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Monday, October 16, 2017

Spotlight on Art Class


Sky Class students created these pumpkin collage pieces over the course of 2 art classes. They started by observing a pumpkin and then drawing and painting their own version of a pumpkin, along with some leaves, on a white paper background. They learned to mix the primary colors of red, yellow and blue to make shades of orange, green and brown. During the following class, they cut out their pumpkins and leaves, glued them onto a black background, and added details with chalk pastel. They also observed how a light source, such as the moon, can make white highlights appear on a pumpkin and were invited to add white chalk
highlights their collage pieces.







Thursday, September 28, 2017

A Peek into Language Groups

Natasha's Language group has been getting into the routine of reading their book sets and creating story maps. They have each been assigned a set of book that they can read independently. Once they are finished reading all the books in the set, they choose one book to write a summary about. They have been using the story map graphic organizer to help them in this process. They then review what they have written with Natasha to make sure they have touched on the important points in the story and are using complete sentences. 

This week Tom's Language Group worked fervently on their Writer's Workshop stories. The focus this week was on conferencing with Tom and other classmates. Students then took the feedback they received from Tom or their classmates to revise and edit their writing. Students also worked on giving valuable feedback and supporting their peers throughout the writing process. Above you can see Tom conferencing with a student about her story.

In launching our Writer's Workshop, Katie's Language Group has started an illustrator study. We are studying the illustrator Christian Robinson who has illustrated multiple children's books including Gaston, Last Stop on Market Street, and Harlem's Little Blackbird. We learned that detailed illustrations help our audience better envision our story. We also learned that there are many different mediums an illustrator could use to illustrate a book! In addition, Katie's Language Group is studying different word families using the Words Their Way curriculum.


Friday, September 22, 2017

Design & Engineering Introduction



For the next few weeks, Sky students will be working on small "Design Challenges". These challenges will introduce students to the design process, growth mindset, collaboration, working with a variety of materials, and problem solving. This week's challenge is to work with a partner or team to create a structure that stands with only 20 straws and a small amount of tape. The Engineering Design Process steps are to Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, and Improve. Below are some images of students brainstorming their plan and the beginning stages of prototyping their designs! These projects will be on display in the hallway throughout their development so you can check them out. 

 
  Our Design & Engineering curriculum is influenced by the Museum of Science, Boston Engineering Is Elementary, Design Thinking from the Stanford d.School, and Visible Thinking routines from Harvard's Project Zero for educators.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Welcome back to Sky!

Katie, Tom, and Natasha
Sky Class Teachers

Welcome to Sky Class! 

We are so excited to get started here in Sky Class. Subscribe to the blog to stay in the loop with different activities and happenings here in Sky. Our blog will be less of a newsletter this year. Instead we are sending out a newsletter via email and hope to use this blog as a digital portfolio to capture and document the amazing things we see and do here in Sky. The blog will still have important information, so please click on the Sky Class Information Links to read up on how things work here in our community. Be sure to check in every now and then to see what great things our Sky students are up to. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

End of Year Post & Summer Learning


Dear Parents and Friends,
It has been such a joy watching your children grow and blossom this year in Sky Class. We want to thank all of the parents who donated money to our classroom gift, it was so generous. A big shout out to our classroom parents, Megan and Sadie, for all their hard work this year and to all our parent volunteers. It takes a village for sure. Below is a video of our last day of school and rising ceremony. I have also attached a summer learning letter (which will also be emailed). Be sure to check out Natalie's summer reading lists! Play often, go swimming, and read, read, read! Enjoy your summer! 



Summer Learning – June 2017
Each year we provide some suggestions for summer learning. Of course, summer provides wonderful opportunities for children to have time with their families, time for their own interests and projects, and time to relax. A lot of important learning goes on when children follow their own interests and generate their own projects. Through these they develop initiative and responsibility for their own learning and lives.

There are additional ways you can encourage building on the skills they have been developing this year. Regular visits to local libraries or bookstores are great. Your child can find books that interest her/him. Libraries and bookstores often offer events such as story time and book-themed activities. Magazines and comics can be another source of enjoyable reading material. There is also practical everyday reading, such as reading labels and lists at the store, reading maps and signs on trips, and other reading of the words that are all around us.

Here is a link from the National Council for the Teachers of English to a host of resources for language arts work that are grouped by grade level:

Here are some other links to recommended lists for summer reading:
http://www.ala.org/alsc/publications-resources/book-lists/2017-summer-reading-list
Our library website (lslibrary.cfsnc.org) is a great place to explore our subscription databases such as Pebble Go and World Book Online as well as kid-friendly websites and search engines under the Research tab. The Parent Resources tab also has reading recommendations and links to diverse reading lists. Natalie is also happy to provide individual reading suggestions for students over the summer by email at nharvey@cfsnc.org

Writing also can be part of summer activities. Trip journals and blank storybooks for them to fill in with their stories can inspire writing. There is also letter writing to friends and family. Some children may enjoy writing a newsletter about family doings or neighborhood happenings. If you are on a trip, your child could be a reporter writing stories for a trip newsletter.
Nature experiences and trips can be wonderful ways to explore science, math, and social studies. Creative activities are always great fun, as well as significant learning opportunities. Cooking can include both math and science. (It’s a great place to work on fractions.) Math can be practiced through money management, map reading, and lots of games with dice and cards. See the attached sheet, Math Games, for some ideas to get you started. Students will have access to their Reflex Math accounts until June 30. They can continue to log in as they have this school year until that time. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has a lot of resources at their Illuminations page (http://illuminations.nctm.org/) Bedtime Math (http://bedtimemath.org/) is another good source of math activities and problems. Coding using Scratch Jr. and PBS Kids Scratch Jr. (available as free iPad apps through the app store and as an Android app) supports creativity, design skills, and math skills.


Edutopia has gathered links to a variety of sites that provide resources for summer learning: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/summer-learning-resources-matt-davis

For iPad users, we’ve attached a list of iPad apps that we often use in the classroom. Many of them also have Android versions. In addition, here is a link to a list of iPad apps recommended on Richard Byrne’s blog:


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Overday 2017


What an amazing Overday we had this year! Overday is a time when students get to stay at school past the regular end time of school to have some extra fun! We watched Wall-E with River Class in our sleeping bags, had extra recess time, ate pizza for dinner, performed a talent show, and reflected around a campfire with S'Mores. Sky Class has some amazingly talented students and we enjoyed bonding together as a community outside our typical school day! 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Last week Sky Class got the opportunity to explore and discover the Wonder of Learning Exhibit in Northgate Mall. It was such a wonderful opportunity with multiple areas for open ended play based on the Reggio Emilia approach. The exhibit will close on May 7th so check it out while you still can! Also, a big thank you to all our parent chaperones who helped make this trip happen.