Third Graders have spent the week finishing up our final math unit of the school year. Students have worked hard to review all of the math knowledge they have gained throughout the school year. This week, students built onto their previous knowledge by beginning to practice decomposing large multiplication problems. We have been so impressed this year by our Third Graders’ bravery when working on mastering all of this new math!
Students began reading fairy tales last week and immediately got excited for the opportunity to write their own fairy tale adaptations. Students waited patiently until FINALLY getting their chance this week. Students each chose a familiar fairy tale. Using this story, students decided on one element of the story to change in their own work. Students were able to modify a character, an event, or a motivation in the story. We have been so thrilled to see the light in Third Graders’ eyes as they describe their own fractured fairy tales!
This week, Third Grade wrapped up our time rock climbing. Our school spent the month focused on practicing persistence in our lives. Third Graders showed persistence by challenging themselves weekly to strive toward new goals on our Rock Wall. Some students challenged themselves to be brave enough to climb the wall at all, some hoped to reach the top, and others practiced increasing their speed when climbing to the top. We are so proud of every climber’s hard work this year!
This week in our Rainforest unit our students wrote about wonders with they had about the rainforest. Wonders about the rainforest ranged from, “How many trees are in the rainforest?” and “How hot does it get in the Rainforest?” to, ‘’Why are there so many dangerous animals?”, and “How do people travel in the rainforest?” Scholars created beautiful butterflies using blue mache paper to go with their wonder. Ask your scholar what wonder they chose!
Pass It On
This week scholars have been practicing reading their poems that they will read at Pass It On. Scholars have been reading with a partner in the classroom everyday to feel more comfortable. Students have also been reading their poems to both teachers in the classroom. Our poets now have their poems almost memorized and ready to share at Pass It On this evening! We hope to see you all there!
This week in math our scholars have been working on counting straws to make nineteen, twenty, and then making piles for each ten. Kindergartners are able to model with objects and represent number ten to twenty with place value and hide zero cards. Number bonds came back into the picture this week in math and our scholars were able to model numbers ten to twenty using them. Ask your scholar what was their favorite part of math this week!
It’s Lizl Time!
In honor of our Africa unit, Mrs. Lizl Kotz came in to speak to our 4th Grade scholars about her experience growing up in South Africa. She brought in artifacts that represented the culture and history of her upbringing. Students were curious and excited to learn all about Lizl’s childhood. Please ask your child about a highlight from Lizl’s presentation!
Fourth Grade students have been focused on creating culture cards for our Social Studies unit, Africa! A culture card is a card that has a fact about the culture of the Tuareg on one side and an image to match that fact on the other side. Each student selected 5 facts from their ongoing research. They were asked to include a fact about food, shelter, clothing, transportation, and culture. Please ask your child about the special significance of the culture cards!
Centers for Everyone!
Fourth Grade students got a kick out of the themes for our Centers this week! One center hosted mad lib sheets, which were designed to be a part of the mystery unit. Students practiced using adjectives, nouns, and verbs. Another center was set up for students to play the game Mancala, which is a count-and-capture board game with an ancient heritage. There are hundreds of variants found around the world. Our final center was dedicated to analogies. Please ask your child what they liked about each center!
Scientists have been studying living systems for the past few weeks. We put together a composting worm habitat and have been observing these worms weekly to see the progress of our “scraps”. Students added newspaper shreds, soil, sticks, and leftover food to create this habitat for our red worms. On Wednesday this week we observed the jars and students were amazed at how much of their food had been decomposed by the worms.
We have been discussing persistence during Morning Meetings and throughout the day as we near the end of the year. Students are encouraged to keep the momentum moving as they prepare themselves for their sixth grade year. On Wednesday, we wrote down the different ways we will stay persistent throughout this last month. Some students said they will get more sleep at night in order to focus better, while others said they will try their very best on the upcoming projects and tests. Ask your child how they will stay persistent!
While reading high-level non-fiction texts, students (and adults) sometimes stumble upon words they are not familiar with. This week readers identified these difficult or unfamiliar words and worked through different ways to understand what the text is saying. Some students used context clues in the texts, while others asked peers for help recognizing these words. If readers could not define what the word meant, and it was stifling their comprehension, students looked up words in the dictionary.
