News from Kazoo School!

Fabulous February

Welcome to the February edition of the Kazoo School family newsletter! Even with frigid temperatures outside, inside we're abuzz with activity. Check out the pictures below and you'll see students exploring, building, creating, investigating, puzzling, achieving, and collaborating. 

Kazoo School is a place where we believe in taking students seriously. Their ideas, questions, and passions guide much of what we do. Their happy, curious faces inspire us every day!
It's SNOW wonder we have so much fun here at Kazoo!
Important Dates

Kazoo School Soiree - March 13 - 6:30pm

Conferences - March 25 & 26

Half Days - March 25, 26 & 27 - child care will be offered for the afternoons

Spring Break - April 3-10

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!

Dr. Sally
Dr. Sally
Basegroup Updates

Pre-K and Junior-K

Christine, Lysa, Violet, and Karleann

The students began an ocean investigation last month in the PK/JK classroom. They have been studying the manatee in particular, and you may have noticed our life-sized manatee in the hallway!  The children used string to estimate how big they thought a real manatee might be.  Many guessed very large!  They studied this gentle mammal more in depth through literature and live streamed videos and learned that the average size was approximately 10 feet long.  The students set to work making their very own manatee, and mixed black and white paint until they all agreed that they had succeeded in creating 'manatee gray'.  They are now in the process of making their very own stuffed manatees after being inspired by Evan's stuffed manatee and her generosity for sharing it with classmates at rest time. They traced a pattern, cut it out and began sewing it with their Primary Big Buddies on Tuesday.  They are greatly anticipating stuffing their project and snuggling with it! 





The kindergarteners are exploring Kenya and they've developed a keen interest in the diversity of animal species living there.  They were influenced by the story "Jubela" by Christina Kessler, that is based on the real-life experience of an orphaned rhino who loses his mother to poachers.  The kindergarteners created a story quilt that documents their comprehension of the story and increased awareness of the importance of protecting wild animals.
The students each chose their favorite animal from Kenya for a class play they wrote titled, "The Water Hole."  They made their own animals masks and later practiced drawing their chosen animal for their classroom Soiree auction project.  The class will be donating the money made from their Kenyan Animal Collage on Canvas to an African Aid project.
They also greatly enjoyed learning more about foods eaten in Africa as they made Ugandan Matoke (a dish made with plantains, fresh vegetables, spices, and organic grass fed beef) with Owen's mom, Valerie Stroupe.  


Primary (1st Grade)


The Primary class conducted interviews with their friends. They asked each other about their favorite things, and really learned a lot!  They wrote down all of the answers in order to record this important and valuable information.


Primentary (2nd and 3rd Grade)


Primentary has jumped into learning all about cartoonist, writer, and inventor Rube Goldberg. You may know him because of Rube Goldberg Machines, that accomplish a simple task in a very complicated way.

The students learned that his first successful cartoon was called Foolish Questions. They read a few of his one panel cartoons and then made their own.

They have also been learning about simple machines.

Elexa, Maddie, & Hailey making a Rube Goldberg machines with an simple machine (inclined plane).

Aidan shows his lever made from objects found in the classroom.

Carter & Micah make a machine to help with work.

They also went on a scavenger hunt for simple machines around the school.


4th and 5th Grade


As History Day draws near, the Upper Elementary students are working harder than ever. This week they are learning how to make an annotated bibliography.
Upper Elementary students decorating their journals for next week's five day adventure at the Kalamazoo Nature Center. We're planning lots of outdoor activities and hoping for temperatures above zero degrees!
Last week, the Upper Elementary students presented their wonderful book projects! Each project was based on one of the ten Global Reading Challenge books.


4th and 5th Grade Science



Students have been studying weather and meteorology.  They explored topics including weather fronts, reading weather maps and symbols, cloud formation, wind chill calculation, and temperature inversion using fun models and experiments.  They created their own maps, where many students treated Florida to it’s own winter storm system!

