Elementary Teacher Contact Email

If families need to contact Michelle, Elizabeth, Lindsey, or Brigid and Tiffany please use the following email.

25 February 2010

All About Me

This week featured Rachel and Jeannie! We learned that Rachel used to live in California and has a fish, cat, and dog. Jeannie enjoys being with her cousins. On Thursday afternoon she brought in her dog! Next week we look forward to learning more about Manny and Colin!

Oceans (7-10 year olds)

These students got into groups to create webs of oceans. Then they took one topic from their main web and zoomed in to generate a smaller topic of interest. They will be using these webs to research further information.

Literacy Focus: The Holocaust

Older students have been spening time reading and discussing picture books, chapter books, articles, and facts about the Holocaust. To continue their study, the students charted some of the many things they have learned about the Holocaust. We tied this conversation into how to write paragraphs. The children worked in smaller groups to write their own paragraphs to contribute to a short non-fiction piece titled "The Holocaust." Here are some pictures with the students working in their small groups and the writing sample they created.

The Holocaust
By Isabel, Jacob, Ben, William, Molly, Nicole, Aubrielle, Alex, Lexi, Manny

Concentration camps can be called labor, death, or hostage camps. In the camps about six million people were killed by gas chambers, starvation, dehydration, hypothermia, and shootings. The Nazi’s thought they were doing the right thing.

The Jews were transported by boxcar sometimes they were in the boxcar for days or weeks. Some people died before getting to the camps. When they arrived they got their hair shaved off and were given other clothes.

The Nazi party killed 1.2 million children during the Holocaust. Three million Jews were killed in gas chambers alone. No one could escape from these gas chambers. And there was absolutely no privacy!

Look into the Coral Reef

Students began the day by reading about the ocean floor. Then they watched a video to see the animals and different colors in the coral reef. In this video you can view them creating their own coral reel using paints and oil pastels. The final product will be in the classroom!

24 February 2010

Jump Through the Lens

Mrs. Watson's literacy students have focused their writing around photography! While using a variety of photographs taken from newspapers and magazines, students were inspired to create stories. Here are a few of the students in action! Next week the students will get to take their own pictures or videos to create digital or written stories.

19 February 2010

Our Guest Visitor: President Dianne Lynch!

Today we were honored to have the President of Stephens College, Dr. Dianne Lynch, come to our classroom! She watched Jacob's and Alec's independent inquiry presentations and participated in New Release Day. Then we presented her with a book of our stories and she read them aloud to us. She read one of our favorite stories to us, The Old Woman Who Named Things, by Cynthia Rylant. Take a look!

17 February 2010

Ben Shares About Compassion

My name is Ben (I'm eight years old) and I want to tell you about what we are doing in social studies. The new social studies topic is friendship and compassion. We got into groups and created animals. Then we made a friendship quilt by taking pieces of paper and writing a little about friendship on it then below it we drew a picture of what we wrote and used string to attach them and (this is a different project) did the same thing as the quilt but didn't attach them. My favorite things was creating the animals. Here are some pictures of them.

Jacob Tells About Line Plots

My name is Jacob and I'm nine years old. This week in math we are learning about collecting data and using it. We are learning how to use a line plot. We are finding out who could stand on one foot (kids or parents) with their eyes closed the longest. We took our work home to time parents to see how long they could do it. Then we added the information to our class line plot. This is what it looks like:

11 February 2010

Read Aloud

In the afternoons, students and teachers get to sit back and enjoy reading a few chapters from a good book. This is a great time for students to be immersed in a story, visualize what is happening, and discuss their thoughts and ideas. To continue the conversation at home, it might be fun for parents to read the books and talk about them at home as a family.

Beginning next week, the 5 year old students will begin reading The Fantastic Mr. Fox with Miss Watkins.

The six and seven year old students will begin a new read aloud book, The Tale of Despereaux, with Miss Riley next week!

The older students will continue reading Elijah of Buxton with Mrs. Watson.

100th Day Celebration

Friday, February 5th was the 100th day of school! We kicked off our celebration by reading Jake's 100th Day of School on Wednesday after two snow days. Then students shared 100 things that they brought from home. Some children brought in macaroni, legos, beans, toothpicks, etc. In our smaller groups students worked on fun activities to continue celebrating.

Character Development: Compassion

Our focus this week will be compassion. We will encourage the children to thank others in our Stephens community for their help and support in our classroom. Example of all the people who help us through out the day include: our lunch helpers, facilities for cleaning our building, Dr. Lynch for participating with our school to read to us, Mitch for delivering our food, the Library for allowing us to check out books. We will brainstorm craft ideas of ways to thank them. Feel free to discuss ideas with your children.

