Ask Your Expert!

Ask Your Expert!
Posted on 01/20/2020

Ask Your Expert!

Family Questions From Your Mustangs’ Lessons This Week


Fifth-grade artists have chosen an Aztec, Inca or Mayan mask for inspiration as they begin to replicate it in plaster cardboard. They have created detailed drawings to follow as they use plaster strips and cardboard cutouts to create the foundations of their masks. Ask your art expert about the difference between additive and subtractive sculpture techniques. (Additive sculpture means artists "add" material to build up their form, whereas subtractive methods start with a larger material and subtract/remove material through carving.) Have your expert give you an example of a material that has additive properties. (clay and plaster) and materials that have subtractive properties (wood and stone). – Carrie Dunlap, Art Teacher

Preschool: We read the book Happy Birthday Martin Luther King and talked about what it means to be kind. We wrote kindness cards for our families to mail home. Wally and Molly came to visit from Dinosaur School, and we talked about the difference between our bodies feeling tense and feeling relaxed. Ask your expert: What is Wally's secret to help his body become relaxed when he is feeling tense? (Three deep breaths, smell the flowers, and blow out the candles) – Julie Lavigne and Julie Womochil, Preschool Teachers

Kindergarten: We finished our Native American Domain this week with an incredible presentation from Mr. Don Goede about the Lakota Sioux. We got to see articles of clothing, touch real buffalo hair, and play a drum. We are looking forward to learning about Kings and Queens next week.
Ask your expert: What are the three tribes we learned about? (Lakota Sioux, Wampanoag, and Lenape) What was the most important crop to the Lenape? (Corn) What is an appanaug? (A celebration) Are there still Native Americans today? If so, what do they wear? Where do they get their food? Where do they sleep? (Yes, there are still Native Americans around today. They wear clothes like us and shop at grocery stores. They sleep in houses like us). Kindness Challenge: Celebrate someone else’s good news! Tell someone that you are happy for him or her when they tell you about something good that went on in their lives. Give them a hug or a high five to help them celebrate! – Missi Thomson, Jeana Farrell, and Lindsay Hammel, Kindergarten Teachers

Spanish: Hola, hola Coca-Cola! Among other topics, First- and Second-graders finished Unit 1 (Hi it's me). Students can practice at home: Buenos Dias -- Good morning; ¿Cómo estás? -- How are you; ¿Cómo te llamas? -- What is your name?; ¿Qué cosa es azul? -- What is blue?; ¿Es Pedro azul? Is Pedro blue?; ¿Es el piano azul? -- Is the piano blue?; ¿es la guitarra azul? -- Is the guitar blue? Third, Fourth, and Fifth Grades finished Unit 7: Hola ¡Soy especial! Students can practice at home: ¿Cuál es tu color favorito? -- What is your favorite color?; ¿Prefiere María el amarillo? ¿Le gusta saltar? -- Does she like to jump?; Si a María le gusta saltar. -- Yes, María likes to jump.; Kindergartners are learning about the colors and numbers. Students can practice at home. -- Alejandra Lillemon, Spanish Teacher

Physical Education: We are in the middle of our archery unit! You can ask your kiddos about safety in archery as well as the two types of bows we use. This week they will get to shoot a lot of arrows as they all seem to understand the procedures for shooting and safety. Pictured, Physical Therapist Brandon Stepanowich helps Kindergarten archer Sonny line up his shot. – Randy Niebuhr, Physical Education Teacher

TEAMS: We had a great week in TEAMS. Because third grade is studying light and sound, we worked on a project about eyesight pertaining to color- or light-receptive cones and rods. We talked about what humans can see and what different types of animals see. The students are capturing pictures of the animals and making a project on their iPads about what we as humans see and what the animals see by editing and choosing the correct colors. The students will then record their voice to explain their knowledge. Ask your third-grade expert: What are cones? (Cones enable us to see color.) What are rods? (Rods enable us to see light and motion.) How many rods does a human have? (Three, however having a cone that allow us to see red enables us to see the colors that are derived from red.) In fifth grade, students are studying Don Quixote for their CKLA domain. We are currently designing a knight on the our Tinkercad computer-aided design program. So far, the students have used their class period to manipulate the correct shapes to the correct length, width, and height so the knight will print out correctly on the 3D printers. As we discussed in class, engineers have to be precise to produce a final product! To be continued next week!

