Elementary Teacher Contact Email

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

25 May 2010

Current Events

Some of our older students have been reading current events for the past three weeks. They have learned about the oil spill, the ferry crash in New York, and the supreme court judge-Elena Kagan! The students have read articles from the local newspapers, looked at online articles and watched news clips. Below are their final projects (with the limited time they had) of their current events. They decided to pretend to do news reports!

24 May 2010

We Love Science!

We had a blast learning with Dr. Alan James, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Science at Columbia College (and Alec & Natalie's Dad!). Dr. James conducted several science experiments including electrifying a pickle! We talked about liquid nitrogen-nitrogen that is cold enough to exist in liquid form. Here are a few facts we learned and information about handling liquid nitrogen safely:

Liquid Nitrogen Facts
  • At normal pressure, liquid nitrogen boils at 77 K (−195.8°C or −320.4°F).
  • The liquid to gas expansion ratio of nitrogen is 1:694, which means liquid nitrogen boils to fill a volume with nitrogen gas very quickly.
  • Nitrogen is non-toxic, odorless, and colorless. It is relatively inert. It is not flammable.
  • Nitrogen gas is slightly lighter than air once it reaches room temperature. It is slightly soluble in water.

Liquid Nitrogen Safety

  • Liquid nitrogen is cold enough to cause severe frostbite upon contact with living tissue.
  • Wear proper safety gear when handling liquid nitrogen to prevent contact or inhalation of extremely cold vapor. Make sure exposed skin surfaces are covered and preferably insulated.

We'd like to send a big thanks to Dr. James!

21 May 2010

Plans for Last Week of School Year 2009-2010

Monday: We will be Tie-Dying in the afternoon. Please send a white t-shirt with your child(ren) that morning.

Tuesday: Field trip to Creative Days Art Studio. Please send $5 for the art projects they will be participating in.

Wednesday: Please send your child to school with a water bottle, comfortable clothes, and tennis shoes. Today we will be going to the park in the afternoon to have Field Day! (Putting sunscreen on the morning would help too!)

Thursday: Our last day of school for the year!!! We invite all families at 12:00 p.m to participate in an all school picnic on the school playground. Please feel free to bring lunch or pack a lunch for your child and family to eat together. This is a great time to bring blankets and chairs and eat in the shade. Watch your children play while you get a chance to mingle with other SCCS families.
*No hot lunch provided today.
*No extended day in the afternoon.
*If it rains the picnic will be canceled.


Some students have been participating in Readers Theater-a time for students to work in groups and act out different children's books. On Friday, they presented their play to the other students in Mulitage and preschool students from Ms. Catherine's and Ms. Michelle's class.

Then the younger students of Multiage read to the preschool students. Muliage shared their published pieces inspired by our author study of Frank Serafini and Mo Willems.

All About Me

This week we had two All About Me presentations.

First we heard from Ben. He shared with us that he has three pets at home. One Guinea Pig and two Bunnies. He also shared his favorite snacks with us. Fig Newtons and Kiwi.

On Friday, Kaitlyn brought with her to school her favorite stuffed animal, book, purse, and snacks. She shared fruit snacks with the class. She also had a few special guests in the audience. Her mom, grandma, and grandpa!

Oceans, The Movie

After school gets out, I am planning to go see Disney's new feature film, Oceans. After spending several weeks doing an in depth study on the ocean in multiage, I am excited to see a film about the beauty and wonder of our world's oceans. This would be an excellent film for the whole family to go see this summer and to extend your child's learning after our study this year. Read what movie critic Liam Lacey from Globe and Mail writes about it:

"There are two recurrent reactions in watching the new documentary, Oceans: First, how on earth did they get that shot? Second, who knew we were sharing the planet with so many beautiful and bizarre creatures?

The answer to the first question is time, technology and patience. French team of Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud (the team behind the 2001 film, Winged Migration) spent seven years, four of them in gathering footage on more than 70 expeditions. They used cameras that allowed them to move intimately among the fish and animals in the ocean, sometimes taking months to capture a brief segment.

The movie opens with children scrambling across sand dunes, and one boy stopping to look at the ocean: “What is the ocean?” asks narrator Pierce Brosnan. The answer, he says, is that you have to immerse yourself in the ocean to understand it."

Read the full review.

Tree Study

Kids show off what they have gathered from the Scavenger Hunt!

Adam Saunders and Eric McDavid, members of CCUA (Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture), came to talk with the students on Wednesday afternoon. They shared with us how trees grow and bring water up from the soil to the leaves. Then we all walked to the Benton-Stephens park for a scavenger hunt. We searched for different kinds of leaves, twigs, flowers, and bonus items.

Did you know...
-Red oak trees can grow to be 300 feet tall?

-Trees have a partnership with fungus for survival?

-Trees grow new roots everyday that are the size of a hair?

15 May 2010

SCCS Parent Association Officers for 2010-2011

A note from parent, Jeanne Sullivan...

I want to thank all the parents who volunteered to be an officer for the Parent Association next school year! Unfortunately, there were barely enough volunteers to fill the positions. Since there weren’t any opposing candidates for any of the positions it doesn’t make sense to hold an election.

