Elementary Teacher Contact Email

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

28 October 2010

Nonfiction News!

Students have been working on nonfiction pieces in litereacy. Groups have been focusing on writing through a mask.This crafting technique is when the story is written through the eyes of the object or animal being explained. A good example of this is the book Mojave by Dianne Siebert. Kindergardeners have been collarborating to create a nonfiction Animal ABC book.

Math Update

Students have been enjoying working with college students on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Mondays and Wednesdays, math groups have been working on everything from comparing numbers, addition/subtractions, and multiplication/division. A game that students enjoy is called Higher or Lower. This game is played when a person chooses a number and everyone else guesses the number. With each guess, the person who has chosen the number marks if the number is higher or lower.

26 October 2010


This week, students are learning about the earth biomes, or areas on the earth that meet animal's needs based on climate, plants, and environment. Students are learning about the following six main biomes: desert, forest (rainforest, diciduous, coniforous), freshwater (wetlands, rivers, lakes), grasslands, marine (ocean, coral reef), and tundra. Students are investigating why particular animals live in the various biomes.
To extend this learning at home, talk with your child about their favorite animals and try to figure out which biome they live in. We also encourage you to read books about animals and watch videos about animals, such as the Planet Earth series.

21 October 2010

We need your help!

For our science activity next week, the students will be building biomes and learning about the plants and animals that thrive in those environments. If possible, please send us any kind of recycled materials that the students might be able to use for building materials. For example: Cardboard, plastic, paper, etc.

Math update

We have been working on some different math concepts over the last few weeks. Now each group is focused on numbers and mathematical operations. The younger students are exploring addition and subtraction with 1 and 2 digit numbers, as well as comparing numbers and amounts. The older students are working with decimals and fractions and how they can be manipulated. All students are working with their sense of numbers and amounts, with a focus on place value. A favorite game among our elementary students is called "Guess Digit Place". Ask your child how to play! Here are a few sites with place value games to check out:

Science-Our Study of Animals

Our study of animals continued this week with several exciting activities. Mrs. Howle taught the students all about the life cycles of animals like birds and caterpillars. The kids then made life cycle mobiles based on what they learned. Mrs. Clifton led an inquiry into the rats, asking questions and finding answers through research. Lastly, Ms. Parks took the students outside to observe animals in the wild. Here are some highlights:
Observing a squirrel in the tree
Life cycle mobiles

Alexis' project about rats

The students huddle around and observe a dead squirrel!

Will records an observation in his science notebook

15 October 2010

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

This week we've been getting back in the habit of recycling our paper and plastic waste. Last Friday our CCUA friends came over to teach the kids about recycling used paper to make new paper and how to properly sort and recycle our trash. We learned that paper with food on it cannot be recycled and that plastics can only be recycled in Columbia if they are marked with a 1 or 2. We are all working towards reducing the overall waste in our classroom and are taking positive steps such as composting and recycling to help our environment.

Students tear up used paper before blending it into a pulp to make paper

Pressing the pulp onto felt absorbs the moisture and allows the paper to try

Students sort waste into recycled paper, plastic, metal or trash
Robin looks to see if the plastic cup is marked with a 1 or 2.
It wasn't, so it had to be thrown in the trash.

Join the club!

For the past several Fridays the students have been participating in what we like to call "clubs." Each teacher hosts a club with a new hobby, activity, theme, or topic. Clubs this year have included giving, ballet, board games, animal lovers, journal-making, altered books, and more. These afternoons are a great opportunity for the students to try something new and spend time with a group of kids of different ages with similar interests.

This Friday our clubs included print-making with Ms. Howle, card games with Ms. Parks, and recycled art with Ms. Flynn. Ms. Howle and Ms. Flynn's groups went on a nature walk to collect things for their projects. Ms. Howle's group found natural artifacts such as leaves, pine cones, and flowers to use as stamps. Ms. Flynn's group collected recyclable litter on the college campus to turn into artistic sculptures.

Savannah's altered book

Natalie's altered book

Robin and Jeanne dance along to Swan Lake

Rachel strikes a pose

Thomas' printmaking piece

Recycled sculpture

Our visit to the Davis Art Gallery

Unfolding (detail), Annie Helmericks-Louder

Thursday morning during specials Ms. Howle and Ms. Parks took groups of students to see an exhibit at the Davis Art Gallery on the Stephens College campus. The exhibit, titled Vital Threads, showcased fiber artwork by two artists. The students observed, sketched and wrote about their favorite pieces.

More information about the exhibit and upcoming events at the Davis Art Gallery can be found here http://www.stephens.edu/news/stephensevents/finearts/ .

