Middle Primary Newsletter

May Curriculum Newsletter

Level 5 Language Arts and Social Studies
Lynda Pritchett

We have had a very busy and exciting year in language arts! We will be finishing up our poetry notebooks this month, as well as having our reading celebration, as we have worked hard to reach our reading goal! In grammar, we will finish the year reviewing sentence structure, commas, compound sentences, and quotations. We are continuing to practice good paragraph writing, with good topic sentences and good sentence structure. We will finish the year with persuasive writing. As we get ready for the summer, remember to encourage your child to continue to read over the summer! A reading list will be sent home at the last conference.  Hope everyone has a great summer!

Level 5 Math and Science
Shelley Kirkpatrick

Wow!  How did the year pass so quickly?  MP students are continuing to work on their individual plans and stations.  As a group, we have completed an intensive study of multiplication and division of greater numbers.  The students are learning that they really will use those multiplication tables that they have worked so hard on this year!  

As we move toward the end of the year, most students will be very close to finishing their textbooks.  If there are any portions remaining, they will be sent home as summer work to keep skills fresh for Level 6.  Each student should know all addition, subtraction and multiplication facts with speed before entering Level 6.  It has been wonderful watching them grow in confidence and knowledge during math class this year!

We are finishing the year in science working closely with Ms. Mayo in the garden and learning about plants and seeds.  We have also been very excited about the arrival of our Painted Lady butterfly larva!  We watched the metamorphosis from larva through adult and enjoyed releasing the butterflies into our flower gardens here at school.  Our Bess beetles allow us to get “up close and personal” with some creepy, crawly creatures.  Students will be amazed at how strong they are!  Learning through inquiry is a wonderful thing!

MP students also worked with their L2 friends to research an insect and present their information at the “Bug Expo” during Theme Day activities.  

Finally, thank you for sharing your children with us this year!  Middle Primary is a year of fun and tremendous growth, both academically and socially.  I have truly enjoyed working with this group and look forward to seeing them on campus next year as big Level 6’s!

Level 5 Music
Kara Miscio and Carey Shinbaum

In May, Level 5 students will have the opportunity to learn to play ukulele.  This is a relatively simple way to introduce the concept of playing a stringed instrument.  In addition to good technique (such as how to properly hold the instrument and use the body effectively during practice and performance), we will learn string numbers and names, finger numbers, strumming patterns, and primary chords in the key of C.  

With spring in full effect, primary level students will conclude our yearlong thematic study of Vivaldi's Four Seasons with perhaps its most familiar selection. In exploring these celebrated works, we have not only learned about Baroque compositional style, especially the use of soloistic embellishment and tone painting (depicting imagery or literal narrative through evocative musical devices), but also the concepts of arrangement and adaption which these concerti have inspired in musicians from a variety of backgrounds. In his masterful compositions, Vivaldi reveals the enduring power of musical genius through the centuries.

In choir, we are preparing music for Promotion and Graduation ceremonies on May 25th and 26th.  

Finally, if your child has a polished piece that is appropriate for sharing during chapel, let us know as soon as possible.  Spots fill up quickly during the final weeks of school!

Level 5 Art
Mandy Bohner

We wind the year down with a look at the art of Georgia O’Keeffe, Mary Cassatt and Jackson Pollock - a wide variety to be sure! Georgia O’Keeffe, best known for her flowers, provides an excellent base on which to build both still life and landscape work. Challenged with a way to present a subject in a close up and different way, the children create flowers using watercolor crayons on paper. O’Keeffe also produced many desert landscapes using simple shapes and shades of colors. We will study the art of landscape, particularly hers, with each child creating his or her own using paint and paper.

Mary Cassatt was a trailblazer in her own time, forging her way through conceived notions of propriety of women’s activities and societal barriers in the time of the Impressionists. She excelled in presenting captured moments between people, most often mothers and children, and we will do the same - just in time to celebrate Mother’s Day.

Finally, we conclude our yearlong study of American Art with a look at Abstract Expressionist, Jackson Pollock, while also hopefully dispelling the widespread comment one hears when viewing Pollock’s work:  “I could do that!”  Weather permitting, we will move the art room outdoors and action paint everything we can get our hands on.

