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Elementary Happenings
Ms. Merike’s & Ms. Smith’s Classes

Historical Presentations – Thursday, October 30th

On Thursday, October 30th, the elementary students presented biographical speeches, written and delivered as if they were the actual historical figure of their choosing. An annual favorite of students, staff and parents, this years presentation truly reflected each student’s hard work researching their chosen subject and developing a costume and–for many–capturing the true persona of their subject with both dramatic flair and satirical humor!

Middle School student, Nicholas Roman, volunteered to video tape the performances. We will provide the link to enable parents to view the video once he has completed the final edit. Click the link below to see photographs of the students’ performances:

Click the link below to begin the slideshow:

October 2014 Happenings

Now that it is October, certain weekly routines have developed in the elementary class with each day having its own focal point that the children can anticipate:

Monday – We begin each new week with our flag raising ceremony while we sing our National Anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner”.

Tuesday – A group of 2-3 children go out with a parent volunteer to purchase vegetables for the
Wednesday pizza fundraiser (if you are interested in volunteering on a certain Tuesday, please contact Ms. Bev at dirofdev@manj.org in the office)

Wednesday – Pizza Day: children chop and distribute the vegetables to each participating class, order the pizza and make sure that every student who ordered gets their pizza.

Thursday – Upper elementary students are cooking for the elementary classes, using leftover vegetables. The children come up with a recipe to prepare, and so far we have never had leftovers!

Friday – Chorus, gym and yoga add flavor to our Fridays, in addition, to lowering the flag (most Fridays)

On Monday, October 20th, however, our week had an entirely different beginning with the field trip to Crystal Cave, near Kutztown, PA! This may well end up as the high point of the month! The students, staff and chaperons had a great time on our trip, despite the long bus ride to and from. We learned about stalagmites, stalactites, and the columns that they sometimes form. We also learned about the conditions that create different formations.

Our tour guide explained about the damage that early visitors to the cave unwittingly caused and we all got to experience, first hand, the darkness in which those early visitors would sit, if they were unfortunate enough to drop their lantern!

The highlight of the trip, however, was panning for gemstones. This exciting hands on activity enabled many students to expand individual research into different types of rocks, gems, etc. that had begun in class prior to the trip. Many of the students passed the time on the long bus trip home by busily identifying the contents of their newly acquired collections! Expect much more research and activities centered around the subjects we learned about on this exciting field trip.

We are grateful to Sarah Mantz, (Aidan/Elementary & Torin/ADM), for all of her hard work setting up this trip and coordinating the transportation and chaperons.

We want to remind parents that next Thursday, October 30th, the annual Elementary Historical Presentations will take place in class at 2:00pm. For those families new to elementary or to our school, it has been our tradition for elementary students to stage an informal presentation around the time of Halloween, featuring historic or present day figures, who have made contributions in their own respective fields or beyond.

Parents who are able to, are welcome to attend the presentation. We ask that absolutely no siblings under 5 years of age attend, as it becomes a distraction during an already stressful time for the students. For those planning to attend, parking will be available in the visitor lot on a first come, first serve basis. Additional parking will be available at Conrow Park next door to the school. There will be NO PARKING along the driveway as this will create a dangerous hazard for those parents coming to and from picking up primary children who are not otherwise involved with the elementary presentation. Remember, at NO TIME, may you park on the grass as it will damage the underground sprinkler system.

~Ms. Merike, Ms. Smith and the Elementary students

September 2014 Happenings

Thursday, September 18th

Last week, several Upper Elementary students came up with an idea to perform their favorite Shel Silverstein poems in front of the class. Maddox, Liam, Isabella, Mikaela and Kaitlin memorized some very long and some very short poems, adding their own spin on many of them. The results were entertaining and quite hilarious! Click here to check out the video of their performance.

The Elementary students’ daily art work is now on display in the hallway leading to our class. Please make an effort to come by and take a look. You will find the artwork on display on the cork boards along the outside wall of the second floor hallway.

In the Science area, the students have been enjoying exploring different ways of combining and separating. We looked at the way different liquids settle according to their weights. We are also studying the needs of plants. We learned that lack of warmth had an immediate effect while the other plants are taking longer to show the results of absence of light, water and air.

There has been a wave of crocheting, knitting and fingerknitting sweeping through our classroom. Many students are working on handmade projects. Students who have already received a lesson in knitting and/or crocheting are now busy teaching other students their craft.

While the weather remains warm, Elementary lunch will continue to be outside, but once it turns cooler, or on rainy days, the students will dine inside. Earlier this week, they practiced setting the tables with beautifully appointed tablecloths, plates, glasses and flatware. The students thoroughly enjoyed dining in style!

In other class news: we have acquired new pets. Yesterday the 3 Tequila Sunrise Delta Guppies, Sunburst Wag Platy and Black Mollies joined the lovely Black Tetra in our fish tank aquarium and today, Eli and his parents generously donated a pair of turtles for our previously vacant aquarium. The students are observing their new pets in their specially appointed environments and learning to properly care for them.

Click the link below to see September Photos

Thursday, September 11th

The students in our Elementary classes have wasted no time getting back into their studies this new school year! Several groups of students have already worked on reports and given presentations on various subjects including “Dinosaurs” by Toby, Lily & Jackson, “The Anatomy of Sheep” by Valentine & Sara–inspired by a bone they found!–and “Red Foxes, What They Eat and What Eats Them” by Astrid and Aryana.

Students will often break off into small groups to study and investigate a particular subject. They support their findings with their own illustrations, photos clipped from magazines, and examples and props. They meet with each teacher and the office staff to set up a schedule and then they visit the classes to give their presentation.

Presentations give students the opportunity to research a topic, work as a team, delegate tasks, create and follow a schedule and develop public speaking skills. We are thrilled with the enthusiastic return of Student Presentations!

Classroom Photos:

The photos below show some of the work the students are doing each day.  Click on a photo to begin the slideshow.