Walk in the shoes of CHS students as they enjoy a fall day at CHS!
Snapshots from a day in Pre-Kindergarten!
In Pre-K, students enter the room each morning and add their name to the attendance chart to show that they have arrived– a very important responsibility! They then ease into the day with Choice Time. Intentional choices and stations are set up throughout the classroom such as magna tiles, play doh trays, and coloring to not only guide students in the transition from school to home, but to build upon foundational skills.
Ms. Andersen gives a signal and it is time for morning meeting on the rug. This daily practice builds community, allows students to share and take risks, and sets a positive tone for the day. Students greet each other by name, review the schedule and calendar, sing songs, and preview a piece of the curriculum. On this day in particular, the children get a sneak peek of the famous people they will be learning about during Hispanic Heritage Month.
Next it’s off to STEAM class with Ms. Sweeney! The focus this time of year is on snails. The unit is kicked off with the book Snail Tails. Afterwards, students got to create their own snail tails in a variety of mediums. There were choices to make snail tail spirals with pipe cleaners, in sand trays, and with cubes or rocks on a snail shell cutout. Soon, Pre-K students will get to meet the snails that are growing in their classroom!
Snack and Recess
Students take some time to refuel and run around as they snack and play on the Early Childhood playground.
Singing and dancing abounds in the Pre-K Spanish class. At this young age, students are able to follow directions in Spanish, retain simple vocabulary, and make connections between their own culture and those of Spanish speaking countries. Pre-K Spanish students spent their time with Señorita Wagner identifying different flags of Spanish speaking countries, learning about empanadas, and listening to the story Coqui in The City.
At circle time, Pre-K students practiced their phonemic awareness. Phonetic activities invited students to use their hands as they take words apart, put them together, sound out beginning and ending sounds, and listen for words that rhyme. At the end of circle time, students also got a chance to review their colors by identifying certain colors and exploring what objects in the room match that color.
Pre-K students do their best learning in centers as they are exploring the numbers 1 through 10. On this day you could find children playing number bingo, counting and comparing the number of letters in their names and their friends names, and tracing numbers with dot sticks and in kinetic sand.
After lunch and recess, students get a chance to rest their bodies in the afternoon. Each student gets a mat to rest on and can read books, color, or even close their eyes. The lights are on, relaxing music plays and there is a sense of calm. Afterwards, students feel recharged for the remainder of their day.
This afternoon’s circle time was all about apples. Students listened to the book Ten Apples up on Top. They then reinforced what they learned in the story through apple painting where students practiced their counting, fine motor skills, and spatial organization.
Once the masterpieces were completed, Ms. Zasloff, our literacy specialist, came for a visit. She spent time practicing rhyming sounds with students and started a sorting chart for letters A-D. The lesson was capped off by a lively alphabet march.
Peek in on a day in second grade!
It’s Monday morning and students are easing into the day by greeting their friends, reading the morning message, and completing their morning work. To officially begin the week, second graders meet as a whole group in a circle on the rug for Morning Meeting. This daily practice builds community, allows students to share and take risks, and sets a positive tone for the day. Students greet each other around the circle using eye contact and their classmates’ first name. One student offers to read today’s schedule to the group allowing time for everyone to get a sneak peek of what to expect. There is an opportunity to turn and talk to the person sitting next to you and share one thing you did over the weekend. These brief connections are filled with laughter and listening. Students are then introduced to their classroom jobs for the week and get ready to transition to their first subject.
In second grade, students get to take part in a “book club” twice a week. Small groups read a connected text and discuss the story. During this time of year, second graders are focusing on mysteries. Each child is assigned a mystery at their “just right” level. As they read, students are learning how to make text to self connections, text to world connections, and text to text connections. Other aspects of reading class include centers that focus on the three pillars of reading: fluency, vocabulary, and phonemic awareness.
In math class, students are learning how to add and subtract within 50. They began class with “Number Talk” to review and discuss the different strategies they used to solve problems. Strategies included, making a ten, using the doubles facts, counting on, and adding the ones first. It’s amazing how a number sentence such as 16+5 can create such rich discussion and elicit three different strategies used from second graders. To reinforce these strategies, students played card games, did small group work, and partner work while Ms. Augustyn worked one-on-one with students. To wrap up, students shared with the class what they accomplished.
In writing class, students are working on sentence structure. Students learn that all sentences must have a subject and an action. In turn, they are strengthening their grammar skills and making sure they are including and adhering to punctuation. To practice their spelling, students use the strategy “clap and tap,” breaking words into syllables to spell them.
During Hispanic Heritage month second graders focus on famous Latino Americans, particularly Diana Trujillo, who works for NASA and is originally from Columbia. To strengthen their language skills, students pulled vocabulary from the book Juego Conmigo and created sentences using the Spanish words from the story.
In Art class, students worked on their self portraits, which showcase their visible and hidden identities. This work is inspired by Eduardo Kobra, a Brazilian mural artist known for colorful kaleidoscope portraits of peace. In addition, second grade artists prepared for their weaving unit where they will learn about South American weavers and rivers.
In Social Studies, second graders started talking about their hidden and visible identities. They learned about how their visible identity is what they can see by looking at them.Their hidden identities include all the aspects of themselves that cannot be seen, such as their heritage, religion, family members, favorite activities, talents, hopes and dreams etc. They also read the story The Name Jar and talked about what it means to be an upstander. Children shared how they got their own names, what it means, and what people might misunderstand about their names. Students listened and shared with respect and empathy.
A day in fifth grade!
In math class, 5th grade students practiced estimating products and quotients. They took careful notes from Ms. Babbott on multiplying and dividing big numbers. Students went up to the SmartBoard to solve problems, each student doing one step of the process– a collaborative effort. To wrap up, students worked on math examples of “front-end estimation with adjustment.”
During the fall, 5th graders are starting to learn all about poetry. In reading class, students read aloud passages from their book Locomotion. They took part in rich discussions dissecting the personalities and traits of the characters, how certain topics make them feel, and making text to self connections. They discovered a way to read several poems in the story in rhythmic unison so as to make the words sound even more powerful. Students analyzed Lonnie’s poems (the main character) demonstrating sharp critical thinking skills. Additionally, they were introduced to Epistle poems, List poems, and Haiku.
During Spelling and Vocabulary, Ms. Zasloff joined the 5th graders to teach a lesson on Classical Roots. Students talked about what spelling can tell us: pronunciation, meaning, origin. The class focused on the roots, equ and pend. They explored words with these roots (equilibrium, equidistant, pendulum), defined them, and practiced using them in a sentence.
In music class, students are learning a range of techniques and practices. They have started to learn about the culture of Japan and listened to traditional instruments such as the koto, shakuhachi, shamisen, and taiko. They recorded their thoughts and reflections in a listening journal. Additionally, they practiced a new 4-part xylophone song called “Heavy Roller.” In chorus, they focused on vocal technique, posture, and breathing from the diaphragm. They are learning the song “Joy to the World” by Three Dog Night, which has some parts in unison and some parts in harmony.
Students shared pieces of their “I Am” poems, and fifth graders were introduced to the new mission statement. As a group they discussed what thinking critically meant, what embracing diversity looked like, and what acting with empathy meant. Students were randomly assigned a group to create and act out a short skit depicting one of the 3 pillars. The audience had to guess the pillar that was being demonstrated.