Ask Your Expert!

Ask Your Expert!
Posted on 05/13/2019

Ask Your Expert!

Family Questions From Your Mustangs’ Lessons This Week

Music: K-2 students are dancing in Music class, learning about all sorts of expressive ways to move high, medium, and low. Pictured, Larkspur, from Mrs. Hammel's kindergarten class, improvises a little solo dance while her classmates provide musical accompaniment.

music class

Preschool: This week we had a fruit and vegetable tasting! We were able to investigate whole fruits with our senses and then cut into them to see what they look like. We then explored them once they were cut into smaller sizes and we discussed how the seeds were similar and different. We tried: pomegranate, cucumbers, oranges, apples, kiwis, tomatoes, bananas, and avocados. The students had a great time trying new things and eating old favorites, but thinking about them in a different way.
Ask you expert what foods were their favorites and what the seeds looked like.

We started learning about Presidents and American Symbols this week in kindergarten. Ask your expert: What color is the flag of the United States of America? (Red, white, and blue.) Why are there 50 stars on the flag? (There are 50 states.) Where does the President of the United States live? (The White House.) What is a liberty you have? (Answers will vary.) Who was the first President of the United States? (George Washington.) What were some characteristics of George Washington? (He was brave, honest, and clever.) In what war did George Washington lead the American Continental Army to defeat the British Army? (American Revolution.) What document did our third president, Thomas Jefferson, help write? (The Declaration of Independence.) Kindness Challenge: Make a birdfeeder out of a pinecone, peanut butter, and birdseed to hang up for the birds. How will you feel when you see birds eating the food you and your family provided for them? How do you think the birds might feel if they are given a treat to eat? Why is making a birdfeeder a kind thing to do?

Fourth-grade artists are creating clay gargoyles as an extension of their Middle Ages Domain. We reviewed the techniques involved in the clay sculpture process, such as pinch pots (creating a hollow vessel  from a solid sphere through pinching and turning the clay with your hands), scoring (using a tool to scratch the connecting surfaces of clay in order to create a texture that  helps them attach), and seams (smearing the edges of each connected piece together in order to create a seamless bond). We were able to talk about the recent fire that destroyed much of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and how they were able to salvage most of the gargoyles. Ask your expert: What is a gargoyle and what does it symbolize? (Gargoyles were commonly used in Medieval times. Their two main purposes were to scare off evil and to divert rainwater. Many had open mouths and long necks because they functioned as downspouts to divert rainwater from building foundations.) Where did we get the word Gargoyle? (The word originates from the old French word "Gargouille" meaning "throat," but which also describes the gurgling sound of water as it is coming down the downspout.)



First Grade: We have continued to follow Lewis and Clark on their expedition west through the Great Plains. Ask your expert: Where did Lewis and Clark begin their journey and what river were they traveling on? (St. Louis, on the Missouri River.) What three tasks did President Jefferson ask them to accomplish on their expedition? (Determine whether there is an all-water route to the Pacific Ocean; discover new plants and animals; make friends with Native American tribes.) Why did Lewis and Clark invite Sacagawea to join the Corps of Discovery? (She was part of the Shoshone tribe, so she could help them communicate and become friends with them--and she knew the lands they would be traveling across.) 

Second Grade: We are learning about immigrants who came to America. Ask your expert: What is an immigrant? (A person from another country who moves to a new country.) Why do people leave their own country? (Push factors, such as money problems, lack of freedom, or war, to name a few.) What does E Pluribus Unum mean? (Out of many, one.) Where do we see this Latin phrase? (On the back of American coins.) Why is the United States called the “Land of Opportunity”? (People had a better chance of finding jobs and living a better life.) What was Ellis Island? (The place where immigrants had to go in order to be accepted into the U.S.) Did everyone get to stay? (No, if you had a disease or couldn’t speak English, you might have to go back to your own country.) What would immigrants look for when getting close to America? (The Statue of Liberty, which meant freedom and a better life.)

A little kindness went a long way in TEAMS! During our Kindness Campaign, we sent out postcards to different places in the world. One of them went all the way to Japan. Our Japanese friends sent back some toys (bubble-blower toys), as well as treats to show the students!


Third Grade:
It's all about Ecology (the study of households or homes) in Third Grade! Students started with habitats (an animal's special home) in an ecosystem (living and nonliving things that make up habitats) and then focused on food chains overlapping to create food webs. Ask your expert: What is a producer (organisms that make their own energy, like green plants), what is a consumer (animals and other living organisms in a food chain that eat other living things), and what is a decomposer (organisms that break down dead animals and plants and return nutrients to the earth, like beetles and worms.) As we study the balance of nature, we discover that one stable condition changes gradually into another stable condition for a healthy environment to be sustained. We will learn more about the disruption of this balance, by natural causes and by human causes, and visit Bear Creek Nature Center to see all of this vocabulary in action!

Physical Education: As we continue our track and field event practice, just a reminder, your child came home with a parent volunteer paper for Field Day! To make it run as smooth as possible, we need all the parents we can get for our events. For each of the nine events at 3rd -5th Field Day Monday, May 13, we need about 4-5 parents for per event. For K-2 field day, we need 2 or 3 for the 21 events we do. 3rd-5th Field Day is at the high school track from 8:30a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The K-2 Field Day is at the elementary school playground on Friday May 17th from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. If you are planning on stopping over, your help would be greatly appreciated!

Fifth Grade: We toured the Da Vinci Exhibit at the Denver Nature and Science Museum last week as culmination for our CKLA Unit on the Renaissance. The exhibit enabled students to see, touch, and experience the inventions of Leonardo Da Vinci, who figured prominently in our CKLA Unit. Students were able to see his designs made life-sized, speak with actors portraying the time of the Renaissance--as well as launch balls with a catapult, draw like Da Vinci, and experience everything in a giant Sensory Room. Ask your expert: Which design impressed you the most? (Answers will vary.) In Science, students wrapped up a unit on Fast and Slow Changes to the Earth with an erosion experiment. Students used sand, dirt, and rocks to try and design a hill resistant to water erosion. The luck of the draw had students pour water onto their designs in different intensities. Ask your expert: What type of design held up best in fast moving water events? What design worked best when gentler water was sprayed on? What are fast changes to the earth? (Volcanoes, Earthquakes, and Landslides.) What are slow changes to the Earth? (Weathering, erosion, and deposition.)



On Beyond: Next Wednesday evening, May 15th, from 5-6 p.m., join us in the Commons area to celebrate the On Beyond Showcase of Learning!  Students in Kindergarten through Fifth Grades will share how they have been taking their learning on-beyond the regular curriculum.  There will be interactive Math and Language Arts activities, student presentations, and displays of individual and group projects. See you there!

Spanish: Hola, hola  Bonitos Parents! Thank you for your support to our Spanish program and the event Vamos a España. Our wonderful children presented what we are learning in Spanish with so much energy and enthusiasm! I am very proud of them.

Spanish performance

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