Plenty of French Fun & Games for First
In first grade, we play games, sing songs and use French Sign Language (FSL) to learn and remember vocabulary. We have a well-established classroom routine: first we sing our greeting song to our partner, then we play a charade game using FSL and the corresponding word. Then it is time for a learning game or two: number portrait (find the number in the teacher’s head according to the clues), flyswatter (tap the picture called by the teacher), double memory game (find the matching pictures and match the teacher’s word) or Total Physical Response (the students match the teacher’s moves and words). Once the vocabulary memorization is solid, the students move to working with partners! This week, we learned about shapes with a flyswatter game and prepared for a memory game with a partner by doing TPR of the winter activities and a group memory game.
– Nathalie Pellenq, French teacher
Second Grade Celebrates MLK’s ‘Big Words’
In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the second grade class read Doreen Rappaport and Brian Collier’s bold and vibrant pictorial biography, Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Martin Luther King Jr. We discussed how powerful words can bring about change. We are now creating a second grade banner to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy and remember what a gift it is that “his big words are alive for us today.” We brainstormed a list of words that remind us of Dr. King’s work, such as justice, hope, inclusion, and peace. Each student will design a flag featuring one of these powerful words. We will continue to highlight the importance of equality, love, and understanding in our community as we honor Dr. King’s service to all.
– Nancy Fell and Katie O’Brien, second grade teachers
First Enjoys a Stack of Great Book Lessons
First graders are working on their “All About” Books. They brainstormed many topics they are interested in and wanted to write about. They also decided what kind of book they want to write: a fiction story, a nonfiction informational book, or a how-to book. First graders have been writing excitedly about their topics. They have been using writing, spelling, and handwriting skills learned so far in first grade, and taking their work through the writing process. This week first graders are working on revising and editing their books, adding pictures, and thinking of their title. First graders will soon complete all parts of their books and publish them!
– Geoffrey Fox, first grade teacher
PE Update: Winter Adventures
There is a saying we often recite as coaches: “You don’t have to get ready if you stay ready.” The idea is that a little forethought and intentionality can go a long way towards ensuring we are prepared for what comes our way.
During winter physical education, that means being ready to rock in our Barn or Downing gyms for whatever unit we may be engaging in, whether it’s basketball, hockey, the climbing wall, or net games. But it also means being prepared for the possibility of heading outdoors, because when we get fresh powder, it’s time to hit the slopes.
Those slopes could be the sledding hill on the backside of the tennis court. Or it could mean a wintry trail hike. Either way, we advise our students to have the proper gear for adventures indoors and out, because we love to extend our program beyond the walls of our buildings, even (and sometimes especially) when the temperatures drop and the snow falls.
– Alex Tzelnic, physical education teacher