Kindergartners Build On Their Knowledge of Architects
Each year in kindergarten, we welcome student choice by holding an election in which the kindergartners can vote for the community helper they would like to learn about most. This year, our top-three community helpers were veterinarians, architects, and professional dancers. After learning a lot about vets, kindergartners are now beginning to explore what an architect does. We kicked off our study of architects by reading the book Iggy Peck, Architect, and watching a video interview with a real-life architect, Katherine Williams. Students noticed the similarities between the fictional portrayal of Iggy the architect and the information shared by the real-life architect to make some inferences about what is true about being an architect. They determined that all architects design buildings, including schools, skyscrapers, and homes. Kindergartners also learned that all architects use tools to help them in their work. Stay tuned to see how we continue to learn about this important community helper!
– Missy Hartvigsen, kindergarten teacher
First Grade Studies Some ‘Big Words’ In Tribute to MLK
In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and as a way to connect our learning in the classroom to the MLK display currently in the Gallery, first graders have engaged in a ‘Big Words’ project. First graders read the book, Martin’s Big Word by Doreen Rappaport, and then discussed some related big words–words we think of when we think about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Students brainstormed words and phrases about Dr. King, his work, and his legacy. For inspiration, they examined a Martin Luther King, Jr. word portrait, and shared their notices. They recognized the portrait was of Dr. King and was filled with meaningful and kind words. First graders joyfully wrote big words and phrases to be used in our own class word portrait of Dr. King. Together, first graders constructed the word portrait by gluing their words and phrases onto paper in the shape of Martin Luther King, Jr.
– Geoffrey Fox, first grade teacher, and Cate Ruland, associate teacher
Sixth Grade English Gets Argumentative
Students in sixth-grade English plunged into the art of rhetoric this week: examining argumentative writing and what makes an argument effective. They began by assessing what they already knew about rhetoric. Students matched terms (thesis, argument, evidence, counterclaim, rebuttal) with definitions and simple questions (e.g. thesis: “what do I think?”) to help them remember each term’s purpose. Students then used their weekend reading–two articles about the College Board’s decision to pare down the A.P. African American Studies curriculum–to argue against or in support of the organization’s choice. Over the course of the week, they practiced writing clear thesis statements and detailed arguments, and they learned to cite a variety of sources to strengthen their positions. Students ended the week by learning about Aristotle’s “Rhetorical Triangle” and infusing their own writing with appeals to ethos, pathos, and logos.
– Galen Muskat, sixth grade English teacher
French Students Interview BDS Community Members
Seventh grade French students have been learning vocabulary around question words and free time activities. They put this into practice by interviewing members of the BDS community, sometimes in French, and sometimes in English. Then they wrote up short articles about each interviewee and created a class magazine. We loved getting to know some BDS faculty we didn’t know well before. Feel free to have a look at our magazine in the Gallery next week!
– Jennifer Friborg, middle school French teacher