Assistant Handbook Area
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Hey there Academy people!
It’s nice to feel the sun on our backs and get the sidewalk chalk out! We are busy finishing our science experiments and boards. There’s always a buzz in the classroom while projects are underway. Students ask to stay in from recess, to work on it when other assignments are underway, and generally obsess over it! Don’t forget that our Science Experiment Presentation Night is next week on Wednesday April 20th from 7-8 pm. Hopefully this gives us a chance to eat a quick dinner, head to school to see the results of students’ questions, and then get to bed at a reasonable hour!
Elementary students are also diving into habitats in science, along with an integrated focus on human habitats called homes for social studies! In a related way we began a mini-project about geography, travel, and culture just before the break with Mrs. Hartzell. The students chose a country (or state they have never been to) and will be researching the kinds of places and things they would be interested in seeing on a virtual trip. This might include; types of homes and architecture, landmarks, food, clothes, music, and the details surrounding travel to that country. We will invite Mrs. Hartzell back in the last week of April to give us some tips about travel and what to bring on our virtual trip. This mini-project will culminate in a poster detailing the trip and the highlights of what they learned combining text and pictures. We will also be taking a look at architecture in general as an art, science, and aspect of culture.
Don’t forget that the next market day is on April 29th!
Today we had a chance to take a walk and discuss the diversity of the forest habitat from the largest organic components to the smallest. The monkey bars that the students voted for at "Fluffy Kitties" meeting are finished! I enjoyed building them for the kids and they are already getting a workout.
Keep an eye out for an upcoming field trip in May. We begin thinking and planning for our annual movie and it's time for us to locate a camera! The phones last year didn't work out as well as we had hoped with limitations on the quality and images. The flipcam we've used in years past is hopelessly outdated at this point. Does anybody have "2nd best" digital video cam at home they are not using? Removable media like a SD card would be awesome and I'm hoping that my souped up RAM that I put into Rio's old computer will help us work with the files!... Let me know.
Here are some of the many pictures from the past month or so!
Storybook project pictures
Getting out; hulas and more
I love pictures of kids reading
It's been awhile since I compiled many of the photos that I love snapping as the days roll by. Winter is already beginning to recede with sunrise and sunset. The daffodils that we planted a couple of years ago in the beds behind the school are already beginning to poke green shoots through the rotting leaves. I tell the students on the playground to come and look at "Honey Johnnie Bob's" bare branches so that they will be able to notice the difference as new leaves begin to form at the tips. We've looked with careful eyes. We've tried to be open minded. Now we're trying to recognize new thoughts as they form. Is it possible to think new thoughts? Was Shakespeare right when he wrote that there's "... nothing new under the sun..."?
I tell the students many times during the year, that they are the people who will solve the problems that the Earth confronts today. They are the ones who must ask new questions, and set about answering them. Somewhere behind me the music starts, "I believe the children are the future. Teach them well and let them lead the way." Cheezy right?... but totally true, and a foundational belief at the Academy. Every day that I work with our students, my faith in the future is renewed and I am excited about seeing it unfold. One of the small ways we are learning how to think new thoughts, is with new brain puzzles at morning gathering.
Instead trying to memorize patterns, we are moving into brain teasers, math puzzles, and analogies. I have opened up the analogies to students who want to try to make their own. Of course, there's no shortage of volunteers as you see above...
I am thankful to all of my parent volunteers who come in to help; Karen Lorenz, Troy Hartzell, Suzanne Calkins, Laurel Lafayette, Julie Parton, Dirk & Michelle Nevelle, Laura Gary, Amie Santerelli, and Kim Janous. I am thankful also to Marcy Langrock (pizza), Jeff Parton, the Reek family, Mary Anicker, the Kaufman family, Greg Calkins, Chris Mason, and the same parents in the first sentence for their help organizing, driving on field trips, and contributing in many ways to helping move the Academy forward. Here we have some pictures from Kim Janous' project on "changing you engine" which I outlined in an email some time ago. Kim went the distance and wrapped up our conversations around personal energy and productivity by gifting the school a basket of objects to help kids transition to a more productive state of mind and body! Thanks Kim! The language has been adopted by the kids and it's quickly becoming a part of our culture.
Market Day pictures show the level of deep ownership that the students take. They are fully engaged in SO many ways, and it's fun! This is just one of many moments during the year when we dive into economics at a deep level.