A note from the library: Please return all library books on time. Students in first and second grades have one week to have books checked out. Third-fifth grade students have two weeks. All students checked out books last week to bring home, so please remind your child to look for their books. **** Stay tuned for an upcoming whole school reading challenge. We will be sending information home in Thursday folders in the next week or two! -- Amy Bradbury, TEAMS Teacher


First Grade: This week, we continued our Astronomy Domain! We learned about stars, constellations, the moon, and the history of space exploration! Ask your expert: What is a shooting star? (A meteor that is burning up as it goes through Earth's atmosphere) Name some constellations you learned about and see if you can remember the myth or legend about them! (Orion, the hunter; Taurus, the bull; Scorpio, the Scorpion; Canis Major and Canis Minor -- Orion's Dogs; and The Big Dipper and The Little Dipper) The moon looks shiny and bright in the night sky, but what is it really? (A dark, cold rock!) What causes the moon to shine? (Light reflecting from the sun) We encourage you to do some stargazing with your First-graders! They are so wonderfully curious, have great questions, and are great thinkers! – Sarah Carter, Paige Carley, and Jon Pletsch, First-Grade Teachers

Mustang Service Corps: We have one more week left to support our local service project helping feral cats. We will be gathering the supplies with the support our students who purchased buttons and rings to make shelters for feral cats to give to Happy Cats for placement. We hope to make one with each class. A special thanks to Onora from Mrs. Marquardt's class who helped support our project by making crayons in the shape of a cat to raise money for the cause. A possible upcoming project: We have had several students inquire about ways we can help Australia with all of the fires that have happened. We are looking into how we can help some of the wildlife that have lost their habitats. Stay tuned! -- Amy Bradbury, MSC Advisor

Music: This week, our K-2 students are working on some fun rhythms, both in the regular classroom with drumsticks and in the piano lab. Kindergarteners are playing and singing Ode to Joy; First-graders are working on a fancy left-hand accompaniment (Om-pah-pah) for I Lost a Tooth; and Second-graders are swinging to the Hokey Pokey. Pictured, first-grader Tomas plays a challenging rhythm using drumsticks on the carpet. – Elizabeth Lawson, Music Teacher

Second Grade: We continue our study of the Human Body. Ask your expert: Who discovered bacteria? (Anton van Leeuwenhoek) What else did he do? (He created his own type of microscope to see bacteria.) What are living things made of? (Microscopic cells) What do a group of similar cells form? (Tissue) What does the tissue form? (Organs) What do organs form? (Systems) What is the largest organ in the body? (Skin) What is its primary function? (To protect the organs) How many kidneys do you have? (Two) Liver? (One) What happens if an organ isn’t working correctly? (It will make a person ill.) Do all the systems work together? (Yes) What is a donor? (Someone who gives you something, donates) Can we transplant organs? (Yes) What does transplant mean? (To move something from one place to another) Are eyes, ears, and skin all organs? (Yes, they are not part of the major organ systems, but they are grouped together as sense organs.) Do you remember the five senses? (See, hear, feel, taste, and smell) Where does digestion begin? (When you put food into your mouth) Why do human teeth come in different shapes and sizes? (They all have different functions when chewing food.) What is saliva? (A liquid in the mouth, often called ‘spit’, that helps break down the food in your mouth) What are the other organs in digestion? (Stomach, large and small intestines, and liver) What does the excretory system do? (Eliminates solid and liquid waste from the intestines) What organs are involved in this system? (Kidneys, sweat glands, anus) What is nutrition? (Foods and water that nourish the body and aid in growth) What are the basic nutrients? (Protein, carbohydrates, fats, and water) What do vitamins and minerals do for the body? (They help keep the body from becoming sick and keep our body organs healthy and running smoothly.) Where do we get vitamins and minerals? (From the food we eat: vegetables, fruits, and meats) – Lori Pearson, Chris Whipkey, and Maria Woytko, Second-Grade Teachers

Third Grade: We continue the study of light and sound with many hands-on experiments. Ask your expert: What are objects called that do not allow light to pass through them? (Opaque) Color is determined by how light is transmitted, reflected, and _______. (Absorbed) Why does a straw appear to be broken when placed in a glass of water? (This is an example of refraction.) Why are shadows formed? (Light cannot bend around objects.) The frequency of vibrations affects the ________ of a sound. (Pitch) True or false: Sound travels well in a vacuum, a space with no particles. (False) – Natascha Leonardo, Brandon Wood, and Becky Elms, Third-Grade Teachers

Fourth Grade: We continue our CKLA Unit Eureka! Student Inventors! Our judge Hedy Lamar gave out the challenge of "The Pitch," in which students must "pitch" their group's invention as the best! We discussed good pitches and bad pitches and Hedy's suggestion for what makes a pitch interesting. Check with your student...maybe even ask them to give you their "Pitch" following Hedy's rules! Ask your Expert: What are the two parts of a "pitch" that are important? (What you say. How you say it.) In Math, we continue with angles, squares, and rectangles, attributes of each, and...can you prove it! We also decomposed shapes to make them into squares and rectangles. Ask your Expert: What attributes does a rectangle have? (Parallel opposite sides, opposite sides are the same length, four 90 degree -- or “right” -- angles) What attributes does a square have? (Same as rectangle -- but all four sides are equal in length) – Christi Marquardt, Madeline Goldman, and Jessi Larsen, Fourth-Grade Teachers

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