Upper Primary Cottage News

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October 2018 Curriculum Newsletter

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Level 6 Math and Science
Katherine Coppinger

      In math, students have continued to work on their independent lessons. This month stations include: calculator computation, tangram and pentomino puzzles, volume, area, perimeter, lines of reflection, fraction representations, and two science based activities! We have also been working hard on double digit multiplication! Students have worked on that skill in class and on their IXL. That skill will continue to spiral throughout the semester in various ways. We are beginning to work on division the month of November and December. 
       In science, students are becoming quite the chemists. We started by learning how to separate mixtures through various types of filters and evaporation. They observed the effect evaporation has on salt water and citric acid solutions. They learned more about a solutions concentration level and dilution by trying to find the perfect Kool-Aide recipe. Students then created some beautiful crystals and will be able to take them home at the conclusion of this unit. Most recently, we observed some different ways chemical reactions take place. Chemical reactions occur when reactants are mixed together, gas is released (through bubbles), a precipitate appears, and/or if the temperature or color changes. Also, Ben Roy made a special appearance this month to show them some experiments that expanded on our chemistry unit.  
      For STEM students created scary Halloween mazes. They had a blast incorporating Halloween objects such as spiders, eyeballs, and ghosts. We are beginning out chemistry STEM unit this week. Students will get to see how milk reacts to detergent by observing the effects with food coloring. 


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Levels 6 Language Arts and Social Studies
Alice Revenig '98

       We have been staying busy in language arts and social studies. We have finished Matilda, Indian in the Cupboard, and Trumpet of the Swan in literature circle.   We are striving for high quality work in literature circle and are becoming better listeners when it is someone else’s turn to share.  Beyond literature circle we have continued to spend time concentrating on writing mechanics.  During our Writers’ Tune-Up time we have talked about the parts of a friendly letter and possessive nouns, and the students are expected to use these correctly in their work. Often students know the rules, but we are trying to make applying the rules habit.   
        In social studies we are nearing the completion of our Civil War study.  We have had guest speakers, created collective pieces of art, made hardtack, visited nearby battlefields, and have had many thoughtful discussions.  Social Studies has become a favorite time for the students, and they share some very insightful thoughts.  


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Level 7 Math and Science
Catherine Leckenby
      We continued to work on individual plans. Most of the chapters have included long division and fractions. In addition to daily individual plans, the Level 7 students completed weekly station assignments.  Stations included a variety of activities in which students solved riddles using a calculator, made tessellations with pattern tiles, and explored volume with centimeter cubes. Science stations that were included were a salt story with questions, and each student has been assigned an element to research as we hope to create our own periodic table.
      Throughout October we focused on Mixtures and Solutions. We learned the difference between a mixture and a solution as well as making crystals with both. They also learned about concentration and dilution while having fun drinking Kool Aid. Each student made their own crystal using Borax and hot water. It has been fun to see all the different crystal designs hanging around the room. Ben Roy from the Science Zone came and did an incredibly fun chemistry demonstration for all of Upper.
      In STEM we made telescopes and 6 constellations to be seen through the telescope. Each student creatively decorated their telescope. We also made Halloween mazes using Popsicle sticks, fun Halloween items, and a ping pong ball that had to make it through the maze!


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Levels 7 Language Arts and Social Studies
   Lynne Mulligan 

     Level 7s are immersed in Civil War times. We have been reading three Civil War themed books The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg, Turn Homeward, Hannalee, and Behind Rebel Lines.  Students are enjoying meeting in small groups to discuss these books several times a week. Each student has a job such as Discussion Director, Figurative Language Finder, or Character Sketcher that he or she completes to share with the group. We have also been reading books about Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, and other important people from the mid-1800s. 
      We have been learning about the time period leading up to the Civil War and will continue to discuss political decisions, important historical figures, and Civil War battles throughout the rest of November. Students have been collecting all of their station activities and information they have learned about this time period in a Civil War binder. It’s exciting to watch it expand every day. 
      We took a field trip to the Chickamauga Battlefield and Point Park in October to get a closer and more personal look at the battles that took place in our own backyard. 
      Root words continue to be our focus as students are practicing dictionary skills, searching for words with common roots, and identifying unknown words by their Greek or Latin root.  We have also been focusing on homophones and commonly misspelled words. 
We have enjoyed afternoons with several special guests. Artist Benji Cordell worked with the students to recreate a large picture of Abraham Lincoln and a cannon with each student contributing a small part of the whole finished work.  Author Jeannie Harper visited and shared her Civil War book Glint and discussed writing and what inspired her story. Our very own Rob Varner spent the afternoon making hardtack with us.  
      The finishing touches are being put on the Level 7 banner which represents our theme of All the Blessings of This Life. The children have cut out, designed, and decorated words and birds for the banner which will be displayed in chapel for the first time during the Thanksgiving Chapel on November 16. 


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