Elementary December 2019 Newsletter
Our elementary students have shared exciting opportunities for academic challenges, enrichment and talent development!
As winter approached, we continued our Growth Mindset journey. November focused on “Being a Valued Member of a Learning Community” and December’s mantra was “We Love a Challenge”.
Students have explored different types of problem-solving activities while learning that not all challenges are academically based. In October, second-grade students were introduced to the scientific method and were challenged to work as engineers to build a gumdrop tower that could withstand a simulated earthquake. Third-grade students had to build the tallest tower possible, using only fifty gumdrops. Students were asked to predict the height of their tower and whether or not it would remain “stable on a table” after simulating an earthquake. A discussion followed for possible reasons why their predictions were either correct or incorrect. We learned that exciting ideas and theories developed when our predictions were wrong!
Second graders explored the different parts of the brain and their functions. As a final product, they made a playdough model of the brain. Ask your child to use their cerebrum to share what they learned about the brain.
As we ventured into the holiday season, second-grade students were challenged to design a ship to hold as many Pilgrims (pennies) as possible without sinking. Through trial and error, they were able to improve on their original design. Third-grade students delved into Renzulli Learning and became familiar with navigating the program, and became familiar with accessing assignments provided by their Gateway teachers. Some third-grade students explored the school grounds to collect leaves and identify species of trees in our community. We applied the scientific method to identify leaf characteristics then research online sources and field guides in the identification process. As a final product, each student created a collage with materials found in nature.
The New Year will begin with an important lesson on Equality vs Equity. Equality: The quality of being equal. Equity: The quality of being fair. Equity is essential in a growth mindset classroom.
Wishing you a wonderful Holiday Season!
Mrs. Donehey and Mrs. Zontini