Middleburg Community Charter School

Middleburg Community Charter School
MCCS K-2 Team Blog

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Ancient Egypt, Fractions, Habitats and More...

Hello K-2 families,

We hope you are staying warm and enjoying the snow! We are so proud of the growth of our green frogs, grasshoppers and giants. Their ongoing creativity, growth and innovated thinking fills us, and them, with great pride. Everyday we learn something new from our students. It is an absolute joy to teach them.

This quarter we have explored Ancient Egypt, traveled to different habitats around the world, used graphing to display data collection, and measured with fractions. In social studies we are moving into the contributions of Ancient China. 

The students are also finding the fun in counting money through "brain" games, song, movement, literature, computer software, and good, old-fashioned coins. Outside of school you can take the time to ask your child questions about money in real-life contexts - identify the number of pennies equivalent to a nickel, a dime, and a quarter, determine the value of a collection of pennies, nickels, and dimes whose total value is 100 cents or less, count and compare a collection of pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters whose total value is $2.00 or less, and correctly use the cent symbol (¢), dollar symbol ($), and decimal point (.). (VA Standards of Learning)

We are very excited to hear about this quarter's family habitat science projects - they sound amazing! The creativity is astounding. We can't wait to see what habitats you've constructed and the creative ways you've interpreted them. The sky's the limit!

During guided reading, we continue to teach and practice reading/comprehension strategies and fluency in small instructional groups. We stress the importance of questioning before, during and after reading. Our students are learning to sequence important events when retelling a story, analyzing the parts of a story, finding the main idea, and making inferences when the answer is not "right there." Making connections is an important reading strategy. These connections help students better understand the text by relating it to their own experiences, other texts, and making world connections. We aim to foster a life-long love of reading.

Please enjoy some of the photos we snapped during our hands-on, engaging, project-based student learning...

To investigate how the Ancient Egyptians mummified their Pharaohs, we mummified Hot Pockets! We used metaphors to connect the bread to the body, the stuffing to the organs that the Egyptians would remove, we packed the pockets back with rice to represent the straw, and the wrapped the bodies in bandages and created a sarcophagus! We decorated the outside with Hieroglyphs!

 More mummies...

 Egyptian cowls and sugar-cube pyramids....

Pizza fractions, field of fractions and a pictograph of birthdays...

Recycled habitats and science investigations...

Stay warm! 

The Green Team

Ms. Morgan, Mrs. Browning & Mrs. Emmel :)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Ring in the New Year with Kindness!

Hello families!
We hope you are having a wonderful start to the new year! We are looking forward to a fantastic 2015! 

Mrs. Browning's class has been hard at work planning for their Random Acts of Kindness assembly - this goes along with their classroom charity: randomactsofkindness.org. The students created their own interpretation of a pay it forward kindness circle. They performed their assembly yesterday for students, parents and teachers. We are very proud of the enthusiasm they showed for their charity and the fabulous job they did on their performance. Thank you to Mrs. Lutter for all you did to make our assembly a success - you rock, lady! Also, a big thank you to Mary Joynt and Kami Cleary for the fantastic pictures and video below.


 The money that Mrs. Browning's class received from their donation basket (thank you to everyone who donated - it was AMAZING!!) will be donated to a special community member. Please help us support the Blue Ridge Middle School 8th grader fight brain cancer. Check out her donation page and help her family reach their $10,000 goal.


In math, the students are reviewing time and learning how to collect data and create their own graphs. We will be moving on to fractions, money and measurement throughout the rest of the 3rd quarter.

In social studies, we are exploring ancient Egypt. The students are writing using hieroglyphics and investigating other ways that the ancient Egyptians have contributed to the world today - clocks, calendar, papyrus, etc. Mrs. Browning's LA class, thank you for all of the supply donations. We are looking forward to creating pyramids out of sugar cubes, a sarcophagus, and many other fun projects that are fun and enhance our learning.

In science, we are studying different animal habitats - arctic, desert, ocean, pond, woodland forest and rainforest. The at-home project for this quarter is to create your own habitat. You can make up your own or construct a habitat that we are learning about in school. It can be built in a shoebox, on poster board, and more - the sky's the limit. Be creative!

Thank you again for your generous holiday gifts. We are fortunate to have the greatest families at MCCS. It is a joy and a privilege to teach your children everyday :)

The Green Team
Mrs. Browning, Ms. Morgan & Mrs. Emmel

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Native American Regions, Weather, Telling Time and More...

Hello families! We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! The kiddos were excited to celebrate with family. We really enjoyed hearing about their breaks.

In social studies/language arts, we continue to explore the Native American Regions - Great Plains, Southwest, Eastern Woodland and Northwest. Check out these great pics of our learning...

In math we are transitioning from addition and subtraction to telling time. However, we will continue to reinforce addition and subtraction skills and vocabulary. For telling time, you can reinforce this skill at home by using the vocabulary (minute hand, hour hand, half past, quarter after, o'clock, etc.) with your child. You can also use daily/nightly activities to track the time. It is important for students to understand that AM indicates morning (waking up, brushing teeth, eating breakfast) and PM indicates afternoon or evening (getting home from school, eating dinner, going to bed). While you are doing these activities take a moment to have your child read the clock (analog and digital). We will be concentrating on reading the clock to the hour, half hour, quarter hour and five minute (counting by fives). You can also ask your child story problems. For example, if you left the house at 7:00 AM and it took an hour to get to school, what time did you arrive?

In language arts our students are immersed in word study, guided reading and writing. Please continue to remind your child to use good reader strategies at home while reading unfamiliar text (look at the pictures, get your mouth ready, read on for meaning, look for smaller words or familiar word patterns within a word). Also, question before, during and after reading for deeper understanding. We are also focusing on story elements - setting, characters, problem, solution, and non-fiction text features such as labels, table of contents, bold print, captions, etc. While writing we are emphasizing the use of proper capitalization and punctuation and word spacing within a sentence - this includes editing and revising their own writing pieces.

In Science we are investigating weather and its affect on plants and animals. We created our own anemometer to measure wind speed using a wind scale. We also constructed and used a weather vane to determine the direction of the wind. We recorded our findings in our science journals.

Here are a few fun Thanksgiving/fall pictures!

We wish all of our families a very happy and safe holiday season. 

The Green Team!
Mrs. Browning, Mrs. Emmel & Ms. Morgan

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Wayside Farm Fun and More...

Hello families! We have so many great pictures to share from our field trip to Wayside Farm, our in-class science experiments (our personal fave is of Ms. Morgan - see last pic below), pajama day, Halloween, the Green Frog's Da Vinci assembly, and more. 

The past few weeks we have been experimenting with air and weather in science. Ask your little meteorologist about air pressure, clouds, wind and temperature. In social studies we are studying geographical features and learning about Native American cultures. In math we are manipulating, comparing, and applying addition and subtraction concepts. Please reinforce the language at home - count on, add, all together, combine, plus, take away, subtract, count back, etc.

In language arts, we are using the writing process to help us brainstorm, organize and publish our thoughts. Check out the bulletin board outside Mrs. Browning's classroom with fun facts about our trip to Wayside Farm. We accessed and organized our thoughts by creating webs. Then we drafted sentences based on the ideas in our graphic organizers. Next, we edited our work. Finally, we typed, printed and illustrated our published pieces.

Who said learning can't be fun?! 

The Green Team :)