The new officers are listed below. Stay tuned for more information on how to communicate with the new officers (and each other) and a date for the next Parent Association meeting.

SCCS Parent Association Officers for 2010-2011

Co-Chair – Multiage:

Melissa McAllister

I'm Mom of Jackson (Multiage, previously Ms. Kelly's Pre-K class and Ms. Brett's half-day preschool class) and of Sam (he will start half-day preschool in the Fall). We've been in Columbia since we came for college at Mizzou. I am an attorney with a juvenile law practice, but I have been primarily a SAHM for the last few years. My husband, Rob, is a software developer and a small business owner. I have enjoyed being part of the team to start up the SCCS Parent Association and would like to continue to participate in making it a successful organization.

Co-Chair – Preschool:

Chimene Schwach

I am the mother of Zachary Wright in preschool- currently Mrs. Catherine's class. By education I am a Master's level substance abuse counselor; I specialize in children and adolescents with co-occurring disorders. I am currently at home until probably the middle end of summer - or until Jacob is successfully weaned. As a family we just moved here from Nashville about 8 months ago.


Tonya Wolff

My son Max is in preschool (Miss Michelle’s full-day and previously Miss Melissa’s half-day) and has loved his school and his teachers from the moment he arrived. The only part we could imagine better would be having the opportunity to come together with the other families. I have a Master’s in business from MU but my background is physician education and I currently serve as executive director for a family medicine education and publishing consortium. My husband, Greg, is a business owner (Marathon Building Environments) and developer. We grew up in St. Louis, came to Mizzou for school 20+ years ago, and it has been home ever since.


Kathryn Hart

My son Bradley is in Miss Michelle’s preschool class, and since he began school there he has thrived more than I could imagine and he loves it. This was the greatest opportunity for Bradley and myself, I couldn’t pass it up, I graduated in December 2009 with my Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with a major in Accounting, and started for Stephens shortly after. I am the Staff Accountant at Stephens College, and have been here since February of this year (and I love it!). I will return to school this August for my Masters degree. I absolutely love the Audrey Webb Children’s School, and I am really looking forward to my opportunity to give back to the amazing people that care for our children daily.

Room Parent (2 Positions) – Multiage:

Erika Fadel

Mom of Manny (2nd grade) and Olivia (kindergarten). We also have a 2 2/3 year old who is at the Child Development Lab at MU. Our family has been in Columbia for five years. I am originally from New Orleans and my husband is from Brooklyn. MU brought us here and we have enjoyed our experiences at SCCS. Our children have thrived in the learning environment that Stephens provides and I look forward to working with the teachers and the Parent Association to strengthen the SCCS community.

Jeanne Sullivan

I’m the mom of Joey Barbis who is in the multiage classroom. My husband Tony Barbis and I are both originally from St. Louis and moved to Columbia to attend the University of Missouri and ended up sticking around! We both ended up working for the University of Missouri as well. I love the program and the personal attention Joey gets at the school! I’m really looking forward to being involved in the first year – the start-up year – of the newly revitalized Parent Association!

Room Parent (4 Positions*) – Preschool:

*At this time there are only two volunteers. When school begins next year the officers can reassess how many preschool room parents are needed based on the changes planned over the Summer.

Rebecca Miller

I’m the mom of Ellery, who is in the full-day preschool program with Miss Catherine. We are completing our first year in the Stephen’s College Children’s Program and we are in love! Because Ellery turns five late in August, she will start in the full-day preschool program in the fall and transition into the multi-age program. Also, our son is finishing first grade in Columbia Public Schools and he will join the Stephens program in August. I’ve been the lead room parent during my son’s kindergarten and first grade years and I’d love to continue that role. Our family is very supportive of the mission and goals of the Stephen’s program and we are looking forward to this fall!

Barbara Rogers

My son Jack will be in his 3rd year next year at Stephens Preschool. He is currently in Michelle’s class. My daughter Sarah attended SCCS in 2008/2009 and both she and Jack were in Katy McDonald’s class. I have a degree in Elementary Education, but have had limited experience teaching. I am currently working at The Insurance Group getting quotes and doing proposals for the Employee Benefits Department. This year I am the room parent for Sarah’s class and have really enjoyed planning parties and getting to know other parents and the kids! I am also the co-leader of Sarah’s Daisy (Girl Scouts) troop at Grant. I am the incoming Treasurer for the PTA at Grant. I would really like to do something at Jack’s school and feel there needs to be more/better parental involvement to help the teachers and the school.

13 May 2010

Cat Math and Timelines

Today the 3rd and 4th grade math group celebrated "Cat Math Day," a day invented by the students when they wear cat masks and do cat math problems. I'm not sure how this tradition got started, but it has certainly spiced up our routine! Today students invented a new cat math game, appropriately called "Cat." Here is how you play:

1. You need a least one partner to play and a pair of dice.
2. Roll both dice and divide the larger number by the smaller number. If you can divide them evenly (i.e. 6 divided by 3), say "cat." You can roll again if you get a "cat."
3. If you cannot divide the numbers evenly (6 divided by 5), your turn is over. (Some groups called this a "dog.")
4. First player to get 20 "cats" wins.

