Week 27, 28
Yes! The weather is finally warming! We got to go outside finally – not that we don’t love the use of the gym. The last of the snow in piles of the edge of the parking lot were the key focus as we have been stuck inside due to the extreme weather. Ice hockey was the second interest even though the ice puck kept falling apart. One of my favorite things is watching the students use their imaginations to create games and “official” rules during recess.
One popular lesson received recently was the experiment observing fluidity and viscosity of liquids. Students enjoyed the etymology of the English words and seeing the flow of different liquids. All students have been working on a style of cursive handwriting called The Initial Stoke Method where one stroke leads the student to drawing several commonly made letters of the alphabet. During the Elementary years, many forms of writing will be explored to increase the beauty of your student’s handwriting skills. This also encourages the students to write more neatly, and focus on their spelling, because they want their handwriting to be ‘just so’.
The Elementary class has been delighted to have a new student join us, increasing our class to seventeen students for the school year. We continue to meet our younger guests as the graduating Kindergarten students continue to visit us [two by two], preparing for their next step after the 3 – 6 classrooms. Next year promises to be a booming increase in size for our growing Elementary program, making our program healthy and robust. We are excited!
Many students are starting to delve into Mathematic Laws, Area, Geometric Solids and Ratios. A couple of students are working on Time. Time is both looked at as Standard Time and Military Time, initially, as these two are most commonly used in our society. Talking about societies, students took a look at different cultures and examined some of the patterns of endings, beginnings and merging of cultures over the course of human history. They found that all history of man has not been clearly found through artifacts from the past and that over time, the numbers of cultures multiplied and became more “crowded” on the timeline as it neared current times.
Students thoroughly enjoyed exploring the World of Fossils at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. They were completely enthralled to search through rocks and see if they could figure out the kind of fossil they were viewing. Each student visited all six stations and had to decide if the group of fossils at each station were from a continent or from the ocean. At the end of the class, students became true archeologists and dug into a chunk of dirt, digging out their own shark tooth fossil. Then they identified they type of shark their specific tooth may have belonged to using a chart.
Prepping for our next big event, the International Festival, the students have voted on writing and performing, both. We will become researchers, playwrights and performers in the next couple of weeks! Other exciting starts are the Science Experiments are finally being realized as science materials have been arriving at the school, thanks to our $400.00 grant written by one of our Elementary parents. Beware if you visit our classrooms, Venus Flytraps are on the loose!
Week 29 & 30
Our big focus during this next week and a half is Science Fair despite the flu virus challenging many of our staff and students. Students carried out their experiments, collecting data to analyze. Many surprises happened with our “best guesses” or hypothesis had predicted. Some students worked hard to research their surprises to see if they could figure out why their experiment did not turn out as they hoped. All students delved deeply into researching the Law that governed the outcomes of their experiments, whether their hypothesis was correct or not. Taking their knowledge of paragraph writing, each Science Fair project created their first scientific research paper, based loosely on MLA format. One of the favorite parts of the project of the students was making the presentation boards, created with love and style by our young scientists to share their findings in a more visual way. The students were given lessons on how to present their work at Science Fair night and how to dress up their tables to make them inviting and exciting. One group featured an interactive activity! Science Fair night was packed and vibrating with stimulating conversation and all had fun! As staff, we had great pleasure watching the students enjoy the fruits of their hard work and dedication to their projects.
As part of our Science Fair work, lessons revolved around research techniques, formal writing skills, editing skills, typing skills, reading comprehension, how to organize a research paper, how to follow an outline, communication and public speaking tips from the best Mastering Communication Online Training Program . Several students walked to the local library to do research about their project and discover why it worked or didn’t work the way they thought. We used the library computers and all the knowledge gained from our initial library field trip that taught us how to search and find the books we need, browse this site and discover the leading experts and business solutions.
When it came time to write their paper, all students had lessons on how to type their paper on the computer and then we worked through the editing process. First, we read the paper aloud to a friend. Then we marked the areas we felt didn’t sound quite right with a highlighter. We reviewed the highlighted areas to re-word them as necessary, then typed our changes. Again, we read the paper aloud. This time we also looked for spelling and grammar mistakes. We corrected spelling and added any misspelled words to our personal dictionaries for further practice. Grammar mistakes were corrected and we learned a few editing symbols to improve our writing in the future. This may have been a “science” project, but it was laced with history, reading, grammar and language lessons as well. The students were so proud of all their hard work and it certainly paid off! The Science Fair was fantastic!