Kindergarten students are making great growth and have been very excited to learn!

In 1st grade we have been busy trying out some new strategies on sounding out unknown words as well as adding new endings to words (big-bigger-biggest, read-reading). We have also enjoyed learning about the 5 parts of a friendly letter, singing our fun song to remember them (we can sing it SO fast) and have been practicing writing letters to others. These First Graders always try their best, and they have become incredible writers with lots of ideas!

2nd/3rd Grade Writing

We are currently wrapping up Word Choice and will be starting the Voice trait, after Spring break.  We have had fun using awesome adjectives and vivid verbs to describe our self-designed mittens and a piece/kind of our favorite candy. The students are doing a fabulous job writing descriptions, details and applying what they have learned from the previous writing traits. A few of the great mentor texts that we have recently read are, Honey, by David Ezra Stein and When the Fly Flew In, by Lisa Westberg Peters. These books are great examples of how to use awesome adjectives and vivid verbs to paint a picture for the reader along with using the right words to capture and move the reader.

4th/5th Grade Writing

Our 4th and 5th grade writers are nearing the end of our Word Choice unit. In learning how to “dress up our writing” using MILLION DOLLAR WORDS, your child has gathered specific adjectives and vivid verbs to use in their own writing, among other things. They have delivered a presentation to the class, practiced incorporating our FAAVS: Figurative Language, Adverbs, Adjectives, Verbs, and Sense words into their work, and identified specific words that author Maurie Manning used to write her engaging book called Kitchen Dance. We will end this unit by sharing our narratives with the class. We’ll also record the great words that each student author chose to “dress up” their own writing. Once that has wrapped, we’ll move on to our Voice unit. We’ll learn about tone, speaking directly to our reader through text, gain knowledge about the necessary components to writing an Opinion piece, and students will write their own. I can definitely see the progress that each student is making, as they put their new skills into practice!

6th-12th Grade Writing

We are deep in our unit on news writing.  We have been studying the difference between news vs. feature articles by examining multiple newspapers from around the nation and globe.  Students have learned to consider the Five Ws and One H and GAPS (Genre, Audience, Purpose, Style) before starting any piece of writing.  The inverted pyramid design of news writing has also been introduced.  We are currently working on writing news headlines.  For the final product, students will be writing their own feature and news article and designing the front page of a newspaper of their creation. 


Open Book

Middle School Book Club: We are just finishing up reading and discussing I Will Always Write Back by Caitlin Alifirenka, Liz Welch, and Martin Ganda.  Next, we will read the play Our Town by Thornton Wilder together.  We will finish the semester reading Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan.


High School Book Club: We are currently reading It's Trevor Noah: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood (Adapted for Young Readers) by Trevor Noah.  We will finish the semester reading Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.



For the past weeks, since we returned to In Person learning after winter break, younger students (K-5) have been engaged in making their simple EMBOSSING projects using cardboard, tin foil, stickers, puzzle pieces, string, glue, and permanent colored sharpies.  The older students (6-12) have been busy creating a similar project of their own design, yet with actual ALUMINUM for the EMBOSSING with the choice of permanent marker for the color, or alcohol inks.  This will wrap up very soon.

Currently, the younger students have moved on to working with the Art Element of “Space,” and have enjoyed drawing figures while posing mannequins.  We discussed the idea that the building block element of 

“Space” in Art can mean how we divide up or utilize the area on a blank piece of paper or canvas creating a composition.

Exciting days ahead as we wrap up the year..CLAY is on the agenda, pending our return to Rex Mathes.  We will also engage in an art activity that was cut short last spring which utilizes the SUN as part of our projects, and of course...the final “Art Room Buffet” Choice Day in May.

I am excited to begin work with the Drama Props Crew again!  ~Mrs. C

Art Class
Art Supply
Art Class

We have been busy learning about electricity and circuits in science. Students have learned the difference between a series circuit and a parallel circuit. They have learned about conductors and insulators and tested various materials in the classroom. Students also learned how to draw and then build different circuits using circuit symbols. We finished our circuit unit last week and will be starting our new unit on Ecosystems and Biomes this week.


Our unit on Ecosystems and Biomes will cover a wide range of both terrestrial (land) and aquatic (water) biomes. We will learn about living and non-living organisms and study some of the biggest and smallest ecosystems in the world. Our unit will end with a dissection activity for all students. 

Image by Tania Malréchauffé


Kindergarten and 1st graders have moved on to winter weather clothing and some body parts.  Ask your first grader to tell you who Billy La Bufanda is!  Ask your kindergartener how they dressed the weather bear!  

2nd - 5th graders are finishing up the landform unit.  Ask them about the little prank I played on them with my Mexico landform postcards. :)    They are currently working on dialogues where one student plays the parent and one plays the child.  And they have a conversation in Spanish about where to go for vacation!  

Spanish A students are beginning to learn adjectives to describe themselves and other people.  Please remind them to study for their mini quizzes each week, which will greatly enhance the instruction that I give during our 50 minute class period.  

Spanish B students are continuing their study of foods interspersed with ER and IR verbs.  Please remind them to study for their mini quizzes each week, which will greatly enhance the instruction that I give during our 50 minute class period.

Chalkboard with Different Languages


We are making the most of staying inside during this cold snowy weather and playing a variety of interactive games to get students working together and moving.  We look forward to heading outside again as the weather gets warmer.  Please make sure students wear shoes appropriate for running and playing when attending HSAP classes.

Getting Ready to Run