Topaz Update

Literature with Ms. Edgington:

Hello Parents! Our class has gotten off to a fantastic start. We have been reading and discussing the second book in the Fantastic Frame Series: Splat! Another Messy Sunday. Students are asking and answering questions as they read, making predictions, and describing traits of the main characters, Tiger and Luna. This book was a hit with the entire class and I was impressed with the engaging conversations that took place.

 

We will begin our next book, James and the Giant Peach, in early September. This classic book for children written by Roald Dahl in 1961 tells the whimsical tale of an orphaned British boy. We will be exploring theme, symbolism, figurative language, and point of view.

Math with Ms. Freck:

We have had a successful launch in math this year. We spent some time warming up our math brains and doing some review activities. We completed some informal assessments to check in and see if the Summertime Math Troll stole any of the previously learned skills. We also reviewed some addition and subtraction rules, warmed up our math vocabulary, played games with our math facts, and talked about ways to slow down and check our work. ABC = Always Be Checking! 

This next month we will start to settle into a nice rhythm of introducing a topic, backing it up with fun and games, reviewing past mastered topics, and practicing in some inventive ways such as virtual math fair presentations in Minecraft. All grades are reviewing place value, rounding, expanded forms, and standard number forms. 

Science with Ms. Freck:

Not surprisingly, I have a class full of experiment loving, explosion seeking science hounds. We have a wonderful curriculum this year that will take us on a thrilling adventure through Life Science. These students are going to be masters at the scientific method by the end of this year! We will continue to have 1 experiment per week and will have a very impressive lab notebook by the end of this year. We have completed our first experiment and now have a solid answer to an age-old question. What makes Alka-Seltzer dissolve faster? They now have the answer to that but even more importantly they have hands-on experience with a hypothesis, materials lists, procedures, results, and reports. 

Many more experiments are coming in the weeks ahead as we work to understand the basic building blocks of life. We also spent an entire class where they were able to tell me all the science questions that they had ever been curious about. We made a huge list on the board and I told them that we would find the answers to as many questions as we could possibly fit in in a year. Thank you for gifting me with a group of truly curious kiddos to teach who had questions ranging from flight, explosions, force, food safety, heat transfer, buoyancy, and explosions.  

Science this year will also include a week each month where we take the current topic and apply it to the field of engineering. I can't wait for the students to report all about the hands-on discovery projects that we will be getting into this year that have many applications in the real world. 

 

Writing with Ms. McGlathery:

 

Hello Parents! For the month of August, the Topaz group has been working to increase their relationship with spelling and vocabulary, as well as beginning their journey into creative writing. The students have shared stories such as an interpretation of the classic fairytale Cinderella, composing their own video game narratives, and explaining what the world would be like if they were able to make the rules. We’ve been looking at the importance of vocabulary by utilizing definitions, sentence building, and even integrating new words into their own writing. Anagrams and activities where they build new words out of previous ones have also been incredibly important to help understand the relationships between words. Going forward, we will be looking to increase their writing stamina to build longer, more fruitful narratives while continuing to inspire meaningful word choice and a stronger relationship with spelling. 

History with Ms. Freck

 

Wow! We have started off the year with a dramatic subject. We are in the Medieval Times this year and it is was not all turkey legs and court jesters. Since many of the students have learned about European history during this, we decided to go in a completely different direction. We are starting with Japan first, then China, and will keep moving our way West from there. We have learned about the hierarchy of Japan and all the waring that went on for over 700 years. Please feel free to quiz them on some important vocab words that they definitely have a great handle on including Shogun, Daimyo, figurehead, Ronin, Samurai, and (everyone's favorite) Ninjas. All of your amazing learners have soaked up this time period with great enthusiasm. We are about halfway through a graphic novel version of one of the most famous historical Samurai stories titled 47 Ronin. We have acted it out in class and really gotten into what the story says about the culture of Japan during this time. It is said that to know 47 Ronin is to know Japan. 

Art with Ms. Cornwall:

Hello families! I am looking forward to meeting you all in person. I am very excited to share what we have been working on in art class this month. 

 

Most of the teams are working on the same projects, but this will change in the middle of September. I just wanted to gauge each age group and their skill level so I could have an idea of what everyone’s strengths are and what we can work on with future projects. So far, we are making two large projects each month. From August to mid-September we learned about Surrealism, and we are getting ready to learn about Realism and Expressionism in our future lessons. 

 

During our first week, we began creating backgrounds for our Self Portraits, which is a great "Getting to Know You and Your Materials" project and a fun way to start off the school year. We learned about different brainstorming techniques such as automatic writing and automatic drawing to get our creativity flowing.

We practiced drawing thumbnail sketches in our sketchbooks that helped us plan and prepare for our final project.

 

During our second week, we learned about Surrealism and talked about artists such as Salvador Dali and Frida Kahlo. We watched a short surrealism video on Youtube by “Tate Kids” that you can search if you would like to watch it. 

 

We drew our Self Portraits in a surreal style and drew a minimum of three objects that

hold some sort of memory or meaning. This was a great way to learn more about each student and their own individuality. These projects were intended to push creative thinking instead of realism. Each student presented their self-portraits to the class, and we learned how to have a positive art critique. This was a great way to make each student feel special about their

work, and it gave them experience in understanding and explaining their creative process in front of people. 

 

This last week, we began working on our next project where we will be making "dreamscapes" by using mixed media materials and collage. We learned about “juxtaposition” and how to pair images that don’t usually go together to make an interesting piece. We will be using creative techniques that are all inspired by surrealism to complete this project. 

 

 

Yoga with Ms. Hurst:

This month we are focusing on breath concentration to calm down our bodies and recognize how we are feeling.  We are excited to learn some new backbends and how they are beneficial to our bodies. We will be practicing different breathing techniques and discussing how they make us feel afterward. I have really enjoyed getting to know each student and look forward to what their yoga future will bring!

 

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Roswell, GA 30075

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