Thursday, March 26, 2015

100th Day and Counting!

    Despite the snow days, delayed openings and winter break February was a very busy and productive month here at Barnard School.  We have passed the 100th Day, shared dozens of Valentines, celebrated a few Presidential Birthdays, and enjoyed some great afternoons of skiing thanks to the PTA and incredible winter conditions.  Winter NWEA testing is complete for those who were selected to participate and we are preparing to administer the Grade 4 and 8 Science NECAP and new Smarter Balanced tests in April and May.  As always several staff members would like to share the news of activities in and out of the classroom.

From Ms. Casassa:
    “The school wide Spelling Bee was held on Friday, January 23rd.  We had ten finalists after qualifying rounds in grades 4-8.  This year’s Btate Bee was held on Saturday, February 28 at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord. Congratulations and best wishes to Ben!
                1st place-Ben Laverty     2nd place-Sully Burchette     3rd place-Michael Amundsen
    Barnard Students are about to begin Mystery Skypes.  Students will Skype with another school and try to guess where they are from.  In World Cultures class, they have been coming up with yes or no questions they can ask to help them figure out the location.  We have been practicing and the students have become good at figuring out the location.  They have been using maps, the internet and atlases to determine the location.  Grades 4 & 5 will start us off this Friday.
   Grades 4 & 5 have finished creating their Thinglinks on New Hampshire history.  Students have been sharing what they know about our state.  They have taken a virtual visit to the Mt Washington Observatory and Attitash.  Grade 1 learned about Internet safety as they took a virtual field trip to the San Diego Zoo.  They saw the panda, polar bear, and apes through the zoo's web cam.  It felt like they were actually there!”

From Mrs. Cestrone:
    In grades 6-7 we are beginning our "Evolution Projects" and learning about how organisms have adapted and changed over time.  
    In grade 8 we are learning the bones of the body, support, movement and responses, the brain, eye and the ear.  At the conclusion of this chapter, we will be dissecting a sheep brain and a cow's eye.
    In grades K-1 we are continuing to learn about the planets and outer space.  We have made a few planets in class and will continue for the next few weeks.  
    In grades 2-3 we are beginning to learn about the planets, solar system and space and we will be working on "planet projects". 
    In grades 4-5 we have just finished presenting our recycling projects and are beginning State of NH cities, counties and points of interest for our next social studies unit.”

From Ms. Donabedian:
    “The Full Day Kindergarten Feasibility Committee will be meeting during the first week in March to discuss a visit that Ms. Donabedian and Mrs. Moran made to the Jackson Grammar School in Jackson, NH.  The Jackson Grammar School is very similar to Barnard in that they have combined grade classrooms.  They have been running a full day combined Kindergarten and Grade 1 class for several years.  The committee will be formulating a recommendation on Full Day Kindergarten and relating their findings in the coming months.”

From Ms. Macdonald:
    During our Social Studies unit, the 4th and 5th graders are working on researching the different New Hampshire counties. Students are identifying what the population and geographic area of their counties. They are also identifying important landforms and when their counties were founded. Students will be expected to present their findings to their classmates after they create posters using their findings.”

From Mrs. Moran:
    “Grades K and 1 celebrated day 100.  Mrs. Kime helped make the day special by creating a curtain through which the students entered on day 100, and with her assistance the class played games centered around the number 100. With the help of the app Aging Booth, students were able to see how they would look one hundred years from now.  They wrote about what they might be doing in one hundred years.   It was interesting to read about how they perceived the future.”

From Mrs. Sheckells:
    Grade 8 is researching NH artists. They will design their own art project based on an artist's work and present a slide show to the lower grades. Grades 4 - 8 have worked on a number of architecture inspired pieces: city skylines, great buildings at night and names in light: a perspective exploration. Watch for more interesting self portraits coming soon. In grades K - 3, we are celebrating Chinese New Year with brush writing and some special projects for the year of the sheep.”

From Mr. Szeliga:
    “Students in grades 4-8 at Barnard School competed in the annual National Geographic Bee.  For the fourth consecutive year, Cameron Knight was crowned Geo Bee champion,  Benjamin Laverty finished in 2nd position followed by 8th grader Delia Williams.  This year's edition of geography bee was one of the most competitive in years as United States geography was greatly emphasized throughout the middle school curriculum.”  

    That about wraps it up for now.  As I have reported earlier we look forward to field trips to Mounts Major and Monadnock and Mrs. “D” and I flying to D.C. with the 8th grade. Please join us on Saturday March 7 for the Comedy Night fundraiser to support the trip.  The PTA has generously offered to help fund spring enrichment activities so stay tuned as the staff and I look for something the students will learn from and enjoy.  Now that ski season is coming to an end it’s time to train for the annual Blaze the Trail 5K! The students continue to do their best work and we look forward to March 25 and the end of the Second Term and Parent Conferences and the Book Fair Thursday April 2.  Enjoy the rest of this winter weather, Spring begins March 20!

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