From Romare Bearden to Georgia O’Keeffe, this year has been wonderfully full of adventures - from new artists and techniques to a brand new room - all in all a fantastic year!

Level 5 Español
Señora Michelle Bertani

In mayo, we complete our feelings and emotions unit with a “visit” to the doctor’s office to let him/her know how we feel and what hurts us.  With all our days out for illness, etc, we haven’t gotten as far as planned, but if time permits, we will culminate our year with a map study unit that focuses on the states with Spanish names such as California, Colorado, Nevada, Florida, Montana, Texas, etc.  With this unit, we review landforms and map skills.  We also eagerly await the arrival of Ambassador Butterflies from other schools across North America thanks to the Symbolic Migration project we participated in with Journey North.  To help your child keep their Spanish fresh over the summer, they can try changing the language of their electronic devices to Spanish or try the app, Duolingo.  ¡Que tengan un buen verano! (Have a great summer!)

Level 5 Movement
Cathy Harvey

In May, we will participate in softball, bowling for dollars, wind wands, obstacle courses, and whiffle ball. 

 Level 5 Library
Wendy Wilkins

Our Spring Scholastic Book Fair was a great success. Thank you to everyone who helped make this event possible and fun for all. Proceeds from this fair will be used to purchase many of this year’s outstanding and notable books including STEM (science technology engineering math), Social Studies and Children’s Choice Awards. Links to these lists will be provided below as suggestions for summer reading. 

This month we will celebrate Children’s Book Week from May 1-7th.  Children’s Book Week was established in 1919 and is the oldest running literacy initiative in the country. Our celebration will include reading and voting on this year’s Children Choice Books. The winners will be announced on May 31st and will be posted on the Children’s Book Council website:  http://www.cbcbooks.org/ccba/

The last week to check out school library books will be May 1st-5th. All library books will be due back by May 12th so that we may begin an annual inventory. 

Links to support Summer Reading:

For students to read reviews on suggested books: https://www.bookopolis.com/#/

To view American Library Association 2017 Notable Children’s Books: http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/notalists/ncb

To view Children Choice Book Awards: http://www.cbcbooks.org/childrens-choices/

To view Outstanding Science Books: http://www.cbcbooks.org/outstanding-science/

To view Best Stem Books: http://www.cbcbooks.org/2017-best-stem-books/

To view Notable Social Studies Books: http://www.cbcbooks.org/notable-social-studies/

To view Outstanding International Children’s Books: http://www.usbby.org/list_oibl.html

To view New York Public Library 2017 Summer Reading Suggestions: https://www.nypl.org/events/summer/reading-challenge

Be sure to a weekly visit your Public Library this summer with your child. They offer many wonderful activities to encourage reading and learning. The children librarians are also very helpful in suggesting books for your child. Happy Summer Reading!

Level 5 Gardening
Melanie Mayo

May is a bountiful time in the school garden!  The plantings of April produce harvests in May and through the summer.  Students will enjoy the sights, smells and tastes of the spring veggies, herbs and butterfly-attracting flowers.  We spotted Monarch caterpillars munching on our garden milkweed this year, which was very exciting for everyone!  Our focus in the last weeks of school is to be in the sun, with our hands in the dirt as much as possible.  Our chickens hatch from the incubator early this month, which provides endless learning and observation opportunities.  This month Level 7 learns about “lunch around the world” and conducts a garden lettuce taste test among the primary levels.  Level 6 studies the importance of clean water and learns how vital it is to the garden and all places around the world.  Middle Primary finishes their plant life study by dissecting a fresh lily to learn the parts of a flower.  Level 3 students plant various varieties of basil in their herb garden and learn about the medicines found in many plants.  Level 4 finishes their study of compost by sifting our school’s finished compost. Level 2 students harvest garlic and strawberries in the ELC garden and learn to make smoothies with the strawberries.  Level 1 makes chamomile tea with fresh plant parts and learns about the life cycle of a chicken.

St Nicholas School 7525 Min Tom Drive - Chattanooga, Tennessee 37421
ph: (423).899.1999 - fax: (423).899.0109 - info@stns.org
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