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Spring 2023

We have been busy dissecting in our science classes and applying what we learned during our human body systems unit. Students in each grade level are learning about a different animal through dissection.

Kindergarten-1st grade: Owl Pellets (What do owls eat?)

2nd-3rd grades: Cow eyes (How do our eyes work?)

4th-5th grades: Grass Frogs (Organs and body systems)

6th-7th grades: Bullfrogs (Organs and body systems)

8th-12th grades: Fetal Pigs (Organs and body systems)


We also have 11 crayfish that have joined our classroom. We are learning about them, caring for them, and interacting with them daily. Students have learned how to safely handle them and will learn about their structures and natural ecosystems.


Dissection will wrap up the week of April 24th-28th, and we will spend the last few weeks of classes learning about our planet and ways to conserve natural resources. We will work through some activities on how to conserve water, ways we can recycle materials in our homes, and how human pollution affects both plants and animals in our environment.

Meat Tacos


Happy Friends

Kindergarten and 1st grade students had a great time making maracas in art class and then learning about maracas and alpacas in Spanish class!  Ask them to sing the burrito song they learned while playing their maracas!  Each class got to perform it for a class of older students at Rex Mathes!  We will round out the year with a mini unit on insects and then a mini unit on piñatas!  Watch for the piñata flier that will come home asking for donations during the week of May 8th to fill the class piñata with delicious candies and fun little toys!  

2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders had a great time planning out healthy and unique meals and then trying to “Stump the Spanish Teacher” with foods I didn’t know how to say in Spanish!  They have been working hard to master the use of the phrase me gusta(n).  Ask them to show you the “orange juice song” on my website which can be found here.  These students will also end the year with a grand piñata party, so watch for the flier that will come home asking for donations of delicious candies and fun little toys with which to fill each class piñata.  

Spanish A students (6th/7th graders) have just begun to learn the most important skill of conjugating a Spanish verb.  Ask them to tell you about the story “The Headstand Protest,” which was used to teach them the subject pronouns!  They will end the year with a SALSA party during which they have a salsa tasting contest and learn to dance the salsa!  

Spanish B students (8th graders) have just finished several units about health and nutrition.  We will end the year with a special luncheon catered by Chipotle Mexican Grill.  Watch for the order form that will come home soon!  

Image by Green Chameleon
Laptop Writing

K/1st Grade Writing

We are working hard on learning how to sound out words, rhyming, sight words and creating word families. All of our special writing goes into our Writer’s Notebooks. The students are very proud of all of their work they have accumulated so far!  Favorites lately have been Sneezy the Snowman,  Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes, Rainbow Fish and Green Eggs & Ham. These are fun read alouds that allow your child to read along with you. Be sure to check out their Writer’s Notebook. Look at their well loved “Rainbow Roll Game” and their Spring “Write Around the Room,” and give them some great feedback! The Kindergarten students are making wonderful growth and have been very excited to learn!


First Grade

We have been busy trying out some new strategies on sounding out unknown words as well as adding new endings to words in our spelling dictionaries. We have also enjoyed learning about the 5 parts of a friendly letter and singing our fun song to remember them (the tune is to Head Shoulders Knees and Toes, and we can sing it SO fast). We have been practicing writing letters to others. More favorite writing pieces include “When I Grow Up” and “All About Me.” These First Graders always try their best, and they have become incredible writers with lots of ideas!


2nd/3rd Grade Writing 

The 2nd and 3rd graders have been learning about Sentence Fluency, which is our last writing trait for the year. Students have learned about how to avoid run-on sentences, what makes a complete sentence, how to stretch a sentence, and how to begin sentences in different ways. They have practiced working on each of these skills so that they can apply them to their own writing. We will soon be starting our final writing project. Students will be researching a planet and putting that research into a newspaper article. Please be on the lookout for the research paper information sheet. They will need to complete what they don’t get done in class at home. 


4th/5th Grade Writing

The past several weeks 4th and 5th graders have learned the important elements needed to write an opinion piece. We began by defining and sharing our opinions. We then gave our reasons and examples for why we hold the opinions that we do. Students presented their final drafts in class, while audience members decided whether they agreed or disagreed with our presenters, including their own reasons. Each class held a discussion after their presentations. Our final unit on Sentence Fluency will begin by reading and reviewing two books written by award-winning author Robert Burleigh. He’s written over forty books for children, including Hoops and Goal. These  action-packed books give readers the feeling of being on the basketball court or on the sprawling soccer field. We’ll look closely at this author’s poetic and straight-forward writing style. As we identify the specific techniques that he uses to make his writing unique, students will try it for themselves as they write their own action-packed piece!


