Wagons, Ho! Frontier families reach the end of the trail

Wagons, Ho! is entering its seventh week. It will end the week after Spring Break, which is when Jackdaws Home Projects are due and will be presented. Please make sure to leave enough time in your favorite jackdaws’ schedule for them to work on populating their nest. A last minute rushed project can be a chore, but a well-timed one can be a lot of fun, especially given the unusual format of a jackdaw project.

Our various westward traveling families have reached the end of their respective trails and have now settled. They have kept a diary of their trip and of the hardships of daily life on the frontier. They have learned about property rights, the Gold Rush, 19th century inventions (the telegraph, photography, the stethoscope, Braille), and the transcontinental railway. They are now deciding which product to choose to synthesize what they learned.

Students are hosting a hoedown this Thursday at 1:30 p.m. As always, parents are welcome!

Middle School news, week beginning 2/22

by Jacob Gooding Magnolia students practice writing Arabic.

This past 2 weeks, the Middle School has been very active. We have worked on the new theme, Wagons Ho! This theme is about the Westward Expansion. We learned about the Battle of the Alamo, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the California Gold Rush, how to pack a wagon, and agriculture. We are continuing Arabic, and learned about numbers.

Wagons, Ho! theme news: Documenting life along the trail

Wagons, Ho! is entering its fifth week, or its second half. Our four families traveling along the Oregon Trail, the Mormon Trail, the Santa Fe Trail, and the California Trail have populated bulletin boards with facts, maps, interactions with native groups, encounters with wildlife, and hardships encountered along the way. This week, our four families should reach the end of their trail and settle on the frontier. Students will hear about property rights and explore the following topics in short rotations:

  • daily life with Juniper,
  • the pony express with Pam
  • the economy of Gold Rush communities with Julie, and
  • building log cabins and soddies with Casey.

They also will have a hoedown Thursday.

The current guild rotation features settlers’ crafts to support our theme. Students signed up for:

  • quilting with Sally
  • blacksmithing with Casey
  • parlor games and charades with Pam
  • paper dolls with Juniper
  • leatherwork with Julie

Week 6 will focus on 19th century inventions and the transcontinental railway.

Back Room news, week beginning 2/22

by Sally Cumper and Sean Ward Our students have been working on book reports this week. The final drafts are due Monday and we have been doing them in class. We plan to share our reports on Monday with our classmates in order to get each other interested in new books. It should be a lot of fun and a chance to practice speaking in front of a group.

My math group has been working on finding the mean and mode with our probability data. The mean is the average and the mode is the data that is the most abundant.

Please do not forget to be working on your Jackdaws at home.

Front Room news, week beginning 2/2

by Pam Maldonado & Juni Bambach Valentine books are out and St Patrick’s Day books are in the Books‐Read‐In‐Circle basket, along with the winter books.

Noticing, making observations, growing a bean sprout (or not) and recording in our science notebooks has been our science job recently. Check the beans out! They are in the kitchen window.

New cubby covers were fun to create. Be sure to notice the Sunflower students work.

Sunflower students were so proud of the Valentines they shared and received! We talked about them a lot in our room.

Our bulletin boards have transformed from “our work” to “whole school” work. Theme families have created snippets of information about the trails of the westward expansion. Each board was worked on by one family.

Middle School News, Week of 2/8

by Casey Gooding

The last two weeks have been extremely busy for the Middle School. We have begun our new theme "Wagons, Ho!" during which we will be learning about the westward expansion of America. Our timeline covers most of the 19th century and focuses on emigration to the west.

This past weekend the Middle School students attended the Florida State Junior Thespians Festival in Longwood. We were able to see some outstanding performances from Middle School Thespians throughout the state and to perform many of our pieces from District Thespians. Several performances, including Emma Stanton's monologue, Trevor Lee's solo musical and "Super Squad" (Grayson Pittman, Riley Branham, Jacob Gooding, Aidan McConnell, Grant Munson and Nicholas Homann) earned "Excellent" ratings. That was no small feat for this State Festival. The students had a fantastic time and learned a tremendous amount about acting and working as a team.

Back-Room News, Week of 2/8

By Sally Cumper

The Pioneer Pickles, are really excited about our new theme: Wagons Ho! Our students have been busy designing, building, and adding details to their own covered wagons that they made during Exploration. My math group has been solving word problems that require using multiplication to solve them and are based on the Oregon, Santa Fe, Mormon, and California Trails.

Writer’s workshop has been on the topic of alliteration this week. We have listened to books, poems, and jumping rope rhymes that show examples of it in writing. Students have participated in a brainstorming activity thinking of Oo words. Next week we will begin drafting our own poems demonstrating the use of alliteration. Our fifth graders, and anyone else who wants to accept the challenge, are doing current events and will be sharing their findings with the class next Friday.

Our Valentine's Day boxes are under construction and will be stored in the teacher resource room until our Valentine’s Day party (next Friday). Below is a picture drawn by our very own Pioneer Pickle: Oliver Jacobs.


Front-Room News, Week of 2/8

by Pam Maldonado & Juni Bambach

Be sure to check out our heart art on the front bulletin board. Using a ruler to make a grid was a bit challenging.

Sunflower students enjoyed the various creative writing activities at the bean table while Pam was out of town.

Valentine books and Groundhog Day books are out in our Books‐Read‐in‐Circle basket. “Which one is your favorite?” is a great question to ask a Sunflower student.

Sunflower students looked forward to doing their home conferences with their family and to their turn to do their conference at school with teachers.

Wagons, Ho! Students hit the trail

Our new theme, Wagons, Ho!, is already entering its third week.

Week 1 focused on the state of the country at the beginning of the 19th century, the Louisiana Purchase, and the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Week 2 focused on preparation for the trail (form family groups, make packing lists, build individual covered wagons).

This week and next, students will “hit the trail." They will walk one mile around the playground. They will divide into four groups, one for each of the following trails: the Oregon Trail with Pam, the California Trail with Juniper, the Santa Fe Trail with Casey, and the Mormon Trail with Julie. Each group will map its journey west, and discuss the wildlife, hardships, and interaction with native groups.

Each group also will create a bulletin board and write journal entries to report to the other groups. Please remember to support your student in choosing a “jackdaw project” to be completed at home. Detailed information on this project has been distributed and an example of a jackdaw, created by the staff on the topic of the Louisiana Purchase, is on display on the elementary school kitchen counter for inspiration. Do holler if you still have questions!

Arabic Instruction starting at the Middle School

We are very excited to announce that middle school students are receiving Arabic instruction courtesy of the FSU Arabic Department outreach program. The six-week program will be provided by FSU students under the supervision of  faculty member Dr. Defne Bilir. Topics include names (written in Modern Standard Arabic), numbers, greetings, colors and flags, some vocabulary, and celebrations. Activities include calligraphy practice, number games, role‐play, matching activities, and dance.