Middleburg Community Charter School

Middleburg Community Charter School
MCCS K-2 Team Blog

Monday, September 22, 2014

The First Quarter Might Be Coming To A Close, But We've Only Just Begun...

Hello families! We can't believe we are already nearing the end of the first quarter. Thank you for sharing your wonderful children with us. We enjoy facilitating their learning everyday! Their curiosity and love of knowledge really inspires and amazes us. We are honored to be on this journey with them.

Over the past week we have continued to use the scientific method and inquiry method to explore the world around us. We've been learning about the three states of matter: liquids, solids, gases. Matter is everything! Please enjoy pictures of our science experiment on gases. Within a bottle, we mixed vinegar and baking soda to create carbon dioxide. The gas inflated a balloon that was fastened to the mouth of the bottle. You can see the excitement and wonder on their faces. Science is so much fun!

We also performed our Reader's Theater skits on community helpers in the multipurpose room for all of the K-2 classrooms. Wow, are we creative! Our skits originated in small groups, where the plots were thought up, planned, recorded, and rehearsed. The students were the writers, producers and actors - they even created their own props. They enjoyed being able to read off their scripts and were really able to take ownership of their performances since they created the dialogue.

In math, we continued to build number sense. Practice using the words "more than" and "less than" at home. You can also discuss "in all" and "total" using everyday items. We have been deconstructing numbers (exploring different ways to make numbers), drawing pictures and using the number line to help us add and subtract. This is a great way to develop those strong foundational math skills. 

We are becoming pros at word study. We begin every week with a blind sort that allows us to use our critical thinking skills to figure out the spelling patterns. As you've seen with the homework, some of the patterns are quite tricky. Thank you for reinforcing these skills at home. Our goal is for our students to be able to apply the spelling patterns to their everyday reading and writing, as in the guided reading group photo below.

We are excited for our first, and upcoming, DaVinci night on October 2nd. The students have been hard at work choosing work to display in their portfolios, and have even been creating a paper mache tree to align with our, The Giving Tree project during Friday project days. Thank you to all of the parents who have volunteered their time and/or materials to assist the students. It is so fun to see the life-sized tree come together. Yay, we are almost ready for paint!

Also, don't forget to bring your postcard/stamp collection with you to DaVinci night. We will share our projects with the class. We can't wait to see what great learning has been taking place in our communites. We know our students have had a fabulous time learning about their communities with you, their greatest teachers. It is amazing how much we can learn right in our backyard.

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

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Our Home-town Heros Come For A Visit

Hello families! We had another fabulous week! Thank you, Mrs. Lutter, for planning our Middleburg Fire Department visit. It was so much fun meeting our community helpers firsthand. We enjoyed learning about fire safety, and had a blast touring the firetruck - very cool! 

In Social Science, we learned about economic problems, including scarcity, limited resources and having to make choices. In Science, we explored motion, force and friction by using ramps and cars. We utilized the scientific method to understand and record our findings. In Math, we deconstructed numbers, learned ordinal numbers, skip counted, scrolled on hundreds charts, and more.

Thank you for reinforcing word study at home. It is important for students to learn and understand spelling patterns. Reading and writing go hand in hand. If you can spell/read "bake" you can spell/read "take" just by changing the initial consonant. Determining why a word is spelled a certain way, and being able to categorize words by their spelling patterns, creates a deeper understanding and leads to future application.

We are looking forward to beginning the assembly of our "Giving Tree" in the Art Museum. Students will be constructing this tree during DaVinci project days in preparation for DaVinci night. It will be used to highlight our growth throughout the year, starting from the roots up.

Please enjoy some pictures from this week!

 Fire Department Visit, Word Study - word hunt, Reader's Theater & Butterflies


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

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Yoga, Reader's Theater, Number Sense and More!

Hello families! Wow - as we come to the end of the fifth week of school, we are so proud of how well our students are picking up the routine, and cheering on success through exploration and socialization. They are starting to demonstrate the acceptance of taking risks in areas of math, science, language arts, and more. In doing so, they deepen their understanding of the subject areas, while building a foundation that supports future learning.

We all come to the table with unique perspectives and experiences. By working as a team of learners, we can gain knowledge that we would otherwise not have gained based on our background knowledge alone. It takes collaboration and exploration to really enrich learning. 

One thing we stress in our classrooms is how we learn through mistakes. MISTAKES ARE GOOD! Without mistakes there isn't any learning taking place. You have to try things over and over again, using different methods, in order to truly master a skill. This is why we encourage our students to think "outside the box." This isn't easy. We are often so used to being told what we should learn and exactly how we should learn. Sure, we can memorize facts and spit them back out, but can we really apply them to real life situations if we haven't been given the chance to explore what works for us. Authors don't write a perfectly crafted book the first time around. They have to read, edit, rewrite, delete, and so on, before the book is ready for publication. Gymnasts don't walk across the balance beam the first time. They train their bodies to balance through years of rigorous training.

It is the choices we make following the mistakes that determine what level of knowledge we will gain. We choose to never give up. Your children make that choice over and over again every day at school. We are proud of the confident human beings they are becoming in such a short amount of time. There are no limits to what they can achieve. Our "Community" unit in Social Studies has really helped us understand the benefits of making good choices, and bringing our best to every situation. 

We continue to discuss, write and read about everyday people in the community, school, and even our classrooms, that help us along the way. Come into our classrooms and you will find a small community of learners who respect each other and our ideas, who are safe to "give-it-a-go" without feeling fearful, and who will turn that puzzle piece just a little more to the right to make it fit, even when it feels like they've already tried every direction. 

We would like to thank the Middleburg Fire Department for taking the time to visit our school tomorrow, Sept. 5th, to educate our students on the service they provide the community. We are looking forward to posting those pictures to next week's post. Also, a huge thanks to Mrs. Lutter for planning the visit!

Thank you for supporting us and your children at home. You are their first and most important teachers - and we are so grateful for you :)

Please enjoy some photos from the week.

Thank you volunteers!

Fitness Friday - It's Yoga Time!

 Wonder Workshop!

Counting and Adding by Rolling the Dice!

Sketching Nature, In Nature - Like DaVinci!

 Reader's Theater - Community Helpers Skits!

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