Heeeello October! Wow... the holidays come around, and the clock spins! The classroom is abuzz with Halloween talk, and the first truly chilly morning arrived today. Along with observing and recording the temperature and barometric pressure each day, we have begun a new mental warm-up. Recent research has been building some momentum behind the value of brain training. Rote memorization seems a relic of the "historic" one-room schoolhouse, but training the brain to memorize is no relic. When we find it difficult to retain information or processes in our daily lives, we find a "work-around," or a memory device. Some are taught to us by mentors or teachers in our lives, others we've had to find for ourselves, and are uniquely useful to us as individuals. We've all had to "train our brain" to remember something important. It is with this in mind that we've begun trying, in a limited amount of time, to memorize strings of seeminly random numbers, letters, colors, or what will probably be an expanding category of things. What's interesting and extremely useful is the discussion around HOW to do this when it seems impossible. Successful memorizers of all ages, begin to analyze how they did it. Some of them were not even aware they had a strategy until they verbalize it. We continue to write a personal headline every day, analyze word problems, discuss vocabulary, be thankful, and look at the geography, science and math in today's newspaper headlines. It's a lot of potential learning packed into about a half hour. One of my favorite times of the day...
Here are some of the others things afoot!
Thanks to the Zsilak and Reek families for donations towards worm bins and curriculum! We've been exploring plants together in the primary grades, and bringing along some middle schoolers for fun parts. We are also looking at the development of the first human economics systems which relate to agriculture, soil life, AND worms. It connects to the social studies for 6th graders as well, since they are focused on the first ancient societies. These subjects have germinated together along with our bean plant. We found that beans trying to germinate can be picky. They don't like baking soda, salt, or rubbing alcohol. Celery stems are the transportation system for the plant. The old food coloring experiment shows it! Middle schoolers are currently focused on space in Earth Science (6th) and sound in Physics (7/8th). This was useful recently since 6th graders could explain why the Earth is having seasonal changes. We've looked at dirt, leaves, flower parts, and prepared slides under the microscope.
We continue to observe our worms, water them, and our plants. We'll continue with plants and plant behavior along with agriculture and social studies connections through October.
Reading is fun! Some of the literature groups have switched recently to a novel, or "big book". The responses can be a little more flexible and the story runs deeper. There's nothing like a good book to snuggle with in the Fall. Thanks for reading with your students at night! They come in and fill out book tickets for our chart. When there's enough filled out in the spring, the class gets an ice-cream party! There are some smaller prizes along with way!
Well the first week is over! Give your little ones a break in the afternoon while they get used to the schedule. It's not unusual for 1st and 2nd graders to have meltdowns in the evening at this time of year. (Teachers too) It was a great week full of moments that are staying with me; smiles, conversations, laughter, negotiations, discussions, walks, hugs, a few tears quickly remedied, games, wrestling, snuggling with Fern.
We welcome Noah Nevelle back to the Academy, along with new student Kellan Gary. One of my favorite things to observe and guide in September is the formation of new relationships, and the subtle changes in existing ones. The contact list went out to encourage playdates and communication between the parent community. Please take some time to nourish your students' relationships outside of school when possible.
Thanks so much to "Nana" Janous! As a retired schoolteacher, Grayson and Annabelle Janous' grandma had some math games in storage. She brought them in for us to look at and we put them right to work. Friday morning we learned three new games and will keep going through the big bag.
Some of you may remember that last Spring we had a leak which resulted in a weekend repair of ceiling drywall upstairs. We patched the roof temporarily, knowing that the summer held a project in store. After getting bids around $8,000 for a standard composition shingle roof, we decided to invest in a metal roof, built to last here in the Pacific NW weather. Many thanks to Uncle Rob and his buddy Ryan who were both indispensable in saving the labor cost by doing it ourselves. We performed a full tear off and replaced 20% of the plywood underneath, along with installing new face-board mounted gutters, to replace the existing antiquated "built-ins". I'd have pictures of my blisters here but they were disgusting. One added benefit is the attic venting was aggressively expanded to help keep the Academy cooler in warm weather. Some of the heat will also be reflected by the roofing instead of absorbed.
One of the most important tasks in the first few days of school is to build community. One of the best ways to do that is through a multi-age team project. Each multi-age team made a school cheer banner, then presented it to the class and proudly performed their cheer! Each person on the team had an official focus, although the roles were fluid. When we debriefed this project, discussing what we noticed about the process, many students noticed that younger students filled leadership roles at times. There was a list of required elements which didn't fit into this picture. As we "assessed" each team's performance we compared their banner to the list of required elements. These kind of projects are a hallmark of cooperatively oriented classrooms. They take on even more significance and purpose in a multi-age environment. There will be many more in the months to come.
