Lower Primary Newsletter | St. Nicholas School

Lower Primary Cottage News


March 2018 Curriculum Newsletter


Level 3 Language Arts
Stephanie Marshall 
These last few weeks of school are going to be BUSY and EXCITING!!! We were so busy writing our stories for SHARE-A-STORY DAY! We focused on editing our “sloppy copies” and adding details to make our stories the best they could possibly be for everyone to enjoy. The students have learned how to write, type, read, edit, illustrate, and speak clearly through this activity. We are looking forward to a great celebration and we hope everyone appreciates our hard work and enjoys our stories. We are excited that we have a day that celebrates the joy of reading. I hope you are as proud as I am when you listen to your child read his/her story. We hope you will join us May 11th after chapel for this celebration.
We have really focused on “chunking out” words…better known as CHUNKY MONKEY! This has been especially helpful as we learn about compound words and begin to decode longer and more difficult vocabulary. We have been working on “FLIP FLOP FROGGY” to help when decoding vowel sounds. Of course we have learned that there are always those words that “don’t follow the rules”! We have also been busy learning how to translate complete thoughts into complete sentences. 
Everyone has worked extremely hard to read on a consistent basis. PLEASE encourage your child to read during the summer months. It is most important to ensure they continue their great progress and continue the love of reading. I had one goal at the beginning of the year…to introduce every child to a book they would love and get excited about! I love to hear them read and share their opinions about their reading with their friends. It is truly exciting!
A big thank you to all of the parents that purchased books from the Scholastic Reading Clubs for your child. Because of your generosity, our class received over 100 books this school year for FREE!!!!! Our classroom library is so full, we are running out of bins and space!  We will have one more order in May, so make sure you “stock up” for the summer!
Thank you so much for sharing your children with me. I am so honored to work with them every day and it truly is a privilege to listen to them read. I am excited to watch them for many more years to come and I can’t wait to see their sweet faces in August as LEVEL 4’s! 


Level 3 Math and Science
Elizabeth Turner

This month we finished up our unit on geometry and fractions and tackled time and measurement.  We learned how to measure objects with many different tools.  We compared different size objects and described the differences.  Level 3’s learned how to tell time to the hour, half hour, and 5 minute intervals.
We followed up time and measurement with a quick unit on money, financial literacy and graphing.  We had a busy month!
April science consisted of a study of how to take care of the earth.  We discussed the differences between reduce, reuse and recycle and what we could do to help the earth.  We also had a pond study which took us to the lifecycle of a frog.  Now we have tadpoles in the room!!


Level 4 Language Arts
Katie McCorkle
Thank you for your support with the projects and presentations.  We’ve enjoyed having parents come to support the students during the presentations this year.  The students not only learned many interesting facts, but gained experience speaking to a group, started to develop beginning note-taking skills and sharpened their listening skills. 
The students did such a nice job with their Poetry Chapel to celebrate National Poetry Month.  We have enjoyed reading many poems in class, particularly Jack Prelutsky and Shel Silverstein. 
They have worked very hard writing stories for the Young Author books and they should be proud of the final result! They enjoyed showing them off on Grandparents’ and Special Friend’s’ Day. I hope you and your family enjoy it as a keepsake for years to come.
The cursive booklets have been fun for the kids to dabble in a new skill.  They have used the iPads to watch videos of my cursive instruction and had fun using gel pens as they write.  This is only an introduction and mastery is not expected at this age.
The last month of school brings many exciting activities.  We will continue reading AR books and taking quizzes which help us work further towards our school wide reading goal to build a “little library” as our outreach project. With all of our exciting activities, as of late, we have used our Basic English and Vocabulary Workshop workbooks sparingly.  The remainder of the Basic English book will go home for the summer for extra practice, but the Vocabulary Workshop book will be given to their Level 5 Language Arts teacher, Mrs. Pritchett, for them to pick up in Middle Primary where they left off this year. The children will also spend additional class time applying all they have learned this year through various hands-on activities.  
To prevent a decrease in reading skills during the summer, what many teachers have coined “The Summer Slide,” I find it most helpful for rising Level 5 students to read at least 30 minutes just about every day.  If your child is spending time every day (or almost every day) reading, not only will this begin to become a lifelong habit, it will not matter how many books or pages or points.  It will matter that your child has acquired new vocabulary, discussed the books with you, read with you out loud, read silently to his or herself and, best of all… enjoyed books!!!  Please access our Librarian’s fantastic list of resources for summer reading on our school website.  Thanks Mrs. Wilkins!  
To help the students’ writing skills stay sharp, please encourage your children to write responses after they finish a picture book or after every few chapters in a chapter book (this depends on the lengths of the chapters).  I will be handing out the reading/writing response logs at conference as well.
Finally, I would like to send a HUGE THANK YOU to parents who have volunteered to help in the classroom, help with special projects, and copying.  Your commitment has been very much appreciated and valued!!
Have a book-filled and happy summer!


Level 4 Math and Science
Kat Cantelou

This April in Level 4 math we have been discussing money; the value of coins and how to identify them. We had a lovely discussion about the Presidents on the coins, and some of the monuments on them. It was great to hear personal connections students have.  
In stations we have worked on identifying coin amounts, reviewing measurement concepts and estimation. Students were given coin amounts to find around the room that had both the coins illustrated and a word on the card. Once they found the words it was used to solve a funny riddle. Students enjoyed working on coins and finding new (bad) jokes. Hope you enjoyed these puns as well! One station had students pondering if they were charged with measuring the classroom, which would they choose, a ruler or a yardstick. Some students even chose to measure the classroom with a yardstick. We will be getting further into measurement soon. 
In science we began a pond study and life cycle unit, we will be watching tadpoles as they grow! 

Lower Primary Social Studies
Lower Primary had a great time during our Women’s History Study.  Your child should have brought home their yellow timeline highlighting many of the women that we discussed.
In April, the students also discussed the various jobs in our communities and the difference between goods and services.  We learned that we can be part of different types of communities in church, school, our neighborhoods, etc.  
The children sang a continent song and labeled a map with continents and oceans.  We located the Prime Meridian and the equator and discussed how this affects the climate.
In May, our class will create murals of various types of communities: rural, urban and suburban.  We will encourage the students to go through the progressive steps of brainstorming, planning then finally executing their plan with their group.
In Social Studies, the children have worked on listening to each other in our group discussions.  We’ve enjoyed having sharing times for the children to share their own experiences.  We have incorporated these times to work on not only speaking and adding to a discussion, but working on listening to our peers as well.

ST NICHOLAS SCHOOL 7525 Min Tom Drive | Chattanooga, Tennessee 37421 | ph: (423).899.1999 | fax: (423).899.0109 | info@stns.org