The 5-7 Year Olds experience many celebrations throughout the school year. Some are traditional holidays that are celebrated in The United States of America. Some holidays and traditions come from our study of the countries and languages of the world. Frau Schad, our German teacher helps us celebrate the first day of school. On the first day of school in Germany, first grade age students are presented with a cone-shaped gift called a "Schultüte." We make a cone-shaped gift for all of our students in the 5-7 Year Olds Cluster. We learn traditional German songs about the first day of school and have fun celebrating the first day of school with our parents.
Another German tradition that we enjoy celebrating is "Lanternfest." On St. Martin's Day in Germany, families gather today to light up the night with homemade lanterns. We meet together at Capitol Park. The teachers help the students make or give the students lanterns to light up the night. We learn that night time can be beautiful as we celebrate with family and friends. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we did not get to celebrate with our families in the park, but Frau Schad provided a fun lantern craft for us in class. She taught us German songs and we got to walk together with our lanterns.
The students had so much fun creating a model city using paper bags for the houses and buildings. This was very easy. We used brown paper lunch bags. We decorated them with markers and construction paper. We took large sheets of paper to add roads and plots for the buildings. We learned that in Tuscaloosa, the streets go from east to west and the avenues go from north to south. We created our own streets and avenues in our model city. In December, we made gingerbread houses using brown paper bags. The students enjoyed using their imaginations.
We are so excited about our new Makerspace Area in our classroom. Our school is focusing on developing our STEM education activities. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. A Makerspace is a classroom community area in which the students can go to create and design. There are many types of materials available. Often, creations are in response to a specific problem or question. We hope to stimulate the development of new ideas and inventions.
The four Cs of STEM are: Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity. You can often add another C to these, Compassion. Inventions and designs are often created in response to a need to show compassion to others by solving problems and making a better life experience for us all.
The Engineering Design Process in STEM Learning includes: ask, imagine, plan, design, experiment, improve, and share.
Celebrating the 100th day of school gives the students many opportunities to explore and understand 100. The students were invited to bring 100 small items to school. They counted them in many ways representing the multiples of 100. They counted by fives, tens, and twos. They put their 100 objects into groups of 25 and 50. Some students chose to dress as if they were 100 years old. Our school has a focus on STEM or Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Our STEM Bins enabled us to create structures using 100 of various building materials.
Many thanks to the three wonderful veterans who visited us on Veterans Day to tell us about their service. Officer Brian Jordan, UAPD served in the United States Army in Iraq. The students enjoyed his description of landing at night with all of the lights on the airplane off. He described what they ate, where they slept, and how they lived in Iraq. He showed the students all of the points around the world that they went to before finally landing in Iraq.
Major Rodney Stephens was in the United States Airforce. He is currently the squadron commander in Tuscaloosa. He gave the class airplanes to construct. The students had many questions.
Dewayne Hill served aboard the aircraft carrier, the USS Ranger in the United States Navy. He launched and recovered jets as they landed. He explained how everyone on the ship wore a different color according to their jobs. The students enjoyed hearing about what they ate, where they slept, and all the things they did on the ship.
We had a fantastic time raising Painted Lady Butterflies. It was wonderful to observe them as they progressed through their life cycle from caterpillar or larva, chrysalis or pupa, to adult. The students enjoyed watching the butterflies emerge from their chrysalides with wet, crumbled wings. They continue to observe at various times throughout the next few hours as they hung from the empty chrysalides to dry their wings, pump blood into them, and finally fly. We put several Zinnias in the cage, which is one of the host plants of the Painted Lady Butterfly. We also put some cut up oranges, which they loved. The children watched the butterflies as they used their proboscis to sip nectar from the flowers or juice from the oranges. We were thrilled to find that our butterflies laid eggs on the leaves of our plants.
Many thanks to all of our parents for the hundreds of ways in which they volunteered this school year. We had some amazing guest speakers, a great field trip to Moundville, snacks, treats, milk, and amazing party events. Words are not enough to express our gratitude for all that our parents have done.
Elementary Break Camp School will be closed Wednesday-Friday next week. Mrs. Redborg will offer break camp for December 20th-22nd.
Break Camp will only be offered if she has 5 children signed up. Camp hours will be 7:30 am - 5:30 pm, $40 for each day. The deadline to sign up in the office is Tuesday Dec 20th. Payment must be received by Tuesday@ 5:00 Drop-ins are welcome at $15.00 per hour.
Bring cash or check to the office. Checks should be made out to Mrs. Redborg
email me with questions @ firstname.lastname@example.org
All money is non-refundable (unless camp is canceled due to lack of interest).
A time has been set for our cluster to perform at Barnes and Noble for Thursday, November 30 at 6:15 PM. We will sing Christmas Carols. Please help us by bringing your child to Barnes and Noble Thursday night. We will start singing at 6:15, so please try to arrive on time so that your child will not miss it. You might wish to anticipate traffic and parking to arrive on time.
Thank you so much for your time and effort in helping us with this event. Be sure to record this with your volunteer hours on Renweb. I also want to thank you in advance for any purchases you make using our school code. The funds we receive from Barnes and Noble each year are amazing. We could not possibly do this without your help.
Thanks for all that you do. You make our school amazing!