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News from Kazoo School!

Fall Fun at Kazoo!


The school year is really in full swing now! Classes have been going on fall fieldtrips, learning about leaves and pumpkins, and creating beautiful autumnal art. Read below for more information about what each class has been doing this month. 

A few reminders:

Order new Kazoo gear by next Wednesday, October 22nd by visiting https://tsprintingplus.tuosystems.com/stores/kazoo.  Show your Kazoo School pride everywhere you go! These items make great gifts too! Proceeds to benefit the 8th grade trip fundraising goal.

Order Picture Day photos! Go to mylifetouch.com.  Enter Picture Day ID: WG084296Y1.  If you would like to see a proof, please stop in to see Kathryn.  She is not able to email you a proof, but she could show you one on her computer.  Retakes are available on Wednesday, November 5, 2014.
 
Kathryn has emailed everyone with their current Emergency Contact and Authorized Pickup lists.  If you have not yet responded, please touch base with her to make sure your lists are accurate to ensure the safety of your child.

If you have not done so, please visit the office to sign up for conferences. As a reminder, conferences are  Wednesday, October 29th and Thursday October 30th starting at 12:00pm.
Another beautiful morning at Kazoo School
Important Dates

October 29 & 30, 2014 - Half days and Conferences

October 31, 2014 - Half day, Halloween parties

November 5, 2014 - Picture Retakes

November 25, 2014 - Half Day and Community Event

November 26 - 28, 2015 - Thanksgiving Break

Every Friday - unless otherwise announced - Whole-school Assembly in the gymnasium (starts around 8:05)

You can also find all events on the Kazoo School Calendar!

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Basegroup Updates

Pre-K and Junior-K

Nichole, Lysa, Violet, and Jackie

The Kazoo School early childhood program uses the Reggio Emilia Approach to learning, which places value on the involvement of the community in the learning process. A Reggio program is founded on the conviction that people learn through making connections between things, concepts and experiences and that we do so by interacting with other people and our surrounding environment.  Families and friends are invited into the classroom to be guest readers or share their musical talents.  

Last week, Violet, preschool assistant, invited her very talented musical friends from Thailand to the class.  The children had the opportunity to interact with an instrument from Thailand called an angklung.  The Prekindergarten and Junior Kindergarten are always on the lookout for ways to bring the community into the classroom.  

Recently the children took a trip to Harvest Moon Acres where they interacted with farm animals, took a tractor ride, and were able to pick out a pumpkin to take home. That afternoon a “mini Harvest Moon Acres” was created in the sensory table.  The children were able to expand on their fall field trip experience through play.  In the works is a walking field trip to the fire department in Kazoo's neighborhood.  What questions will come from this experience?  What connections might the children make on this walk?

Community and parent involvement drive the learning that occurs in the classroom.  These experiences provide the children with opportunities to make real life connections in a way that is relevant to them. The Prekindergarten and Junior Kindergarten welcome all talents, passions, and skills! Please contact either Lysa or Nichole if you’re interested in contributing to the learning process.

 

Kindergarten

Hjordis

“Peace is the color brown of my mommy’s eyes.” --Camille

(An excerpt from the poem “What is Peace?” by the kindergarten class)

The kindergarten students have explored peace and the Golden Rule and found connections between them.  They created a mural with photos of themselves demonstrating The Golden Rule in the classroom and added words to go along with the photos:  sharing, helping, caring, and listening.  They also wrote a poem about peace as each student wrote a line and illustrated their sentence. Then they combined all of their words into one beautiful poem.  Since they have been learning about colors, three-dimensional shapes, along with learning about our senses as they explore in the woods, all of those things were incorporated into their poem. They enjoyed presenting it at last Friday’s assembly.

The students brought in pumpkins this week for math and science exploration and they are also traveling to Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery to learn more about fish in Michigan!

Primary (1st Grade)

Whitney

Have you been hearing a lot of singing and giggling coming from the primary classroom lately? The first grade students love to sing and move! They have been learning a lot of great new songs, finger plays and dances. They love “Go Noodle”! This is a fantastic web site that a friend of Whitney's, who teaches later elementary, recommended. It helps the students energize late in the day and calm and focus during morning work. Check it out! It’s great for home and fun for families.

The primary pals have been busy away from school as well. They had a great time with their preschool buddies at Harvest Moon Acres and plan to go to the public safety building with them soon. Next week Primary will head back to The Riverview Launch site (land bank) to continue with volunteer work. They are proud to be part of this beautification project that Kazoo started last fall. During the first week of November, Primary will go to The Civic Auditorium for the Manxmouse performance.

If you see Primary walking around the Kazoo neighborhood, give them a wave. Once a week they head out for nature connection time. They collect data to bring back to class for sketching, discussion, reports and compile this data into our science logs. They have seen amazing signs of animals, plants and humans preparing for fall and winter.

Primentary (2nd and 3rd Grade)

Sonita 

The phrase, “It’s all Greek to me!” took on a new and interesting meaning in Primentary. Yes, they are learning the Greek alphabet. A huge thank you to Dini Metro-Roland for coming in on Tuesday to share all he knows about the Greek language.

The children have worked very hard studying Greek Mythology. All students studied a major greek god or goddesses and wrote about them. You can see their work on the bulletin board outside the Primentary classroom. They have moved on to studying Titans, minor gods & goddesses, and nymphs. The kids are looking forward to monsters, so they are headed there by the end of the week. One of Sonita's favorite things about Kazoo is that teachers are able to follow the students’ interests, and they never quite know where they are headed, but they know it will be somewhere amazing!

