January 2015 Newsletter

Week 19, 20 and 21

Welcome back, families and friends! New and exciting things are in the works for the New Year. The hand bells were initially introduced in Music class and have expanded into the classroom. One passionate music lover; i.e., elementary student, is assisting teaching staff in giving bell lessons and plans to expand out into directing the SmarterBell choir. Often, one can walk by the elementary classroom and hear the joyous sound of bells being explored.

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Final editing of the leaf/tree research has been wrapping up as Science Fair projects are ramping up. Students learned about how to make a science experiment proposal and other key steps leading up to our science fair in a two day lesson that included guides and paperwork to fill out for the initial steps. Also, students have started a beautiful quilt to auction at the up-coming Art Extravaganza. Save up your money, everyone is going to want this special classroom artifact to cherish for years to come with their child!

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Despite all of the additional days off due to various reasons, students came back to school hungry for lessons, ready to show Mastery and diligent to work. The winter break let many ideas meld in their minds, allowing for a completeness to come to fruition for many students that were challenged by particular concepts or lessons. It has been enjoyable to see the students satisfied with their accomplishments.

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Week 22

To prepare for the Valentine’s Day party, most students have started their quilling projects to create their own unique cards to share with their friends. While the goal of quilling is to teach our elementary students a skill they can use to create things down the road, an underlying importance is the development of concentration and the small muscles in the hand to improve handwriting.

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Computer skills are being learned by all. Many students have used computers at home or school, surfing the web or playing games. Most students have not used all of the features in word documents or been responsible for navigating the computer in relation to files and memory sticks. The Elementary students are going to be experts by the end of this year with all of the hard work they are doing!

This week, the students broke into two teams and had to write instructions on how to make and eat a peanut butter sandwich. Miss Beth and Sarah followed the directions to a “T” and did not have the sandwiches they dreamed of. However, this activity allowed the students to practice and develop a more keen sense of detail for writing their science proposals!

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Also, as I am sure, your child may have let you know the visit of the worms to our classroom. A generous parent came into our classroom and worked with the students on conducting a complete experiment including collecting data and analyzing data. In the experiment, students learned about how worms communicate with each other by collecting happy worm mucus and angry worm mucus and seeing which mucus the worms were attracted to. All of the students had a blast participating with their worms and found value in the communication abilities of a worm!

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