Lower Primary Cottage News

students measuring the head of school
Thanksgiving girl dressed in pilgrim costume
students speaking in Chapel

Fall 2019


Lower Primary Science

We began our year by studying plants. We talked about their growth cycles, differences between plants and humans, and how seeds travel. We used our discussion on how seeds travel to brainstorm ways to make a seed bomb to demonstrate the process of explosion that some plants use to spread their seeds. Students were given materials and we had to drop them from the highest point on the playground. We had a great time exploring how best to make something explode!
     Lately we have been studying space using “Midnight on the Moon,” from the Magic Tree House series as our base. We have studied facts about each of the planets, and we are amazed to learn from each other as many of the students bring interesting and exciting facts into our classroom discussions.

boy working on country project France

Level 3 Language Arts

Stephanie Marshall     
     Wow! I can’t believe the holiday season is upon us. We have been busy, busy, busy in Language Arts.
     We are reading like crazy!!! My reader’s heart loves seeing the kids choosing to spend their “free” time reading. Every morning, my classroom is filled with kids looking for the next great book to read!
     Just a reminder that your child SHOULD come home with a book that he/she has borrowed from the classroom library or school library for independent reading. You may keep the book at home and return it as soon as your child has finished reading. Each student is asked to read at least one AR book and take a quiz EVERY WEEK! Students can also read a book from home that is on the AR list. Please refer to the following website regarding how to access Accelerated Reader book lists and numbers from home. Remember that AR reports will come home at the end of every month.  ARTBOOKFIND 
     WORD STUDY is in full swing and I am so proud of the hard work each and every students puts in every day. EACH week your child will receive a word sort. IF there are more than 10 words, I will indicate the assigned “spelling” words with a star (*). Your child needs to sort ALL of the words. However, the “Word Study” activities (2 per week) only have to be completed using the assigned (or starred) words. This is usually around 10 words. Please don’t forget to initial the sign off sheet and have your child color in the box to indicate completion of each activity for the week. Remember that homework is not intended to be a difficult or unpleasant experience for your child. Please let me know if your child is having difficulty with any of the activities presented each month.  
     As always, let me know if your child is having difficulty with any of the word sorts and we will adjust accordingly. 
     I am seeing a huge change in our writing. We are learning how to edit our writing with our “Fix-It Friday” sentences each week. We are practicing our C.O.P.S. to “patrol” our writing (C-Capitalization O-Order and Organization P-Punctuation S-Spelling).
     We currently practicing homophones and comparing long and short vowel patterns. We are also working on identifying beginning and ending blends in a word. 
     DON’T FORGET about our “Where Do Great Readers READ?” board in the classroom. Send in a picture of your child reading in his/her favorite place so that we can post it on our board. 
     Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Communication is an essential component of your child’s success. A big shout-out to our classroom volunteers for always pitching in and helping our students…and teachers.

students with teacher creating volcano eruption outside

Level 3 Math

K at Cantelou
      Level 3 math is off to a wonderful start this year! We have begun each week with Wild Math Mondays, where we explore math concepts in a natural setting. Students have worked with skip counting, one of the very first steps of multiplication. Students were asked to explore strategies to help them gather items that totaled up to 50. We have also explored different ways to demonstrate numbers, especially through base 10. Students have been given a number and asked to demonstrate it any way they can. Students demonstrated their place value using acorns, trees, rocks, leaves and other found materials. We love Wild Math Monday and the wonderful way it starts our week.  
     Inside the classroom, we have spent time understanding routines and procedures. We begin each class time with the calendar, exploring the number of the day, which is always the number of days we have been in school. We add and subtract one and ten from our number of the day and then hear a fun fact using that number. We are exploring addition and subtraction strategies and working on our fact fluency. Students enjoy stations such as number the day, write the room, and math journaling. 

girl created poster leaf project

L evel 4 Language Arts and Math

Katie McCorkle and Lucien Scott

      Level 4 has had a great start to the school year!  We started with our first locker decoration: fun posters all about their interests. The students are now becoming used to our routines, such as Homework that is due on Thursdays, the day of the word study assessments.  Math is due on this day as well.
     In Math, the students have worked on place value and developed class routines.  They have also worked on fact fluency while refining their addition and subtraction skills.
     Science has been a blast!  We blasted off to the moon and also learned about rocky planets.  A favorite activity to further their learning about plants was planning, making and dropping seed bombs.  What fun!
     In Grammar, we began with complete sentences, subjects and predicates.  The students love the grammar songs & videos we sing and it helps them to remember the concepts. I’ve had former students tell me particular grammar songs still stay with them.  They are effective! 
     If you ever see parts of class work or homework circled, please encourage your child to make corrections. This is to help your child learn important concepts arising from mistakes in his or her work.  We always say in class that mistakes can be good. We have a poster we read all the time:
                   “Mistakes are great, if you LEARN from them!”
     The kids have enjoyed our new app, Epic!  They are reading so many online books and listening to audible books.  Some books have both an auditory and a visual component.  Due to popular request, we will extend the use of this app.
     The children had a great time collecting fall leaves and creating a leaf character.  They then named these characters and wrote stories about them.  These are now proudly displayed over their lockers.
     The kids have truly enjoyed Readers Theater: writing their own scripts for their Elephant and Piggy shows and performing them for Level 3.  Thanks to Ms. Wilkins for working with Lower on this!  Our next endeavors were the “Bear Plays” to go with our theme from Exploration Class: The Bear Snores On, How the Bear Lost his Tail (Iroquois Folktale) and Goldilocks and the 3 Bears.   The students worked diligently on reading their scripts and making their props. Level 4 invited ELC students to come and enjoy these plays!

Coming up on November 15: Level 4 Thankful Day Chapel (8:25am) and Reception for L4 parents and students. L4 Parents, please plan to come to chapel first. After chapel, we will gather with the children in the LP cottage for refreshments, a sharing time and a craft.


Levels 3 and 4 Social Studies

Stephanie Marshall and Katie McCorkl e
     We have been so busy in our Exploration Class. We are learning how to work cooperatively and listen when others are sharing thoughts and ideas. We started the year off learning all about the different parts of the Pledge of Allegiance and what each part means. We also discussed how Lower Primary students could serve others at St. Nicholas School and in their communities. We paired up and “interviewed” another classmate so that we could learn new things about each other. 
     In September, we studied different types of maps. We read a book entitled “Me on the Map” and discussed how we are a small part of a much larger place in the world. We learned about the 7 continents and created our own world maps. We also created flipbooks about our neighborhoods, cities, state, etc. We discussed bartering/trading and discovered the many places our clothes are made by looking at our tags from our clothing and tracking the location on our large world map. We discussed needs versus wants and goods versus services. We ended the month with a fun interactive bartering game.
     In October, we studied National Parks from all over the country. We also created our own national parks. Our national parks study naturally led us into researching the different types of bears and where they live around the world. We ended our study by creating a sculpture of a bear to go with our research. We ended October with a study of the life cycle of an apple and a wonderful field trip to the apple orchard.

ST NICHOLAS SCHOOL 7525 Min Tom Drive | Chattanooga, Tennessee 37421 | ph: (423).899.1999 | fax: (423).899.0109 | [email protected]