Third Graders were so excited to begin our fairy tales unit this week. Students have spent the week analyzing all of the elements that go into fairy tales. After reading through several examples of different fairy tales (that students were excited to realize they were mostly familiar with!), students began to work on their own adaptations. Using what they know about classic fairy tales, Third Graders have spent time this week modifying one aspect of a known fairy tale and creating their very own stories!
Students were very excited to continue our water study this week. This week’s investigations dealt with water temperature. Students started the investigation by building a thermometer and observing how hot water caused the water in their thermometers to expand or rise! Students then observed the effect of cold water, and their water levels lowering. Students have continued this week by observing water in various forms: liquid, solid and gas!
It is with a heavy heart that Third Graders said goodbye to our class gerbil, Roxie! We have had such a wonderful year taking care of our furry little friend. We are so sad to not get the chance to come in and see her chewing through cardboard or doing backflips in her cage anymore. Third Grade is thankful for the time we had this year with Roxie and we will miss her dearly!
This week in 1st Grade, we launched our Author Expert Study. Each student selected a favorite author whose books they enjoy reading or whom they want to learn more about. Some of the authors that students chose include Cynthia Rylant, Ezra Jack Keats, Mercer Mayer, Mo Willems, Jane Yolen, Oliver Jeffers, and Eric Carle. Throughout the course of the next few weeks, students will have the opportunity to delve deeply into their author’s life and body of work. They will analyze themes, techniques, and characters. They will look closely at the author’s illustrations and the mediums each author uses and they will create their own art in their author’s style. They will write their own stories using one of their author’s books as a mentor or inspiration text. In the words of a 1st Grade scholar, “We are all very excited to read our favorite authors’ books. It inspires our spirits!”
TCS teachers meet for weekly faculty meetings. This collaborative culture allows us the space to share ideas, discuss challenges, support each other, and ultimately enhance and improve our teaching to more effectively meet students’ needs. This week’s meeting was focused on Math, specifically how we can help students build their number sense. We discussed the concept of Number Talks, a tool that TCS teachers use in their classrooms regularly. Number Talks are quick interesting Math problems that can be introduced in Morning Meeting, before a Math lesson, or even at transition times. They get all students involved, help them strengthen fluency, intuition, and mental math strategies, think flexibly, and improve their ability to explain their solutions. Number talks also allow teachers a valuable window into their students’ thinking and allow students to learn from their peers by seeing multiple ways to solve a single problem.
A Whale of a Tale
In Vocabulary this week we are reading Ibis: A True Whale Story by John Himmelman. 1st Grade students were particularly interested in learning more about this exciting account of the first successful rescue of a net-entangled whale, so we will be doing some research related to humpback whale rescue and conservation efforts. It also fits in well with our Pass It On Poetry charity (Earthwatch) and Earth Day focus around protecting our species.
Friday, May 10th-half day (11:30am dismissal) and Pass It On, 5-6pm at the Scottish Rite
Sunday, May 19th-End of the Year Celebration TCS Outing to the Riverdogs Baseball Game
Friday, May 24th-1st Grade Author Expert Presentation at 8:15am in the TCS Library
Monday, May 27th-TCS Closed for Memorial Day
Thursday, May 30th-TCS Graduation (11:30 dismissal)
Friday, May 31st-Field Day/last day of school (11:30 dismissal)
Second Graders continued their science unit on birds this week. They began this study by defining characteristics of birds’ feathers, also known as plumage. One of the characteristics included that there are six types of feathers. Feathers are classified as tail feathers, flight feathers, semiplume feathers, filoplume feathers, bristle feathers and downy feathers. Second Graders noticed that birds like penguins and owls possess downy feathers because they are essential for keeping these birds warms. Scholars will soon label parts of a feather as well as draw their own.
Number Stories for Equal Groups and Arrays
Second Graders continued their study of multiplication strategies this week by discussing equal groups and arrays through number stories and drawings. Scholars used counters as a tool during this lesson. As they wrote out their drawings, scholars were encouraged to circle each row or column in their arrays to highlight the idea of equal groups. Then, scholars connected the groups to the equal addends in their number models.
James and the Giant Peach
Second Grade’s newest read aloud book is James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. This beloved classic written in 1961 is just as loved today as it was when it was written. The story is centered around a young, English orphan, James, who enters an enormous yet magical peach. James meets enchanted garden bugs along this journey that leads to new adventures.
