Note from Francie 12/16/16

This week provided two excellent opportunities to see demonstrations of what our students are learning: the Winter Concert and Junior High I Project presentations.

How great to see you all at the Winter Concert! We filled the theater and the students gave us a great show. Please join me in thanking Charlene for her inspired work with each class. Practice makes progress and she helped them practice until they were polished and confident. She also helped them choose songs that had real meaning for them. Isaac in South El noted that the songs they were singing fit perfectly with the Declaration of Human Rights which they were studying at the time. The students also demonstrated their learning through the performance. We could see the progression from Kindergarten to Junior High in the sophistication of their performances and their stage presence. And, as icing on the cake, we all enjoyed the concert.

On Thursday the Junior High I project presentations began. Students show the culmination of weeks of research. I just watched Samantha present on Hollywood. Her guiding question was, “Why did so many people go to the movies during the Great Depression (1929-1940) when they had so little money?” This led to an analysis of different films and the escape they offered to people who were living through hard times. As part of her presentation, Samantha showed short clips from films to illustrate her points. She spoke without notes and kept eye contact with her audience. Her presentation was evaluated in several ways. Rachel and Tim grade the written report and each member of the audience completed a rubric organized around our Realms of Learning: Problem Solving, Communication, Knowledge, and Civic and Social Responsibility. These are great ways to give students useful feedback on their work. And we get useful feedback when we hear from high schools that our students come with excellent writing, speaking, and presentation skills.

Thanks for helping your children be prepared for the bitter cold weather. We do not go outside if the the temperature falls below 5 F, but, if temperatures rise during the day we try to get out for some fresh air at noon recess.

This will be the last Friday Note of this year. May you all have lovely holidays and a very happy New Year.   ~ Francie