4th - 8th Math


The Kazoo School 4th - 8th grade students have now won their 2nd math contest on They defeated a middle school in Padua, Italy in their first contest and a high school in St. Paul Minnesota in their second. These contests last for about a week with daily rounds in which each school tries to score the most bronze, silver and gold medals by completing math challenges. Kazoo School has not only won both its contests but our students have won every round!
Things got a little testy in 5th grade this week. A few agitators grumbled that math class is too short and soon the entire class began chanting “We want more math!” No, Kelly is not making up this story.
Our MathCounts competition team did very well in the regional meet in early February at the Berhard Center at WMU. Our team placed 4th overall and two of our students, Emma Fischell and Grace Marshall, qualified for the state competition on - wait for it - Pi Day in Detroit. Of course it is on Pi Day.
5th graders are currently making cubist designs in class and then calculating the fraction, decimal and percentage of each color in their designs. Kelly has been very impressed by the creativity of the 5th grade students. They will be exploring even more ways to use math and art together to deepen our understanding of both important subjects.
4th graders are currently practicing multi-digit multiplication. They are generating random numbers by rolling dice and then writing down their problems on a laminated mat. Those who have mastered this skill are roaming the room and using their new superpower to save the world from incorrectly solved problems. Look, its the Math Signal! Na-na na-na na-na na-na, Colin!

Middle School Humanities 



Over the past couple of weeks middle school students have been studying various aspects of African History. Each student was assigned to be in a group and study a specific aspect. Each group was then assigned to create a fun, engaging, educational way to present the topic to the rest of the class. One group created a simulation. Another group created a board game for the whole class to play. The other groups created a school wide scavenger hunt and new take on "mafia" (a role-playing game). They have all learned a lot about group dynamics, how to create, and African history.


Middle School Science


Middle School science students wrapped up a unit on earthquakes by researching and making earthquake-proof structures.  They designed and constructed buildings which were tested on a shake table, made for Kazoo by volunteer Mike Greiner.  Designs were creative and durable, many withstanding even the  “major” earthquakes!
Students explored the characteristics of volcanoes using models such as this  gelatin volcano.  They injected food coloring to observe the movement of magma through cracks in the rock, known as dikes and sills. 
Students bundle up to experience winter in the preserve with Steve Kato on Fridays. 



The 4th/5th grade class has been working to build and present their create-a-games.  They designed their own games and had to teach their game to their classmates.
Alumni Spencer Miner came for a visit and hung out with the Junior Kindergarten class creating sculptures with jump ropes.

First grade is exploring shapes and self and general space with their PACE guest artist Georgie.





K-5 music students are preparing for a field trip to the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra on March 9th by learning about the many different composers and selections they will be hearing. Students also had a chance to perform "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" on a very fun set of classroom instruments called Boomwhackers after hearing Mozart's famous 12 variation arrangement.
4th grade students have been very busy earning their recorder karate belts! Students began studying recorder in January and have been working (even through recess) to master their songs! Most of our students are already practicing for their purple and blue belts tests.
Middle school music students have been learning and exploring rhythmic notation. They have exercised their knowledge in competitive ways, such as the game "Around the World," and in smaller group activities, such as "Scales and Slides" (modeled after the ever-popular Chutes and Ladders) and Prediction. Students are currently in the process of creating their own game that reinforces our understanding of rhythmic notes and values.
February has been all about Printmaking for grades 2-8!
Early this month students created styrofoam multiple reproduction prints! This work and other art projects are currently on display in the main building.
Right now, they are doing rubber stamp cutting and printing. Each student has learned how to carve and care for their own stamp. The students have created a drawing on paper, re-created the drawing on an easy-cut rubber slab, carved away the positive or negative space, rolled with printing ink and a brayer and made prints. Some students continue to print - add more cuts - print again to create more depth, detail and color. This has been a wonderful exploration of printmaking!
The Winter art room is a popular place these days! The students have been drawing SO MANY ANIMALS! Kindergarten and 1st grade classes have been learning to draw lots of different animals and making amazing artistic progress with drawing skills. Kim is so impressed by the understanding and enjoyment everyone has expressed with these drawings. You can see some of our beautiful work in the main hall. On cold, wintry days some of these young friends come to make art at recess. Making traditional worry dolls, like the children do in Guatemala, has been a wonderful way to spend those chilly afternoons.
Copyright © 2015 Greta Berman Arbetter Kazoo School, All rights reserved.

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