K/1st graders: We have been busy learning about owls, what they eat, and dissecting owl pellets. We found some awesome bones, and students were able to bring them home to share with families :). We have also been busy taking care of and learning all about crayfish. We now have 19 crayfish and some snails that tagged along with our Elodea plants to observe in our classroom.
2nd/3rd graders: We have been learning all about eyes and had the opportunity to dissect sheep eyes. Students found many different structures and learned about similarities and differences between a cow eye and human eye. We have also been learning about and taking care of the crayfish.
4th/5th graders: We have been studying the brain. Students have identified the three main parts of the brain, the functions of each part, and have dissected a sheep brain. We had fun finding structures and seeing the different types of brain tissue.
6th/7th graders: We have been busy learning about the heart. Students have put together large heart diagrams to identify chambers, valves and vessels. We then dissected a sheep heart and found the four chambers and even identified some valves! Students finished their activity by tracing the path of a Red Blood Cell (RBC) through the heart.
8th graders: Students have been learning about the body systems of the fetal pig. We have dissected each level of the fetal pig and have identified organs of the digestive system, the circulatory system, and the urinary system.
All students will begin our last unit of the semester after spring break… PLANTS! We will spend time learning about the parts of a plant, growing fast plants and hopefully get outside to identify some plants and flowers on the Rex Mathes campus.
K/1st students have just begun a new unit about the family. They will learn how to say all the family members and some pets in Spanish. Ask them about family dress-up and what they chose to wear from the dress-up box!
2nd - 5th grade - The Olympics are over, but these gold medal students will continue on with the sports theme by learning other, non-winter sport names. The unit will culminate with students writing and sharing a paragraph about their favorite sport . . . all in Spanish! Ask your child who Bing Dwen Dwen is, and have them tell you the story of how Señora Day finally realized her Olympic dream! ;)
6th/7th grade (Spanish Stories) - Students have now completed units relating to two different stories. Ask to see the in-class assignment where they wrote the second story, EL MONO Y LA VACA. You will be quite impressed at how they can write! The third story is called THE LOST BOOK and will be introduced in the coming weeks.
8th grade (Spanish B) - Breakfast and lunch foods have been covered and we are now moving forward to dinner foods, along with continual practice of the verbs COMER (to eat) and BEBER (to drink). There is also a component to this unit involving healthy living. We will finish out the year with a unit about places we go!
We are working hard on learning how to sound out words, rhyming 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 there so far! Favorites lately have been Sneezy the Snowman, Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes, 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 and give them some great feedback! The Kindergarten students are making wonderful growth and have been very excited to learn!
First Grade Writing:
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, 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. These First Graders always try their best, and they have become incredible writers with lots of ideas!
2nd/3rd Grade Writing:
The students have been learning how to use Word Choice in their writing and doing a wonderful job applying what they are learning. They’ve listened to a wonderful mentor text, Mole’s Sunrise, by Jeanne Willis. This text gave amazing descriptions of a sunrise. The students had the opportunity to compose their own descriptive writing of an event or something they have experienced outside, just like the characters in the book. They also had fun with another descriptive writing assignment where they each picked a treat/dessert to describe. When they read their descriptive writing to the class, the class tried to guess what their treat was. If you haven’t had a chance to see their writing, be sure to look in their writer’s notebook to see all of their great writing they have been doing the last couple of weeks. We have just started learning about the Voice trait. We will be writing stories to reflect the characters point of view and emotions along with some persuasive writing pieces.
4th/5th Grade Writing
We’ve been busy wrapping up our unit on Word Choice, as students learned a new writing genre, Memoir. After giving it some good thought, their ideas were set in motion, a writing plan was created, followed by a rough draft, and a final. This week, students confidently shared their Memoirs in front of their classmates. It’s been so rewarding to see your children grow, not only in their writing skills, but for some, their new-found confidence in front of the class as well. It takes courage to present in front of your peers and several have overcome their nervousness, with a little encouragement. They now understand the importance of presentation as an experience that can allow them to trade their nervousness for confidence with a little trust and practice. We’ll soon grasp writing with emotion and tone, as we begin our lessons in Voice.