13 October 2010

Homemade Spacecraft

One of the parents emailed me a link to this video where a father and his son create and launch a homemade spacecraft. It's amazing to watch and inspiring to think of the powerful role parents play in their child's education. You don't have to build a spacecraft to help your child learn at home. Simply doing experiments, going on field trips, and reading good books with your child add a great deal to your child's education. Enjoy this video!

Homemade Spacecraft from Luke Geissbuhler on Vimeo.

School Pictures

Your child should have brought home an order form for school pictures yesterday. Please let a teacher know if you need another order form. Leah Johnson, the photographer, spends a lot of time to make sure each picture is special. There is a code on the order form so you can look at your child's pictures online.

Next Family Meeting

We are pleased to announce that the SCCS Parents' Association will hold a General Meeting of the Parents' Association on Thursday, November 4, 2010, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. in Windsor Lounge on the Stephens College campus.

This meeting will feature remarks from Dr. Dianne Lynch, President of Stephens College, followed by a Q & A session. Since her inaugaration in 2009, Dr. Lynch has been a strong supporter of Stephens College Children's School. We look forward to hearing from her.

Drinks and nosh will be provided.

The Parents' Association will conduct a short meeting as well, featuring details on our Barnes & Noble Bookfair, T-shirts, Spring Auction & more.

Childcare, provided by SLATE, will be available at the Preschool--starting at 5:30! Look for sign-up sheets in the classrooms to give SLATE an accurate headcount.

We'll see you Thursday, November 4 from 5:30 to 7:00 at Windsor Lounge!

An Afternoon of Inquiry about Animals

Our new topic of study in the afternoons is the world of animals. This topic is relevant to people for many reasons as animals are an integral part of the world we live in. Not only are animals fascinating, they are essential to our planet. Students will be investigating an "enduring question" throughout this inquiry project to gain a deeper understanding about animals. Our enduring question is...

Yesterday, we posed this question to the class. Students worked in small group to think of the answer to this question. We were blown away by their thinking.

Next students, worked in groups to research animals. They perused books and took notes on animal's habitats and characteristics.

To wrap up our day, students posted animals on the map to show how animals an integral all over the world.

Genre Study in Literacy: Information Books

This week, we began a new study in literacy on informational writing. Students will be immersed in reading and writing nonfiction. Students are learning about various text structures of nonfiction writing, such as ABC books, question/answer books, using text boxes, captions, italics, bold print, table of contents, subheading, and indexes. You can support this learning at home by reading information books on topics that interest you and your family.

College Students Teaching Math

On Tuesdays and Thursday, college students are doing a math practicum where they teach small groups of children for an hour. They are focusing on number sense (place value, grouping numbers, patterns, and problem solving) and number operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division). The students are really able to get individual attention during this time from the college students, as well as teachers and professors. These groups will continue through Thanksgiving Break.

Science Club Explores Cells

On Monday, the science club met to explore the similarities and differences between plant and animal cells. The group is led by college students in the Stephens science department. Students enjoyed learning about microscopes and how they help scientists learn about cells.

07 October 2010


The students are teaming up with the women of Sigma Tau Delta, the English honor society at Stephens, to become "e-pals" (email pen pals) with another child who is living in an orphanage in India called Home of Love. This is a great opportunity for our students to learn about the life of a child in a different country. They are currently working on their very first letters and will send them out on Monday with the help of the Sigma Tau Delta women!

06 October 2010

Family Night Out This Friday

SLATE (Students Learning About Teacher Education) will hold its first “Family Night Out” of the school year this Friday, October 8, 2010, from 5:30 until 10:00, at the Audrey Webb Building. This is an opportunity for you to drop off the children and go out for a night on the town. The cost is only $10 per child. SLATE provides child care, a meal & entertainment for the kids. This event is open to SCCS students & their siblings!!!

Please email Rachel Johnson (rjohnson1287@stephens.edu) to RSVP if you want to participate in Family Night Out. Please respond by Thursday at 5:00 p.m.

Please include your children's names and ages who will be attending.

04 October 2010

Poetry Slam

This morning we had our very first poetry slam! It was a new and different way to celebrate all the amazing poetry that the students have written over the last month. The 3rd-5th graders chose one of their own poems and, along with a group of younger students, presented it to the rest of the class in a creative way. Check them out:

02 October 2010

Working the Farm

The 4th and 5th Graders walked to CCUA's Farm on Friday to go deeper in learning about sustainability and agriculture. They picked produce and prepared it for sale, fed chickens, weeded gardens, and enjoyed getting their hands in the dirt.