Hermy the Hornworm emerged from his pupa as a beautiful moth last Friday, much to Primentary's excitement. Hermy was ready to fly off into the outside world, so Sonita put him in the Butterfly Garden on Saturday.

 

4th and 5th Grade

Rose

This year, the Fourth and Fifth graders are participating in a classroom economic system in which they earn ‘money’ by reliably completing classroom jobs, projects, services, and other important educational functions in and outside of school. It began as a simple system based on the idea that students need to earn school "dollars" so that they can rent their own desks. However, this month the system became much more complex...

October 1st was payday for students, and also the day that their desk rent was due.  As the day approached, it became clear that some students were not going to have enough money to pay their rent. Students began to ask if they could 'borrow' money to pay their rent. This sparked a discussion about loans, interest rates, and collateral. Since the students didn't have any collateral, they learned that their loan applications would not likely be approved. Thus, the class worked together to learn about getting assistance from the government (welfare) to help them pay their rent.  

Students learned that government assistance is funded by tax dollars. They then had to make a decision about whether to impose income taxes on themselves.  Some students felt that they had worked hard for their bonuses, and that it wasn't fair for them to have to support others, who hadn't done any extra work.  Others felt that it would be more fair and kind to 'share their wealth' with those who needed help. Eventually, the students voted for a 5% income tax in order to provide assistance to their classmates.

This amazing story keeps getting beter! Find out what happened next at http://humanitieswithrose.blogspot.com/

 

4th and 5th Grade Science

Kate

The fourth and fifth grade science students continue to design and conduct experiments focusing on environmental factors.  They planted various type of seeds to determine optimum water conditions for early growth for each type.  We were “wowed” by the different ways plants emerge from seed.

They are now experimenting with salt tolerance for brine shrimp hatching.  No salt?  One, two, or three scoops?  It’s all about the salt for these “sea monkeys!”  What concentration provides optimum conditions for hatching?  

Alongside all of their lab work, 4/5th graders are enjoying the changes Fall brings in Kleinstuck.  They hunted for Jack-in-the-pulpit seeds and sampled soil for pH and moisture.  

 

4th - 8th Math

Kelly

Some things 4th-8th grade students have been doing in math recently:

  • 4th graders learned that pipe cleaners and straws make awesome shapes
  • 5th graders used manipulatives to see multiplication visually
  • 6th graders discovered new ways to think about negative numbers by using poker chips
  • 7th graders searched for clues in an "order of operations scavenger hunt"
  • 8th graders played Red Fish, Blue Fish, Yellow Fish, Blue Fish Polynomials

You may notice a slight change in the way Kelly gives out grades compared to what you may have been used to when you were a student.  Instead of giving a grade for, say, Quiz 1, he assigns grades to individual skills found in Quiz 1.  For instance, this last Monday students took a quiz that covered order of operations and evaluating expressions.  This approach allows students, their teacher, and their parents to see clearly which skills are mastered and which are still being developed.

 

Middle School Humanities 

Rob


Middle school humanities students are still in the midst of their African country project and they are anticipating their African Night on November 11th. They are currently partnering with Roothead and the Africana Market for this great event. Everyone is invited and welcome to come on out, support Kazoo School students, and learn about various African countries.

They have also started the daunting journey that is National History Day.  Groups have been formed and events have been chosen. The students are in the midst of figuring out topics. Everyone is extremely excited and are really looking forward to learning more and having a great deal of fun!

Middle School Science

Kate


Our Kazoo scientists are staying active and busy!  Middle school students began clearing invasive plants in Kleinstuck and are ready to plant the thousands of Jack-in-the-pulpit seeds that they collected.  They also mounted a wildlife camera and are eagerly anticipating some fun action shots and video of Kazoo's local critters.  

The sixth grade students are in the midst of an invasive plant/water quality project, taking samples from the preserve and learning how to conduct a quadrant survey. The seventh and eighth grade students are working on a longer-term acid rain study. They will be building rain gauges and connecting acid rain to industry, weather patterns, and other environmental conditions.  They are all looking forward to the annual seed collection at Fort Custer next week!  Stay tuned!

PE

Karen


PE students have just finished their fall fitness testing for every first through eighth grade student. Students work hard at their PB's (personal bests) and look to improve their scores from one test period to the next.  Students test every fall and spring and spend the time in between working to strengthen all five of the fitness components.  Improvement on the five components (cardio-vascular endurance, upper body muscle strength, abdominal/core muscle strength, flexibility and agility) will help to maintain a healthy lifestyle, along with good nutrition and sleep habits.

The first grade class did very well on their first efforts at the fitness tests, and are already looking forward to improvement on their spring tests! During the "training" this fall Karen overheard a first-grader tell his buddies while stretching to get ready for warm-up laps, "ok guys, we better hop on the road!"

Music

Ashley

The music room has been a very busy place this fall! Students grades 4th-8th have been learning theatre terminology, acting out scenes and silly situations, and developing their acting chops in preparing for Winter Program. Students have taken on many challenging activities, such as “Detective Handshake,” “Knots,” and “Machines.” Ask your child for their favorite theatre game!

Students grades K-3rd have been exploring the percussion instrument family. They have sang and moved their way through rhythm sticks, shakers, tambourines, rain sticks, and now drums! This week, the students reviewed standard music notation (whole, half, quarter, and eighth notes) and learned a few interesting Halloween rhythm patterns. Ask your child about “Ghost, Ghost, Little, Ghost.” They’ll have a spooky time teaching you how they count in music! 

 

 
Copyright © 2014 Greta Berman Arbetter Kazoo School, All rights reserved.


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