6th/8th Writing

Students finished writing their Mysteries of Harris Burdick short stories.  I have really enjoyed getting to read their finished products.  We are now in the middle of making informational tri-fold brochures.  We have examined published brochures for style, layout, and purpose.  The students are choosing their topics and should ask you what questions you have about their topic to lead their research.  Then they will research their topic and we will discuss the criteria for evaluating sources on the web (currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose).  Students will then design their tri-fold brochure and present it to the class.  Students will need access to a printer as this assignment can not be submitted in Canvas since you can’t fold an electronic copy.  😂


Friday 8th-12th Writing

We spent the first part of 2nd semester writing practice position essays for the ACT test.  This was quite a challenge for many of our students and very worthwhile.  We are currently working on debating.  We have learned about the format of a debate, chosen our teams and topics, and are currently working on our arguments.  Each group will have a practice debate and then have a formal debate with judges on our last day of classes.  Should be fun!


We are getting so close to performances! How exciting!  ALL schedules for dress rehearsal and performances have been emailed to all families involved.  PLEASE be sure to read these emails or let us know if you did not receive the emails ( or 

As a reminder:

Thursday, May 4 - performance for 2nd-3rd graders 

Friday, May 5 - dress rehearsal for all 4th-12th graders

Friday, May 12 - performance for all Wed. and Thurs. 4th-8th graders

Tuesday, May 16 - performance for all Mon., Tues., and Fri. 4th-12th graders


Whew!! :)  Again, look for and read the emails that have been sent recently.   


How you can help from home: 

* be sure your actors have their costumes ready to go and be worn next week and for all subsequent rehearsals/classes

* check line memorization and practice with your actors at home

* avoid any absences or late arrivals to classes, rehearsals, and performances

* look again at the Sign-Up Genius to see if you can lend a prop

* enjoy the shows!!! :)


Thanks SO much!!!

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The Eighth grade Book Club read Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare together which was so fun!  We are currently finishing The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. 


Middle School Book Club read Our Town by Thornton Wilder together and are currently finishing up with Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick.  We have had some thought provoking discussions in both classes!

Library Bookshelves


PE teachers are hoping for some good weather to be able to get outside to do skills and games. Some skills they would like to work on are soccer and softball/baseball. We have some fun outside games planned to go with the skill development.

50+ nature activites to connect with nat
Planning for High School ...
    It may be hard to believe, but if the high school years are in sight for your student, it's time to start planning.  There are many options out there for your home school student to explore.  The resources at the link below should help you prepare for and navigate through the high school years.
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Mrs. Craven’s ART room is bursting with so much creativity!!  All students in grades K-5 began the quarter with a portrait using the theme “Silly For Spring!”  We brainstormed what things they were excited about with the coming warmer weather, then incorporated those images in some comical self portraits. 

Those works are currently on display in the school and will be coming home soon!



We had such a fun time teaming with Spanish to create some MARACA shakers and were so happy to be able to perform in front of a few other students.  Currently, we are making a “secret” gift for the children to bring home in May.  We will wrap up this school year with our last Nature Element of “Wind” to make some windsocks and pinwheels.  The GRAND FINALE will be our long awaited FREE CHOICE ART BUFFET!



Our rainsticks are almost complete!  Thank You to all the many families who donated paper tubes, nails, and newspapers to help with the success of this project.  This multimedia project has been very fun, and a wonderful team-building adventure.



It has been really fun to create our multimedia kites in the art room this quarter!

The students are proud of their work and have been really engaged in the process of using paint sticks, glue guns, cellophane, tissue paper, and tie-dye for the tails.

These will come home in the next two weeks and conclude the unit relating to the element of Air / Wind.  Our Wednesday 4/5 grade class will showcase their kites

during their play in a scene with a kite festival!


Middle and High Schoolers~

Stained glass has been such an adventure for our Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers!  In this unit, we learned how to cut pieces of glass safely, arrange them, and glue them to a recycled jar of their choice.  Some students chose to grout between the pieces of glass while others left them a bit more translucent.  We ended the project by writing an “Artist Statement” which reflects their perceptions while creating this project. Our stained glass pieces will be on display during the nights of the plays in an exhibit called “Light the Night~”


All students in grades K-12 will enjoy the Free Choice Art Buffet during the last week of class.  Mrs. Craven would love donations of plastic eggs and fabric! 

Thanks so much~

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