Learning Updates for March 28 to April 1

April 1st, 2022

Arts Update: Fifth Graders Explore Character Development

What does my character want and why? What does my character do to try to get what they want? Students in fifth grade theater arts class asked these questions while learning about character objectives and motivations. The students were given different scenarios in which the characters have conflicting objectives. After developing the basic outline of the scene, they focused on incorporating a variety of tactics to help them achieve these objectives. Characters pleaded, cajoled, reasoned, forced, cried, and flattered each other in their attempts to reach their goals. In our next class, the students will apply what they learned to a series of scenes from Alice in Wonderland, and then delve even deeper to discover the motivation behind their character’s actions. The journey of developing a character for a scripted theater work has begun!

– Susan Dempsey, theater arts teacher

Third Graders Present Their Awesome Animal Adaptations

The third graders have been learning about the physical and behavioral adaptations of animals. As their culminating project, students designed and constructed an animal using their knowledge of adaptations as well as their own creativity! Some criteria included structural adaptations that allowed for an offense or defense against predators, instinctual behavioral adaptations, place within a food chain, and a habitat suited for its biome. Last week, our third grade zoologists gave detailed presentations of these new species to their classmates in person as well as family members near and far via Zoom.

– Leigh Twarog, grade 3 teacher

PE Update: Mario Kart Delights and Challenges

Talk about nostalgia. Just hearing those electronic tunes brings you right back to the days of Nintendo. And those tunes were rocking in our gym spaces this week as second, fourth, and fifth grade classes played different Mario Kart-themed games.

How? Well, for starters, a scooter course ringed the gym, and making a successful trip around the course earned each rider a coin. However, a group of Bowsers, standing at center court, rolled foam Bowser balls out at the riders, trying to prevent successful laps. Enough coins could earn a student a turtle shell (gatorskin ball) to launch at another rider; a banana peel (bowling pin) to disrupt a rider’s journey; or a star (for a protected trip around the course). Roles rotated constantly and there was even a rainbow road (underneath the parachute). It was a blast and a blast from the past. AND some great exercise!

– Alex Tzelnic, physical education teacher

First Graders Going Big On Small Stories

First graders have begun working on their small moment stories in writing! First graders began this project by thinking of stories in their own lives. They began writing things that have happened to them or things that they’ve done. The students learned what a small moment story is–not a huge story about their lives or even about their whole day, but a true story about a specific event or moment in their lives. First graders have brainstormed important people, pets, places, and objects in their lives. They have also identified small moment story seeds they can pull from their big ideas, and have begun planning how to turn big ideas into small moment stories!

– Geoffrey Fox, grade 1 teacher

Sixth Graders Establish Groot-Based Economy

Walking through the sixth grade cubbies, you may notice some Groot-themed signs for a variety of fun shopping opportunities. Established by a group of sixth graders, Groot is the amazing currency of the sixth grade. Playfully named for the Marvel character, the community of Grootlandia is a thriving one, where classmates can buy, sell, or rent items (as long as it is school appropriate, of course) to one another. There are a variety of “shops” which range from selling drawings on rocks to renting out fidgets. There is also a Groot government, with a Groot court, a Groot congress, and Groot law enforcement that keeps things from getting out of hand. There are many types of Groot bills, including ones, fives, tens, and hundreds. Although it is complicated, the main point of Groot is to have fun and to experiment with and learn about an economic system. So next time you’re passing by the sixth grade cubby room, make sure to check it out!

– The People of Grootlandia (and Matt Segil, middle school math teacher and grade 6 adviser)

Two Students Acting Very Dramatically Student Presenting a Wild Animal CreationStudents Dodging Balls in Physical Education ClassFirst Grader Writing a Story In ClassSign Hung in A Student's Cubby