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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Spotlight on Specials: PE

We continue to practice listening to and following directions in class with added levels of difficulty and cooperation among students. They've enjoyed a variety of activities working on movement, team work, throwing, catching, dribbling and passing. With in the scope of physical work, we are incorporating growth mindset principles. 

The children watched a video titled, "Giraffes Can't Dance" and then brainstormed, "Things we can't do yet." There was lot's of lively discussion around supporting each other and reenforcement that making mistakes is okay. From there the class listed things they can do presently and some students were charged with teaching others how to do a skill such as a cartwheel or play a game like four square. It was quite beautiful watching young students share their knowledge and skills with each other. 

As the weather warms, we will be spending more time outside enjoying some some traditional cooperative games and sampling some outdoor sports such as ultimate frisbee, kickball, soccer and tennis.

Spanish & Music for Sky Students


River and Sky classes have been playing xylophones in music class, which are currently set up with a 6-note scale (CDEFGA). We're learning a number of patterns in major and minor keys that fit with simple songs such as "I've Got a Dog" and the "Round and Round Round." 

First-years have focused on mallet technique and coordination, while second-years have learned to play the "Bird Round" melody on their xylophones, and have started improvising in both C major and D minor. 

We recently voted on our class Springfest song, and results were announced before Spring break! 


A group of students are working on learning the farm animal names, “Animales de la granja.” They are also reviewing the colors in Spanish. Some students write confidently, others copy the words, while others prefer to trace the words artistically. 

Some students can read fluently and others can read supported by images. The materials are designed to help every student feel successful in Spanish. 

Working in a cooperative way promotes the use of the Spanish language in the class. 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Bird Feeders

In correspondence with our Lower School theme (North Carolina), Sky Class worked to study local birds and bird feeders in Design and Engineering. Natalie helped us use the Right Question Institute's framework to come up with questions we had about birds, birding, and bird feeders. We then compiled these questions and brought in a panel of experts. These experts helped answer our questions and share their experiences with birds both in North Carolina and in other parts of the world! We also welcomed Kari Wauk, an ornithologist who helped us set up experimental bird feeders on our windows. We made predictions about what birds might come to the different feeders based on the type of food that was in each feeder. We watched the birds all winter long, collected data, and are now experts in identifying the a variety of birds that migrate to our area and their food preferences. We concluded our bird unit by creating our very own bird feeders. We used household materials such as milk cartons and boxes to design and create feeders that would attract birds and be practical for our birds to use. Unfortunately, the evening after we put our bird feeders outside a rainstorm came and destroyed many of our feeders. This was sad to see but all part of the learning process! We will continue to watch the birds through the beginning of April! 

Sunday, February 18, 2018

February Celebrations

February has been very exciting here in Sky Class. Sky Class earned a marble party for their excellent behavior and celebrated by playing with legos, playing movement games, and pin the tail on the donkey. The Cats performance was fabulous! We even had a few Sky Class students participate in the production! We also celebrated 100th Day and Valentine's Day. On 100th Day we shared our 100 box collections and made necklaces with 100 beads on them. On Valentine's Day we passed out valentines and had a party at the end of the day with lots of yummy treats. Thank you to all the parent volunteers who helped make this all happen! 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Matt de la Pena (Last Stop on Market Street) and Loren Long (Otis) came to visit the CFS Lower School on Friday to promote their collaborative picture book, Love. Matt and Loren read the book to our students and talked about their writing process. Matt explained that this was different from the typical experience because typically the author writes the words and the illustrator designs the images and then it is completed. After this step, Matt and Loren came together to collaboratively change words and illustrations to make it work for both of them. They explained that their backgrounds and history are what help them to create a variety of published works and shared pictures of their families with CFS students. Matt and Loren then stayed to answer questions and sign books for our students! What an amazing experience to learn about the way published authors work and how it is similar to our writing workshop! 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Gliding into Winter Break

We have had a busy December here in Sky Class. We had a small group of students put on a beautiful performance of the Nutcracker, we have been observing and identifying birds at our feeders, we worked on the hour of code in math groups, read with Carly's Middle School Spanish class, participated in a variety of interest groups, sang at the holiday sing, celebrated Kwanzaa, started our bird feeder designs, and made snowflakes in addition to all our academic work in our regular classes! It has been a wonderful start to our year. We are so thankful for each and every student and all that they bring to our Sky Class community. We are appreciative of all the parent support both inside the classroom and at home. We hope you have a restful winter break spent with your family. We hope you and your child read a LOT over this time away from school. Have a happy and healthy New Year! See you all on January 3rd. 

Sky Teachers

Friday, December 1, 2017

A Peek Into Math Groups

Katie's math group just finished their study in place value and comparing numbers. We have been working on various strategies to read and compare three digit numbers such as using number lines, identifying place value, using expanded form, and using base-10 blocks. We practiced using the greater than, less than, and equal to sign. We applied these skills in multi-step word problems. To wrap up our place value work, we created our own animal creatures from paper base-10 blocks. We counted and compared the value of each creature in the class and ordered them all from least to greatest. 

This week Tom introduced his math group to the Bearly Balanced Addition Tiles jobcards.
Together the students practiced placing different combinations of weights on the balance scale to balance each side (ex: 8+8=7+9) as a way of understanding how the jobcards work.

Natasha's math group has been exploring addition word problems focusing on understanding the the story structure that shows addition, building equations that represent word problems and solving for unknowns in different places. In this activity the students are creating and writing addition problems and then making a drawing to show each word problem. The next step will involve cutting apart the written problem from the drawing, and then mixing the problems up. A partner will work to match the problems up with the story and then write an equation to match. They will also need to justify why each drawing and problem belong together.