Today was quite a special day in the Annex!
For the first time, the teachers opened the Primary and Lower Elementary classrooms so students could flow between the spaces. The excitement was palpable.
Returning Primary students were eager to visit their former space with familiar and unfamiliar works, new furniture and their Lower Elementary friends. New Primary students were eager to explore the Lower Elementary space for the first time.
Lower Elementary students were over the moon to both visit the brand new Primary spaces and to visit some of the familiar works on the shelves.
Students from both classes were often seen showing their visitors around and enjoying the new outdoor classroom together. Everywhere there were small groups or pairs of students from both classes talking, working and playing. We might have even overheard a few Grade 1 students debating if the slide could possibly be the same (it seems so small now).
This was one of the motivating factors in moving classrooms this summer and we expect it to be a regular event. This a particularly wonderful thing for our kindergartners, as their move to first grade will be to a room where they already feel at home and with staff whom they already know.
Students in grades 4 through 8 participated in the worldwide Hour of Code this week. The Hour of Code was developed a few years ago to promote computer science studies in schools, particularly the aspect of creating and writing computer programs.
Students had a great time and were truly interested and engaged in the process of making Elsa and Anna create figures and snowflakes as they skated forwards and backwards and made turns as directed by the code created by the students.
There are more videos and self-directed learning modules that parents and students can access at code.org.
Lower Elementary learned about Diwali, the “Festival of Lights”. We learned that this festival is the beginning of the New Year for some people in India and around the world. As a project, Lower Elementary made Diyas pinch pots because of the significance of the lights of Diwali. Lower Elementary enjoyed working with the clay and painting them.
This year, students in Grades 7 and 8 have made shifts in order to arrive at school to start mathematics at 8:30am. This allows them to receive a full 60 – 90 minutes of math each day. Marcia, their mathematics teacher arrives well before 8am to prepare for their arrival.
In addition to the traditional curriculum content of Algebra and Pre-Algebra, each class begins with a Problem of the Day, Venn Diagram Puzzler, Code Breaker, or another 4 – 6 minute challenge. These activities review previously taught concepts, encourage the use of mental math and logic, and allow students to see where they might need some extra help or to ask a question. Marcia always ends this first part of the class with a word puzzle.
The office staff arrived to find the walls covered with colorful thank you signs by the primary class! It is so nice to feel appreciated, and the colors brightened up this grey and rainy day!
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