May 10th 11:30 Dismissal
May 10th Pass It On (5pm-6pm at The Scottish Rite)
May 19th TCS End of the Year Celebration at The Riverdogs Baseball Game
May 27th No School – Memorial Day
On Monday our Kindergarten scholars took a field trip to Legare Farms. Our Scholars were excited to finish up our chicks unit with this special trip. Scholars got to learn new facts about chicks from our instructor who also showed us all the different types of eggs. Kindergartners even got the opportunity to pet the rabbit. The farm was filled with pigs, cows, water buffaloes and goats. Our scholars got to play on the farm themed playground and enjoy lunch. Finally we got to participate in an easter egg hunt. Ask your scholar what their favorite part of the trip was!
Wrapping-Up Swim Lessons
Our brave swimmers completed their last swimming lesson today! Kindergarteners have gained confidence through their weekly swim lessons and their helpful swim coaches. Students set swimming goals and participated in their lessons with brave and happy hearts. Kindergarteners are grateful for their swimming lessons!
It’s Green! It’s Humid! It’s a Rainforest!
Kindergartners have been enjoying our new rainforest study. This week we investigated to find out, “What is a rainforest?” Students practiced locating rainforests around the world using our color-coded biome map. Young conservationists found ways that they can live in harmony with nature, in efforts to save our rainforests. Students shared the different types of animals throughout the jungle. Kindergartners also watched videos of different types of trees in the rainforest. Ask your young scientist what they learned about the rainforest this week!
Let’s go on a mission!
In Centers this week students got to go back in time and see what it was like to be on the Oregon Trail by playing this exciting game with classmates. Students had to catch their own food, escape illnesses, and make their way west across the country. Centers is always a fun and exciting time for students to step out of the normal curriculum and experience hands-on activities that support what we are learning in class.
Scientists this week discovered what nutrients a plant needs to survive. We completed an investigation where we planted wheat grass in a cup. One cup was covered with a black bag, allowing no sunlight to the plant. The other cup was covered with a clear, plastic bag to allow sunlight to the plant. Students observed the condensation in the bag from the natural evaporation cycle that is involved with living plants.
We are Historians
This week, Fifth Grade writers have been researching and drafting informational writing for our Westward Expansion unit in reading and writing. Each writer chose a topic they were interested in such as the Transcontinental Railroad, covered wagons, and The Gold Rush. They then used texts to research this topic and pull information from these texts to take notes. On Thursday, students acted as historians adding their own opinions on their topic. Ask your child what they are writing about in class!
Poetry Muse Presentation!
This week, Fourth Graders got into the poetry groove as they put on a fantastic Poetry Muse presentation for their families. Our scholars hand selected a famous poet with whom they connected and then picked one of their poems to recite for the big day! Students researched their poets in depth and created a video montage to give the audience a full picture of each poet’s life. Students rehearsed with eagerness and it was great to witness their efforts. This was a special moment for our class, as this marks the end of our presentations for the year. Please ask your child about how they felt about this remarkable presentation.
Mentor Poems & Art Blurbs!
Fourth Graders created poems inspired by their Poet Muse to add to their presentations! The poems incorporated poetic elements in theme or style and allowed students to tap into their own imagination. The process of writing poetry in this fashion fostered emotional expression and deepened their sense of ownership over their work. Students continued to fuel their creative minds by painting a piece in honor of their mentor poems. Their artwork put an exclamation mark on the hard work that went into the presentation. Please ask your child about their painting.
This week, to launch our Mystery Unit in Reading, our Fourth Grade detectives were put on a spectacular case! OJ, our beloved pet Gecko, went missing and pandemonium ensued in the classroom as students couldn’t believe their eyes…OJ had disappeared from his biome! Where did OJ go? Questions and concerns started to mount and the search for OJ began. Our scholars had to crack the code to solve the mystery. Students were given mathematical puzzles throughout the trial, to solve in pairs and were granted the next clue to gain momentum in the case. Five clues were given and then our detectives searched the classroom, the library, the Bee Garden, the Silent Zone and finally, the First Grade classroom. After an exhaustive search, they found OJ eating his delicious mealworms in First Grade! OJ was safe and sound. Please ask your child about this exciting mystery.