Students in Grades 4 and 5 participate in the First Lego League Jr. FIRST LEGO League Jr.* is designed to introduce STEM concepts to kids ages 6 to 10 while exciting them through a brand they know and love − LEGO®.
Mrs. LaPlume and Mrs.Gardner coach the team of seven students as they explore this year's Lego challenge, Creature Craze with the problem of honeybees. In the process, the students learn about teamwork, the wonders of science and technology, and the FIRST LEGO League Jr. Core Values, which include respect, sharing, and critical thinking. Their weekly meetings include research on their chosen species and building their programmable model from Lego.
Newsletter, August 18, 2016
¿Cómo se dice "Let's eat"?
As part of Mrs. Grillo's Spanish Class, our 8th graders headed to Federal-Hill in Providence on Friday. They needed to order and converse in Spanish during this "delicioso" trip.
Don Jose Tequilas restaurant is well-known in historic Federal-Hill for having the best upscale Mexican cuisine. They provided excellent service and authentic dishes for our students to experience.
The Kindergarten World of Coding
Kindergartners explore the world of coding during their Friday activity period. Our young learners explore the basics of building this computer language with unplugged activities using Lego platforms and creating algorithms to move a peer around the rug to collect jewels. This promotes computational thinking—teaching how to break down a problem into small sequence of parts. They work in cooperative groupings to sequence the steps and test their series. We have the opportunity to work on iPads using a free app of ScratchJr. https://www.scratchjr.org/
Grade 5 scientists were investigating dirt, we looked at soil samples from our own yards. We tried to determine permeability, size of particles and what soil is made of. What did we find? Worms,crystals, rocks and all kinds of particles.
The Great Egg Drop Challenge!
Research suggests that young children do not learn as creatively or critically when adults tell them what to do. Simple directives such as, “Do it this way.” or “It works like this…” appears to deter children from investigating and testing out ideas and theories of their own. As adults, it is important for us to give children opportunities to experiment; to
foster scientific exploration so that children can generate thoughts, ideas and questions in order to make their own discoveries about how the world operates. Since our classroom is designed to foster the interests of the children and create learning opportunities and experiences that are meaningful (and to go along with our most recent egg/chick exploration), we decided to conduct an “egg drop challenge.”
An “egg drop challenge” is an exciting way to incorporate the scientific method as well as higher level thinking skills, such as critical thinking and problem solving, into our classroom in a way that is not only challenging, but FUN! The objective of the challenge was to create a container (or “contraption” as we preferred to call it) that would protect an egg from cracking or breaking when dropped from a high elevation. Working with our fourth and fifth grade buddies over the course of two days, we began by gathering a variety of recycled materials (including boxes, tubes, paper, packing peanuts, bubble wrap and lots and lots of tape) and then collaborated to plan/design and construct vessels which would not compromise the integrity of the eggs when dropped.
Before children can test out their theories however, time and space must be given in order for them to develop their own ideas about materials; the how’s(?) and the why’s(?). On the first day of our collaboration, we asked the students to think about the materials that were available to them and sketch out their plans. Once their plans were drawn, the children were then given the opportunity to choose any of the materials available to them to work with. As the children would work with their buddies, they would test out their efforts and problem-solve ways to make corrections and adjustments to their contraptions. Once the buddies were satisfied with their work, it was set aside for the following day’s big challenge! On Thursday, March 31st, under a cloudless sky, we assembled all of the pre-k children along with their fourth and fifth grade buddies on the school playground.
Working in groups of two and three, the children would walk the stairs of the schools second story egress and position themselves along the balcony, (with Ms. O’ Dea’s support, of course!) with their contraptions suspended over the sandbox below. After counting down from three, the buddies would drop their contraption with baited breath and descend from the second story egress to assess how their hard work held up after
the fall. Of the 31 contraptions that were dropped in our first annual egg drop challenge, only one was unable to protect the egg that was contained inside!
Holy Thursday in Kindergarten
The solemnity of Holy Week is the overarching theme of our week in SJS kindergarten. It defines who we are as a Church. During the Triduum, the three-day period of prayer, we recall the three days that Christ spent in the tomb, from Good Friday until Easter Sunday. The children are mindful of the holiness of this week and that we are called to love and serve as Jesus. We bring the rich symbolism and experiences of the Lord’s Supper and the passion and death of Jesus to our young children in an appropriate way. Children experienced the washing of the feet as our 12 disciples participated in allowing us to serve them as Jesus did, as well as, the Lord’s Supper.
Grade Two students experienced both the high road and low road to Brementown when they read two different versions of the Brementown Musicians.
This folktale was originally written by The Brothers Grimm who were born in Germany more than 200 years ago. The two versions were retold in play and story format. Students then did a comparison using a Venn Diagram. They also completed story chains showing the sequence of this interesting folktale.
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