Ryan Scala’s third-graders are working on a unit titled Change the World: Writing Persuasive Speeches, Petitions and Editorials. The budding activists invited Principal Eric Casale to visit their class and listen to some of their best reasons for bringing back the school store.
Staff developers from Columbia’s Teaching College worked with the teachers on record keeping in conferences and gathering students into needs-based groups for specific skill work. The on-going collaboration with CTC will continue with regular sessions scheduled for the spring.
The annual spelling bee has begun with qualifying rounds. The spelling bee is an informal tournament in which children from fourth to sixth grades in the Academic Enrichment Program compete in teams to win medals.
Karen Mckee’s second-graders are becoming experts on the hungry birds in the courtyard. They are painting portraits of the most common bird visitors at the feeder in art class with Colleen McGowan. Local community member Norma Edwards submitted a list of birds to watch for with their painted chart. Owen McCormack’s class also has a bird’s-eye view of the courtyard. They are writing bird poetry while listing the birds they have seen feeding in the snow.
Lisa Seff has recently received several grants that will be taking her back to Alaska for additional research. She is planning on a live Skype session from Fairbanks with Spirit Meet, on Monday, February 10. She visited Spirit Meet on February 3 for a short presentation, which included talking about scientists that helped the students address some common misconceptions. Students drew portraits with some of their descriptive words, “What Does a Scientist Look Like?” before the presentations. In a few weeks they will draw a new picture. Ms. Seff predicted, “I think their perspectives on scientists will have changed.”
Opera performers Corrina Castillo, Kimberly Bermeo, Nora Conlon, Julian Delfavero, Deja Giles and Laura Calderon performed a song “What it means to be the best” from the fourth grade opera as an introduction to a poetry lesson for Nancy Olsen’s second-grade class. The students were writing autobiographical poetry and the opera song opened the theme about areas in which the students excelled in life. Ashley Farez wrote a poem: Ashley the Artist: I can draw a dog, a cat and a teddy bear/I can draw a horse in a barn/I can’t draw Saturn/ and I can’t draw me.”
Chef John Baron from Nick and Toni’s and Cindy Realmuto set up a cooking lesson on making pasta sauce in the functional academics class. Last Wednesday they helped make 500 servings of sauce. The event was planned by the yearbook coordinators Christine Cleary and Valerie Policastro and a committee of 10 eighth-grade students. All proceeds benefited this year’s yearbook and raised $1,350. Special thanks to Cindy Realmuto, Officer Kim, Woodrin and Scott Abran and Eric Casale. The “Souper Bowl” game benefited the local food pantry and provided some fun for the students,” said third-grade teacher Joan Branche. Third grade classes asked for donations of cans of soup. The cans were placed in either the Denver Broncos’ box or the Seattle Seahawks’ box.
In the recent winter concert performed to a full gym, Brody Eggert, Caleb Wright, Kevin Chabla, Manny Vilar, Renny Murphy, Rorey Murphy, Julia Gimenez and Tiffany Farez sang solos in “Reflections of a Lad at Sea.” Lauren German, Tori Schmitt, Samantha Schurr, Tiffanie Wyche, Madison Schenck, and Emma Wiltshire sang solos in the song “Home.” Jasper Edie performed a flute solo to accompany the junior high chorus. Grace Frazier and Anna Rafferty hosted the event, organized by Margaret Thompson and Ben Jones.