Keep your eyes peeled for pictures of another new student, Sam Szilak, in 2nd grade. Can you spot him in one of these pictures? To go along with the other new students, familiar faces Ali'i Reek & Tony Santerelli from VSH downstairs!
Some other highlights from the first full week are:
-Examining the sculpture, "A Ladder for Booker T. Washington" from our Picturing America curriculum (Nat'l Endowment for the Humanities)
-Taking a walk in nature to practice using our "Careful Eyes" as a part of the cognitive habits focus for the year. "Careful Eyes" means attention to detail and forms the C in our acrostic for the yearlong theme; C-O-N-N-E-C-T.
-Checking out our textbooks, and reading from our first chapter book; The Candy Shop Wars; Book 2 Arcadeland.
-Our first talk of the town meeting to establish rules of order, make some proposals, and vote!
-Looking at new images from the NASA website of Pluto and watching a visualization of the more accurate vortex motion of the solar system as it flies through space.
-Noticing that vortex/spiral patterns are life patterns and exploring the structure of flowers based on that
-Learning about our community as we watched the beginnings of an oral history project about Issaquah!
It's going to be an awesome year! Remember to build the habit of homework, AND reading. Younger students should shoot for about 20 mins of math, depending on the family circumstances and then read, or be read to!
Week 2 here we come!
We are having a great time in the changing weather which is mostly for the better. Honey John Bob (our apple tree) has a first leaf bud! In this blog update you’ll find:
-Capitol field trip pictures
-Spirit Week details
-Science Experiment details
We had a wonderful time visiting the capital. In preparation, younger students had the chance to design their own capital campus, which meant addressing many questions. What is a capital for? What kind of buildings, or features serve those purposes? What are capitals in other countries like? We took a quick virtual tour via Google Earth of the capitals in China, Moscow, and the U.S. as part of our preparation for the trip. We also spent some time discussing the three branches of government, along with how a bill becomes a law.
We had a great tour guide, who accepted each student’s very different set of questions effortlessly. Some highlights were the storybook marble from Italy in the “ballroom” and scampering silently through the law library in the Supreme Court building. Some of the books had laws from when WA was still a territory. Isabella called them zombie books because of their worn bindings of genuine leather…
Spirit Week this week!
Spirit Week will be as follows:
Monday: Blast from the Past; dress in clothes from another time.
Tuesday: Career Day; what do you want to be when you grow up?
Wednesday: Dress as your favorite character from a book. Bring the book if you can find it and be prepared to tell us about it.
Thursday: Come as a twin, triplet, or quadruplet copy of somebody else in the class!
Friday: Dress in a theme for an important cause or change you want to see in the world.
Some of you may have heard that the record rain last week put a wet spot on our ceiling upstairs that eventually damaged drywall. Rob and I put in some evening time on the roof and decided that it was time to redo it. We applied a patch to the trouble area on the roof, and to the ceiling. We have some bids out for roofing contractors and are waiting for those to come in. In the meantime we are making sure that our roof patch holds before repairing the drywall upstairs. The students don’t seem to care anymore, but the sheet of plywood in the ceiling is less than ideal. All that aside, best case scenario, we will be putting a new roof on the school this summer. Woohoo!
Beginning Science Experiments
Wrapping up the storybook writing project brings us to our new writing project; a scientific experiment. Informational or ‘how to’ writing projects are an important part of Language Arts along with the scientific process skills that are developed. Many of you will remember this from last year, but for any who need a refresher, below you'll find a examples and some pictures to go with it.
Last Wednesday we spent some time in the brainstorming stage. Students must think of three questions which are answerable by conducting an experiment. I need to approve the three questions, and you can all help me in this process by making sure students don’t get too invested in questions which don’t meet these criteria:
Questions must be:
-reasonably safe, and do-able without great expense or effort on the part of the adults
-uniquely interesting to the student
-without an answer that is obvious to the student based on previous knowledge
2nd graders will be expected to participate this year. 1st graders should attend Science Night in April so that they can see how it’s done, and are welcome to develop questions and conduct investigations which they can report on if they want to. Many of the older students have been able to formulate three potential questions, and select one. I encouraged them all to struggle with finding good questions, and NOT to rush into one question without following through on the process.
Many of the students remember last year's project, and are better able to construct good procedure and materials sections, along with the rest of the areas which need to be covered. Here is an example write-up.
