Learning about the Water Cycle

Students in third grade created a story board to describe the major stages of the water cycle. Stories were written in first person as students described each stage as if they were a raindrop. They described the precipitation stage as the moment they fall from the sky as rain, sleet, snow, or hail. As they run-off mountains and hills, they collect in oceans, rivers, and lakes.

The warmth of the sun causes the water that has accumulated to turn from a liquid into a gas. Water droplets rise to the sky, condense, and eventually, make clouds. The water cycle then repeats itself!

Preschool Buddy Program

Our preschool students have started a buddy program this year with upper grade students. Our AM students have 5th grade reading buddies and our PM class has 6th grade math buddies. The experience provides children with stimulating opportunities for learning and skill development. We have already seen the positive effects such as increased turn taking, listening, sharing knowledge, helping one another, and completing a task.

Rock Painting

The ability to S.O.A.R is only as strong as the community that supports it.  We foster an environment of:

  • Safety so our students become appropriate risk takers
  • encourage an environment of Ownership so they become partners in their own learning
  • encourage them to persevere and Achieve
  • and that they Respect diversity making LaSalle II a place of acceptance where every student is important.

The LaSalle II Rock Garden brings those ideals together as our 7th grade students paint their rocks into a diverse collection that will represent the unity of the LaSalle II community.

Collagraph Printing

8th Grade studied printmaking and focused on collagraph printing. Student began by created images by collaging cut card board pieces, this became their printing plate. The plate images ranged from abstract, architectural, nature inspired, or human/animal form. Students learned about traditional printing techniques and proper material terms. Then we printred the plates with block printing ink and produced some really great prints!

Congratulations Christopher P.!

Christopher P., an 8th grader, was featured on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon with the GE Fallonventions. He was selected to present his invention from the Invention Convention that he created last school. He also competed at the National Competition in Washington D.C. with his invention last Spring. You can view the segment by clicking the link below. We are so proud of you!

You can view the segment by clicking the link below.

WGN Teacher of the Month- Mr. Taff

Mr. Taff, our middle school science teacher, was selected as the WGN Teacher of the Month. He was nominated by one of our 8th grade students, Gene M. and was recently featured on the morning news. You can view the segment by clicking the link below. We are so lucky to have him on staff here at LaSalle II!

 

You can watch the segment by clicking the link below.

Science teacher connects with students in middle school classroom

6th Grade Trip to Second City

Last Friday 6th grade attended a class at The Second City to work on team-building, communication, collaboration, creativity, and just plain fun! They participated in a number of interactive games and learned more about each other and themselves. The 6th graders bring back new knowledge about how to talk with their peers and teachers, actively listen, and think outside the box.

Halloween Craft Fun

The lucky third grade students in Room 120 had a fun-filled afternoon on Halloween.  Parent volunteers came in and helped the students create Halloween crafts, play games and write Halloween Poetry.  The students were creative and had a lot of fun! The students got to dress up and brought things to share like stickers, pencils, plastic fangs and book marks.  Mrs. Baird was very thankful for all the parents that came in that day to chip in!

Secret Coders

Last month our 7th grades started reading the first chapter in the book, “Secret Coders” by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes. Every student was able to read their own book due to generous donors who contributed to my project on donorschoose.org. “Secret Coders “ presents the concepts of coding in graphic novel format. While reading, students learn the language of binary code and programming. Students follow along with the major characters who solve logic puzzles and mysteries in Stately Academy School using code. One student Sofia states:” I learned binary is how computers store numbers and they are stored as a sequence of on and off switches.” “ I learned that a number can be changed into a binary number using a grid,” says seventh grader, Elliot. Mckenna learned : “ that binary code is everywhere around us.” If you would like to learn more about these books or read an excerpt, please visit: http://www.secret-coders.com/buy-the-books/

LaSalle II Student Achievements on YCT/HSK Chinese Tests  

On the first day of this new school year, fifty-two LaSalle II Chinese language students were extremely excited as they received the certificates mailed from Beijing China for their YCT and HSK Chinese test results!  These results, from tests taken in mid-May, showed that our LaSalle II Chinese language students once again did a magnificent job!

Both YCT and HSK test series are international standardized tests designed, developed and implemented under the Office of Chinese Language Council International for young Chinese learners and for college students and other adults to rate their Chinese language proficiency levels.  For each single test of YCT and HSK, the test papers were prepared, printed and mailed from Beijing to test proctors in the countries around the world.  These closely monitored standardized tests were then collected and mailed back to Beijing for grading.

From LaSalle II’s founding year of 2008 to the year of 2017, we have seen a complete cycle of students passing from kindergarten through 8th grade.  From 5-year olds with no knowledge of Chinese to 13-year olds passing the adult level HSK IV, LaSalle II students have shown remarkable progress in their proficiency of Mandarin. And, by the way, passing HSK level 4 test is commonly a requirement for foreign students wanting to study in Chinese universities.

Students taking these tests, regardless of level, eagerly look forward to being able to demonstrate how well they understand and can use Mandarin. It is not just students passing the HSK level IV test that makes achievement seem so important but rather the steady improvement demonstrated by students passing higher and higher level tests year after year. In the year our students first took YCT tests, our third graders took YCT levels I and II. As students acquired greater proficiency in subsequent years, the highest level tests taken rose to III, then IV, and this past year to HSK level IV test. To see so many students rising to the challenge of making major improvements in their language skills each year is truly gratifying.

Our Chinese student achievements would not have been possible without the generous support of LaSalle II’s PTO and the strong support of LaSalle II’s administrators. On more than one occasion, the PTO and our school administrators have provided without hesitation needed financial help so that YCT/HSK test proctors’ expenses could be covered. Additionally one of our parents for two years in a row, donated test registration fees for students needing financial help.   We appreciate the help of everyone involved in making our LaSalle II Chinese Program one of the strongest in Chicago.