The kids had a blast playing in the first snow of the season today!
The Middle Kid students have been exploring the many types of deserts. They have been learning about the climate, precipitation, and inhabitants of each type. They have been working on illustrating the types of deserts and giving descriptions.
The Middle Kids did their first recitation of the year on Friday. Their job was to choose 5 items that are so special to them that they would want to bring them into the after life. They wrote about their items in 5-8 sentences, describing them and telling why they are special. Then they had their first chance to stand in front of the class and speak. Public speaking skills are something we work on all year in Middle Kids. We talk about posture, eye contact, voice volume and engaging the audience. We still hear from some of our alumni that they felt they did a good job in speech classes in higher grades because of the early start they got at Rivendell.
The kids continued working on their pyramid projects today. They are creating a clay sarcophagus, canopic jars, and other items to put into their pyramid “tombs.”
Juicy tidbit of information: Along with a mummy enclosed inside a sarcophagus, an Egyptian burial tomb included 4 canopic jars which contained 4 mummified body organs. The canopic jars were adorned with the heads of the 4 sons of Horus. The four jars were: Imsety which had a human head and carried the liver. Qebehsenuf which had a falcon’s head and carried the intestines. Hapy which had the head of a baboon and carried the lungs. And Duamatef which had the head of a jackal and carried the stomach.
It is a brand new year and the Middle Kids are off and running! We have spent these first couple of weeks getting to know each other and getting back into the routine of school. Some of our students are returning for their second year of Middle Kids while others are joining us from Younger Kids and are tackling all new expectations and procedures. We are gradually adding academic work sessions back into our schedule. They have already had several math work sessions and are cruising! They are learning to choose the “just right book” in Readers’s Workshop. Next week we will start working in spelling books. We are also spending quite a bit of time on our first topic unit of the year – Ancient Egypt. Who doesn’t love talking about pyramids and mummies?
We want to welcome our new Middle Kids teacher Christin Gallagher!
This week in topic work we are continuing our study of plants. We did two projects this week – a flower dissection and a seed germination experiment. Last week the kids learned the parts of a flower, and looked closely at how plants reproduce. This week they put that knowledge to use by identifying the important parts in an actual flower. They also made mini “greenhouses” out of plastic baggies. We are attempting to germinate three types of seeds – beans, sunflowers, and corn. As we see progress, the kids will be keeping a plant observation log so they can document the important steps. Once we have viable plants, and once the weather allows, our hope is to transplant our seedlings outside into our gardens.
Our writing goal for the next couple of weeks is persuasive writing. A convincing persuasive writing consists of a topic sentence (the argument) followed by at least three statements supporting the argument. Today we spent time practicing this technique as a class, and next we will have them try writing a persuasive paragraph on their own.
As always, let us know if you have any questions over the course of these last couple months of school. We are really enjoying these kids!
Hello All, and welcome back from Spring Break!
We hope everyone had a nice week off enjoying time with family and friends, doing what you love to do. It certainly feels like spring, and it looks like we are in for some nice warm weather over the next few days.
Believe it or not, we only have 9 weeks left of the school year! These last couple of months tend to go really quickly, and they are filled with many important dates and events. We will do our very best to keep you all informed, and it’s also important to make sure you read your Rivendell newsletter each week.
**The Egg Drop will not take place this Friday. It has been postponed until April 26th.
We are wrapping up our study of the Revolutionary period this week and moving on to a unit on plants. During our plant unit, on April 24th, we will be taking a field trip to the Denver Botanic Gardens! We will be sending home more about this trip in the coming weeks, so make sure you watch for a permission slip and information about needed chaperones.
Sky Ranch 2019 – Our annual trek up to Sky Ranch with our third graders will take place on May 13th and 14th. Our second graders will stay here at school, knowing that it will be their turn next year! We are sending home packets of information and forms which need to be filled out before your child can take part in this adventure. We send them home early so that you have plenty of time to obtain information on your child’s immunizations, health history, and a signature from your pediatrician. If you have any questions, please let us know. Our advice is to get these done and returned quickly so you don’t have to worry about them anymore! There will be a mandatory Sky Ranch informational meeting at 7:30 am on Thursday, April 25th. Please mark your calendar and plan to come. If you any questions please let us know.
Have a wonderful week!
Wow – these kids did a fantastic job with our new skill of summarizing a story today! Our method of using 5 different colored pencils to differentiate between the different parts of a summary worked really well for them. The five parts of a short summary are: Somebody, Wanted, But, So, Then. They loosely correspond with the parts of a creative story: The main character and setting, the problem, the path toward a solution, and the solution to the problem.
The idea is to retell the important parts of the story “in a nutshell.” We will keep working on this skill, but considering the fact that for many of them this was their very first time, I am SO impressed!
We are moving right along in Middle Kids. The kids are making amazing progress in their math books and reading up a storm. This week in Reader’s Workshop we are focusing on summarizing a story. We do this with a method called the 5-finger summary. After reading a story we break the summary down into 5 parts – Somebody, Wanted, But, So, Then. These parts correlate with the Character, Setting, Problem, Action and Conclusion of the story. As with all new skills, we will start by writing a summary as a class, and then have them try it on their own. Another secret to making this easier is having them write each part with a different colored pencil.
We are continuing our study of the Revolutionary period this week as we learn about the events leading to war and our Declaration of Independence.
This Friday is our annual Science Share recitation. Hopefully the kids are nearing completion on their write-ups and preparation for their presentation. Let us know if you have any other questions about our expectations. If they want to enter their project in the Science Fair, they can use this coming weekend to complete their display board.
I hope you have already heard about it, but yesterday we did a simulation about taxation without representation to help the kids understand how the early American Colonists felt about the King imposing taxes on them. We came up with a long list of activities and services that the kids had to pay for during the course of the school day. We gave each of them a roll of 50 pennies, and told them that they could keep any money they had left at the end of the day. They quickly figured out that it was going to be very difficult or even impossible to have any left!
As you can imagine, this became pretty frustrating for some of them. The teachers had the authority to impose new “taxes” any time we wanted. The kids (being very fair-minded) thought this was completely unfair and maddening at times. Secretly of course, that was our hope! We know that kids learn and retain knowledge better when feelings are involved. Today we plan to discuss this further and then write about the experience.