We're working on making reading FUN! The Junior Kindergarten classes dressed up as their favorite book character for the Character Parade led by the Wauwatosa West marching band last Thursday. In literacy and science, Junior Kindergarten students are learning about the life cycle of a pumpkin.
Growth in reading is a family affair! At Lincoln, the Scholastic Book Fair ran from Tuesday through Friday and coincided with elementary conferences. The book fair is set up and staffed by fabulous Lincoln parents, and it gives families a chance to purchase books for their children at reasonable prices. Most of the proceeds are generously spent on books that are donated back to the classrooms!
The third-, fourth- and fifth-graders have started their district-wide Spanish reading competition. This encourages students to read books in the target language and complete comprehension activities which helps to increase fluency and comprehension in the target language.
One of the district's core goals for the 2016-2021 Strategic Plan is Continuous Improvement in Student Learning. One way we look to achieve this is through opportunities to support and educate the "whole child" through growth in cognitive, social, emotional, physical, and ethical development.
This week we saw this in action in our Junior Kindergarten class.
Junior Kindergarten students took a field trip to Basse's pumpkin farm. The next school day students were given the opportunity to share something about the field trip (something they liked, a favorite memory, etc.). We passed around a stuffed animal that was holding a pumpkin and whoever was holding that pumpkin got a turn to talk and share his/her thoughts about the field trip.
It was exciting to listen to all of the different ideas the children shared when holding the stuffed animal. A special success was having a child who normally has a difficult time speaking up in front of the whole class confidently share an idea. The child spent most of the time talking to the stuffed animal, but the entire class could hear the ideas. The common experience of the field trip along with the use of the stuffed animal to hold while talking provided an opportunity for this child's language skills to shine!
Wauwatosa Catholic School
Middle School Spanish students were definitely pensadores (thinkers) as they learned refranes (or common proverbs. They analyzed what the proverbs mean in Spanish and compared them to proverbs in English. One example –De tal palo, tal astilla (a chip off the old block.) Students also created their own proverb to express common wisdom.
Mr. Fisher recently took his two Law in Society classes on a field trip to the Wauwatosa Police Department. School Resource Officer Jim Morrill has been a guest speaker in Fischer’s class before but this year they wanted to do something different.
Capt. Tim Sharpee and Sgt. Brad Beckman spoke with the students briefly before handing the class over to Officer Morrill. Morrill talked to the group about current topics in the news, including police use of force, body cameras and the controversial topic of unarmed individuals being shot by police. The department provided a police perspective as to how officer involved shootings can occur while acknowledging police aren’t perfect. They introduced the concept of “comply and complain”- a recommendation that people comply with police orders during a contact and complain later if they feel they were wronged.
Art students at WSTEM are using creative problem-solving in the art room to stretch and explore new materials. The fourth- and fifth-graders are practicing observational drawings of the skeleton, teaching students to look more closely and see things that may otherwise not be seen.
Wauwatosa West had students participate in the Nordstrom Fashion Ambassador program at Mayfair mall. This program is an educational program the company puts on to give high school students behind-the-scenes access to the fashion industry. Out of 24 total spots, West is pretty proud to have five students who were accepted to the competitive program.
This week, Wauwatosa West Spanish 5 classes will be studying the products, practices and perspectives of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a tradition in Mexico. The students will even get to create their own authentic sugar skulls with an authentic recipe from Mexico. Wauwatosa West's Black Student Union held its monthly Summit meeting for our young men and young ladies recently. We have guest speakers/mentors coming in from the community to engage and listen to our young people.
Fourth-graders have been practicing how to model and show their mathematical thinking in different ways. They share their methods of solving problems with classmates using technology, which has included Google Slides and a program called Nearpod.