Posts Categorized: Elementary
During the months of January and February, the Elementary II students learned about and honored a variety of civil rights events and activists. They expressed their own thoughts and feelings about this pivotal time in our nation’s history and had the opportunity to visit with Mr. Sonny Hereford (one of the first children to integrate in the Huntsville City School System). Below are some of the thoughts and quotes from the children and their journal entries:
“I would help Martin Luther King, Jr. I would walk and not ride the bus. I would join the bus boycott. They were a huge help for Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement.” H.P., 3rd grade
“I would be in the marches during the civil rights movement. In the marches you walk to the city holding signs. There might be some signs that say ‘freedom’ or ‘This is not fair.’ That is why I want to be in the marches.” E.M., 3rd grade
“Prior to 1954, segregation in schools was acceptable in the United States. In 1954, Brown v. the Board of Education ruled out segregation. It was illegal to segregate schools.
On November 14, 1960, Ruby Bridges went to William Frantz Elementary. She did not know how the day would be. An angry mob met her. They shouted cruel and horrid things to Ruby as she arrived…” N.R., 5th grade
Our studies in class sparked individual interest in several of the children. They have been checking out books about Rosa Parks, The March on Washington, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The children’s inquisitiveness has sparked many great classroom discussions. Educating future generations about peace, positivity, and proactiveness is the best way to extinguish adversity in the future.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Have cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
We have some really exciting news about the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF project. We raised $498.30! We surpassed our goal of raising enough to purchase a school-in-a-box and a bicycle to deliver medicine. Through talking with my students and a primary student, we have decided to also donate the money toward vaccinations to protect 500 children from the measles and also give 5 soccer balls to children in refugee camps. This is such a wonderful project, and we have had amazing results. Thank you to each student and parent who helped out!
In class, the children have been learning about the Solar System this month. The second year students made amazing clay models of the solar system, while the first year students made a large solar system that we now have hanging in our classroom. The children have also been learning about the changing weather with the fall season and about the reasons behind leaves changing colors and falling from the trees. They are working on pointing out deciduous and evergreen trees, and also learning about the changes animals go through for cooler weather.
I absolutely love the fall, and Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday. Our class made a ‘Thankful Tree’ to decorate our door for the season. The children used the leaf cabinet to trace various leaves. They then cut out the leaves and wrote what they are thankful for on each leaf. I was amazed at how quickly our branches filled up! We have been reading books this week about the first Thanksgiving. I almost put lobster and oysters on our Thanksgiving lunch menu! We can’t wait to have a feast with our Elementary 2 friends next door!
Angela Harber McCollum
It’s hard to believe that we’re already wrapping up another school year! I’ve enjoyed working with and getting to know all of the children, and I look forward to seeing many of them again next year. In math, we are busy tying up our study of fractions (and some geometry). The children have enjoyed using the Montessori Fraction Circles, fraction bars, and the Geometry Box (aka “the box of sticks”). We have found the new fraction command cards from the Houston Montessori Center to be extremely valuable!
Sci-Quest has continued to be a favorite activity every-other Wednesday. During their most recent visit the children had the opportunity to be engineers and build their own catapults. The final visit from Sci-Quest promises to be awesome, too. We will be dissecting a shark! In the classroom, we’ve been watching our ladybugs grow and recording our observations. It has been wonderful for the children to witness complete metamorphosis first-hand, while learning about the differences between complete and incomplete metamorphosis.
We have a few more notable dates coming up this month:
*May 12th – 16th the 3rd and 4th graders will be taking the SAT. More information about testing details for the 3rd-4th graders will be coming soon.
*May 12th the 2nd graders will be participating in the strawberry picking field trip to Brown’s Farm.
*The Elementary Bridging Ceremony will be May 20th at 2:00 p.m. The 3rd graders will be bridging from Lower Elementary to Upper Elementary, and all of the children will be performing a song. Everyone is invited to come enjoy the performance and a small reception.
*Field Day is scheduled for Wednesday, May 21st. Be on the look out for more information as the date approaches!
*Finally, the last day of school and our picnic at McGucken Park is May 23rd.
Thank you so much to all of the parents who have helped out this year by volunteering in the classroom, chaperoning, donating materials, etc… This year would not have been as successful without you!
“I sincerely believe that for the child, and for the parent seeking to guide him, it is not half so important to know as to feel. If facts are the seeds that later produce knowledge and wisdom, then the emotions and the impressions of the senses are the fertile soil in which the seeds must grow. The years of early childhood are the time to prepare the soil. Once the emotions have been aroused – a sense of the beautiful, the excitement of the new and the unknown, a feeling of sympathy, pity, admiration or love – then we wish for knowledge about the object of our emotional response. Once found, it has lasting meaning. It is more important to pave the way for the child to want to know than to put him on a diet of facts he is not ready to assimilate.” – Rachel Carson, in Sense of Wonder (1965)
I absolutely love this quote, and I feel like it could have easily been written by Dr. Montessori. In Dr. Montessori’s book, To Educate the Human Potential, she mentions ‘seeds’ about five times on the very first page! The commonality of Maria Montessori and Rachel Carson is obvious. When speaking of ‘seeds’, the two women are speaking of the small bits of knowledge or interests that begin to take root in a child’s mind. They are speaking of connections being made, not only by what children learn from adults, but by all they see, hear, say, smell, taste, touch, and emotionally feel. As a teacher, I try my best to continue this idea by giving the children a safe and healthy way to learn on their own, and by providing them with a prepared classroom environment. I give a lot of lessons, but I also allow the children to discover different concepts on their own. The little “ah-ha” moments in the classroom are so very rewarding.
This week in our classroom, we are working on a short play to perform to both the Elementary II Classroom and the Kindergarten Classes. We continuously work on math and language. The children absolutely loved doing their own research on South American animals, so we are going to continue to plant that little ‘seed’ by researching plants we find around the school. We will display the plants and research in the foyer. So, stop and see all the seeds growing!
“Knowledge can be best given where there is eagerness to learn, so this is the period when the seed of everything can be sown, the child’s mind being like a fertile field, ready to receive what will germinate into culture.” Maria Montessori, in To Educate the Human Potential (1948).
This week we enjoyed our second visit from Sci-Quest! The children learned about how rainbows are made, explored the refraction of light, and optical illusions. They used colored water to dye gardening crystals and “capture” the colors of rainbow in test tubes.
April is National Poetry Month, so we’re incorporating poetry into our study of adjectives and adverbs. So far, the children have composed their own Haikus and Cinquains. Soon, we’ll be writing Quatrains and free-verse poetry.
Our study of fractions is in full-force. Cooking with your child is a wonderful way to reinforce fractions at home, while at the same time incorporating measurement. The children have worked with equivalent fractions, comparing fractions, and some of them are moving onto simplifying fractions.
Finally, we have two field trips planned for this month. On Thursday, April 10th, we will be visiting Burritt on the Mountain. Permission slips for this field trip went home on Tuesday. On Friday, April 25th, we will be participating in Panoply School Days. I will be sending home permission slips for Panoply next week.
This month will definitely be busy, so be sure to check your child’s yellow folder regularly!