Upper Primary Cottage News

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March / April / May 2019 Curriculum Newsletter

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Level 6 Math and Science
Katherine Coppinger

      March and April have been exciting!! We started back from spring break by packing our bags and heading to Nature’s Classroom in Mentone, Alabama. The kids had a blast spending two nights in a cabin, hiking, and spending time together. They were able to participate in activities that were called “challenge by choice.” These activities challenged the students to try new things. Some activities included walking/climbing through caves along their hike, swinging high in the air, and canoeing.  They also were able to pick additional classes they wanted to try. Classes included...
Back Country Baking: kids practice low-impact outdoor baking techniques to create cinnamon rolls for the class to enjoy
Doctor in the Woods:  Discuss and practice basic emergency response and first aid skills as applied in a wilderness setting. 
Bubbles:  Learn about surface tension and refraction while creating bubbles of different sizes and shapes. 
        Geodome: Lash together a geodesic dome out of ropes and logs and test its strength.
Outdoor Survival: Discuss fundamental principles of wilderness survival and simulate meeting basic needs using only a few designated items. 
        Tracking: Go into the wild in search of evidence to discover which animals have been in the area. 
        Stream Stomp:  Discuss the water cycle and investigate life around and within the Little River. 
        Fire:  Learn about the science of fire and experiment with low-impact fire building skills. 

     We are finishing our rocks and minerals by creating mini project in class where students can get creative about rocks and minerals. Students can choose from a variety of projects.  
     In math, students are continuing to work on their lessons and complete this semester stations. Stations include rock, paper, scissors probability, measuring angles, recording temperature, area and perimeter, calculator computation, fraction work, and decimal work. We have been working with decimal and fraction relationships in basics class. 


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Levels 6 Language Arts and Social Studies
Alice Revenig '98

       In Language Arts we finished Cricket in Times Square, Riding Freedom, and Music of the Dolphins.   We are now doing a whole group Literature Circle and are all reading From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.  We are focusing on answering questions completely and using evidence from the text to support our answers.  In conjunction with the reading of the book, which is set in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, each student is working on researching a different artist in preparation for a living museum.  Each student will write a research paper on his or her artist and will teach others about what he or she has learned.  A vast majority of this will be done at school.  We have also started writing to our Level 4 pen pals and are working on a poetry unit.   
        In social studies we had a great time researching and studying Native Americans.  We learned about different ways of life for each tribe and how they adapted to their environments.  We had a great time cooking some Native American foods, making dream catchers, writing stories emulating legends Native Americans would tell, creating totem poles, and much more. 
      We have been staying very busy.  Please make sure your student continues to read at least 20 minutes each night.


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Level 7 Math and Science
Catherine Leckenby
       Level 7 students have continued to work on individual plans that allow them to make continuous progress in math.  They worked on geometry, equations & inequalities, ratio & percents, and enrichment stations in their daily work, and they will complete weekly assignments in math workbooks and IXL.   
During March, Upper Primary continued to study Food and Nutrition. We had the best time having our first ever “chopped challenge”. Groups were given 4 items and one mystery item they had to use to prepare a Mexican inspired dish for the judges. They also had a large pantry of items they could include. They were scored on taste, presentation, and creativity. All judges were very impressed with the dishes they made. Some were even quite delicious!! We will definitely repeat this next year.
      Williamsburg was a blast this year! Every child had so much fun and learned a lot. Even though this was my seventh year going; I feel like I learn something new every year too!!


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Levels 7 Language Arts and Social Studies
   Lynne Mulligan 

         Our trip to Williamsburg was wonderful! We visited the Colonial shops, ate at a tavern, experienced wonderful evening programs full of music, dancing, and story-telling.  We spent time in Historic Jamestown touring a Native American village, a fort, and a glassblowing site. On our way home, we stopped to tour Monticello and enjoyed seeing Thomas Jefferson’s beautiful home and many inventions.  It was an amazing adventure!  
      The end of the year is upon us, and Level 7 is busy right until the end! Chapel talks begin Monday, May 6, and the students have been working diligently on them. Everyone has chosen a theme on which they will focus their talks. Many of these are related to our school theme, “All the Blessings of this Life” while others center around another theme or idea that is particularly meaningful to them. They are writing their talks, and soon will begin to practice speaking in front of their classmates. We are getting excited about presenting them in chapel in the coming weeks. 
We are continuing our study of how different roots make up words and learning the meaning of the roots to help us figure out unknown words.  We are also learning to spell lots of commonly misspelled words.  
      We have had several guests visit us to share their various talents this month.  Charles Pierce brought a woodworking project for the Level 7s this month.  Barry Stewart Mann shared his dramatic skills with us as we revisited some Greek gods and goddesses. Poet Judyth Hill will be visiting us at the end of the month, and we are looking forward to writing some creative poetry with her. 
      World War I is the topic for social studies during April, and we will end the year learning about the time period of World War II.  The students have been working hard studying World War I using homemade flashcards, computer quizlets, an online Jeopardy game, and other forms of working with their classmates to learn the information. Our literature circle books for this month are Saving Zasha, Eddie Red, Shooting Kabul, and Stargirl. These books are sparking interesting talks, and the level of comprehension and discussion going on in class is impressive. 






ST NICHOLAS SCHOOL 7525 Min Tom Drive | Chattanooga, Tennessee 37421 | ph: (423).899.1999 | fax: (423).899.0109 | [email protected]