I. Question: Do microwaves travel from the outside in, or the inside out?
II. Hypothesis: (Be sure to include why you are making this prediction) My informal experience with heating things in the microwave seems to suggest that microwaves travel first to the surface, or outside of things, and then to the inside.
III. Materials: (In a list, as exhaustive as possible) Microwave, Thermometer, Pencil and Paper, Glass or microwave safe containers/plates. Frozen or cold objects to microwave; frozen cup of water, frozen lunch item like a pot pie…
“How will I control variables?” (This is kind of like a thought bubble, or at least the kind of thinking that needs to be encouraged, if not a part of the project/display itself! We will be talking about this in class.)
“I will use the same type of containers or plates. I will use the same microwave and measure the temperature with the same thermometer after the same amounts of time pass.”
(Note: 6th/7th grade must list Independent and Dependent Variables more formally)
A. Freeze water in container to be microwaved
B. Gather materials near a freezer and microwave so that frozen items to be used don’t start to thaw.
C. Put frozen cup of water into microwave for 30 seconds and observe melting pattern. Record results.
D. Repeat for another 30 seconds and observe melting pattern. Record.
E. Repeat until pattern of melting is clearly observable. Record
F. Record results overall.
G. Put frozen lunch item into microwave for 30 seconds and repeat observations in 30 second stages and record results.
For parents: this is where you would show numbers, measurements, a graph or a table, depending on the complexity of the experiment and the age of the student.
For parents: this is where you would write about, generalize, or “:tell the story” of your results, in a more readable form. It often includes data landmarks like “the most” or “the least”. What happened in the end!
VII. Scientific concepts:
For parents: this is where you would put definitions, or information which relates to the experiment like: who invented or discovered the microwave, what is a microwave, what is the temperature that ice melts at. It’s a short collection of the concepts and scientific terms that are involved with your experiment, like a mini-report.
VIII. New Question:
For parents: this is a new experimental question that the student comes up with after finishing the experiment, related or unrelated to the project…
I am hoping that we can finish the process of selecting questions by this coming Wednesday afternoon. As soon as questions are approved they start drafting the sections of their project up to the end of procedures. Then students will conduct the experiment and record results. This can be done at home or at school depending on the experiment, and the time involved. By the first week of April experiments involving days should be underway. Students 5th grade and above will be required to type up a lab including all sections listed above, along with their presentation board. Students will be shown old boards and critique them with me. We will hold Science Night on Friday, April 17th from 7:00-8:00. This is very similar to Special Project night, with students preparing to present their project through coaching and rehearsal.
Spring has sprung and February is over before it's begun. In this update:
-Picture Book Party
-Field Trip and driver request
-Standardized testing week/Spirit Week
-St Patrick's Day
-Art and Music pictures
-Academic bullet points
Picture Book Party
On Writing Wednesday afternoon, we will be celebrating our Academy picture-book authors. Students are invited to wear something festive that shows their personality, and be prepared to read and show their book around the gathering. Students may bring a snack or treat to share with the class. The creativity, effort, and excitement going into the project is wonderful. Many students asked to work on the project during recess!
Next week on Wednesday the 11th, we will be making a return trip to tour the state capital campus in Olympia. Our last trip was several years ago. All of the students will find it an adventure with educational opportunities on many levels; history, architecture, civics... It's a wonderful experience which includes a mock supreme court trial. We are looking for parents who can commit to the whole day. We will be leaving promptly at 9, bringing brown bag lunches, and returning at 3. You won't regret it!
Standardized Testing Week
If you check the school calendar for March, you'll find that standardized Iowa testing is scheduled for the week of the 16th through 20th. Testing is for 2nd-8th grades. The exam costs $50 to proctor, and there will be an envelope up on the cork board to receive checks. First graders will be with Mrs. Wilson working on state projects. Students need to be in bed early Sunday night and each night during this week. A hearty breakfast in the morning is also helpful. We will be spending some time looking at practice questions next week. Testing will take place primarily in the morning, but some will take place in the afternoon. Please make sure students arrive promptly so that the schedule doesn't get too complicated. Testing week will be followed by spirit week with more details to follow about the fun for each day! If you've never heard of spirit week, each day has a fun theme and students "dress" for the theme. (ie. crazy hair, favorite color...) BUT, don't start planning until the final list of themes comes out from the Academy thinktank.
St. Patrick's Day
Although the timing of St. Patty's day is less than ideal during testing week, we will be celebrating in the afternoon of the 17th by the wearing of the green, snacks, games, and general cavorting. If you would like to send along something Irishey, a snack, treat, beverage... please feel free! No Guinness during testing week for the children.
