17 Mar

“We Sing America!” – Annual Spring Concert

There is never a shortage of memorable moments from the annual Lower School spring concert, and this year was no exception. In fact, it had its own special charm, focusing on music celebrating the spirit of America and showcasing this country and the Lower School as places of inclusion, diversity and progress.

Our young performers sang, danced and played music reflecting the hopes and dreams this country aspires towards. Memorable moments included the fourth grade singing This Land is Your Land  in two-part harmony… the third grade singing and dancing to Bandstand…  and the charm of our second graders as they took to the main stage for the first time. The night was chilly, but our hearts were warmed by our young performers.

Despite losing two rehearsal days due to Winter Storm Stella, music teachers Mary Heveran and Lisa Dove led our performers through with poise and grace.

The beautiful artwork by our second, third and fourth grade students made a lovely display and showed all the talent that exists in the Lower School student body. Thank you to Lower School art teacher, Elisa Garcia.

We wish you a happy and safe spring vacation.

17 Mar

“Oh Give Me a Home…..”: First Grade Research Project

Our first-grade class completed their annual study of houses and homes. Our exploration of houses began with observations of homes in our local community and branches out to observations of houses and homes around the world.

We started the unit by taking a walk in the neighborhood surrounding the D-E campus.  We talked about the architectural details of the houses as well as the elements involved in the construction of a home.  The children were very observant and noticed different design elements and details.

This year’s unit focused on climate and necessity as we expanded our study across the globe.  We use what we learned through this study as a central focus for several math, language, art, science and social studies activities.  This integrated unit of study is something that we explored for a number of weeks.

As a culminating activity, first graders constructed models of houses from a variety of cultures in early March.  The success of this project relied heavily on the many parent volunteers who helped to enrich the children’s experience by coming in to lend a hand with construction and painting.  Their enthusiastic participation in our study of houses was a valuable contribution to our learning.

The students were divided into six “construction companies” and chose a company name. Then the company decided what type of home they wanted to build. The children learned the keys to success when working in a group; cooperation, collaboration, communication and compromise. The children worked hard to listen to, and incorporate, everyone’s ideas in a respectful manner. The homes this year include a house on stilts with a thatch roof, an adobe, a greenhouse, a mobile home and a tiny house that were presented to the full Lower School community during a recent assembly.

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01 Mar

Lower School Talent Show!

Please take a look at the gallery of photos showcasing the 20 splendid acts from the Lower School Talent Show!

Thanks to the parents in the community who helped to sponsor this event. Their vision allowed us to hold the Talent Show in a new location this year. There was a light dumpling dinner before the show and a tasty dessert sampling following the show. The parents thought of every detail.

Mrs. Koteles and her daughter Lilly did a fantastic job of emceeing the event with laughter and love.

The Lower School definitely has talent!

01 Mar

4th Grade U.N. Trip

Submitted by Ms. Sowa and Mr. Rodenbush

As a follow up to our completion of the World Peace Game, the entire 4th grade recently visited the United Nations. During the World Peace Game process, the children had the opportunity to collaborate and negotiate on behalf of their country or institution in pursuit not only of self-interest, but also for the greater good of the international community.  During the trip to the United Nations, the children had a chance to see how those negotiations are done in real life.

During our tour of the United Nations, arranged by a parent of one of our 4th grade students, we were able to see the spaces where the General Assembly and Security Council meet.  We were also able to view various gifts to the U.N. from member countries and to see and read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. After seeing the General Assembly Hall, one student remarked, “You get to see how calm the meetings are and how the delegates react to the problems.”

We learned about the beginnings of the United Nations following World War II, and how it’s membership has grown to just over 190 member countries. One fourth grade student commented that, “The U.N. showed us that it doesn’t matter how large or small your country is or how much money you have, because everyone has a voice at the U.N.”

01 Mar

First Grade Tiny House Interview

Submitted by Mrs. Koteles

On Wednesday, February 22, the first graders had the opportunity to explore a tiny house located in Nova Scotia, Canada via Skype in science class.   Ms. Lemire has known the owners of the tiny house for several years.

Owners Nicky and Judy, along with their dog, Shanti, took the children on a virtual tour of their tiny home.  The home that is 23 feet long and 8 feet wide had many secret compartments for storage. There were drawers is the stairs and a hide away table.  The highlight of the tour is when we saw Shanti use the doggy elevator to travel up to the bedroom!

The children asked many questions and were able to have all of their questions answered.

How long did it take to build your house?

It took us nine months to build.

What do you do if you feel like you need space?

When we are feeling the need for more space, we simply go outside and enjoy the beauty in our natural surroundings.

How long have you lived there?

We have lived in this house for 15 months

Was it hard to get used to living in a small space?

It was hard adjusting at first.  We had to give away half of their belongings and in the process realized that we only needed a few important items for a comfortable living.

Why did you want to live in a tiny house?

Small houses are less money to maintain.  We have more money to help us travel and spend time with friends.  Tiny houses also rely on less resources, so they are better for the environment.