Thursday, January 8, 2015

Ringing in the end of 2014!

The end of November came with many exciting events! Students bravely took the stage to perform in front of their school. Some sang, some danced, some hula hooped, and others played beautiful music for us on instruments they’ve worked hard to learn. We were impressed with everyone’s efforts, both on stage and in the audience! We were also fortunate enough to enjoy a Giving Thanks Feast with our whole school, feasting on pizza and fruit salad provided by parents from each class. Thank you parents!

Hanging up lines from the Polar Bear "Thankful Poems" to fill out our classroom turkey!

Filling out the turkey feathers with Thankfuls!

Math had us working on adding and subtracting, carrying across zeros, and working on these concepts with decimals. With the Thanksgiving Holiday on the way, what better way to practice these techniques than with a budget project. Starting with a certain amount of money, the Spirit and Polar Bears used addition and subtraction concepts, planning skills, and trial and error in order to plan a meal, “shop” for the ingredients, and lay out their budget on a planning guide in order to show how much money they could spend. The 3rd and 4th graders worked VERY hard and carefully on this project, learning to check their work and take their time!

The Spirit and Polar Bears also finished their second read aloud, Mr. Lemoncello's Library! Our Bears were so inspired by the story that they created their own homework assignment: to design a Lemoncello's Library Game! They shared their games with each other by presenting them in front of the class, as well as sharing them with classmates in small groups. 

Upon our return to school from the Thanksgiving Break, our Bears went right to work to accomplish as much as possible in the short 3 weeks preceding our Winter Vacation. Spirit and Polar Bears continued working on their Charlottesville Brochures, finishing their planning process, editing with themselves, classmates, and teachers, and beginning their final paragraphs describing details about our city’s history and culture. Our Bears also completed a week long Science project wrapping up our insect unit, where students showed of their knowledge AND their creativity to create their own insect. Their projects included details regarding their insect's characteristics,  habitat, and its contribution to its environment.

Allwyn showing presenting her insectF

We also prepared for our thrilling trip to Washington D.C., as a culmination of both our artist projects inspired by our read-aloud Masterpiece, and our Insect Unit. Our classes, accompanied by some fantastic chaperones (THANK YOU!), spent time in the National Gallery’s sculpture garden, exploring the artwork of the National Gallery during a scavenger hunt to find some of the artworks they studied. We journeyed down the National Mall to find the Natural History Museum where the bears got close up looks at live insects, and ended our time in the museum with an IMAX movie on perspectives. We are still so proud of how the Polar and Spirit Bears took responsibility for themselves and represented CDS in the big city – what a fantastic trip!

Watching the ice skaters in The Sculpture Garden

We got to see how the zamboni worked!

On the steps of the National Gallery, listening to our "letter from Mr. Lemoncello" describing our scavenger hunt!

Standing in front of a Leonardo da Vinci!

Trying to determine where we needed to go next

Standing in front of the painting by Seurat that Whit studied!

Standing in front of the Monet painting that Faye studied!

Standing in front of the Edward Hopper painting John studied!

In front of Mikey's Degas!

Hard at work answering their questions!

Very serious business

Observing Carolina's painting!

Ruby's Painting!

Resting for a moment in the Natural History Museum

Hiding out in an insect habitat!

Getting ready for the IMAX Movie!

Happy Field Trip Day!!

The Spirit and Polar Bears got to celebrate the Winter Break with their book buddies, the Grizzly Bears and the Kodiak Bears. The two groups, taking a break from all their reading, had some fun by creating Graham Cracker Gingerbread Houses! The older bears helped guide the younger bears on how to construct the houses, and collaborated to create a fun structure, decorated to the nines, that they both enjoyed. Our big bears then generously let the younger book buddy keep the gingerbread house to take home and share with their families!


We want to send a huge thank you to all of the 3rd and 4th grade families for helping to make our winter and holiday break start of with so much love. Our hearts were filled, and are so happy to spend times like these with such amazing students! Even as we get going into the new year, we can’t stop thinking about the warm joy that we ended our 2014 with! THANK YOU!

Please take a moment to note these upcoming important dates! While somewhat spread out in comparison to the fall, the winter and spring months come with a lot of exciting and important events!

Monday, January 19th: Teacher Professional Day; no classes
-       Kids Camp is available for you to sign up online!

Friday, January 23rd: SPIRIT DAY! Dress for your favorite sports team, athlete, or type of sport!

Friday, February 13th: Valentine’s Day Tea Parties!

Sunday, March 1st: CDS Performs The Wizard of Oz! at PVCC Dickinson Theater
-       Come support our theater program by enjoying CDS students sharing their hard work, as well as a delicious bake sale!

Thursday and Friday, March 12th-13th: Parent Teacher Conferences

Saturday, March 14th: CDS Auction and Casino Night!!!
-       Book your babysitters and get EXCITED!! We cannot wait to get working on the Polar Bear and Spirit Bear class’ Art from the Heart projects!!

Looking forward to a wonderful January!

Theresa, Katie, and Karin