Thursday, March 19, 2009

Inside the walls of First Place

This week we want to share with you the classroom and program updates from our monthly parent newsletter.

Classroom Highlights! Students were asked to tell us "What is the highlight of your class?"

Update from Ms. Molly and Ms. Jenni in Kindergarten:
Kindergarten has celebrated twice this week, once by making green eggs for Dr. Seuss’ birthday and today for the 100th Day of School! We made necklaces with 100 rings on them, and counted many other objects to 100. We are continuing to work hard as we master sight words and improve our reading skills. We also are adding, subtracting, and measuring with rulers. Most of all, we enjoy playing, learning, and helping each other grow.

Ms. Kristy's 1st/2nd Grade Class:
“We learned about the season of the year and about how some people like winter better than other seasons. I like to learn about winter because that is the season that I can ice skate.”

“I learned about art like self portrait, making bugs, we also went for a nature walk looking for bugs.”

“I learned doing work and playing.”

“I learned to behave and to make cakes with play do.”

Ms. Nicole's 2nd/3rd Grade Class:
“I learned geometry and making a book. We were making shapes for geometry and learned words from geometry.”

“Currently we are learning about shapes and big words.”

“We learned shapes, words, we went on field trips, we went to pump it up gym, and I learned that we jump a lot.”

“We learned about oceans. There are different kinds of animals in the water. And different kinds of things that they do. We learned, in the ocean that the momma fish lay their eggs and then leaves them. They don’t stick around to care for them. It is called survival.”

Ms. Di's 4th/5th Grade Class:
“I learned fractions and I got finished with my work first before any one in my class yesterday and today. We went to Olympia trip with the 5th & 6th graders.”

“I learned fractions & time tables up to the 13’s. We had a field study to the African American Museum.”

“I went to the African American museum .”

“We learned about fractions, we did times table to 13’s.

“I went to the African American Museum with my class.”

“I’m learning about ways to write division in math.”

Ms. Tappin's 5th/6th Grade Class
“We are learning about National Women’s Month , aviation, and WWII. It’s fun. I got my sealant. I’m famous when we went to Olympia.”

“Me, and [my classmates] were on the front page of the Olympian Newspaper. We got to interview Dr. Cato for the National Women’s Month.”

Have A Heart For Kids Day Update

On Febrary 27, 2009 First Place 4th-6th graders (along with parents, staff and volunteers) traveled to Olympia to lobby for children’s rights. We attended Have a Heart For Kids Day, which is an annual lobby day sponsored by the Children’s Alliance.

Highlights of the day were:
  • Attended a rally with Governor Christine Gregoire
  • Met with state legislators
  • Participated in activities with Tulalip Elementary School 5th graders
  • Participated in a scavenger hunt at the Capitol Building
  • Took a tour of the Capitol and Legislative Buildings
  • Shared personal stories of success and challenge with our legislators
  • Advocated for our school programs such as Building Bridges
In preparation for this trip, Ms. Di and Ms. Tappin have worked incredibly hard to teach their students about civics and advocacy. For example, in Ms. Di’s class, students followed the Obama campaign and aligned the K-Kids election with the presidential election. They explored the election process, and focused on ballot voting. Ms. Tappin and Ms. Di each brought in daily newspapers and discussed current events with their students, to develop an awareness of local and national issues.

Students learned key vocabulary words, and were asked questions like “What is the difference between a democracy and a dictatorship?" and "What are ethics?" Students also worked in their classrooms and in their info-skills class to learn what a bill is, and how it becomes a law and researched their state representatives, and learned about the role of government at the state level.

They also wrote letters to their legislators, lobbying for bills that were of particular interest to them. Some of their letters addressed important issues such as homelessness, foster care, health care, college funding, transportation, and more.

Thanks so much to Ms. Melanie, Mr. Art, Ms. Liz, Ms. Di and Ms. Tappin for organizing this vent and preparing our students for this experience!

View pictures of First Place students in Olympia
Read a prior post about Have A Heart for Kids Day.

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