We are in the thick of writing poetry and focusing on great word choice. Each day, students are learning about a new poetry format and writing a new poem every week. Many students have found that they enjoy writing poems. Some of the types of poems we have been writing are Parody, Fake Apology, Personification, Simile/Metaphor, Haikus, and Acrostic Poems. We have a few more weeks left in which we will be writing Autobiographical, Blackout, and Concrete Poems. The students have really enjoyed sharing their poems with each other during class. We will finish out the semester learning how to write an outline and delivering Demonstration Speeches. Students will be able to show the class how to perform a skill. These are always so much fun!
This is a great time of the semester!
The plays are all cast and rehearsals are in full swing, but we do not yet feel the stress and pressure of the upcoming performance! That comes later. :) For now, we are planning out our movements on stage (called blocking), practicing how to say our lines, and talking about props and costumes. All students should be working on memorizing lines (except narrators and those in readers’ theatres) and beginning to plan out costumes. (Not all costumes need to come from home; we have some that we can provide from Rex Mathes–your students might know this and if they do not yet know, we will be sending costume notes home soon).
As a reminder, our theme this semester is “The Character of Kindness,” so we are learning through our stories how to be kind, thoughtful, respectful, etc.
As always, we try to find time in class to squeeze in a game or two, including Child Swapper, Why are you Late?, Zip, and Bear in the Woods.
We are enjoying our classes and think the students are as well!!
Middle School Book Club has had lots of fun reading this semester. We have finished reading The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton and will read The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley in March and Refugee by Alan Gratz in April. I have really enjoyed my time reading and discussing great books with kids who love to read!
With the weather starting to look like spring, the students are “itching to get outside” and run and play games in the fresh air! Kick-ball, softball/baseball, and capture the flag are all popular games. We have even come up with new student games so spring is one of our favorite times for physical education! We can’t believe we are on the downhill side of the school year! We are excited to finish the school year strong!
Our theme, “Animals in Art” continues!
Just after the winter holidays, we worked to complete all of our Clay Units.
There are still several artworks that are in the display case, so be sure to ask your child if they have picked theirs up. There are just a few remaining projects “In the Hospital,” which need to be glued before they can come home.
Currently, we are having so much fun creating Paper Mache’ Fish and Plaster Mask castings of animal faces. Here is what your child is working on:
K-3rd We are focusing on the ART ELEMENT of “Form.” Students are constructing fish forms out of dish / hand soap bottles which utilize a multimedia approach including the bottles, cardboard, tape, paint, Sta-flo starch, newspaper, and embellishments such as sequins and jewels. We hope to display these very soon after Spring Break. Thanks so much to all of the families and teachers who contributed bottles and newspapers!
4-8th Students have learned all about plaster and castings as they create their own animal form. Included in the choices are bear, cat / lion, horse/zebra, fish face, and duck face. Right now, we are working hard to complete the painting and embellishment phase. Many of the students wish to bring their works home, yet we are hoping to have some to put in the display case in the hallway.
High School / 9-12
These students enjoyed learning about Stained Glass for their block this past semester!
Included in the steps are Designing, Cutting, Tacking, and Soldering glass. What a unique experience, and so much fun.
DRAMA PROPS CLUB just began a couple of weeks ago for those students who signed up in the fall to help make sets and props for the upcoming Spring plays~ It is great to watch the enthusiasm and teamwork these 6-8th graders bring to the table to make the set pieces come to life. We can’t wait to share them during the upcoming Spring Drama Performances.
As the current projects are completed, we look forward to finishing the year with Nature Prints and the much anticipated “Free Choice Day Buffet!”
Thanks so much for sharing your creative children with us at “Craven’s Corner!”
A special shout out to those students representing HSAP during the WDMCS K-12 “Impact of Art” exhibit currently up at the Learning Resource Center. The following students have multimedia artworks on display until the end of March (Youth Art Month.) Rae Rae DeKok, Tali Messer, Chloe Powers, Levi Travnicek, and Lyla Willson. The show may be viewed during normal business hours, at your convenience until the end of March. Enjoy~