Mammal Research in Grade 1

Mammal Research in Grade 1

During the month of May, the first grade students learned about six animal groups: birds, reptiles, fish, insects, amphibians and mammals. After learning about each group’s unique characteristics, predators and habitats, the information they learned gave the children background knowledge on how to look for facts about their mammal. The children went through a beginning research process. First they chose a mammal, then found the book in the library. They used the table of contents and index to locate information including: appearance, habitat, family, predators, diet, and other interesting facts about their animal. The students learned to rewrite the facts into their own words. They went through the editing process, then put their information into a report. The children also used some websites to gather additional facts. The final project included a clay puppet they each made in art class, a poster of images and maps, and created a puppet show that showed each child’s knowledge of their mammal. They loved sharing their research findings with their parents and students in the Lower...
Kindergarten visits Fessor’s Pond

Kindergarten visits Fessor’s Pond

Kindergarten is studying the pond habitat and life cycle of a frog. This week we traveled to Fessor’s Pond in Bristol to experience the habitat and search for creatures. We were hosted once again this year by Shawen Williams whose children graduated from St. Michael’s and are now both in college. The children got a quick lesson in net dipping and then got right down to work. They scooped up muck and hunted through it looking for the animals we had learned about in class. There were squeals of delight as we uncovered snails, dragonfly larvae, cadis fly nymphs, and two humongous tadpoles! The loudest cheer of all came though when we found a baby turtle (thanks to Henry’s dad who scooped it up!). We brought the creatures back to our classroom to observe for a couple of weeks and then we will return them to their pond home. It was a great day for students, teachers, and the parents who joined...
Grade 4 Africa Studies

Grade 4 Africa Studies

Jambo! Each year the 4th grade embarks on an educational journey to explore Africa. They begin by covering the continent as a whole, then delving deeper and focusing on a week long study of each region. They discuss the countries, climate, landforms, historical influences, languages, and cultures. To accompany their regional work, they also explore a tribe that resides within that part of Africa. Afterwards, they select a country of choice and begin to study this location by researching landforms, languages, currency, location and borders, and places. The students are asked to devise an itinerary for their country of places that would be most interesting to visit. Places such as museums, mountains, rivers, waterfalls, national parks, and safaris are researched and information is written into “postcards” detailing their excursions. This year, they also created video postcards, in which they utilized green screen footage to superimpose photos of their “trips” behind them, while they dictated their postcards in a voice over. The 4th graders wrote advertisements for their country, and also wrote Diamonte Poems to describe the beautiful and exciting countries that they were studying. While all of this went on in the classroom, they rehearsed African folktale plays in drama, and batiked clothes in Art class, which would be used as their costumes. During technology classes, students learned how to create a pages document with an informational table, which served as their brochure. This 5-month study culminated on the day of the “African Travel Agency” where the students showcased the fruits of their labor to their families and the St. Michael’s community. They presented their plays in the morning,...
Plays in Grade 3 and Grade 4

Plays in Grade 3 and Grade 4

The past two weeks have offered the St. Michael’s theatrical audiences some wonderful viewing, as Mrs. Johnston’s young actors presented the culmination of their work in drama class. Grade 3 Presents: A Chinese Tale “Single Grain of Rice” Last week, the 3rd grade presented the Chinese tale “A Single Grain of Rice”.  The story about how a clever peasant convinced the royal family to let him marry the princess was entertaining and fun for all.  Actors in both grades worked hard to learn lines and blocking, created interesting characters, collaborated to bring their scenes and stories to life, and gave very entertaining performances. Grade 4 presents: African plays “Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters” and “Why the Sky is Far Away” This Thursday morning, the 4th grades enacted a pair of plays in conjunction with their study of the African continent.  Mrs. Joubert’s class performed the folk tale “Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters,” while Mr. Tutino’s class offered the allegory “Why the Sky is Far Away.” Both plays were presented in the round, with creative staging and choreography, and actors looked fantastic in the African cloth costumes they had created in art class! We want to echo the audience’s enthusiastic applause and say once again – great job to all the...
C.A.T – Children Are Teachers in Grade 2

C.A.T – Children Are Teachers in Grade 2

Second grade parents were introduced to some very special ‘people’ last week during C.A.T.-Children are Teachers. Each student selected a notable person to research. After reading their biographies, the children wrote reports which included facts about their major accomplishments and observations related to our Traits for Success. Each person studied used several Traits for Success in order to achieve their goals. They also suffered a variety of setbacks which they had to overcome. Knowing that even these noteworthy, accomplished people struggled in some way was truly eye-opening for the second graders. After completing their written work, the children created ‘hanger people’ which was a creative visual representation of each person. It’s amazing what you can do with hangers, oaktag, construction paper, buttons, yarn and in some cases, neckties! We are so proud of the work done by the second...