Classroom Happenings

Middle Division students are making a difference in the lives of the less fortunate in South Orange County this winter. For our first Advisory Service Learning project, the students raised funds by selling ice cream on Fridays. Enough ice cream was sold to buy the material for 32 blankets! Upon returning from Thanksgiving Break, the students began their ministry. They worked together to measure, mark, cut, tie fringe, and add a note of Christmas cheer to make the holidays a little brighter for those in need. Father Christopher blessed the blankets during Monday Chapel with the hopes that they will bring warmth and a sense of peace during this holiday season to some of our most vulnerable community members. Many thanks to Emily Salvanera for delivering our blankets to Isaiah House in Santa Ana where they will be distributed to these very special people.

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Last week 2nd grade students conducted a holiday themed STEAM project called "Slippery Slopes." Students were challenged to create the fastest prototype of a sleigh, which Santa Claus could use to slide down a slope without the use of his reindeer. Teams of students were provided with a selection of common household materials to use in building their sleighs to race down a makeshift plexiglass slope. While creating their sleighs, teams repeatedly tested and redesigned their prototypes, and considered the following factors:

  • the length, shape and aerodynamic features of the sleigh
  • which (slippery) material to use to line the bottom of the sleigh
  • the weight of the sleigh itself as well as its cargo placement used to propel the sleigh forward
  • the tilt and surface of the ramp/slope

Finally, a sleigh race was held to determine the fastest sleigh. The winning sleigh was designed from a small box, foil bubble wrap, 2 mini-paper plates, 2 plastic forks, a heavy oval-shaped rock and masking tape. It was a sleigh which Santa would be proud of!

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This week, Mrs. Townsend's Preschool class celebrated National Hand Washing Week. The children were educated on the importance of hand washing with soap and effective ways to prevent spreading germs to others. During circle time, there was a discussion about how hands get full of germs throughout the day. The class brainstormed ideas of how we could prevent the spreading of germs. Their ideas were wash your hands, sneeze into your elbow and keep hands out of your mouth. One of their fun projects was to wash the germs away. The children washed off green glitter from the latex glove using a turkey baster, soap and water.

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As we head into our second trimester of PE, the students are learning and practicing the skill of hand dribbling, along with many other basketball skills like proper footwork, shooting, and passing. While our 2nd through 4th graders play with hoops, our Kindergarten through 1st grade friends begin using buckets for aim and accuracy.

In addition to learning our new skills each day, we have incorporated our Five for Life Health Program once a week. This activity based program is a fitness and health curriculum that teaches major health concepts through fun games and movement. So far, we have learned about our five food groups and the importance of creating a balanced plate. Last week, we started our "Muscle Motion" unit where the students have been learning the names and locations of major muscle groups, what muscles do, and why it is so important to keep them strong.

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Students in 3rd Grade recently read Reading Wonders stories that focused on how people help animals survive. Students then began a mini in-class research project on an animal of their choosing. They used classroom iPads and accessed Cardinal Guides to conduct research on animal diet, habitat, size, etc. After researching, students used the app, PicCollage, to create a visual representation of their facts and information that they gathered about their animals. Students had a roaring good time researching and creatively sharing and displaying what they learned!

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