A Trip to Steppenwolf Theater

After reading the novel, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time” in class, the middle school students in 213 went to see the play at Steppenwolf Theater. Following the play, the students were also able to participate in a discussion with the actors. The novel and play were both thought-provoking, funny and sad all at the same time. The experience forced all of us to examine how we “look” at one another and the importance of empathy.

Multiplication Madness in Room 120

Learning how to multiply and divide are the most important math skills that third graders learn. During the month of November, students in Room 120 have been very busy learning multiplication strategies and practicing fast facts every day! For a few days, they actually changed their name to a multiplication problem! Children were able to learn their fast facts by quizzing each other with flash cards, playing many games, making charts and more! They are well on their way to becoming multiplication masters!

2nd Grade Goes to the Zoo

2nd grade went to the Brookfield Zoo just before Halloween. They enjoyed observing different animals in their habitats and loved spending the day outside with the beautiful fall colors. Students had a great time bonding with each other, and many parents were able to join us for this fun fall day. It was a great way to spend some of that extra Halloween energy!

3rd Graders Learn About Poems

After reading the story Penguin Chick, students worked on Cinquain Poems. They learned that a cinquian poem consists of five lines. The first line includes the subject. The second line includes two adjectives that describe the subject. The third line includes three verbs ending in -ing. The fourth line is a four-word phrase followed by the fifth line-a synonym related to the subject. Students used the information they read about to write and illustrate their poems.

Butterflies in 1st Grade Spanish

First grade students in Spanish room 203 begin the year with La oruga muy hambrienta, also known as The Very Hungry Caterpillar! We read the book and sequence the foods the caterpillar eats according to the days of the week using flip books we create, as well as discuss our own food preferences. We also learn about monarch butterflies and the journey they take each fall from Canada and the United States to their over-wintering sites in sanctuaries in Mexico, which is our country of study for the year. We make paper butterflies and mini messages to send to Mexico with Journey North’s Symbolic Monarch Migration. Then, we add ourselves to the map and wait until the spring, when we will receive butterflies and also map them to find out where they originated.

Composting in Kindergarten

Kindergarten students in room 110 have been learning all about the cycle of organic materials through composting in and out of the classroom. The students were introduced to their red wiggler worms and made them a wonderful home inside a plastic bin. They made a comfy, delicious home for their new friends using damp newspaper. Now the students are able to compost their banana peels, apple cores, and paper towels instead of sending it to the landfill. Since the worms can’t keep up with all the organic waste from breakfast and snack students have started composting outdoors in a tumbler. The food waste mixed with dead leaves and small twigs will create some wonderful soil for planting in the spring. Which will complete the composting cycle.

8th Grade Science Olympics

The 8th grade class began their science explorations with STEM challenges of Olympic proportions! The students were given 5 different challenges, Regatta, Dominoes, Aerodynamics, Cartesian Divers, and Slow Roller. After a brief introduction to each challenge the students, working in groups, chose three of the five challenges in which to compete.

The students then researched concepts associated with their challenge, discussed and formulated a plan of action and tested their hypothesis. On the day of their challenge the students had 15 minutes in which to create their final hypothesis based on their observations and results from the practices.

Regatta: Students researched buoyancy and created a boat from wax paper, aluminum foil, or copier paper. Once the students had their construction floating they would had gram cubes until the boat began to take on water. The winning boat held 1305 grams!

Dominoes: Students researcher force and inertia. They then designed how they would set up 100 dominoes to knock down with a single push. Each branch added an additional 10 pts. Each 110 degree curve added another 10 pts and any dominoes that fell up or down an incline would gain a two pt. bonus. Highest competitor was 295 dominoes!

Aerodynamics: Students researched Bernoulli’s principle in terms of flight and the force of air. Students designed a paper airplane that would fly as far as it could while remaining in a 90cm width. The longest flight went over 10 meters!

Cartesian Divers: Students researched Pascal’s principle. Placing three divers into a 2 liter plastic bottle filled with water. Students had to manipulate the density and buoyancy of the divers to make them descend on a specific order and rate. Very challenging but all teams were successful!

Slow Roller: Students researched force, inertia and friction. Using a variety of objects, such as, rulers, wooden dowels, and yarn, students designed a course that with a single push keep a marble rolling as long as possible without going off a large piece of construction paper. First and second were divided by a mere .01 second!

Each team earned 5pts for a first place finish, 3pts for a second place finish and 2pts for a third place finish. After all of the challenges were completed the totals were tabulated and the overall Science Olympic Winners for the 2018-2019 school year are:

First Place:

Trevel A.; Alexis G.; Brooke A.; and Karrion W.

Second Place:

Fidel R.; Jalen D.; Chloe N.; and Brenden D.

Third Place:

Maeve Mc.; Eric R.; Felix Z.; and Jalen J.

8th Grade Goes to Cultural Kitchen

Recently our 8th Grade students participated in the Cultural Kitchen. This is a program that is a part of the Hostelling International Chicago. Through an engaging curriculum, students gain cultural understanding, increase understanding of their world, and enhance research skills as they study a country of their choice.

Math Games in 1st Grade

In room 109, our mornings begin with breakfast and… MATH GAMES! Play is still a necessity for our early learners and playing math games allows them to think strategically as they work together to solve problems. They also have time to develop number sense and math fact fluency. This is probably our noisiest and most exciting part of the day!