Ask Your Expert!

Ask Your Expert!
Posted on 12/10/2018

Ask Your Expert!

Family Questions From Your Mustangs’ Lessons This Week

Preschool: This week we talked about how families work and play together. All families have activities and chores that they do together: What is an activity that your family enjoys? (Answers will vary, but may include fun ways that families play together.) What do you do to help your family? (Answers will vary, but may include chores such as help with dishes, brush their teeth, dress themselves, etc.) We will begin talking about family traditions and celebrations and students will be sharing with the class this week.

Kindergarten We are finishing up our Farms Domain. Ask you expert: What are the four seasons? (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter.) Why does a farmer till the ground? (To get the field ready to have seeds planted in it.) What is something a farmer does on the farm in the spring? (Plant seeds.) What does a farmer do on the farm in the summer? (Water the crops and spray pesticides.) What does a farmer do on the farm in the fall? (Harvest crops.) What does a farmer do on the farm in the winter? (Fix his machines and find new seeds to plant in the spring.) In what section of the store would you find fresh fruits and vegetables? (Produce section.) How can a pest harm a crop? (Eat the crop so the farmer can’t harvest it.) Kindness Challenge: Surprise a friend or neighbor with a special handmade treat. It can be a card, a picture, or homemade cookies. How do you think they will feel when they get this special treat? How will you feel giving it to them?  
Physical Education: We have now completed our basic unit and will be using the climbing wall, parallel bars, balance beam, high bar, springboard, climbing rope, and tumbling mats for the completion of our Gymnastics Unit. K-1st will be learning introductory techniques, while 2nd-5th will be using worksheets for each station that start with basic skills then work towards more advanced skills.


First Grade: We are continuing our Early American Civilizations Domain and learning about the Aztec Civilization! This week, we learned about the farming, religion, leaders, and major cities of the Aztecs. Ask your expert: What are "chinampas"? (The floating gardens created by the Aztecs to farm.) What did the Aztecs see and believe was a sign from the gods to make Lake Xochimilco their home? (An eagle on a cactus eating a serpent.) What are some facts you learned about Emperor Montezuma? (He only slept on bedsheets once, he only ate on a plate once, people had to take their shoes off in his presence, people were not allowed to look him in the eye, he was very wealthy and lived in an enormous palace.) 

Second Grade: We are continuing our War of 1812 Domain. Why was the USS Constitution called “Old Ironsides”? (Cannonballs bounced off its sides because they were so sturdy.) Where is this ship today? (Boston Harbor.) Who did James Madison ask to help fight the British? (Farmers.) What was the three-part plan? (British soldiers were to attack from Canada into New York, invade the coastal areas around the capital, and take over New Orleans to use the Mississippi River.) What did the British do to the White House? (Ransacked and set it on fire.) What did Dolley Madison save? (The portrait of George Washington.) Who wrote the Star Spangled Banner? (Francis Scott Key.) Why? (He saw the battle at Fort McHenry and witnessed the American soldiers raising the enormous flag Mary Pickersgill made. They had pushed the British back and won the battle. Originally, a poem, it was later set to music.)

Third Grade: We will be writing about the greatest contributions from the Ancient Roman Civilization this week. Students can choose from architecture, religion, republic government, concrete and roads (All Roads Lead to Rome!), art, aqueducts, and even the circus -- or choose their own. The learning intention will be to convince or persuade the reader that the contributions they chose are absolutely the most important. These paragraphs should have a topic sentence that has the prompt words "Roman contributions," so please support your third-grader by asking how their topic sentence is interesting. Ask them why they believe the contributions they chose are the most important, and put those reasons in complete sentences. A conclusion sentence is also a must, so ask them how they wrapped up their writing!

3rd graders

Music: In Music this week, kindergarteners are playing a song from Nigeria called Akiwowo.  Ask your expert to sing and teach you this chant. Here are the lyrics:
Akiwowo oloko ile, Akiwowo oloko ile, 
Iowo gbe mi dele, iowo gbe mi dele,
Ile baba mi.
Akiwowo oloko ile, 
o se o,  o se o.
Second-graders are improvising, using 3 parts: a "motor" (which establishes tonality), an "interlock" (which sets up a complimentary  rhythmic motif), and a more free-form melodic line. Ask your expert: What is your favorite part of vocal improvisation? Pictured, students from Mrs. Pearson's second-grade class practice their original improvisation, Quack Quack Be Bop.

Art: Art students K-5 will continue to gain knowledge in their use and understanding of the art elements of Design (Line, Shape, Color, Texture, Space, Value and Form). Currently we will focus on the art element called Line. Lines are the foundation of all artistic expression. Though there are many varieties, lines fall into two general categories: Straight and Curved. When lines intersect, they create letters, numbers, textures, rhythms, etc. When lines close, shapes are created. When lines repeat they create patterns. Lines also mimic sound, emotion, and perspective. We will be influenced by artist Wassily Kandinsky who is credited with painting one of the first recognized purely abstract works. His use of LINE often translated sounds, rhythms and emotions reflected in music. "Kandinsky felt that he could express feelings and music through colors and shapes in his paintings. For example, he thought that yellow had the crisp sound of a brass trumpet and that certain colors placed together could harmonize like chords on a piano. The shapes he was most interested in were the circle, triangle, and the square. He thought the triangle would cause aggressive feelings, the square calm feelings, and the circle spiritual feelings." (



Fourth Grade:
We have started our science unit on Variables. This unit teaches the kids to conduct a controlled experiment. They have investigated using the swing patterns and momentum of pendulums, so far. What is a variable? (Anything that is changed in a science experiment that might affect the outcome.) What is a controlled experiment? (An experiment where only one variable has been changed.) What variable had an affect on the number of times a pendulum swung back and forth in 15 seconds, mass, release point, or string length? (String length.)

Spanish: Hola, hola Coca-cola! Pictured are students preparing for our District 14 Noche Cultural (World Cultures night)! Below, Spanish vocabulary for all grades:

Spanish                             English
¿Cuántos años tienes?   How old are you?
Tengo ... años.                 I’m ... years old. 
Soy grande.                      I’m big.
muy                                   very
uno                                   one
dos                                    two
tres                                    three
un mono                            a monkey (male)
una mona amiga                a monkey friend  (female)

Vocabulary (review for 3rd, 4th, 5th)
Spanish                          English
1-Puedo I can
2-necesito I Need
3-Quiero want
4-Mentiras lies
5-Verdad true
6-Aveces sometimes
7-Ignore  ignore
8-Emergencia emergency


Fifth Grade: We are working to complete our CKLA Poetry Domain. In this unit, we study many different poem structures, some with very strict format and rhyme and others with more fluid structures. Students have learned to both interpret the meaning of poems as well as write their own. Ask your student about villanelle form and if they were able to successfully create one of their own. (Villanelle form is a poetic form with nineteen lines and a set pattern of repeating lines and rhyming words.) Ask your student to contrast how hard it was to write in villanelle form versus parallel structure. (Parallel structure is when the same form is repeated in a series of lines of stanzas.)

In TEAMS most grade level students started a coding unit. We are learning that coding is an algorithm (which is a set of steps). We played a live video game where students coded Mrs. B’s (“Robot B’s”) though a game course using only the commands of move forwards/backwards, turn right/left. If they were not precise, then Robot B would run into a poisonous animal or lose the game. Students were also "coded" through the video game. We learned that we have to be precise when coding or the computer can't read the algorithm. Question: What is an algorithm? (A set of steps.)
We are looking for guest speakers to come in and share how they use coding or computer programming in their everyday life! Please email Mrs. B if you are interested. [email protected]

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