Art and Music Pictures
Academic Bullet Points
-We looked at a visual algorithm for multiplication taken from Chinese culture.
-We are studying cycles and how they relate to science and social studies
-4th graders presented information on European explorers to the NW region and will start their state reports soon
-5th graders have a Unit Test next week on Monday after a more in-depth tutorial on review strategies and lecture on the highlights
-Liz and Nick are finishing The Devil's Workshop; a novel about Johann Gutenburg who invented the printing press to reproduce the bible during the 1400s.
It was a delightful day for a walk to the park. What an awesome group of kids!
Welcome to February... Special project night was so fun! I really appreciate the support of your presence. All of you took an evening out to see what the students had been working on. They were so proud, so excited. You saw many very different learners at various stages of development, expressing who they are. Their choice of subject, and the way they communicated it spoke volumes.
I also want to thank all of my conference attendees. It is intense work, but I love talking with you and our students, about school. There are just a few more folks that I need to schedule who weren't available during the closure. They will likely be after school next week.
Our next big writing project is a picture book! We started brainstorming today with thanks to Mrs. Calkins who was there to help 1st graders nail down their ideas. We read and discussed examples during literature. In the afternoon, we listed our favorite picture books and identified why we liked each of them. Then we made a list of the ingredient pages.
1-Cover; title, "written and illustrate by..."
2-Copyright info; Academy Press, 2015, Issaquah, Wa
3-Title page; similar to cover, but with dedication
5-Back cover; summary or 3 short book review quotes "this book will have you laughing up your lunch" -Fern Wilson
1st graders will need a lot of close guidance, which we provided today, but the amount and type of help will vary.
Students will have a lot of freedom in design of pages and content. Text must be written carefully and correctly by hand for grades 1-4. 5th grade and up may type their text and add hand drawn art. All art must be drawn with effort. All work should begin in pencil, and move to black line marker, then color medium in that order. Drawings don't have to have color if it's a style choice. If they just aren't using color because they are being recalcitrant, then it will be required.
"How many pages does it have to be?"
As many pages as necessary to tell the story effectively. A sweet spot for many book publishers is 26 pages but I would shoot for a smaller number in 1st and 2nd grade. Keep it manageable.
Students can make it silly, poetic, absurd, narrative. The act of conceiving and executing a visual and textual product like this has so many benefits to growing minds. It is also a lot of fun! They will want to work on it at home so we handed out folders to keep materials organized in the drafting stage. If you wind up working with your student on this, I find it really helpful to ask them questions. This is especially useful if you notice the story lacking some information or seems too random. They can always add a page.
Next week we will talk about storyboards and how they can help us organize the book, along with elements of page design.
We'll also look at more examples.
Picture books are due the last day of February, Friday the 27th. We will explore diy binding during that week.
1st/2nd grades come into morning gathering with a dry erase board sentence for us to read and discuss each day. "My personal headline news" The older students, of course, want to get in in the act.
5th grade starts a new novel; The Witch of Blackbird Pond (historical fiction)
Keep filling out book tickets for 25 books! Two students are already over 25...
4th graders begin studying European explorers of the Nw
In Science we begin a multi-age unit on Cycles.
Weather graphs came out nicely.
Valentine's Day party!
On February 13th we will celebrate Valentine's Day in the Academy way with a few traditions, snacks, games, and dancing. Only send 18 Valentines with your own student's name on them! Peanut free. If you'd like to send something salty, liquid, or sweet, comment on this blog or email me!
Welcome to early spring?
From first grade through seventh, everybody's excited to be practicing their presentations, reading their papers to the class, and helping each other remember details.
We can't wait to show what we know!
Today is Writing Wednesday and this afternoon we will be looking specifically at how to turn a collection of facts into groups, and turning those groups into paragraphs with headings. We will be reading a student example draft and completing some work together emphasizing topic sentences and grouping details. We will also get a graphic organizer for paragraphs.
Students have had some limited extra time in the afternoons, aside from Wednesdays, to work on projects. This week they will have more time in the afternoons and work for the week is limited to allow for more of the homework time to be devoted to the project.
Students 5th grade and up should be drafting their facts into a document which has a heading, title, is double spaced with a 12 pt plain font. The last page should list their resources (at least 4) in MLA format. Many apps and websites will do this for you but it's important to do it before you turn books back in to the library or forget where you found "that one website".
4th grade may still write their report neatly double spaced.
