Our lower school students have started a global project called Global Read Aloud. Spearheaded by fourth grader teacher Jamie Fox and librarian Liz Atterman, the project has been expanded this year from just the fourth graders involvement in 2013 to our entire lower school this year. Created in 2010, the project was created with the goal, “One book to connect the world.” This project is integrates the library and language arts curricula for our students and encourages them to connect internationally with their peers through books.
The 4th and 5th grade students have begun reading the book Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm. Our students then correspond with students from around the world who are also reading the book at the same time and pace. Yesterday, our fourth graders skyped with a class from the Grand Cayman, discussing the book with their counterparts. The classes are also communicating with students from Canada, England, Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.
In addition, kindergarten, first, and second graders are engaged in the project through read alouds with Mrs. Atterman. Just this week, the classes received a postcard from a student in Salem, Massachusetts! Not only does this project bring excitement to reading, but it allows our students to connect with their peers in ways that go beyond the classroom.
To bring their studies of neighborhoods, communities, and symbiotic relationships to life, first graders – joined by kindergarten class – visited the Spring Hill Jersey Cheese and Petaluma Creamery this week. The students learned about the different jobs on a farm and the products that farms produce, a great segue to their next unit on nutrition. After learning about farms, the kindergarten and first graders had a chance to get their hands dirty, digging potatoes and picking out pumpkins. The highlight of the field trip for our students was jumping in the giant pit of corn kernels (similar to a ball pit)! MORE PHOTOS
The middle school architecture elective has been busy in their studio working on projects centered on the theme of shelter. Using the software program Minecraft and working in groups of two, our student architects have learned the ins and outs of designing and building homes that take into account specific guidelines (such as number of bedrooms/bathrooms, how big the building needs to be, types of living spaces required, building/safety codes). Students created passive solar design home models - the foundation of a sustainable, green house - that block the high, intense summer sun, allow light to enter during the winter, and manipulate indirect light into otherwise dark, windowless spaces. This hands-on elective weaves together creativity, math, computer skills, and history; in addition to building their own houses, students have been learning about the midcentury modern design movement and the influential Jewish architects to come out of that period. Our student architects are well on their way to being the next Marcel Breuer and Joseph Eichler!