Upper Primary Newsletter | St. Nicholas School

Upper Primary Cottage News

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March 2018 Curriculum Newsletter

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Level 6 Math and Science
Katherine Coppinger

April has been an exciting month. We concluded our Science unit on Earth Materials by packing our bags and traveling to Lake Toxaway, North Carolina to experience Earthshine. The kids were able to visit 5 fun stations in hopes of saving the world. 
Gnarly Gneiss taught about Earth Materials: the rock cycle, weathering, erosion, deposition, formation of Earth’s Mountains, valleys, etc.
See Saw focused on the Food Web and how plants, animals, and humans are all interconnected. 
Hurling Hydro taught each group about the water cycle. 
Leafy Limb taught us how to identify types of trees by their leaves and estimate tree age by their branches.   
Trait Trader allowed us to interact with different types of animals and learn how each adapts to its surroundings in order to survive the ever changing living conditions. 
We extended our science unit by creating models to represent what happens when a flood comes through an area of soil, resulting in the formation of different landforms. We will go on a scavenger hunt applying what we know in order to identify various land features. 
STEM has been stimulating. We have done several activities where students had to work together. In late March, students had to create a plastic cup pyramid using only rubber bands and yarn. Level 6 and Level 7 kids then paired up in April to construct a kite out of Popsicle sticks, straws, tissue paper, and/or plastic sacks. Luckily, it was a pretty afternoon and they were able to go outside and test their kites. Last week, we tested the strength of an ordinary egg. 
In math, students continue to work on their lessons and complete this semester’s stations. We have some new fun stations they are working on. Level 6 students are creating Orange Cosmo and Tabasco seed packets, 3-D shapes from various nets, and symmetrical and rotational patterns using an assortment of polygons. While the Level 7’s were in Williamsburg, Level 6 had an altered schedule allowing them to study and incorporate what they know about area and perimeter. We are working on finishing a chicken coup blueprint to accommodate the chicks that were recently born. Students were able to learn more about chicks and what they need in order to survive. 


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Levels 6 Language Arts and Social Studies
Alice Revenig '98

We are having a great time in Level Six! The students have finished reading Matilda, My Side of the Mountain, and Esperanza Rising in Literature Circle, and many of us enjoyed watching some movies together.  The students have now started reading historical fiction in Literature Circle that relates to the Revolutionary War.  During our Writers’ Tune-Up time we have moved on from writing mechanics to parts of speech.  We have introduced diagramming sentences and the students are enjoying this new challenge.  In social studies that students have been loving studying the Revolutionary War.  The students will begin researching a different person from the Revolutionary War and will complete a project on that person in class.  Please help your student remember that they need to be reading at least 20 minutes each night and need to pass six Accelerated Reader tests in the spring semester.  In addition, word study lists are given on Mondays and the tests take place on Fridays. Literature Circle homework is most frequently due on Tuesdays and Thursdays.   The spring semester is flying by!


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Level 7 Math and Science
Catherine Leckenby
In math we continued to work on individual plans and stations. Some of the stations that remained the same were calculator, Cuisenaire rods, and volume. Some of the newer concepts were surface area, tangrams, and two new science stations that went with our Food and Nutrition unit. During basics class we focused on ratios and percents as well as doing several spiral reviews to help get us ready for the ERB’s. In May we hope to finish up the math book and play some fun math games that go along with previous lessons.
In science we have continued our Food and Nutrition unit as well as some gardening time with Ms. Mayo and woodworking with Mr. Zach. We learned about what fruits have the most acid in them by conducting acid tests. With Ms. Mayo they tested the difference between fresh farm eggs and store bought eggs. She will be making yogurt with them in May, and we will have a food around the world tasting when different parents bring in foods from their native countries.
In STEM we made kites from tissue paper, straws, tape and string. Some of the kites actually flew. We also did a stability test where each group was given three eggs and six bottle caps. They were then challenged to try stacking different objects on them to see what the eggs would hold. It was amazing to see what three eggs could hold up without cracking. One group had 15 math books stacked on top of the eggs. In May we will be making solar ovens and hopefully making s’mores on them!!


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Levels 7 Language Arts and Social Studies
Lynne Mulligan 

Our room has been transformed into Colonial Williamsburg and the children are learning, creating, and making history come alive! Each student has his or her own “shop” and has worked hard to research information about the kinds of items the shop owner would have had, the types of services that would have been provided, and the kind of work that would have been done. They are making items to trade and barter as well as learning how the trades interacted with each other. We are all eagerly awaiting our trip to Williamsburg and will be leaving bright and early on Monday, March 19. We are all very excited about seeing the real version of our shops and trades in Colonial Williamsburg, visiting Jamestown, and touring Monticello.  
          The students are all reading books about children from Williamsburg. The books are stories based on the lives of actual young people who lived in Colonial Williamsburg and contain information about the streets and buildings, the jobs and activities, the historical happenings, and the day to day lives of people that we may actually encounter on our trip.   
          In our Williamsburg stations, the students are creating their own maps of Williamsburg based on the actual layout of the area, listening to music from the 1700s, learning about the lives of people who lived during Colonial times and writing about themselves as if they lived then, and “visiting” sites in Colonial Williamsburg to learn more about them. 


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Level 7 Math and Science
Catherine Leckenby

In math we have continued to work on our individual plans. New stations have been added to some that have remained the same, but more difficult concepts. Some of the same stations are calculator, volume, cuisenaire rods, and tessellations. New stations have included tangrams, pattern blocks, and three stations that go along with our Food and Nutrition Unit in science. Each student has been assigned a fat, vitamin, or sugar to research; they have been asked to pick a country and research its food customs, and they are picking 3 restaurants from our Eat This, Not That book and recording facts from it. In Basics, we have worked on perimeter and area of squares, rectangles, parallelograms, triangles, and circles. Throughout March we have focused on fraction concepts.
          Science has been lots of fun continuing with our Food and Nutrition Unit. We have moved on from fat tests to testing sugars in different items. Ms. Mayo had them cook a grilled cheese and has done some garden work with them. They are looking forward to warmer temperatures to be in the garden more. Mr. Zach has been added to our science time to work with the students in woodworking to make a book house that we will put in front of our school. In STEM we made candy heart catapults and did a plastic cup challenge where the groups had to work together to make a 10 cup pyramid without using their hands or feet and only string and a rubber band. It was fun to watch them work together.

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