Papers are due on Monday the 26th and we will be working on boards & presentations in the days leading up to Special Project night of the 28th. (7:00-8:15 pm)
Presentations for 4th grade and up should be around 2 minutes and hit the highlights of the most interesting research. Boards and presentations are required for credit as a part of the project.
Support your students with help as needed and reminders along the way.
Brrrr. The temperature is low this week and colds are afflicting a significant portion of the school. The good news is that each day stretches longer ahead of us toward Spring.
The buzz around school has a few themes.
-NW Native American treasure trunks
Market Day was a proposal that came from the students at one of our "Talk of the Town" meetings where new ideas are proposed, old ideas are evaluated, and problems are brought to the attention of the community for brainstorming and solutions. It's one of the Academy's important tools to teach participatory government or as we like to call it; democracy. Discussions can be contentious and long but the patience we demonstrate for each other and the shared investment in the process is very important. We vote to pass any legislation!
Market Day is a day when students can make something (nothing purchased) and bring it to school to sell. The students had a lesson on currency. We talked about the symbols on our money and what they mean. We also discussed how money came about as a symbol for trade, to make it more flexible. We designed our own Academy Currency and each student will be given a certain amount to spend on market day. It is not required for students to have a "product" to sell to participate but many are crafting something. Market Day will be held in the afternoon of this Friday.
We are also enjoying our opportunity to explore NW Salish peoples' artifacts from the Burke Natural History Museum. These are called "Burke Boxes" and they are a treasure trove of touchable and interactive objects that are a part of the Burke's educational collection. While not quite worthy of display, they are excellent teaching tools for students to handle and learn from. Salmon cooking tongs, stone mauls, trade beads and shells, mat needles, adzes, spindles and whorls, basket sections, woven blankets, are just a part of the list of items that we'll be looking at over the next few days.
Special Projects are underway! An annual favorite, Special Project night will be on January 28th at 7:00 pm. Students have already taken a field trip to the library as a class where they got a primer on how the nonfiction decimal system works along with the computer catalog. Special Project night is an opportunity for students to gather resources, research, record and group facts. Then they will organize them into a research paper and display with presentation. Like most projects, the students are participating at different levels based on age/ability, but all projects should have a written and visual part, don't forget name and title! Any writing should be as error free as possible.
-First graders are finding 10 facts to write down with proper conventions. They should memorize them and be ready to tell what they know. They should also draw a picture or make a poster to help them remember and/or communicate to an audience of parents and students on Special Project Night. Extra credit would be to write down information about the source of the facts.
-Second graders should try to find 20 facts from at least two sources and organize them into groups with headings, similar to wikipedia article. They should attempt to put the facts into their own words. They should start with a basic definition of their subject. Second graders should write down the title and author of any books, and the name of any website they used. They may write their report neatly on lined paper and then use a small tri-fold display to organized their information. Memorize 10 facts or a one minute presentation.
-Fourth graders should have at least 30-40 facts organized into a paper which can be written neatly or typed, along with a tri-fold display. They need at least three sources listed at the end of their paper, one of which must be a book. Practice a two minute presentation.
-5th-7th need in the neighborhood of 50 facts, organized into a paper of approximately 5-6 pages double spaced. At least four sources listed at the end of the paper in the proper MLA format (many websites or apps can do this for you). A tri-fold display reflecting some of the information in the report should be neat, organized, creative. The student should be conversant on the material and practice a 2 minute presentation which might include being asked questions at the end.
Some of you may have noticed that the website went dark awhile ago. After a redesign to freshen things up, the Village Schoolhouse and Academy each have independent domains. You can still jump from one to the other through buttons if you find a need. At this point they are pretty basic but we will be adding more functions and sections for currently enrolled families as the year goes on. Please refer any interested families and students to these new addresses. You can find the preschool website at
The Academy website is now at
Conferences were added to the school calendar late this year, in part because of my intention to move them to late January. January 29th and 30th will be scheduled conference days and school will be closed. If you would like to schedule your conference you should visit the parent community page of the Academy website and book your appointment there with the widget that I am trying out... We would welcome your comments and thoughts about the website's look and feel and functions that you might like to see in the future.
-We are reading Mistress Masham's Repose, by T.H. White, together as a class.
-Physical science remains a focus moving from energy to motion.
-We recently conducted a hands-on motion investigation with cars and ramps!
-Older students will be working on a ph levels lab soon
Let's get those colds and wet coughs over with! Early bedtimes, lots of water, vitamins, handwashing! Ms. Tay performed a big sanitation today.