The younger students created timelines of their day to show what time they get up, eat breakfast, etc. They discussed and shared how time works in their daily life and compared how the days all look different. Take a look at their work.

11 May 2010

Author Studies: Frank Serafini and Jane Yolen

Author Studies are a powerful tool to help students think deeply about how an author writes, literacy techniques and craft, vocabulary, and how life experience influences topics. We want our students to think of themselves as authors (they are!) and identify with the ways authors make choices and move through the writing process. This month, some students are studying Frank Serafini and others are looking at Jane Yolen. You can add to the power of these studies by reading books by these authors at home and talking about what you notice in the books. Visit the library, read before bedtime, and model reading for your children. Also, take time to talk about authors with your child. Here are some guiding questions you might discuss. Remember, adults should answer these questions too!

* Who are your favorite authors?
* What do you like about their writing?
* How do you get ideas to write about?
* If you could read about anything in the world, what would it be?

Blondie's Buddies

We are starting a new program for our 4th and 5th graders in May called Blondie's Buddies. (Blondie is the Shetland pony in the pictures below.) In Blondie's Buddies, students will have time each week at the Stephens Equestrian Center to learn through grooming, riding, and walking the horses. This program is facilitated by Ellen Beard, chair of the equestrian program. We are very excited to see our students benefit from the wonderful learning opportunities right here on campus.

Visiting the Garden

On Friday we visited CCUA's (Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture) demonstration garden on the corner of St. Joseph and Ash in downtown Columbia. Our students continued learning about gardening, sustainability, composting, and raising chickens. Go to CCUA's website for more information. We are so excited for our students to know where their food comes from, connect with the growing and harvesting process, and learn how to take better care of our earth. Take a look at our adventurous afternoon.

07 May 2010

Thank You, Families!

We are so privileged to have such wonderful parents! Thank you for a wonderful teacher appreciation week!

06 May 2010


Students jumped right back into our "typical" literacy! They worked on many projects, wrote new stories, started new reading groups, and had an opportunity to have literacy outside on Tuesday afternoon! Younger students have started an author study of Frank Serafini and the older students worked on a special project we will reveal later!

05 May 2010

All-School Picnic (Sponsored by SCCS Parent Association)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

(Rain Date: Saturday, May 22, 2010)

On the Audrey Webb Playground

Bring your preschool & multiage students & siblings and join us for a picnic on the playground—kiddos can play & parents can visit. We’ll provide the burgers, dogs, & fixings, paper ware, utensils, water, & lemonade.

Bring a side dish or dessert to share (Last name A-L bring a side; M-Z bring a dessert), your own beverages* if you don’t want water/lemonade (*this is an alcohol-free event), & blankets/chairs for sitting.

There will be an opportunity to cast your vote for SCCS Parent Association Officers for the 2010/11 School Year.

Please RSVP by Wednesday, May 13, 2010, to Melissa McAllister @ melissamillsmcallister@yahoo.com or 573.356.1033, so that we will know how much food to prepare. Please email/call if you have concerns re: rain date.

04 May 2010

Students Perform at Dance Studio

For the past eight weeks, multiage girls ages 7-10 have had an opportunity to be a part of a learning experience for college students here on campus. Dance instructor Nancy Stoy invited us to the second floor of Senior Hall to help her students learn to become dance teachers. The girls have enjoyed their time every Tuesday afternoon, and were sad to say goodbye! Please enjoy their farewell "recital":

Seeds are Taking Root

Our new science topic, Plants and Seeds, is off to a fun start. This Monday we started talking about seeds and had the opportunity to work with a variety of fruits and vegetables. The students made predictions of how many seeds were in each and then cut them open to count (or estimate) how many seeds were in each.

Parent Group Officer Election

To get the newly revitalized SCCS Parent Group off to a good start for the next school year we’re asking for volunteers who would be interested in being officers. We will then hold an election open to all parents to select the following positions with one year terms.

1. Two co-chairs
- The co-chairs would jointly lead the group
- one person with a child in preschool
- one person with a child in multiage
2. Secretary
- Responsible for taking notes from meetings.
3. Treasurer
- Responsible for keeping an accurate balance of the money in the SCCS Parent Group
4. Room Parent
- One from each classroom in preschool* and two from multiage
- Serves as representative of the class
- Help get volunteers for various events and committees
*With the changes expected in the preschool over the summer this concept might have to be revised. We’ll see!

If you’re interested in running for one of these positions, please e-mail Jeanne Sullivan at Jeanne@more.net by Monday, May 10. Also, you’re welcome to include a short paragraph about yourself including your kid(s) and which room they’re in. There will be a meeting scheduled after school ends for the new officers to get together and discuss next steps.

Ballots will be sent home to all parents and will be collected by Sue in the office. If she is not available there will be an envelope clearly marked on her desk for the ballots. There will also be an opportunity to vote at a soon to be announced school picnic! New officers will be announced by May 27.