Compassion also means to volunteer and help others in our community. Some ways to get your children and family involved in our community feel free to check out this website for more ideas.

10 February 2010

The Mouse and the Motorcycle

Today the younger students finished reading the book, The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary. We were all captivated by the story and thought a lot about what life might be like for a mouse living in a hotel. During read aloud, we have been talking about how we imagine the characters to look in our minds. The students spent some time drawing how they imagined Ralph (the mouse) to look. Some also drew how they were imagining the motorcycle to look. It was interesting to see how many different pictures we had in our mind, but yet how similar they were in some ways. The following are a few of the students' interpretations of The Mouse and the Motorcycle.

09 February 2010

At the Circus

On Friday, we attended a performance at the Warehouse Theater on Campus. The kids had a great time and really enjoyed the dancing, magic, and circus tricks. Some students were even called up to help on stage! Read the entire article in the Columbia Tribune here.

05 February 2010

Playing to Learn

"During the school day, there should be extended time for play. Research has shown unequivocally that children learn best when they are interested in the material or activity they are learning."

This is what journalist, Susan Engel, of the New York times wrote this week. Certainly, this is the philosophy SCCS holds too and this belief is reflected in our curriculum. I was thinking about this article today as I helped students prepare last minute details for the Living Museum. This is what I observed:

A group of students pretending to bats while creating a cave and discussing echolocation, while another group worked out who would be the horses and riders for the Pony Express. Aubrielle constructed last minute details to her model of Stephens College, while William was playing conductor in the train he built as past of his study of the MKT. Nicole, dressed as Sacajawea, adjusted her papoose and beaded headdress, and Paris got into costume as the flowering Dogwood, the Missouri State tree.

Certainly, all of these students were playing to learn. As they created, pretended, and explored, they learned about Missouri and knew an incredible amount of information. If you were able to make it to the Museum, you know what I'm talking about. This article in the New York Times is a reminder to us that play certainly should a central component of the classroom. We are so glad to experience this model everyday at SCCS.

Read the entire article here.

Missouri History Living Museum

The project we have been immersed in this week was the culmination of our Missouri History Study. Students have researched and created projects and costumes to reflect topics in Missouri such as: Lewis and Clark, caves, Stephens College, Missouri River, Laura Ingalls Wilder, State Capitol building, Mark Twain, George Washington Carver, the Pony express, and the Arch.

We hope you can make it to our Living Museum this afternoon at 1:30 p.m. A coffee social will follow for parents.

This Week in Math

Here is a quick look at our week in math. Next Monday, all math groups are celebrating the 100th Day of School! Have your child count and bring 100 items to school, such as paperclips, Q-tips, beans, coins, cotton balls, etc. Be as creative as you want, but please don't send anything edible.

Miss Watkins: We continued to work on estimating and counting. We did an activity called "Fill the Box," where students chose a box to fill with cubes and count. We then discussed the size of the box and how it determined if we would need few or many cubes.

Mrs. Watson: We started the week making combinations of 12 using addition and subtraction. They then wrote their own word problem that equalled 12. We finished the week by reading word problems and solving them using a variety of manipulatives.

Miss Riley: This week, we focused on word problems and key words to help decide whether the problem is addition or subtraction. Here is a great website to check out with your child.

Mrs. Johnson: Our group began a new study in data and statistics. We are looking at data collection, representation, and analysis. We discussed how to find the average (or mean) and the median to help analyze data. We hope you had fun participating in the homework this week - look for results of our study to be published next week.

New Character Education Focus

We are excited to announce we are beginning a new focus on character education to explore qualities such as respect, honesty, compassion, fairness, and responsibility. Each week, we will have a quality to learn about in our classroom! Next week, we will focus on friendship. You can help at home by discussing what friendship means with your child. Use the questions below to help guide your discussion:

1. What does friendship mean to you?
2. How do you know someone is a friend?
3. How can you make new friends?
4. What can you do if you argue with a friend?
5. How can you be a good friend to kids at school?

Here are some books to read at home to discuss friendship further.

New Literacy Groups!

Beginning Monday, we will have new groups in literacy. Read below to see which teacher your child will work with.

Mrs. Johnson: Paris, Samantha, Thomas Sa., Jack, Lilly, Collin R., Rachel G., Chase, Ethan Y.

Mrs. Watson: Will, Kaitlyn, Natalie, Konnar, Jeannie, Savannah, Jackson, Colin M., Thomas Sc.

Miss Watkins: Lillian, Joey, Olivia, Ethan M., Marvin, Rachel E., Miles

Miss Riley: Ben, William, Alex, Manny, Lexi, Isabel, Jacob, Alec, Molly, Nicole, Aubrielle