A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of December 11

What a busy week we have had! The students are very excited to share their bucket drumming, bell ringing, and surprise performance tonight at our Christmas Show. While students are not on the stage for a long time, they spend a long time organizing, practicing, and making changes in preparation for the show. Students write and memorize lines for song and performance introductions and are role models while practicing with Ms. Courtney’s class. This year we even have a couple Elementary students helping Ms. Courtney’s class with one of their song performances. While we were preparing for the show, we had quite a few exciting lessons. First years were excited to learn how to find the multiples of numbers using the bead bars, have their first lesson on sentence diagramming with Sentence Analysis, and found different types of lines throughout our classroom. Second year students began subtracting fractions with like denominators and looked at the differences between dehiscent and indehiscent fruits. Third year students continued their human body research with heart and lung experiments and began their divisibility study with the discovery of numbers divisible by 2. Fourth year students found the prime factors of numbers, learned growth and reproductive information about cells, and charted their discoveries about the differences and similarities of the five kingdoms.

This fourth year student is finding the prime factors of 56. With a white strip to divide the peg board, he is able to find the factors using his knowledge of division facts. He builds the number 56 in pegs (blue pegs representing the tens’ place and green representing units), then beginning with the smallest prime number he divides. He places his answer to that equation back on the left side of the white strip, then continues the process. He knows he is finished when his quotient is one and can check his work by multiplying all of the prime factors together. This work helps students with quickly reducing fractions, especially with unlike denominators.
Each week, the Elementary students have a new science lesson. After the lesson, they repeat the experiment and complete a lab report explaining the process. This student is doing our “Holding On” experiment. This experiment has students use a suction cup to try to lift different rocks. Students found that adding water to the suction cup, or fully immersing the rock in water, led to more positive results. Students discuss their ideas about why this works before consulting the explanation on their experiment card.
This student is practicing his multiplication facts with our bead bars. He is finding the multiples of 7. During this work, the child forms the equation horizontally with the beads, then places the product of the equation vertically underneath before recording the multiplicand, multiplier, and product. Typically students practice the facts from 7 x 1 up to 7 x 10, but this student has been working for a few days and is up to 7 x 21! We enjoy seeing students taking their interests above and beyond!
This first year student is working with our Sentence Analysis material. This material helps students deconstruct sentences to learn what each word does or means. The first lesson students receive is just a look at the action (predicate) of a sentence and who/what is doing that action (subject). Students are able to quickly find the action from their practice in kindergarten with the red grammar symbol representing the verb. The arrow in the lesson shows what word is receiving the “energy” from the action. Sentence Analysis helps students become stronger writers and can even help with learning another language!

A Peek into Next Week

This week we only have three days of school! Monday all students will have their midyear Spelling Assessment so there will be no homework. First year students will conduct root experiments and continue their planet research. Second year students will try a seed experiment that involves not speaking for an entire 30 minutes! Third year students will calculate distances between objects on a map and look at the positions of flower ovaries. Fourth year students will continue their study of cells.


  • Wednesday, December 20 – Pajama Day: Students may wear pajamas and bring a pillow and blanket/sleeping bag to enjoy “The Polar Express.” Students may also bring a board game to play and an item for Show-and-Tell. We will be sharing our Christmas Compliments with each other, making bouncy balls, enjoying some hot cocoa, and making ice cream with Ms. Courtney’s class. Elementary students WILL need a lunch this day.
  • There is no school Thursday, December 21, through Tuesday, Jan 2. School resumes Wednesday, January 3. Happy Holidays!


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